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Aloha, Danno - it was nice knowing you....
Paramount / 1979-1980 / 996 Minutes / Unrated / Street Date: January 10, 2012
And it comes to an end. Hawaii Five-O was just before my time as a television institution, and over the last few years, I've had a chance to catch up with the show via season-long TV-on-DVD releases from Paramount: Now I know what it means to switch from "Book 'em, Danno" to "Close the book, Danno". But I have to say that I echo the chatter about this Twelfth and Final Season of the show - it really isn't all that great.
It's fun that the baddie from the show's pilot episode, Wo Fat (Khigh Dhiegh) comes back to wrap things up on the series finale included on this box set (Woe to Wo Fat), and there are a handful of fun installments in which our beloved island crimefighters are clearly having fun with their iconic characters before they hang up their badges, but like most series that last a dozen years, it's not surprisingly that the wind drops out of Hawaii Five-O's sails pretty early on here.
There's a fun female revenge story within the walls of Who Says Cops Don't Cry, and the modus operandi behind the model airplane bank heist in The Flight of the Jewels is so jump-the-shark stoopid that it makes for solid campy fun, but Hawaii Five-O: The Twelfth and Final Season as a whole is autopilot television at its most predictable and run-of-the-mill. There are tidbits of send-off magic for those of us who have paid enough attention to the show to pick up a handful of inside jokes, but there's no way one could argue these episodes are as good as those during the show's prime.
I'm glad I was able to get the show under my belt - with a few exceptions, I now have a pretty solid familiarity with the thing - but predictably, the first half of Hawaii Five-O's run was more effective than its second half. Jack Lord and company deserve their place in television Valhalla, to be sure, but this final box set isn't exactly the most crystalline example of their detective mojo.