Hawaii Five-0 (with a zero) is a re-imagining of the 1968-1980 series Hawaii Five-O (with an O) that started airing in Fall 2010.It stars Alex O'Loughlin (Steve McGarrett), Scott Caan (Danny Williams), Grace Park (Kono Kalakaua), Daniel Dae Kim (Chin Ho Kelly), Jean Smart (Governor Pat Jameson) and Masi Oka (Max Bergman). In the new setting, McGarrett is a Navy SEAL whose father is murdered by an international terrorist he had been tracking, triggering the formation of what becomes the Five-0 unit, a special police force that operates above the normal state jurisdictions.Put character tropes in the Character Tab, please. A recap page is also available.
Hawaii Five-0 provides examples of the following tropes:
Action Mom: Doris McGarrett seems to have been one of these, and still is even though her son's grown up.
Affably Evil: Danny's brother, Matt. He is a money launderer, Wall Street fraud, and lifesavings thief, but he knows how to have fun.
Hawaii's pidgin English (officially "Hawaii Creole English") features in most episodes, as spoken by various minor characters. McGarrett, Kono, and Chin Ho all understand and can also speak it — to the confusion of Danno, the only member of the Five-0 team not born and reared in Hawaii. Even when not speaking purely in Pidgin, McGarrett, Kono, and Chin Ho often use da Pidgin kine expressions and phrases, brah.
Surfer: Ho, brah, where you eat it? Danno: I'm sorry, what? Surfer: Da kine, brah. Danno: I'm sorry, are you speaking English? Surfer: Hey no need for get agro. McGarrett: He caught it on land, brah... Danno don't surf. Surfer: Shoots. Danno: I dare you to tell me what he just said.
Danno has a very strong Joisey accent, which is pretty accurate for the region he claims to be from.
Steve's Tough Guy accent shades into some kind of New York/Joisey hybrid sometimes, even though he's from Hawaii. Maybe his Australian actor imprinted on Scott Caan?
For a show filmed mostly on location in Hawaii, there is a lot of artistic license, ranging from how they travel or respond to a location, to the naming of locations.
At the end of Danny's flashbacks to 9/11 in "I Ka Wa Mamua" during the third season, he sees police cars and ambulances racing past him to the burning Twin Towers. Yet the episode suggested that he and his late partner had learned that the drug deal was going down in Manhattan near the George Washington Bridge (and they're even shown crossing it to get there). That's way too far uptown for the towers to have been that close.
Artistic License - Gun Safety: To get the police out of the vehicle carrying the arrested robbers so they can get Catherine released in the fourth-season premiere "Aloha kekahi i kekahi", Steve fires into the air twice, something a Navy SEAL should surely know is dangerous and reckless regardless of the situation.
Ascended Extra: Lt. Catherine Rollins, McGarrett's on-and-off active-service Navy girlfriend who largely just serves to provide Five-0 with the lead to advance the case in the first season, becomes a full member of the regular cast in Season 3.
Subverted in "Kanalua". McGarrett and Danny have their guns drawn on the wounded survivor of the robbery at the beginning of the episode, who's got a hostage at gunpoint. All of a sudden, he falls to the ground, not from a gunshot anywhere but because he had died from his earlier wound. The subversion is lampshaded throughout that and the next scene, when Danny refuses to believe that McGarrett didn't actually do something, or even that he just knew the Mook would choose that exact moment to succumb.
Played straight at the end of "Malam Ka Aina" when Chin saves his cousin Sid.
And again when Danny saves Steve at the end of "Huaka'i Kula".
Bat Scare: After the Cat Scare in "Mohai", Danno gets his own scare in an allegedly haunted house form a flock of birds.
Batter Up: Rollins carries one when she and McGarrett hear an intruder in the house at the beginning of "Propilikia". It turns out to be his mother.
Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Averted consistently: if anyone gets hit in the face, expect to see bruises. After a long and violent fight which involves destroying about half a house and getting captured and slapped around, Kono shows the damage.
Don't mess with Danno's friends. And do NOT come between him and his daughter. Danny also reveals that as a result of Grace's kidnapping, his tolerance for anyone who dares abduct a child enrages him to a level that his "interrogation technique" makes McGarrett queasy.
Do not hurt, threaten, or breathe wrong near McGarrett's family. Children who lose a parent also seem to be a trigger for him ("He Kane Hewa' Ole").
Family for Chin Ho and Kono.
And in a way, Wo Fat; never ever try to investigate him.
All episode titles except the pilot and season three's "Hookman" are in Hawaiian.
The name of Hiro Noshimuri (a season one villain), while not an actual Japanese name, is made of Japanese words; "Noshi" is a type of origami tied to ceremonial envelopes, "Muri" means impossible." Judging from the Google hits, the writers ate him at a restaurant.
In "I Helu Pu", we learn that Danny knows a few Russian phrases, including "I'm a police officer" and "Your vodka tastes like urine."
Buddy Cop Show: Playing this trope incredibly straight with Steve and Danny, even though they are not the only main characters on the show.
Bulletproof Vest: The team is VERY consistent about putting these on when shooting is likely.
Busman's Holiday: Danno and Steve cannot take a mere hike through the jungle without stumbling upon a corpse, or having to save the kids trekking with them from being taken hostage by smugglers.
Butt Monkey: Danny's Nephew, Eric, played by Andrew Lawrence (of the Lawrence brothers fame), in the "Kapu" episode.
By-the-Book Cop: Danno tries to be this but it's tough when the Cowboy Cop is the boss and has been given license by the governer to basically do whatever the hell he wants.
Cain and Abel: Danny, a straight cop, is the Abel; his brother, Matt, is a Wall Street fraudster, savings thief, and drug money launderer.
California Doubling: Well, Hawaii Doubling — with the exception of the aerial footage over Osaka, the scenes in "Ua Hapa" where Steve looks for Wo Fat in Japan were actually filmed in downtown Honolulu. You could even see the Top of Waikiki through Wo Fat's hotel window.
Cat Scare: In the Halloween Episode "Mohai", the Five-0 team searches a dark alley for clues about a missing woman when Kono discovers something moving inside a garbage container. When she carefully opens it, a black cat hisses at her and jumps out of the bin, scaring her to death.
...Annoying Granny: The talkative granny that saw Kono and Steve's break-in to the HPD evidence locker in "Hana'a'a Makehewa" shows up as the one picking Kono out of a lineup in the Season 1 finale, "Oia'i'o."
...Cell Phone: In "Lanakila", Mary photographs all contents of the Champ box. In "Ke Kinohi", the bad guys have stolen the actual contents, so Five-0 relies on her pictures to continue the investigation.
...Gunman: Wo Fat, the Big Bad, is first seen as a golfing partner of the villain they're investigating midway through the first season.
...Gunshot Wound: In "Ho'opa'i", two agents on an FBI security detail are shot during a mob raid on an undercover agent's safehouse. One agent survives, but the other dies. Why? Because the ammunition used to shoot the survivor only contains half as much gunpowder as a normal round would have, making the wound it causes much more survivable. This reveals that the survivor is the mob's mole.
...Newspaper: In "Powa Maka Moana", a woman survives pirate attack in which all of her friends get taken hostage. Her dramatic reunion with her lover is photographed and appears on the front page of the newspaper. For her safety, Five-0 keeps her name secret. When the kidnapper calls Five-0, he demands that she deliver the money, but slips into calling her by her first name. It is later revealed that the woman and her lover are the bad guys.
...Inventory Control Documentation File: In "Ua Hiki Mai Kapalena Pau," it is revealed that the list of serial numbers for the $28 million in the HPD evidence locker, which everyone had thought was missing, was still intact. This allowed Chairman Akahoshi to determine that the $200,000 that Chin Ho "returned" actually wasn't the same money that went missing. However, that same list will also establish that $10 million of the $28 million isn't the same $10 million that was originally there — thereby exposing Five-0's unauthorized"borrowing" to ransom Chin Ho in "Hana'a'a Makehewa".
Grace and her fellow Aloha Girls in "Huaka'i Kula." Lucy is strikingly proficient in first aid, Grace digs an escape tunnel, and Sara MacGyvers a working cell phone out of the smashed-up remains of two different phones.
What McGarrett becomes, on the implicit approval of the Governor, with his new unit. Justified, or at least justifiable, in that McGarrett was trained as a special forces officer, and not as a police officer. He approaches a criminal suspect as an enemy to be defeated and not as an offender to be arrested and tried, and he has little or no appreciation of the Fourth and Fifth Amendments because they don't apply to SEAL teams in combat.
Danno: If you're going to be one of those "shoot first, ask questions later" types, I would like to be consulted, so I'll know when to duck!
Crossover: With NCIS: Los Angeles, which puts it and the original (thanks to Ed Asner's reprisal of August March) into the JAG-verse. Complicated by the original NCIS referencing the show in one episode (Agent Tony DiNozzo, natch), complete with Gibbs punning "Book'em, Danno-zo" to Tony at the end of the episode.
Dark and Troubled Past: Chin Ho's backstory. Accused of embezzlement, he was dismissed from the Honolulu PD, disowned by his cop-pride family (except Kono), and separated from his fiancée. In "Ma Ke Kahakai" it is revealed that Chin Ho's Uncle Keako took the money to pay for Aunt Mele's black-market kidney transplant, and Chin Ho took the blame for him. Unlike the rest of the family, Uncle's disfavor towards Chin Ho is for taking the fall and not letting the old man own up to what he did.
In "Hana'a'a Makehewa", Hesse forces McGarrett to steal ten million dollars in cash to save Chin's life. To protect himself, McGarrett assigns Kono to snipe the transaction. Predictable, yes? Well, who ever thought that Hesse never cared about the ransom money and would just burn it, then trigger the bomb anyway just to spite McGarrett?
And then in "Kai'e'e", we find out that the money's back in the evidence locker it was stolen from!
The season 1 finale, "Oia'i'o," is made of this trope. More specifically, who could have imagined that the Governor, of all people, was in with Wo Fat; that she was the one that replaced the $10 million; that she had Laura Hills car-bombed, and that Wo Fat was going to kill her and frame McGarrett for the murder.
Did You Actually Believe?: Wo Fat uses this when he meets Steve for the second time. Now Steve knows who Wo Fat actually is, he holds the Chinese under gunpoint. Wo Fat not-so-subtly implies that a CIA analyst will have a "car accident" if Steve shoots him. Steve, being the good guy here, concedes.
Chin Ho had been suspected of being one by the Honolulu PD and forced out when McGarrett recruits him. Most of the department still distrusts him. It is later revealed that Chin's uncle stole the money to pay for his wife's kidney transplant. Chin took the fall, and covered for him. When the truth comes to light, Chin tries to cover for his uncle again, but fails. He has now been cleared of the crime.
The arc that's slowly being constructed has McGarrett working on the investigation his father started into some kind of corruption in the force.
Detective Kaleo in "Mana'o," revealed to be the mole who betrayed Kono in "Pilot".
Koji Noshimuri, the ex-HPD Yakuza mook who killed McGarrett's mother.
In "Ho'opa'i", one of the FBI agents on an undercover agent's protective detail is working for the mob.
Danny's ex-partner was suspected of being a dirty cop, but is otherwise cleared.
Kono began hanging around with a group of dirty ex-cops after crossing her Despair Event Horizon. However, she joined them on the orders of the head of Internal Affairs to take down the group or risk trouble with him and the rest of HPD.
How Wo Fat was able to escape a Halawa Correctionals prison van in "La O Na Makuahine" thanks to Delano's informants in the HPD.
Mary, Steve's sister, is kidnapped in "Ke Kinohi". Subverted as well, because instead of whining and bitching and despite previously acting like The Load, she is able to communicate her whereabouts, giving Five-0 enough clues to rescue her.
Averted by Julie in "E Malama" as well. She more than holds her own, even though there are four armed contract killers after her.
In "Ke Kinohi", the Five-0 team discuss on how untouchable the Yakuza in Hawaii is. The next scene is Steve entering a Yakuza bar by ramming the door with a motorbike. In the blink of an eye his team follow and line up the dumbstruck Yakuza guys.
"Ho'opa'i": Steve enters a mobster's gated estate by ramming the gates with Danno's Camaro.
Electric Torture: At the end of "Wahine'inoloa", in the third season, Doris is shown torturing a hit man she thought she had killed years earlier with a battery and jumper cables.
Detective Kaleo in "Mana'o", the Dirty Cop in the pay of drug smuggler Ochoa. First, he killed Detective Hanamoa (Danny's old partner) and buried him in a luau pit because he was about to discover that Kaleo was on the take. To cover that murder up, he induces Five-0 to go after his boss Ochoa then shoots Ochoa dead during the climactic drug raid so he can't be arrested and questioned by Five-0. To make sure the investigation stops there, he then plants a gun on Ochoa's still-cooling corpse to make it look like Ochoa murdered Hanamoa. He almost gets away with it.
Nicole in "He Kane Hewa' Ole," who fakes her own kidnapping, murders her husband, and then sends her husband's severed head by courier to her father to bilk him out of $5 million for "ransom."
Susan and her boyfriend in "Powa Maka Moana". She engineers a pirate attack on young tourists, allows her coworker to be killed, pretends to be the lone survivor, and ensures that she's photographed as such by the local newspaper. This way, the pirate (her boyfriend in disguise) can demand her to deliver the ransom without arousing Five-0's suspicion, because it can be assumed he saw her in the paper and therefore deduced correctly that she's no cop for sure. If only her boyfriend didn't slip up and call her by her name...
Richard Cannon in "Ho'opa'i" orders a hit on the FBI agent who has infiltrated his father's criminal empire in order to frame his father—so that he can take over the "family" business.
Chloe in "Ua Hiki Mai Kapalena Pau" using chemical weapons to kill the owner of the company she worked for so she could continue her affair with the company's #2 man. She used chemical weapons so it would look like a terrorist attack and not a garden-variety crime.
Failed Attempt at Drama: In "Akanahe", Catherine attempts the typical dramatic entrance and "screen swipe" to move data from her tablet to the big board... only to botch it repeatedly until Chin has to lean in and do it right. She lampshades it.
Hiro Noshimuri, with Joe White's help. Becomes a minor Story Arc, as his son suspects Joe of murdering him and Steve has to prevent him from retaliating until he's able to convince Joe to tell the truth about what happened.
Doris McGarrett, in the show's backstory, but only disclosed at the end of the second season.
Double bonus: Shirtless Scott Caan getting surfing lessons from Grace Park on the beach in "Kai e'e".
Ahem. Claire Van der Boom in "Loa Aloha".
The "Swimsuit Edition" photo shoot/crime scene in "Ho'ohuli Na'au".
Danno: I'm going to talk to these models. McGarrett: Okay, well just stay with the questions that relate to the case. Danno: What's that supposed to mean? McGarrett: That means I know you. Just stick to the case. Danno: Hey. Hey. They're just women. Chin Ho:Who happen to be insanely hot and make millions of dollars.
The "Victoria's Secret" subplot in "Ha'awe Make Loa", with Danno guarding supermodel Behati Prinsloo. A supermodel whose name is pronounced "Be-hottie". What are the odds?
Danny as "Mr. November" in the New Jersey police calendar in "Kapu".
Faux Fluency: In the pilot episode, McGarrett asks a young Chinese illegal immigrant her name, in Mandarin so badly pronounced as to be barely recognizable. McGarrett once again shows off his (not so) impressive Mandarin in "He Kane Hewa'ole". At some points it's somewhat acceptable for a non-native speaker, while at others it's hilariously bad.
Fish out of Water: Danny Williams, formerly of New Jersey, who doesn't like Hawaii, or as he calls it:
Danno: ...this pineapple-infested hellhole. McGarrett: You don't like the beach? Danno: I don't like the beach. McGarrett: Who doesn't like the beach? Danno: I like cities, skyscrapers, no tsunamis, no jellyfish.
Governor Paul Jameson is now Governor Patricia Jameson, probably because Hawaii's governor at the time of the pilot was also female.
And the recurring character of Justice Department official Jonathan Kaye is now former CIA analyst Jenna Kaye. She turns out to be working with Wo Fat, but she performs a Heel-Face Turn before getting Killed Off for Real by Mr. Fat.
McGarrett, after pumping multiple rounds into Hesse's body and causing him to fall overboard, still insists on seeing a corpse. And it turns out that Hesse gets better.
McGarrett's girlfriend Catherine knows that he will never call her at work (on her aircraft carrier) without asking for some help.
Catherine: (answering her cellphone) What do you need? McGarrett: Why can't I just be calling to say "hello?" Catherine: Theoretically it's possible, sure. But you never have before and it's an odd time to start. McGarrett: That's a fair point.
Giant Wall of Watery Doom: Season 1 Episode Kai e'e. The Tsunami warning system is taken over and a false warning sent out. This is going to be used by the bad guys to facilitate their robbing the police headquarters.
Good Cop/Bad Cop: Danny is good; Steve is bad. It goes the other way around when the case's about Danny's family, however.
Heterosexual Life-Partners: Steve and Danny, who are both absolutely ready to die for (or simply with) each other, and have recently reached the point where they can actually say "I love you" to each other in complete seriousness.
Hoist by His Own Petard: McGarrett and Danno catch a suspect putting a roofie into a girl's drink. They force him to drink it before carting him off. He passes out. They then awaken him with an air horn.
Hollywood Healing: Considering how often these people get pounded like pieces of meat, they recover astonishingly quickly and without lasting damage.
Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: All the episode titles (except for the pilot episode and the season 3 episode "Hookman") are Hawaiian words or phrases. (The pilot episode is named "Pilot", and "Hookman" is a remake of the 1973 episode from the original series with the same name.)
I Need a Freaking Drink: The Governor, after McGarrett informs her that a very high-profile philanthropist and campaign donor is actually the head of the Yakuza in Hawaii. She doesn't play around either. When McGarrett starts to look for a glass for the beer, she quickly corrects his train of thought and starts drinking straight from the bottle.
Pauline in "Ho'ohuli Na'au" goes to great lengths to murder her father because he abandoned her and her mother, only to be told by Danno, as he arrested her, that her father had established a trust for her benefit and was planning to reconnect and make up for it. Even more ironic in that because she murdered the grantor of the trust, she forfeited her rights as a beneficiary.
The Governor, whom Jack McGarrett has been investigating, authorizes the creation of Five-0 so she can keep an eye on Steve who subsequently takes up his father's investigation. We see how that finally works out in the Season 1 finale, "Oia'i'o".
McGarrett in the Story Arc concerning the murders of his parents ("Pilot", "Hana 'a'a Makehewa", "Ke Kinohi", "Ne Me'e Laua Na Paio", "Ua Hiki Mai Kapalena Pau", "Oia'i'o").
Danno in "Mana'o", "E Malama", and "Loa Aloha".
Kono in "Ko'olauloa".
Jenna Kaye feels this way about Wo Fat.
The entire team in "Hana 'a'a Makehawa", when Hesse rigs the bomb to Chin.
And again in "Ki'iluna" when Wo Fat kidnaps McGarrett.
Kansas City Shuffle: Delano pulls an epic ton of 24-style misdirections in Season 2 finale and Season 3 premiere. In "Ua Hala", he ordered a pissed-off ex-con to kill an HPD friend of Five-0's. When the police cordons the crime scene, the ex-con slips in a police car, sneaks her way to the HPD HQ, and sets off an explosion there. The ex-con's background leads the Five-0 to believe that the explosion is motivated by revenge, and indeed at the end of the episode it is revealed that Delano holds both Malia and Kono hostage and forces Chin to save them. In "La O Na Makuahine", his real endgame is revealed: 35 million dollars worth of drugs stored in HPD evidence room, which he could access by posing as a cleaner crew, which the HPD calls to clean their HPD after the explosion.
Lost at Sea: "Lana I Ka Moana" (whose title is Hawaiian for "Adrift") partially employs this trope when it starts with Danny and McGarrett getting their boat hijacked on a fishing trip, far enough offshore that it's no longer visible. The thief leaves them in the dinghy they found him in, which no longer has a working motor, and although it seems eminently possible they can save themselves (and eventually they do), at first Danny sees their situation as hopeless.
Victor Hesse (revealed at the end of "Hana'a'a Makehewa")
Noshimuri and the Yakuza (implied strongly in "Ke Kinohi," confirmed in "Ne Me'e Laua Na Paio")
Sang Min ("Ua Hiki Mai Kapalena Pau")
and even the Governor!! ("Oia'i'o")
Don't be shocked if he also has something to do with Danny's brother the money launderer.
According to Jenna Kaye, criminals don't work with Wo Fat, they work FOR him. Also she works for him.
Mistaken for Gay: In "Kapu" Steve and Danny visit a sorority house, and one of the girls mistakes them for her friend's parents.
Girl: Kelly, your dads are here to pick you up.
Mister Muffykins: In an episode, a ruthless Dragon Lady and slave ring owner they'd caught refuses to give any help to Five-0 in their current investigation... until Kono threatens to have her Pomeranian euthanasied.
Mixed Metaphor: Danno, when he gets worked up, creates some entertaining mash-ups of figurative language.
Danno: I am really happy you are not afraid of anything, okay? I'm glad you have that G.I. Joe thousand-yard stare from chasing shoe bombers around the world, okay? But in civilized society, we have rules, all right? It is the unspoken glue that separates us from jackals and hyenas, all right?
Hillary Chaver, the villain in "Ha Uala". She sets a trap to take out Vince Fryer, gets shot by him as he dies, yet still hangs around long enough at the scene to shoot Max when he follows her blood trail, then steals a police car and leads the chasing McGarrett and Danno right to... HPD headquarters, knowing that it will prove difficult to distinguish her stolen cop car from all the other ones parked there. Then... she fools McGarrett in the hallway to buy time, manages to set up a gas explosion that injures about 20 cops as they try to flee the building, and goes to a nearby veterinary clinic where she kills the receptionist in cold blood, then, after getting the surgeon on duty to patch her up, kills him as well, and then engages in a final, fatal gunfight with the Five-0 team.
Dr. Olivia Victor, the psychopath psychiatrist in "Wahine'inoloa". She killed the victim from the Cold Open by shooting him nonfatally, then pouring gasoline all over him and dumping him into a burning sugar cane field. McGarrett sees through her, but can't convince the others, and his attention wind up with her getting a restraining order against him, which she then manipulates him into violating. She kills two more people before getting caught at the end of the episode.
Mr. Fanservice: The boys of the Five-0 team. In-Universe, too: Kensi Blye apparently got a little hot and bothered when Danno and Chin Ho showed up in L.A. in part two of the big crossover.
The Mole: In the first episode, a Hawaiian gangster has one of these in the Honolulu PD; after forcing an undercover Kono to undress to her bra and panties, he takes a picture and sends it to the mole to make sure she's not a cop.
Mugging the Monster: An episode starts off with McGarret picnicking with his girlfriend in his car... and a mugger shows up, trying to carjack them at gunpoint. Smash Cut to an annoyed McGarret dragging the scum to the police station — after ripping off his nose ring. The sergeant welcoming them finds this very funny, and comments to the perp that he picked the wrong guy.
My God, What Have I Done?: Said almost word by word from a victim's parent during one episode. In the episode, college students partying on a boat are captured by pirates. When the Hawaii Five-0 team informs the parents that negotiating with the pirates' demands is a surefire way to get their children killed, one kid's father doesn't listen and secretly gives the pirates 400K to spare his son, despite his wife's reluctance to disobey the Five-0 team. When the pirate group's leader got impatient with the Five-0 team not complying with the ransom demands, he kills a kid and dumps him onto the beach. Guess who's the slain kid? The other students? They eventually get rescued, and were unharmed.
Myth Arc: Five-0 vs. Wo Fat, and the related mystery of John McGarrett's past.
The beachfront cookout/make-out scene between Steve and Catherine at the end of "Nalowale" seems to be an homage to the beachfront cookout in the original series' pilot film "Coocoon".
The big black '74 Mercury Marquis sedan McGarrett senior had in his garage is one of the cars Jack Lord drove in the original series. (See this article under "The Ride", and this one in a car blog.) Steve decides to finish restoring it, and this was a minor Story Arc ("He Kane Hewa'ole", "Powa Maka Moana"). By the end of the first season, in "Oia'i'o," Steve has finished the restoration and the Mercury may even be his daily driver. (He drives it to Kamekona's place to obtain a gun for use in his Roaring Rampage of Revenge.)
Al Harrington, who appeared in six different roles in the 1968-80 original (including as Five-0 member Ben), plays an elderly surfer first seen in "Ke Kinohi". The role was originally intended for James MacArthur, who played Danny in the 1968 series, but he died unexpectedly before the episode was filmed.
Dennis Chun, the son of Kam Fong (the original Chin Ho), has a recurring role as Sergeant Duke Lukela of the HPD.
In "Palekaiko", Danny quips that people wear ties on cruise ships "so they can hang themselves when they get bored." This is a reference to the title of the original series' Missing Episode, "Bored, She Hung Herself".
Helen Kuoha-Turco, the hula dancer from the original show's opening credits, had a small role in "Malama Ka Aina".
More of a Mythology Carryover, but many viewers may not know, or have forgotten, that the original Steve McGarrett was also ex-Navy, albeit not a SEAL.
The season two finale "Ua Hala" translates to "A Death in the Family", the same name as the original show's season 11 finale in which Chin Ho is Killed Off for Real. Interestingly, the situation this sets up also results in tragedy for Chin Ho's family, although this time it's his wife who gets it.
"Kai'e'e" tsunami plot is almost similar to two old Hawaii Five-O episodes: "Forty Feet High and It Kills!" (Wo Fat engineers a tsunami warning to kidnap a geneticist) and "Tsunami" (several geology students engineer a tsunami warning by holding the head of the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center hostage while they rob a jewelry store posing as rescue workers).
In the original series, the governor was played by Richard Denning. In the new series, Governor Jameson is replaced after the first season by Governor Sam Denning.
"Hookman," a remake of/homage to the original series episode of the same name.
Edward Asner reprised his role of smuggler August March from the original series' "Wooden Model Of A Rat" in season two's "Kalele."
Naked People Trapped Outside: In the third-season "Ha'awe Make Loa", Five-0 comes upon a suspect they'd like to talk to dancing in his yard wearing nothing but a hula skirt. As he flees, the skirt gets stuck on the fence, and he winds up streaking a busy street in his vain attempt to flee.
The trailer of "Ke Kinohi" makes a big deal of the stolen Champ box and the kidnapping of Steve's sister. Five-0 managed to recover the box, and despite all of its contents being removed by the bad guys, it turns out that Steve's sister has photographed them for backup. And the kidnapping is solved within the first fifteen minutes of the episode.
The trailer of "Kai e'e" cut the episode footage together to make it seem like a tsunami really was going to crash down on Hawaii. In actuality, the tsunami was being faked by the criminals — something of a Call Back to the original series, as a fake tsunami scheme was also used in "Forty Feet High, And It Kills!" — and the scene of a wall collapsing inward was a Big Damn Heroes moment involving a forklift.
The Nicknamer: Tony Archer in "Lekio" gives plenty silly nicknames to McGarret and Danno.
And then, in "Oia'i'o", when he discovers that the Governor is working for Wo Fat.
The whole team has one in "Kai e' e" when they realize that the crooks who generated a fake tsunami warning to cover a robbery are trying to steal the $28 million of drug money in the HPD evidence locker from which the team "borrowed" $10 million to pay Chin Ho's ransom in "Hana'a'a Makehewa". If they try to stop the robbery they'll be exposed as having appropriated the $10 million that Hesse threw into the fire. Then they have another one at the end of the episode, when they learn that someone else put the $10 million back!
The pirate/kidnappers in "Powa Maka Moana", when they see what's in the ransom bag is not 20 million bucks cash, but a bunch of yellow pages.
Joe White in "Ka Hakaka Maikai". Realizing that there's an intruder in his house, he pulls out the gun he keeps hidden in the freezer for just such an emergency and points it at the intruder, Wo Fat, only to find Wo Fat's already found it and taken the bullets out of the gun.
In "Ki'iluna" after being captured by Wo Fat, Steve attempts to engage him in their customary witty banter and is completely ignored. You can see on his face the moment he realizes that Wo Fat no longer regards him as a Worthy Opponent and he's pretty much screwed.
Oddly Small Organization: Five-0, a state police agency, is a group of eight detectives at max. Justified in both this and the original as in real life, Hawaii is the only state that doesn't have a state police.
In the 1968 original, the team was called "Five-O" from the very start, with no in-show explanation of how the name came about. The re-imagined version provides one. At the end of "Pilot", the characters are sitting around the office trying to come up with something better to call themselves than the prosaic "Governor's Task Force", but can't think of anything. Two episodes later, at the end of "Malama Ka Aina", Kono derives the nickname from McGarrett's high school football jersey number.
"Pilot" also has an origin story of sorts for Danny's nickname "Danno".
One of Hawaiian Airlines planes is prominently shown in the opening montage and the company's facilities and planes have been used in the show.
Partially averted in the Five-0/NCIS: Los Angeles crossover episode, where a fictitious airline replaces Hawaiian for those episodes. Which is odd, given Hawaiian does go to LAX among other California destinations.
Early on in the first season numerous characters — notably McGarrett — own and prominently use iPhones. In one episode a father and son are seen talking to each other via FaceTime, a scene which eerily looks like an Apple commercial. Kono is also seen with a MacBook Pro numerous times. What makes this interesting is that after many episodes with extensive Apple product placements, in "Mana'o" Chin asks Kono to "Bing it", when she doubts his knowledge about a modern artist. Sure enough, Kono whips out her LG Optimus 7 and we get a close up of the phone's screen for almost 10 seconds. Soon after this episode Danny gets a new Windows Phone 7, and the Apple logos on both Kono's laptop and McGarrett's iPhone are suspiciously covered up.
In the third season the characters are also making conspicuous use of their Surface tablets.
Various Hawaii businesses have had their names and products appear on the show, including Liliha Bakery, Kona Brewing Company, Waiola Shave Ice, and others. Most episodes will give at least one local company national advertising.
For a group of locals they spend an awful lot of time at the Tropics Bar of the Hilton Hawaiian Village.
Masi Oka in season 2 and Michelle Borth in season 3.
Lauren German was sandwiched in between this and Fake Guest Star for most of her run as a series regular, shown as "Also Starring" in the first scene-post credits, before the actual guest stars were listed.
Catherine Rollins, in "Mea Makamae"; she's been assigned to a tour of duty in the Persian Gulf.It doesn't stick. "I Helu Pu" finds Rollins on McGarrett's arm during the Governor's party. And then McGarrett does his reserve drill on the Enterprise.
The bus was busy in "I Helu Pu". Lori Weston gets put on after resigning from the Task Force and going back to DHS.
A psycho serial killer holds his hostage at knifepoint just inches away from a cliff. Danny tries to negotiate with him and Hilarity Ensues:
McGarrett: What are you doing? The guy is clearly a psychopath. You're trying to make friends with him. You're trying to connect? Danno: He's standing right in front of us! He can hear you. McGarrett: I see he's standing right here, Danny. But you're a cop. You're not a therapist, you know? Danno: Hey hey hey! I've been trained for this kind of thing, okay? McGarrett: What — what to bore people into submission? Danno: Don't listen to him, okay. His idea of communication is — is he drops a witty one-liner and then shoots you in the face. Don't worry about it! McGarrett: You know what — I might shoot this guy just so he doesn't have to listen to you talk. (when the killer gets distracted by the debate and lowers the knife, Steve shoots him)
As a whole, the "immunity and means" given to Five-0 are taken to ridiculous levels. Chin, Kono, and Danny are known to be a little "loose cannon" when the situation calls for it (the odd Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique occasionally crops up) but Steve definitely takes the cake.
The Remake: Season three's "Hookman" is a remake of the same-named episode of the original show (and also the first post-pilot episode of the revival to have a title in English rather than Hawaiian).
Retirony: In The Teaser of "E Malama", we find ourselves at an FBI safehouse, where a witness and a federal marshal are. The witness thanks the agent for his dedication to the job, including spending so much time away from his family. He says it's no problem. He's dead a few minutes later.
Revealing Coverup: Chin barters his house's deed for 200k cash, which he hopes can obstruct HPD investigation to his uncle's embezzlement, believing that the storage records have been lost. It turns out that HPD have serial numbers on the money stolen, and they ascertain that Chin's money isn't the drug money.
McGarrett is on the verge of one in "Ke Kanohi", but Danno talks him out of it.
Danny is on one in "E Malama", and Steve can't talk him out of it.
An undercover FBI agent appears to go on one of these in "Ho'opa'i".
McGarrett goes on one in "Oia'i'o", confronting the Governor at gunpoint.
Room Full of Crazy: Where McGarrett's mother and her pals are planning the caper in "He Welo 'Oihana".
Scenery Porn: Yes, Hawaii is beautiful, but the way the show portrays it, it's like paradise on Earth.
Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: The Yakuza boss in "Ke Kinohi" is the state's primary benefactor. Averted in a sense, because while Steve cannot prove his involvement in his parents' death, he manages to arrest the boss for breaking in to his house, kidnapping his sister, and stealing the Champ box.
Governor Jameson: ...Your task force will have blanket authority to go after guys like Hesse, and get them theHELLoff my island. Your rules, my backing, no red tape....
And this is being deconstructed slightly in season 2, as the fallout from the season 1 finale is coming back to haunt Five-0. The new Governor is keeping them on a much tighter leash, assigning them a team member of his choosing to keep an eye on them. And it turns out that Captain Fryer used a full police investigation of Five-0's behavior as leverage to get Kono to work for him.
Deconstructed more in the season 3 opening episode, where Steve is on the phone with the Governor trying to explain and justify the actions of Chin-Ho's custody of Delano and his absconding at the season 2 finale plus Wo-Fats escape orchestrated by Delano earlier in the episode. Steve then tells Danno and Shelbourne riding in the car that the Governor is gonna open an inquiry into the whole fiasco over Chin-Ho's abuse of Five-0's immunity.
Deconstructed even more in "O ka Pili'Ohana ka 'Oi" where the Governor orders Grover to leave the HPD permanently since his actions were not authorized and has wasted the police's resources in finding his kidnapped daughter.
Sequel Episode: In "Kalele", Ed Asner reprises his role of art smuggler August March from the original series' 1975 episode "Wooden Model of a Rat". Doubles as Mythology Gag.
Shameful Strip: A Hawaiian gangster forces an undercover Kono to strip to her bra and panties to prove she's not wearing a wire.
Danno: So, what, you're not going to tell me about "Operation Strawberry Fields"? McGarrett: No. Danno: No, no. Of course, you'd have to kill me.... I'm just curious, though: Was there an "Operation Abbey Road"? Were you the walrus? (Joe White gives him a disapproving look) Time to shut up? Joe White: Roger that. Are you people ready for the magical mystery tour?
The shootout in "La O Na Makuahine" between Five-0 and Delano's crew is similar to Heat, except that Five-0 gets their man.
McGarrett calls Danny Boo-Boo in "La O Na Makuahine".
In "Lana I Ka Moana", Danny and McGarrett are adrift in a boat in shark-infested waters. Danny complains, "Have you ever seen 'Shark Week?' I don't wanna be on 'Shark Week!'"
In "Ua Hopu", Adam Noshimuri telling his girlfriend, Kono that he will be getting the Noshimuri family out of the Yakuza is very similar to Michael Corleone saying "In five years, the Corleone family will be completely legitimate."
There's mention of James Bond near the end of "Kapu" when Steve shows up in a tuxedo. Don't forget the music that accompanied his appearance too, since it matches up the 007 opening theme song.
In "Hoa Pili", Magnum, P.I. is given a nod via Kamekoa's new helicopter tour business, complete with a cover of the iconic theme song.
"Hoku Welowelo" has a Batman reference when Grover snarks about giving him the "Five-0 Grover" signal. Steve and Danno complain that they don't need it and they don't wanna see him in tights.
Show Within a Show: Season 3 Episode 21 "Imi loko ka 'uhane" is told from the viewpoint of a morning/daytime show host's perspective. The show films a day in the life of the Five-0 team. The host even calls it a Very Special Episode.
Steve wearing the appropriate AOR2 camo, being an ex-SEAL commando.
"Ho'onani Makuakane" touched up on actual issues with Japanese-Americans being interned in camps in Hawaii after Pearl Harbor was bombed by Imperial Japanese military forces, as well as the existence of the 442nd Infantry Regiment, made up of Japanese-Americans with one Korean-American.
The Smurfette Principle: Kono has been the primary female in the cast for awhile. While every so often they introduce a new woman to the team, these characters have a habit of getting written off after about half a season. While this season they introduced Catherine as a regular cast member, Kono was offscreen for most of the fall, and now it seems Catherine's getting the same treatment. C'mon writers, America can handle more than one woman investigating a murder/terrorist cell/bank robbery at a time.
The mystery of McGarrett's mom's apparent death, and the contents of the "Champ" box, which leads to McGarrett discovering that the Governor is in league with Wo Fat — just in time to be framed for the Governor's murder.
The missing money which led to the disgrace of Chin Ho. The arc is resolved in "Ma Ke Kahakai", where it is revealed that Chin's uncle embezzled the money and Chin took the blame to cover for him.
Kono's dismissal from the force, and her resulting involvement with a shady group of ex-cops ("Hana 'a'a Makehewa", "Oia'i'o", "Ua Lawe Wale", "Kame'e", "Mea Makamae") before it was revealed that she was not going corrupt after all.
Once Doris McGarrett was revealed to have been alive after all all these years, the mystery of her relationship with Wo Fat. Why did she let him get away at the end of the season three premiere?
Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Steve and Danny have very different approaches to the law, though they establish something of an understanding over the course of the pilot.
For McGarrett, it's the Story Arc concerning the contents of the Champ box and his father's relationship with the Yakuza and Wo Fat.
For Chin Ho, it's the drug case where the $28 million was seized. Led to Chin Ho being blamed for embezzling $200,000 of it. Subverted. In "Ma Ke Kahakai" it is revealed that Chin already knows who the embezzler is.
Uncomfortable Elevator Moment: When a couple of tourists with a little boy find themselves in the same elevator as the Five-0 police officers, fully geared in bulletproof vests and guns out, as they are pursuing a wounded suspect hiding in a grand hotel. Complete with Hawaiian elevator music.
The Unreveal: We'll never know what Five-0, the HPD and the FBI found in the safe of the serial killer in the end of "Pukana".
Danny's competency as a cop is often overshadowed by Steve's extreme amounts of badassery, Chin's disgrace arc, and Kono's Fanservice and Badass. But in "He Kane Hewa'Ole", he is the first one who correctly deduces the culprit's plot. Lampshaded by Steve, who asks, "When did you get smart?"
Max Bergman is tied to a chair, knocks himself over while the bad guy is out of the room, uses a piece of glass to cut the ropes, gets back into position then stabs the bad guy with the shard of glass when he comes back into the room.
Lt. Catherine Rollins (arguably if she ever was before), who is now part of the regular cast and handled one of the attackers at the end of Season 3 premiere quite well.
McGarrett: Okay, what about our John Doe #2? Danno: You mean Jack? McGarrett: You got an I.D.? Danno: No Ja — his head was in a box. Jack. Chin Ho:That ain't right, bro. Danno: Too soon? McGarrett: Little bit.
Somewhat averted. McGarrett uses psychological torture in the first episode to get info (by threatening a man's family). In the second, however, it's not shown whether his method would actually provide information as it's interrupted. Danny then chews McGarrett out for his actions, specifically pointing out information gathered through torture is inherently unreliable.
Hilariously averted when Kono takes a suspect's little dog from her arms, then orders everyone else out...
McGarrett: How'd you get her to talk? Kono: Told her the dog would be put down once she went down to lock up. Promised I'd find it a home if she cooperated. (the guys are dumbfounded) What? It's not like it's the dog's fault.
Danno: If a suspect dies, he no longer has the ability to speak! Ergo, he's useless to us! McGarrett: (to guy he's hanging off roof) You think anybody's gonna care? You just killed two people, buddy! I'd be doing the world a favor! Danno:That's enough!
In "Pilot", McGarrett threatens to deport Sang Min's family to war-ravaged Rwanda.
In "Malama Ka Aina", McGarrett and Danno convince an associate of the Samoan mob that they're leaving him in a shark cage with vicious man-eating sharks and chum, when in actuality, the sharks are harmless and the chum is just water. Steve and Danno crack open beers and watch the guy freak out.
In "Lanakila", McGarrett threatens a corrupt prison guard with a trip to the cell block:
McGarrett: Billy, so help me God, you answer incorrectly one more time, I gonna put those scrubs on you myself and then drop you in general population. How long do you think you'll last there?
In "Nalowale", McGarrett and Danno witness a suspect drug a girl's drink in a club. Danno tells the suspect to drink it, if he "didn't do anything to it", and if he doesn't drink it, Danno will break his teeth and make him drink it. He drinks it, and passes out. McGarrett wakes him up in an interrogation room with an air horn.
In "Mana'o", Danno ties a suspect to the hood of his car, then proceeds to drive around the streets of Honolulu like a madman to get information out of him.
McGarrett: Just for the record, if I pulled something like this, you would be reading me the riot act on proper police procedure. Danno: No. I'd probably just arrest you. McGarrett: Compared to this, hanging a guy off a roof and throwing a guy in a shark tank is pretty tame. Danno: You know what? I disagree. Shark cage is way worse. McGarrett: Whatever. You're wrong. I'm just saying, to be clear, next time I get a free pass, okay?
In "Alaheo Pau'ole", Chin and Danno discover a small cache of weapons in a murder suspect's home. When the suspect tells them that the grenades in the cache are fakes, Danno makes him hold one and takes the pin out, which immediately makes the suspect start talking. Also elicits a What the Hell, Hero? from Chin:
Chin: You've been hanging out with McGarrett too long!
In "Pa Make Loa", Chin and Danno literally pump a suspect for info by threatening to pump him with a deadly virus his boss was trying to buy. They do give him the contents of the vial, but Danno tells the guy later it was a shot of Vitamin B.
True Companions: Invoked in show in "Ohana", which is the Hawaiian word for Family.
Truth in Television: In Season 1, the team used to talk on their phones while holding them and driving their cars. Turns out Hawaii has a series of "Hands Free" laws on the books for each County (City & County of Honolulu has an exemption for Law Enforcement if done during the officers official capacity and scope, which could apply to the team). However, in Season 2, the team seems to be using a ton of hands-free devices while driving.
The penultimate scene in "Loa Aloha" exemplifies this. FBI has been hunting Danny's brother, Matt, for Wall Street corruption. Steve reveals to them that Matt has a boat in dock, to which the FBI proceeds to pursue. However, Matt is then revealed to be escaping by his private jet, where only Danny knows its existence. As a cop, Steve does not lie; as a friend, he does not betray Danny either. Danny's quiet "thank you" before leaving Steve perfectly crowns the scene.
In the Season 1 finale: Danny, in an earlier scene, has promised to catch up with Rachel and Grace at the airport on their way back to Jersey. At the episode's penultimate scene, instead of going to the airport, he catches up with Steve just as Chin Ho arrests the man, swearing that he will get his buddy out. This scene is juxtaposed with Rachel and Grace leaving the airport in disappointment as Danny doesn't show up.
"Hana'a'a Makehewa". The human trafficker in the pilot, Sang Min, escapes; Victor Hesse returns from the dead; the Five-0 team crosses the Despair Event Horizonby stealing cash from a police evidence locker in order to save Chin's life; and most importantly, Wo Fat appears.
In the season 1 finale "Oia'i'o" Five-0 is a little bit messed up. By the end of the episode McGarrett is framed for the murders of Governor Jameson and Laura Hills by Wo Fat, Danny misses the plane while trying to stop Steve so a pregnant Rachel thinks he's abandoning her and Grace, Kono is under investigation for her part in the unauthorized "borrowing" of the $10 million in "Hana'a'a Makehewa," and Chin Ho has apparently abandoned Five-0 for HPD.
The season 2 premiere ends showing showing Wo Fat kill Hesse while disguised as a prison guard, then leave in a car driven by Kaye.
In the penultimate episode of Season 2, "Ua Hopu" (Caught), Steve McGarrett arrests Wo Fat with the help of the Japanese police force. The episode ends with Wo Fat entering his prison cell.
In the season 2 finale, "Ua Hala", Fryer is Killed Off for Real, Max gets shot but survives, Chin Ho is blackmailed into getting Dirty Cop Delano out of prison and forced to make a Sadistic Choice between saving his wife Malia or Kono, who are respectively shot and tossed into the ocean bound and gagged, Danny is contesting custody of Grace because Rachel is moving to Las Vegas, and McGarrett finally learns that "Shelburne" is his mom.
The season 3 finale's got a couple, including but not limited to Kono leaving Five-O and Hawai'i to go on the run with Adam, Charlie Fong getting stabbed, and Doris promising the truth about Wo Fat to Steve.
In "Heihei", McGarrett busts out a standing dropkick, kips up, and then takes the bad guy down with a combination crossface and armbar.
Kono has started doing kip-ups as well. In "E Malama", she also spears a would-be assassin through a glass door.
Catherine's another one since she did a scissor kick. But this is a bit of a mix since the attack is also a martial arts move too.
Wrong Genre Savvy: As the only normal cop in the team, Danny constantly reprimands his buddies for their rather wild, not-exactly-police-appropriate, and, a lot of times, insane approach to the cases. But we know better. Invoked in "Kai e'e". He reprimands Steve for even bothering to listen to Mamo, who claims that he could see no tsunami coming. His scolding is justified since Mamo is a surfer, not a scientist. But then again....
You Do Not Want To Know: Wo Fat to Steve twice: once in paraphrased form in their first-season coffee shop encounter when he warns him "you may not like what you find" if he continues looking into the circumstances of his parents' deaths, and then with those exact words near the end of the fourth-season premiere, "Aloha kekahi i kekahi"
Your Princess Is in Another Castle: In the ending of the first part of the second Hawaii Five-0/NCIS: Los Angeles crossover, "Pa Make Loa", Danno, Chin Ho, Callen, and Sam managed to recover the Small-Pox vials from Dracul Comescu before he could sell them to Chechen terrorists in Hawaii. It seems that their case has been closed for good... until Officer Kalakaua calls and reveals that the "vials" that they recovered had in fact contained saline, and that the real viruses were taken by the doctor who was allied with Comescu, who presumably betrayed him and was planning to release the virus in Los Angeles.