After 12 seasons on the air, CBS’ Hawaii Five-0 finally came to an end. Unfortunately, it went out with more of a whimper than a bang.
Hawaii Five-0 centers around Jack Lord and James MacArthur as detectives Steve McGarrett and Dan Williams who work for the fictional Hawaiian state police department. Others in the cast include Kam Fong, Herman Wedemeyer, Harry Endo, Zulu, Richard Denning, Al Harrington, Al Eben, Peggy Ryan, Glenn Cannon, Danny Kamekona, Moe Keale, Douglas Mossman, and Kwan Hi Lim. The show’s straightforward storytelling, fast-paced action and strong ensemble cast kept the show popular for years.
The last episode of the police series, number 278, is titled “Woe to Wo Fat.” It was first aired on April 5, 1980. By this time in the show’s history, both MacArthur (Danny “Danno” Willams) and Fong (Chin Ho Kelly) had left the series. In addition, other supporting characters like Governor Paul Jameson (Denning) and Officer Duke Lukela (Wedemeyer) are missing from the episode.
On the positive side, the episode gives us an ending to McGarrett’s long-running war against Wo Fat (Khigh Dheigh) that began in the show’s pilot. While it’s nice to have the evil Wo Fat back after several years absence, it is a letdown compared to some of his other appearances.
In the episode, McGarrett investigates the disappearance of a trio of scientists. He disguises himself in Einstein-like make-up and poses as Professor Raintree. McGarrett ends up coming face-to-face with his old adversary, Wo Fat, who wants to acquire a powerful laser weapon. While he’d been working for the Chinese government in the past, Wo Fat’s now just out for himself.
Wo Fat uses a strange gas called “compliance ration” to control the wills of the scientists. Strangely enough, McGarrett isn’t as affected by the gas. He’s able to keep up his disguise and close off the vent that’s supplying the gas.
In the show’s climax, McGarrett is able to quickly dispatch Wo Fat in a hand-to-hand fight in the jungle. He finally captures the villain and sees him brought to justice and locked in a jail cell, complete with stereotypical striped prison clothes.
After McGarrett gloatingly says “Aloha” to the villain and leaves, Wo Fat smiles and pulls a thin metal file from inside the sole of his shoe. It seems unlikely that Wo Fat will be in jail for long.
What do you think? Were you satisfied with “Woe to Wo Fat” as the series finale of Hawaii Five-0? Would you liked to have seen the show end differently?