Hawaii Five-0 Review: Talk Derby to Me
Well, that was pretty down and derby, am I right, guys? Sorry, sorry. I'm just making some cheesy jokes in the spirit of "Na Ki'i (Dolls)", a delightful episode that fused fun action with a great sense of camp and the most Catherine Rollins we've seen in a long time.
Are you ready to talk derby with me? Okay, I'm really sorry this time. I swear I've gotten it out of my system (probably).
First things first: I can admit when I am wrong. I had not previously been a huge Catherine fan, but in this episode - with her cool roller derby shorts and hot surveillance moves - she won me over (also, scientists have proven it is medically impossible not to enjoy the presence of someone referring to herself as "Alice Trooper").
Catherine hasn't gotten a chance to show her stuff like this on Hawaii Five-0 in a while, and this Catherine-driven episode was so fun, it (finally) made a believer out of me.
However, the Hawaii Five-0 quotes game still belonged to Danny Williams - even though he only showed up in this episode long enough to let us know that he was raised by a woman who loved to watch vicious roller derby fights. Which is probably why he turned out so awesome (what can I say? You can't spell "relentless, borderline-pathological Danny Williams fan girl" without "Danny Williams").
The roller derby setting provided a nice contrast to the usual subcultures that come into play on this series, which tend to involve something highly unsavory, like smuggling or murderous underground fighting. Roller derby is merely a nice, friendly place where women with names like Nancy Raygun and Uma Vermin smash each other in the face while spinning around at high speeds on roller skates. Compared to the creepy-crawly communities the team usually has to dig around in, this was like a light-hearted trip to the Girl Scout jamboree - and I appreciated the episode's light touch.
I may have been swayed on the issue of Catherine; I have not, however, been fully swayed on the issue of Doris. While I believe that Christine Lahti does a great job with what she's given, the pacing of the Doris subplot this season has felt like a drag for a while. Though, judging by the closing moments of the show, that drag might be coming to an end.
Like so much else on the show, the Leahi Diamond Dolls and the South Shore Sirens are the real Hawaiian deal - actual working roller derby teams on the island (sadly, no team members appear to actually be named Ivana Kiss).
Though it's never explicitly alluded to as an homage, there was, in fact, a roller derby murder episode on fellow-traveler 70's action show Charlie's Angels. Even if it's not a direct homage, I felt that a distinctly retro spirit, which animates many of the show's most fun moments, was alive in this episode. It was lively, unique and it involved someone named "Crimson Bride," which is always a plus in my book. Yes, this was the most 5-0 fun I've ever had in an episode that didn't involve a cargument!
What did you think of Catherine as a derby girl? Do you think the Doris subplot is heading to a climax? What would your roller derby name be? Mine would be "Lady AghAgh."