S1E6: Hawaii Five-O knows what it is. It knows it comes from the lineage of procedural cop shows and it has a certain formula that it must adhere to so people can be entertained without getting confused. It’s not aiming to be The Wire, it simply wants to take up an hour of your time, show you some pretty pictures and hopefully make you want to buy a Cheverolet Camaro because it looks so good against the Hawaiian backdrop.
It knows this, yet it chooses to act against it when it can. When it has the cajones to step outside the comfort zone and provide the viewer with an action filled, witty post-modern commentary on Hawaiian culture, it’s a decent show. Did I really just describe Hawaii Five-O as a "witty post-modern action thriller"? Can’t believe I did, but I really did.
This week’s episode gave us a little back story on Kono. And you know what that means - Grace Park in a bikini! Again, in case that wasn’t clear enough, we got GRACE PARK IN A BIKINI.
Besides that awesomeness we learn that Kono used to be a fairly competitive surfer (oxymoron?) before blowing out her knee. Curse you knees! Doesn’t it seem like knees are the most common parts of the body to ruin budding athletic careers? Aren’t we in the future? I mean, old people get metal knees, why can’t athletes? Come on scientists and athletic departments. I shouldn’t have to think of everything for you.
Anyway, she’s out catching some gnarly waves with her former mentor (a surf company honcho and former pro boarder) who catches one last wave into the crowd. Then BOOM! He gets shot right in the chest. Shot while surfing? That’s the most bad ass slash chill way to die, bro.
Which leads Kono to be like “Aw, hell nah, bro!” and she totally takes on the case when in real life someone that's close to the case would NEVER be allowed near it. But this is television so anything goes.
Then we get into the conspiracy of why this old grizzled surfer dude was shot. Turns out he and his partner wanted to “rule the world” from their surfing empire, which is totally how Hitler, Napoleon, Alexander the Great, and Ghengis Khan all failed. They didn’t surf.
So hold on and try to keep up with this story. Shot surfer dude had a partner and partner had a son and son was childhood friends with Kono and they used to surf together. Son lives in a tent city which just happens to be on some property that is very valuable. There’s also a secret life-guarding clan of native Hawaiians that somehow get involved as henchmen. It was all very confusing and not really important.
Basically it turns out that partner wanted the tent city land even though shot surfer guy didn’t want to do that. And it turns out that the son wasn’t really the partner’s son all along! He was the shot surfer guy. They found this out after a will was uncovered! Shocking (if you watch soap operas), I know. They kick some butt and manage to lock the partner up.
All that convoluted plot summed up in three paragraphs: I am good. So let’s talk about some of the interesting stuff that happened. We got a really cool stunt-of-the-week from Kono as she kicks A DUDE OFF A MOTORCYCLE. With this and Grace Park in a bikini, "Ko'olauloa" turned out to be a pretty awesome episode.
Also, McGarrett and Danno interrogate the leader of the lifeguard cult and brought up two very interesting aspects of Hawaiian culture. The leader dude was against working with McGarrett and Danno because they were white. There represents the undercurrent of anti-Caucasian attitude in Hawaii which isn’t that well known. Natives are very upset at turning their island paradise into a tourist industry, which I can understand. But the leader changes his mind when McGarrett shows he’s a third generation islander and his grandfather died at Pearl Harbor.
Which is the other big hole that Hawaii Five-O hasn’t touched on. Of course they had to eventually and they took the most common and not-going-to-piss-veterans approach by having the leader guy appreciate the sacrifice McGarrett’s grandfather made. But would that character really have appreciated it? I’m not exactly sure. I’m not as familiar with that aspect of Hawaiian culture as I would like to be. Perhaps a fact finding trip is on the way? I mean, surely it would benefit my analysis of the show. I’ll ask the boss.
Anyway, not a bad episode. Just goes to show, you should definitely start each episode with Grace Park in a bikini. And give more lines like “No, I’m not scarred, I’m rationally concerned” to Danno.