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Five-0 Redux

Nā wāhine o ‘Five-0’

Grace Park may be nice to look at, but her character on "Hawaii Five-0" is also known for having a tough personality. (Courtesy CBS)
Grace Park may be nice to look at, but her character on "Hawaii Five-0" is also known for having a tough personality. (Courtesy CBS)

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.

Reiko Aylesworth, center, is expected to play a bigger role next season on "Hawaii Five-0" as the new wife of Chin Ho Kelly (Daniel Dae Kim). (Courtesy CBS)
Reiko Aylesworth, center, is expected to play a bigger role next season on "Hawaii Five-0" as the new wife of Chin Ho Kelly (Daniel Dae Kim). (Courtesy CBS)

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.

Michelle Borth, right, is expected to continue as the love interest for Steve McGarrett (Alex O'Loughlin) next season on "Hawaii Five-0." (Courtesy CBS)
Michelle Borth, right, is expected to continue as the love interest for Steve McGarrett (Alex O'Loughlin) next season on "Hawaii Five-0." (Courtesy CBS)

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.

Grace Park on the red carpet prior to the "Sunset on the Beach" screening of the season two premiere in Waikiki last September. (Star-Advertiser File)
Grace Park on the red carpet prior to the "Sunset on the Beach" screening of the season two premiere in Waikiki last September. (Star-Advertiser File)

(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.

Taryn Manning will return in season three of "Hawaii Five-0." (Star-Advertiser File)
Taryn Manning will return in season three of "Hawaii Five-0." (Star-Advertiser File)

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.
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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.

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  • Hey, Wendie! Nice to have you and your awesome blog back online! Missed you, but you’re back now, so all’s good! What a great analysis of the female characters of H5-0! It’s something I’ve thought about this season, too, and I don’t envy any actress who thinks it will be a piece of cake to join the ranks of 5-0 in the future. She will open herself up to the most intense public scrutiny she could possibly imagine!

    Kono is in solid, but she is really the ONLY woman who can claim that honor! Mary had an uphill battle in season 1 – not everyone liked her, and some fans still don’t! Jenna Kaye had a rough stay, but NOTHING compared to the Lori Weston character! Poor Rachel – fans had all summer long to vent their indignant rants over what “that wishy-washy, selfish, manipulative broad did to Danny – poor love-struck sap!” It’s kind of funny now, but not so much last summer!!

    Everyone loves Malia because she’s made Chin happy – let’s hope that lasts! There are a few fans out there who don’t think much of Dr. Gabby, but for the moment she appears more as a non-entity rather than a woman to watch closely.  Catherine currently has a green light from the majority of the fans (although there is a very small contingent that are wringing hands as to how it will work out for Steve and Cath.  And of course, little Gracie, who is just beginning to flaunt her feminine wiles, can do no wrong. Oh, but the story lines for Grace and her dad, not too far down the road, are going to be priceless!

    You alluded to the fact that we’ve had some very graphic and shocking deaths of female characters and you hope we won’t see another 5-0 woman die before the season is over.  Now unfortunately, this seems to be the way the 5-0 writers like to get rid of used up or unliked characters, so Wendie, we might not be out of the woods yet on this score! Either way, actresses beware! Job security for female 5-0 characters is NOT guaranteed – not by a long-shot!  

  • Wendie

    I have been writing about this all year on how woman are treated on H50. Actress have been  without a positive script. Even Pattty Duke had Alzheimer disease. You could not have a women around if there was a slight possible McG would consider their was another gender.

    Women fans are in a frazzie when it comes to McG. They have taken McG from fiction to being  Alex O’Loughlin  who will fall madly in LOVE with them once they see each other. He must take his shirt off weekly if possible. The writing of roles for women within H50 is dismal.

    Peter L. has a low opinion of women acting in H50. If you have been following the men politician they want to set women back 50 years in their quest for the control of our minds and bodies. I think Peter L. is the band leader. 

    The show with only one female (Kono) who can kicka–.Is a role for the less challenge. Grace Park is a good actress, and her role should be develop with a more positive imagine.   

      • Officer 808

        Are you a writing for Peter L? Are your knuckies sore from draging them on the ground at the RNC office? The large poster of “War on Women” is in the mail. 

        •  EBones…so what if that’s what Officer 808 says? Grace Park is gorgeous! If the women want to see the men shirtless, why can’t the men see Kono in a bikini? Honestly, lighten up, it’s tv show.

        • Amy D

          TV show is correct, but tell that to the fans. A man with his shirt off is something expected by the fans. I enjoy all of the show so clothes off  is not necessary a gung ho excitement needed to enjoy the TV show.

          Officer 808 responded like droop was trickling out of his mouth. There is only one women on that show, and she needs to take her clothes off to make Officer 808 night is sad.

          The story line with more than one women on the show is a lighting up moment.

          End of dicussion.

        •  Did it ever occur to you that Officer808 was kidding with you.  You’re so intense…he was just pulling your leg to lighten the mood.  Chill babe!

          This is NOT a political forum and I am not saying that because I disagree with you.  As a matter of fact, when it comes to politicians attempting to take away the rights of women, I happen to agree with you. BUT THIS IS NOT THE PLACE. 

          Find a nice political blog and have a field day. JBob…I got your back brah! 😉

        • I don’t normally post unless it is to thank people for comments- and I do thank all of you for commenting. EBones makes an interesting point and it’s fair to say that everyone is allowed their opinion and can post it here. 

          But I also agree with you, Linda. This is NOT a political forum, nor do did I ever intend it to be. It’s a blog, reviewing a TELEVISION show about a group of police officers who happen to also be a bunch of great looking people who infuse lots of action and humor into their performance. If I want politics and high drama, I can read the Star-Advertiser or, heck, go to work and deal with it all there. I watch Hawaii Five-0 for entertainment, and while I write about Hawaiian culture in this blog– I want it to be seen as my opinion– as well as my upbringing and experience in Hawai’i and with my heritage. 

          I don’t appreciate when people post rude comments to me or to others who post here. If you disagree with each other, that is fine, but keep it civil and use some tact. Please do not Fan bash here. And if you have a problem with anyone from the cast or crew of “Hawaii Five-0” please email CBS since I have very little to do with the show or how it is made or portrayed.

          And this is directed at anyone and everyone who posts here. 

          NOW it is the end of the discussion. 
          ~WJ

        • Well-said!  I happen to like the show and enjoy all the little quirks about it.
          Mahalo for the blog!

        • Well let me just clarify my point a little bit better, since I have been accused of being so short, that my knuckles drag on the ground, or possibly I have kyphosis, a debilitating back disorder in which I am chornically hunched over in pain,  like Quasimodo.  But back to my point:

          MORE BIKIKNEEEEEEES NOW!

          CRO-MAGNON KNUCKLE DRAGGING FTW!!!!!

        • If you review what I said it was confirming your comments on women roles on H50. This wasn’t a political point. It’s a responds to sexism on H50. Peter L head producer makes all the calls on employment. Women are killed or not part of the series, and they move on to other roles in the industry. During Lauren Graham role fans didn’t like her and started a petition. Now that harsh to have someone fired. Why, she might touch or kiss McG. I have written CBS, ABC and NBC on the lack of women in positive roles on TV. I stated the politician role , because of current news of women roles in todays political world in the effort to become President. The remark about his knuckles was because of officer 808 cave man lack of respect for Grace Park role on H50.  The current situation of women roles on TV is to be taken serious not lightly. I understand if my verbiage is not for your blog, therefore I ‘ll not sign on again. Thank you

        • I really don’t understand all this talk about Grace in a bikini.  She is a good actress, but as a man, I don’t give her a second look when she is in a bikini.  What in the world is all the excitement?  She doesn’t have the body of a “babe” and to use her like that is a poor use of her talents.

  • Hi Wendie! The addition of Jenna and Lori did bring a lot of backlash. Jenna was a misguided soul. She used people to get what she wanted and in the end it backfired for her. Truthfully, I never thought of her as a love interest for Steve, she wasn’t portrayed that way (at least to me) and at least Jenna could act. Lori, on the other hand, was about as exciting as watching paint dry. Yes, she did get along well with Max, but he was the only one and I think the quirkiness of their characters was the draw, 2-fish-out-of-water. But give chills, well we’re all entitled to our opinions. I did a happy dance when she left (and am not so secretly hoping that she gets killed of, this way she’ll never be back). 

    I’m all for developing Kono’s character. She’s not a rookie anymore and she’s certainly proven herself and am hoping they use her to her full potential. Her moments with Steve are very touching, they love each other but it’s not romantic or sexual. He’s a proud father! Kono needs a love interest.  I would also love to see more of Malia and having them develop both her and Chin’s characters.

    I’m kind of surprised by your statement that Catherine will be living with Steve: “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.” I’m sure she’ll be there but move in? Not so sure. I’m thinking she’s still in the Navy and living at Pearl Harbor. Guess we’ll all find out. I’d be more concerned about his sister than Danny finding a place to live. Which brings me to Mary. Talk about a charcter needing developing, it’s her. She’s the most pathetic thing, always in trouble. Pathetic wears thin real quick. I do like that she brings out the protective side of Steve when he’s not wanting to kill her, but enough, grow up already. Maybe Danny can live with Gabby and that’d solve his lack-of-housing problems. Either that or buy the house on the same block as Steve! I do miss Gracie and hope that we see more of her in Season 3 especially since she’s growing up right in front of our eyes.

    I’m all for new people, lots of guest stars but no one regular (yet). They tried it and it failed miserably. Maybe for season 4 they can add someone but for right now, let’s develop our core4 first. I wish they’d do an episode on each of them only but not involving crime – just a story about them, that’d be cool!

    Thanks!

  • OK…Lynnette suggested that maybe my comments keep going to moderator hell because they are too long. So I’m posting this to see if that’s the problem.

  • Thanks for your review Wendy.  This show does kill off their female characters, but they have also killed men off, although not ones that have had as large a part as the women.  I don’t however, think its a conspiracy by the show’s writers and producers against women that some people have sort of suggested. 

    I did not like the Lori character, and I’m sure there were some out there that did not want anyone near Alex, but all of the people I talked to just did not like the way they presented the character, not because we have fantasies about Alex (by the way this included men also).  Michelle Borth is a beautiful woman and I have no problem with her character with Steve, and they have shown a whole lot more of him and her together then any other woman.  I did not sign any petitions, but I am not sorry the character is gone.  No disrespect to the actress, not her fault.  They made a mistake in how she was presented and written and now its over.  Lets get over it.  I had no problem with Jenna Kaye.

    I don’t like Kono with McG because he is her boss, she calls him boss, the character is a lot younger then the Steve character.  Just because the actress is older does not mean she plays an older character, people tend to forget that.  I love Kono, I want her to have a personal life, and I am thrilled that she has been getting more screen time lately and hope that continues.  Grace Park is a wonderful actress. They are showing Kono maturing, and expressing her opinion more.  Remember again, she is out of the academy 2 yrs at the most.

    The other female characters on the show I also love, Mary Ann, Rachel, Malia, Gabby,  and especially Grace.  They are supporting characters, I would love to see them more, but the show became too disjointed in the beginning of the season trying to put in 5th team member, while the others were pushed aside.  I love that Catherine will be a regular, I’m guessing they will use her like Max, and she will still be with the Navy, to keep the show with that military link that they need. I’m happy that Max is getting some back ground history tonight, and would like that of the others, but not at the expense of the original 4 team members.  More Chin and Kono needed.

  • I personally don’t think that is why everyone hated Lori.  I think it was primarily the writer’s faults.  Lauren German isn’t the greatest actress
    in the world, (neither is Grace Park for that matter, I loved her as Boomer, but she’s not winning any acting prizes) but Lauren can
    certainly hold her own, and has in several projects.  I DEFINITELY think
    the character failed because they dropped her in the middle with little
    or no backstory and basically “informed” the audience that she was
    McGarrett’s new love interest.  I’m not against a new love interest, but
    at least give me a little bit of build up in the story line, and time for the actors to form some chemistry.  They didn’t do that, they didn’t even bother to write her a character ( the “female McG? we already had two, Kono and  Catherine).  I loved Lori’s geeky moments and thought there was definite potential there, (Max’s Grease theme party, the brilliant “Holy Mullet! moment) but they were few and far between. 

    I agree overall that the writing for the women is weak, and think that the writers forget about the characters from episode to episode.

    This is the problem with the series as a whole.  They tend to underwrite everything and don’t keep canon from one episode to the next.  Character seems disposable, unless the actors themselves are such characters(Taylor Willie, Scott Caan) that the writers can’t help but respond.  Case in point – Chin’s reconciliation with Malia – we went from sushi/date proposal to marriage in one episode.  No funny moments with family, no goofy wedding planning set pieces…the whole thing was dropped.

    It’s a shame, it’s the character moments that actually make procedurals work.  NCIS never has a particularly riveting crime of the week but people tune in obsessively to see how the crime affects Gibbs, Tony, Abbie etc.  I believe it’s the same with the Mentalist, Castle and the CSI’s.  When H50 gets on board with this idea, I think the writing will start to flow and we won’t have so many disjointed storylines. 

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