Hawaii Five-0 Review: I Want It That Way

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"Kapu (Forbidden)" featured the first-ever usage of technology that let viewers vote on the ending of a TV show as it aired - and that alone would have been enough to get excited about, my friends.

But tonight's Hawaii Five-0 also featured an exciting, absorbing mystery at its center, the debut of Danny's sass-mouthed nephew, a look at the softer side of Sang Min, and not one, but two off-key renditions of songs from my misspent youth, performed within the first fifteen minutes of the show.

Backstreet Boys AND Poison?! Gods of Television, what have I done to please you so?

McGarrett Heads to School

Though it would have been very easy to dismiss viewer voting on the identity of tonight's killer as a pointless gimmick (and trust me, I was ready to dismiss it! I had my dismissing hat on and everything!), the episode (and the gimmick) were actually tons of fun.

I had initially been concerned about voting on the villain; after all, isn't half the fun in a crime procedural having your preconceptions confounded when the killer is finally revealed? But I shouldn't have worried because so little information about each suspect was introduced, and the actual plot of the episode was so consistent in each variation (as well as lively and quick overall!), that it was more like playing a rollicking game of Clue than it was playing master detective.

(FYI, I voted for the Professor, who did end up being the killer on the east coast airing. But I voted for him because I didn't like his hair, so it's no feather in my cap that I was right.)

Danny's good-for-nuthin' nephew Eric (played by Andrew Lawrence - yes, of "younger brother of Joey Lawrence" fame) was excellent comic relief. He and Danny sparred so perfectly and spun out so many delightful Hawaii Five-0 quotes, I hope we see him again soon. Likewise, Bullwinkle (Matt L. Jones, better known as Breaking Bad's Badger; can this man ever play a character not named after a hilarious animal? No? Okay!) stole every second of his scene as a pineapple-bong-smoking computer whiz with a fridge full of ranch dressing.

Between the genuinely gripping college professor plot and the sheer thrill of seeing your vote play out on-screen, it was almost impossible to pay attention to Kono's subplot with Sang Min. But when she found him standing outside his ex-wife's house decked out in a suit and cradling a bouquet, looking like a kid who just got stood up on prom night, it added an intriguing layer of depth to a man who has not always been the most sympathetic of characters.

Hawaii Five-0 isn't the first show to use an Internet viewer poll to decide a plot point - that honor would belong to the esteemed Ryan-Reynolds-career-footnote Two Guys and a Girl, which used this technique for their series finale in 2001. But Hawaii Five-0 is the first show to do it in over a decade, and the first to make use of technologies like Twitter to do it in real time. Will it be the last? Judging by how much fun it was to play along this week, I doubt it.

Did you vote on this episode? How did you decide who the killer was? Do you think we'll be seeing more TV shows in the future that let viewers take control of the plot?


Editor Rating: 3.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.1 / 5.0 (150 Votes)

Wouldn't mind seeing Eric back as Fong's intern. Fun episode and so nice to see the emphasis on the team and all getting good screen time. More team the better for me.


Kapu was a fun episode. I honestly had little interest in the crime of the week and didn't have a compelling reason to vote for any of them, but there were so many good McDanno and Kono scenes that it made up for the flat crime drama. Loved Kono and Sang Min. Will Yun Lee is awesome as Sang Min, really brings that character to life in the few scenes that he had. Going from his sarcastic spicy comment to seeing him forlornly sitting on the curb watching his old family. He and Grace Park have great chemistry, making the scenes fun and poignant. Steve, Danny and Eric were a treat. Wasn't sure about Eric, but he came across as a regular mouthy kid, not overbearing and obnoxious. I liked Danny playing the bad guy and showing him tough love. Great McDanno scenes, particularly at the sorority house and the two dads comment. Loved how that was handled. Nice touch at the end with Kono/Sang Min, Danny/Eric and Steve visiting the sick kid. Wouldn't mind seeing Eric back as Fong's intern. Fun episode and so nice to see the emphasis on the team and all getting good screen time.


A poll. Do you feel that the bromance between Steve and Danny has lost its mojo this season? I have heard these comments on other fan forums that this season they are not sdeeing like a lot of bromance, just a little bit. Also less carguements as well. I know Peter said that the carguemente was going to take place at other sceneries but so far people are not seeing carguements outside the car so much, with the exception of the dighy episode and the Field trip episode.


Danny did a great job with his nephew, and I hope we see him again. I think the chemistry between Danny and Steve is what makes the show different, because it exists between the two actors that play the roles. I've enjoyed this season.
I thought the voting thing was fun. I hope they do it again next year. I voted for the student, but I could see why people voted for the boss. Loved Sang Min and Kono. We certainly have seen them portray Kono as no longer a rookie. I'm glad we are seeing so much more of Kono, and it looks like Chin will have a good part next week.


i thought it was VERY GOOD....and i feel, that there is STILL chemistry between danny & steve....in fact, McDanno IS my WHOLE reason for watching the show...and i saw NOTHING wrong with what danny said to his nephew. alisa


I absolutely loved the episode ! The Season has been great and I think the chemistry with all the characters is fantastic. It's nice to see the ratings rebounding too. Hopefully we'll have many more years of our 5-0 !!


Oh, and Danny trashing Eric's mom like that totally annoyed me as well. Wow Danny, what gives you the right to trash your sisters parenting skills. Eric seemed like any kid his age to me and a lot more observant than you.


The nephew and the San Ming storylines were the best, not because of any realism but because the characters were at least engaging. The team act like dumb and dumber and are laughable as law enforcement. None of the suspects were believable and Danny's pep talk to his nephew was condensending and incredibly judgemental, especially coming from someone who does nothing but whine and complain. Kono at least has some heart and is still engaging no matter what story she's given. Danny gets more annoying and useless each week and Steve couldn't be more stereotypical. There is no chemistry between Steve and Danny anymore. Its hard to believe that these characters used to be interesting.


I wasn't sure how this episode would be, but I liked it a lot. I watched the east coast feed at 7 p.m, picked the college boss as he seemed the most likely, then watched it again at 10 p.m.
I liked Danny's nephew and would like him to come back. Also enjoyed Jeff
Fahey as the dad. Steve's scene with him and his son was so great. Alex is indeed looking super hot and healthy.
Also, liked Kono's scene with Sang Min. Quite sweet. I don't care for the Sang Min character usually, because the actor practically chews the scenery, but I liked a bit more here.
We're halfway through the season. I hope HF-0 is on track for the remainder.


Someone mentioned that they didn't know why Kono left Sang in the room, I also wondered about that. Just watched again and the attorney told Kono that the officer with him was there to relieve her.

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Hawaii Five-0 Season 3 Episode 12 Quotes

Eric: What am I supposed to do in there?
Danny Williams: Why don't you go meditate on the poor life decisions you've made?

Check these lapels, huh? Tony Montana style!

Sang Min