I have a confession to make: I’ve seen every single episode of Hawaii Five-0. Yes, you read that right, all 240.
Now, I’m guessing you have a lot questions — and almost all of them probably begin and end with “Why?” First off, the reason I’m writing this story is because it’s my personal goodbye to Five-0, which wraps up its 10-season run Friday. And fair warning: It’s a tearjerker. That’s right, I cried.
Like you surely are, people are often curious when they hear about my fandom of this CBS procedural reboot, especially considering I’m not exactly in the target demo. My dad is definitely in the target demo, and he absolutely watches. Honestly, Five-0 is one of the shows we’ve talked about most over the years, becoming a staple of Saturday morning calls (he’s been saying all season that this should be the last season, while I would happily watch another 22, or 240, episodes).
But there are plenty of reasons other than father-son bonding time that I kept that series recording for 10 seasons. To me, there’s nothing more important in a show than characters. The writing can be phenomenal and award-winning, but if you don’t want to spend time with these people, then you’ll just stop coming back. While Five-0 didn’t produce a Michael Scott, a Leslie Knope, or a Don Draper, this was always a group I enjoyed spending 42 minutes with.
It certainly helped that I had a history with the original four stars: Alex O’Loughlin from The Shield, Daniel Dae Kim from Lost, Grace Park from Battlestar Galactica, and Scott Caan from so many things that are exactly what Scott Caan should be in. And my affinity for these actors translated to their characters, which is why I was guaranteed to have a smile on my face when unlikely best friends Steve (O’Loughlin) and Danny (Caan) were hilariously bickering, or Kono (Park) was kicking ass, or Chin (Kim) was oozing charm. Sadly, Park and Kim left the show in 2017 when they were unable to reach new contract agreements, but the supporting ohana would grow and fit in naturally, including the likes of Chi McBride (Pushing Daisies), Jorge Garcia (Lost), Ian Anthony Dale (The Event), and Meaghan Rath (New Girl).
But if we’re being truthful, and this seems like a safe space, then I’ll admit that my favorite character was none of the above. Instead, it was Hawaii itself. I first went with my family more than 12 years ago, and it’s been one of my favorite places ever since. It’s such a beautiful set of islands, with a fascinating culture that we don’t often get to see on television. And it helped that you didn’t need to invest as much brain power as you would with a Mr. Robot or Westworld. That’s the appeal of a procedural, isn’t it? To just tune in, power down, look at a gorgeous locale, and watch a case get solved knowing you won’t need to remember anything that just happened come next week’s episode. That’s not to say Five-0 didn’t have its share of memorable story arcs, because it did, such as the early days of the Steve-Wo Fat (Mark Dacascos) rivalry, Danny’s failed mission to save his brother, or the roller coaster of Adam (Dale) and Kono’s relationship.
I’ll miss following along on those island adventures. Thankfully, this season’s Hawaii Five-0/Magnum P.I. crossover ensured that there’s an easy way to have 5-0 favorites pop back into our lives from time to time, even if it won’t be the same (granted, I don’t watch Magnum, so I’ll need all the Jay Hernandez stans to give me a heads-up when Danno washes up there). In this world of reboots and sequel series, I can only hope that years from now CBS will want a third iteration of Hawaii Five-0 for some reason and grown-up Grace Williams (Teilor Grubbs) will return to the island and join 5-0, much to the dismay of her father, Danny, who has retired and started his own P.I. agency, and much to the delight of her uncle Steve, who is the head of HPD. Just imagine the high jinks!
Until then, aloha, Hawaii Five-0.
The Hawaii Five-0 series finale airs Friday at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CBS. Stay tuned for postmortem coverage from EW.
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