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This Is The Best Villain On Hawaii Five-0

Hawaii Five-0, a reboot of CBS' classic crime procedural of the same name, came to a bittersweet end in 2020. During its 10 season run, the series gave viewers a cast of affable characters, some fun crossover episodes with NCIS: LA and MacGyver, and, of course, plenty of gorgeous tropical scenery. It also had more than its fair share of villains.

The antagonists of Hawaii Five-0 came in all stripes. There were slick crime bosses and menacing serial killers alike. And while the interactions between the members of the DPS task force provided a lot of the series' best character moments, the squad member's relationships with the baddies of the series were often also very significant. The villains of the show gave Steve McGarrett (Alex O'Loughlin), Danno Williams (Scott Caan), and the rest some major moments of character development, even when they were only around for a few episodes.

Although there are many greats to choose from, these are our picks for the best villain in Hawaii Five-0 history.

Don't underestimate Ian Wright

In a brilliant stroke of casting, Hawaii Five-0 tapped a Jonas Brothers to play one of the show's most evil villains. Ian Wright (Nick Jonas) doesn't appear even a little threatening at first, especially compared to the yakuza members and terrorist cells the DPS task force is used to dealing with. But he's an important lesson in not judging a book by its cover.

When the team first encounters Wright in the season 4 episode "Akanahe," they believe him to be little more than a low-level criminal hacker who was hired by a gang to assist them with a bank heist. However, once they dig deeper into his history, they discover that he's no flunky. Wright is actually a well-connected criminal mastermind who has been using his incredible computer skills to help terrorist organizations commit crimes all over the world.

After getting his full resume, the squad tracks him down at Honolulu International Airport. It appears that they have the upper hand on the slippery hacker. But Wright didn't become a major player in the criminal underworld by not having backup plans.

Before they can haul him off, he reveals that he's hacked the navigation and communication systems on a flight over the Pacific Ocean and diverted it so far off course that it will run out of fuel and crash before the pilots are aware that anything is wrong. He'll undo his dirty work, but only if the team lets him board an outbound international flight without arresting him.

Wright's willingness to kill hundreds of innocent people merely to ensure his getaway earns him an honorable mention on the list of the series' best villains.

Dr. Madison Gray was a chilling manipulator

Wright shares a few traits in common with our next honorable mention, Dr. Madison Gray (Elisabeth Röhm). While this prim and orderly psychiatrist may look relatively non-threatening, she's actually a terrifyingly intelligent serial killer who uses her mastery of human psychology to wrap her victims and the police up in her intricate mind games.

Early in the seventh season, the DPS task force is on the trail of a murderer known as the Chess Piece Killer. Eventually, their investigation, aided by FBI Agent Alicia Brown (Claire Forlani), leads them to the offices of Dr. Gray. It's not long before they put the (literal) pieces together and realize that she's the killer they've been hunting.

The most terrifying thing about Dr. Gray is that she hasn't actually been committing these murders herself. Instead, she coerces others to do her crimes for her. Later in the season, she orchestrates a wild scheme that involves a fake case of dissociative identity disorder and a kidnapped child in order to get Brown to become one of her killers.

"Having people kill for me, that was a good game, but not much of a challenge," Dr. Gray tells Brown in the episode "Hahai I Na Pilikua Nui." "Turning you into a killer...now that would really be something."

The twist this time is that the person Dr. Gray wants Brown to kill her, which Dr. Gray sees as the ultimate act of both manipulation and self-control. Although she hesitates, Brown ultimately does, making Dr. Gray a unique case of a killer who, in getting taken out by law enforcement, also got away with their evil scheme. That feat earns her a spot on the list of honorable mentions.

Wo Fat is the best villain the DPS task force ever faced

Listen, Wo Fat (Mark Dacascos) may be a bit of a predictable choice for best Hawaii Five-0 villain, but who else could it really be? Not only did the character menace the DPS task force for multiple seasons during the reboot series, but the inspiration for the character was also one of the central villains in the original series. Wo Fat is almost as synonymous with Hawaii Five-0 as palm trees or Danno's car. There really couldn't be any other choice.

Wo Fat wasn't the first major villain introduced in the series (that would be James Marsters' Victor Hesse, who appeared in the show's very first episode), but he was the one who made the biggest impact. His extensive connections in Hawaii's criminal underworld made him a formidable foe. McGarrett's long-simmering beef with the mastermind was personal, as Wo Fat was responsible for having his father killed.

The character's death in the show's 100th episode, "Ina Paha," marked a major moment for the series. Considering the significance of the character, it's no wonder that he appeared several more times in flashbacks and hallucinations. Not only that but Wo Fat's wife, Daiyu Mei (Eugenia Yuan), served as the main baddie of the final season, which helped keep his memory alive. 

When it comes to Hawaii Five-0 villains, there were some doozies, but none can touch Wo Fat.