'Hawaii Five-0' scene spotting: Gangs infiltrate 'Kukui' High, mob in the HK

Monday, October 04, 2010

It's the introduction of Kukui High School, the fictional alma mater of Chin Ho Kelly and Steve McGarrett, where they knew each other years ago (as set up in the pilot episode). Kukui is, of course, fictional — with the noted exception of the excellent gag site set up here locally. And between a local Samoan gang and an evil Jersey mob boss (really, Tony Soprano-lite), our island paradise is once again swarmed by the darkest elements of society, as whipped up in the imaginations of the "Hawaii Five-0" writers. Let's take flight:

Photo: Matt Dell via Creative Commons

Kukui is played ably by Iolani School, above, a large private school in Honolulu. A shooting happens during a varsity football game involving a Samoan gang.  Acting on a tip from one of the students, McGarrett tackles and arrests one of the shooters at the International Market Place »

They do a fly-by of Punchbowl, where the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific is located. Then we pan to Chin Ho looking for his old HPD buddy, who was working undercover among the Samoan gangs, in Manoa Valley (below), a suburb of Honolulu. Great hike in the back of that valley, the Manoa Falls Hike »

Photo: Jeff McNeill via Creative Commons

Not finding him there, Chin Ho finds and arrests him at the posh Kahala Hotel »

Photo: The Kahala Hotel & Resort

Before McGarrett and Danno investigate a chop-shop's garage, we get a quick view of the Ala Wai Boat Harbor from the Waikiki Yacht Club side.

Photo: Forest & Kim Starr via Creative Commons

McGarrett and Danno then interrogate a suspect at a pizza cafe. Anybody know which it was? I want to guess La Pizzarina on King Street, but I'm not sure. McGarrett and Danno take the proprietor (who's apparently running guns for a Samoan gang) out to Waialua Bay on the North Shore to scare him with some sharks. They learn the Jersey mob has ties to the Samoan gang, seeking to corner the illegal gambling market in Hawaii. A big-time mob boss named Frank Salvo is on his way.

At Waialae Beach Park next to the Kahala Hotel, Kono and the undercover cop talk about getting the Five-0 unit into a gambling party at a luxurious private home on Hawaii Loa Ridge, on the outskirts of Hawaii Kai. It actually looked like Tantalus to me; I thought I could see tell-tale Honolulu skyline outside its windows, but we'll go with what the show's writers said it was. (Incidentally, Kono was carrying a surfboard at the Waialae scene: There's no surf to speak of out there.) Kono was right, though: The haole boys cleaned up nicely for the party (below).

Photo: CBS

Photos: Team Vision Virtual

McGarrett and Danno rev and flirt with some hotties in a convertible on South Street, next to the Advertiser Building, above. It used to house the state's largest newspaper, which folded in June 2010. The empty building is now a primary center of production for the show. The Advertiser's front-door decals were removed and it now says "Honolulu Police Department." The actual HPD headquarters is just a block mauka (toward the mountains) of that building.

We see a quick shot of the silhouette of the Alii Kai Catamaran »

And panning shots of Lanikai and the Hilton Hawaiian Village's Rainbow Tower.

We also revisited spots from the first episodes including Aliiolani Hale (headquarters for the Five-0 unit), the Kapahulu Groin at Waikiki Beach, Diamond Head and multiple pans of our beautiful city of Honolulu which, we promise, is not home to quite so much violence as the new show's writers like to think.

Danno Quote of the Night

"Pizza and pineapple do not belong in the same airspace."

Scene-Spotting Map Mashup

More locations added in. Oahu will be cluttered with filming spots before the year is out!

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