Hawaii Five-0 season 2 gets off to paranoid start

Hawaii Five-0 kicked off its second season with an episode full of paranoia and more than a bit of coincidence.

Trying to keep spoilers to a minimum, here’s a recap: McGarrett 2.0 did, was exonerated (eventually) but not before getting stabbed in prison by the guy who killed his father last season. But that was a ruse because McG was stabbed in such a way to avoid major organs. Dad’s killer figured Wo Fat would eventually silence him so he decided to help McG escape. The Big Kahuna did just that, overcoming two ambulance attendants despite still bleeding.

Also, it turns out McG’s father knew a (now elderly) former Japanese World War II bomber pilot who moved to Hawaii, got rich and wanted to atone for bombing Pearl Harbor. So he backed the senior McG’s secret investigation. And, good ol’ dad, in the course of that investigation did something that conveniently provided the proof that McG 2.0 was innocent. Finally, McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin), despite losing lots of blood earlier in the show, is able to jump from a speed boat to a yacht and come up shooting.

Wo Fat, though, continues to be an interesting menace. Turns out Wo (Mark Dacascos) was involved in a lucrative deal involving materials that could be used to make a “dirty” bomb. And he managed to infiltrate the prison disguised as a guard to silence his former confederate. And somebody who we thought was McG’s ally (another legacy character from the original series who got a sex change in this new version) is really another lackey. Or is she? Based on this episode, there may be other twists.

Well, that never happened on the original Hawaii Five-O

The producers of the new Hawaii Five-0 doubled down big time with the May 16 season finale. Nothing like that ever happened on the original 1968-80 Hawaii Five-O show.

If you didn’t see it but intend to see it on DVR or Comcast On Demand, then stop reading now. Don’t say we didn’t warn you. (UPDATE: The episode is on the CBS Web site and you can view it BY CLICKING HERE.)

(SPOILERS APLENTY FOLLOW)

The Governor (Jean Smart) was allied with Wo Fat. Steve McGarrett 2.0 (Alex O’Loughlin) dresses up like a ninja, breaks into the Governor’s residence (for the second time in the episode). The Big Kahuna confronts her, admits her role in the conspiracy. Then, Wo Fat (who hasn’t been seen in several episodes except in still pictures) tasers McGarrett. Wo Fat then kills the Governor with McG’s gun and slips out of the residence. McGarrett’s under arrest, arrested for the Guv’s murder.

Meanwhile, Danno’s ex-wife is pregnant and is leaving Hawaii. Kono is also in trouble with the law. Chin Ho (evidently wisely) accepts a reinstaement offer from HPD. Five-0 doesn’t exist anymore. “To be continued….” it says at the end of the episode.

By contrast, in the old series, the Governor (Lew Ayres in the pilot, Richard Denning for the rest of the series) was a figure of virtue. Jack Lord’s McGarrett absolutely never pulled a gun on the Guv, nor was the Guv aligned with Wo Fat. Different era, different plot lines.

UPDATE II: A trivia note. Over the past several episodes, McGarrett was getting mysterious letters with pieces of evidence that had been stolen from his house. It turns out an aide to the Governor was sending them, to help McGarrett (she got killed at the start of the May 16 episode). The “Steve McGarrett” handwriting on those envelopers matches McGarrett 1.0’s handwriting in the original show. It was shown (appropriately enough) in a Wo Fat episode of the original show, The Ninety Second War.