NCIS: Hawaiʻi is the latest series in the Bellisarioverse airing on CBS and a spin-off of NCIS. It premiered on September 20th, 2021. It's currently airing the second season.
The series follows Naval Criminal Investigative Service agents who work out of the Pearl Harbor Field Office, Hawaiʻi, run by Special Agent in Charge Jane Tennant (Vanessa Lachey), the first female in the office. Jane's team consists of recent returnee Kai Holman (Alex Tarrant), second-in-command Jesse Boone (Noah Mills), junior agent Lucy Tara (Yasmine Al-Bustami), and cyber intelligence specialist Ernie Malik (Jason Antoon). Like its predecessors, the team investigates military crimes and national security issues, and is assisted by Kate Whistler (Tori Anderson), a Special Agent from the Defense Intelligence Agency who later joins the FBI halfway in the first season.
Watch the trailer here.
This show contains examples of:
- Artistic License – Linguistics: In "Gaijin", Jane addresses Commmander Tanaka as "Nisa Tanaka" in Japanese. This is incorrect because you address someone with a rank in Japanese with the last name, followed by the rank. In this case, it would be "Tanaka Nisa".
- City People Eat Sushi: In "Gaijin", Jesse take an Okinawa Prefectural Police officer to a sushi bar in Honolulu in order to talk about the murder case that involved a JMSDF sailor. Justified as Hawaiʻi (like the west coast regions of Canada and the US) has a significant Japanese immigrant population that moved to the island before and after World War II.
- From Camouflage to Criminal: An armored truck is robbed by a heist crew using military grade weapons, explosives and tactics in "Boom". NCIS is assigned to the case because the robbers might be active duty military personnel. It turns out that they are former special forces soldiers led by an ex-SAS operator.
- Five-Token Band: One of the series' biggest draws is the diversity of the main cast, consisting of four people of color note , and a Gender-Equal Ensemble on top of that.
- Freeze-Frame Bonus: In "Gaijin", a JMSDF name tag in English shows Tanaka's full name.
- Gender-Equal Ensemble: The main cast has fairly even split between men and women, with the men edging the women by two.
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Except for two episodes and a two-parter, every Season 1 episode has a One-Word Title. The first five episodes of Season 2 all have two-word titles, suggesting that every Season 2 episode will have two-word titles.
- Inside Job: "Boom" reveals that the private security guard shot in the armored van robbery was the robbery crew's mole.
- Jurisdiction Friction:
- Jane Tennant and Captain Joe Milius argue over who has jurisdiction when they first meet, but Jane is clearly in charge and they quickly figure it out.
- Jane also finds herself in trouble with Kate Whistler, a special agent from the DIA from time to time whenever it's involved the DIA or the CIA.
- Averted when the team is brought in to deal with an armored truck robbery which would normally be handled by the local cops or the FBI. NCIS is brought in because the robbers might be potentially tied to the Navy. The other law enforcement groups hand over the case without on-screen grumbling. The case is quickly confirmed to be in NCIS jurisdiction because the explosives used were stolen from the Navy via Kaho'olawe, where WWII-based explosives are being cleared out by USMC units.
- In "Gaijin", the NCIS team butt heads with an inspector from the Okinawa Prefectural Police's Criminal Investigation Department. He was searching a suspect's residence without notifying the proper authorities and he wasn't doing it in an official capacity. Justified as the OPP in Japan didn't make any significant steps to find a major suspect, but they accused someone else instead.
- Killer Cop: "Primal Fear" reveals that the serial killer NCIS is investigating is a Parks Police officer stationed in Hawaii from the American mainland.
- Meaningful Name:
- The episode "Boom" refers to a Marine Jane knows whose nickname is Boom. It's also a reference to the sound made by explosives, especially TNT and C4.
- The episode 'Recruiter' refers to a Navy recruiter trying his best to get a troubled teen to join the US Navy.
- The episode "Paniolo" refers to Hawaiian cowboys.
- The episode "The Tourist" refers to the female victim who's supposedly kidnapped, who happens to be a social media influencer. Except she's not and she's a trained CIA agent meant to use her influencer identity to help potential defectors head to a third country.
- My Beloved Smother: To a lethal degree. In "Recruiter", the mother of a potential Navy recruit murdered the titular recruiter so her son would remain in Hawai'i with her instead of joining the Marines.
- Product Placement: The show's sponsored by Subaru's US branch. This, in turns, has the NCIS team use Subaru vehicles as official unmarked vehicles.
- Ruthless Modern Pirates: In "Pirates", NCIS is working on a case that involve pirates operating near Hawaiian territorial waters. Except that they're actually ex-South African Special Forces operators working for a risk management agency and used the pirate thing as a cover.
- SWAT Team: The HPD's SWAT team are called in to assist HPD and NCIS when they need a tactical element in an operation.
- Stuff Blowing Up:
- A plane goes down and promptly explodes in the pilot episode.
- A gang of robbers get their hands on military grade TNT and use it to ambush an armored truck and and then blow up a boat in "Boom".
- The Team: The pilot quickly establishes what each member's role is.
- The Leader: Jane Tennant is the headstrong, levelheaded Special Agent in Charge of NCIS: Pearl who leads investigations and smooths things out when things get rough between agencies.
- The Lancer: Jesse Boone is Jane's confidant and second-in-command who shows a much looser, dynamic personality towards his teammates.
- The Chick: Lucy Tara is an Action Girl who's still trying to find her spot on the team, showing the most balanced personality of the four agents.
- The Smart Guy: Ernie Malik is NCIS Pearl's cyber intelligence specialist, capable of analyzing and hacking into complicated systems at a moment's notice.
- The Sixth Ranger: Kai Holman is the team's newest addition, trying to understand the dynamics of the team despite having little intention of joining NCIS at first.
- Thought They Knew Already: When Nick Torres comes on a mission, in "T'N'T", he gives a big talk to the team on "clearing the air" on the rumors they've heard of him and Jane on a mission years ago, insisting nothing happened and the truth behind her odd nickname. It's only when he's done and seeing their blank looks that Torres realizes the team hadn't heard a single word of any of this (with Boone implied to be the third person fully aware of the incident), leaving them looking at a very embarrassed Jane.
- Two Lines, No Waiting: In "Broken", an inquiry was launched by the CIA in the aftermath of Maggie Shaw being detained as a double agent. Meanwhile, the NCIS team investigation who's responsible for using a sonic weapon to take down a MARSOC team on break.
- Wire Dilemma: Played with in "Boom". When helping to disarm a bomb vest, the explosives experts lampshades the fact that with a modern bomb you can't just cut a wire or two. You need to reroute the circuit and isolate the power sources. The situation is then complicated by the fact that the wiring for the bomb is a tangled mess. The bomb is a fake with no explosives and deliberately complicated wiring, intended to distract the cops.