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'Hawaii Five-0' pilot recap: Getting ready for the 100th episode

Season 1 | Episode 101 | “Pilot” | Aired Sept 20, 2010

Way back in 2010, a new show with a familiar theme song premiered: Hawaii Five-0. Reboots are tricky to get right, but these Hawaiian cops—Steve McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin from the short-lived CBS series Moonlight and Three Rivers), his partner, Danny Williams (Scott Caan of the Ocean’s trilogy), and their team (Daniel Dae Kim as Chin Ho Kelly and Grace Park as rookie Kono Kalakaua)—succeeded where angels, superheroes, and soap operas failed. An now, four and a half years later, Hawaii Five-0 is celebrating its 100th episode.

The milestone episode, airing Friday, Nov. 7, sees Steve kidnapped by his longtime adversary, Wo Fat, and he imagines what could have happened to his Five-0 team if their lives had taken different paths. Executive producer Peter Lenkov took to Twitter to encourage fans to rewatch the pilot before the episode airs. I heeded his call and recapped it here so you busy folk can be equally prepared for the 100.

The pilot opens on a prisoner transport in South Korea led by Steve McGarrett. Steve has been chasing Anton Hesse (Norman Reedus, who would become The Walking Dead fan favorite Daryl) and his brother Victor (James Marsters, aka Buffy‘s Spike) for the last five years, and he’s finally captured Anton. But then Steve’s phone rings, displaying his father’s number.

But it’s actually Victor Hesse. Victor is holding Steve’s father, John, hostage in his home in Hawaii, and he offers Steve a trade: Steve’s father for Victor’s brother. Meanwhile, Victor is tracing the call, trying to get coordinates on Steve and his men. Once he has Steve’s location, Victor sends in a helicopter that starts shooting. Anton is killed in the crossfire, and just like that, Steve’s leverage is gone—and so is his father. When Victor figures out what happened, he kills John as Steve listens.

When Steve returns to Hawaii for his father’s funeral, the governor asks him to run her new task force with full immunity and means. In her words: “Your rules, my backing, no red tape” (which basically describes the whole show). Steve turns her down. He needs to find Victor Hesse before he leaves the island.

After storming off from the governor, Steve runs into Chin Ho Kelly, his father’s old partner. Chin was fired from HPD, but John was still good to him. Chin tells Steve that a haole fresh from the mainland has been assigned to his father’s case, and he doesn’t know how the island works.

Steve decides to start his own investigation. When he sneaks into his dad’s house, Steve notices a toolbox in the garage labeled “Champ.” On the phone before he died, John called Steve “Champ,” but that wasn’t his nickname. In the box, Steve finds a key and a tape recorder. His father was investigating something. But Steve is interrupted by Danny Williams, the cop tasked with solving his father’s murder.

After finally IDing each other after a short standoff, Danny apologizes for Steve’s loss but tells him that he cannot be at the crime scene. When Steve tries to sneak out with the Champ box, Danny stops him again. The box is evidence; Steve can’t take it.

Being a rational individual, Steve does the only reasonable thing and immediately calls the governor, accepts her job offer, and is sworn in as an officer of the law in Hawaii. Steve’s taking the box. It’s his crime scene now.

But despite their rocky start, Steve still needs Danny’s help. Steve goes to Danny to ask about his investigation so far. Danny had requested information on Doran, the man who had sold Hesse his gun. Steve tells Danny that they are going to go talk to Doran. Steve has jurisdiction, and he is making Danny his partner—whether he likes it or not.

When they arrive at Doran’s trailer, Danny says that they should call for backup. Steve informs Danny that he is the backup, and they storm in. Unsurprisingly, Doran starts shooting and Danny gets clipped. Steve chases Doran down, but he grabs a hostage. Luckily, Danny has recovered enough to sneak up behind Doran and take him out. But Steve is furious. Danny just took out his only lead. In the masculinity contest that follows, Steve and Danny scream at each other, Steve restrains Danny, and Danny returns the favor by punching Steve in the face. Yes, they’re getting along swimmingly so far.

But luckily, Steve finds a new lead: tied up in Doran’s trailer is a girl who had been smuggled in on a cargo ship from China. Whoever smuggled her in could smuggle Hesse out. Steve and Danny go to Chin for help on finding their human traffickers. But Chin says he can’t help them since he’s not a cop anymore. Steve tells Chin that if he didn’t take the money HPD accused him of and John trusted him, that’s good enough for him. And just like that, Chin is back in law enforcement.

Pilot (3)Chin takes them to a former CI, Kamekona, who points them toward a man named Sang Min. Steve wants to send someone in undercover, but on such a small island, Sang Min will know the cops. They need a fresh face. Conveniently, Chin’s cousin, Kono Kalakaua, is a soon-to-be-graduate of the police academy looking for some extra credit.

The guys send Kono in to see Sang Min, but he’s suspicious. He takes a photo of her and sends it to a mole inside of HPD. The mole outs Kono as a cop, but the boys burst in and take out Sang Min’s men. In his attempt to escape, Sang Min drives his car into a shipping container that was holding hundreds of smuggled immigrants. Sang Min is definitely their guy.

After some questionable interrogation methods (full immunity and means, remember?), they get the location of the ship transporting Hesse, but it is a Chinese ship headed into international waters. The governor cautions Steve, but he has—all together now!—full immunity and means! (I bet the governor is regretting her decision right about now.) Steve drives the police car directly onto the ship and finds Hesse. They fight and Steve shoots Hesse, but his body falls into the water. He’s dead … right?

Back at their new headquarters, Steve and Danny are starting to mend fences after a meaningful conversation over beers at Steve’s house, a swim-with-the-dolphins hotel package for Danny and his daughter from Steve, and the first of many “Book ’em, Dannos.”

Check out the sneak peek of Friday’s 100th episode below to catch a glimpse of how heavily the pilot will play into the episode.

Hawaii Five-0 airs Fridays at 9/8C on CBS.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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