Each September, the DVD compilation of the previous season of “Hawaii Five-0” arrives a few weeks before the premiere of the new season. The timing of the release usually happens just in time to ease the long wait fans have endured during the summer hiatus. The season nine DVD collection is no different from the last eight series DVD sets. It includes six discs of all 25 episodes, deleted and extended scenes from certain episodes, as well as short features like “Shorelines” which breaks down special moments from different episodes, as well as the much-anticipated gag reel.
Producer David Naylor and his crew delivered another great collection that any “Hawaii Five-0” viewer would appreciate and enjoy. This year’s compilation also includes two other special features — “Five-0 @200” which highlights the 200th episode of the series, and “Giving Thanks” — an intimate discussion between executive producer Peter Lenkov and main cast member Chi McBride. The two discussed the Thanksgiving episode which McBride wrote for season nine. Highlights of the gag reel involved a lot of main cast members Meaghan Rath and Beulah Koale dancing, series star Alex O’Loughlin doing funny faces and joking around using his Australian accent, as well as lots of bleeped-out dialogue.
While fans always love revisiting the last season through the DVD collection, they are particularly interested in what the cast has to say about creating the episodes and what they think about working together. Fans especially love hearing from O’Loughlin, who drops several gems about directing, his character, and working with other actors on the show.
This special feature highlights the epic 200th episode of the series, “Pua aʻe la ka uwahi o ka moe” (“The Smoke Seen in the Dream Now Rises”) which has the “Hawaii Five-0” characters doubling as 1940s versions of themselves. “We obviously knew we wanted to do something special for the 200th episode, and we had this idea to link it to the events leading up to Pearl Harbor in the 1940s in Hawaii and cut back between that and this present day crime — a cold case that we’re trying to solve,” said co-executive producer Matt Wheeler, who also co-wrote the episode.
The case is of special interest to McGarrett. His grandfather, Steven McGarrett, who died on the USS Arizona on Dec. 7, 1941, and his friend Milton Cooper, worked the case before the attack on Pearl Harbor. They wanted to solve the famed HPD detective Chang Apana’s last unsolved case. The episode is certainly what executive producer Peter Lenkov says is “something that really gets people to want to watch it over and over again.”
“That episode sort of afforded us all an opportunity to do something different, to play and have fun, and take risks… it was great to be able to … be a little caricature and live a little differently,” said O’Loughlin, who also gets a chance to play his grandfather, Steven McGarrett in the 1940s moments of the episode. Series co-star Scott Caan plays his friend and fellow detective Milton Cooper, who was played by veteran actor Richard Herd in the present day moments of the episode.
Cast and crew worked hard to create the Hawaii of 1941. CGI was used to recreate a realistic look for the time period — from recreating the shoreline and skyline of Waikiki to look like the pre-war version of Hawaii. Special vintage cars, guns, clothing, jewelry, and hats were used so the actors could fit into the time period. They even had a big band style of the “Five-0” theme song in the opening sequence. The special feature really gave us a great glimpse behind the scenes of the legendary episode.
SHORELINES: SEASON 9
This special feature is always fun to watch, as it is like watching the entire season on fast-forward. Some of the best moments from the short is when O’Loughlin shares about what he thinks of Joe White, played by Terry O’Quinn, who died in “Pio ke Kukui, Po‘ele ka Hale” (“When the Light Goes Out, the House Is Dark”), and when Beulah Koale shares about working with O’Loughlin, who directed the season nine episode, “Eʻao luʻau a kualima” (“Offer young taro leaves to …”).
O’Loughlin has an interesting take on his feelings about Joe White. “As an actor, I’ve always sort of approached the relationship between my character and Joe White as a sort of paternal thing, as a hanai paternal relationship,” said O’Loughlin. Hānai is a Hawaiian word meaning, “foster child, adopted child.” It is very common in Hawaii to have a hānai child or to have a hānai father or mother. O’Loughlin’s explanation about how he feels about the Joe White character helps to explain how heartbreaking and life-altering the loss of Joe is to McGarrett.
Another special moment in the feature is when Beulah Koale shares about his experience being directed by O’Loughlin. “That episode is probably my favorite episode that I’ve ever shot for Five-0, not only because “big brother” was directing it — Alex is pretty much my big brother out here — but because the writers gave me a chance to do my thing. I got a chance to dive into a little bit of the darkness and sadness that every person has.”