hookman 2.0 – new, but not improved


I’m not a big fan of the new Hawaii Five-0. It’s not that I dislike the show. It’s okay, I guess, I can take it or leave it. I frequently watch it, but I’m usually not following too closely. More often than not, I don’t even remember key plot details from an episode 24 hours after I’ve seen it. To me, it’s just mind candy with nice scenery (both the Hawaiian landscape and Grace Park).

Now the original H5O is a different story. I loved that show back in the day. One episode that always stood out to me was “Hookman”, which aired in the early 70s. McGarrett and his team were hunting for a double amputee who was taking revenge on the police officers he blamed for his injuries. The killer was played by Jay J. Armes, a real-life private investigator from El Paso, TX. As a teenager, Armes lost both of his hands in an accident. He uses hook-shaped prostheses, hence the name of the episode. Watching him assemble, load, and fire a sniper rifle using his hooks was pretty damned impressive. (Also, I read Armes’s biography back when I was in college, and he’s led a pretty interesting life.)


The producers of the new H5O decided to remake the episode, so I made it a point to watch last night. Peter Weller played the killer, a double-amputee named Jason Kroger served as a stand-in for close up shots of the killer’s prosthetic hands. Weller also directed.

Maybe it’s just me, but I thought the remake was vastly inferior. It could be because I already knew the story, so there were no surprises for me. Or maybe it’s that the whole episode had a slapped-together feel. And it didn’t help that Danny was way too bitchy, culminating in his douchetastic tirade in the gun store. I guess “Hookman” 2.0 is just an example of why the new H5O is on my TV B-list, and likely to stay there for the foreseeable future.

For a pictorial comparison of the old and new “Hookman” episodes, check out this page on the CBS website.