With the past two or three episodes in particular, my perception of the kind of show that Hawaii Five-0 is aiming to be have changed. I mean, when it became clear that Steve’s sister had been kidnapped, I definitely anticipated a certain type of an episode. (You know, the type where the kidnapped character isn’t rescued until the very end, complete with ominous phone calls, mysterious villains and other such things.) Honestly, I wasn’t really prepared at all for it to be as exciting or as unpredictable as it turned out to be. Whilst the show can be lighthearted and fun, it has also grown to be emotional and compelling. With its most mythology-heavy offering yet, Hawaii Five-0 is proving to be much more than the simple procedural that I’d initially expected it to be.
I really appreciate the fact that all the way through ‘Ke Kinohi,’the things you expect to happen often don’t, or are altered ever so slightly. As I mentioned just before, with a kidnapping episode, there’re a couple of things that you can guess beforehand. However, would you have guessed that Steve would find Mary Ann within the first fifteen minutes of the episode? Or that she wouldn’t be a typical damsel in distress, instead being incredibly resourceful and smart? In fact, even when the Governor reveals that she herself has close ties to the obviously evil (secret) Yakuza boss Hiro Noshimuri, she doesn’t take Steve ‘off the case’or anything absurd like that – she sits down, has a beer, listens to his evidence and warns him to proceed with caution. Thankfully, this isn’t an episode where you can guess how it’ll all turn out.
Furthermore, I’ve been eagerly awaiting an episode that truly gets into the details of the background story for some time now. Whilst the standalone weekly adventures have been and will continue to be loads of fun, Five-0 needs to set itself aside from other casual procedurals by not only having an intriguing plot but complex character relationships that really make sense. I think it’s clear that without a great story arc, the show would lack cohesion and feel unsatisfying. There is a great story arc here, and in many ways this episode set out to prove it. There’s easily enough mystery to keep me interested, especially with the fact that this little mission of Steve’s is far from over.
And whilst I might be in the minority, I have to admit that I totally love Steve’s relationship with his sister Mary Ann (Taryn Manning). It’s portrayed in a realistic way and Alex O’Loughlin steps up to all the challenges that this episode provides (I certainly think more of him as an actor since watching last night’s installment). Once again, I must emphasize that I’m glad that Mary Ann wasn’t shown as being a complete idiot, and that she displays competent police skills which keep her on a similar level to the Five-0 team. The pure fact that she’s Steve’s last remaining family attachment mean’s that he’ll do anything to protect her, but he doesn’t do anything out of character such as getting too panicked by the situation. This is all executed so well that when the emotional moment towards the end of the episode happened, I really believed it.
Not only was there great story and interesting character relationships, this episode also managed to be one of the best paced offerings of Hawaii Five-0 yet (which is impressive, especially after ‘Hana ‘a’a Makehewa’). The whole thing moved at a relentlessly rapid speed, keeping you on the edge of your seat whilst also having some of the most exciting action of the series so far (there’s at least a couple of shootouts and a helicopter/car chase). It sets up for future developments in interesting ways and there’s even a little appearance from Wo Fat. Now that I know for certain that Hawaii Five-0 has a clear idea of where it’s headed, I can feel much more comfortable about the show’s overall mythology whilst still finding it to be a tremendously enjoyable hour of television.