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."


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.2 / 5.0 (150 Votes)

Rip-off of PSYCH's great roller derby episode featuring Juliet. Even used the same title! WRONG!


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Also, when does she actually work for the Navy? They're pretty understanding to just let her come and go as she pleases. Character needs to go. I would love to get back to the core 4 and the characters I actually care about. Some character development and stories for Danny, Chin and Kono would be great. Once again Chin and Kono are ignored in favor of Cath. Haven't had a Kono ep this year. I'm tired of Doris and Cath and their endless soap opera drama. I miss the season 1 magic of action, humor, team and bromance. Bring it back please.


Terrible ep, worst one of the season. Full of Doris and Mary Sue Cath. Liars who abused Steve's trust and he rolls over and forgives them? Blech. Cath is not a cop and the whole ep was contrived to make her seem like one, an excuse for her to go undercover and wear fishnets. Cheesecake, Mary Sue Cath. Character still has no point or purpose - same old sex, favors and a new Mary Sue skill set. She made roller derby boring. Didn't care about Dog the Bounty Hunter. More stunt casting. Show would do better to focus on writing and long term story arcs and character development. For 10 eps the secret was a big deal, then it finally came out under duress after Doris was attacked and Steve just accepts it? Who is Steve this season? Completely out of character to just accept such an abuse of his trust, especially from Cath one of his oldest friends/FWB. Cheap shortcut by the writers. Sadly, Cath and Steve remain boring with no spark of romantic/sexual chemistry. Also, when does she actually work for the Navy? They're pretty understanding to just let her come and go as she pleases. Character needs to go. I would love to get back to the core 4 and the characters I actually care about. Some character development and stories for Danny, Chin and Kono would be great. Once again Chin and Kono are ignored in favor of Cath. Haven't had a Kono ep this year. I miss the season 1 feel.


Loving this episode. Loving the complications for Steve and for Catherine. The Mom gets in the way, but they work it out. The kiss is nice. Fun story for this week's. It was silly but the 5-0's knew it was goofy and they laughed and joke around through it as we did. Still a girl dies and so they must do their work with the roller derbys to find the killer. I am very happy with McRoll. I like how they work Cath into the story so there is another girl. She does not take time specifically from Kono. Does Max take time only from other boys? Does Grace take time from Kono because she too is a girl? Very silly argument for me. The Four always shine through, but all of the four have their own episode arcs now. None are resolved yet, but is what Season Finale is for. We know Adam will be back from the Twitter, so Kono arc will continue.


I bet there wont be a season 5. There will be a season 4 just for syndication not because the show had been doing excellent per se.


I agree with most posted here. My Lenkov has promised great story lines and delivered on none of them. The writing is getting worse and worse. Cath and Steve as friends, I am fine with. Cath doing undercover work for 5-0 absolutely not. They should handle her character the way they do Max's. A right time and place, and short and to the point. I know this is tv fiction but no serving officer can work for police within the US. And this effort was just to give Cath air time. They need to focus on what originally made this series so great the first season. Crime solving, partnerships, focusing on the 4 main characters. Stop forcing characters in and stop with the silly story lines. Perhaps it is time for Mr Lenkov to find another show as well.


loved this epi & everything about it, Cath was great undercover & why should Steve look after her , she's a navy seal LT, so she can take care of herself, did he watch her back while she was in Afghanistan or wherever???
good thing she came clean to him about that secret & im really thrilled about everything mama MvG is still holding from her son, thats what makes a great show, mystery mystery mystery, got to love that :)
Steve was wooooow in that black suit, he rocked it big time baby ;)
& the final McRoll scene on the beach was a my very fav scene


If the producers put anymore episodes out like this one, this show probably won't see a season four. Seriously, dog Chapman? Are you kidding me? If they lured him out of his house trailer for more than they pay an extra, they were ripped off. Also, it's way past time to say Aloha to Danno the old nagging wife. He could be replaced by just about anyone at it'll be an improvement. Just sayin...


Not liking how they are portraying Steve this season at all. Love to see Cath dump him. I'd also like to see a Steve centric episode with no painfully annoying Danno in sight. I'm hoping the flash back episode to Steve's SEAL days will give us the old Steve back. He's so much better away from the horrible bromance and what the writers call romance. Still love Cath though and Michelle Borth is always a pleasure to watch.


I love this show and it was nice to finally have more for Catherine. Now if we can get Steve and Catherine moving their relationship forward it would be great! I love Christine Lahti however I also am not into how they have been portraying her as Steve's mom. I would like her if she could just be Steve's mom and them rebuilding their relationship and Steve and Catherine's.

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Hawaii Five-0 Season 3 Episode 18 Quotes

Hey, Max, why are you turning our victim into a member of the Blue Man Group?

Danny Williams

Okay, let's be honest. We're not exactly the Waltons. You're a former spy who faked her own death twenty years ago...I got issues, Mom! I got trust issues!

Steve McGarrett