comscore Bring it on, season three | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Five-0 Redux

Bring it on, season three

<em>Michelle Borth, Peter Lenkov, Christine Lahti, Alex O'Loughlin, Daniel Dae Kim and Kahu Blaine Kama­lani Kia pose for a photo at the season three blessing earlier this year. (Courtesy CBS)</em>
Michelle Borth, Peter Lenkov, Christine Lahti, Alex O'Loughlin, Daniel Dae Kim and Kahu Blaine Kama­lani Kia pose for a photo at the season three blessing earlier this year. (Courtesy CBS)

When “Hawaii Five-0” returns to television on Sept. 24, the wait for “Five-0” fans everywhere will end — and what a wait it has been. After a tumultuous sophomore season, the show enters its third season with new hope and new life.

The addition of a series regular, Michelle Borth as Catherine Rollins, the return of Momma McG played by Christine Lahti, as well as the promise of continued action and the show’s trademarked “carguments” have helped fans make it through the long summer hiatus.

Now that it’s September and we have begun the countdown to “Sunset on the Beach” in Waikiki as well as the season premiere, there is even more excitement in the air. Many diehard fans begin arriving in Hawai‘i this week and will attend several “Five-0” fan events next weekend, with some staying on until the “Sunset on the Beach” premiere. Despite the late announcement of the star-studded event, the heightened anticipation cannot be pacified.

<em> "The Five-0 Team: Grace Park, Daniel Dae Kim, Scott Caan, and Alex O'Loughlin on the set of "Hawaii Five-0." (CBS)</em>
The Five-0 Team: Grace Park, Daniel Dae Kim, Scott Caan, and Alex O'Loughlin on set. (Courtesy CBS)

But we can’t deny that despite all the fervor beginning to swirl around all things “Five-0,” the show has a bit of an uphill battle. I can’t ignore the elephant in the room and continue to not talk about some of the trouble that has faced production last year. The fact that season two was 23 episodes versus 24, due to series star Alex O’Loughlin’s break to deal with personal issues, and now the news that production offices have been sold and the show must find a new home at the end of season three. I don’t think I am alone in wondering if Michelle Borth — a popular favorite with the fans when she was just a recurring guest — could perhaps face the same fan-crazed scrutiny and backlash that Lauren German, who played officer Lori Weston, experienced.

I hope none of those things hinder my Monday nights, but as a fan it’s definitely something I have been thinking about. And I know from my random conversations with people who love the show and those who watch it occasionally that they have been thinking about these things as well. No one wishes the show ill will of course; it’s just something we have to consider as some of the shows CBS axed last season were not that bad and had comparable ratings to “Hawaii Five-0.”

<em>Michelle Borth, right, joins the show as Catherine Rollins. (Courtesy CBS)</em>
Michelle Borth, right, joins the show as Catherine Rollins. (Courtesy CBS)

So why did “Hawaii Five-0” get the renewal nod while other shows did not? Well, the list is long on that spectrum, isn’t it?

I know, most of you are listing them as you read — beautiful Hawaii, the carguments, the humor, the action, the explosions, girls in bikinis and shirtless boys. Some of you are saying the writing, the strong characters, the team’s feeling of ‘ohana and love, the conflict and the drama.

Can all of this continue into season three? Can the writers continue to write good scripts and continue with the Wo Fat versus McG story arc? Can McGarrett solve the overall mystery of who and what his father was? And will we ever figure out all what all the items meant in the Champ Box?

Oh, the questions will continue. And our desire for answers will as well. One thing is for sure; we have to hope that Peter Lenkov stays on as Showrunner. You can definitely tell the difference in the scripts and the storylines when Mr. Lenkov has a hand at writing them. I’m not saying that there weren’t really great episodes written by other writers — Kyle Harimoto definitely wrote a few of my favorite episodes in season two, “Lekiō” and “Ka Hakakā Maika‘i.”

And there are a couple of amazing directors who add a lot to the series, among them Larry Teng and Steve Boyum. Teng directed the aforementioned “Ka Hakakā Maika‘I,” as well as “Mai ka wā kahiko,” and the very popular “return of McG episode,” “Ua Hopu.”

Boyum directed the season opener “Ha‘i‘ole” as well as the season ender “Ua Hala.”

<em>Michelle Borth with executive producer and showrunner Peter Lenkov. (Courtesy CBS)</em>
Michelle Borth with executive producer and showrunner Peter Lenkov. (Courtesy CBS)

I’m afraid if Lenkov leaves (I know! Don’t say it and it won’t come true!) it doesn’t matter how many of us love Alex O’Loughlin, or the Steve and Danno bromance, or how many “Losties” stayed on with Jin, I mean, Chin, the show could be in serious trouble. Right now, it has a lot to live up to, and some work to do to keep all of us, the diehard to the random Monday viewer, tuned in and watching.

Now, keep the death threats at bay folks, I’m not saying I don’t think they are up for the challenge, and I definitely think they can knock season three out of the park — I have faith in “Five-0” for sure. But as a reviewer, I need stuff to write about, so I want the good episodes to keep on rolling. Every week. And I want good stories and cool procedurals.

I also want the show to continue filming in my home state and not head elsewhere. Let’s face it — you can’t film “Hawaii Five-0” anywhere else than in Hawaii. No way. It just would not be the same. And in order for the show to stay in Hawai‘i, they need viewers and ratings, and so the good scripts and awesome directors have to continue. We have great actors and we love them, but they can only do what the script and the director tell them to do.

And if those things are not strong, then like I said — Alex, as well as Scott, Daniel, and Grace can only do so much.

So bring it on, season three. I’m ready at my Mac’s helm to blog about every episode and keep the “Redux” rolling. Because a few things are for sure — every Monday night, I’ll be watching, writing, and cheering for the “Five-0” team with the rest of you. You can count on that.

<em>Michelle Borth, left, Alex O'Loughlin, and Christine Lahti, right, in a scene from the season three premiere episode. (Courtesy CBS)</em>
Michelle Borth, left, Alex O'Loughlin, and Christine Lahti, right, in a scene from the season three premiere episode. (Courtesy CBS)

Redux Side Note:

This week’s rebroadcast was one of my favorites, “Ka Iwi Kapu.” I am a sucker for a good ghost story and this one did not disappoint. Make sure you watch until the end or the episode will not make sense. Look for local actors Marlene Sai as well as Rob Chiong in the Halloween inspired episode.

Next week, ‘Five-0’ crosses over with “NCIS: LA” in “Pāmake Loa.” Local actor Devon Nekoba reprises his role of TSA Agent Myers, and Brian Yang is also featured.

Many have emailed me about the progress of the “H50 ‘Ohana Quilt.” Donations are still being accepted until Sunday, Sept. 9 at 10:00 a.m. HST. All proceeds go to the Wounded Warrior Project in honor of “Hawaii Five-0” fans. The cast knows about the fans efforts to support a charity close to them, and even came on board to help with donations. Mahalo nui loa if you also got involved with this event.
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Wendie Burbridge is a published author, playwright and teacher who lives and works in Honolulu. Reach her via Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

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  • Wow, a little gloomy today Wendie. I understand your worries, I have the same thoughts at times. It’s because we love this show so much and see so much potential we want it to go on for many years. I think the fact that H50 beat its competition for most of season whether in numbers or demographic, or both was a big factor that the show survived. 10PM is a tough timeslot, but if we keep watching and throw in the occasional good word to the CBS site, things will be fine.
    Has Peter said that he was leaving? That would definetly not be a good thing. I think that one would worry me more. The building does not worry me. I don’t think they would leave Hawaii, they could not, the island itself is part of the show and can’t be duplicated in a studio in LA. I can’t believe that they can’t make an adjustment somewhere on the island. Most of us have been through a move at work, you deal with the changes and make adjustments. As for Michelle Borth, I could not be more thrilled that she is on the show, and this comes from one who did not like the Lori character, but there are those who have to trash everyone other then the core 4, and they are loud about it. So I am a little worried there.
    I think I just want to be excited about the new season, and try not to worry about things I can’t change, although I agree its hard not to.

    • Not trying to be gloomy:) just after the problems they faced in season two and now the loss of their production offices- especially with the cost and lack of filming resources in Hawaii- it is a cause for concern. I think they have a product that can overcome these obstacles- I hope that I got that point across- but it’s something I have to think about as someone who writes about the show. I’m with you on your points about everything- nicely done:) I too hope there’s no big backlash about Borth joining the team. I think their ratings were good- but there was one show that had stronger ratings and it was cancelled. But the bottom line is- when it comes to TV- there are never any “sure things” and Hawaii Five-0 needs to be ready for this season. Thanks for your comments- really appreciate you reading and commenting:) Aloha- Wendie

      • I did not mean to make it sound as I thought you were wrong in saying what you wrote. I actually like it when people are not always looking thru rose colored glasses. Just as I read everything all together, I thought, Wow, how many things are already problems before we even get to the opening of season 3. It needed to be pointed out, I hope the rest of the comment showed that.

  • Wendy, I remember that the deal that was made with TNT paid CBS a lot of money per episode that is made. I would think it would benefit them to make as many episodes as they can. However, it’s just my opinion and I could be wrong.

    • Hi Trina- That’s very interesting- I’ll check that out- I remember the deal with TNT but not the details. And I’m glad they are doing 24 again this year- that will make for a great season and good for TNT rerunning the series! Thanks for commenting- Aloha, Wendie

  • Another FAB post Wendie 🙂 As much as some people don’t want to think anything negative about our beloved show,issues come up. I love that you’ve acknowledged them,instead of pretending everything is all sunshine,lollipops & rainbows. I think all the issues will make the show stronger and I look forward to what YOU have in store for us this season (and the show too hehe)

  • Wendie….as always, mahalo for a blog that is not only awesome but very informative, enjoyable AND eye opening.

    I have not heard that Peter was thinking about leaving and that would be the thing that would concern me the most if it were to happen. This incarnation of Five-0 is Peter’s baby and his mark is all over it. Peter leaving would be a major blow but I, honestly, don’t see that happening. Five-0 is a labor of love and a tribute to the original show Peter watched with his dad. It would take a helluva lot to get him to walk away.

    As to the prospect of Five-0 leaving Hawaii…again, a concern but I honestly don’t see that happening either. As I said on the Undercover page…here in Philadelphia there are many many old buildings, not just the
    ones already considered historical. As a city that is over 250 years
    old, there are old warehouses, old factories, etc. sitting and wasting away waiting for someone to rescue them or tear them
    down.

    Many do not survive but many do. They are bought up by developers
    with the hopes of turning them into to useful spaces. Apartment
    buildings, business centers, condos, etc. Many many times, these plans
    take years to accomplish. Neighborhoods fight to save the old structure
    or they fight to stop the project for fear of traffic, noise, pollution
    etc. Many times, the projects never happen at all or they do, but it
    just takes years for it to actually get done.

    Ok..the Advertiser building was sold to this developer and he has
    plans on what he wants to do with it. But, does that mean those
    plans are ready to actually become a reality in the new year or he HOPES
    to begin in the new year? Plans are just that…..plans! I “plan” to be
    in Hawaii in 2014 to celebrate my 30th anniversary. Does that mean it
    is 100% certain that it will happen?

    So, while this is very worrisome and CBS and the Five-0 powers that
    be need to take this seriously and plan for the worst, we don’t really
    know what is going on behind the scenes from the Five-0 angle OR the
    developer’s angle. We can fear the worst or hope for the best!
    Honolulu KNOWS what they have with regards to this show and I can’t
    believe they would just throw up their hands and say “oh well, YOU
    figure it out” and run the risk of losing them to the mainland. I
    refuse to believe that Oahu’s own “powers that be” aren’t working with
    Five-0 AND the developer to figure out a solution to this.

    Perhaps this developer has another property he also “plans” to
    develop but at a later date that Five-0 could use. There HAS to be a
    solution to this. As much as we do not want to see Five-0 leave Hawaii,
    I’m positive Hawaii wants that even less.

    I also don’t think Michelle/Catherine will be subjected to the same ire as Lauren/Lori. First off, Catherine is already an established character with ties to Steve and the team. She is not an outsider suddenly dropped into the mix and expected to be “one of them”. Also, Peter is totally aware of the Lori backlash, he isn’t going to let them make the same mistake again. AND Michelle is also aware of the love fans have for the core four and I’m sure she will speak up in defense of her character if needed.

    Are there concerns with the new season? Of course! But the show is fantastic and the fan base highly supportive. Many fans even have the ear of TPTB to a certain extent. I’m concerned but actually note too “worried”.

  • Wendie, as always, love your thoughts and comments. Your blog always makes me stop and go hmmmm……
    I think the largest hurdle the show will face will be finding a large enough production site to house it and stay local. There are already to many fake shows with fake locations and – no matter how marvelously authenitc the sets – it wouldn’t be the same if it was filmed in LA or NY (though if I see palm trees popping up in Brooklyn, I’d be kinda thrilled :-)!). I’m sure a better place will become available – no one wants to loose the crown jewel of Hawaii! H5-0 is the real deal!
    After last seasons debacle of adding a regular (read Lori) who had less than stellar acting ability and virtually no chemistry with the any of the main cast, Alex’s health hiccup and some inconsistent writing, the show certainly faces an up-hill battle for it’s junior year. Lori’s character was dropped on the fans like a water balloon – no character development and way to irritating to work. I love Michelle and her portrayal of Catherine. She’s been on before, her character is established and proven and the fans know and love her. Also her chemistry with Steve and the gang is evident so I’m hopeful that she won’t suffer from the wrath of the fans. Michelle herself said her character was secondary to the core4. I’m way more concerned over the arrival of Christine’s portrayal of the very absent Doris McGarrett. Because of her “death” and Daddy McG’s erractic way of shielding his kids from harm, Steve took off and opted for a very isolated and dangerous life. Momma’s got lotsa ‘splaining to do. Doris’ character is an unkown and will be subject to lots of scrutiny even though Christine is an award-winning actor. Regardless, people are going to carry on and gripe no matter what so sure there’ll be repercussions for these 2 characters too.
    As long as the mystery surrounds WoFat, the Champ box, Doris and John, the show will go on but hopefully not to the detriment of the core4. I don’t want this story line to suck the life out of the show. I watch it because it’s a good procedural show with the added benefits of the carguments, the scenery – natural and manmade!! and a great cast with good writing and directing. I’d hate to see it turn into a night-time soap because of the backstory that wouldn’t end.
    I don’t think Peter and crew will leave any time soon. The show’s too new and still has lots and lots of stories to be told and more characters to develop and a tremendous amount of potential to keep on going in the right hands. He has the right hands.
    Sure there are concerns and worries but that’s normal. Let’s just focus on the good right now! I’m very excited for the new season and I’ll be watching thru thick and thin.

  • Thanks, Wendie, for your thought-provoking words! I admit, I love this show unconditionally, but I’m well aware of the difficulties of maintaining a hit television show. Many series have a tough time getting through their sophomore years intact! H5-0 definitely struggled, but I think it came through the process with a strong finish and a dedicated fan base willing to catch the wave for another season! The sale of 605 Kapiolani is definitely a concern, but I can’t imagine Honolulu allowing H5-0 to slip away from it’s embrace. Michelle Borth is a welcome addition to the extended 5-0 Ohana (at least, in my opinion) and I can only hope the fans will accept her without too much gnashing of teeth. Christine Lahti has a tough job ahead of her as the fans’ love for Steve is going to automatically put Doris at a disadvantage. I’m very excited to see how all this will play out – and I’m very intrigued by Chin’s story, Kono’s romance, and Danny’s flashback episode! Lots of potential for a great Season 3. I’ll be watching every Monday night, as well, Wendie…and looking for your review every Tuesday! Once again, Mahalo for your efforts!

  • Thanks, Wendie, for your thought-provoking words! I admit, I love this show unconditionally, but I’m well aware of the difficulties of maintaining a hit television show. Many series have a tough time getting through their sophomore years intact! H5-0 definitely struggled, but I think it came through the process with a strong finish and a dedicated fan base willing to catch the wave for another season! The sale of 605 Kapiolani is definitely a concern, but I can’t imagine Honolulu allowing H5-0 to slip away from it’s embrace. Michelle Borth is a welcome addition to the extended 5-0 Ohana (at least, in my opinion) and I can only hope the fans will accept her without too much gnashing of teeth. Christine Lahti has a tough job ahead of her as the fans’ love for Steve is going to automatically put Doris at a disadvantage. I’m very excited to see how all this will play out – and I’m very intrigued by Chin’s story, Kono’s romance, and Danny’s flashback episode! Lots of potential for a great Season 3. I’ll be watching every Monday night, as well, Wendie…and looking for your review every Tuesday! Once again, Mahalo for your efforts!

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