For many of the die-hard “Hawaii Five-0” fans, season four was one of the strongest — and dare I say the best season — since the start of the action drama. The best because of the stronger storylines; more mature character development; the addition of likable cast members; and great guest appearances by several well-loved actors and entertainers.
While season one left me giddy with anticipation for more, season two and three left me feeling a bit like I got ditched after a really hot date. While I never felt the need to break up with my main squeeze, I sure needed season four and its renewed energy to bring the sexy back into my life.
I know not every fan will agree with me about this last year of “Five-0” being the best, but I’m sure many will say that it was pretty damn great.
When I asked fans to weigh-in on their favorite episodes of season four, 118 fans sent me their manaʻo and the results were not surprising. The top five episodes picked by fans were also my favorites of the season. And while I was not shocked by their choices, their reactions were very interesting.
Many fans responded to the survey to support Michelle Borth and voice their desire to see her character, Catherine Rollins, return to “Five-0.” Other fans expressed their love for continuing the bromantic dance between Alex O’Loughlin and Scott Caan, as McG and Danno. Several fans wrote about how moved they were by the Pearl Harbor episode and the show’s depiction of the Japanese internment camp at Honouliuli.
The No. 1 episode of the season, chosen by the small but vocal contingent of fans who answered the survey, was “Kū I Ka Pili Koko” (“Blood Brothers”) with an overall 51 percent share of the vote. Reading the online reaction to the episode after it aired in April, I was not at all shocked by this choice.
Fans who love both O’Loughlin and Caan chose this episode, and while the main reason for their choice had to do with the two stars as the focus of the episode, they also loved the reaction of the rest of the team as they worked to rescue their friends. Some fans were quite frank about why they loved the episode and chose it as their favorite.
“The episode brought the entire premise of brotherhood and friendship back to the forefront for me. That is what initially drew me to watch the series, and although I have observed the show go in different tangents, the underlying sense of brotherhood has always been just under the surface. In “Blood Brothers,” Steve and Danny’s relationship sprang to the forefront again and it was awesome. My love for the bromance was rejuvenated!” said Montana fan Lynnette Janssen.
Many fans liked the episode because of the team aspect shown by co-stars Daniel Dae Kim, Grace Park, Chi McBride and Michelle Borth. “Besides the fact that it was an intense, exciting episode, it showed the power of friendship with Steve and Danno and the whole team struggling to keep their emotions in check to save their boys,” said Vicki Rudolph.
I think the topper for many who commented on the survey was when McG and Danno confess their love for one another. “Kū I Ka Pili Koko” was the ultimate in bromantic perfection! The danger was riveting, but the way McGarrett and Danno took care of each other was the real heart of this episode for me. Everyone had been hanging on for an admission of love from these two and they finally delivered. They truly have become brothers. The rest of the team working so hard to save them proves their love and aloha for one another. I’m convinced that any one of them would gladly lay down their life for the others. That to me is the true meaning of ohana,” said Candy Abrams of Ohio.
The closest to a second place for season four fan favorites, were two episodes that were separated by only two percentage points. “Hoʻonani Makua Kāne” (“Honor thy Father”), or what many fans call the “Pearl Harbor” episode, had a tiny lead over “Makani ʻOlu a Holo Mālie” (“Fair Winds and Following Seas”).
Fans loved both episodes for the dramatic storylines, the actions by the team, and the dramatic reactions of series star Alex O’Loughlin.
“I loved “Makani ʻOlu a Holo Mālie” for one reason only. The incredible acting of Alex O’Loughlin. The scenes when he was a Taliban captive and the moments when he thought he was about to die were bone chilling and completely mesmerizing. Alex’s performance was simply incredible,” said Philadelphia fan Linda Stein.
O’Loughlin’s acting was mentioned again in several comments about “Hoʻonani Makua Kāne.”
“I didn’t have to think twice about this — the Pearl Harbor episode ranks right up there with “Hookman” from season three. This episode was very different from the usual procedural. Seeing and hearing about the internment camps was very moving and very sad. This episode gave the cast a chance to show us the range of their acting abilities outside of the (procedural) box. Alex O’Loughlin and James Saito were excellent — you could see how moved they were. I felt I was there as James recalled the events that took place after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. There were stunning visual effects throughout making it all the more realistic. We learned more about Steve’s family and all about the power of forgiveness. All-in-all an award-winning episode, at least in my book!” said Karen Dritto of New York.
Another top five episode, which also had a healthy share of votes, was the Thanksgiving episode with guest star Carol Burnett, “Hauʻoli Lā Hoʻomaikaʻi” (“Happy Thanksgiving”).
Guest star Carol Burnett, helped fans celebrate a very “Happy Thanksgiving” in season four.
“The episodes I like best are usually the ones that bring out the most emotions in me and make me both laugh and cry — which was definitely the case with “Hauʻoli Lā Hoʻomaikaʻi.” It had some of the best of my beloved ʻohana and personal moments in it — ranging from funny scenes (such as the extended ‘Five-0’ family’s baseball game) to very moving, emotional ones: Steve (O’Loughlin) and Aunt Deb (Burnett) at the HPD jail, Thanksgiving with Aunt Deb singing. I simply love Aunt Deb. Steve’s life would be so much easier if this lovely, humorous woman was his mom! Despite the very sad news from Aunt Deb, this was a ‘feel-good episode’ to me,” said German fan Angela Gerstner.
Rounding out the top five of fan choices for the best of season four was the season opener, “Aloha Kekahi i Kekahi” (“Love One Another”), which for me started the season four awesome ball rolling.
“This episode had it all for me. Drama, angst, action. It was just a perfect start into a season with such wonderful scenes in it,” said Sam Miller.
Really, there was a lot to be said about each of the episodes, and there were many others for which fans had strong feelings. Yet, I think these five had what everyone who watches loves about “Hawaii Five-0” — a sense of ʻohana, strong emotion, and a healthy dose of humor, as well as obvious aloha within the storylines.
And that definitely was delivered to fans this season. Let’s hope that continues on into season five.
REDUX SIDE NOTE
Good news for those of you attending this year’s “Hawaii Five-0” Sunset on the Beach on Sept. 13. The British rock band Bush will play a special concert after the big-screen showing of the season opener. Alex O’Loughlin fans will remember that the last song played on his short-lived show “Moonlight” was “Love Remains the Same” from Bush frontman Gavin Rossdale.
Wendie Burbridge is a published author, playwright and teacher. Reach her via Facebook and follow her on Twitter.
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I’m really not surprised at all by the Top 5 choices although my No. 1 was not the one who got the majority of votes. But as I said in the survey, this season was way too good to pick just 3 favorite episodes – let alone one single top-favorite episode. If I could have, I would have chosen at least 5 favorites or, most likely, even more 😉
Amazing review Wendie! I have to agree with the list, my favs too 🙂
Dearest Wendie: Mahalo for letting me share and, this week, contribute to my favorite blog! Every single one of the episodes above was fantastic and I loved and voted for them all.
While my comment with regard to Alex’s acting was in regard to “Makani ʻOlu a Holo Mālie”, it’s not a coincidence that there is a fantastic performance from Alex in every single of one these episodes. Steve’s terrified yelling of Danny’s name when he woke up in that collapsed building and Danny was not at his side. His teary eyed “Mahalo” at receiving his grandfather’s baseball glove from David. His terror at the hands of the Taliban and his grief over possibly losing Cath. The moment he found out his beloved Aunt Deb was there to say goodbye. And his fear and relief over Cath’s kidnapping in the premiere.
While the entire cast of Hawaii Five-0 always excel every time the writers really give them something to sink their teeth into and each and every one had stellar performances this past season I really hope the writers continue to give Alex more and more dramatic material to work with. I know I am biased but I really can’t wait to see him stretch his acting wings even more!
So many good ones that you couldn’t pick just three. Pearl Harbor … Aunt Deb … two episodes about Chin’s past … cute babies.
I’m eager for the DVD to come out. As enjoyable as the season was, the deleted scenes and featurettes always add to my enjoyment of the series.
I’m sure we can all agree that these episodes were all really good. The winner, well, I guess it depends on what group of fans you ask. But I honestly think the ranking is not important. Season four was despite some strange things happening the best season so far. At least I think so.
Thank you for quoting me. Very happy to be able to be a small part of your wonderful blog.
Really looking forward to the new season. Hopefully with more good action, great acting and wonderful stories.
Season 4 was definitely the winner here, with more individual stellar episodes than bad ones! This was a fun survey as it made me think about the entire past season and helped me reflect on why I still love this show! Like you, Wendie, it hasn’t always been easy to see where this show was going, but in retrospect, Season 4 smoothed out a lot of rocky areas and brought me back to what I love most – bromance and Ohana! The other great thing about this survey is that it was sent out to fans across the board – not just one particular camp or the other – so you ended up with unbiased results. Thanks for allowing me to voice my opinion on the survey and even quoting me! So very ready now for Season 5 to get underway!
Hope borth never come back i think actors themselfs of the show don t want her back
Hi Wendie, I was a little worried by no posting last week after the storms in Hawaii. I hope all is well with you and your family.
I agree with all three of the above episodes. I have to choose the Pearl Harbor one for just the content mainly. It was well written, fair, and of course great acting. I agree with you that the first season hooked me, the next 2 could have been better, although they had their moments. Season 4 showed so much of all of the characters. Even though I am a big Catherine fan, the episode where she left should be right in there, in my opinion. The emotions from both Alex and Michelle was incredible. I think Alex is truly underrated. So looking forward to season 5, and knowing we are going to get some answers in the 100th episode makes me even more anxious.