HAWAII FIVE-0 3.14 ‘Hana I Wa’la’ (‘Scandal’)

McGarrett comes face to face with an old enemy as the team investigates the murder of a prostitute with political ties.

Hilary Rothingby Hilary Rothing

Episode Title: "Hana I Wa'la" ("Scandal")

Writer: Mike Schaub

Director: Larry Teng

Previously on "Hawaii Five-0"

Episode 3.12 "Kapu" ("Forbidden")


Once again, McGarrett (Alex O'Loughlin) came painfully close to capturing the man responsible for killing his father, but the notorious Wo Fat (Mark Dacascos) is still at large on the island. At least now McGarrett has an idea of where to hunt.

The insertion of 5-0's greatest nemesis into an episode that was largely focused on a political scandal felt a little contrived, but it was worth it for the climatic helicopter shoot out between Danno (Scott Caan), McG and the big bad, Wo Fat. And it served as a reminder that McGarrett's unresolved vendetta is still burning him up inside.

But "Hana I Wa'la" was also about balancing trust with professional duties. Right from the start of the hour, we saw McGarrett attempt to stand up for his best bud and partner, Danno as he made a case for keeping his daughter on the island, despite his ex-wife, Rachel's plans to move to Las Vegas. Unfortunately, McGarrett's character statement was interrupted by a call from the Governor, who faced a nasty personal dilemma of his own.

When a prostitute was found dead at friend's home after presumably spending the evening with a Congressman, Governor Denning (Richard T. Jones) insisted McGarrett handle the case quietly. But with both the congressman and his chief of staff nowhere to be found and the governor slow rolling the investigation, McGarrett started demanding answers.

The revelation that Wo Fat set up the congressman in order to curry favor with his opponent in a special election felt a little bit out of left field, but it certainly made more sense than the hapless school teacher (Hey, it's Patrick Fischler, "Jimmy Barrett" from "Mad Men," and a zillion other shows) who hooked up with the hooker in a nightclub bathroom.

Action-wise, this episode felt a little light at first, but once they bring in the helicopters, it's all good. It was hard to not be a little disappointed that McG didn't "hand the wheel" to Danny and jump out of the chopper in pursuit of Wo Fat. But that would be a little nuts, considering Danny can't fly a helicopter. Still, would have been awesome though. One thing we can be pretty sure of is that McGarrett's got a renewed hankering for eliminating Wo Fat, which is great as this storyline has dragged on for three seasons now.

Aside from sky-high gun fights, "Hana I Wa'la" also had a couple of great lines. Chin's (Daniel Dae Kim) comment about guys who see prostitutes "not thinking with their heads, not the big one anyway," and Danny's remark about a "chicken in every pot and hoe in every bed" are the reason why "Hawaii Five-0" is the gold standard in cop show humor.