Hawaii Five-O – Recap & Review – Pilot


Hawaii Five-O

Original Air Date: September 20 , 2010

Jake G., TwoCents Reporter

Well folks, it’s finally here. The anticipated reboot of Hawaii Five-O has finally come! Expectations are high, especially given the fact that the original is a classic. Does the new version live up to the buzz? Read on to find out.

We first meet Commander Steve McGarret (Alex O’Loughlin), who is escorting a bad guy via some heavy artillery. His cell phone rings, and what he thinks is a phone call from his dad, turns out to be something much, much more. As it turns out, the bad guys brother, Victor Hess (a wonderfully creepy James Marsters) has taken Steve’s father hostage, and demands his brother be released. What Steve doesn’t know is that Hess is tracking Steve’s phone, trying to get the exact location. Steve continues talking with him, when his dad asks for the phone. He tells Hess he can get Steve to do what they want, but in a twist, does the exact opposite.

Hess’ guys get the location, and descend from a black helicopter to retrieve Hess’ brother. Steve manages to avoid disaster, but Hess’ brother breaks free and grabs a gun, causing Steve to shoot him dead. Hess calls Steve, figures out what happened, and kills the elder McGarret.

Awesome opening that is action packed, which leads to the classic theme song. I’m really glad they left this one in. It pays respect to the original, which I think is admirable.

Steve arrives in Hawaii and is met by the Governor, played by the wonderful Jean Smart, who I hope has more to do next time around. She offers Steve his own task force with full immunity. Steve refuses rather coldly, accusing her of playing a political move. She insists this is personal for her too, but Steve isn’t convinced. As he walks off, Steve runs into an old high school friend, Chin Ho (Daniel Dae Kim), who lets Steve know a couple of important plot points: He’s no longer a cop, and the chief assigned a new guy to the case who probably doesn’t know the island very well.

Cue our next character, Detective Danny Williams (Scott Caan), who is waiting for his daughter while making a call for info on a guy who might lead him to Hess. I realize Alex O’Loughlin is the star, but I really feel this episode really belonged to Caan. His Danny was the most compelling of the ensemble, and I really want to know more about him.
Steve decides to go to his father’s house for clues, and goes all CSI on the house. He manages to go to the garage and finds a tool box with a tape recorder that might have some vital information. Danny walks in and they have a rather masculine showdown, with each one unwilling to put down their gun until the other showed some I.D. Danny tells Steve he can’t take the box because it’s not his crime scene, prompting Steve to call the governor to accept her offer. The crime scene is now his. This was a great moment which showed instant chemistry between the two. Best moment: Steve taking the pledge over the phone.

Later, Steve shows up at Danny’s place, and after making fun of the accommodations, wants to know about the guy he called for information on. Danny says the guy might have a connection to Hess, which sends Steve off, but not before asking Danny for help. Danny is reluctant, but goes along anyways.

In the car during some male bonding, Danny gets a call from his ex, which actually turns out to be his daughter, when he utters the word Dan-O. Steve wants to know who Dan-O is, but Danny isn’t telling. Is it me, or what that the Psycho theme as Danny’s ringtone for his ex?

They arrive at Duran’s house, who is having a spat with his girlfriend, and they try to sneak around, but Duran sees Steve and shoots out the window, hitting Danny. Steve chases him, but Duran grabs a human sheild and forces Steve to put his gun down. Duran tries to shoot, but Danny shoots him from behind. Danny tries to get a thank you from Steve, but gets an arm twist instead. When he is let go, Danny punches Steve in the face.

Turns out Duran was sold a young woman from a human smuggler, and they go to Chin Ho for information. Chin Ho says he knows an informant that might have some information, but he doesn’t trust anyone. They ask Chin Ho to join them, which he refuses at first, but eventually goes along. They make their way to the informant, who makes Steve and Danny buy t-shirt and cones, and lets them know where they might find more information. The trio realizes they will need bait, which brings in Chin Ho’s cousin Kona into the mix.

Kona goes in, and her beauty attracts a closer look from the smuggler. He finds sand on her, which makes him distrust her story that she has two jobs. He makes her remove her dress to look for a wire, and takes a picture which he sends to his “friends” to find out her true identity. A text message comes back with the words “She’s a cop!” which we know can’t be good. Kona goes into action mode, and the guys come crashing in, allowing for the smuggler to get captured.

In interrogation room, the guy isn’t talking, but Steve uses his family, causing the smuggler to sing like a bird, and leads Steve and Danny to Hess, who is on a ship headed for China. They manage to get on and find Hess, who gives Steve a pretty good chase and fight (it’s nice to see James Marsters still has some of his Buffy moves) until he is shot and sent into the water. Danny catches another man and asks Steve what they should do with him, which leads to the immortal “Book ’em, Dan-O.”

This was a really good episode, full of action which kept me at the edge of my seat. Aside from Caan, I wish I had learned a bit more about the characters, but I’m sure that will happen with time. But as I said, it was a really great start, and I’m looking forward to seeing more.

What do you think? Did this version live up to the original? Does it have to? Give your Two Cents and comment away!

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3 Responses to Hawaii Five-O – Recap & Review – Pilot

  1. Anne says:

    I think it was awesome! My only complaint was not enough James Marsters! I’m still getting used to his natural hair color. I’m a Buffy/Spike shipper. 🙂 I can’t wait to see more!!

  2. Jake G. says:

    I agree totally. Needed more James. I’m totally digging Scott Caan’s character. It was a really great start.

  3. KP says:

    I think it worked much better than I had thought it would. I can see some chemistry with the guys and there’s enough ‘fun’ in it to keep it from being just a running and shooting show.

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