By Wayne Harada
The good news: CBS’ “Hawaii Five-0” was up a skosh in the demographics, in the Monday overnight TV ratings for Oct. 1.
The bad news: It still is No. 3 in viewership in its 9 p.m. timeslot (10 p.m. Mainland), behind ABC’s No. 1 “Castle,” and NBC’s No. 2 “Revolution.”
NBC’s “The Voice” continues to be a reliable lead-in for “Revolution,” but the post-apocalypse drama also is gliding a bit. Similarly, “Dancing With the Stars” was a powerful lead-in for “Castle,” which is helping that procedural.
“Five-0’s” two sitcoms in the preceding hour — “2 Broke Girls” (9. 02 million viewers) and “Mike and Molly” (8.507 million) — are struggling to compete with the pair of reality shows.
The snapshot for 9 p.m. is quite clear: “Five-0” has an uphill struggle ahead in the still-new 2012-13 season.
“Castle” had 10.33 million viewers, with a 1.9/adults 18 to 49 demo rating and 5 share; “Revolution” attracted 8.40 million viewers, with a 3.28 adults 18 to 49 rating and 8 share; and “Hawaii Five-0” trailed with 7.72 million viewers, with 1.9 adults 18 to 49 rating and 5 share.
The slight glimmer of hope: “Five-0” built up its demo, which was 1.8 adults last week.
The episode, “Kanalu (Doubt),” raises some doubt as “Five-0” wrestles with its third-place ranking for the second time in season three. Will it be a pattern, or will there be an eventual reversal of fortunes?
The show began with a touching paddle-out for the scattering of ashes for Chin’s late wife Malia — a scene repeated with variation from season one’s aloha to a surfing legacy — and closed with Chin still grappling over her loss but surrounded by support from his ohana. Chin (Daniel Dae Kim) was the hour’s best soul: fans could connect with his character, thanks to smart writing.
In-between the grief, there was a mix of the expected (an art heist, carguments between McGarrett and Danno, snits between Danno and guest star Ed Asner as the resurrected August March, McG showing skin as Alex O’Loughlin looked confident and refreshed), and the unexpected (the where-is-Mom McG issue, the suicide-demise of March on Pali Highway, that aforementioned memorial at sea, which was a smaller version earlier-mentioned season one spectacle lavishly filmed on the North Shore, but this is for a character not known for her surfing).
Best moments: the glorious auto-matics — the zoom-zooming cars and the quick, screeching turns, notably the aerial shots with the baddie evading Five-0 with the help of a bus. Kudos to the cinematographers.
Bonus points: the show’s pace, bookending poignancy and action-adventure; in short, among the last few shows of season two and the premier of season three’s first episode, this one was as good as it gets.
Penalty points: Drawing out, again, the Mother McG issue – where is she?; the coyingly, annoying jibberish from Max, recovering from an injury; disregard for general protocol in real life — the March character is a suspect in custody, yet he is not cuffed in the car, is not securely guarded, he gets a free pass only to wind up as roadkill; the disregard for common rule of no romance in the workplace — with Michelle Borth returning as Catherine, an investigating colleague of McG and his rekindled love interest, but no credible sizzle or chemistry; and oh, yeah, Kamekona, and his — hello? — out-of-the-box notion of peddling shrimp from a helicopter.
Overall, there’s still a lot of unnecessary clutter in the storytelling; which brings up the issue of “Doubt.”
Will “Five-0” manage to bring up the numbers?
Do you think it will post an ascent in the ratings when the November sweeps begin? Or not?