‘Hawaii Five-0’ Season Finale Review & Discussion

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Hawaii Five 0 season finale CBS ‘Hawaii Five 0’ Season Finale Review & Discussion

CBS’ Hawaii Five-0 reboot has concluded its first season. While audiences have recently waffled in their devotion to the action-drama from the duo that brought us Fringe, the show still attracts plenty of viewers. After viewing the season finale, “Oia’i’o” the question will be whether it packed enough of a punch to keep people coming back in the fall.

Whether you are old enough to have watched the first incarnation of Hawaii Five-0 starring Jack Lord, or you only began watching the current version because the guy from Ocean’s Eleven and Boomer from Battlestar Galactica are part of the cast, you’ve got to admit hearing the theme song kick-in does tend to get your attention. Those who have remained loyal and watched throughout the season are likely anxious to uncover the mystery surrounding the death of Steve McGarrett’s (Alex O’Loughlin) father (William Sadler) and see the long-teased showdown between the Five-0 team and Wo Fat (Mark Dacascos).

Dacascos, taking a break from his position as the venerable chairman of Iron Chef America, performs well as a feared criminal and manages to be an engaging villain for McGarrett’s super-cop to go up against. Earlier in the season, James Marsters’ Victor Hesse (Smallville, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) was seen as McGarrett’s central foe (having actually murdered the elder McGarrett) and matched well against the more physical, action-oriented aspects of the McGarrett character. However, after dispatching Hesse, McGarrett was pitted against a far more calculating and patient villain in Wo Fat – a fact that has forced McGarrett to better utilize the specialties of his fellow Five-0 members in order to combat this new foe.

McGarrett and Wo Fat Hawaii Five 0 ‘Hawaii Five 0’ Season Finale Review & Discussion

“Oia’io” strictly adheres to the Hawaii Five-0 episode formula, so the only surprises come from the events on screen. We have a crime, an ensuing investigation and a small glimpse into the private life of a member of the Five-0 squad – it’s all pretty simple.

After the murder of the Governor’s aide, Laura Hills (Kelly Hu), in a manner similar to McGarrett’s mother’s murder, the team begins to piece together the connection between Hawaii Governor Pat Jameson (Jean Smart) and the elusive Wo Fat. The ensuing and somewhat clandestine investigation into the Governor leads McGarrett to uncover the truth about his parents’ murders, but his actions play directly into the hands of Wo Fat, and ultimately leaves the Five-0 unit in shambles.

For the most part, “Oia’io” was a pretty slick, well-produced ending to a season that was much the same thing – slick, and well produced. The episode succeeds by creating the illusion that the status quo has somehow been upended and that things will never be the same. Even though we all know better, its fun to be taken in by the simple premise of the cliffhanger – which is really nothing more than an hour-long-segue into season 2.

Honestly, though, beyond that famous theme song – we, the viewers, are ultimately just watching yet another police procedural that (despite a gorgeous locale complete with its own interesting culture) is pretty much just like all the rest.

As with all action-oriented shows like Hawaii Five-0, there is a need to move the plot along quickly, have the big action piece, but still allow for some character development. While Hawaii Five-0 certainly strives to provide all of those in the allotted time, it often does so through the use of clunky dialogue and extremely convenient circumstances. What CBS and the show’s producers are keenly aware of is the fact they have an incredibly fan-friendly cast that works, even when specifics of the show may not.

Knowing that, Hawaii Five-0 seemed intent on fleshing out each character as much as possible – and they succeeded for the most part. With the exception of Grace Park’s Kono Kalakaua, Hawaii Five-0 did an admirable job finding a balance between each character’s individual sub-plots, the specifics of each episode and the overall arc of the season.

Cast of Hawaii Five 0 season one ‘Hawaii Five 0’ Season Finale Review & Discussion

Hopefully in season 2, the writers will find more for Park to do other than be used as bait, or to utilize some form of non-existent technology with so much speed and expertise, one wonders why she wouldn’t work in a less dangerous position that pays more. Now that Chin Ho Kelly has ostensibly cleared his name, perhaps Park will be given more of the spotlight and a chance to grow when the series returns.

After the first few episodes of Hawaii Five-0, it became clear that the show had very quickly achieved an important balance – and would not sway much in either direction throughout the course of the season. It’s one of those rare shows that exists, but doesn’t really get in anybody’s way. It isn’t necessarily great, but it’s not bad either – it just is.

Though ratings dipped at certain points during the year, Hawaii Five-0 performed well enough to merit a second season. It’s likely that the program will turn out to be a workhorse for CBS – earning solid, but not fantastic ratings, and generally keeping the advertising and product placement dollars coming in. It is doubtful that Hawaii Five-0 will ever be a gargantuan hit like CSI or NCIS, but thanks to the great cast, this rebooted television show will likely have several seasons to at least try.

Did you enjoy the first season?

Look for Hawaii Five-0 to return to CBS this Fall.

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TAGS: hawaii five-0, hawaii five-o

73 Comments

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  1. I’ve enjoyed the show a lot, it’s the only show I watch this season actually. LOVE the permanent cast members, though some of the guest stars are pretty lame (Dane Cook??!) but man, that finale was something else! It was intense and I love how McGarrett went full throttle, Alex is perfect for a show like this so I hope CBS won’t screw him again and cancel this one prematurely like Moonlight. You said ‘Look for Hawaii Five-0 to return to CBS this Fall’ Is that confirmed?? If so, yeah, bring it on!!

  2. 5-0 is the best new show, and I consider it one of the best shows I’ve ever seen! I can’t wait for season 2!

  3. SO glad that at least ONE of my favorite shows made it through..

  4. Glad to hear its been renewed??? Main death no surprise, since it was leaked prior. But I enjoy this show, and there aren’t many left that I watch. The relationship between Steve and Danny is stellar now. Lots of fun there!

  5. Amazing finale more shows should end like this one!!

  6. We can do without Grace Park in a bathing suit in season 2.She needs a good meal!

  7. Loved every episode of the 1st season. I cant wait for the 2nd season this fall. In the meantime ill rewatch the whole 1st season… *Hums the 5-0 theme song* =)

  8. You can say that again, Marc, she looks like a 15 year old sometimes… it’s hard to believe that she’s older than Alex and Scott!

  9. OMG what a finale! Can’t believe they killed off the Gov. What a plot twist. It’s going to be a very long summer without new episodes. I think I’m already having Alex withdrawal symptoms. So when will season 1 be out in DVD? I’ll be first in line. Hey CBS, don’t cancel this one!

  10. i have a lot of questions…why is chin being such a dik? mcgarrett and danny helped him out when he got exiled and framed for taking te moeny? and i really dont like the fact that danny has to go back with his wife to jersey. danny’s home is in hawaii!!!! i was a little disappointed bcuz the show is called ‘hawaii 5-0′. but chin said its over. done. no more. stupid…even though its a season finale..there shud be some security in it too….another question is how did wo fat get out of custody? didnt danny and steve already say in the beginning in the governors office that he was in custody? all of a sudden he comes out of nowehere like a ghost. it doesnt make sense too bcuz steve must’ve heard him coming! i am really disappointed in it. WHY IS IT CALLED HAWAII FIVE 0 if the actual task force is destroyed!!!!???????

    • Babe go back and watch this episode again. Wo Fat was never in custody. It was the guy who was hired by Wo Fat the guy in the army navy store shot up with the HPD officers. Hawaii five o is the title because it’s the 50th state…5-0.

  11. Wow, OLELOLEOL, chill! Chin rejoined HPD so he could legally investigate the situation with Steve, and 5-0 is debunk at the moment, but we all know that Danny and Chin will fix it and get Steve and Kono out of jail. Danny won’t go back to NJ…he’s the best part of the show, lol.

  12. I luved Hawaii 5-o. The show ended up being solid although it was one of the biggest gambles going into the Fall season. Luved the season finale and cant wait to see how they get themselves out of this one! Are all the cast members returning for season 2??

  13. Last night’s Hawaii Five-O finali was just awesome!!!!!!! I also believe Chin went back to the Police Department in order to assist Steve from the inside. Congratulations to the producers, directors, crew, and especially the extraordinary cast for an outstanding season. Looking forward to Season Two.

  14. Big fan of Hawaii Five-O, and I’m glad it’s coming back!

  15. That was one heck of a way to end a season. I enjoyed how the show was produced: the evoloution of the 5-0 along with each character fighting there own personal battles I look forward to season two, and I hope all the characters stay on the show. All in all two thumbs up

  16. Def enjoyed it.

  17. That final episode was as intense as 24

  18. That final episode was as intense as some of the 24 episodes..Great stuff

  19. Def enjoyed this season. And I disagree Marc, grace park is perfect!

  20. Good cliffhanger, by c’mon, Wo Fat kills the Gov? If he really had her in his pocket, tied to a whole series of crimes up to murder, she’d be far too valuable to whack just to frame
    McG.
    And they have to punch up Wo as a character. He just comes across as a clever crook. In the old series, he was like Dr Fu Manchu – brilliant, diabolical, with seemingly unlimited funds and international backing, but with a twisted sense of honor. He enjoyed baiting and taunting McG and managed to
    stay out of his clutches until the conclusion of
    the series. He was larger than life, but that also made McG seem that much more capable by thwarting his plans.
    Maybe the answer is to introduce the old Wo Fat as the father of the current villain, who sees his son as a petty punk and is ashamed of his lack of respect for the old code of honor and anonymously provides clues to sabotage his schemes. Just a thought…

    • I used to watch the original with Jack Lord, whom my girlfriend’s
      mother had a crush on. Happy to see they made a remake. Real good,
      could be better in many ways, though.

  21. Good cliffhanger, by c’mon, Wo Fat kills the Gov? If he really had her in his pocket, tied to a whole series of crimes up to murder, she’d be far too valuable to whack just to frame
    McG.
    And they have to punch up Wo as a character. He just comes across as a clever crook. In the old series, he was like Dr Fu Manchu – brilliant, diabolical, with seemingly unlimited funds and international backing, but with a twisted sense of honor. He enjoyed baiting and taunting McG and managed to
    stay out of his clutches until the conclusion of
    the series. He was larger than life, but that also made McG seem that much more capable by thwarting his plans.
    Maybe the answer is to introduce the old Wo Fat as the father of the current villain, who sees his son as a petty punk and is ashamed of his lack of respect for the old codtold honor. Just a thought…

  22. I won’t be watching the second season. The only strong point of this show is the location. It is forgetable. The McGarrett is just no right, ,too bland to be the lead man , he looks scared of everything. I started watching because of Caan, he is so great on Entourage, but last February I dumped the show and moved to Castle on ABC that totally crashed the Hawaii five-0 finale in the ratings yesterday.This show has been the biggest disappointment of the season. CBS promoted it so much .It is a NCSI with a poor cast.

    • Completely agree with Deana. Jim you are so wrong. The cast is great, extremely likeable and not one episode this season has left me unsatisfied and I know many more who would agree. This show stands out from NCIS and CSI because there is more action and less time spent in the lab looking at how toenails might lead to the killer. The plot is perfect and concise, while easily understood. Steve mcg. is the perfect person to head the five-0 task force with his navy seal expertise, Danny is funny, Chin is a beast, and Kono kicks butt. So yes Jim, you are wrong.

  23. Wow, Jim, I completely disagree! One of the best things about 5-0 is that it’s NOT just another CSI or NCIS. Alex is great as Steve, and no one could be a better Danno than Scott!

  24. Hey everyone, it’s now official that 5-0 will be back another season! CBS just released their lineup for fall, and season 2 of 5-0 is keeping its Monday 10pm timeslot! I wish it was moved to an earlier time, but oh well!

    • This series just gets better and better by episode. I admit, I was skeptical of this reboot at first because i’d heard that the original series was better (I’m in my early 20′s, so please excuse my not having seen the original series; I DO remember watching the opening credits of the original with my grandfather when it was on reruns, but i was very young, so i don’t think i ever saw a complete episode), so i viewed the pilot just to see what they’d do with it, and an episode or two later, i was hooked on it. Shame they show it at 10:00, though. Good thing about On Demand is…no commercials. The season finale was well-written and intense from hair-raising beginning to shocking end. I can’t wait for Season 2.

    • i gree with you, Deana. i wish it was on at 9:00, but i like seeing it On Demand. No commercials. “Book ‘em, Danno.”

  25. I tuned in because of Alex O’Loughlin (& James Marsters). I stayed because I loved the show – and so does my husband. There are very few shows we watch together with interest, and 5-0 is one of them. I have to agree that I love they kept the theme music, and I wish it was on at 9PM instead of 10PM. Looking forward to next season!

  26. Hey Danny, how do you see it On Demand? What cable provider do you have? I had Cox, but switched to Verizon last month…

    • I have Comcast and can watch it On Demand there.

  27. Hawaii 5-O Spoiler of the Summer…
    The Governor is not dead!
    McGar loaded that gun with blanks…
    Jean Smart & the entire 5-O gang will be back in the fall.

    • idk SPA what r ur sources? or just a guess?

    • I heard Jean Smart was possibly doing another show. So I wasn’t surprised she was going.

  28. I wondered the same thing, Spa…the gov and Steve were in cahoots and did this whole thing to trap Wo Fat…she was wearing a bulletproof vest with fake blood, and the girl who was sending Steve pieces of the evidence was doing it because the gov told her to.

    The only thing that doesn’t fit with this theory was the gov admitting that she had the girl killed. Why would she admit to a murder that she didn’t commit?

  29. This show is so B.A. I love it so much. I love how they have hot asian women…kelly hu, grace park.. holy god! About time hollywood showed us some hot asians…jesus!

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