‘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

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  1. Didn’t anyone notice that The new Steve was driving the old Steve’s Marquis?

    • Heck, yeah! Gave me a thrill to see that sleek, black beauty.

  2. Chieftom, I don’t know about you but I thought it was great to see Steve rolling over those hills in the old Merc, the brand Leonard Freeman meant for him to drive.

    • I really liked it too.
      I am very impressed at how they reshot the old opener while keeping it true to the orginal.

      I hear the music and I see the images and I get this acheing desire to go back to Hawaii, or at least go back to 1970.

  3. I still think they should call it “Chevrolets in Hawaii”.

  4. This show is the reason why I start watching TV shows again…..

  5. this is one of the shows I had to watch this season it’s a great show and since detroit 187 is going bye by I’ll have more room on my DVR for it

  6. Love the show. For those that think it comes on too late at 10 PM, why not do what we do??? TAPE THE SHOW. We tape the show and watch it at our convience. I have it set up to automatic record. The best part I can skip those commercials.

  7. The part someone said that Jean Smart(Governor) was on another series, she was, it was William Shatner’s $##$% my fathers says which was cancelled by CBS. Not a good of the year for year. I enjoy Hawaii 50 but not sure I like the Rachel part of all things not believable, especially since Danny and Rachel talked on the cell phones all the time, He would of called her at the airport and say, Steve is in Jail, so is Kono, I need to help out, instead of no phone contact and Rachel leaving with their daughter to New Jersey.

  8. Watched the old show with my Dad back in the late 60s, every episode before I went off to college; still watch it on DVD. (I have five or six seasons.) And love the new show. Sure, it’s not the edgiest, cleverest, most imaginative among recent cop shows. But it’s solid, reliable, well acted, decently written, handsomely shot. If nothing else, on a cold winter’s night in Minneapolis, it’s nice to look at that tropical scenery. Glad it’s renewed.

  9. I do tape the show and watch it the next day, as I am usually in bed at 10. But I always have a small fear that something will go wrong, and if it was on at 9 I could watch it live, and not have to worry. That is why I always watch Bones live – I couldn’t bear to have to wait to find it elsewhere if the DVR messed up. (It once reset and we lost EVERYTHING on it. Just once, and months ago, but some shows I don’t like to ‘chance’ it may happen again.)

  10. i have enjoyed the show all season but hated the ending. Having a cliff hanger is expected but this was way over the top. Way too much going on and we all know everyone will be back next season. Can’t say I’m looking forward to it, too many crazy plots going on!!

  11. All that has to be said for the Five-0 Season Finale is…
    “Wo Fat” is back and so is THE CAR!!

  12. the only reason hawaii five o ratings dipped was because evry monday night for about 4-5 weeks in a row were the basketball playoffs people started to think the show was over same with blue bloods my other favorite show, i think the cliff hangar was too much for one plate if you ask me on hawaii five o’s season finale, it’s going to be one of those love hate relationships with scitt cann and his ex rachel taht just get so predictable,i think chin is going to do jis own investigation of HPD now that he is back in the saddle but he will pretend he has no affiliation with mcgarett, the governor being shot was a big surprise but i guess this wo fat felt he needed t tie up lose ends she could have testified against him if given a plea deal ?

  13. I really hope Kono and McGarrett get together. I think they have craptons of potential chemistry

  14. Best show on TV in years! Awesome, awesome finale! Love the whole cast, including Jenna, but Alex O’Loughlin’s acting is incredible! I would definitely be attracted to a Steve McGarrett type! He’s my hero & he has humor & emotions! http://bit.ly/lqu5Oo

  15. I look forward to Five O coming back – seeing familiar locations of Oahu kind of made me homesick. There was never a dull moment in each episode and the balance between humour and thrills was well done. Each actor played their role well. One problem is that Monday night there were several other shows that competed for the time slot.

  16. My wife and i watch the show every week hope it stays on

  17. As an Aussie who’s been to Hawaii many times and have been a fan of the original series and Magnum P.I. I am totally in love with the show the cast and the surroundings. Having an Aussie playing Steve is an honor to be Australian in such a hard U.S based series. Looking forward to the second great year of Hawaii Five O!!!!

  18. I love this show. I tune every Monday to watch. I used to watch the orignal when I was a little girl. I hope to see it in the fall. I didn’t expect it to end this way. Someone is trying to dismantle 5-0.

  19. I want this show to be so much smarter than it is. Yes, I grew up watching the old show and hearing the theme song (albeit, severely abbreviated) really does catch me up in it. The acting is so stiff and the writing is so formulaic. The plots tend to get really complicated and then *poof* it all comes together. More cerebral, please! Even the beginning annoys me–in the old show, Jack Lord looked STRAIGHT AT the camera when he was introduced, little Steve looks askance. Wo Fat is a great character, very shady, deep, we don’t know everything about him. That is intriguing. Chin Ho Kelly also provides that depth. Will start to watch Season 2 just to see what happens…but might not stay tuned.

  20. Wow, DM, part of what makes this show tick is that it’s so DIFFERENT than the original. If they wanted it to be like the old one, then Danno wouldn’t have a daughter or be from NJ, Steve wouldn’t be a SEAL, and Kono certainly wouldn’t be a girl, LOL! It’s succeeding very well the way it is, and I plan to stay tuned until the SERIES finale…hopefully many years into the future!

  21. Love the show! I taped each show and can’t wait until the fall. This works!

  22. this is one of the best show i have see and i love it.

  23. Agree with some not all. Drop in the ratings someone mentioned-too many weeks with no new episode. Didn’t know when a new episode was on. Also, up against another very good show so one or the other got DVR’s a lot. Comedy lead ins to an action packed show with humor-not so good.

    and it does have the potential to be great. NCIS didn’t start out great either-just very good. H5-0 has great chemistry with it’s stars, great action and humor. If they can tighten up the plots some and flesh out the characters it can be great.

  24. great show ,season 2 please

  25. Yes this was a great show that our entire family enjoyed together. Both of our our boys ages 6 & 9 looked forward to sitting down as a family and watching Hawaii five-O

  26. bring on season 2, want to see what happens to the stories in seasons 1

  27. I love the show and can’t wait for it to start next season. I hope the whole cast will return. I do not believe the Governor is dead. It seemed to me she moved her head when the cops were checking her out. There is a lot to be explained with the next show. Wouldn’t McGarrett have burn marks on his neck from the electric shocker?

  28. Love Love this show :)

  29. Finale just aired in Australia! Very intense ending. Great acting and story line. Very exciting!

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