I was unsure about the new season of Hawaii Five-0 after news broke of Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park leaving due to failed contract negotiations with CBS. That super sucks, on multiple levels. Not only do I hate that the network doesn’t value them as much as their white costars, but I knew the show wouldn’t be the same without two core members of the Five-0 ohana. In the end I knew I was too weak for McDanno to stop watching, but there was definite trepidation entering into the season 8 premiere.
We were introduced to “the new Kono” right off the bat. I don’t want to really refer to Tani that way, though, because it’s not fair to her character at all. There are definite similarities – she’s a badass woman who wants to be a cop and doesn’t take any bullshit from the men around her – but with time I feel like she’s going to develop enough that he comparisons will fade. And it’s not as if Kono is gone; while she won’t be on screen anymore, her legacy lives on, and we got an update on her new gig in the states, which I’m sure will happen fairly frequently.
Same with Chin. We know he’ll be replaced, but apparently not yet. He’s off in San Francisco with Abby, running his own task force. Kicking butt, as he does. It’s sad we didn’t get to see these decisions made, or get the goodbyes the characters (and the actors) so deserve, but it’s nice to see that Danny and Steve miss them as much as we do.
Speaking of Danny and Steve, it’s nice to see that the show is doubling down on their relationship. The restaurant is a go. I can’t believe we’re going to get to see so much of this process. It is going to lead to some truly epic carguments, isn’t it? We’re all going to die at how domestic it is, aren’t we? Steve is so invested in Danny’s dream, it’s painful.
One of my other favorite things about this show is how they honor guest stars and recurring characters. People pop up time and time again. I could have lived without another arsonist storyline, though, because fire is a huge trigger for me. The scenes where the team is trapped in the forest fire and the cabin, surrounded by flames? I almost had to shut the TV off.
Thankfully the good guys won (of course), and Steve got to execute one of the craziest rescue missions ever. It was a scene reminiscent of Scorpion, another CBS show I’m obsessed with, and I loved every over-the-top second of it.
Is the vibe a little different? Yep. You can feel the holes that Chin and Kono have left in the group dynamic. But the heart of the show is still there, and it’s still so satisfying to watch. Big sigh of relief over here.