There's an echo or two or three, as 'Five-0' slips a skosh in demos
That stoic, sad gaze of Steve McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin), at the start of “Hawaii Five-0” Friday (Oct. 16), may have double meanings. Yes, he’s hurt and disappointed in Catherine’s (Michelle Borth) decision to leave again, this this time to Nepal, but he could be aching because of the CBS’ show slight dip in the Nielsen ratings.
“Five-0” has slipped in the coveted 18 to 49 demographics (the one that matters most to advertisers) to a 1.0 rating, behind its 8 p.m. (9 p.m. Mainland) competitor, ABC’s “Shark Tank,” which earned a 1.3 rating. In terms of viewership, “Five-0” had 8.89 million viewers, compared to “Shark’s” 5.74 million.
The evening’s best demo tally was Fox’s ALCS (American League Championship Series) game, which earned a 1.7 rating in the demos and 6.20 million viewers. The evening’s most-watched series was CBS’ “Blue Bloods,” with 10.34 million and a 1.1 rating in the demos.
The usual demo victor was eclipsed by the ALCS game, but ABC’s
“Last Man Standing” nonetheless logged a 1.3 demo rating, tied with “Shark Tank” and ABC’s “Dr. Ken.”
Overall, Fox won the demo derby (1.7 rating) and CBS had the best viewership of 6.20 million. There may be figure adjustments when delayed viewership is tallied.
Back to “Five-0.” Danno (Scott Caan) was off this week, tending to dad duties and a bone marrow transplant for his newly-discovered son Charlie. So there was no bromance in the car with McG, though Lou (Chi McBride) attempts to ease McG’s heartache with some barmance.
The show, “Ka papahana holo pono (Best Laid Plans),” was packed with echoes. Adam (Ian Anthony Dale) is still taunted by the Yakuza, taken hostage in an elevator, but happily not the target of torture this time. Adam is tapped by his captors to get information from Aaron James (Michael Maize), who might know the whereabouts of Gabriel Waincroft (Christopher Sean), brother-in-law of Chin (Daniel Dae Kim) and a dark element in the family ties.
The crime centerpiece involved a wealthy victim Harrison Crane, found with an arrow sticking in his body, discovered by some hikers amid faux money dancing in the wind. It’s the same loot figuring in last week’s episode, printed in a bathroom, and linked to Gerald Hirsch (Willie Garson), an art dealer reappearing. It’s this kind of a recurrence of a figure from a previous episode that contributes to the somewhat wobbly storytelling — the show no longer is a stand-alone thing, with far too many strings and coils from the past. Regular viewers might appreciate the flashbacks, but these echoes do little to grip a newbie interested in a crime-of-the-week procedural. That’s not to say that there can’t be a continuity, but there are far too many characters cluttering the viewscape.
Add Jerry (Jorge Garcia), brought into the art investigation by Chin, to indulge in his vested interest in the past about Crane. He might as well have mentioned a parallel to the real-life Japanese investor who let mansions in Kahala go kaput. But as a historian, he didn't.
Throughout the episode, there are car chases, car-dodging, and the discovery of a woman in a cavity shielded by a stone cover; there are attempts to get Hirsch help corral the baddies, but he gets a clothes switch and ditches his phone, making tracking impossible.
Hirsch’s caricatures of the “Five-0” team have a foundation in Waikiki; there used to be a dude who did remarkable sketches for a few bucks, and these random pen-and-ink creations reflected the personalities of Kono (Grace Park), McG, Chin, etc.
As for the walk-on by former NFL star Jerry Rice, it was contrived, but fans adore this kind of stuff.
It was a nice surprise, however, to find that the “Five-0” folks now huddle and share good times at Sheraton’s RumFire (twice this season so far, including aerial shots of the hotel) instead of the Tropics zone of the Hilton Hawaiian Village that had been home since season one. A behind-the-scenes switcheroo of hotel brands in Waikiki?
But echoes remain, and will recur: Adam and the Yakuza hustle; Kono trying to maintain happiness in her marriage to Adam; Danno, who'll have tales to share when he returns on camera; McG, either getting over Catherine or mooning about the distance. Call it a hope opera instead of a soap opera?
Bottom line: Can "Five-0" regain its downward glide, now delicately at the 1.0 rating meter in the demos? Anything under 1.0 would signal a certain demise.