Follow us on

Featured TV on DVD Review: Hawaii Five-O: The Ninth Season

August 3rd, 2010

Hawaii Five-O: The Ninth Season - Buy from Amazon

We are now nearly a decade into Hawaii Five-O, which at the time was the longest-running crime show on American TV. While there had been a few changes to the cast over the years, Jack Lord, James MacArthur, and Kam Fong were still working Hawaii Five-0 and busting the bad guys. The rogues gallery this seasons includes...

The Show

Wo Fat, the Chinese intelligence operative and long time adversary of Det. Steve McGarrett, returns with a plot to get hold of some deadly toxins brought into Hawaii so that they could be studied at the university. He's traveled to Hawaii under an assumed identity, a real professor that allegedly escaped communist China, but when an old colleague gets in contact with him, his plans become more complicated. But he has another, much more complicated plan that has McGarrett right at its center. It's an excellent way to get the season started.

Disc two starts with another highlight episode, Man on Fire, which starts with the discovery of five dead bodies near an active volcano. In the process of figuring out who these people are and why they died, they discover there may be rogue nuclear weapons on Hawaii. Anything this big involving nuclear weapons means they need the help of Pat Hingle. Also guest starring in this episode was John Hillerman. Higgins was a nuclear arms dealer? So that's the secret he was keeping from Magnum all those years. Other strong episodes from disc two include Tour de Force, Killer Aboard with an appropriately complex assassination plot. The Last of the Great Paperhangers includes a con / heist, and I'm a sucker for those. It also includes a guest spot by Kevin McCarthy, and I'm a sucker for guest spots as well.

Disc three starts on a rather weak note with Let Death Do Us Part. A man convicted of murdering his wife escapes from prison after refusing parole, twice. He needs to prove he is innocent in order to get his inheritance, which will otherwise go the dead woman's daughter. It's a good setup, but the daughter's "psychic" act grows tiresome almost immediately. Both Double Exposure and Yes, My Deadly Daughter deal with organized crime, but from two different angles, so they don't seem stale. In Target - A Cop, a sniper is calling the cops for small crimes and killing the police who show up. They get a lead, but he turns out to be paralyzed.

Rich Little has a guest shot in The Bell Tolls at Noon and he does what he does best, overact. McGarrett's girlfriend is killed in Man in a Steel Frame and he is framed for her killing, which is a better episode, but not spectacular. Ready... Aim... deals with gun-smuggling from Hawaii to Tokyo while a convicted murderer / rapist escapes in Elegy in a Rain Forest and heads into the forest, where he kidnaps a young woman. Basically, this disc is mostly solid, but none of the episodes really stand out.

John Ritter makes a guest shot on Dealer's Choice - Blackmail as a gambler caught in a sting at an illegal casino, but he gets away when the crime boss who runs the casino accidentally runs over the arresting officer while trying to escape. Now he's wanted by the cops as a potential witness, and by the crime boss for the same reason. A singer is kidnapped in To Die In Paradise and her and her kidnappers apparently die in a boating accident, but it's not as simple as that. The other two episodes on the DVD are good, but not among the best the season has to offer.

The final disc is also average, more or less. The always fun Pat Hingle returns for To Kill A Mind. A young lady is picked up by an older man only to be framed for murder, but when she gets away she joins a cult. McGarrett gets involved because she is the 17-year old daughter of one of the best cops in Hawaii. (On a side note, the young lady is played by Jessica Harper, who was in It's Garry Shandling's Show.) The season ends with Practical Jokes Can Kill You, which involves a grossly impractical heist of military weapons. It's not a bad episode, but the nature of the heist does distract from its effectiveness.

The Extras

The only extras on the DVD are episode promos. I'm glad they are here for completeness sake, but I'm equally glad episode promos went out of style, as they are little more than spoilers. However, the episodes start with these spoilers, just without the narration. Fortunately, you can skip these with the chapter skip button; however, this means you miss the opening theme song. Tough choice.

The Verdict

For a long time, Hawaii Five-O was the longest running-crime show on American TV, and The Ninth Season shows why. There are a number of excellent episodes, while even the weak offerings are still worth checking out. Lack of real extras is annoying, but if you purchased the previous seasons, there's no reason to stop now.

- Submitted by:

Filed under: Video Review