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)?

Hoa Pili (Close Friend) Review

Editor Rating: 4.2 / 5.0
  • 4.2 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (110 Votes)
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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?