The second season of “Hawaii Five-0” has been an interesting one for those fans who love following the ladies of the show.
Most would agree that all these women are beautiful and sexy, good fighters, handy with weapons and smart (as well as sharp-tongued). They can break you with their fists as well as their wit. These are the type of women men want to date and ladies want as a BFF.
Much has been made about the men of “Five-0,” but I think it’s high time the ladies got some positive attention for more than just their looks and sex appeal.
Nā wāhine o “Five-0” seems to be headed by Kono Kalakaua, played with high-kicking badass-ness by Grace Park. Next season, McG’s personal Navy insider, Catherine Rollins (Michelle Borth), will join the permanent crew, and some are hoping that may be what’s in store for McG’s little sister, Mary Ann (Taryn Manning), and Dr. Malia Waincroft (Reiko Aylesworth) a.k.a. Mrs. Chin Ho Kelly.
In addition, Danno may have a bit of a love triangle to wrangle if they bring back his ex-wife, Rachel Edwards (Claire van der Boom), more often than he gets to slide on over to Bishop Museum to visit current love interest Dr. Gabrielle Asano (Autumn Reeser). This season saw the unceremonious release of two members of the wāhine team, when Jenna Kaye (Larisa Oleynik) was killed by Wo Fat and Lori Weston (Lauren German) was “let go” by Governor Denning.
One could say the “Five-0” women are no strangers to controversy. Last year’s midseason addition of Larisa Oleynik as CIA analyst Kaye, was the first to rankle fans. Some viewers couldn’t separate her sweet, Harvard-educated, computer geek Jenna face from her Nickelodeon persona, Alex Mack; nor could they stomach the fact that perhaps she might be a potential love interest for McGarrett.
The season two addition of Lauren German as Officer Lori Weston elicited a similar reaction when she was touted as a “female McG.” Both Kaye and Weston seemed to grow on most fans, yet for some, they never quite caught on. German seemed to get the worst of the backlash, especially when her character started to share private moments with McG in various episodes. Fans were especially concerned when the storyline appeared to indicate that she might have also been, or could have become, a potential love interest for McGarrett.
(Do you sense a pattern? Or did you miss the flashing sign from fans saying, “Hands off McG?”)
Interestingly enough, when Grace Park’s character shows any affection toward McGarrett or when McG’s script-specified and show-approved love interest makes an entrance, fans seem to love those moments and don’t have a lot to say about these two ladies. When news broke that Michelle Borth will be a regular cast member next season, most fans seemed pleased with the announcement.
Perhaps because it was Borth who was elevated to series regular and not Lauren German, as fans seemed to be quite at odds with German’s character. For a small but vocal group, she didn’t stand a chance. Those who liked German from the beginning didn’t waver, but some fans did not have anything nice to say about Officer Weston. It’s too bad, as I thought she and Kono seemed to make a great team, and her scenes with Max made me laugh.
But fans seem to want female characters who support McGarrett and his team — and who don’t make too many quick and sudden movements. If any woman tried to break up our Fearless Four or take Kono’s place, watch out, because she is going to be stopped with as many Twitter updates, Facebook posts, Tumblr pages, and strongly worded emails to CBS as “Hawaii Five-0” fans can send out during a busy workday.
What fans don’t seem to mind is more script time spent developing Kono’s character and the relationship between Malia and Chin Ho, as well as seeing what happens between Gabby and Danno. I’m not sure what they think about McG and Catherine, but I haven’t seen any petitions to get rid of her, so I think she will have smooth sailing ahead during season three. And I’m not sure where Danny is going to sleep once Catherine moves in, but I’m confident they will figure all of that out.
It will only get more interesting if Mary Ann starts flying to Hawaii more often, but she seems to get arrested every time she gets off a plane, so at least she’ll have a place to sleep if she’s in jail — because there wont be a lot of room at the McGarrett Inn.
I’d love to know where Rachel would fit into the cast in the future. She seems to have had not-Danny’s-baby and disappeared. I guess if your ex-husband shoots your current-husband, you may not want them to hang out with each other too much. The sad thing is, our kaikamahine Gracie (Teilor Grubbs) seems to also have disappeared with her mother, and I know fans love to see Danno and Gracie together. Hopefully, they will bring back Danno’s “Monkey” before fans start an email campaign.
I’ve said it before — this season has been a roller coaster of storylines and emotions for many characters, as well as for the actors off-camera. It has not been easy, yet I cannot wait to see how the ladies of “Five-0” work out in season three. I don’t want to lose any more of nā wāhine, as I don’t think I can take another dead lady. I watched Laura Hills explode (Kelly Hu’s departure at the end of season one) and Jenna Kaye be shot in cold blood, so I’m hoping we don’t lose another lady in the season finale next month.
To potential new “Hawaii Five-0” female cast members, I wish you good luck in joining this team, but you definitely need fair warning — it’s not always a smooth ride.
Redux Side Note:
Monday, April 9, will bring a new “Hawaii Five-0” episode. We’ll learn more about Masi Oka’s character, Dr. Max Bergman, in “Ha‘alele,” which in Hawaiian means “to leave, desert, or abandon.” Click here to read what Honolulu Star-Advertiser film and television reporter, Mike Gordon, wrote about Oka last October.
Another reason to not miss “Ha‘alele” is that it will be a while before we see Alex O’Loughlin back on the small screen; he returns to “Five-0” for the last two episodes of the season, “Ua Hopu” on May 7 and the season finale, “Ua Hala,” on May 14.
Wendie Burbridge is a published writer, playwright and a teacher of literature and fiction writing at Kamehameha Schools-Kapālama. Reach her on Facebook and on Twitter.