‘Hawaii Five-0′ Season 2 Premiere Review & Discussion

Published 4 years ago by , Updated September 20th, 2011 at 10:39 am,

hawaii five 0 season 2 premeire Hawaii Five 0 Season 2 Premiere Review & Discussion

With a lot on its plate after the disastrous turn of events at the end of season 1, Hawaii Five-0 was certainly looking to get its sophomore season launched with a bang. After all, without a Five-0 team in place, there wasn’t much the series could do, but find a way to quickly get the group back together again.

The episode ‘Ha’i’ole’ asserts itself from the get-go – insisting on little recap from the end of last season wherein Steve McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) was framed for the murder of Governor Jameson (Jean Smart) by his newfound nemesis Wo Fat (Mark Dacascos). Meanwhile, with Kono being investigated by Internal Affairs, Chin Ho (Daniel Day Kim) is back on the HPD squad, seemingly turned against his Five-0 teammates, despite having been previously accused by HPD of a crime he didn’t commit – leaving Danny ‘Danno’ Williams (Scott Caan) as the sole team member who can save the day.

So what’s Danno to do? Call in Lost star Terry O’Quinn, of course.

As it turns out, the arrival of Lt. Commander John White (O’Quinn) was just the infusion of leadership the team needed to begin the task of setting right the crimes of Wo Fat. White acts as mediator between Danno and Chin Ho, as the two come to an accord that although looking shady, helping as a cop, and not a civilian, was the best move Chin Ho could make.

Meanwhile, McGarrett is granted a ticket out of prison thanks to a non-fatal stabbing from none other than the man who killed his father: Victor Hesse (James Marsters). It turns out Hesse outlived his usefulness to Wo Fat, so freeing McGarrett to take down the crime boss is Hesse’s only chance at self-preservation. One violent ambulance ride later, McGarrett is on the run and the team is practically together again. But not before the Navy SEAL has a chance to stop by the house of Dr. Max Bergman (new series regular Masi Oka) to both get patched up and re-introduce the audience to the kooky coroner.

After Danno, Chin Ho and McGarrett reunite, they begin to uncover clues into the elder McGarrett’s investigation of police corruption on the island. With the help of Commander White and Jenna Kaye (Larisa Oleynik) the group manages to uncover undeniable evidence that McGarrett did not kill the Governor, thereby clearing his name and reinstating the Five-0 squad – albeit under greater scrutiny from Lt. Governor Sam Denning (Richard T. Jones).

By the end of the premiere, the gang has managed to exonerate McGarrett, get the team back together, put Kono (Grace Park) in a life-threatening situation (some things never change) and thwart a possible terrorist attack. Not bad for a day’s work.

mcgarrett hawaii five 0 season 2 cbs Hawaii Five 0 Season 2 Premiere Review & Discussion

All in all, Hawaii Five-0 managed to do what it does best in the season 2 opener: move at such breakneck speed that the audience hardly has time to recognize the implausibility of it all. And who can blame them? Hawaii Five-0 airs on the channel that procedural cop shows built, so in order to stand out amongst NCIS, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and Criminal Minds, Hawaii Five-0 needs to be a creature of a different breed – namely, an expensive action show.

The plot of ‘Ha’i’ole’ is paper-thin, as are the majority of the characters and their motivations – most are spot on from last season, so there are no real surprises – but all of that is fine; the season opener is intended to quickly resolve the cliffhanger from last season, and set the tone for the rest of the year. Frankly, by setting their sights on objectives easily achieved by Hawaii Five-0 in the past, the season premiere went off mostly without a hitch – as long as the expectation was for the status quo to return to normal, with minor power and relationship shifts.

That’s what audiences have come to expect, and to a certain degree, rely upon when tuning in to one of CBS’ procedural cop shows – familiarity and routine with the occasional surprise thrown in for good measure. For example, the bad guys still exist primarily in one of two flavors: soon-to-be-dead guy or easily broken snitch – which they sometimes combine into the soon-to-be-dead-snitch variety. Another facet that can always be relied upon is the fact that the good guys always win, and the case is always solved in about 42 minutes of airtime.

What is surprising is that for all of the inherent goofiness of a series like Hawaii Five-0, the characters – with the exception of the still-out-of-place Kono – all seem to jive well with one another and encourage the audience to actually care about their relationships outside of catching villains. Naturally, some of the best interaction is between McGarrett and Danno, but with the addition of O’Quinn and Oka, there will likely be more occasions for some interesting interplay amongst the group. Time will tell if the writers utilize these new characters wisely.

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Masi Oka, however, was clearly the standout of the episode – bringing some much needed humor into the series without sacrificing the alpha male status of the three big leads. Since Oka has achieved series regular status, hopefully the writers will look to him to provide not only the occasional laugh, but also things for geeks to talk about later – such as the B.P.R.D. poster hanging on Dr. Bergman’s living room wall.

O’Quinn’s benefits are harder to immediately pinpoint. Though it’s nice to see John Locke and Jin Kwon back together again, there was a certain sense of unease around Commander White’s presence during the entire episode. Sure, the writers probably intended to steer the audience into believing White to be a traitor (which ultimately made the final reveal of who was conspiring with Wo Fat all the more shocking), but now that he’s proven himself to be on Five-0’s side, what is to be done with the character? Hopefully, O’Quinn will be present primarily to provide backstory and revelations into Jack McGarrett’s past – and not serve as an unfortunate foil for Steve and his team to overcome.

With all of the exposition required of a series premiere taken care of long ago, the writers of Hawaii Five-0 did a decent job of meeting their audiences’ expectations in season 2. Though nothing really changed – it was honestly business as usual by the time the credits rolled – this season premiere should have plenty of talking points for the show’s fans to discuss.


Hawaii Five-0 airs Monday nights @10pm on CBS.

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  1. I loved the season premiere and think Hawaii 5-O is off to another good season but I do have some concerns. One is with the teaser for next week: I like all the main cast and while I know a tv show is just a tv show so cast changes are just a fact of life, I will not be happy if the Grace Park character leaves or if they drag her Internal Affairs storyline out all season. I got fed up when they started killing off characters in shows like Hill Street Blues and St. Elsewhere or started adding a personal crisis a week for the characters in the CSI Miami cast and I hope they don’t do that stuff with this Hawaii 5-O. Also while I like the Wo Fat (whatever spelling) storyline, in the original series Wo Fat was an occasionally recurring character. His was the ultimate wrap up of the original if I remember but that character’s storyline didn’t dominate every show or appear even in the background of every show. I hope this Hawaii 5-O doesn’t make Wo Fat a part of every storyline either.

  2. I agree, id hate to see her off the team and or gone for good. I liked the premiere, and as the review stated i was not expecting the surprise reveal at the end…

    • I also agree Grace is a great on the show and they need to expand her role and keep her on. They are after all in Hawaii and need to represent the asian people of the Island by haveing more than one cop from the Island on the team.

      • Hi Everyone. I am a fanatic for this show, and a huge fan of Grace Park. I agree she does not get enough play on the show, and neither does Daniel Day Kim, although since I am a guy (sorry Daniel) Grace definitely needs to be used more. Frankly I am concerned about the storyline her character is on this season. I saw something where a producer supposedly said she would get a saason long part with a little “meat” on it this year. I don’t know, as another comment pointed out on Battlestar Gallactica her characters got killed three times I think, was a villian, a hero, killed herself (redemption) and generally had a very hard way to go. I still think she was hands down the sexiest female on that show in spite of all that. In H50 she is being led doown a story line where the team has all but forgotten her. She put herself on the line for them, and in fact the bad deal (which I think is the point) she got on the IAD finding was because she was trying to protect her cousin a team member, and was at the direction of McGarrett. Plus the other team members knew about it. So now she is left to swing in the wind? It makes no sense. I like the drama she has in betraying her cousin, and I kind of like the sneer and disgust she shows, and maybe that is the point. But I am also discomfitted by the fact that a blond (sorry had to go there) new hottie female cop replaces her on the team, while she may be on her way to the penitentiary or worse. She was the honest, ethical cop for crying out loud, who was under unfair question at the beginning. Anyway I hope the writers will suprise and delight. Also one more rant: I am not particualarly inmpressed with bringing on all these “stars” into the program format. They detract from the “team” concept, and make the storyline thin. I mean Steve Baldwin??? I do like the Wo Fat character and I have a wonderful candidate to do him in (guess), but who knows maybe its all an under under cover deal. Lets hepe they don’t mess this series up, and lets get Grace back to kicking booty and being a top team member.

  3. I also liked the second season opener, and was not disappointed at all. I do like it when they do not drag things out too long. Although, I disagree with the other comments that Wo Fat not be a big part of season 2. It’s not the same as the original Hawaii 5-0 and I wish people would stop comparing. That show was great for its time, but we must move on. Wo Fat is important to the back story of why McGarrett’s parents were murdered. There has to be more then what they have shown so far. I liked the infusion of the new characters, and I know more are coming. I was totally surprised that Jenna Kaye was the accomplice to Wo Fat. I hope they do more of these surprises, its fun to watch.

    • Thanks for blowing the surprise, IT HASN’T AIRED IN ENGLAND YET !!!

  4. Loved H 5-0, good opener. Sorry, Ashton, still don’t like 2.5 Men. 2 Broke girls was good but cut the raunch and build the friendship. I wish Playboy Club was on before or after Mad Men on AMC. That would be a good pairing.

  5. Lisa I thought broke girls was fine the with the “raunch” it’s a comedy!

  6. mi dispiace caro locke ma non la passerai liscia,credevi di poter tornare intrufolandoti nei telefilm del cancretto cinese invece no,
    chi ha peccato deve pagare, nessuno che ha partecipato alla atrocità chiamata lost può cavarsela sperando di lavorare ancora.

  7. Im a huge 5 o fan. But honestly i was disappointed. We all know that his father was involved with wo fat, but the opening to the season was a bit rushed steves escape was too easy and it was obvious about danno’s situation!
    sorry but a real let down!

  8. It’s nice to see that Masi Oka will be getting a larger role this year.

  9. I hope that Season 2 works to quickly wrap up the Wo Fat story line. It is getting boring; much like a soap opera. I think that the series should branch out into other story lines very soon.

  10. I’m a bit confused why IA is going after Kono. It doesn’t make much sense that Steve got off scott-free when he was the one who actually broke into the vault. Yet they are hanging Kono out to dry for it. Poor Grace Park, her character on BSG spent an entire season locked up and now her character on H5O is going through all the IA stuff.
    Hope they get it sorted soon and get her back on the team.

    • In response as to why Kono is getting targeted, the lady that saw Kono at the scene left before Steve got back out from the vault, so it looked to her as though Kono was the only one there.

  11. I read that Grace Park is getting a big story line in this season so that is probably why

  12. I am a huge fan of 5-0 have been watching since day one,my only complaint is the backgound music is so loud its hard to understand whats being said,hopeing this will change.

    • I have never noticed the music before. Maybe Im deaf lol

  13. I dislike season 2 of the new Hawaii Five-O; all the changes, in my opinion, have hurt the show; I don’t enjoy it anymore!

    • What changes are there ?

      • Can anyone tell me when 5-o will be showing in the UK. I can’t wait for the new series to start, wish it was on all year round.

        • im trying to find this out too

        • What is the date for the season opener of Hawaii 50?

  14. Are Steve and Danny still funny together like they were in season one ?

  15. where are the other pages ?

  16. Does nobody use this forum any more ?

  17. Hi there,

    I just need to know when the second season of Hawaii five 0 will be starting in South Africa.

  18. when does danno find out he is not the father

  19. If the wighters could show steve McGarrett son rebuilding the black Mecury that he drove in orriginal show
    I hope the wrighters will considering this suggestion
    Thank you
    John cawthon