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Featured TV on DVD Review: Hawaii Five-O: Eighth Season

March 15th, 2010

Hawaii Five-O: Eighth Season - Buy from Amazon

Hawaii Five-O ran for more than a decade, starting in 1968. For many years it was the longest running detective series on TV (a record since passed by Law & Order). By the eighth season, the show was running like a well-oiled machine. There's little to report in terms in cast changes, as Season Eight had the same core cast as Season Seven (and the same core cast as Season Nine).

Cases dealt with in season eight range from international spy stories, to far more local criminals. The season starts with McGarrett returning to active duty in the Navy Reserves, only to be called into an investigation when a letter bomb kills an officer. It turns out that that officer was investigating a possible mole in the Navy who was passing on information about a downed satellite to the Chinese. That can mean only one thing: Wo Fat. Another early episode also involves spies and the Chinese, but this time it's a British Lord accused of betraying his country after a bad business deal wipes out his fortune. A Chinese scientist tries to defect, with the help of a fellow scientist, but there could be a little more to it than that.

Susan Dey guest stars as a mob courier whose lover has been skimming from the top and who wants out after she sees the hitmen that were sent to take him out. Now Five-O have to find her before the hitmen do. George Takei does guest work in Death's Name is Sam. He is recruited to go undercover when a plot to bring a SAM missile into Hawaii is uncovered. Other fun guest shots include Helen Hayes as Danny Williams' Aunt Clara, who gets involved in a murder but has a tough time convincing his nephew there's trouble. In A Touch of Guilt, Adam Arkin plays a college football player who, along with two of his teammates, rape a waitress. Since he's the son of a Senator, he's able to cover it up. Ed Asner is involved in art smuggling in Wooden Model of a Rat, though he's not smuggling Michelangelo's David, but two-inch tall Japanese carvings.

Not all episodes were stellar. The Case Against McGarrett started out with about 9 minutes of flashbacks, which really sapped the episode of any momentum. McGarrett is Missing starts with a prison break that was so obviously an inside job that it would have never succeeded in the long run and that hurts the viewer's suspension of disbelief. Some of the mysteries are not quite as intriguing as others, but overall it is another strong season.

Extras are limited to episodic promos, which is hardly an impressive amount of extras. There are also no "play all" buttons, but there are proper chapter placements and subtitles.

The Verdict

We're eight years into the twelve year run of Hawaii Five-O and it is still going strong. Sure, I miss some of the earlier cast members, like Zulu, but Season Eight is still worth picking up.

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