‘Hawaii Five-O’ Recap: Hao Kanaka

S01E10 Is it wrong of me to want to compare Hawaii Five-O to a smarter show like Dexter? Dexter is one of the best shows on television and Hawaii Five-O is nothing more than a time filler, but is it wrong of me to want my time filler to be smarter? Or rather, Hawaii Five-O is a smart show, I just wished it used its smarts in a smarter manner.

Take this week’s episode. We have another episode jam packed with information, crazy stunts, and a huge plot but the show rushes by those incredibly cool details in order to get to the end. This whole plot about the triathlon was just ridiculous, but I’ll let it slide. By regulating it to the last quarter of the episode and padding the rest of the episode with false leads and diversions, we barely get to see the cool stuff like putting the weights on the guy working out and Danno’s ex (more on these later). My wish for the show is that they would stop with the technical mumbo jumbo, keep the ridiculousness as crazy as possible, and just let the fun moments flesh out by stretching it over a couple of episodes. I know the appeal of the show that its not multi-episodic arcs, but I think it can work over the course of a few weeks.

Also I really hope they keep the product placements as blatant as possible without actually acknowledging it because this whole ironic meta commenting on how we’re shilling out is getting old (I’m looking at you 30 Rock with Bee Movie but not you Community and KFC). Keep those as clunky as possible, please. Because after all, if you’re going to do something, go big or go home. It’s brilliant.

Instead of going over each little detail and commenting on whether it worked or not, let’s just go through the high points and we’ll blanket all the other moments as being ridiculous or fluff. But just to recap the highlights of the episode: the burglars use the triathlon as a cover for high concept thievery and the use diversions to trick H5O. We also get to see behind the curtains of Danno’s ex, which was the perfect time for us. We’ve known Danno nine weeks now so it’s about time we meet the missus.

First things first: Do we get Grace Park in a bikini? Almost! We get her taking off her pants, which is pretty good in my book. And because H5O is an equal opportunity attractor, we got Alex O’Loughlin taking off his shirt. I still think it’s funny that three grown men make the younger, attractive female member of the group do all the stuff that requires her to get into skimpy clothes simply because she’s the “rookie.” I know the characters aren’t being tools and this isn’t Mad Men, but come on, you have to admit they’re not not thinking it.

Anyway, to be honest, I’m quite glad they had both of them do it, and at the beginning too. It’s probably the best way to get my attention at the start of, well, anything. Want me to pay attention to a sales meeting about quarterly earnings (those are business things, right)? Have Grace Park and Alex O’Loughlin change into diving gear. I should turn this into a guide on how to make anything more attention grabbing: Just add nudity! It’ll be a huge hit.

As mentioned above the weights with the body builder was quite a bit of inspired interrogation. This is a rather new development with H50, showcasing how badass McGarrett and Danno are at getting information out of people. It’s not enough for us to see them bicker back and forth how big their junk is, we actually gotta see how big that junk compares to others for us to truly know how much junk they got in their respective trunk (wait, I think I let that metaphor go on a bit too far).

The stunts of the week were pretty cool if only because everyone got in on it. Danno used a Coleman cooler (I have no idea if it was a Coleman, but they should definitely use it in their promotions “can stop a burglar speeding away on a bike!”) to trip up the bad guy. Kono gets the lame one by just stepping out in front of the guy with a gun and saying the cheesy line “Ride’s over.” Chin gets the crafty award by using a well placed garden hose to trip the guy Looney Tunes style. On a normal week that would win Stunt of the Week, but McGarrett of course had to one up everyone by chasing the guy on the bike down and then straight up tackling the guy. Since that wasn’t enough, he then got in a fist fight with the guy. If it wasn’t so legit cool, I would almost say McGarrett does this just to show off.

But it wasn’t just an episode for action, we got a very healthy dose of character development. Again, as mentioned above, we finally get some extended time with Danno’s ex-wife. With the way Danno has built her up to be this huge bitch, we kind of expect her to either an extreme bitch or the nicest person in the world (showing us that Danno told the truth or Danno lied and he’s actually the reason she left). What we do get is a little of both which also tells us a little about Danno. She seems to be a lovely, British woman who just cares about the people she loves. And since Danno is a self-admitting mean/angry person, they clashed. This tells us as much about Danno as it does his ex…which is basically that Danno is kind of a dick. Sure, he cares about his job and his daughter very much, I’m not doubting that, but he is very brash and in your face, which would make any concerned cop’s wife worry. It’ll be interesting to see where Danno goes from here. He could either keep being a hot head or he can cool off, which is probably more than likely what would happen considering the final minute.

And with the last minute, I’ll keep watching the show. If they’re able to create something that sweet and little from a procedural cop show then its worth sticking around for me. There was plenty of stuff worth skipping over this episode but there were some real gems as well. I have faith. The guys behind the new Star Trek are behind this series and I really liked that movie (of course, I have no idea how much of my liking is due to contribution from Abrams and Lindelof, but still) so I have faith in the show. For now.