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The Best Episodes of 'Hawaii Five-0'

Updated April 3, 2020 6.1k votes 1.1k voters 28.1k views247 items

There are so many good episodes of Hawaii Five-0, but which ones really stand out? Do you like "Oia'i'o" the best, or is "Hai'ole" your favorite episode of Hawaii Five-0? To determine once and for all what the best episodes of Hawaii Five-0 are, let's rank every Hawaii Five-0 episodes from all ten seasons, from best to worst.

Hawaii Five-0 is a modern reboot on CBS of the 1968-1980 series Hawaii Five-O. The series centers on Lieutenant Commander Steven J. "Steve" McGarrett (Alex O'Laughlin), who leads the DPS task force, an elite team that only answers to the state's governor. Hawaii Five-0's original cast included Scott Caan (as Detective Sergeant Danny "Danno" Williams), Daniel Dae Kim, Grace Park, and Taryn Manning. In its first year, Hawaii Five-0 was named "Favorite New TV Drama" at the People's Choice Awards and Caan was nominated at the Golden Globes for his work. It's not really a serialized show, so you can pick and choose which episodes to watch.

Vote up your favorite episodes of Hawaii Five-0, and downvote any bad episodes that you really didn't enjoy, despite how much you love the series as a whole. It can be painful to put one Hawaii Five-0 episode over the other when there are so many good ones, which is why you can vote on however many episodes you like.

  • 1

    Season 6, Episode 25

    In order to stop a meth epidemic on the Island, McGarrett and Danny go undercover as pilots, but when McGarrett is seriously wounded, Danny is forced to break their cover in order to save his partner's life.

  • 2

    Ina Paha (If Perhaps)

    November 7, 2014

    Season 5, Episode 7

    When McGarrett is kidnapped by Wo Fat, he experiences what would have happened to the team if they had taken a very different path. William Sadler returns as McGarrett's father, and musician Gavin Rossdale guest stars as the nefarious Johnny Moreau.

  • 3


    September 19, 2011

    Season 2, Episode 1

    While McGarrett sits in prison awaiting trial for the murder of the governor, Danny brings him a surprise visitor to help clear him.

  • 4

    Ku I Ka Pili Koko

    April 11, 2014

    Season 4, Episode 19

    Five-0 is set up when a bad tip leads them to an abandoned building that is rigged to explode with McGarrett and Danny trapped inside. Xzibit guest stars.

  • 5


    November 21, 2011

    Season 2, Episode 10

    McGarrett finds himself in need of the Five-0's help when he goes to North Korea with Jenna Kaye to deliver a ransom to rebels who are holding her fiance hostage.

  • 6

    Season 1, Episode 23

    Danny is exposed to sarin while Five-0 tries to track down Wo Fat, and Chin Ho's plan to quietly return the money his uncle stole hits a snag.

  • 7

    Hana Komo Pae

    November 11, 2016

    Season 7, Episode 8

    While Danny chaperones Grace’s winter formal, terrorists seize the venue and hold everyone hostage in order to kidnap a diplomat’s son.

  • 8


    September 20, 2010

    Season 1, Episode 1

    Upon returning to Hawaii to investigate his father's murder, decorated Naval officer Steve McGarrett is recruited by the Governor to head up an elite new police task force - his rules, her backing, no red tape.

  • 9

    Lana I Ka Moana

    October 8, 2012

    Season 3, Episode 3

    McGarrett and Danny's relaxing day at sea takes a deadly turn when their boat is hijacked and they are left to die in the middle of the ocean.

  • 10


    May 16, 2011

    Season 1, Episode 24

    After one of governor Jameson's assistants is killed, McGarrett discovers that the governor may have been working with Wo Fat and may have been the target of his father's investigation.

  • 11

    Olelo Ho'opa'I Make

    January 20, 2013

    Season 3, Episode 13

    When Chin is kidnapped in the night and dropped in the middle of Halawa Prison dressed as an inmate, he must fight for his life. Lindsay Price guest stars.

  • 12

    Huaka'I Kula

    December 10, 2012

    Season 3, Episode 10

    An Aloha Girls camping trip with Grace turns deadly when an armed man takes McGarrett and a little girl hostage. Tom Arnold guest stars.

  • 13

    Desperate Measures

    December 13, 2010

    Season 1, Episode 12

    It's Christmas in Hawaii, but instead of celebrating, Five-0 is negotiating a hostage situation when Victor Hesse, the man who killed McGarrett's father, threatens to detonate an explosive that he's strapped to Chin Ho's chest.

  • 14

    Season 5, Episode 18

    McGarrett enlists Joe's help after Danny and Chin are arrested for deadly past transgressions. Terry O'Quinn and Jimmy Buffett return.

  • 15

    I Ka Wa Mamua

    November 12, 2012

    Season 3, Episode 6

    When Danny is forced to remain completely still while bomb technicians disarm a bomb, McGarrett distracts him by getting his partner to tell the story about his toughest and most emotional case from his days as a cop. Sydney Tamiia Poitier, Terrence Howard, rapper T.I., and Kendall Jenner guest star.

  • 16


    February 4, 2013

    Season 3, Episode 15

    Five-0 investigates when a mysterious man targets police officers for revenge and McGarrett is the next. Peter Weller, Max Weinberg, and Charlie Murphy guest star.

  • 17

    Out of the Past

    February 6, 2012

    Season 2, Episode 15

    A dirty cop from Danno's past comes to the island to exact revenge on Danno and his family for ruining his life, forcing the Five-0 to find a way to help their teammate.

  • 18

    Ho' onani Makuakane

    December 13, 2013

    Season 4, Episode 10

    The attempted murder of a Pearl Harbor veteran leads Five-0 to use decades old evidence to investigate a deadly crime committed within the internment camps on Oahu during World War II.

  • 19


    May 7, 2012

    Season 2, Episode 22

    Just as McGarrett finally gets his hands on his arch nemesis Wo Fat in a special ops raid, he's blindsided when he finds that the Japanese Yakuza is hot on their trail and wants them both dead.

  • 20

    Season 7, Episode 18

    MacGarrett and Danny finally track down the missing Uranium, which has been used to build a bomb located in the middle of the jungle. Singer Darius Rucker Guest Stars as Desmond Abati, the Bomb Maker

  • 21

    The Good Fight

    October 24, 2011

    Season 2, Episode 6

    The FIVE-0's investigation into the murder of a wealthy restaurant owner causes McGarrett to take part in a charity MMA fight to the finish.

  • 22

    Season 8, Episode 4

    The lives of Five-0's informants are in danger when the HPD system is hacked and one ends up dead, forcing McGarrett to enlist the help of hacker Aaron Wright (Joey Lawrence), who he just imprisoned. Joey Lawrence Returns as Aaron Wright.

  • 23

    Season 8, Episode 2

    McGarrett and Five-0 work with an injured police dog who is the only witness to an ambushed drug bust. Beulah Koale joins the cast as Junior Reigns.

  • 24

    Season 5, Episode 19

    McGarrett and Odell come under siege in Odell's barbershop when they try to protect a young man who is being hunted down by a gang. Michael Imperioli returns.

  • 25

    Season 7, Episode 25

    McGarrett risks his life when Five-0 attempts their most dangerous rescue yet of young girls trapped in the sex trafficking ring they have been tracking this year.