‘Hawaii Five-O’ Season One Finale Wrap-Up & Recap

by on May 19, 2011

in Entertainment, tv reviews

We have pulled through the premiere first season of Hawaii Five-0 starring Alex O’Loughlin and Scott Caan.  I don’t know about you, but I think the creative forces behind the show have done a good job with the reboot to not only pay homage to the original (with the opening) but to modernize it beyond what the original actually could be today, in this era.  Plus, as many O’Loughlin fans can attest to, how can you go wrong with Alex O’Loughlin in a series!? Today, I’m actually looking at the last three episodes of the series, as they all build up to the series finale! (If your DVR is backed up and you haven’t seen the last three eps, avert thy vision and return after you’ve seen them!)

In the Hawaii Five-0 episode titled “Ho’ohuli Na’au,” the team investigated the murder of a fashion photographer played by Rick Springfield.  He left behind a pregnant girlfriend played by the beautiful Serinda Swan (Smallville, Tron) and in the process, it turns out his ill-begotten daughter, played by Andrea Bowen (Desperate Housewives) was the culprit!

Alex O'Loughlin and Serinda Swan in Hawaii Five-0

But underneath the main story was the continuing saga of Chin’s (Daniel Dae Kim [Lost]) uncle’s legal problems.  Chin had stepped up and tried to take the blame for some money that questionably, went missing.  He did this to pull the blame off his uncle.  Trying to prove to IA it was him, he returns / produces the money.  In the process, Chin made a bone-head move and borrowed the $200k from a loan shark by giving him the deed to his house.

Chin, what were you thinking!!!???

In Hawaii Five-0‘s penultimate episode of their season, titled “Ua Hiki Mai Kapalena Pau,” the team was on the tail of Wo Fat, played by the perennial bad guy actor, Mark Dacascos.  But instead, they find themselves Sang Min (Will Yun Lee) in a plot interwoven with chemical weapons theft.  In the process, we get a scare when Danno (Scott Caan) finds himself exposed to Sarin.

During this episode, the IA tells Chin they’re on to his attempt at trying to fake them, despite his continually trying to protect his family honor.

Honor is great, but in some situations, not practical.

Meanwhile, McGarret (Alex O’Loughlin) gets yet another envelope with clues/evidence in relation to his investigation of his father’s murder.  In the end, the episode ends with an explosive appearance by Sang Min, willing to turn himself him to hide from Wo Fat.  He looked pretty worried!

In the season finale itself of Hawaii Five-0, titled “Oia’i’o,” things take an amazing number of turns and they’re all bad for the Five-0 team.  This was not a simple episode of the series, but instead, it took control of the season-ender is furthered a few plot lines.

Jean Smart and Alex O'Loughlin in Hawaii Five-0

The Governor’s (Jean Smart) aid gets blown up by a car bomb that was made by Wo Fat.  It turns out that the aid was the person sending McGarrett the clues to his father’s case.  One clue was a brass key to an old desk, but not a desk anyone on the team owns.

This is one befuddling development.

Then suddenly, HPD found that pile of burnt money that was part of a rip-off scheme earlier in the season where the team had to steal from the evidence lock-up to bail out Chin with, (ransom).  And if you recall, the evil-doer didn’t want the money.  He tossed it on the ground and burned it.  Now, via a witness’s testimony, Kono (Grace Park) gets collected up by IA in association with this bad deal.

Things aren’t looking good for our Cylon turned Five-0 agent!

Suddenly, after a few developments as the team is trying to track down the source of the bomb that killed the aid, McGarrett finds himself wanted for murder and is on the run.  But behind it all, it looks like Wo Fat is setting up Steve McGarrett through various dropped clues that lead back to him.  The clues lead a path to McGarrett that is hard to dodge.

McGarrett figures out that brass key, and it belongs to a desk in the Governor’s office.  What? After checking out the desk, McGarrett figures out the biggest shocker of all, and that is that the Governor is in on the whole deal and is in cahoots with Wo Fat!

That was a huge shocker and never saw that coming!

Well, she ‘was’ in cahoots with Wo Fat.  McGarrett confronts her about it, but Wo Fat gets the drop on Steve with a stun gun and while he’s out on the floor, Fat uses McGarrett’s gun to kill the Governor.  The police show up and it’s Chin, who has his old job back within the force, who is the arresting agent.

This does not look very good at all for McGarrett!

Scott Caan in Hawaii Five-0

The underlying story in the episode is that Danno is getting back together with his ex, Rachel (played by the lovely Claire van der Boom).  She’s leaving her husband, finds out she’s pregnant with another little Danno, and they both, Danny and Rachel, decide to move back home stateside.  He was only there to be near them.  Besides, he was like the only guy on the island wearing a tie!

But with the Five-0 team appearing to be disbanded, his friend in custody, his other team-mate under suspicion of the entire team’s heist, he misses seeing off his ex-wife at the airport.  She looks upset and he’s in a pickle.

The season finale of Hawaii Five-0 tossed many story points at the viewer.  The team, in all its various forms, both individually and as a whole, is threatened.  The nemesis of the team pulls off a huge move and is still at large.  The Governor of Hawaii is dead and it looks like McGarrett did it.

At this point, with a second season ordered on the books, I have to wonder which way the show will go.  It’s followed a formulaic balance most of the season as it developed the characters throughout while generating other acceptable visuals along the way in the form of action, beach life and scenics.  We’ve been privy to Chin’s issues, which seem cleared up.  And we’ve been pulled emotionally into Danno’s family life sufficiently to be happy he’s getting back together with Rachel, and worried something could get in the way of that in the upcoming season.

Kono, well, I think she’ll be the new team-member in trouble if this stolen loot case continues too long.

In my mind, they can take this series and rather than follow the path that we more or less expect which is to get the team absolved of their legal issues, get them back together and reinstate Five-0.  That’s the easy way out of this writing.

On the other hand, I think it would be interesting if the team stayed fractured and worked from their own angles to resolve or tackle other issues that they somehow deem that they need to tackle.  They’ve been operating with much legal freedom to get the job done up until now and they may not necessarily be able to fit back into the procedural life of law enforcement.  But that’s just me and how I might approach it.  I know it would draw me in if that happened.  I’d hate it, but I’d be drawn in to see when and how they team officially gets back together!  That would be the ultimate outcome!

But as it is, with their cast of characters, this procedural will more than likely resolve this situation in less than two episodes come season two of Hawaii Five-0.  They have a working premise that has been successful for CBS and as the saying goes, “if it works, why fix it?”  (Ask the Syfy channel about “fixin” it!  it didn’t take too well with their latest Stargate series.)

Scott Caan and Alex O'Loughlin in Hawaii Five-0

For myself, I love the primary interaction between the usual level-minded Danno as he tries to temper McGarrett’s brazen and bold approach to things.  I love their banter.  I also love how the show has made McGarrett a sharp-eyed shooter that rarely misses what he shoots at.

So for me, I am looking forward to season 2 of Hawaii Five-0 in the upcoming 2011-12 Fall TV season!  I hope you folks are too!

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