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TV Review: Hawaii Five-0 – “Ne Me’e Laua Na Paio”

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On this week’s episode CBS’s Hawaii Five-0, Steve McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) gets another piece of the mystery concerning his father’s death when he learns Wo Fat (Mark Dacascos) may have ordered the hit. McGarrett is now being aided by C.I.A. analyst Jenna Kaye (Larisa Oleynik), who has a personal vendetta against Wo Fat, and after finding his location, takes a leave from the agency to track him. Steve isn’t fooled as Kaye claims to be on an active mission, but soon the two team up and work together.

I hope it doesn’t take 12 years for Steve to catch Wo Fat. I am aware, though I never saw the show, that Wo Fat was a character in the original Hawaii Five-O that messed with the team from the pilot all the way through to the series finale after a dozen seasons. While the first half of this new show’s first season has done little to deal with this overall arc, the past few episodes have been very good at furthering the larger story. As such, Steve may not take down Wo Fat this year, but two or three years from now, it’ll definitely be time to find a new bad guy.

As for the rest of the episode, it is fun, but not anything special. Like most procedurals, even though Hawaii Five-0 has a spectacular cast, things drag a little as the team pursues the case of the week. This week’s murder is convoluted, making the team work through a number of twists before solving the case. That leads to some fun moments, such as Steve and Danno (Scott Caan) at a costumed convention, Kono (Grace Park) channeling her inner stripper to send a text, and the team talking to eccentric medical examiner Max (Masi Oka). But it did get boring in parts.

One complaint, and I know this is being picky, but at the convention, a black man in a Star Trek uniform corrects Danno when he calls him Captain Kirk, claiming to be Commander Sisko, instead. The man, if he were really a Star Trek fan, would know that he is dressed as Captain Sisko from the later seasons of Deep Space 9. Four pips on the collar represents Captain, not Commander. Sisko began the show as a Commander, but was promoted about halfway through. The uniform in the episode is also the uniform design worn later, after the promotion, rather than the completely different design from when Sisko was a commander. Look up Commander Sisko and Captain Sisko on google images, and you will see a startling difference in appearance, though it is still the same actor, so I’m complaining about a lot more than just a button on the collar. The casual viewer would not catch such a mistake, but Deep Space 9 is one of my favorite shows of all time, and certainly the best Star Trek series. The man in the costume would definitely know the difference.

I know this is the most popular new show of the season, and I will anger people with my criticisms, but it is the truth. Watching the same thing over and over again gets boring. I have watched all 19 episodes thus far, and have really enjoyed only about a third of them. Thus, the series joins the ranks of other popular shows that are really not very good. I’m looking at you CSIs, Law and Orders, NCISs, The Mentalist, etc. It’s not a coincidence that most of those air on CBS. I won’t even get into the plethora of reality shows like Dancing With the Stars and American Idol. The biggest difference with Hawaii Five-0 from those other shows is that this one has the potential to be really great, and sometimes is, rather than staying mediocre and rote.

To make a consistently better show, I recommend they give more screen time to the larger arcs, and less to the case of the week. Sometimes, get rid of the case of the week all together. Have more interaction between team members. Sure, the group is often together in various combinations, but much of that together time is spend examining evidence. Steve and Danno’s one on one conversations in the car are ALWAYS a high point of any episode. So why not have two or three, or even four, every week? And give a little more to Chin Ho (Daniel Dae Kim), who has had fewer fun bits than anyone else. Making Kamekona (Taylor Wily) a series regular, also not a bad idea. Embrace the humorous elements, and play them up more. Lastly, an English translation of the episode titles at the beginning of each episode would be nice.

I am rooting for Hawaii Five-0 to succeed, and the winter has been better than the fall. If the spring can improve even more, we’ll be in business.

Hawaii Five-0 airs Monday nights at 10 p.m. ET on CBS.

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About JeromeWetzelTV

Jerome writes TV reviews for BlogCritics.org and Seat42F.com, as well as fiction. He is a frequent guest on two podcasts, Let's Talk TV with Barbara Barnett and The Good, the Bad, & the Geeky. All of his work can be found on his website, jeromewetzel.com
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