Much like the last nine season premieres — “Hawaii Five-0” never fails to deliver an action-packed episode heavy on cool stunts, car chases, gunfights, and fistfights. Add in a little emotional heart-tug, and we know the new season has officially begun.
The episode, titled “Ua ʻeha ka ʻili i ka maka o ka ihe,” is Hawaiian for “The skin has been hurt by the point of the spear,” was written by David Wolkove and Matt Wheeler, and based on a story by executive producer Peter M. Lenkov. This season opener was a little different than others as it felt like a throwback to the start of the series, and maybe that’s because the episode was directed by Duane Clark, who directed several episodes during the first four seasons of the series.
Another reason could be the return of the Champ box. Diehard “Hawaii Five-0” fans know that the red “Champ” toolbox that appeared in the epilogue of the episode, was the box McGarrett’s (Alex O’Loughlin) father referenced right before he was killed in the pilot episode. The contents of the box started off a mystery that seems to still haunt McGarrett today. Only now he is 10 years older, and while he knows what happened to his father and his mother — he still seems to be searching for answers. From the looks of the bomb that was placed in the box, it could mean that either the mystery may never be solved or it’s about to be reopened.
CHANGE IS INEVITABLE
Still, McGarrett seems to be in a good place as the season starts. He is getting back into the dating game, and thankfully, back to having a full head of hair, and he is still ready to do whatever is needed to catch the bad guys and solve the case. In most episodes, we often see him getting shot at while jumping onto a car or from one building to the next in order to catch the episode baddie. But this time the assassin McGarrett is chasing escapes, which is surprising, as McGarrett usually gets his man.
But it seems as if they are setting us up for something new. After 10 years, a series has to evolve to stay interesting and relevant to fans. So it’s rather fitting that after the guy gets away, Danno (Scott Caan) tells McGarrett, “Ten years ago you would have made that jump. You’re 40. Jumping off of buildings is a young man’s game.”
Yes, McGarrett is still in amazing shape, but after a liver transplant and radiation sickness, a few gunshot wounds and several broken bones, being tortured no less than three times, and almost dying on a few occasions — perhaps he is going to struggle with jumping off buildings in a single bound. Nonetheless, we’re ready to see McGarrett and the rest of the team change as the team moves into a new decade.
WELCOMING THE NEW GIRL
Another change that happened in this season premiere, was the introduction of Katrina Law, who plays Army CID agent Quinn Liu. She teams up with Five-0 after having a stand-off with McGarrett and Danno at the scenic Diamond Head lookout. When Danno says he’s having a “horrible deja vu” he is referencing the moment when Danno met McGarrett 10 years before and they faced off while they argued over which one of them was going to investigate John McGarrett’s murder. Again, another reminder of the start of the series and the Champ box.
Quinn helps Five-0 wrap up the case, adding her intel to the investigation. Her work with Army veterans who are dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder leads them to two veterans who have turned into guns for hire, both men she has been trying to keep from falling through the cracks. Danno makes several references to the fact that she is a lot like McGarrett, bold in her moves, not afraid of anything. When she gets shot she puts some gauze on her wound and says, “It’s better than my last one.” We all know who that sounds like.
But why does she have to be “just like McGarrett?” The same was said about Tani Rey (Meaghan Rath), yet thankfully, Rath made Tani her own person and someone interesting and unique. Let’s just hope the same happens with Law’s character. The jury is out, but right now, Quinn just seems like another tough girl with no real personality. Hopefully, this is just the “getting used to the team” phase and Law will begin to make the character her own.
SAYING ALOHA TO JERRY
As the new season starts, we find that Jerry (Jorge Garcia) was shot in the season nine finale. Not badly, but it causes him to make a life-changing decision to leave Five-0. Garcia is still listed as a series regular, but it seems he will drop down to a recurring character in future episodes. The ending ohana group hug was a perfect send-off for Jerry, who always was the most interesting character on “Hawaii Five-0.”
It was nice that Jerry had some kind of send-off and he wasn’t just killed off or written off into the sunset. While his departure does remind us all that changes are coming this year, it was a sweet moment to say aloha to Garcia and his character who has been with us since season four.