(Note: Yes, this will be the image used for all Hawaii Five-O recaps. That is until I find a better, hotter picture of Grace Park. You're welcome.)
I know is passé to complain about the believability of television, I know this. I try to not think too much when watching television. Plausibility is never at the top of most television writers' minds. Exciting action, quick dialogue, that’s what matters. Not whether the South American Toad can actually be found in Hawaii and whether the tough, but caring, lieutenant would know that the antidote for the killer’s poison can be found in the South American Toad sweat. I get that, I really do. But sometimes the stupidity of television smacks you so hard in the face you just have to pause it, and ask yourself, did that really just happen?
Take for instance this past week’s episode of Hawaii Five-O. I understand the whole gambit of one case per episode and by doing that, a lot of the less interesting things (like most of the actual elements of being a police officer) get edited out of the show to make for a more compelling and exciting episode. But here’s the thing. Our gang stumbles into this case about rival tribal gangs and New Jersey mobsters by accident. They happen to be at the football game and happen to see the guys with the guns. Then Chin Ho Kelly happens to see his contact (who is also his cousin) running away from the scene. And when Kelly hauls the guy in for questioning, we learn the guy is an undercover cop (how convenient!) and has been for eleven months. Then our gang manages to solve the case within the remaining fifteen minutes of the show and name their little group '5-O' in the process.
So their contact, an undercover police officer (who also happens to be Kono’s and Kelly’s cousin), has been working for eleven months away from his family, risking his life to earn the trust of the criminal underworld, has his whole cover blown and everything he has been working for conveniently solved by this gang of misfits who stumbled into the case in the first place. Let’s overlook the fact that the contact met with Kono at a very obvious beach location and his really unnecessary anger toward Kelly and just focus on the fact that our gang basically made the past year of this guy’s life unnecessary. The only thing our contact did was let McGarrett and Danno past security into this high profile gambling rink. He spent a year of life in constant danger to allow our two main characters to slip by security because they couldn’t think of a way past. And then the mafia were able to see right through it in the next ten minutes! No wonder he was pissed at Kelly. He turned the last year of his life into nothing.
I guess why I’m upset about this is that it didn’t have to happen. There were more clever ways around the problem of getting into the party. The contact didn’t have to be an undercover police officer. The writers didn’t have to slap the face off real police work for the sake of entertaining television. Hawaii Five-O doesn’t have to be a stereotypical cop procedural. It can be better than this. I have seen glimmers of a much better show, there were a few still in this episodes. But hopefully next week will rectify the sins of this week.
Anyway, what else happened in this episode? Well we had the previously mentioned tribal gang warfare that managed to attract the attention of the New Jersey Mafia. McGarrett and Danno do some seriously shady police work (it involves a pizza box with an outline of a gun) and some amazing interrogation techniques (it involves a shark tank and some scary looking, but harmless, Galapagos sharks). They eventually unravel a conspiracy that has slipped by the entire police force in a matter of a few days. It was stupid and didn’t really make sense.
But what did make sense was Grace Park in a bikini again and that little kimono looking dress she wore at the party. That made a lot of sense. More Park in bikinis and less crazy plots please, Hawaii Five-O.
Then we got our three staples of Hawaii Five-O. We got the really cool stunt of the week when McGarrett tackles the hell out of a running suspect and crashes into a glass cart. Then we got a subverted “book ‘em, Danno” when he asks if he should have done that. And we had our sentimental ending with Danno’s daughter. Glad to see McGarrett is using his pull with the governor to settle custody disputes. Way to use your sway, McGarrett.
So this episode gets marked down for its incredibly stupid plot, but a few more points for Grace Park in a bikini again. And yes, my grades are as rigid and fickle as that.