S01E08 Holy crap this episode of Hawaii Five-O could not have been worse. It was predictable, it was slow, it was too unrealistic. It didn’t even have the courage to give us Grace Park in a bikini. And worst of all, they talked. Good lord did they talk. The script for this episode had to have been pages and pages of dialogue.
Lets start out with the cold opening. We got some hula dancing and beefy dudes twirling a baton but since that’s not “manly,” they lit both ends on fire. And they are at a big pig cook out and as soon as they showed the pit I knew there was going to be a body. And of course, there was a body. And it had a police badge stuffed in its mouth. I will give Hawaii Five-O this, it does have great production values. That corpse looked real. About as real as the script. Boom! Roasted! (Word play!)
So it turns out that the dead officer was Danno’s old partner back from when he was on Honolulu’s PD. We have never heard of this guy before but we’re supposed to care that he’s gone. Look, Hawaii Five-O, if you want us to care about someone dying or at least one of the main character’s reactions to said death, then you have to give us something to work with! You can’t just say, “Oh, hey, he was a good guy and it’s terrible that he died.” Show us that he was great! Show us what the torment means to Danno! Don’t tell us. I’m much more likely to believe something with my eyes than with my ears.
Now granted, I understand the reasoning behind this. Hawaii Five-O is a “special” police task force that only takes on the “special” cases. Figuring out who roasted a police officer isn’t special enough unless it's a former partner and then it's special and worthy of their time.
Blah, blah, blah, exposition, exposition, plot, plot. The officer was investigating something but Internal Affairs was also investigating him because a lot of his raids and busts went wrong at the last minute. Uh-oh! Internal Affairs does not insinuate that a former partner of Danno’s went rogue! You do not do that! Kelly believes him as well because that dickweed in IA screwed him over as well so he’s been there, man. I feel your pain, bro.
They go to investigate and here’s something that also bugged me about this episode. Danno and McGarretty just waltz into the police station and just start yelling and demanding stuff. If I was a hard working police officer, doing my duty to the citizens and city I swore to protect, I would be a little pissed off if these assholes just came in here and started demanding stuff. See I’m a good cop, I follow the rules and do all the paperwork required. Occasionally I’ll get to do something fun and exciting but mostly it's just keeping things in order. But then these dicks come in here, swinging their special task force around like it's a huge dick and take all the cool cases. I mean, if I were one of those normal officers I wouldn’t talk to them either.
Yada yada yada, more talking, more swinging their big dick badges around. They visit the fat guy from Forgetting Sarah Marshall again and learn about some new cocaine business happening at some fancy art show. They pay a visit and because this is CBS and supposedly everyone who watches CBS doesn’t understand “high” art McGarrett and Danno make fun of it. But because if there is a group of people on television, at least one of them will be an expert at any given subject. This time we get Kelly who lays down some modern art knowledge on us.
And then... TRAIN WRECK! ALL ABOARD THE BING PRODUCT PLACEMENT EXPRESS! NEXT STOP SHOE HORN VALLEY!
Kono asks Kelly how he knows so much and he casually tells her to “Bing” it. And we get a 30 second close up on how easy and fast Bing is to use. Look, Microsoft. I get it. You want people to use Bing. But people already use Google and Google has become a verb and you want a piece of that pie. But shoehorning it into a television show doesn’t work. You can’t force a popular phrase onto the masses, have you not seen Mean Girls? That’s not fetch.
Anyway, they successfully corner the art dealer drug guy because after all, you have to be high on SOMETHING to make and deal art like that. The guy doesn’t want to talk, which finally, FINALLY, gives us a little bit of action and not just people talking. Danno straps the art guy to the hood of his car in order to make him talk a little more. He talks because if he didn’t the plot couldn’t move forward and lord knows we need the plot to move forward.
Then we get to a stand off and drug trade with the art dude. The show tries to build up suspense and make it thrilling but there were just too many cliches here. The guards with automatic guns. The drug dealer with glasses. Tense language. But it wasn’t. We knew how this was going to end. The guy panics, they shoot out, they run and the guy gets shot by a friendly cop that was on 5-O’s side. They needed that guy alive to talk, so whoops.
But they ran the bullets! The bullets must like to run and it was the same gun as the one that shot the original cop! Reversal! The good cop (not the one in IA, but that doesn’t really matter) was actually the mole all along! Then the bad guy from an earlier episode (oh yeah, Danno went and talked to him) comes up and is all like “yep, that’s him” (I swear that’s almost word for word) and they arrest him. Because all it takes is the word of a imprisoned felon to take down a police officer. I’m sure all of those hard working normal cops appreciated the 5-O’s work.
Come on, Hawaii Five-O. Every other line doesn’t have to be pure exposition. Let the characters breath and live a little. Let them explore themselves. They don’t have to talk so much, they can do other things. Shape it up guys. You can do better.