Hawaii Five-0 Review: Bang Stick

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Is there any kind of ancient philosophical concept that describes the state of finding a TV episode to be convoluted as all get-out, but also supremely entertaining?

Because if there is, I would like to use it to describe my experience watching "Hoa Pili (Close Friend)." No? Nothing? Maybe there's a phrase in French. They're good with that stuff. Look it up and get back to me.

Suffering a Set Back

Despite a confusing middle section (which led me to fill a notebook page with sentence fragments like "wait which fisherman whaaa"), "Hoa Pili (Close Friend)" was a fun, dynamic cartoon, complete with a shark that kinda looked like Bruce from Finding Nemo and an actual cargo container dropped on someone's head, Wile E. Coyote style.

It's rare that an episode's weakest asset is its actual plot, but that was the case tonight - every moment that wasn't devoted to moving the main story forward, from the red herring opener (Ryan!), to the Kamekona helicopter subplot, to the sharp Hawaii Five-0 quotes, to the great Magnum P.I. nod at the end, was killer.

But the moments devoted to finding the actual killer were often the least compelling. The real forces behind the murders - and, thus, the real stakes behind the murders - were revealed too late in the game to get heavily invested in the outcome. Though I am well acquainted with the grand tradition of the Hawaii Five-0 Mid-Episode Twist, this one had at least two twists too many for me.

I do have to wonder if this was obvious to the writers because the gloriously choreographed, kinetic fight scene in the shipyard (and, you know, the whole cargo container thing) seemed specifically timed and designed to whip wandering minds back to full attention. And it did capture my full attention; the fight scene between the team and the drug gang was one of the best in weeks, and led to the part of my notebook page filled with nothing but exclamation points. It was brief, but it was beautiful to behold.

Leilani's reappearance was a welcome return in a season that's been dropping ongoing plot threads left and right. Lindsay Price has a warm presence, and I hope she makes some bigger appearances in the few remaining episodes of the season. I like the idea of her and Chin together (although I kind of always root for Steve Sanders's baby mama).

This episode was a tribute to all the things Hawaii Five-0 does right that have nothing to do with the solving of actual crimes: character chemistry, gorgeous action sequences and a warm-hearted sense of humor. And, honestly, it was more than enough. There are a lot of crime/ action shows on TV. But baby, I'm here for the carguments.

What did you think of the plot twists? Did you love the fight sequence at the end? Have you ever personally found a barrel of tainted Ecstasy on the beach (if so, please explain)?


Editor Rating: 4.2 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (110 Votes)

This is Hawaii 5 0.. of course the show should be mainly about the four that makes the 5-0 team.. the fandom loves mcdanno banter and kono bamf attitude and chin the zen master. Outside these 4, everyone are just extras to compliments the main characters... thats all. this is not Cath Love Show.. so those who keeps saying she wasnt in the show enough, should just shut their trap. And those who keeps complaining bout Danny nagging, scott is amazingly in character, okay. Their bromance literally the heart of the show. I think younger generation loves their moments whereas the older generation likes the show to be more boring.


Funny how the guys who comment here all seemed to like Catherine's opening bikini scene and virtually all of the gals hated it. Count me among the former.


Forgot to mention that Steve was awesome back in action, so very S1. And I agree with you, Gabrielle, this epi was a tribute to all things done right on H50. The team pitching in to rebuild was truly heartwarming. But even better was ending on a funny note with Kamekona's inaugural flight complete with all the Magnum PI references was just icing on the cake :) :) :)


I agree with Zia. Ditto on every single sentence, except that I'm not nervous about season 5. S3 is shaping up really well and if they follow through in S4, no worries : )
I thought this epi was very entertaining, the carguments were back to S1 level, I thought the time allocated to the core 4 and the guests characters given the time limitations of the show was pretty well balanced. It was good to see Kavika, I actually like him. Cutie Fong , Kamekona, Max..Leilani :) ...LOVED Chin, when Leilani thought he was married..that stricken look on his face...I still say DDK is a phenomenal actor. Lots of action scenes.. And my gal, Kono, she rocks big time! And what's the fuss....Cat showed up briefly in a bikini, so what, I still miss seeing Steve shirtless, there was way more shirtless Steve in S1...hmmm maybe I do need to go out and buy a copy of S1 ;) All in all, a good time, this epi. Add this to the list to rewatch again.


The show has gone from one of my favourite shows to one of my least favourite. The characters get worse each week. I can't stand the bromance now and Danny is unbearable. The only redeeming qualities are Chin and Kono. The only reason the show got renewed was because of its syndication deal. It will never make a 5th season if the characters, writing and stories don't drastically improve.


Done with this show. i won't bother to record it next season. just a waste of time to watch. It jumed the shark when they took kono in her bikini from the opening credits.
just a waste of an hour.
I'm getting very good at just NOT watching shows that are hard to get thru just cuz they are on and I feel like it's a show I "should" watch or "should" like.
I find I'm not missing anything and there's plenty of quality shows to fill up the DVR :)
Mike and Molly have been added to this list of shows I'm no loner watching and the Broke Girls are coming soon unless it gets funny.


Don't nobody be messin with Kono... :)


As for the episode, I thought it was a very good one. I liked the crime, I loved the humor, and the Magnum PI references at the end. Still hoping we see Tom Selleck back in Hawaii. Putting the picture on the guys leg making him look at what he had done to his own friends was a great touch. Kono to the rescue. As someone said, Wiley coyote style, for the old road runner cartoons. I see H50 has been renewed as we all knew it would be. I'm little more nervous about the 5th year and if they do move it to another night, how that will affect it.


The Catherine character is fine. If they put her in an episode, people complain they are showing too much of her. If they just have her show up for one segment, then they don't know what to do with her. There are going to be times when all of these character are their in one segment, and then get an episode centered around them. The only one, as it should, is McG who is the lead character and is in most of the show. Danny comes in 2nd because of the relationship to McG. Chin and Kono are a close to Danny. The rest of the regulars get their shots as well. No one is being overdone.
I don't understand the comments about how Steve looked at Catherine in the last episode. What were you looking at? He obviously was showing that he understood, probably did not like it, but understood what Catherine did. Afterall he can tell the difference, he Mom made excuses, but Catherine said she was wrong.


Re: Katherine,(Danny's GF Gabby)Autumn Reeser's show was cancelled so it's conceivable that she could be brought back which would be nice. And speaking of parents, why haven't we met Chin's and Kono's and going back to season 1, why weren't either at their uncle's when their aunt was dying? Chin referred to Kono's mom once but no other mention has ever been made. Just curious. I'm also curious as to the possibilities of what might have happened with Kono when Steve was off chasing after Shelburne & Wo Fat (during Alex's rehab last year) and Chin and Danny left her alone back in Hawaii when they went off to do the crossover episode on NCIS LA. Seems like a great opportunity for a flashback Kono-centric story.

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Hawaii Five-0 Season 3 Episode 19 Quotes

We've been working on getting you a public defender, but no one can believe you're this stupid.

Danny Williams

Steve McGarrett: Book him, Kono.
Danny Williams: Oh! Where's the love?