hawaii five-0

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Hawaii Five-0 can sometimes get a bit carried away with stories that strain the show’s credibility to (and sometimes past) all reasonable limits, as with the show’s Eight Season finale. When a Russian nuclear submarine shows up on the beaches of Hawaii, Five-0 goes on the search for a missing seaman who leaves a trail of bodies in his wake. What starts out as a search for a single Russian grows with the discovery of a sleeper cell of Russian spies all over the island. Eventually you get McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) boarding the nuclear sub, the entire Five-0 team shooting up a Russian embassy, the team forcibly taking a Russian spy from Russian soil (by blackmailing local officials), and somehow none of this causes an international incident.

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Over the years Hawaii Five-0 has provided several episodes sending McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin), and occasionally the rest of the Five-0 team, out of Hawaii and into more military-style adventures. The penultimate episode of the show’s rocky Eight Season follows this formula as McGarrett hitches a ride with Junior (Beulah Koale) and his SEAL team after learning their mission could involving finding Joe White (Terry O’Quinn). Not all that subtly, the episode mirrors the McGarret/White relationship with that of McGarrett and Junior. We also get flashbacks to a younger McGarrett on Joe White’s team, and the lengths Steve’s mentor went to keep him alive. Although its unclear if the team was successful in their primary mission of killing their target, McGarrett does get his man and brings him home.

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Harry Langford (Chris Vance) returns to the islands working as protection for a British royal (Kate Beahan) and her teenage daughter (Alana Boden). When the daughter sneaks out of her protection detail, Steve (Alex O’Loughlin) and Danny (Scott Caan) help Harry track the girl down before the wrong type of people discover she’s unprotected on the island. Really just an excuse to get Vance back on the show, “I Ka Wa Ma Mua, I Ka Wa Ma Hope” is one of the more enjoyable episodes of the season with a nice balance of tension and humor. I smiled more than once when the show worked in Danny’s parenting skills of a precocious teenage daughter.

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Picking up the loose thread of the previous episode in which most members of Five-0 were exposed to a dangerous bioweapon, “I Ka Wa Ma Mua, I Ka Wa Ma Hope” opens with McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin), Danny (Scott Caan), Junior (Beulah Koale), and Tani (Meaghan Rath) still stuck in the hospital’s isolation ward. When a suicidal gunman arrives to place a bomb on the door, before shooting Danny and then himself, Five-0 will work swiftly to save Danny’s life while Grover (Chi McBride) and the bomb squad will work to find a safe way into the room before the detective’s time runs out.

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Multiple-personality antagonists are a hard-sell as Hawaii Five-0 learns with “Mōhala i ka wai ka maka o ka pua” which casts Michael Weston as a traumatized schizophrenic off his medication who begins a series of violent acts. The unusual case allows for the return of Claire Forlani as profiler Alicia Brown who proves instrumental in ending things without further bloodshed. More of a running gag than a B-story, the episode also puts a stress counselor with McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) for most of the episode, hired by his friends in hopes of finding ways to lower Steve’s stress. Neither storyline is all that memorable, at least not in a good way, although Danny‘s (Scott Caan) attempt to look out for his partner is eventually appreciated.

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As is the show’s custom around Halloween, the latest episode brings a series of bizarre murders to the Five-0 task force’s attention, all of which appear to have been inspired by local myth and folklore. The episode’s B-story takes the long road to get Grover (Chi McBride) what he needs to take down his former best-friend who has, until now, gotten away with murdering his wife and putting a hit out on Grover. While the death row sequence involving an inmate with only hours left to live never quite pays off (and ends pretty damn gruesomely with the prisoner having to be electrocuted multiple times to finish him off) apparently the show is finally ready to put this thread to rest.

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Hawaii Five-0‘s Eighth Season got off to a rocky start with one of the worst episodes of the series. Things pick up a bit here, and the show finally takes time to acknowledge the absence of its two former cast members. “Na La ‘Ilio” is still far from one of the show’s best, but at least it’s a passable episode that introduces two more new members for the Five-0 task force in Eddie (the four-legged DEA agent shot in the opening sequence) and former Navy SEAL Junior Reigns (Beulah Koale) who basically just hangs around until McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) relents to give him a job – provided he can get through the police academy.

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While the episode’s backstory allows the show to work in Adam‘s (Ian Anthony Dale) current job, and his discovery of a bone at construction gives him reason to suspect that human remains may have been buried there, the episode’s main focus involves a group of former soldiers turned bank robbers whose latest score causes the death of a Pearl Harbor veteran on the way home with his granddaughter (Lexi Atkins). Dylan Bruno becomes the latest Numb3rs alumni to make an appearance on the show as the leader of the robbers who have deeply personal reasons for their crimes and have no intention of being scared off by Five-0.

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A ship full of dead bodies sends Five-0 to the island of Lanai where McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin), Danny (Scott Caan), Chin (Daniel Dae Kim), and Kono (Grace Park) believe Yakuza big wig Michelle Shioma (Michelle Krusiec) has set up a new drug smuggling operation. Captured by Shioma’s men, but still outgunned, it takes Jerry (Jorge Garcia) sending in the cavalry to save the day, which also earns Five-0’s special consultant the prize he’s been waiting years for.

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After his stakeout turns into a kidnapping, private eye Harry Brown (William Forsythe) enlists the help of a Five-0 to find a missing woman (Lena Georgas) whose husband believed was having an affair. After his refusal to pay, the man’s mistress (Melanie Rains) is taken by masked men as well, leaving McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) and his team limited time to find both women. The case has a twist you’ll likely see coming if you are paying attention, but the tension still works well-enough. The showdown with the kidnappers also shows off Kono‘s (Grace Park) sharpshooting skills.

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