‘Hawaii Five-O’ Recap: ‘Ha`alele’

Stars are stars for a reason. They have the charisma and talent to lead and produce a quality product, whether they’re the quarterback of a football team, the CEO of a company or the lead on a TV show. Alex O’Loughlin, who plays 5-0 leader Steve McGarrett, was severely missed in Monday’s episode, appearing only in a voiceover and in a brief shot in the concluding scene. If his absence was because of his recent admittance into drug rehab for prescription meds, I can only hope he recovers quickly, not only for his sake, but for the show.

The writers must have been pretty desperate upon hearing about his absence, and thus tried to fit round pegs into square holes. Danno was made de facto leader of the squad, but sidekicks are never as effective when given the lead. Have you ever heard Gregg Hammer on the morning show on 98.5? He’s hilarious when Rory Wild is there to conduct that circus, but as a solo act, Hammer is hardly as funny. Nothing against Scott Caan and his acting ability, but Danno just isn’t a leader. He’s the wise-cracking, head-bashing, right-hand man, and he’s great at that role. Still, the bigger disaster was featuring Masi Oka’s oddball Max Bergman coroner character. Focusing the main storyline on a third-tier character, who’s played by the weakest actor in the cast, definitely didn’t help this episode.

Combine that with a serial-killer plot right out of a cheaply made, direct-to-video thriller, and you have one of the worst episodes of the series yet.

Here’s this week’s look at The Good, The Bad and The Weird.

The Good

  • Sorry, got nothing for you. I really disliked this episode. Okay, Kamekona was in it, trying his best to provide some levity in a totally unrelated side plot about his missing shrimp truck. An appearance by Kamekona is always a plus.

The Bad

  • Isn’t it obvious? No McGarrett.
  • The Trashman? That’s the best moniker they could think of for the killer? I would’ve even liked “Opala Man” better.
  • There’s no way Max could’ve scraped through that Solomon knot with a shard of glass, then right himself back into position before the killer came back. Speaking of unrealistic timelines…

The Weird

  • Things really do happen fast in 5-0 world. In a single day, Danno checks into the 5-0 HQ and finds McGarrett’s note, drives out to the North Shore to inspect the dead body, questions the victim’s mother in Pearl City, goes back to HQ for some fancy computer investigation, questions a suspect in Waikiki, goes back to HQ for more fancy computer research, gets the autopsy results in Max’s office, more HQ computer magic, meets a wrongly convicted serial killer in Halawa prison, goes to beach to have a few laughs and a shrimp lunch with Kamekona, interviews an ex-cop at Royal Kunia golf course, even more HQ computer magic, arrests the wrong suspect at St. Martin’s Church, interrogates said suspect at 5-0 HQ, then sends Kono and Chin Ho to do the dirty work back at the church to arrest the real killer. Talk about a full day!
  • And speaking of Danno (with typical sarcastic Chandler Bing inflection), could his shirt be any tighter?
  • The wrongly accused killer gets out just like that, huh? Who knew it’d be so easy to reopen an old serial killer case and release the original suspect.

The 5-0 writers get a pass on this episode since the unexpected departure of O’Loughlin must have thrown them for a loop. But I sincerely hope things get better from here.