Hawaii Five-0 Review: I Want It That Way

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"Kapu (Forbidden)" featured the first-ever usage of technology that let viewers vote on the ending of a TV show as it aired - and that alone would have been enough to get excited about, my friends.

But tonight's Hawaii Five-0 also featured an exciting, absorbing mystery at its center, the debut of Danny's sass-mouthed nephew, a look at the softer side of Sang Min, and not one, but two off-key renditions of songs from my misspent youth, performed within the first fifteen minutes of the show.

Backstreet Boys AND Poison?! Gods of Television, what have I done to please you so?

McGarrett Heads to School

Though it would have been very easy to dismiss viewer voting on the identity of tonight's killer as a pointless gimmick (and trust me, I was ready to dismiss it! I had my dismissing hat on and everything!), the episode (and the gimmick) were actually tons of fun.

I had initially been concerned about voting on the villain; after all, isn't half the fun in a crime procedural having your preconceptions confounded when the killer is finally revealed? But I shouldn't have worried because so little information about each suspect was introduced, and the actual plot of the episode was so consistent in each variation (as well as lively and quick overall!), that it was more like playing a rollicking game of Clue than it was playing master detective.

(FYI, I voted for the Professor, who did end up being the killer on the east coast airing. But I voted for him because I didn't like his hair, so it's no feather in my cap that I was right.)

Danny's good-for-nuthin' nephew Eric (played by Andrew Lawrence - yes, of "younger brother of Joey Lawrence" fame) was excellent comic relief. He and Danny sparred so perfectly and spun out so many delightful Hawaii Five-0 quotes, I hope we see him again soon. Likewise, Bullwinkle (Matt L. Jones, better known as Breaking Bad's Badger; can this man ever play a character not named after a hilarious animal? No? Okay!) stole every second of his scene as a pineapple-bong-smoking computer whiz with a fridge full of ranch dressing.

Between the genuinely gripping college professor plot and the sheer thrill of seeing your vote play out on-screen, it was almost impossible to pay attention to Kono's subplot with Sang Min. But when she found him standing outside his ex-wife's house decked out in a suit and cradling a bouquet, looking like a kid who just got stood up on prom night, it added an intriguing layer of depth to a man who has not always been the most sympathetic of characters.

Hawaii Five-0 isn't the first show to use an Internet viewer poll to decide a plot point - that honor would belong to the esteemed Ryan-Reynolds-career-footnote Two Guys and a Girl, which used this technique for their series finale in 2001. But Hawaii Five-0 is the first show to do it in over a decade, and the first to make use of technologies like Twitter to do it in real time. Will it be the last? Judging by how much fun it was to play along this week, I doubt it.

Did you vote on this episode? How did you decide who the killer was? Do you think we'll be seeing more TV shows in the future that let viewers take control of the plot?


Editor Rating: 3.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.1 / 5.0 (150 Votes)

I have enjoyed the new Hawaii 5-0 since its inception. We watched every episode of the original show, and this one always captures my interest. I really enjoyed last night's episode too, and I voted around 10:30 last night. I feel like I chose the 'Boss' because of what I saw in his eyes... not sure how to explain, but when he spoke of "firing" the victim, the look in his eyes just hit me for whatever reason. Keep up the good work!


Yes! It felt like a game of Clue if anybody ever even plays that anymore. I think it turned out to be a fun thing for a once in a blue moon type of thing. I wonder if other shows will give this try now. The episode went really quick for me, which I think is good thing, and I was entertained through all of it. I want to watch again today because I was so focussed on the case we voted on I didn't pay much attention to the rest of it. I liked the Steve McGarrett tackle at the end though and his visit to the little boy. The two sides of McGarrett. That is why we love him.

Sarah silva

I love this episode. I voted for the professor as he seemed like the most likley killer! I loved E Train. Andrew Lawerence was super funny! There were many great moments but my favorite was when Eric tok the can out of the garbage and it had cheat notes on there and the moment with Steve and him was super funny!
Sing Min is a hoot! I have to admit I thought he escaped for good and I was upset that Kono would just leave the hotel room when she was there to watch and protect him before the trial. However it was a sweet moment between them when she found him and his ex wifes house. I liked there scenes, she can put him in his place but still understand when he was sad at seeing his wife remarried.
Alex keeps looking better and better!


I feared this epi, but turns out it was enjoyable as always. The procedural was there, the comedy was there with even a little extra nephew and Badger thrown in, and yeah, the Sang Min subplot was a heartbreaker. So was the little kid sick in the hospital. Is the disease they talked about a real disease? Anyone have a clue? And I even voted, for the professor, because he seemed to be a real jerk about sexual harassment.


Love this ep. Good crime story. Danny's nephew was awesome. I've always liked Sang Min, Kono and Sang Min double awesome especially the last scene. I'm downloading from Amazon now, hope They give all the endings. Love it, love it.


I voted for the boss, and I'm on the west coast, where the student was the ending. I haven't looked at the other endings as yet, but will. I think it was kind of fun to do this. I don't want it every week, but once a season would not be bad. As for the episode, I liked it. I too was happy to see Sang Min back, and he did show some human traits before regarding his wife and son. I believe it was in season one, when they let him out briefly, then they took him to see his son at either a school or park, where he watched from the car. Loved the ending of that part, I know he is one of the bad guys, but I do feel for him. Kono got to handle things all by herself.
Loved the nephew, who was Danny's sister's son as Mrs. Cleaver said. I hope he comes around again some time. I would love to see the rest of Danny's East Coast family at some point. I'm enjoying this season very much.

Mrs cleaver

@Walter - he was the kid of one of Danny's sisters.
I LOVED the "you guess the ending" part too. Great to see Sang Min again, love when they bring people back. Speaking of, and have to say, I haven't missed Doris and Wo Fat too much lately either, but I'm sure they'll be back toon.
I'll check back later for the ratings, thanks for always posting those Walter.


I votefor the boss and he turned out to be the killer in Central time. Kona did with no help from the other 5-0 members.


We did not get a vote in Hawaii! The chosen killer was the student who bought the answers. I enjoyed the multiple aspects of the episode, especially the focus on Ni'ihau which is very isolated.


@walter: They don't often have more than one helicopter for a production. They use the same helicopter for Kamekona's business but just put stickers on the side. You might have also noticed the jeep they used towards the end was the one from the north korean episode (2.10) last season.

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Hawaii Five-0 Season 3 Episode 12 Quotes

Eric: What am I supposed to do in there?
Danny Williams: Why don't you go meditate on the poor life decisions you've made?

Check these lapels, huh? Tony Montana style!

Sang Min