All 25 episodes from Season 2 of the 1960s Hawaiian crime drama starring Jack Lord as Steve McGarrett, head of an elite state police unit investigating organised crime, murder, assassination attempts, foreign agents and all kinds of other felonies. Episodes are: 'A Thousand Pardons -- You're Dead!', 'To Hell with Babe Ruth', 'Forty Feet High and It Kills!', 'Just Lucky, I Guess', 'Savage Sunday', 'A Bullet for McGarrett', 'Sweet Terror', 'King Kamehameha Blues', 'The Singapore File', 'All the King's Horses', 'Leopard on the Rock', 'The Devil and Mr. Frog', 'The Joker's Wild, Man, Wild', 'Which Way Did They Go?', 'Blind Tiger', 'Bored, She Hung Herself', 'Run, Johnny, Run', 'Killer Bee', 'The One with the Gun', 'Cry, Lie', 'Most Likely to Murder', 'Nightmare Road', 'Three Dead Cows at Makapuu (Part 1)', 'Three Dead Cows at Makapuu (Part 2)' and 'Kiss the Queen Goodbye'.
Solving crimes and putting the perps behind bars is Steve McGarrett's bag. Why, he says so himself, and in so many words, in the very first of the 24 episodes collected in this five-disc set comprising the complete second season (1969-70) of Hawaii Five-0
. Portrayed by Jack Lord, and described by no less an authority than the New York Times as "a model of steadfast decency" and "beyond cool but still so square he could have been Lawrence Welks cop brother-in-law," McGarrett is the leader of the islands' crack, four-man police unit, and as usual, he has his hands full. Perhaps that's why the man has no discernible sense of humour and only the merest suggestion of a social life. Between keeping his famous hair in order, delivering stern lectures about right and wrong to clueless lowlifes, and, as he puts it in another Second Season episode, constantly worrying "about a world without law and justice
where no one gives a damn about anything," who has time for such trivialities?
This season finds McGarrett and cohorts Danno (James McArthur), Kono (Zulu), and Chin Ho (Kam Fong) dealing with the usual complement of sleaze: murderers, gamblers, druggies, prostitutes, insurance scammers, low-rent terrorists, and so on. But Hawaii Five-0 offers its share of weirdness as well. In "Forty Feet High and It Kills!", Red Chinese uber-criminal Wo Fat (Khigh Dhiegh) and his crew orchestrate a fake tsunami warning so they can kidnap a brilliant scientist (an amusing performance by Will Geer) and force him to conduct genetic-tampering experiments designed to create a master race. In the fairly ridiculous "King Kamehameha Blues," a group of young folks steal the legendary king's robe from a museum, just to show they can; it's a measure of McGarrett's ultra-hardline attitude that the governor's offer of amnesty to the thieves if they'll return the precious garment really sticks in his righteous craw. And in "The Singapore File," McGarrett travels overseas in order to accompany a comely murder witness back to Honolulu; though tempted by her charms, he's far too scrupulous to indulge in any extra-curriculars while on the job (and Steve McGarrett is always on the job). Hawaii Five-0's other elements are a mixed bag. As always, the Hawaiian scenery is gorgeous. Morton Stevens' theme song remains one of the best ever, and much of the other music, especially the jazzy stuff, is also terrific. However, the show isn't big on either action or tension; too many scenes are slow and talky. And in the final year of the '60s, when men walked on the moon and Woodstock and Altamont marked the respective high and low points of the hippie movement, its depiction of the counterculture is laughably square; it's as if the entire decade barely happened. --Sam Graham