Hawaii Five-0 Review: Personal Safety Waiver

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Mockumentaries have been around for a long time (at least since 1964's A Hard Day's Night) and though they became prominent in film in the 1980s, the 2000s have truly belonged to the this type of TV show.

McGarrett In the Spotlight

From full-tilt shows like The Office, to one-off mockumentary episodes of more traditional shows (like this recent episode of Castle), the faux-doc format lets us view a well-known situation with fresh eyes, drawing attention to quirks that get lost to us during long-time fandom, allowing us to see favorite characters in a whole new light.

In the case of "Imi loko ka 'uhane (Seek Within One's Soul)," those fresh eyes belonged to Savannah Walker, a half-sweet, half-calculating talk show host expertly portrayed by Aisha Tyler.

Tyler's Walker was at the center of this week's episode, grabbing most of the best Hawaii Five-0 quotes and taking up the bulk of the screen time.

Tyler did a knock-out job with the role, crafting Walker into just the right kind of annoyingly intrepid reporter - the mutant offspring of Oprah Winfrey and Gale Weathers from Scream. Her energetic performance and (mostly failed) machinations to get info from the team were at least as captivating for me as the episode's gory crime (ewww, skinned arm!) or complex motivations (3-D printers have the potential for great evil, people!).

So what did we learn from looking at the world through Savannah's eyes? We discovered that Bergman has just been waiting for the right opportunity to whip out the hair gel and...was that a cravat? We learned that Kona is awesome at Xbox. We learned that you can say "son of a bitch" on TV.

But most interestingly, we learned that there really is no room for outsiders in the 5-0. Often, mockumentary episode will end with a member of the core cast eventually warming up to and/or breaking down in front of the crew members, letting us see an aspect of their personality they keep closed off from the other characters (yes, it took The Office nine seasons, but it did happen!).

But there was no such last second opening-up here. The 5-0 are a self-contained unit, all of whom would rather do their job in relative anonymity than receive any media glory (well, except for maybe Bergman and that cravat). The greatest insight that this mockumentary yielded is that Chin played the trumpet; but really, its true lesson was that the 5-0 only spill their secrets to each other.

In a season marked by experiments (like viewer-selected endings and retro re-makes), this episode stands out as one of Hawaii Five-0 Season 3's most interesting innovations.

And then, of course, there was Wo Fat. When we last saw him, things looked fairly dire (and bloody) for the ol' super-villain. Is this the end for Wo Fat?? Just kidding, it is never the end for Wo Fat. But I will be very intrigued to see how a hospital-bound Wo Fat plays out for the rest of the season (and whether Doris will show up to seal his fate one way or the other).

What do you think will become of Wo Fat? What's your favorite TV mockumentary episode? Was anyone else reminded of Waterworld when they explained that the tattoo was also a map (what do you mean, I'm the only one who's seen Waterworld?)?


Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.5 / 5.0 (185 Votes)

I know Walter explained it for @virg so this is just an additional FYI. There are two lieutenant's collar markings in the Navy. A single silver bar is for a lieutenant junior grade while the double silver bars are for a full lieutenant.
I still believe that much of H50's ratings trouble is the incompatibility and inadequacy of the CBS comedies. Indeed How I Met Your Mother should have probably been put out of its misery two or three seasons ago. Rules of Engagement is quite funny as is Mike and Molly but Two Broke Girls is pretty much hit or miss with more misses than hits. Reality TV sucks but people seem to watch it in droves.


One of the worst of the season. Season 3 has really been disappointing. I find most of the episodes just mediocre. I'm not a fan of Danny or the Steve/Danny banter. The writers need to tighten up their scripts. I'm not enjoying what they are doing with the characters and find them now mostly annoying or unbelievable. Catherine is not the problem. It's the writing and stories. Steve doesn't need a side kick who can't do anything. They need to be more consistant with their characters. Season 3 has been all over the place with no follow up to most of the storylines. I'm rapidly loosing interest.


Not a great epi - more like an epic fail. Can't like them all. There were some cool moments, Max being a fanboy all adorable, Kamekono's product placement and What's A Fong?? but not enough to keep the interest. I don't understand H50's ranting and raving about guest stars - Aisha was over the top, loud and annoying (just like on her talk show). Maybe TPTB should invest more in sticking to the tried and true (think NCIS) and better advertising to help shore up the very poor ratings. The best scene - Steve at the end, looking at Wo Fat and probably thinking wouldda, couldda, shouldda. Agree w/jschoi - they need to get that s1 feeling back otherwise there's not going to be a season 5.


cont....hopefully, the show will last another season or two--most shows get stale and start to suffer from Jumptheharkitis by season 5 or 6, anyway. And if anyone thinks they're going to kill off any of the top four characters is crazy. It's just not going to happen. It's not like Scott Caan had an overly successful movie career before HFO. This show is probably the best thing to happen to these actors (except for Daniel Dae Kim, and you know, Lost).


I wasn't that excited about this episode, in all honesty. However, I can deal with a dud every now and then. I think Season 3 is better than Season 2. If there is a difference between now and the first season (and why there might be a drop in ratings) could be because they haven't continued to flesh out the characters with secondary story lines like they did in Season 1. They'll touch on something like Kono and how Adam's brother is maybe trying to frame her for a crime, and then you don't hear or see anything about it for months. Chino Ho suffered a massive loss when his wife was killed in the season's first episode. And while the prison episode did introduce a new love interest for Chin Ho, we've only seen Lindsay Price's character one time since. And as far as Danno and his family troubles that were so expertly fleshed out in Season 1, we barely see Grace and his ex wife these days. As far as Mcgarrett, he's the main protagonist, so his secondary threads are woven together quite nicely, but the rest? That could be why the show is suffering a little--not enough emphasis on secondary story lines these days. And I don't know how they're going to pay off any of those introduced story lines, such as Kono and Adam, before the end of the season, considering we're almost done with Season 3. Having said all that, I think in terms of a "crime of the week" approach, combined with just minor secondary story lines, HFO is still a pretty awesome show. Maybe a new night could boost ratings? It's hard to say. I just hope it lasts another season or two. I'd be fine with four or five seasons--shows usually begin to suffer from Jumpthesharkitis after that point, anyway.


Alisa....TAKE A PILL....why are Scott Caan fans so hostile to others...is your name Scotty Williams on fb, you are as obnoxious as her!!! How do I know he has a 7 year contract, I have watched the show since day 1 and read every interview, where it was reported multiple times that they both have 7 year contracts!!!! Scott even said his dad told him not to sign a 7 year contract for a tv show. I like the whole cast, but for me Alex is my big Kahuna and yes I like Cath and so do a lot of others!! Its only the Scott fans that get so violent over her, grow up, give up or move on she's not going anywhere!! I don't get why you watch a show that bothers you so much?? Hate to tell you Alex was hired first and Scott hired dead last and after his Chelsea gaffe its his head they wanted on a silver platter NOT Alex. So check your facts before shooting off your mouth Alisa!!!


@Alisa....read your comment Alisa. Didn't you just do the same thing in regards to Scott Caan, that you blamed me for doing about Catherine? You can't have it both ways.


Great review! I thought the episode was funny and suspenseful from the get go...loved that the team acted normal, focused and not impressed with Savannah and then Max was over the top hysterical with his star struck persona, his cravat, his willingness to wear a camera for her. Beerman, hah! Loved Max!
It was unexpected for WoFat to show up, I was on the edge of my seat after he showed up on screen. And Cutie Fong was on :) Loved seeing him a bit off-kilter in front of the camera. Catherine was great acting slightly nervous on camera as well, very believable..I still like her.
The cargument, the reckless jumping off a balcony and the action fight scene in the forest...when Chin went down..ack...I actually thought. this was the end for WoFat since the original WoFat was captured in the forest. And was it just me, or was Alex hotter than usual? Overall, it goes on my list to re-watch : )


#1 Caan is an idiot. Can't talk unless he's gesturing with his hands.
#2 I like Catherine. McGarret seems to 'need' her help all the time.
#3 I'm done with the show. What in the "H" is all that camera swooping and bouncing. I have an inner ear issue that will NEVER go away and I can't watch this or other shows that seem to think it's 'artistic' to swoop the camera around. It makes me wanna vomit! I'm done!


DANNY WILLIAMS is NOT going ANY WHERE...he and alex are what MAKES the show...and SCOTT CAAN is GREAT....he's got GREAT chemistry with alex....they are the REASON why i watch the show.....so those who don't like him: TOO BAD....BECAUSE SCOTT CAAN "HAS FANS", AND WE "WILL" DEFEND HIM. ALISA

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Hawaii Five-0 Season 3 Episode 21 Quotes

Chin Ho Kelly: Better call your insurance agent from the car.
Kono Kalakaua: Tell him you want full coverage.
Savannah Walker: You're kidding, right? They're kidding, right?

Savannah Walker: If you weren't a cop, what would you be?
Chin Ho Kelly: Jazz trumpet.
Savannah Walker: Really? Like Miles Davis?
Chin Ho Kelly: Well, there's only one Miles Davis. Maybe that's why I became a cop.