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The H50 Pilot Review (Why am I doing this?)

Did you really need a blog post to tell you how awesome The Pilot episode of H50 is?

No. You really did not. Thanks for reading anyway.

So here is what we have: We have the pilot episode of H50.

There is an ongoing plot arc surrounding the John McGarrett murder & the mystery of the Champ Box. But we really can’t get much into that because The Pilot also introduces us to the Governor’s Task Force — and what is that all about, hmm?

This is the episode that establishes what “the new kind” of police officer looks like (much to Sang Min’s dismay) the components of which are:

1) Using Non-traditional Police Procedures such as ignoring an individual’s civil liberties (the entrapment of Sang Min)
2) Using Physical Violence to advance the investigation (Chin walloping Sang Min across the face with the ash tray)
3) Using Emotional Manipulation to advance the investigation (McG telling Sang Min he knows where his wife & kid are and can’t stop them from being sent back to Rwanda, etc.)
4) Book ’em Danno (exemption from prosecution using the methods listed above in Steps 1-3)

This is what, if Kono had her way, we would call “Strike Force” policing. This is what the Governor called “immunity & means.” This is how Crimes Are Solved on H50. And it is a pattern established in The Pilot.

Like all good Pilot episodes, it introduces us to the Show’s core characters: McG, Danno, Chin & Kono as well as the recurring characters of Gov. Jameson, Grace Williams, Victor Hesse, Kamekona and Sang Min. Rachel Edwards is in the episode but on the phone & off screen. So let’s meet The Team.

Steve McGarrett. In The Pilot, McG’s BAMF-ometer is off the charts. We meet him as SEAL-Steve. He shows off his fist fighting/martial arts abilities and runs around after the bad guys (that’s not a figure of speech I mean literally, he spends a lot of time running around in this episode).

This is my SEAL face.

McG has a multitude of character beats demonstrated in this episode as we see him personally help the Victim of crime, use his “Science Guy” abilities to creatively find clues, speak a foreign language, generally be a smart-ass and he still finds the time to take off his shirt (busy ep).

Next we meet Chin Ho Kelly, a former-cop-now-security-guard working at Pearl Harbor, an alum of the same High School McG attended & an ex-coworker of John McGarrett. He’s the one who alerts McG that there’s “a haole working your father’s case.” We cut directly to said haole.

You guys are going to think I'm crazy, but he has such pretty knuckles. The whole hand-wrist region... I'll just shut up now.

Our intro to Danny Williams is no less well-executed as we meet him (in basically the one scene McG’s not in) picking up his daughter for school. He’s hard working, frustrated, well-intentioned and a great dad.

What we come to expect from Danny going forward we also get here in The Pilot: Danny doesn’t love Hawaii, he doesn’t appreciate Rachel & Stan’s affluent lifestyle, he doesn’t hesitate to tell you his thoughts & feelings, he deflects personal comments really well, and he’s an excellent shot (got Doran in the head from behind & Etienne in the kneecap after rolling across the deck of the cargo ship). Finally, and most importantly: McG’s know-it-all attitude and single-mindedness drives him INSANE.

Now I can NOT go into “What Bromance Is” here, I just don’t have the space. But take a minute & imagine there is a brilliant treatise on Bromance & What It Is right –>here.<– Got it? Ok, let's continue.

Our dynamic duo now returns to Pearl Harbor to recruit the reluctant Chin Ho to the team. While it's obvious Chin wants to help hunt down the human traffickers, he knows there's no way he'll be allowed to as a regular police officer. McG recruits him anyway.

Smile back - you know you want to!

McG liberates Chin Ho from rubber-gun-dom & the first thing Chin Ho does is change into a BOLDLY PATTERNED HAWAIIAN SHIRT (or as they call them in Hawaii, “shirts”). The second thing he does is connect them with Kamekona. The third thing he does is call up Sang Min’s jacket on an iPad. The fourth thing he does is invite Kono to join the madness. Thus, 99% of what you need to know about Chin Ho Kelly you have learned in a couple short scenes. He’s a snappy dresser, connected, good with tech & a mentor to his young cousin. And speaking of!

Do Not Mess With Her.

Much is made of Kono’s BAMF-ness: she’s a pro-level athlete, she cold-cocks guys who “drop in on her wave,” she’s not afraid to go undercover & remove her clothes while surrounded by 3 or 4 thugs with guns. However, what differentiates her from McG, the character trait unique to Kono, is Enthusiasiam. Kono is Excited about being a police officer. Kono has the confidence of youth and inexperience. She wants to call team “Strike Force” because it would be cool to have a name. Kono is Thrilled To Be Here.

And so are we. The sun sets on our little team, enjoying some beer & bonding. Ooh-Rah! We have met the team and been introduced to the basic format for Show.

Based on my (at this time secret) criteria I’m giving this ep a 9/10 (seriously it only loses points because there’s so little screen time for Chin & Kono which is kind of unavoidable). The Pilot episode is probably as close to perfect an ep as Show gets for me — I’m going to be BRUTAL in my (for now secret) grading critera so I don’t expect many episodes to grade higher than this one. It’s probably one of my favorite episodes of H50, full stop.

About SJ2

I am good with: Details, Bad Ideas, Hilarity, Sarcasm and Overthinking! I kid because I care!


93 thoughts on “The H50 Pilot Review (Why am I doing this?)

  1. See here I am faced with the dilemma of being friends with you Steph. We both live on the west coast, but of completely different Countries. Which means I’d love to sit here & discuss this with you all might however youve posted this just before bed. Hmmm, still tomorrow is another day. Ooh, get me? I went all Madonna on you then.
    Anyway, in summary, I totes loved this episode.

    Posted by Wee Jayne | March 5, 2012, 2:30 pm
  2. The pilot for sure sets the bar high. I still love it and will always love it. I don’t think it will ever be a non-top 5 episode for me.

    Posted by Princess Buttercup (ESS) @H50BAMF | March 5, 2012, 2:36 pm
  3. Wait, I’ve just read as far down as Danno’s entrance (No, not that – cheeky) onto show. Knuckles – really? I can honestly say I have never heard of anyone before going ooh look at his knuckles!! Wow!

    Posted by Wee Jayne | March 5, 2012, 2:38 pm
  4. Steph ! 9/10 ?

    BUT, BUT what about, the best stunt EVAH ? McG slides across car on his A$$ ? Wheeeeeee !

    Danno punches McG in the face. You’re right, I don’t like you!”

    And lest we forget, Black Keys .. Sinister Kid !

    Ya sure, your arm can’t be twisted to reevaluate as 10/10 ?
    Can’t hurt to ask …. good review !

    Posted by lb | March 5, 2012, 4:32 pm
  5. Now look what you’ve done. I want to watch this ep again! I have a feeling I’ll be doing a re-watch one episode behind you. πŸ˜‰

    Posted by heymomo | March 5, 2012, 6:04 pm
  6. RE: Kono’s suggestion for name of Team. I think that she is a fan of The Shield and Farmington District Strike Force. That’s her fantasy of proper police procedure. You don’t learn those tactics at the academy.


    Posted by Andr3a | March 5, 2012, 8:58 pm
  7. Steph, this review made me laugh so much. This is my SEAL face nearly had me spilling my cup of tea all over my laptop.

    I rewatched the pilot not long ago and it reminded me of how I fell in love with show. I watched the pilot when it aired here at Sheila’s advice, not all that keen as I don’t normally watch cop shows. I watched it. πŸ˜€ Then they repeated it later in the week and I had set for to be recorded because I KNEW I KNEW I would love this show and wanted all the eps recorded.

    Posted by Infant_Sardonic | March 5, 2012, 10:47 pm
  8. Thanks for this Steph J,
    You’ve given me an excuse to rewatch, as if I needed one.
    LOVE the Pilot. There’s so much great stuff in it. Great cinematic, a*smashing beginning but we immediately start to care about the characters as we see Steve witness his father’s murder over the phone.
    Steve in uniform – impossibly good looking.
    Love the bit when Steve and Danny meet. Danny saying he’ll get an ambulance for Steve if he doesn’t back down. Steve only agreeing to the set up the Governor’s task force because he’s impressed by Danny’s policing.
    Carguments, Danny punching Steve. Danny gets shot – he hardly ever gets hurt, it’s always Steve.
    To be contd after Real Life.

    Posted by Mary Jane | March 6, 2012, 12:25 am
  9. You are doing this because you LOOOOOVE us and want to make us happy. (It’s working, in case you were wondering.)

    Love your review. Extra points for use of the word ‘walloping’, because it is a superb word.

    Re: Danny’s knuckles – you are crazy, you are not looking far enough up the arm. You should be looking at where his arms are about to make a break for freedom in those spoilsport Not T-shirts he wears – the delts and the way they gently curve down towards the biceps and… and… what was I saying?

    Posted by aliciad71 | March 6, 2012, 1:33 am
  10. OK. Have rewatched. (Loving this chance to discuss the episodes).
    Another name for this ep could be DFTTF (Danny’s fist to the face).
    At the end when Danny says ‘You look really bad’ – he caused some of that!
    The Governor ‘What you see is what you get with me Commander’… How did we not know??? πŸ™‚
    When I first saw it I was a bit confused by what was going on in the beginning. Think I thought Steve was in the helicopter. Have since worked it out. Fits with his personality that he shoots Anton because he is about to finish off a colleague even though it puts his father at more risk.
    Had thought Steve gets shot in the vest at the end but he has a pad near his collar bone.
    1/2 point has to come off the perfect 10 for the following: Steve says ‘There’s something you should know about your brother…..[long pause while Victor, gun in hand could have shot him 10 times over] ‘he died the same way you did’.
    Danny’s roll!!
    Steve driving the car onto the boat.
    I keep having to check the Pilot was a normal length episode. So much was packed in. It was so tightly written.

    Posted by Mary Jane | March 7, 2012, 1:16 am
  11. Looks like your reviews are going to be more character and team orientated. Hope I am getting the right feeling. To me that is the backbone of the story and if they develope that, any stupid prosedural they dig up, will still be entertaining to me….
    I imagine that most of the points system you use also belong to that….and then of cause some shitlessness etc. Think the only episode that might get a 10 would be one with pantslessness πŸ˜‰

    Posted by FOYeur | March 7, 2012, 11:02 pm
    • Hi FOYeur! You are absolutely getting the right feeling. I am one of those people who don’t think **too** hard about the case-of-the-day – I just take everything as it comes and as long as there isn’t too much insulting clarica or blatant contradictions in the plot, I come away with a good feeling. I watch for the characters, their relationships & the humor. How they work together to solve problems/cases or help each other out. I also like action sequences when they’re well done & H50 has awesome action as you well know. πŸ˜‰

      Also I think you mean SHIRTlessness?? πŸ˜†

      Posted by stephaniejane2 (The Junk Kicker) | March 8, 2012, 7:22 pm
      • Oh Sh/t, yes. There should always be some sh/t flying around in every episode, and if not, I would deduct points for it.:wink: On the other hand ShiRtlessness of any of the male charaters & one with all of them together, should rate very high………:lol:
        On a more serious note – the baring of emotions, in my book, can be a lot s:xier than any clotheslessness……

        Posted by FOYeur | March 8, 2012, 8:56 pm
  12. Sh/t on a stick! I thought I had followed this blog. Now I’m behind. =(

    Posted by spurschick | March 9, 2012, 3:50 pm
  13. I am the only person in the whole world who thought the pilot was ‘ok’? Not McG and I watched it and while we enjoyed it, it didn’t blow us away. I remember us saying to each other that we’d give the show a couple of weeks more watching before deciding whether to stick with it.

    And yet, on rewatch when the DVD came out, we both thought it was great.

    Posted by westy | March 9, 2012, 5:42 pm
    • It’s definitely better on rewatches, when you know the characters.

      Posted by Mary Jane | March 10, 2012, 6:28 am
    • I think The Pilot was meant to “suck you in” by putting so much good material out there. Of course it’s not going to work for everyone, but the idea is, if The Pilot didn’t work for some people, they probably didn’t turn in the next week. So not liking the Pilot & still watching the show going forward puts you in a minority opinion for sure! So I’m curious to know how many eps you had to watch before you decided you liked it, and how many you had to watch before you decided YOU REALLY LIKED IT. πŸ˜† Because it doesn’t matter to me how we all got here, we’re here now & that’s what’s important.

      Posted by stephaniejane2 (The Junk Kicker) | March 10, 2012, 10:01 am
    • Considering you don’t like TOF, it doesn’t suprise me, Westy. *heh*

      I saw a preview of the pilot before it aired and it basically just showed the beginning w/McG shooting Anton and Victor shooting his Dad. I had the brief thought that the show may be too violent to my liking and almost…ALMOST didn’t watch!! Again, thank you Hawaii for being such awesomeness that i couldn’t resist. Especially since we’d just got back from HI. (don’t ask me about missing SOTB by a week..grr!)

      Posted by Princess Buttercup (ESS) @H50BAMF | March 12, 2012, 5:51 pm
  14. Steph J
    When do you hope to review Ep 2 so I can rewatch in good time? (No pressure!!)

    Posted by Mary Jane | March 18, 2012, 1:57 am

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