‘Hawaii Five-0’: Why the new team is exactly what season 8 needed

Hawaii Five-0 recap: season 8, episode 12, “Ka hopu nui ‘ana (The Round Up)”, aired Jan. 5, 2018.

It appears that the changes made by Hawaii Five-0 this eighth season has paid off in the ratings, as well as popular opinion.

Three new series regulars (and a dog!) were brought on after Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park exited the show, among them being Meaghan Rath and Beulah Koale. With the exception of Ian Anthony Dale’s Adam, of course,  I hoped the newbies wouldn’t disappoint — this week’s episode proves that they are able to hold their own against the vets, and even carry the show on their shoulders effortlessly.

With the possibility of Alex O’Loughlin departing the series after this season, the team will need to carry on without its leader. Given the new casting of Rath and Koale and upping Dale to series regular status, I believe the show has potential to churn out another season … or four … so long as fans want them to keep going.

So, what is it about these new characters that we’ve grown to love? Let’s investigate.

Tani and Junior

I’ve said time and again; Hawaii Five-0 will never be the same without Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park. While this is still true and I stand by my statement, what is also obvious is that I’m actually truly enjoying the new additions of Rath and Koale to the Five-0 task force.

Chin (Dae Kim) and Kono (Park) were just as much a part of the central story as Steve (O’Loughlin) and Danny (Scott Caan), right from the beginning. I do agree they’re irreplaceable as characters, but if the team had gone on on their own — just Steve, Danny, and Lou (Chi McBride) — there would have been a void … the show would have felt flat.

Throughout the years, the team tried to expand the quantity of its members. Even with those additions, however, I felt that their dynamic with the team — Steve, Danny, Chin, and Kono — was amiss. They just couldn’t find the right person for the job — until they met Lou. Now, they seem to be on a roll with finding the perfect team members in Tani (Rath) and Junior (Koale).

Kono had been my favorite character in the series from the very first episode, so naturally, it was difficult to accept another character taking up her mantle … eventually, Tani grew on me. While it took a while to warm up to her, I thoroughly enjoyed Koale’s character right from the get-go. I love his dynamic with Steve, too.

While this week’s episode had Tani feeling responsible for the death of her crime boss ex-boyfriend, Junior was mourning the death of a Honolulu police officer he could not save in the line of duty — what a first day at Five-0, huh? It has been speculated that Tani and Junior are headed toward a romantic relationship, and there have been scenes that point in that direction, one of which when Tani and Junior leaned on each other and shared a moment together in that exam room. Awwww!

I’ve always thought that romance in the office was an element that proved missing in the series. I personally would have preferred that: it would have given the story more depth. The connection was there between Steve and Kono — at one point, early on. With their histories tied to the timeline … thus, it would have been interesting to see. If they are to go down the romantic path with Tani and Junior, it would be a refreshing. A change. A good one.

Eddie the Dog

Meanwhile, Steve, Lou, and Steve’s newly adopted dog Eddie work to find another crime boss. Eddie saves the day by sniffing out a crawl space, where the crime boss they were after was in hiding. Eddie followed him through the crawl space and bit his arm to keep him from running. Cue belly rubs!

Along with Tani and Junior, Eddie’s another strong addition to the team, and a scene-stealer in the best possible sense — this week, Eddie disapproved of his Uncle Lou sitting in his seat in Steve’s truck. I thought that it was a really cute and funny scene that was really needed due to the episode being so intense. Eddie’s stink eye at Lou was the best thing I’ve ever seen.


The show has finally, finally found a way to organically bring Adam to the team, which, to me, was actually done better than I expected.

The escalation of organized crime around the island seemed to have started six weeks before the FBI launched a special division task force to deal with these crimes — these events conveniently corresponded with Adam’s return to Hawai‘i, who the FBI suspect is linked to the reason behind the emergence of criminal activities in Hawai‘i.

By the end of the hour, Steve still has no lead on who killed the head of the special unit, nor who assassinated all the crime bosses who were imprisoned by Five-0. There’s a new player in town, which proves to be more dangerous and complicated than he expected. He asks Adam to head a new, special division within Five-0, similar to the failed unit that the FBI attempted to build. With Adam’s connections and knowledge of the organized crime world, he’s clearly the perfect man for the part.

Adam does not hesitate and takes the job — “I’m in,” he says. Albeit his wife Kono is a cop, Adam is fit for law enforcement, which he has proven throughout the series. The reasoning as to why he accepted is a bit questionable, but whatever the reason, Adam is now a part of the team, and I’m all for it.

What do you think of the newbies now? Sound it off in the comments! Hawaii Five-0 returns with a new episode on Friday, Jan. 12 at 9:00 p.m. on CBS.

(Featured image and all GIFs via CBS.)


Christine Cenon

Christine has earned a Bachelor of Science in Communication with a concentration in Journalism, and has prior educational experience in screenwriting. Apart from writing for Pure Fandom, she is a contributing writer for FanBolt and Tell-Tale TV, and participates in roundtable interviews about Supergirl at TV After Dark. She also has two complete, unproduced screenplays under her belt.

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