Recap

‘Hawaii Five-0’ Season Finale Recap: Oia'i'o

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May 17, 2011 | 8:03am EDT

S1E24: Well, we made it. We made it through the entire first season of Hawaii Five-0. We pulled through all the ridiculous exposition dialogue, the kick ass stunts, the absolute horrible product placements, and not nearly enough of Grace Park showing up in a bikini. Let’s just take a moment to remember where we came from and where we’re going and where we are now.

It was an odd ride, right?

"To be continued..."

Over this season, I’ve definitely noticed that H50 has two basic episodes types: one that's good and one that's very bad. The better episodes are the ones where they embrace their ridiculousness and go over the top. The stunts are bigger and everything seems brighter. But then next week things can go darker and the show starts taking itself seriously. That’s when it goes from “so ridiculous it’s awesome” to “so ridiculously bad, how is this even on air?” Unfortunately this week was a definite “how is this even on air?” episode, though it was the worst of the worst, which is certainly saying something.

Let’s take a look at just how ridiculous this episode got by looking at one single line. Alex Mack managed to sum up exactly what was wrong with the show (and television in general) with this one brilliant line. She neatly summed up the entire season’s plot (and her character motivation, by the way) by simply saying “the same man who blew up this car, killed my fiance, and murdered your parents, it’s Wo Fat.” Now, I know this is a procedural show and some people might be tuning in for the first time, but in reality why would someone actually say that? Does McGarrett need reminding of who he thinks killed his parents? Did he forget? The ONLY reason she said that was it sounded cool and then they could cut to commercial for added dramatic effect. It was so super serious, dramatic, and over-the-top that it soared past the hilarious irony that the show often reaches and landed right into horrible campiness. It just wasn’t fun any more.

Another example is Chin’s promotion in the HPD. This entire season (or however long we’ve known this character) the lead investigator for IA has been a huge dick to Chin trying to pin him for taking the money. But suddenly he realizes why Chin did what he did and he wants to offer him his job back with a PROMOTION? Where the hell did this come from? It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever; no police force would ever do such a thing like that. Again, I know it’s a TV show, but at least have the decency to look me in the eye if you’re going to screw me like this H50.

Want another example? Gosh, fine. Danno and Rachel’s sudden romance. Now I understand that sometimes couples get back together (see: How I Met Your Mother this week), but for the first half of this season Danno absolutely hated his ex. Like, for a while, I thought she was a literal dragon from the way he described her. But suddenly he gets a little biological warfare and, poof, they’re back together. And she’s pregnant. And she wants to move back to JERSEY FROM HAWAII. RIGHT. BECAUSE A BRITISH LADY WOULD WANT TO MOVE FROM PARADISE TO JERSEY.

"Steve McGarrett, you're under arrest." - Chin

However, from a narrative standpoint I completely understand why they made all these ridiculous choices. They really needed to end the season with the four main members of the group completely deconstructed. McGarret gets framed for murdering the governor, Kono is charged in aiding the break-in from a few months ago, Chin is back with HPD, and Danno is considering leaving. It’s actually a very interesting point to leave the group in, especially for a season-ender, my only complain is how they got the group in that position. They go completely ridiculous, ask us to accept things that go against everything we’ve been told up to this point, and then treat us as if we’re idiots. Now, I know this is CBS, but again, at least take me out to dinner before screwing me H50!

Having said all that, they did manage to make their least interesting character’s deconstruction somewhat interesting. This entire season McGarrett has been a solid block of wood, but a calm block of wood. He keeps a cool head in the most heated situations because blocks of wood don’t break easily, but the one thing that would make him snap happens this week. It turns out the governor was in on his parent’s murder after he unlocked the cabinet (Side note about the graphic of the cabinet unlocking: that must’ve been really expensive and yet it added absolutely nothing to the story. They couldn’t have thrown in a couple of gratuitous shots of girls in bikinis for the same amount? Shame H50) and that causes him to snap.

He goes all commando and breaks into the governor’s office and confronts her. I will say they did a pretty damn good job of leaving the governor’s confession up in the air, the only thing we know for sure is that Wo Fat is still a big bad guy (also THE SECRET INGREDIENT IS... A TASER!). Now that is how you break down a guy; take something that he held onto as truth and then remove it, not have his ex suddenly be pregnant or his old job come calling back with a promotion. It was a convoluted and exposition heavy, but it was definitely the way to do it.

So, we end on decent cliff-hanger that was nevertheless set up horribly. Unfortunately, it’ll probably be resolved by the second episode next season and we’ll be back to crazy stunts and riffing between Danno and McGarrett. And I couldn’t end without a word from our sponsors, Chevy:

BMW: more likely to get car bombed. We’re just saying.

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