The idea of an evil woman conjures up many different kinds of images. The femme fatale, the scorned woman, the woman who takes no guff from anyone — they all come to mind when I think of an evil woman, as well as a few lines from a popular ELO song (sorry if “E-evil Woman” is now running through your head while you read this).
Even the Hawaiian goddess Pele has been depicted as an angry woman with lava for hair who wreaks fiery havoc on her male admirers. So when I watched the sugar cane fields of Maui on fire in the opening scene and a woman driving a speeding car through the smoke and ash, I thought only of a powerful woman calling the shots.
And that is where this episode headed — three women took everything over this week. It was definitely an interesting concept.
I’m not saying the men didn’t have their moments in this one. They did. McG stuck to his conviction that he was right about guest star Vanessa Marcil, who played the evil Dr. Olivia Victor. And Danno got an “I told you so Steven” moment when McG’s tires were slashed. Even good ole Sgt. Duke Lukela (Dennis Chun) got a chance to warn McG to not overstep his bounds.
It did make me hate Dr. Victor even more when Sgt. Lukela was so nice to her. Who doesn’t want a police officer to say, “I’ll take care of this, ma’am,” in a kind and gentle voice, and then rip into your enemy?
I know, Steve was set up by little Miss Skinny Pants, but it was still fun to see Duke put his hand up to stop McG from talking. Poor Steve — no one believed him and everyone doubted his instincts, even his buddy Danno.
I thought so, too, as I didn’t really get where Steve was getting all of his “gut instinct” evidence against her. Maybe it was the fact that she was wearing short shorts with boots while washing a car or the lame “I lost my phone on my run so I couldn’t murder anyone” excuse. Maybe it was the “I’m so sexy” smugness she wore on her face the entire episode. All I know is that the whole time I was rooting for McG to wipe that damn smug smile off her face. Or for someone to force-feed her some sugar cane.
Either way, the ending of the procedural this week was sweet for me.
For an episode titled “Wahine ‘Ino Loa” (three words not one), which means “Evil Woman” in Hawaiian, there was a lot of girl power mixed with a lot of I’m-so-wicked moments. Girl power goddess Michelle Borth, as Catherine Rollins, started off the night by disarming WITSEC Agent Chris Channing (the return of Carlos Bernard), and then making an awesome jump off a balcony, scaling down to the next floor, and then landing on her feet, made me want to change my tune to “I am woman, hear me roar.”
But Momma McG (Christine Lahti) takes the cake for power — I have to drop the girl when talking about Doris — not because of age, but because of the level of brutality she uses. Definitely not girlish, that is for sure. It’s hard to figure out Doris. She basically almost kills Mangosta (J.B. Bell Jr) who she supposedly already killed, but then she pulls the “I cry after I torture look” when she made Cath promise not to tell Steve about Doris’s, um, to say it nicely, persuasion tactics.
At that moment when Cath says she won’t tell Steve, I had a quick image of someone making a deal with the devil.
Couple the subplot of Cath trying to protect Momma McG, with Vanessa Marcil’s major manipulation of Steve — the estrogen emerging off my television was pretty vivid. Of course, not all of it was positive, I for one do not condone manipulating a restraining order, slashing someone’s tires, or prostitution therapy — nor do I suggest the use of torture to get what you want out of a man. But hey, it seemed to work in this week’s episode. Because it was all kinds of evil.
Perhaps it was because this episode was written a woman, Stephanie SenGupta, and directed by a seasoned “Hawaii Five-0” director and producer, Steve Boyum, that everything seemed to work. The carguments, while not overly hilarious, were on point and added some nice humor to the episode.
I still remember when Danno offered to pay for McG’s therapy in season one, so it was funny when he suggested therapy again. Little did he know that Dr. Olivia’s therapy was a little different than what all of us sane people think of as legitimate therapy, but it was a bit of comic relief to come back to Danno’s fear of McGarrett’s overzealous, super SEAL ways. Yet when McG’s gut works — he’s never wrong.
So folks, don’t think that all beautiful women are necessarily evil. Perhaps some of them just act evil because they are hungry. Or because they are afraid of someone — or as it seems in Doris’s case — afraid of something. I’m still not sure what she is afraid of, but I’m game to hang on and see how this plays out.
I didn’t feel this excited about finding out who Shelburne was or what was in the Champ box. But I do want to know what Doris is hiding, and why it is SO important to not tell Steve. And I want to know if this is an evil that Momma is hiding and if this evil is going to come back to haunt them.
Redux Side Note:
Devon Nekoba returned this week as TSA SCA Myers, a role he played in two episodes during season two of “Hawaii Five-0.”
Nekoba called me when he was shooting “Wahine ‘ino loa” and gave me a behind the scenes glimpse into the episode. He said working with Grace Park was great, and like working with Alex O’Loughlin and Scott Caan in “Kālele,” she was very focused in front of the cameras, but playful and fun when the cameras weren’t rolling.
Nekoba was thrilled to be asked back to play Myers, and I was happy to see them using local actors in recurring roles. His scene with Park completes his “Five-0” rounds, as he has now been in scenes with all four of the leads—as well as with LL Cool J and Chris O’Donnell from “NCIS: LA” when he played Myers in “Pāmake Loa.”
Wendie Burbridge is a published author, playwright and teacher who lives and works in Honolulu. Reach her via Facebook and follow her on Twitter.