Having just caught up with the Grimm pilot before catching up with this episode of Hawaii Five-0, I couldn't help but compare the two. And Hawaii is definitely the winner.
Just compare the two opening scenes, for example. In Grimm, the jogger is running, she gets pushed off camera, she screams. That's it. There is no build up, no suspense, no tension--for example, like the foreshadowing of someone stalking her. And there is no climax. You don't see the attack, you don't even see a splatter of blood or anything, just an off-camera scream. It's over in a split second.
In Hawaii Five-0, the atmosphere is much scarier. They're at a sacred burial ground at night, they're looking for legendary ghost warriors, there is rustling in the bushes, the girl is scared, the boy keeps filming in night vision, the girl finds something--and she screams, and keeps screaming, and the boy tries to get to her, then he's screaming too, then the camera goes wild.
Also the procedural aspect was much better on Hawaii Five-0. There was so much mystery right until the end. They chased clues like a dead man's fingerprints on the girl's glasses, they interviewed witnesses like the crazy girlfriend, they went after suspects like the homeless man at the burial site. I never knew where it was going until they peeled back the layers of mystery to reveal an unexpected ending: a black market cadaver parts ring was using the burial site to dump the bodies. The mystery was intricate and unpredictable.
Whereas with Grimm, the mystery was simplistic and predictable. To be fair, I know it was the pilot and they had a lot of setting up to do. Nonetheless, Nick catches the bad guy thanks to Eddie more than any detective work, and the ending was completely predictable. It wasn't even holding my attention by that point.
In Hawaii Five-0, I also enjoyed the bits of humour and character stories, like Danny trying to turn a crime scene into his new apartment, or dissing the spirits and paying for it. Also, I'm liking the new character--I think her name is Laurie Weston; I'm getting there--a little more. Though I still don't like that she seems to be displacing Kono to some extent.