All right, so this is what an episode of the new Hawaii Five-O looks like. It’s super saturated, big concept crimes, and a dose of riffs between Danno and McGarrett thrown in for good measure. I’m strangely ok with this.
Sure, it’s appearing to become a basic cop procedural show. But at the same time there’s enough intelligence and fancy camera work to set it above the typical cop show.
So this episode opens with the basic a basic generic overworked Dad facechatting with his son (because that’s the totally hip way to communicate and won’t date the show at all in a few years). And sure enough his car is t-boned, gun men jump out and kidnap him. Typical Monday morning commute stuff. The kidnappers take the mysterious case he had with him which totally screams that this man has SECRETS. Also, anyone get a little jealous that this guy totally gets great service for his iPhone in HAWAII? Come on, shouldn’t he have to worry about something in his life? Well, I mean, besides the fact that he just got kidnapped.
Anyway, Danno and McGarrett get into the jabs right off the bat about Danno’s tie and how he needs to work harder to fit in looking relaxed. I would try to commiserate but I’m not wearing pants (working for a website, for the win!). They get the call about the kidnapping and off to work they go!
Standard procedural stuff. They interview the kid, look through some security footage, investigate his house, blah blah blah. They find a kidnapper on the roof of a building, McGarrett hangs him over the edge of the building, he and Danno argue about how far they can take the good cop/bad cop thing, we’ve seen it before.
They go to check out the guy’s house. Using the hey-this-looks-like-a-secret-scooby-doo-door-book-case school of detective training, they discover that Mr. Kidnapped Man secretly has enough computer power and hacker skills to set up the sweetest game of Modern Warfare 2. Or discover holes in the security infrastructure of half the globe.
Whatever, this leads to the perhaps the greatest guest star, ever. MARTIN STARR! Oh yes! The Freaks and Geeks and Party Down (may it RIP) brilliant actor plays a stoner hacker. One of those two job descriptions comes fairly easily to him. I point you to his work in Knocked Up for further evidence. It really sucks that the only reason he could take this job was because Party Down got canned (seriously, screw you Starz) but at least he got a vacation in Hawaii and some major exposure for it.
Then Kelly explains everything. Holy crap, Hawaii Five-O writers. Give Daniel Dae Kim something to say other than pure exposition. He’s a good actor. He can handle some characterization beyond the fact that he used to be a good cop but now has a bad rep. Ok, I’ll step off the soap box.
Grace Park gets to take care of the kid because of course she does. Turns out the kidnapped dude’s girlfriend is a Serbian spy mole because of course she is. They get in a fight, Grace Park kicks some ass but eventually gets kidnapped because of course she has to be the damsel in distress. The bad guy turns out to be Peter Stormare! Hell yeah! Man that guy plays a Russian (Serbian in this episode, whatever) badass so well.
(Also, I apologize that Daniel Dae Kim looks like a stoned vampire in that screen cap for the video. Way to go CBS and Youtube!)
They go to rescue Kono at some airforce base. They said something about the radar going down and followed a plane there, but honestly it was just complicated enough not to be stupid but still too big a coincidence for me not to call it out. Then we get to what will hopefully be a weekly thing, the just-now thought up McGarrett Stunt Of The Week. Last week we saw him skid over a crashing car, this week wasn’t as cool, but it was still him jumping down and grabbing a chain.
Bad guy gets arrested and we get the obligatory “Book’em Danno.”
Finally we get to what I hope to heaven is not going to be a trend - the super sweet and emotional denouement. This week we get the boys all dressed up (awww look how cute they are in their little uniforms) presenting Kono with her badge and her funky name. Eh, as long as it sticks to the last minute, I’m cool.
So this is looking to be a better than average cop show. Some decent action, great funny dialogue, and the set pieces are gorgeous. Unfortunately this week does get marked down for not having Grace Park in a bikini, but every week can’t be a winner. Wait, yes it can. This is set in Hawaii. There is no reason she shouldn’t be in a bikini the whole time. And yes, I'll be using that image up top until I can find a better one of her.