Each hiatus season, fans love to discuss, dissect, and delve into each episode of the past season, reliving and reviewing all their favorite “Hawaii Five-0” scenes and scenarios. If you haven’t noticed, or perhaps have not experienced the Five-0 fandom, they are a knowledgeable and loyal bunch. They know their Five-0 like people proverbially know the back of their hand or the curve of their sweetheart’s smile.
So I wasn’t a bit surprised by the episodes that fans choose as their favorites. The top four episodes fans seemed to favor from season seven, focused heavily on their favorite theme — the friendship between McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) and Danno (Scott Caan). What used to be called a bromance has really developed into more of a brotherhood between the two characters. This season, the fan favorites have really reflected how viewers love the episodes that revolved around this strong friendship.
The unofficial and rather casual poll I took via the Five-0 Redux Facebook page, basically gave fans an option to list their favorite episode from this last season, and tell me why they liked it. After looking at all of their responses on the page, and via my Twitter feed, I wasn’t shocked at what episodes were mentioned over and over again.
At the top of the list was episode 723 “Weheʻana” (“Prelude”). This episode focused on Danny, along with his former Captain Tanaka (Michael Paul Chan), trying to protect the key witness from the last HPD case he worked before meeting Steve and joining Five-0. The witness, Aheʻahe Makino (played by Hawaiʻi actor Crichton Uale), who has been in coma for seven years, is now showing signs of consciousness. The cartel who originally ordered his death, has returned to silence him once and for all, and Danno must protect him with the help of Tanaka and Makino’s nurse, Jenny Kitson (Lori Petty).
The episode was full of action, and great flashback scenes to Danno’s time in HPD as the “haole” cop who did not watch enough “Magnum, P.I.” to know how to solve crimes in Hawaiʻi. We all love to see how he was treated as a new detective from the mainland, and how that turned into something far more positive when he joined the Five-0 Task Force. Italian fan Maria Grazia wrote via Twitter, “[the episode] proved once again that Steve and Danny met in their darkest time and brought light to each other’s lives.”
Five-0 fan Lee Laurence, wrote via Facebook, about how “there were so many outstanding episodes last season it is hard to pick one, but I have to go with 723. Mainly for the way it tied so well back to the pilot episode. Even though the team was separated for the majority of the episode there was still such an undercurrent of ohana throughout. This episode was extremely well-written, well-acted, and overall just well-executed. Longtime fans were treated to little ‘easter eggs’ sprinkled throughout the episode and the meticulous attention to detail was wonderful. Ending it with Danny talking about Hawaii being home and his team being his family was perfect.”
Des Moines fan Amy Bower DeCastro agreed “100% with [Laurence]. Seeing Danny [talk about the team being his family] at the end gave me a lump in [my] throat,” she wrote on the Facebook page. Susan Morrell of Utah also wrote on the Facebook page about how she liked “backstory episodes, so seeing how Danny’s last case with HPD turned into his first case with Five-0 was a great transition. Plus [Lori Petty as Nurse Jenny] was excellent.” Belle Anderson wrote via Twitter, how she liked the episode “because it brought the show full circle back to the beginning. Without that case there may never have been a Five-0.”
Another episode fans loved because of the McGarrett-Danno connection was episode 718 “E mālama pono” (“Handle with Care”). The episode focused on Steve and Danno tracking down the missing uranium that they failed to recover in “Ka ʻaelike” (“The Deal”), the episode which was rebroadcasted this week. It is used by bad guy Desmond Abati (Darius Rucker) who has built a bomb in the middle of the jungle. McG and Danno have to carefully extract the unstable explosive through treacherous terrain before it detonates. The entire episode was full of action, humor, and the two men bonding on a completely new level. Fans loved watching the two work together to save the day, as well as seeing the two discuss their future as partners, and friends.
Linda Stein of Philadelphia wrote via Facebook, “there were so many great episodes this season, it’s really hard to narrow it down to just one. But if I have to choose just one I’m going with ‘E mālama pono.’ The parachute jump, the trek through the jungle with the bomb, all the talk about Danny’s maybe/someday retirement, and how that would affect not only Danny but Steve as well. [Even] “Steve’s” Restaurant — it just goes on and on. I’ve watched every episode this season numerous times, but none more than this one. Not only was that episode fantastic in and of itself, and the Steve and Danny moments were pure joy, but it also sets up so much for what we’ll see in [season eight].”
Angèle Simone who lives in Italy, wrote via Twitter, that her favorite was 718, and 723, for seemingly the same reason. “Fate has determined their entry into each other’s [lives], to share together their path, [which is a] link that unites them. [This] will always be the basis of ‘Hawaii Five-0’.” Ivana Ivankovic of Croatia also wrote Twitter, “this is [a] hard question (for me) [as] any episode where we can see a lot of ‘McDanno’ moments is great.” Ivankovic is referencing the fan term for McG and Danno’s relationship, which many fans love to watch and see cultivated. And fan Amy Vining said it the best, via Twitter, “the heart and soul of ‘Hawaii Five-0’ has always been Steve and Danny and this episode showed all aspects of their relationship perfectly.”
Another episode that fans picked as a favorite, was one that showed McGarrett’s depth of character. Episode 724 “He keʻu na ka ʻalae a Hina” (“A croaking by Hina’s mudhen”) has McGarrett getting a tip about a potential terrorist attack on Oʻahu. Naser Salaam (Omid Abtahi), an inmate at Gitmo, who McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) once showed great kindness to after he was captured by McG’s SEAL team ten years earlier, shares with him the terrorist plot and encourages him to stop it, mainly out of respect for McGarrett and his family. The episode not only showed McGarrett’s great compassion and respect for an enemy combatant, but also his desire to honor the mutual respect he and Salaam share.
Sally Amelotti a fan from O’Fallon, Missouri, wrote via the Facebook page, that she “loved episode 724. I loved that we saw McG as a Navy SEAL and how he treated [Salaam] with respect. . . His team didn’t buy [Salaam’s] info, but Steve trusted him. At the end, when [McGarrett] gave him water and sat with him and answered his question [about] why [McGarrett] treated him that way, McG said, ‘because we all come into this world the same. I think we forget that sometimes.’ It is good to see the soft side of Steve and the message was a good one we all should remember. [It’s] hard to choose this year. [Season seven] was awesome, but this one stuck out to me.”
And Amelotti was not alone. Helma Gerth-Koelman from The Netherlands, also wrote via the Facebook page, that she has “seen many good episodes this season. My favourite is 724, [with] Steve showing compassion to a prisoner, treating him as a human.” Susan Morrell wrote that she “loved the scenes with McG and the Muslim prisoner. Both actors excelled at conveying their thoughts and feelings with little words.”
Other favorites was the 150th episode 707 “Ka Makuahine a me ka Keiki kāne” (“Mother and Son”) and episode 722 “Waimaka ʻEleʻele,” which means “Black Tears.” Morrell wrote again that she “loved seeing Catherine and Doris again. I loved that Cath told Steve she would have said ‘yes,’ which I hope leaves the door open for a future proposal. And I loved the backstory with Doris and Wo Fat’s father. Side notes: Max as John Wick, Adam and Kono reuniting, and Chin getting custody of Sarah were all priceless!” Fan Vanessa Mateo from New York wrote via Facebook that 722 was her favorite because “the connection to [McGarrett’s] grandfather and Pearl Harbor was well done. The info he got about his grandfather and how he died was [also] well done.” Gail Weaver Robertson of Yorktown, Virginia also enjoyed 722. She wrote via Facebook that the episode was a “poignant story for Steve and [was filled with] crazy good action.”
There were so many fans who wrote in about several episodes that they loved– and many had similar comments as Five-0 Redux Facebook page co-admin Angela Gerstner from Munich, Germany, who wrote to me so succinctly, “this show is just way too good to choose just one favorite episode.” I do not think Gerstner is alone in her opinion. After reading about the different favorites, I’m positive there are many other episodes that could have been discussed, dissected, and delved into from season seven.