The show Hawaii Five-0 recently ended with its series finale, “Aloha”, after a decade-long run. It was a reimagined version of the original Hawaii Five-0, which ran from 1968 to 1980. Fans loved the bromance between Steve McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) and Danny “Danno” Williams (Scott Caan), among other things.
There were many compelling storylines and character arcs over the years, as well as a variety of intriguing cases. The character development was impressive, especially given the changes in the cast made over time. That said, it leads us to the 10 best episodes of Hawaii Five-0, according to IMDb.
10“Pa’a Ka ‘Ipuka I Ka ‘Upena Nananana” (8.7)
This episode marked a big character development for Chin (Daniel Dae Kim). While Abby’s (Julie Benz) kidnapping and Max’s (Masi Oka) decision to leave Hawaii for an opportunity with Doctors Without Borders were also going on, Chin got some real closure to an ongoing storyline.
Consisting of his deceased wife’s brother Gabriel (Christopher Sean) who murdered Chin’s father as part of a gang initiation many years before. Gabriel dies by the episode’s end, but not before apologizing for the murder and asking Chin to look after his daughter.
9“O Ke Ali’i Wale No Ka’u Makemake” (8.8)
The Season 6 finale outlines the meaningful partnership and sense of brotherhood between Steve and Danny. Taking on the rising meth epidemic in Hawaii leads them to more trouble beyond drugs, especially when the two go undercover as pilots and Steve is gravely injured.
Danny manages to land the plane on the beach and further saves Steve’s life by providing him part of his liver to help Steve recover in a life-saving surgery. The team all comes together, anxiously hoping for good news while in the hospital waiting for the two partners to emerge, in a true show of “ohana”, which means family. Luckily the two men are shown to be recuperating nicely, giving one another a hard time in the episode’s end.
8“Ina Paha” (8.8)
In the series’ 100th episode, we get closure and a new perspective on the Five-0 team on what might have been. Steve is kidnapped by his arch-enemy, Wo Fat (Mark Dacascos) and subsequently tortured. While Wo Fat drugs him, Steve is transported to an alternate-reality of 2010, in which his father was never murdered and Five-0 was never formed.
We see the different directions the team had taken in their lives, such as Kono being a world champion surfer and Grover (Chi McBride) as a tourist. The episode’s end gives audiences, and Steve, the closure we needed all along: Steve shoots Wo Fat dead, ending the five-season storyline between them and giving Steve the peace he deserves.
7“Aloha Ke Kahi I Ke Kahi” (8.8)
The team is held hostage in the Season 4 opener, only for the terrorists to shoot the guy they came for and later surrender. However, the drama’s not yet over as Steve must rescue his kidnapped girlfriend Catherine (Michelle Borth).
Elsewhere, Kono’s and Adam’s (Ian Anthony Dale) location has been compromised during the hostage takeover. The episode ends on a cliffhanger, and remains one of the highest-rated season premieres of the series.
6“I Ka Wa Mamua” (8.8)
The episode does a phenomenal job of flashing from past to present, telling two stories in one. Danny, encouraged by Steve, tells a story about a former case of his from his time in New Jersey. Danny tells the story as a distraction from his present problem: he’s triggered a motion-censored bomb, and he must remain still until the bomb squad can remove it. Steve, being the partner and friend he is, doesn’t leave Danny throughout the entire process.
Danny’s story includes a former partner named Grace (who is presumably the inspiration for the name of Danny’s daughter, whom his wife was pregnant with in the past story) who was killed in the line of duty on the same day as 9/11. Danny is eventually freed, just in time to make it to the father-daughter dance.
Jenna Kaye (Larisa Oleynik) requests Steve’s help in the recovery of her fiancé from North Korea, but as she’s been working with Wo Fat, it turns out to be a horrible trap. With Joe White’s (Terry O’Quinn) help, Steve’s Five-0 team track him and set off on a mission to find him before it’s too late.
Luckily Jenna redeems herself in her final moments, helping Steve to escape after discovering her beloved fiancé was dead all along. Wo Fat escapes, but Steve is saved, and Chin announces the happy news that he’s once again engaged to his former fiancée.
4“Ua Hala” (8.9)
“Ua Hala” doesn’t stop with the action from moment one. When a cop is shot and killed, which also leads to Medical Examiner Max (Masi Oka) getting shot as well, Five-0 jumps into action. While tracking down the shooter, they are nearly blown to pieces, alongside other Honolulu Police Department officers, when HPD headquarters is blown to smithereens.
As if that weren’t enough, Chin is forced into the difficult position of choosing between the lives of his wife and cousin, and whose fates we don’t know the outcome of until the Season 3 premiere. Plus, Danny fights his ex for custody and Steve discovers that “Shelburne” is really his mother, whom he’d thought to be dead for years.
In the Season 2 premiere, Steve escapes from prison with help from none other than Victor Hesse (James Marsters), the man that killed his father, and sets off as a fugitive. Danny, Chin and Kono (Grace Park) reunite to help their former boss clear his name and capture Wo Fat.
The team only succeeds in the former, thanks to an investigation Steve’s father had been conducting prior to his death, and while Wo Fat escapes, Steve convinces the newly-appointed Governor to reinstate his team (except for Kono, who still remains under investigation) so they can continue going after Wo Fat and guys like him.
2“Ho’onani Makuakane” (9.0)
This Season 4 episode is one for the books, given it centers on the Five-0 team investigating the attempted murder of a Pearl Harbor veteran by a man who believes said veteran killed his father decades before. Steve finds that the would-be murderer has connections to his own grandfather, whom Steve is named after.
As Steve and the team work, they discover a cover-up that took place at an internment camp on Oahu, and locate the real killer, who is now dead, but also manage to recover a valuable family heirloom. Steve’s family history, history itself and Danny’s claustrophobia make for an episode with a little bit of everything.
In the Season 1 finale, everything that Five-0 has become, both a team and a family, are torn apart. It all starts with the murder of Laura Hills (Kelly Hu), and leads to Steve being framed for the murder. Steve breaks into the Governor’s residence, confronting her for Laura’s murder, and connecting her with Wo Fat.
Everything quickly goes downhill as Wo Fat himself shows up, tasers Steve, and murders the Governor, leading to Steve’s arrest and the dissolution of Five-0. Meanwhile, Kono is arrested for her part in a robbery earlier in the season, and Danny must choose between leaving Hawaii with his family or staying to help his friends.