(I posted this review several years ago on a Hawaii Five-0 fan's webstie, and I still stand by my words)
I tend to overlook the features that make this one unpopular with others (mostly a Mexican actor being cast as Japanese) and rather enjoy it. I think this is due to the fast-paced first half which is on the action-packed side. Another good point is the music by Morton Stevens; any episode he worked on will always be interesting at least for the music.
First episode filmed and did they ever want the teaser to be effective. Tokura (Ricardo Montalban, Mr Rourke to me) is shot while being interviewed and the assassin is quickly shot dead by Tokura's body guards. Tokura stands and gives furthur comments to the reporter. Nobody else, police, bodyguards, other reporters, nobody else approaches Tokura. Tokura just answers the "what happened" question with "Did ...what happen?" and taps his bulletproof vest cooly. Highly unrealistic. Must say I like the gritted teeth freeze of the ape looking partner of the dead assassin.
Something else unrealistic: from here we go right to the court hearing. Just like the attempt on Tokura never occured. And then the first witness called against Tokura falls dead on the stand. From here we go to McGarrett in his office yelling at Danno "HOW?!". Danno says "All right I blew it, I BLEW IT.", then saying how careful he was: "...She wanted a candy bar out of a machine, I took the first bite!!!". McGarrett calms and pats Danno, "Sorry".
Besides Danno, McGarrett has to take a lecture from the governor and wisecracks from Tokura. By the end of his visit, he tells Tokura he's going to have a medal made for the assassin who "comes to chop you down."
The body count continues. Before the end of act one we have three more violent deaths. Beau Van den Ecker should've been in this one somewhere. And at the end of the second act Tokura is blasted with a shotgun in his face. McGarrett finds the body, gets a look at the face and mutters "my God".
The second half is where it all fall aparts for me. Too many twists and tangents, Kono's dull story and a boring scene between the resurrected Tokura and his daughter in a movie theatre. I do like the end where McGarrett tells Tokura "Aloha, baby." and Tokura spots danger on the ship- two Oriental looking men that aren't looking at him friendly- that he thinks will be his escape. Tokura spills his guts to which Kono remarks "Beautiful snooker" to McGarrett after Tokura is hauled off by the men he thought were assassins.
Comments: One of the men shot dead by a pool table looks like Derek Mau, a stock actor of the first five seasons. Uncredited.
Dee Dee the daughter wears the same ugly green dress worn by a victim of Victor Rawlings in "Full Fathom Five". Well, I think it's ugly.