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Hawaii Five-0 Review: Talk Derby to Me

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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).

Catherine Undercover

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."

Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.1 / 5.0 (149 Votes)
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    I am still a fan of Catherine...was on day 1 and more so after this epi. : ) Catherine rocked as roller derby queen. Alex's acting is phenomenal, you can feel the conflict he has dealing with Doris. I thought the end scene on the beach was sweet but Steve seemed ambivalent. Steve and Catherine together...made me think they will turn out to be great friends but not necessarily a couple in the long run. I recall Peter Lenkov commenting early on in the season that Catherine was coming back but there was going to be friction. The arc with Doris is definitely heating up and I for one can't wait to see how it turns out. I have faith in the writers pulling off something really unexpected. And Alex looked hot in his funeral attire...sounds kinda wrong to say but he looked hot!

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    Previous post was cut off due to unstated 1000 character posting limit here. To sum up: Michelle Borth as Catherine did a good job as a roller derby player and there was some serious emoting at the end of show. The whole roller derby thing didn't bother me as much as I expected it would. But script was full of problems. Opening fall victim landed on back, Max said she hit the car roof feet first. Max's spray-paint procedure during autopsy didn't match up with what was on his monitor. Catherine copied bad guy's entire hard drive in mere seconds. And why would he have this computer with "sensitive" material easily accessible and seemingly without a password anyway? McGarrett's mom also had security issues, storing microfiche with reports from her career in her house, which was ripped off, presumably by guy connected with previous episode this season. DUH! Sound mix was mediocre in spots, making the Denzel joke difficult to hear, let alone understand, for example.

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    Who was that other hot looking skater - who almost got the needle in that episode ????
    She was gorgeous

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    The two scenes I enjoyed the most - and well acted - were Steve and Doris, when she finally tells him about the microfiche (and he finally reprimands her as she deserves) and the make-up scene between Steve and Catherine.
    Sorry folks - I actually enjoy this series and care about the characters, especially Steve McGarrett and the various hells he's been through. As for "no chemistry" between Steve and Catherine - I find plenty. They are both adults; she is not a woman to be patronized (like those who think Steve is not treating her properly), and it's fun to see them together.
    As for Danny - okay, I don't get the hate. In this episode he was fine; he's proven to be a totally reliable partner and friend. And who doesn't have a friend who can annoy??

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    I don't know, maybe I'm easy to please but with few exceptions I almost always find H50 entertaining and at the end of the day isn't that what it;s all about. It's one of the few shows that get my undivided attention. IMHO I'd like to see a LOT more of Kono with more of Chin too and a bit less of Steve and Danno but I have to say that I like all of them and as I've said before some of my favorite scenes are between Kono and Danno.
    As for all those groaning about too many regular characters I say Five-0 is essentially 4 people that have to cover the ENTIRE STATE of Hawaii. Granted Hawaii is a small state but just 4 people? Come on! I would not object to them adding other members to the team. NCIS and NCIS/LA can handle it without shorting cast members their screen time.

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    Dannys characteristics were always annoying for me. When toned down he wasn't too bad,but now he's mostly unbearable and his character has no purpose on the show except to whine at Steve. I don't see any chemistry between Steve/Danny. Whatever they had is long gone and just forced and unnatural. The show lacks substance and strong consistant characters. The Steve/Danny stuff is the worst thing about the show now as its turned Danny into a joke and Steve's portrayal this season has been less than stellar. Thats what's loosing viewers. The boat bickering episode was by far the worst episode of the season. Better writing and more consistant story telling is what the show needs. Answers to all the things that have been ignored. Make Danny a believable cop and get him to grow up. Steve doesnt need his nagging wife sidekick, it just drags his character down. The writing needs to improve for the characters, especially the leads or the viewers will continue to leave.

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    An enjoyable episode, an entertaining hour for sure. But I am on the same page with those who have had it with the Doris story arc - hoping it comes to a conclusion by the end of this season. There are so many loose ends in this show (Champ Box, Danny's Brother Matt, Adam's Brother, Chin's killing of Delano to name but a few) right now, we really don't need to add another to the pile, Let's sort out what's out there first. :)

    Also, not getting the SC/Danno dislike either. The character has always been brash and sarcastic. The Danny-centric episodes have been some of the best of the series, SC is a talented actor when given the material. And let's not forget that the chemistry between him and AOL/Alex is the crux of the show. Lose Danno, lose viewers.




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