From what I had read on Mike Quigley's site, it was supposed to be so simple:
From the Five-O Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):
Why did the Five-O team move their offices in the ninth season?
The move, shown taking place in the season opener, "Nine Dragons", was necessary because they could not do any exterior or interior filming at the palace because it was undergoing extensive renovations. So the fictional Five-O team "moved" to the old Territorial Building. Five-O moved for real, too, because their lease on the Fort Ruger studio was up. The office shots in the Territorial Building are not of a standing set -- that is the real space in the Territorial Building, which became the temporary studio for the production.
But this fictional move is more complicated. A LOT more complicated.
There is a behind-the-scenes story here just as interesting, and just as confusing, as the "now you see Ben, now you don't" drama of Season 7. Mike Quigley explained the Ben story here. In this post I will likewise explain what happened to the Five-O offices during Season 9.
Like the Ben mystery in Season 7, a lot of the Five-O office confusion can be cleared up simply by reordering the Season 9 episodes from air date order into production order. If that is done, it becomes (mostly) clear that, after about three and a half months, the Five-O team moved their offices back to the Iolani Palace. That's an oversimplification, but a good place to start.
INT = Interior
EXT = Exterior
TB = Territorial Building
IP = Iolani Palace (INT = office set, EXT = real location)
N/A = Not Applicable (no office scenes)
IN AIR DATE (DVD) ORDER:Prod# Air# Episode Title INT EXT 601 192 Nine Dragons TB TB 606 193 Assault on the Palace TB TB 607 194 Oldest Profession -- Latest Price TB TB 604 195 Man on Fire TB TB 608 196 Tour de Force, Killer Aboard TB TB 610 197 The Last of The Great Paperhangers TB TB 609 198 Heads, You're Dead TB TB 614 199 Let Death Do Us Part TB TB 617 200 Double Exposure (1) IP TB 613 201 Yes, My Deadly Daughter TB TB 612 202 Target -- a Cop TB TB 611 203 The Bells Toll at Noon TB TB 619 204 Man in a Steel Frame IP TB 623 205 Ready, Aim... (2) IP IP 620 206 Elegy in a Rain Forest N/A N/A 605 207 Dealer's Choice... Blackmail TB TB 624 208 A Capitol Crime N/A N/A 603 209 To Die in Paradise TB TB 622 210 Blood Money is Hard to Wash IP IP 616 211 To Kill a Mind IP TB 615 212 Requiem for a Saddle Bronc Rider TB TB 621 213 See How She Runs IP IP 618 214 Practical Jokes Can Kill You IP IP
1 - "Double Exposure" was the first episode to show the Iolani Palace interior.
2 - "Ready, Aim..." was the first episode to show the Iolani Palace exterior.
IN PRODUCTION ORDER:Prod# Air# Episode Title INT EXT 601 192 Nine Dragons TB TB 603 209 To Die in Paradise TB TB 604 195 Man on Fire TB TB 605 207 Dealer's Choice... Blackmail TB TB 606 193 Assault on the Palace TB TB 607 194 Oldest Profession -- Latest Price TB TB 608 196 Tour de Force, Killer Aboard TB TB 609 198 Heads, You're Dead TB TB 610 197 The Last of The Great Paperhangers TB TB 611 203 The Bells Toll at Noon TB TB 612 202 Target -- a Cop TB TB 613 201 Yes, My Deadly Daughter TB TB 614 199 Let Death Do Us Part TB TB 615 212 Requiem for a Saddle Bronc Rider TB TB 616 211 To Kill a Mind IP TB 617 200 Double Exposure IP TB 618 214 Practical Jokes Can Kill You IP IP 619 204 Man in a Steel Frame IP TB 620 206 Elegy in a Rain Forest N/A N/A 621 213 See How She Runs IP IP 622 210 Blood Money is Hard to Wash IP IP 623 205 Ready, Aim... IP IP 624 208 A Capitol Crime N/A N/A
Put into production order, it seems clear that the Five-O team resided in the Territorial Building (TB) through "Requiem for a Saddle Bronc Rider" and then moved back to the Iolani Palace (IP) sometime before "To Kill a Mind". But, and here's where things get really complicated, that statement only holds true if you're talking about the interior. If you're going by the exterior too, then the move back didn't happen until "See How She Runs", the point where the Five-O team has moved back to the Iolani Palace for good.
But even the preceding paragraph is an oversimplification. Due to the vagaries of air date vs. production order, the Iolani Palace interior doesn't always coincide with the Iolani Palace exterior. Three episodes: "To Kill a Mind", "Double Exposure", and "Man in a Steel Frame" have the Iolani Palace interior seemingly housed within the Territorial Building exterior. If one tries to interpret those episodes literally, then an exact replica of the Iolani Palace office suite was constructed inside the confines of the Territorial Building. As I said, there are three of these "half and half" episodes.
In my comments at IMDB on "Ready, Aim...", the first episode (in air date order) to show both the Iolani Palace interior and exterior, I speculated that:
But even that doesn't tell the whole story, because the last episode (in air date order) "Practical Jokes Can Kill You" has a matching Iolani Palace interior and exterior, and in production order, "Practical Jokes" precedes "half and half" episode "Man in a Steel Frame"! Here, I can only speculate that because "Practical Jokes" was aired last and, I might add, more than a month after its preceding episode, there was ample time to incorporate Iolani Palace exterior footage to match the interior. Since the "Practical Jokes" interior scenes feature a balcony for the first time in Season 9, which the Iolani Palace had, and the Territorial Building clearly did not, they couldn't very well make this a fourth "half and half" episode.
In real world/production terms, I guess the "Iolani Palace" interior was built in preparation for the re-opening of the real palace, but there was some kind of delay with the location. Hence, we have a few episodes, starting with "Double Exposure", that have the "Iolani Palace" interior, with the Territorial Building exterior.
I guess I shouldn't complain too much because by the end of the season the Five-O team is back in the Iolani Palace where they belong. But still, if you watch Season 9 in air date order, and try to interpret what you're seeing literally, the sheer number of office moves will make your head spin! I guess TV audiences back then were more forgiving when it came to inconsistencies like this.