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).
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.
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.
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!
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.