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'Hawaii Five-0' Season 1, Episode 1 (Series Premiere) Recap (VIDEO)

by Ryan McGee, posted Sep 21st 2010 2:00AM

['Hawaii Five-0' - 'Pilot']

Making big assumptions about new shows based purely on pilots is a tricky proposition. Sometimes, a show comes out with literal and/or metaphorical guns a blazin', only to reveal soon after it was only firing blanks. Other shows take time to find their sea legs, not putting their best foot forward, but finding their proper stride down the road.

The reboot of 'Hawaii Five-0' may not suffer either fate: its goals simply don't seem terrifically lofty in the first place to warrant either a major accomplishment or an epic fail. Above all, it wants merely to entertain, and for its initial hour? Mission accomplished.

Since this show airs on CBS, there might have been quite a lot of people watching tonight who remember the original show. One imagines that more money was spent on this initial episode than perhaps an entire season's worth of originals. But all that money certainly ended up onscreen, not in an actor's pocket. Nearly every act of tonight's pilot featured at least one jaw-dropping stunt or explosion that transcended what one normally expects from television action, and landed firmly into motion-picture quality kabooms. A helicopter shooting bazookas, armored vans used as assault weapons, backflips that would make the U.S. women's gymnastics team green with pint-sized envy: 'Hawaii Five-0' spared no expense in bringing the wow factor.

Luckily, the show managed some succinct, but effective, character introductions amidst the chaos. None of them could be classified as more than "perfunctory," but they did the job. By hour's end, the classic team had to be established for the show to have a home base of operations for future installments -- so that McGarrett, Danno, Chin Ho and Kona could all work together to keep The Aloha State safe. The latter two received little in the way of screen time this episode, with McGarrett and Danno getting the bulk of the show to meet, butt heads and eventually settle into a testy but respectful partnership.

Alex O'Loughlin's time at CBS is semi-legendary, with this being his third chance as a lead actor in a show for the network. Clearly they see something in this man that the rest of the world hasn't quite discovered yet. While he was not a particularly charismatic McGarrett, he was certainly a sturdy one. He looked good with a gun, held his own when he had to stare down criminals, and even showed a flash of humor now and again. The latter aspect derived from Scott Caan's scene-stealing Danny Williams, a man with a filthy mouth but a golden heart. A New Jersey expat living in Hawaii, he puts up with pineapples in order to keep the island safe for his daughter, who is living there with her mother and step-father.

That type of personal connection carries over to McGarrett as well, who comes back after the murder of his father to discover as much seediness within the Honolulu Police Department as in the outside world. A toolbox marked "Champ" holds the potential (and unfortunately literal) key to unlocking the source of this corruption. Having this larger through-line allows the show to have a larger mystery to solve over the course of the season, in addition to weekly skirmishes with the local baddies.

Getting the Governor to authorize an essentially untouchable force ("Your rules. My backing. No red tape.") gives the show a slightly deus ex machina feel, as well as a convenient way to sidestep any internal corruption that could impede their weekly work, but let's be frank: This isn't 'The Wire' we're talking about here. If the show spent weeks of plot time with Chin Ho's desperate search to push past political red tape to obtain funding, people would kill each other in the stampede to switch channels. Give us Caan quips and Grace Park bikinis any day, CBS.

A few bullets about tonight's premiere:

Having James Marsters onscreen as this week's Big Bad? Great! Having him show up for essentially one scene and one fight? Less great. Having McGarrett's five-year mission end so abruptly felt cheap. Couldn't a corrupt cop house Marsters' Hess for a few weeks? Say, until sweeps?

After six years of 'Lost,' it's both great and downright odd to hear Daniel Dae Kim speak perfect English. Still, I'm all about former Oceanic 815 passengers getting work. ESPECIALLY if this idea actually comes true.

No matter how rote some future 'Case of the Week' episodes may get, Scott Caan will probably singlehandedly save them all from being completely run-of-the-mill. He's definitely one to watch this Fall season.

Damn, that 'Hawaii Five-0' theme song is just the coolest. Way cooler than the 'Psycho' theme song that kept playing each time Danno's ex rang him up.

'Hawaii Five-0' airs Mondays at 10PM ET on CBS.

What did you think of the 'Hawaii Five-0' premiere? Are you gonna ride the wave, or simply walk away from the shore?

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Belinda Groenewald B

It's fantastic. Alex plays his part really well, he is supposed to be a bit standoffish that is what the part requires of him. All the roles have been really well filled with the actors playing their parts to perfection. Alex being an Australian has an even harder job because he has to maintain the accent. Obviously cbs thought him the right guy for the story else they could have chosen any number of American actors who are better known to play the part. I love Alex in this role it suits him. He is a great actor and can pull off any role he is given.

February 14 2011 at 5:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Loved it! The chemistry between Alex O. and Caan is great. Loved all the cast and will stick with this one.

October 01 2010 at 6:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

When I heard her say Hawai'i, I was really shocked, but then again when I say Hawai'i the proper way on the mainland (like midwest area), no one knows what I am talking about until I say it "Hawaii," so maybe they said it like that to avoid confusion? Same with pidgin, not many understand it (except maybe west coast)?

September 27 2010 at 11:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kathy Price

I think that Hawaii 5 O will be a great show. Action packed and colorful and Alex O Laughlin is a great actor. I hope this show makes it. Very refreshing.

September 26 2010 at 7:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

So why does everyone assume that the quest for Hesse is over?? Was he shot? Yes....did we see a body floating? NOPE!!

C'mon people! It's obvious Hesse didn't die otherwise the body would have been shown and that would have officially wrapped that story arc up.

The combination of not seeing Hesse's body and the implications he might have something to do with Mcgarret's dad's own investigation into the cops on the island all lead me to believe we will be hearing much more of this in the future. Mark my words people.

Overall I loved the show. It was entertaining, interesting and I thought for a pilot, the characters moved along quite nicely. This show is way more entertaining than any of the CSI's. I could write for that show in my sleep.

It's a crime drama so it's not going to be any LOST or Battlestar. It is what it is...a remake of a pretty hokey 70's crime show that was pretty damn cheesy. I mean if you grew up watching it perhaps it's hard to replace the old with the new but for those of us who have only seen the original on DVD, the new one is just more polished and less, well, 70's. I've seen enough of the old show to know that the only people saying it's way better than this new version are people who grew up with it because there is no way you can honestly tell me the original wasn't full of cheese and a lot of bad acting. To each his own but you can't bash the new version as if the original was some perfect gem of telivision history.

I think the show has a lot of potential and I am looking forward to the next episode.

September 23 2010 at 3:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
A Hinds

I loved every second of Hawaii Five O. I've never seen a full episode of the original show because it wrapped up the year I was born, but the new Hawaii Five 0 is fabulous. Alex is an awesome actor. It's a real treat to see him on screen. I'm looking forward to watching more episodes.

September 22 2010 at 10:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The show was entertaining enough. Though having lived in Hawaii for a few years I had to chuckle at the geographic errors in a couple of scenes.

September 21 2010 at 9:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I loved it.There have been many new shows this past year and not one caught my interest.But this one the new Hawaii Five O was excellent. I hope it is a keeper.

September 21 2010 at 7:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

About as believable as Congress.
And almost as interesting.

For the dimwits out there that means it was boring tripe.

September 21 2010 at 6:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Lara DuBose

I was looking forward to seeing this to see if it was as good as the hype. It was. I agree alex came off a little stiff, but he's a damn good actor and he will no doube get better as he goes. Not to mention he's just sexy as hell. Definitely something to look forward now on CBS...

September 21 2010 at 5:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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