Every time I send out a fan favorites survey, I always hope “Hawaii Five-0” fans pick episodes I never would have thought of.
This year, I’m not really surprised by the episodes that ended up in the top five. To be honest, they were pretty much the same ones I would have chosen — with perhaps one small exception.
I’m biased though; I like “Hawaii Five-0.” I enjoy watching the show, I love the characters, and it goes without saying that I have a lot of aloha for where the series is set and filmed. So it’s easy to agree with fan choices, because their reasons for being drawn to an episode most likely correspond with my own thoughts.
I asked one simple question: “Which episode from the end of season four and the start of season five was your favorite?”
Fans from the United States and around the world responded quickly and willingly. Their comments were fun to read and quite astute about “Five-0” and I enjoyed seeing the highlights from the past year through their eyes.
The top five actually broke down into six episodes, as there was a tie for fourth place. While more than 100 responses, the vast diversity of fans from Europe, Australia, South America, Canada, Hawai’i and the United States helped give me a good picture of which episodes they loved.
1. “INA PAHA” (“IF PERHAPS”)
The 100th episode was something to talk about and a treat for fans who have been with the Five-0 crew since the pilot. While I was not at all surprised at the choice of their favorite episode for 2014, I was surprised at the sheer number of votes.
With a 61 percent share of all votes, “Inā Paha” was the obvious fan favorite. Fans loved Alex O’Loughlin’s “stellar” performance and many credited his acting as one of the reasons why they choose the episode.
Sarah Gorleston from the United Kingdom also liked O’Loughlin’s acting.
“It was an extremely well written 100th episode [and we] saw different sides to the main characters,” she said.
Others loved all parts of the show, along with the acting, the writing, the action and the work of the entire cast.
“It had everything I love about this show — and all of it was very well blended: The comedy, the action, the drama and the emotions. And the ending with the Five-0 ʻohana coming to Steve’s rescue — accompanied by the tailor-made song “All of One” (by Five For Fighting) — was just perfect,” said German fan Angela Gerstner.
Jana Flint from Woodland Hills, Calif. said it best.
“It’s just an overall amazing story that is brilliantly executed. Being able to see what life would be like if Steve’s father never died and how each character’s life would be different was a thrilling ride. Plus, throw in the emotional punch of Steve’s kidnapping and the confrontation with Wo Fat and the audience is left hanging at the edge of their seats. Literally.
“Overall, this episode was great. Amazing writing, Even more amazing acting from the entire cast, but Alex knocked it out of the park. And just being able to celebrate the team and the legacy that ‘Hawaii Five-0’ has created was just enough to make anyone tear up with happiness. And that’s exactly what I did.”
Many fans gave massive props to Mark Dacascos for his portrayal of the Wo Fat.
“Only downside was that we lost a powerful actor, Mark Dacascos, with the demise of Wo Fat. No other baddy will ever be as hated and loved at the same time,” said UK resident Manu Pari.
Lynnette Janssen from Volborg, Mont. wrapped up many fans’ thoughts rather nicely.
“It was a loving gift to the … fans, and if you’ve been here from the beginning, you got it!”
2. ‘KU I KA PILI KOKO’ (‘BLOOD BROTHERS’)
This choice was also no surprise, as fans chose it as their favorite episode from season four.
Of course, they loved it for the same reasons they loved it last season: the bromance between McGarrett (O’Loughlin) and Danno (Scott Caan). With 19 percent of the votes, “Kū I Ka Pili Koko” was way ahead of the third place option.
“It’s so touching to see two men, despite their macho exteriors, be that honest with one another in terms of their emotions and vulnerability,” said California fan Harry Martin.
“(It was) a great tribute to Steve and Danny’s relationship and how it grounds the show,” said Samantha Simard of New Hampshire.
Many fans said the relationship between McG and Danno was the same reason why they liked many of the other episodes as well.
“‘Kū I Ka Pili Koko’ was written in a way that showed exactly how much these two men would do to keep each other alive; that their relationship had truly turned into one of brothers, even though they are not related by blood,” said New York fan Donna Balardi.
3. ‘KA HANA MALU’ (‘INSIDE JOB’)
We could say that third, fourth and fifth place came out about the same.
“Ka Hana Malū,” which just aired two weeks ago, had six percent of the overall vote and was only a percentage point away from fourth place. Still, fans loved it almost as much as the loved last year’s Thanksgiving episode again starring the incomparable Carol Burnett as McGarrett’s Aunt Deb. This year, “Five-0” offered up another treat to work alongside Burnett, crooner Frankie Valli.
“Love Frankie Valli and Carol Burnett. The two of them together were just brilliant. Wonderfully written episode,” said Dana McKibbon from Seattle, Wash.
Several fans watched the filming of this episode when they visited Hawaii before Sunset on the Beach, like fans Tim Miller from Plano, Tex. and Leslie Marsh of Ringgold, Georgia. Both said the episode was their favorite because of that special memory.
Overall, the episode will most likely be another fan favorite as it brings the Five-0 ʻohana together for a wedding, had stellar guest stars, and allowed the entire crew to work a case together on an even playing field.
4.‘NĀ HALA A KA MAKUA’ (‘SINS OF THE FATHER’) AND ‘MAKANI ‘OLU A HOLO MALIE’ (‘FAIR WINDS AND FOLLOWING SEAS’)
Both fourth place choices had five percent of the votes, yet they differ with fans about why they love these episodes. “Sins of the Father” again went back to their love of McG and Danno and their intricate relationship.
“I love Danny and Steve in this episode. The silent communication between them when they are “kidnapped” by Michael Madsen,” said Laura O’Rourke of California. Many fans loved the snappy humor, the car chases and carguments that peppered this episode.
In “Fair Winds and Following Seas” they loved the Cath and McG storyline. Many fans expressed their sorrow at having to say goodbye to Catherine in season four. “Totally miss Catherine,” said Dallas fan Janelle Robles.
5. ‘KA NO’EAU’ (‘THE PAINTER’)
The fans loved this episode because of Scott Caan’s performance. I was very surprised it was beat by two season four episodes. I thought this one was a much stronger episode than “Sins of our Father.” But it had a four percent share of the vote, so there wasn’t too much of a loss.
“I loved the team integration in this episode, Chin and Steve rallying around Danny in order to help him save his brother,” said Janet Kolsky from Los Angeles. “And it was just a delight to see Scott be given material he could truly sink his teeth into. He was at his absolute best in that final showdown with Reyes.”
I also liked this episode because they wrapped up the Matt Williams story, although it was a heartbreaking ending.
ALL OF the fan favorites were episodes we all could possibly say were favorites from last season and for the start of season five. I know many fans are looking forward to seeing what else “Five-0” has in store for us this season. If it’s anything like 2014, it will be another fantastic year.
REDUX SIDE NOTE
“Ke Koho Mamao Aku” (“Longshot”) will be the last new episode for the year on Dec. 12. The episode was partially shot on the Big Island and will celebrate Christmas with the Five-0 ʻohana.
Wendie Burbridge is a published author, playwright and teacher. Reach her via Facebook and follow her on Twitter.