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)

Nice idea with the TV Show thing, but piss poor and boring execution.


Latest ratings: Castle 10.6 million H50 7.7 and Revolution 5.8 The bad news for H50 - it was the lowest rated show on Monday among the 18-49 age group.


I must be the only one who didn't like it. I just felt too removed from the characters - seeing them through Savannah's eyes like that. The ending should have carried more emotional weight but I didn't feel anything from Steve, it didn't engage me like most of the episodes do.


Big fan of the series. The action the banter the family like nature of the team really gets to me. Hope it lasts for many more seasons.


I enjoyed the concept and the manner that Five-0 always tries new stuff to engage the audience. However I felt that this mockumentary should have been done in the middle of the show with a filler as it would have served its purpose of drawing the audience in and keeping them interested. This episode's plot with the appearance of Wo Fat who is the main villain in this series so far seems to be too important to distract with the mockumentary. It seems that Wo Fat though seemingly the big bad has always been caught at random. It would have been nice to see this episode in normal form with more focus to how Wo Fat is caught after a full investigation coupled with the ever present action. However with this mockumentary what we are left with is bits and pieces of the case which is filled in by Savannah narration and for such a major event (the clash and capture of Wo Fat) it came across as too disjointed. Still really looking forward to the last three episodes where things usually heat up. Big fan of the series. The action the banter the family like nature of the team really gets to me. Hope it lasts for many more seasons.

Sarah silva

Scott Caan is not going anywhere.

Sarah silva

I liked this episode, I did find it overly cheesy at times with Savannah, but that was the point. However I still liked it and I like that H50 tries different things.
I do not think Wo Fat can survive but then again he seems to have 9 lives!
As always Alex was looking HOT!


I wasn't too crazy about the whole TV crew/documentary aspect of this show - I thought the crime story, and especially the Wo Fat angle, were enough of a story line without all that. But any episode that focuses on the core 4 working together works for me. I really doubt they would kill off Danno, considering the entire show is built around him and Steve. And I still love him, I think he always has some of the best lines of the episodes. No one could have the same chemistry with AOL - their relationship is one of my fave parts of the show. If they're going to kill someone I hope it's Wo Fat (story is getting old) or Catherine. Sorry, I like her, I just think she's more expendable than some other characters.


The whole talk show concept was cleverly done, though I was disappointed by the audience -- they should have been oohing and aahing a lot more. As Five-0, it didn't entirely work because the case got VERY convoluted with the business about the tattoo and the park, in other words, a typical Five-0 plot complication written in such a way it almost completely defies logic. As well, the girl friend's brother was the killer, but his criminal past was only briefly hinted at. Near the end, everything started to get d-r-a-g-g-e-d out, and I got the impression that Savannah was less the talk show host and just the narrator of what was happening on the monitors. The whole show was full of great quotable lines like Kono replying to Savannah's "How did you get so tech savvy": "X-Box." There were several connections with classic Five-O episodes in this show as well. One thing that I REALLY liked about the show -- there was almost NO MUSIC!


What happens to WoFat? He signs on to star in his own cooking show. The Chairman.

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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.