Hawaii Five-O Review: "Malama Ka Aina"

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Hawaii Five-0 gave us another episode to love this week, as "Malama Ka Aina" shed more insight into our team.

Honestly, I love this show a lot more than I should after three weeks. Then again, any show that has my 70-year old mom calling me every week to rave about how much she enjoyed it has captured a wide audience and deserves all the love.

Are We on the List?

The Hawaii Five-0 cast continued to show great chemistry throughout the hour, as the episode opened on the team at a football game, so comfortable together I nearly forgot this was only the third installment of the series. 

Then, the show ran the full spectrum of emotions, from Danny having the Imperial March for his wife’s lawyer to Steve using his pull with the Governor to help Danny not lose his visitation with his daughter, and so many things in between. To wit:

Chin Ho’s Reputation: We have known the back story on Chin Ho Kelly since the pilot, but we really didn’t get to see how it has affected him fully until now. We knew that Kono was family and stood by him, but it was a surprise to find out that he had other family members who thought he was guilty and turned away from him. I gained a new respect for Chin Ho in this episode, given the amount of crap he must have been dealing with before deciding to step back into that storm.

Danny and Grace: It is great that the show features a divorced father so committed to being close to his daughter that he moved 5,000 miles to spend two days a week with her. Caan’s portrayal of a loving father is one of the best I have ever seen and I think it balances his passion for catching bad guys nicely.

The Origin of The Name “Five-O:" In the pilot they worked in how the phrase “book em’ Danno” came about, and tonight we learned about where the term “Five-O” came from. If I remember correctly in the original series, the Governor assigned the name to the unit; this time it is a lot more personal to Steve. On a trivia side note, the slang term for cops being “five-o” actually stemmed from the original series.

I will once again mention that they kept the gun fights down to two short ones, both very appropriate to the show and allowing the plot and character development to take center stage (as it should).  I know some people may find it convenient that the bad guy was from New Jersey, the same place Danny came from. But I can totally overlook that, as the show gave reasonable reasons for it, and it allowed Danny to step up and be the source of info for a change.

What did you think?


Editor Rating: 4.3 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (86 Votes)

Jim G. is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.


I used to watch the original too but see nothing wrong with updating the characters.
The original Danno was a bit of a non-entity, and I really like the background on the newer Danny. And I love Scott Caan's take on him. Cuter than James MacArthur, on whom I had a crush too (I just read he sadly passed away at 72).


Love this show. Little 40 minute action movies each week! Kono smuggling in her earpiece in the heel of her stiletto was a great touch, very Man From U.N.C.L.E/Mission Impossible. So great to have an enjoyable and action packed show to watch each week without having to keep up with meandering plot arcs, yet still managing to have developing threads running throughout. Scott Caan does steal the show a bit but I think the rest of the cast are great. Garrett does get some nice little moments, they are quite subtle. I'm finding him more likeable each episode. Daniel Dae Kim is dependable as always and Grace Park is just awesome.


Danno's ringtone for his wife's lawyer is not the Darth Vader theme from The Empire Strikes Back, but the Funeral March from Chopin's second piano sonata (http://bit.ly/cvJ0CI).


Helena, I am old enough to remember the original series too. On thing to keep in mind is that times have changed a lot since Jack Lord lead the Five-O team from 68-80, TV now has hundreds of channels, cell-phone let us be reached anywhere, the internet makes us all genius. Add in life changing events like 9/11 and the Berlin wall coming down and you can see the world is not as black and white as it was for Jack. This is based in 2010, they have new personalities, sure Danny is more grumbly than before and Steve gives him a little more room to complain. But that is accurate to the times. As for Kono, I have actually seen a 95lb female bounce throw a 275lb man out of a nightclub, with training it is possible. While I still adore the original series, I am thankful they didn't just carbon copy the characters from 68 and allowed the writers to give them more of a modern complexity. I hope you will keep watching and see how they develop. VW~


CBS has a winner with Hawaii Five-0 and its very talented, charismatic and dynamic young cast. H50 is TV number 1 new show. It has it all for great family entertainment and excitement.


I'm old enough to really appreciate the original 5-O. Steve McGarret was so much in charge that the idea of Danny getting on his case is ridiculous. Jack Lord was the ultimate leader. He NEVER would have put up with Danny's whining. Alex O'Loughlin is just an after thought. O'Loughlin has got to get back in control of his squad...and Grace Park as Kono is really stretching it. a little girl that weighs 95 pounds is not going to be throwing big guys around. The original Kono weighed about 300 pounds. And a shoot-out at a high school football game was horrendous. Too much gun play and fireworks. I can't see this show being around for the end of one season.


This is a ridiculously great show. The casting, the writing, the setting, the atmosphere and the all around chemistry in this series is making this one of my favorite shows to watch and that it a great compliment because I watch a whole lot of shows. I really didn't expect to like Hawaii 5-O as much as I have but this show is just so well put together that I cant help but fall in love with it after only three weeks. That says a lot about a show. And I LOVE Dannys storyline with his daughter. And the chemistry between the actors (especially Alex O'Loughlin and Scott Caan) is amazing. It's like they've been working together for years. And the banter between them seems so easy and not at all forced. I look forward to watching this show every week.


I thoroughly enjoyed this episode. The ensemble cast is wonderful and has great interaction. The intensity and the action are well done without being too much. Finally, a show that has found a balance between character development, plot, and action. Not to mention, there are some really good lines. The only predictable element was that Chin Ho would somehow save his cousin. Kudos to the writers and Kono is correct...Steve and Danny do clean up nice.

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Hawaii Five-0 Season 1 Episode 3 Quotes

Thick crust. Extra bullets, please.

Danny [after seeing the markings of a gun in a pizza box]

Danny: Okay. All right. What's that look?
Steve: What look?
Danny: The look. The look you give me when you don't tell me what you're thinking and the next think I know I'm getting shot at.