T.V. Series Review: Hawaii Five -0 (2010)

The first season of the  police procedural drama series Hawaii Five-0 premiered on CBS on September 20, 2010, for the 2010–11 television season in the United States. Production began for the pilot on February 18, 2010. CBS gave a full series order on May 19, 2010, and later ordered a full 24-episode season on October 21, 2010. The season concluded on May 16, 2011.

The series centers on the “Five-0”, a specialized task force established by the Hawaiian Governor that investigates a wide series crimes on the islands, including murder, terrorism and human trafficking. The series stars Alex O’Loughlin, Scott Caan, Daniel Dae Kim, and Grace Park. Taryn Manning receives an “Also starring” credit for three episodes before departing the series in the thirteenth episode of the season.

Episode 1 – Pilot

U.S. Navy SEAL Steve McGarrett returns to his native Hawaii to find Victor Hesse, a terrorist who murdered McGarrett’s father, John McGarrett, a retired officer from the Honolulu Police Department (HPD). He is enlisted by Hawaiian Governor Pat Jameson to head a new task force with legal immunity to clean up the underworld of Oʻahu. In turn, McGarrett enlists Honolulu newcomer Danny Williams, a divorced detective who moved from New Jersey to be closer to his daughter; Chin Ho Kelly, a disgraced police officer and a protege of McGarrett’s father; and Kono Kalakaua, Chin Ho’s cousin, a former surfer and soon-to-be Police Academy graduate. Together they discover a link between Hesse and a Chinese human trafficking ring with a mole in HPD. After threatening to deport the family of the ring leader, Sang Min, to Rwanda, McGarrett is given the location where Hesse is, on a freighter heading to China.

Episode 2 -Ohana Family

A National Security Agency expert in cyberterrorism, Roland Lowery (Scott Cohen), is kidnapped by a Serbian gang. While Kono is tasked with looking after Lowery’s son Evan (Colin Ford), the rest of the team discover Lowery was working on a “skeleton key”, a computer program that would allow the user to hack into anything. Soon, Kono and Evan are kidnapped by the same gang led by Drago Zankovic (Peter Stormare). The rest of the team realize the gang is using the program to shut down the island’s radar, allowing a plane to smuggle through. Zankovic intends to sell the program to the occupants of the plane. In the end, the team celebrate Kono’s Police Academy graduation.

Episode 3 – Respect the Land

The team fall witness to a shooting between Triad and Samoan gangs during a high school football game which they were watching. Chin Ho chases a suspect, only to find it is Sid (Sidney Liufau), his cousin, who later reveals himself to be working undercover in a gang unit. Sid refuses to have anything to do with Chin Ho because of Chin’s past with the HPD and also because of the corruption charge that Chin has. McGarrett and Danny discover that Frank Salvo (James Russo), a Mafia boss from New Jersey, is meeting with the head of the Samoan gang, after which there could be a full blown gang war. Meanwhile, Danny fights to keep shared custody of his daughter as she was present at the football game shooting. In the end, the team decides to name themselves “Five-0”, after McGarrett’s high school football jersey number.

Episode 4 – Victory

Five-0 are tasked to find Walton Dawkins (Balthazar Getty) a convict who broke out of prison. They later find he is targeting a couple, who recently won a million dollars and free trip to Hawaii on a game show. Dawkins kidnaps the boyfriend, Craig Ellers (Kenneth Mitchell), who is revealed to be Dawkins’ former partner in crime. The two previously robbed five million dollars before Ellers placed it in a bank while Dawkins goes to prison. Meanwhile, McGarrett reunites with his sister Mary (Taryn Manning) when she comes to visit and asks his on-again, off-again girlfriend Navy Intelligence Officer Catherine Rollins for “a favor” in watching over her. Danny has a knee injury which he jokingly blames on McGarrett’s unorthodox tactics for getting the job done.

Episode 5 -Forgotten/Missing

Amanda Reeves, the adult daughter of U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Michael Reeves, is found drowned. Governor Jameson takes a personal pledge to find those responsible and enlists Five-0. Over the course of the investigation, they learn Amanda’s sister Robin is still alive and was last found in a nightclub. McGarrett and Danny discover somebody drugged both sisters and sold them to a sex trafficking ring. They learn from the head of the operation that they were ordered to kidnap the sisters from a Filipino terrorist organization, headed by Carlos Bagoyo (Patrick Gallagher), who is using the ransom demand to get to Reeves and log into a database. Meanwhile, Mary finds her father’s tool box that he left for her brother to solve a crime and starts investigating herself. The team meets quirky medical examiner Max Bergman (Masi Oka).

Episode 6 – North Shore of O’ahu

Ian Adams (Mark Cunningham), the head of Kono’s former pro surfing team, is shot in front of a large crowd. McGarrett suggests Kono sit out the case, but she insists on finding the killer. She talks with old friend Ben Bass (Joshua Dallas), the son of Carlton Bass (Kevin Sorbo) who was Adams’s business partner. She learns that he founded a surf village located near the beach where Adams was killed, but local gangsters are trying to get them to leave.

Episode 7 – Accept

Ex-Navy SEAL Graham Wilson is being pursued by HPD, fleeing the scene of his wife’s murder, and takes a group of tourists hostage aboard the USS Missouri in Pearl Harbor. He claims to be innocent and forces the authorities to find the real killer. Governor Jameson’s new public safety liaison Laura Hills seeks the help of Five-0. McGarrett boards the Missouri while the rest of the team pieces together what actually happened at the crime scene. On-board Missouri, McGarrett’s plan is assisted by Ed McKay, a retired sailor who had served with McGarrett’s grandfather on the USS Arizona during the attack on Pearl Harbor. After Wilson’s daughter is kidnapped, it seems apparent he was framed, and the team shifts priority to recovering the girl.

Episode 8 – Belief

Danny is shocked to discover his former HPD partner, Meka Hanamoa, is found dead at a lūʻau. Furthermore he learns HPD is not investigating who murdered him because Internal Affairs is investigating Hanamoa for possible police corruption, led by the same man who investigated Chin Ho. Hanamoa’s most recent partner Kaleo (Jason Scott Lee) works with Five-0 and find Hanamoa may have worked with the Ochoa cartel, led by Emilio Ochoa (Christian George). Although they plan to capture him alive, Kaleo kills him, claiming he was defending himself. McGarrett remembers that Sang Min had a mole in HPD (who identified Kono as a cop in “Pilot”,) so they ask Sang Min to identify the mole.

Episode 9 – The Siege

When a security detail member is found murdered in a hotel room, Five-0 discovers he was assigned to protect General Pak (Ric Young), a mass-murdering military general from Sandimar, who is due at the upcoming Oʻahu Foreign Aid Summit. Working with an old SEAL buddy Nick Taylor (Max Martini), McGarrett and the team discover the murderer is Erica Raines (Emmanuelle Vaugier), a former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) assassin. When the team confronts her, she attempts to flee but gets hit by a bus and dies. When Pak and his family arrive in Hawaii, Five-0 learns that Taylor was in on a plan to assassinate Pak.

Episode 10 -Race

In Waikiki, four masked assailants in white coats robs an armored car shooting all three guards, killing two of them in broad daylight. Five-0 quickly recover the van as well as the money, leaving them confused but realizes the gang is likely to strike a bigger target during a triathlon event, which is being held for the next day. Furthermore, the robbers are athletes taking part in the event and are living next door to Danny’s ex-wife Rachel (Claire van der Boom).

Episode 11 – Paradise

Five-0 investigate when Erica Harris is found by two hunters, not knowing what she was running from. Erica is on her honeymoon with her husband, Jake Harris. Her mother-in-law suspects her of being involved, having possibly only married Jake for his money and that she is in debt. Jake is found dead in their hotel room, and Max Bergman discovers a series of related murders in 2009 where couples were targeted. Five-0 realize they are dealing with a serial killer who was engaged to a woman that called off the wedding, and Five-0 believe he later killed her. Meanwhile, McGarrett reveals to Chin about the Champion Spark Plugs tool box left to him be his father, showing pictures and files about Yakuza activity. There are also a set of unexplained numbers. Chin reveals the numbers were a case file that mysteriously disappeared, involving McGarrett’s mother’s death.

Episode 12 – Desperate Measures

A weapons dealer wanted by Interpol is found dead after washing ashore. Surveillance shows the victim walking with Victor Hesse, the man who killed McGarrett’s father and survived being shot. He visited a doctor whom he later kills after having the bullets removed from his torso, and has since been off the grid for four months. To track him down, Five-0 reluctantly enlist the help of Sang Min, the human trafficker arrested from the pilot. When they arrive at the bar, Sang Min betrays them and helps Hesse escape. Chin Ho tracks them to a ship, but is knocked out and awakens the next morning with a bomb attached to his neck. Hesse demands $10 million in exchange for his life. Five-0 is forced to break into the vault and “borrow” the money they need. As Five-0 celebrate Christmas, Hesse is seen meeting with Wo Fat in prison, who wants to know how much McGarrett knows about his father’s case.

Episode 13 -The Beginning

McGarrett awakens to masked men breaking into his house and stealing the Champ box containing the investigation to his mother’s murder. Mary is kidnapped for her own investigation and calls McGarrett from the trunk of a car. Five-0 track the car and rescue her. The two hostiles are members of the Yakuza. Despite that the box is still missing, Mary previously took pictures of every item in the box. They later raid a gambling den and find the third assailant, Hiro Noshimuri, believed to be involved in not only the kidnapping but McGarrett’s mother’s death. However, he is also connected to Governor Jameson, who warns McGarrett that to put Noshimuri away, they must find solid evidence. After finding the missing box, McGarrett manages to tie Hiro Noshimuri to Mary’s kidnapping, but not his mother’s death. In the end, McGarrett hears that Hiro Noshimuri’s brother, has been killed in a car accident.

Episode 14- An Innocent Man

Chin Ho and Kono join HPD in a car chase, which ends with the car crashing and killing the driver. Five-0 find a severed head in a cardboard box. After finding out the driver’s family are illegal immigrants from China, McGarrett tries to clear him, but Danny does not resort to the same courtesy. The team identify the man as Henry Duncan, a thyroid cancer patient under Chin Ho’s former fiancée Malia (Reiko Aylesworth). Later, they discover Nicole Duncan (Amanda Schull), the victim’s wife is missing. Robert Rovin (Greg Gerrman), the woman’s father and businessman, is given a call to deliver five million dollars to a specified location in exchange for his daughter’s safety. Things go awry when McGarrett and Danny kill the suspect who takes the money.

Episode 15 – Tidal Wave

The population of Hawaii are forced to evacuate the coast in the wake of a tsunami threat. Five-0 investigate the disappearance of Dr. Norman Russell (John Sullivan), the head of the Tsunami Warning Center. McGarrett later realizes that the approaching tsunami does not exist, and that Russell was kidnapped to transmit the false data. After they rescue him, Five-0 discover that Sam Hale (Brian Goodman), a United States Coast Guard Commander, orchestrated the plot to break into the empty precinct where the $28 million (first mentioned in “Hana ʻaʻa Makehewa”) is held. Five-0 decide to confess their previous theft to Governor Jameson, however McGarrett is somewhat disturbed to learn that all $28 million were recovered. Meanwhile, McGarret and Catherine Rollins continue their on-again, off-again relationship. Also, Danny tasks Kamekona with watching over Grace during the investigation.

Episode 16 – To Protect

Five-0 are tasked to find Julie Masters (Mariana Klaveno), the key witness against drug cartel leader Aaron Brenner (Robert Prescott). She disappears after Brenner sends two assassins after her. McGarrett and Chin Ho journey through the vast forests to find her. When Chin Ho finds her, they find there is also a third assassin after her, and a “cleaner”. Meanwhile, Danny hears that two assailants carjacked his ex-wife’s car. Because Grace was present, he becomes fixated on solving the case. After confronting Rachel’s current husband Stan (Mark Deklin), he discovers tapes incriminating housing commissioner Bruce Hoffman (Barry Levi) of corruption. Danny threatens Hoffman to back off or he will expose the tapes to the press.

Episode 17 – Pirate

Twelve college students on a catamaran during spring break are kidnapped by a gang of pirates. As Five-0 lead a search to find the hostages, the pirates make ransom demands of $20 million for each hostage to their wealthy parents. The team storm a house believed to be where the hostages are kept, but instead find a pirate stronghold who were not involved in the kidnapping. After the parents of one of the hostages pay the pirates $400,000 as down payment, their son is found murdered. Afterwards the kidnappers demand that Susan (Vanessa Minnillo), a crew member of the catamaran who evaded the pirates, deliver the money to them. McGarrett gives in, but realizes Susan was involved.

Episode 18 – The Long Goodbye

The children of a state judge and prosecutor are killed, one by having the rope cut off while zip-lining, the second in a car bombing. After researching cases the state judge & prosecutor worked together on, Five-0 believe the murderer is Travis Roan (Theo Coumbis). His 20-year-old son was prosecuted by the two men for DUI, and was later killed in prison. Meanwhile, Danny’s younger brother Matthew (Dane Cook) comes to Hawaii. He later learns that the Federal Bureau of Investigation(FBI) suspect him for fraud. Danny reluctantly tips off his brother. As Matthew leaves the Island, Danny realizes he was wanted for laundering money to a drug cartel.

Episode 19 – Heroes and Villains

Alex Baker, dressed as superhero Captain Fallout during a science fiction convention, falls to his death from a high hotel floor. After following leads in the investigation, Five-0 ultimately learn that Baker was drunk and went to the wrong room that was just above his own. The room’s owner was in possession of a memory card containing footage of Lindsay Roberts, a young woman who disappeared (and was murdered) in late 2008, who had been having an affair with her boss, Richard Davies (D. B. Sweeney). Meanwhile, McGarrett teams up with CIA analyst Jenna Kaye (Larisa Oleynik), who is running her own investigation without the CIA’s backing, regarding the deaths of his parents killed by Wo Fat. In the end, Wo Fat meets with McGarrett and warns McGarrett not to dig into his parents’ past.

Episode 20 – Shore

While hiking in the Ko’olau Range, McGarrett and Danny find a dead body with a gunshot wound. McGarrett falls and breaks an arm while examining him. Later, the team find the body matches 53-year-old fisherman Jack Leung. It is revealed that Leung took a second job at an air strip, where he came across plans for Donald Rutheford (Wayne Duvall) to help his son leave the country after he is wanted for murder, and was killed for it. Meanwhile, Chin Ho and Kono visit their ailing Aunt Mele. Chin Ho is later forced to admit that it was their uncle who stole the $200,000 for a kidney from the black market to save Auntie Mele, and Chin Ho got the heat for the theft. In the end, they learn Mele had died.

Episode 21 – Revenge

NYPD detective Reggie Cole (Sean Combs) has been undercover for the FBI working for a New York crime boss Jimmy Cannon (Keith David) for two years. The boss’s trip to Hawaii also allows for Reggie to briefly drop in on Lisa, his wife (Selita Ebanks) and son Kevin. One night, two gunmen attack his home, kill his wife and seriously wound him. Though warned by the FBI not to pursue Cannon, Five-0 continue anyway. Realizing Cole is tracking the investigation, the team later catch up to him, where he announces a surprising development in the case: Cannon did not order his wife’s death. Cole is cleared for the first gunman’s death and is then allowed to continue the investigation in taking down Cannon.

Episode 22 – Close to Heart

A world-renowned photographer, Renny Sinclair, is shooting swimsuit models, one of which he was planning a new life with after finding out she is pregnant with his child, when he returns to his trailer, which then explodes. Five-0 discover a connection to Sinclair and Derek Marcum, a betting shop owner who loaned Sinclair almost $291,570. It is later revealed that this amount of money is equal to the Department of Agriculture’s estimated cost of raising a child to age 18. Sinclair has a daughter from a previous relationship, who also happens to be an assistant of his. Chin Ho is called by Internal Affairs to testify against his uncle after he confesses that it was he and not Chin Ho, who stole the money in the corruption case. Chin Ho responds by “confessing” he took the money, but never spent it. He is ordered to pay it back, but since he was bluffing, Chin Ho goes to Marcum for a loan.

Episode 23 – Until the End is Near

Five-0 and Jenna Kaye close in on Wo Fat’s whereabouts, but find Sang Min instead. Min evades the team during a chase, during which Danny spots a dead man in an apartment. Danny is infected with sarin nerve gas. While he recovers, the team’s search for Wo Fat is on hold until they solve the sarin case. Kono finds that a Russian terrorist with connections to sarin is in the island. He dies accidentally exposing himself to sarin while Five-0 give chase to him, but they find the canisters in his car are all empty and were made by a company run by Elliot Connor and owned by Jeff Fallon, who lives in the same house in which the first victim was found. Meanwhile, IA reveals the money Chin Ho paid back was not from the $28 million dollars, and they would arrest his uncle. Sang Min shows up and gives himself up. He wants protection because Wo Fat wants him dead.

Episode 24 – Trust

Chin Ho turns down HPD’s offer to rejoin the force. On his way out, he finds officers bringing in the burnt money Hesse burned (in “Hana ʻaʻa Makehewa”). Meanwhile Laura Hills is killed by a bomb. McGarrett and Danny examine her home to find she was the one who sent McGarrett clues from the Champ box. They also find a key McGarrett believes opens a desk in Governor Jameson’s mansion, but also fingerprints belonging to McGarrett. They find a suspect who can testify against Wo Fat, but is later killed during transport. McGarrett believes Jameson is involved. He breaks into the mansion to find evidence that she knew Hills was sending McGarrett the information. When he returns to Five-0, HPD arrive to arrest him for Hills’ murder. He escapes and asks Kamekona for arms. McGarrett breaks into the mansion again and forces Jameson to confess to Hills’ murder only to be tasered by Wo Fat, who takes his gun, kills Jameson, and places it back in McGarrett’s hand. Police and Chin Ho, who regained his position with HPD, arrive to arrest McGarrett. Kono is also arrested for stealing the $10 million from the forfeiture locker.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Not for kids, but if you want a action packed, comedy filled crime show, well this is the one. Plus gorgeous B Roll of Hawaii, which is where it is filmed just looks like paradise. It is hard to hate any of the main characters in the show.

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