This week’s Hawaii Five-0 has been done before. A lot. It felt like it wanted to be Taken, with better scenery. Normally, an unremarkable script would cause me to turn the channel … but I didn’t, because this average episode also had some decidedly above average work from the show’s Golden Globe nominee.
Now, I know that Alex O’Loughlin is technically the star of the show. I also know he’s got a whole lot of very supportive fans; I would count myself as one of them. I think Alex makes a fantastic Steve McGarrett. All this is to say that I am not trying to take anything away from him when I mention that Scott earned that nomination he received last season for a reason. He’s an equally great successor to James MacArthur as Danny Williams. I might not have been in love with this episode, but it certainly gave Scott plenty to work with, and did he ever.
As Danny found himself under the thumb of his corrupt ex-partner, trying to rescue his daughter and avoid murdering his ex-wife’s new husband, Caan got to remind us that he’s a lot more than just the comic relief. He got to play fear, anger, frustration … a little bit of everything this week. Did anyone not get teary-eyed when Danny was pleading with his ex-partner to not have to shoot Stan? What a great scene.
I certainly wasn’t in love with the script, but I’m all for the reminder of what separates Hawaii Five-0 from every other procedural: its different ensemble. I’m still not a fan of Lauren German‘s Lori Weston, but the core four — O’Loughlin, Caan, Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park — have always turned in good performances and gel as a believable unit. I’d watch those four in an episode about a McDonald’s hold-up. (Actually, given what McNuggets have made people do before, that could actually be interesting.) But the point remains, this group is a good one.
So I’m really okay with an unremarkable episode. At least, unlike some others this season, we got some remarkable acting to watch within it.