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)

I think the characters have great chemistry, including Catherine, but last nights show was more about explosions and action than the characters. I prefer less procedural anyway. Catherine's presence generally adds some depth to McG's character, as does his mom's presence. It brings back the complexity from the first season. The problem for me is that we are missing that complexity for Danno. He needs a girlfriend--I realize the actress who plays Gabby has gone to a different show. The show can break them up with a conversation or cargument easily--wasn't working out, she doesn't want to have children, she got a fabulous job opportunity on the mainland. Whatever. Give Caan something to work with so he doesn't have to be the whiney sidekick all the time. Maybe more of his family, like his parents, should visit from Jersey (has he ever seen any of them other than his brother in 3 years?) to see Grace. Let him fall in love with someone who wants nothing to do with him or someone who has kids or a cousin of Kamekona's (that would be hilarious). Rachel can get a bit jealous and McG can do some prying instead of the other way around. I'm glad Chin is finding a love interest and Kono's relationship is becoming a season-long plot line. Gets interesting that way.


The sitcome vibe doesn't do the show any favours. Quite a boring convoluted plot. I'm finding I have to fast forward anything Danny related. I've had it with his whining. The shows quality drops considerably when Danny is around Steve. Overall very mediocre writing this season. Like most of the guest stars Michelle Borths talents are wasted but she does a great job with what she's given. I find it amusing all the hate she gets, purely because she's Steve girlfriend. Kono was great and at least Chin got a bit to do in the second half.


The writing is generally fine with only an occasional clunker and while most may note be quite Emmy material they're good and especially entertaining enough (at least for me) and certainly no worse than the competition (I enjoy Castle but Revaluation is meh - I don't care that much for stories you have to watch in order to know what's happening but I LOVE H50). IMHO H50's biggest problem with the ratings is twofold: 1)the lead up shows are not compatible and 2) many people are just too lazy to change the station. H50 was beating everyone pretty regularly until DWTS and The Voice returned but it seems to retain at least as big a percentage if not more of its audience as the others.




It's laughable reading about why Catherine shouldnt be on the show. Yeah the writers do a terrible job with her character but they do a worse job with Danny. Even Scott Caan looks bored and fed up in most episodes. This season has been a huge let down. I almost feel sorry for the characters with the rubbish they are given. Horrible convoluted plot and what was that first scene all about. Not surprising why the ratings keep dropping.

William e bruce

The case was ok. Them finding dead Jason in the shark cage. The beginning where the guy found the wife with his buddy, then the boat blew up was a surprising start. I figured that wouldn't get solved. I believed at first that the brother, Craig Grant had killed his brother and blew up the boat. it. Then when they meet fisherman Jay Lappert, and Bruce Kaneshiro I figured they had to be involved.
Nice little detour to talk to Kaweka and Levi at the Pupukea. The arson made me think they didn't do it. Actor who played Levi, the big guy, is "The Rocks" Dwayne Johnson's cousin and does a lot of his stunts. The barrel of bad estacy pills being fought over should have been let go, since they were worthless. Maybe people that used it would say, "this crap don't work, why take it, lol" It's a theory anyway.
Later it was great seeing Steve and Kono helping Craig Grant cleaning up his boat, and Danny and Chin going to help repair the burnt home. Good helping good.

William e bruce

At the end was the best. Riding in the Helicopter, Humming the Magnum P.I. theme. Magnum had given a a lot of references to the old Five-0 and it's nice for the pay backs. maybe we can still get some more Magnum members on show??? Steve(Magnum),Konekona(TC),Danny(Rick), Max(Higgins) played that last scene so great. And nice quip Max to Danny about why he is Rick! Good fight action at the wharf when Steve,Danny and Chin, took down the drug Cartel led by Tsai. And great drop of that container, Kono!! "Book'em Kono!" Great action all!
We also had Nurse Leilani stop in and see Chin. He didn't contact her. She left her number when he is ready. Very nice! Wondered what happened with that story line.
And can't forget Catherine and her bikini coming in after surfing and playing "Video Games" with Konekona.

William e bruce

First off, Chin Ho and Kono were on lightly the first half of show. Steve and Danny did all the investigating out side HQ. But later, when Chin and Kono went to interview the Arsonist, FBI CI, Jimmy Amana, Chin definitely seems to have recovered from his injuries. And he looked like he has been working out! Kono cutting him off was nice. What a leap! I hope they later put away Jimmy Amana for those arson's. Will we meet the unnamed FBI agents again too? Bones just had an ATM scam show on. I think that is what they were working on. Max and Fong had their shine. Fong working with Kono, and Max finding the arm of boat owner Al Lewis in the sharks belly.
Steve and Danny had their difference of opinions, 2 or 3 times. Steve kinda laughs it off. Steve helping Konekona with the simulator was cute. And I knew Danny would have to eat his words. He wanting Steve to help Konekona open a bowling alley, instead of endangering lives. That was a challenge for Steve to get Konekona in the air safely.
At the end was the best. Riding in the Helicopter, Humming the Magnum P.I. theme. Magnum had given a a lot of references to the old Five-0 and it's nice for the pay backs. maybe we can still get some more Magnum members on show??? Steve(Magnum),Konekona(TC),Danny(Rick), Max(Higgins) played that last scene so great. And nice quip Max to Danny about why he is Rick!


Opinions are funny things, aren't they, but everyone is entitled to them. I've read so many weird criticisms of episodes I've really liked, that I wondered if we were watching the same show.
@jlopie1: Jeff Cadiente may be an award-winning stunt-co-ordinator, but why would that make him a good director.
@preston: I've never used the word 'stupid' on this board. You have. Grow up.


Just to add, I'm feeling like I actually want to rewatch this episode because it was so enjoyable. I haven't rewatched an episode for some time now. If the writers stay on this course we can hope for more than one more season.

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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?