A lot of what went down in the Season 3 premiere of “Hawaii Five-0” was pretty strong stuff. The show resolved its cliffhangers in short order, gave Daniel Dae Kim some meaty, emotional scenes to play and introduced both McGarrett’s mother, played by Chrstine Lahti, and some intrigue surrounding her return.
The episode also, however, contains the single most preposterous bit of action the show has ever done, a set piece so insanely over the top that Michael Bay might blush if he saw it. “Five-0” has done more than its share of big action sequences over its first two seasons, but the Wo Fat breakout scene trumps them all, then picks them up with a giant claw, drops them into the ocean and leaves them for the dive team to recover.
(Spoilers for the Season 3 premiere below.)
From the moment the armored car and its line of police escorts left the prison yard and started down the winding, two-lane road (which, in fairness, describes a lot of roads on Oahu), you had to know a breakout scene was in the offing. And, credit where it’s due to the “Five-0” writers and production team, we absolutely did not see the prison break-by-giant helicopter claw coming.
But, come on. Billy Baldwin and Wo Fat can pull that off, but they don’t have the sense not to land at a marina where there are no video cameras?
Fortunately, the rest of the episode provided a much more grounded counterweight to the crazypants action. Kim handled Chin Ho’s emotional roller coaster with aplomb, making both his grim pursuit of Delano and his final breakdown at home seem utterly believable.
The eminently watchable Lahti also added some spark as McGarrett’s long-lost mother, Doris, aka Shelburne. We have some questions about the timeline she described to McGarrett — either she packed an awful lot of activity into a fairly brief spy career, or she was still on the job when Steve and his sister were kids — but the secrets she’s clearly still harboring should make for some interesting things to unpack further down the road.
(In fact, if the “Five-0” team just wanted to do a show within the show featuring Lahti and new series regular Michelle Borth going on missions while talking about what Catherine’s relationship with Steve really is, that’d be OK.)
It’s also heartening to see that Adam is still around. Let’s hope his and Kono’s relationship gets some decent play this season, as the brief glimpse of it last year seemed fairly promising.
What did you think of the “Hawaii Five-0” premiere? Was the jailbreak scene too much, or just good fun, and what do you think Doris’ real agenda with Wo Fat is?