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)

As usual, 5-0 didn't disappoint.
What makes the world go round is that I'm just the opposite of @Amy in that I like the shows that involve Catherine. It was an interesting format but I think that once is enough. There have been times where I've been frustrated that Wo Fat keeps escaping I REEEEEALY hope that he does not escape again. It's time for his story arc to end. We need the, perhaps unmentioned mythical person behind Wo Fat maybe? I think that this show has some great writers on board.


I liked the documentary format, it was different. Too bad Wo Fat didn't die, I've had enough of him. No to worry fans of him, he will escape again. As far as who gets killed off in the final episode, I have to believe it'll be Danno. I think everyone's had enough of him...


I liked this episode for the most part. Welldone with the faux Oprah-like show. Learned a few new things. Charlie Fong's real name is Che Fong a tribute to the original. Jack Lord was always mentioning "Che in the lab". Also the blue-lit room is deep in the bowels of the Aliiolani Kale where you need to enter a code to get in.Hope the Honolulu ACLU doesn't find out. Only problem was the case of the week. Really-a map of a secret stash on a tattoo. Why not just hide somewhere GPS coordinates.


Weird but interesting epi. Great review of it, btw. it was interesting to get, basically, a recap of the show and its characters through another's eyes. The cargument bit was cute, Danno's giggle when they noted the film crew needs to sign the accident waiver, Chin's cool interview, Kono's nervous one. All true to our characters. And we finally found something that scares McG-- his deer in the headlights expression, and inability to be able to respond when she stuck the mic in his face, was hilarious. it was weird watching the pursuit and capture of Wo Fat through a third party's eyes, but the device lends it a dreamy quality too. Did it really happen? We'll see how they pick up on that in the next epi. I'm intrigued.


This episode was good and funny.


As much as I like the character of Catherine, I have noticed that my favorite episodes of this season have not involved her at all or very little. So if she is the character that may or may not be killed in the season finale, I guess that will be alright by me. Either way, this was a great episode showcasing our gang doing what they do best and giving out some useful information along the way. Aisha Tyler was great and reminded me a little of Oprah when she narrated the footage of her adventures with Gayle on her show. And I definitely think Wo Fat has some more tricks up his sleeve - his conflict with the McGarrett's is far from over. Excellent episode!

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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.