Hawaii Five-0 Season 10 Episode 22 Review: Aloha

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In the fall of 2010, Peter M. Lenkov took a big gamble, re-envisioning a well-remembered police procedural from the past for new generations. 

It was a bet that paid off big time as Hawaii Five-0 said "Aloha" after 10 seasons on Hawaii Five-0 Season 10 Episode 22.

Reboots are a tricky business as creators are messing with viewers' sense of nostalgia.

Danny is Wounded - Hawaii Five-0

Five-0 is undoubtedly the most successful reboot. Other top-notch efforts include One Day at a Time, Battlestar Galactica, Charmed, Roswell, Dynasty, and Lost in Space.

Consigned to the scraphead of history are such messes as Charlie's Angels and Bionic Woman. 

Saving a Life - Hawaii Five-0 Season 10 Episode 22

Lenkov, previously known as executive producer of CSI: New York and 24, made all the right moves with this reboot.

He kept the gorgeous scenery of Hawaii as the backdrop for exciting action sequences.

He kept the iconic theme song, one of the two best themes in TV history (along with Mission Impossible, but the movies have kept that alive).

That's what they call good bones in the building trade.

Not a Moment Too Soon - Hawaii Five-0 Season 10 Episode 22

Lenkov scrapped everything else and rebuilt it from the foundation up.

That foundation would be the beloved series' memorable characters.

For the Five-0 task force's commander, Lenkov replaced block of wood Jack Lord with Alex O'Loughlin, who gave us a Steve McGarrett who was an action hero but also could emote and be laugh-out-loud funny.

The original series had McGarrett and the underlings who carried out his orders.

Newest Agents - Hawaii Five-0 Season 10 Episode 22

The reboot's task-force members had much bigger personalities.

That started with Scott Caan's Danny Williams. Unlike James MacArthur's competent but quiet No. 2 Danno, Danny, a New Jersey transplant, quickly became McGarrett's bickering buddy and BFF.

Their classic back-and-forths on the way to crime scenes even led to the term "carguments."

Chin Ho Kelly evolved from Kam Fong Chun's wily veteran (his son Dennis played Duke on the new version) to Daniel Dae Kim's disgraced cop, given a second chance by McGarrett. Chin lost one tragic love then found another during his seven seasons.

The biggest change of all was Kono Kalakaua, played as a native stereotype by Zulu in the original but who became a female surfer turned cop, and was also Chin's cousin, portrayed by Grace Park.

Kono fell for Yakuza Adam Noshimuri (Ian Anthony Dale), eventually redeeming and marrying him.

Lentov sprinkled colorful new characters among the task force members, including bombastic Chicago transplant Lou Grover (Chi McBride), gangster turned entrepreneur Kamekona (Taylor Wily), conspiracy theorist and hacker Jerry Ortega (Jorge Garcia), and eccentric coroner Max (Masi Oka).

As happens on long-running series, things started to evolve following Hawaii Five-0 Season 7, when Kim and Park sought salaries and status equal to those of O'Loughlin and Caan.

They didn't get what they wanted and left, Kim becoming executive producer of The Good Doctor and Park joining A Million Little Things.

The show's most prominent Asian actors leaving resulted in temporary blowback.

Then new characters Tani Ray (Meaghan Rath), who was kicked out of the police academy, and Junior Reigns, like McGarrett a former SEAL, were added to replace of Kono and Chin.

Adam returned, newly separated from Kono, and joined the task force after a personal spiral, although his role never was clearly defined.

Bloody Mess - Hawaii Five-0 Season 10 Episode 22

Viewers warmed to Tani and Junior, who became a couple this season, along with later additions coroner Noelani and ex-Army cop Quinn.

Ending the show after 10 seasons sadly did seem to come out of the blue. 

Lenkov recently explained to TV Line that the decision to conclude rested with CBS and wasn't forced by O'Loughlin, who had long dealt with injuries from handling his own stunts.

In that same interview, Lenkov said he always planned a season finale so that it could serve as a series finale, with no cliffhangers.

Opportunity Missed - Hawaii Five-0 Season 10 Episode 22

That was certainly the case with Aloha, the ending of which could easily have been undone had an 11th season been ordered.

How many times has a character on a bubble show left at the end of the season only to return refreshed for the start of the next season, x months later?

Steve could have spent some time at an ashram, finding inner peace, then came back a more centered ass-kicker.

All things considered, this was an appropriate finale for Hawaii Five-0, as it celebrated the family within the squad.

Captured at Last - Hawaii Five-0 Season 10 Episode 22

Despite the lateness of the cancellation, the finale still felt organic, not hastily rearranged to fit the new finality.

Would a longer episode, so that Jerry, Kamekona, and Duke could have made finale appearances, been worthwhile?

Probably not. This finale did what needed to be done inside a tight 43 minutes, no easy feat.

Most importantly, it brought McGarrett full circle, from Wo Fat's scheme bringing him back to Hawaii to Wo Fat's widow being the last perp he takes down before leaving the islands, after solving the mystery of Doris.

Last Charge - Hawaii Five-0 Season 10 Episode 22

It was a great choice to bring back Wo Fat, Victor Hesse, and John McGarrett to fill in the gaps in Steve's origin story, bringing closure both to him and viewers.

Secondly, it celebrated the central brotherhood of Steve and Danny.

Their serious talks first in the hospital after Danny's surgery and then finally on the beach before Steve's departure were a welcome change, with the love between them cutting through the usual noise.

McGarrett asking Eddie to take care of Danny was the most tearjerking moment of all.

Before the Fire - Hawaii Five-0 Season 10 Episode 22

Thirdly, everyone got to say goodbye to him. He and Junior joining foreheads was the definite "I'll miss you most of all, Scarecrow" moment.

Finally, he reunited with Catherine (no surprise that she cracked the cipher), two lost souls jetting off into the future together.

Catherine was the only woman that ever got Steve, so it's only fitting that they should give their relationship one more try.

This was an ideal last visit to Hawaii and the Five-0 family. Everyone remained alive and looking ahead.

Damn. I'm going to miss that theme song. And this Friday night staple.

To pick your favorite moments, watch Hawaii Five-0 online.

How did you like the finale?

What will you remember most about the series?

Did it conclude at the right time?

Comment below.

Aloha Review

Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (51 Votes)

Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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