‘Hawaii Five-0’ Recap: Powa Maka Moana

S01E17: I guess I shouldn’t have gotten my hopes up for this episode. Perhaps I should’ve known that any episode this heavily publicized (especially for the guest stars) couldn’t have been good. Hawaii Five-0 gave a fairly decent episode, all things considered, but for whatever reason things were not clicking.

“Pirates!” -random bro

Before checking in with our grading scale, lets go through what bugged me about this episode. It was a fairly run-of-the-mill pirate-kidnapping scheme that we have come to expect from H50. They take some kids hostage, H50 rounds up the natives, they don’t know anything, they talk to the parents and eventually give the bad guys the money. Oh yeah, somewhere in there a kid gets shot because his parents jump the gun.

Blah, blah, blah, same old stuff for the H50 gang (the only thing that bothered me this week was how much pull it seemed the Hawaiian governor had in getting H50 this assignment; I mean, she overstepped federal proceeding. That’s clout). They handle it with care and by the time the big switch comes around (which could’ve been seen coming from the mainland) the episode was over.

“Do you want to steer?” -McGarrett

Let’s start with the most gratuitous problem, shall we? The guest stars. If you turned on your TV in the past week you know that our big guest stars this week were Nick Lachey and Vanessa Minnillo, which, under normal circumstances, would qualify them for doing a big guest spot. However, since they were mishandled it so spectacularly I’m not even going to count it. I mean, we only saw Lachey for two seconds at the beginning and if Checkov’s Nick Lachey Law taught us anything, it’s that if you see a loaded Nick Lachey in the first act, he better explode by the third act. So of course he would be the bad guy and be in cahoots with Minnillo. Keeping him away from the camera (thereby increasing Minnillo’s prescience) it made it so obvious that they were behind it all.

The riffing between McGarrett and Danno, having been absent last week, was back in full force. Apparently the car they were pushing in the beginning was the car from the original series? I’m not even sure if that’s the case, I wouldn’t even be able to tell if I even knew what kind of car they drove in the original. But it sure beat another swooping shot of a Chevy.

“See what you did? Now I don’t know what he’s going to do. I would run.” -Danno

Speaking of product placements, we had a fairly obvious one with McGarrett and his phone (again, this dude really loves his phones). While they didn’t straight up say “Hey, look at this amazing app I downloaded that shows all different kinds of guns, here let me swipe them across to show you. See how easily I swipe?” they practically did and I relished it. Awkward, forced, and contrived — that’s not only how I like my dates, its how I like my product placements.

As for the stunts, they were fairly contained. There were no motorcycles or helicopters to speak of, nor were there boats or that many guns, but we did get McGarrett leaping through windows and taking a dive into a trolley. It’s not the most showy thing the show has done, but it was still fun. Oh yeah, McGarrett put a grenade in a pawnshop blast door — highly illegal (and insane) but still pretty funny to watch.

And to top it all off, there was no Grace Park in a bikini. The kidnapped kids were kept in their swimwear for a really unnecessary long time, but that doesn’t really make up for it. To top that even further, next week is the dreaded Dane Cook episode. Oh God.