Hawaii Five-0 Review: All A Shell Game

at .  Updated at . Comments

The Hawaii Five-0 Season 4 finale was an elaborate shell-game. It was a slight of hand trick that any amateur magician could do. What was tricky was figuring out:  who was the magician? 

Who was in control of the shell-game with the $100 million dollars?

Hawaii Five-0 Season 4 Episode 22 opened with the grand escape of Wo Fat from a Colorado maximum security prison. In impressive style, Wo Fat had collected a large stash of medications that he used combined with paint thinner and fertilizer from the prison yard to build a bomb and blow a hole in the prison wall and escape. 

Yet surprisingly, this episode was not about him... at least not initially. 

Ian Wright Wants $100 Million

What happened next was Lou Grover's daughter Samantha was taken hostage by Ian Wright, a terrorist/hacker with a prior history with McGarrett and Lou.  With a slick plan to steal $100 million from the U.S. government, Ian had the perfect plan.

He knew the government was moving the "ghost money" (money seized from illegal narcotics activities and reallocated for government use off-books), and he needed Lou's access to SWAT vehicles, jackets and weaponry for the thugs Ian had recruited for the heist. 

What Ian had failed to consider was that he was not the only crook looking to steal the money. 

Government agent Novak had decided it was time for his early retirement and the "ghost money" was his ticket out of government service and into a high life of luxury. 

So Ian's elaborate plan to use Lou, the SWAT resources and the airport delivery came to an abrupt screeching halt, and it became necessary to reassess what was really going on.  Where the money was, who had taken it, and where? 

Luckily, Ian is a computer hacker and made short work of tracking Novak down to a local thug hang-out.  What was crazy was how they all dealt with that information. 

Ian for some crazy reason decided he had to make a personal appearance at Five-0 headquarters and make some crazy Beatle's analogy.  Frankly, a Wizard of Oz kind of analogy with the man-behind-the-curtain may have felt more relevant than the Beatles. But it was his analogy and perhaps Ian doesn't know literature as well as he knows the history of the Beatles.

After a bit of chest-thumping and bad analogies, Ian calmly walked out of the precinct and Five-0 all high tailed to where Novak and the money was. 

While I applaud Lou's use of diversionary tactics, was a fake suicide vest necessary when the Five-0 team was right behind him all along? Not sure about that. 

Just like Ian at the precinct, the standoff with Lou and Novak felt unnecessary given the situation.  Grand standing of the worst kind.

But their goal was ultimately accomplished: Five-0 got the $100 million and went to meet Ian to get Samantha back.  This is where the twist came in.  Ian was a no-show. 

Instead Lou got a call saying his daughter was safe at the precinct and Ian was dead.  Once everyone was back at Five-0 headquarters, Samantha revealed that Ian had been shot by Wo Fat and he had freed her with a message for Steve that they needed to talk.

All in all, a fantastic result, but very anti-climatic; though I was personally delighted to see Ian take two bullets in the chest.  Didn't shed one tear for that sociopath. His time was up and he went out in spectacular fashion. 

Makes me wonder if we should be rooting for Wo Fat? Is there a critical piece of the puzzle we are missing? How did Wo Fat know about Ian and where to find him and how did he arrive at just the right time?

Alas, the answers for these questions are being held for next season.  Instead, Lou had to answer for his part in the near robbery from the U.S. government and it meant he was forced to take early retirement.  Lucky for him, the Five-0 team were happy to invite him to join them and they warmly welcomed him as their newest member.

Yet this did not feel like a moment to be celebrating.   Catherine is still over in Afghanistan searching for Amir's son. Thank goodness for modern technology as she can keep Steve updated on her progress via text messages. 

Then the fact that Wo Fat is still at loose and deadly to those he encounters, that's a real problem they should be looking into ASAP. 

Chi McBride was stellar as the distraught father willing to do anything to get his daughter back and we felt every second of his intense agony as he was controlled by a relentless puppet-master to get the $100 million dollars.  But it felt off-note as soon as Samantha delivered the message from Wo Fat. 

There was that feeling of: that's it? This is where they are ending this?  Nothing has been resolved at all.

So this episode felt like a cliffhanger, even though it probably was not intended to be one.  But welcoming Lou into the Five-0 unit seemed like a beginning and not the end. Guess we will have to see where the story goes in Season 5.  Wo Fat, take heed, Five-0 is coming for you.

Is it possible Wo Fat orchestrated the theft of the $100 million along with Ian?


Editor Rating: 3.9 / 5.0
  • 3.9 / 5.0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (45 Votes)

Disgraceful episode. Where's all the action gone? Grover has ruined 5-0 for life. The Steve-Danno relationship has gone. Not optimistic for season 5.


Great finale! I enjoyed the action packed ride and the humor. Chi was phenomenal, he had me crying with him. I think Grover will be a great addition to Five-0. I liked that the core 4 were together inviting and welcoming him into the fold just as in season 1 when the three welcomed Kono after she missed her graduation from the academy.
I think the owner of the house that Ian killed is somehow related to WoFat. Otherwise, he would have demanded the money in exchange for Samantha instead of letting her go. Overall, this season,even with Kono in less scenes ranks up there with season 1. Loved the banter and the clown car chase. Hope Kono has more of her signature kick-ass scenes next season. The core 4 is always magic when they're together. I enjoy the guest stars but really love seeing the 4 together on screen. And I miss Catherine, at least they left the door open for her return. And whatever happened to cutie Fong? And above all, Alex is hot ; )


I think Novak was working for Doris - that's how Wo Fat knew where Ian was. Remember it said at the beginning that Wo Fat was getting visits from Doris in prison. Wo Fat was not working for or with Ian, Ian had done everything else on his own. Wo Fat let Ian do the dirty work for him and then arrived at the end to collect. Fantastic finale, can't wait for next season!


What if the elderly chinese guy Ian killed at the house he was in was WO Fat dad therefore the reason why Wo fat killed Ian in revenge?


Wo Fat escape a lot and how did he know were Ian was he so involved some how he knew that MGarrett would get into it to help


This was the most dumb, stupid, odd episode I have seen of H50. It looked like it was a leftover taken from different scripts from different episodes and toss them together and put it as a new episode for the season fnale. I better stick to Arrow, now that is a show I do enjoy watching and for me it has a better story and scripts cause in each episode nothing is predictable and it is always fill with action, drama and follow up.


"How did Wo Fat know about Ian and where to find him and how did he arrive at just the right time?" Y'know...this was a HUGE plot hole for me when I viewed the episode, but some folks postulating that WoFat and Wright could have been in it together kinda makes sense; WoFat would have needed the money to keep on the run. However, I don't think Wright's death was staged; WoFat doesn't leave loose ends.

@ MrWriteSF

Ian did not recognize Wo Fat when he opened the door. Even if they had never met, I think, if they were working together, Ian would have heard something about a guy with a disfigured face. No, the only explanation must be that the homeowner had ties to Wo Fat. It's a stretch to believe that he planned to break out of prison on the same day that Grover's daughter was abducted. After all, he's never met Grover. Unless he has some, literally, out-of-this-world intel, I can't connect him to the Ian Wright plot at all.


I rate this whole season as the best one. I can't wait for season 5. I hope that they will keep it on Friday at 9 pm. It was a great ending. Nick Jonas did a great job.they all did a great job.


I enjoyed the finale. I was waiting for the big cliffhanger, so I was a bit let down when it ended. I thought Nick Jonas did a great job. I like Grover, but would prefer him stay as SWAT. I liked Catherine on the team as she has a lot of computer skills and naval connections. I wish the producers would keep the H50 team as is and just add extra characters in other jobs to assist them like Max, Fong, Duke, and Grover in Swat. Oh well, hopefully Season 5 is well written and has more Steve/Danny episodes than Season 4 did!


I think Ian's death was faked. How did Wo Fat know how to find Ian? How long does it take to get from Colorado to Hawaii?
Not happy about Grover as a team member, but will give a chance. If Kono is tied to the computer while Grove is in the field I will be heard loud and clear. I've given them a break this year as Kono may not have been ready for the action, next year no excuse.
What is record for prison escapes for one person? What is the record for team members, family, friends being kidnaped? Mary should go into hiding to protect her baby, she be only one who hasn't been kidnapped.

@ jschoi

Mary was kidnapped in season 1 after McGarratt's house was burgled. By the Yakuza I think. The kidnap meme is pretty overused on this show.

@ Barbara

I wasn't very clear, was referring to Mary's baby.

Tags: ,