Hawaii Five-0: The Third Season – DVD Review

DVD available at Amazon.com

Created by:
Leonard Freeman

Jack Lord….Det. Steve McGarrett
James MacArthur…Det. Danny Williams
Kam Fong….Det. Chin Ho Kelly
Zulu….Det. Kono Kalakaua
Khigh Dhiegh….Wo Fat

Paramount Home Video presents Hawaii Five-O: The Third Season. Twenty Four episodes on 6 DVDs. Originally broadcast from Sept. 16, 1970 to March 10, 1971. DVD released Jan. 22, 2008.

The Show

Do they have statues in Honolulu of Jack Lord as an island god? In his role of Detective Steve McGarrett, he was the ultimate figure of justice on the Pacific paradise. Instead of being based in a police station, Five-O had headquarters in the Iolani Palace. His office chair might as well have been a King’s throne. He had so much power in law enforcement that none of the other police organizations dared to battle him on jurisdiction. Once McGarrett and his Five-0 crew arrived on the crime scene, all local cops bowed to his authority. Hawaii Five-O: The Third Season shows how McGarrett kept this vacation state safe for tourists to enjoy Don Ho in peace.

The season launches with “And a Time to Die.” A U.S. agent is critically shot while arriving in Hawaii. To make matters worse, Wo Fat has kidnapped the daughter of the best neurosurgeon on the islands. If the doctor doesn’t follow the exact orders, Fat will sizzle the girl. It’s up to Five-O to save two lives. This is a tight thrilling episode. We get to see McGarrett go undercover. What’s amazing is that in this era of communications companies being sensitive to political pressures, Wo Fat remains on the collection. What do the folks in Beijing think of Jack Lord tangling with the top Red China espionage operative? Fat’s got a bigger plot in “F.O.B. Honolulu.” He’s going to destroy our economy using an ancient Buddha and fake military personal. He’s going to flood the US with fake currency. Seeing how China is now a major trading partner, they won’t try this plot cause it will hurt them more than us.

“Trouble In Mind” reminds us that when you get involved in jazz music, you’ll eventually score heroin laced with arsenic. McGarrett has to stop the dealer that’s killing the locals. His only lead is legendary singer Nancy Wilson’s pianist. This Nancy Wilson is the jazz singer and not the sister from Heart that isn’t married to Cameron Crowe. Even though the DVD set contains the “episodes may be edited” warning, there doesn’t seem to be any songs missing from her performance. “The Second Shot” brings more political intrigue onto McGarrett’s domain. This time he’s in the middle of an assassination plot involving a Greek leader in a tropical exile. The leader is played by John Marley, the man who found a something in his bed in both The Godfather and SCTV. “Time and Memories” gives us flashbacks to when McGarrett was in the Navy. What’s more stiff, his starched uniform, his hair or his romantic skills with his old lover? Martin Sheen plays a young lawyer tied into a homicide. “The Ransom” has Jerry the Dentist (Peter Bonerz from The Bob Newhart Show) as part of a kidnapping crew. This episode gives Five-O’s Kono plenty of screen time. Although most of it involves him getting his face bashed in by the kidnappers. Jerry the Dentist can fix his teeth afterwards.

“The Late John Louisiana” is a great twist on the usual hitman story. In this case the hitman gets too close to a previous target and now he’s got to finish the job or get retired. This is a plot that should be ripped off for a low budget film starring Dennis Quaid. “Paniolo” allows McGarrett to go Western without leaving the tropical location. A Maui rancher rudely discovers that a real estate developer has bought his IOU. The developer wants the money or the ranch. A crime ensues and McGarrett has to take to the Hawaiian High Country on horseback. He wears a hat that’s not going to impress Marshall Dillon. “Ten Thousand Diamonds and a Heart” has a group of older criminals plot to rob the Honolulu diamond exchange. One of the plotters is Tim O’Connor, beloved as Dr. Elias Huer on Buck Rogers is the 25th Century. There’s plenty of good twists, turns and subterfuges on the rock heist.

This third season of Hawaii Five-O is the best yet as far as stories and performances. It mixes the major crimes with the extraordinary cases in a picturesque setting. The show hadn’t gotten too out of control (as illustrated in its loopy 12th and final season) with completely outrageous plots. There was still a minor chance that these events could actually happen in Hawaii. This season marks the solidification of McGarrett’s super cop image. He doesn’t have to spend half of his investigations in petty politics. He kicks asses and doesn’t kiss them. His Five-O crew is tight with their ability to do exactly what he orders on a case. This is a perfect fantasy cop show that takes place in the dreamy world of Hawaii. Steve McGarrett didn’t merely fight crime, he made criminals worship his greatness as he had Danno book ‘em.

The Episodes

“And a Time to Die,” “Trouble In Mind,” “The Second Shot,” “Time and Memories,” “The Guarnerius Caper,” “The Ransom,” “Force Of Waves,” “The Reunion,” “The Late John Louisiana,” “The Last Eden,” “Over Fifty? Steal!,” “Beautiful Screamer,” “The Payoff,” “The Double Wall,” “Paniolo,” “Ten Thousand Diamonds and a Heart,” “To Kill or Be Killed,” “F.O.B. Honolulu (two parter), “The Gunrunner,” “Dear Enemy,” “The Bomber and Mrs. Moroney” and “The Grandstand Play” (two parter).


The picture is 1.33:1 full frame. The transfers are sharp enough to let you behold his hair strands fighting the Pacific breeze.

The soundtrack is Dolby Digital Mono.

Episodic Promos are given for many of the shows in the season. The minute long teases can be seen as a group or before each episode. This is good if you can’t remember if you saw the episode already.

The DVD Lounge’s Ratings for Hawaii Five-O: The Third Season







The Inside Pulse
If you’ve enjoyed the first two seasons of Hawaii Five-0, you’ll be sucked into the third season. Jack Lord’s hair looks brilliant in these transfers.