Hawaii Five-0 Review: Honey Buzzards

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I (like many of you, I imagine) have been kind of emotionally wrung out by today's events.

As Hawaii Five-0 time drew closer and closer, I knew that I was on a hair-trigger - all I needed was one Danny monologue about how much he loves his daughter, one speech about the real meaning of duty and honor or probably just even McGarrett making a sad face... and the waterworks were going to flow in full force.

The North Korea Incident

And then, I got "Olelo Pa'a (The Promise)," not only a beautifully shot mini-action movie, and my favorite episode of Hawaii Five-0 Season 3 so far, but an emotionally-wrenching five-hankie weeper.

Within this self-contained gem of an episode, the impact of McGarrett's pre-5-0 existence on his current life was rendered wonderfully and compellingly, with pacing and scene set-ups (not to mention a boatload of dramatic Hawaii Five-0 quotes) that felt more like elements of a full-length film than your typical hour-long TV show.

The episode's wide range of locales - from a rainy Navy training camp, to the North Korean jungle, to a heart-breaking funeral - were not just vividly rendered, but given a great emotional heft. And none of this was just eye candy; from the phenomenal parachute-jump scene, to Steve and Catherine creeping through the thick jungle, this was gorgeous filming with a real purpose.

A lot of the credit for this episode goes to Joe Dante, who directed Hawaii Five-0 Season 2's "Ka Iwi Kapu," but is best known to you/ me/ anyone who grew up in the 80's as "the guy who directed Gremlins."

Dante used great, sweeping cinematic shots, as well as tension-puncturing bits of humor (did anyone else feel some echoes of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom's "monkey brains" scene when that bartender made Frank Bama his snake blood cocktail?) to make this feel like much more than just an episode of a TV show.

As the character of Freddie Hart was set up, I was ready to roll my eyes - he just got married? To his high school sweetheart? And she's pregnant? What are you going to tell me next, that he was also just one day away from retirement? But Hart transcended all the 'doomed war buddy' cliches, developing into a real character whose fate was engrossing.

Even though the episode's entire plot was predicated on the fact that Freddie died in North Korea, his death sequence was nearly unbearable to watch; and seemed, in a way, to explain not just much of McGarrett's character, but much of the entire show, especially the emphasis on friendship, honor and leaving no one behind. And isn't that exactly what a prequel is supposed to do?

What did you think of the "prequel" concept? Did you enjoy the peek at McGarrett's past? Did you know that Frank Bama is actually the name of a character in a book written by Jimmy Buffett, who plays Bama?


Editor Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (203 Votes)

I disliked this one primarily because it was such obvious war propaganda. Portraying other nations as animals, glorifying violence against them, black and white perspective... - such a show of tribal mentality!


Not really Hawaii Five 0..just Steve Garrett show and based mostly in Korea..like Mash!


Great episode as usual!!! Hawaii Five O is so much better than Castle and NCIS!!!! I love Doris and Catherine, I love this show!!!! I hate Castle and NCIS !!!! Peter Lenkov does listen to the fans!!! Anybody who is so negative about this show is an IDIOT!!!!!


I'm really surprised at how many people liked this episode, I found it to be totally cheesy and contrived! I've noticed that the show never gets below a 4-star rating so I think there are a lot of biased fans of the show. Don't get me wrong, I think it's great the show has such a loyal following, but not every episode can be THAT good!! And this was definitely one of them. My big question is this...Steve and his team (which includes Freddie) were deployed when he got the mission to go capture Hesse, but then on the plane Freddie says he got married "this weekend". So, how exactly did he married from deployment?? Maybe I missed something, but it seemed like the whole episode was full of holes and fake scenery and contrived set-ups. Horrible writing and editing in my opinion.




Please say North Korea and North Koreans, not Korea and Koreans. Thank you.


Sounds like a bitchy thing to say Michelle


Regarding Peter Lenkow and CBS and their decision on the show. Michelle Borth in an interview she said herself that: �My job doesn’t depend on this, and nothing the fans can say will dictate what happens on “Five-0.� Meaning we can agree, disagree, be mad, be happy for some stories of an episode, characters, etc but no matter how much we do that as fans, it seems it be difficult for TPTB to listen to fans and dictate the course of the show, fans do not dictate the show, understanding Michelle Borth words. So what can u think of it?


To Linda E. I agree with u. Alex part was very nice and I like that Joe was back too but the fight scenes were lame and inconsistent. Also how come Steve and Catherine could take many Koreans at the same time, like if that was a Rambo movie it really looked fake. And like one commenter said here. Whats up with Freddie and Steve chatting in the middle of a gun fight? Hello??? Another miss I saw in the episode maybe it was not important but fans are not dumb not to notice that a big inconsistency. How come Tangerine turned out to be a plane, when we all are aware Tangerine was a helicopter? Banna showed Steve the remains of Tangerine and upps!! by surprise they showed a tail but that looked like a small plane tail not a helicopter tail. It was not a helicopter that was a small plane.


(cont'd) The big fight at the end was a hoot. A huge bunch of Koreans concentrating on one man, while Steve gets with Hesse is just not realistic. Likewise, Steve and Cath's big fight, and neither is hit.
I have nothing but contempt for Peter Lenkov and CBS. Lenkov, because he has no respect for HF-0 fans, and for not caring about his product. He edits the show and is responsible for the end result.
I hate CBS for not dumping Lenkov and company and for not promoting HF-0 more. It's the only television show I care about. I think the network already has the end-date of HF-0 pencilled in and won't put in the effort to improve it. They have a really good cast in the core four, who deserve better.

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Hawaii Five-0 Season 3 Episode 20 Quotes

Freddie Hart: Who packed this chute for you? It's not gonna open.
Steve McGarrett: It's only six miles down, I'll grab your legs.

Hart was just polishing the bell because he's so motivated, chief.

Steve McGarrett