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Five-0 Redux

These dolls play to win

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If you are still on the fence about McGarrett needing a little couch time to deal with his mother issues after watching last night’s episode of “Hawaii Five-0,” you need to head back to your DVR and re-watch “Na Kiʻi.”

Translated as “The Dolls,” McGarrett didn’t find a cursed voodoo figure on a SEAL mandated hike in the Koʻolau Mountains, but he sure found enough trouble between having to deal with Momma McG, his relationship with Catherine and roller derby babes involved with this week’s case.

While there were enough beautiful women on-screen this week, the idea and concept of the “dolls” theme had more to do with the incorporation of a roller derby team, the Leahi Diamond Dolls. Catherine (Michelle Borth) is tasked by McGarrett and crew to join the team in order to find out who killed one of their members — and she reluctantly agreed.

The common image of a doll is of something fragile and sweet, and while Catherine is all kinds of lovely, she is definitely not a porcelain damsel in distress needing a McG savior to swoop in and save her.

The Hawaiian translation of “kiʻi” doesn’t really lend itself to that image as well. “Kiʻi” also means “image, statue, likeness, idol, or doll.” Most Hawaiians think of kiʻi as wooden or stone images representing our ʻaumakua or family gods, or the larger and more famous kiʻi of Kū, the ancient god of war.

The women in this episode were definitely more like the Hawaiian conception of “kiʻi” — fierce, strong, warriors in their own right.

Between Momma McG defending herself against what she told McG was a “robbery gone wrong,” and Catherine keeping time with the Diamond Dolls, there was enough girl action to blow the “dolly” image out with the trade winds. I very much enjoyed all the roller derby scenes and especially appreciated that “Five-0” showcased the very real Pacific Roller Derby club and highlighted two of their teams — the South Shore Sirens and the Diamond Dolls.

While “Crimson Bride” (Tiffany Dupont) and “Sugar Stix” (New Zealand actress and stuntwoman Zoe Bell), may have been transplanted into the team for the show, looking at the cast list, some of the other girls were played by actual derby girls; Rachel “Mistress Lovehit” Lee played “Hot Lips Honolulu,” and Lisa “Miso Rowdy” Hogue played “Silk Slayer.” It also looked like many of the other derby girls filled out the rest of two teams in the championship tournament.

There was a lot to like about this episode, but there were a few things that really made me pause. I thought Dog the Bounty Hunter’s cameo in the opening scene was a fun way to start the episode — especially his exchange with McGarrett and Danno.

In the “Five-0” world, it would make sense that McG and crew would run into a character like Dog. When Dog’s son Leland chased their perp along the wall of “Aloha Family” graffiti art, I couldn’t help but think about the idea that “Five-0” is all about family, as was Dog’s former A&E show. I did have a bit of an issue with the victim’s boyfriend being a lifeguard without a tan (in Hawaii you can get a tan just by driving in your car).

Zoe Bell (Sugar Stix) played a doctor who leads a double life as a derby girl, which seemed very similar to her character in the movie “Whip It,” where she played “Bloody Holly,” a medical technician by day, and derby goddess by night — albeit with a New Zealand accent.

I saved the best issue for last of course, and that is the fate of Momma McG and the status of McGarrett and Cath’s relationship. Finally, Cath’s deal with the devil that is Momma, has come to light, as she told Steve of her promise to conceal Doris’s tangling with Mangosta.

McGarrett’s very plain statement at the start of the episode “I have trust issues, Mom,” comes back to haunt us when Cath confesses her cover-up. I said it in my midseason wrap-up, I didn’t want Cath to fall into Momma’s trap. Steven doesn’t like lies and secrets. It has hurt him his entire life.

Trust is definitely still an issue that McGarrett has to deal with regarding the women in his life, and I hope he and Cath can get through the rest of the season intact. I also hope Doris doesn’t leave McG and his family torn apart like she did 20 years ago.

She may be McG’s Momma — but McGarrett needs to stay alert and on his toes. Like the derby girls, Doris plays rough and she plays to win.

Redux Side Note:

If you are on Oʻahu and would like to see the Leahi Diamond Dolls in action, on March 22 the Dolls have a match against the South Shore Sirens at 7:30 p.m. at Palama Settlement Gym.

Come out and support the Pacific Roller Derby ladies and see them in action!
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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  • In addition to your discussion of the “oppisite” of the definition of Dolls- which I love!- Dog’s wife is another image of contradiction to the doll as well. She is blonde and dresses with a mean pair of pumps, mini skirt , Nashville Country star hair and nails. YET, you dont want to mess with this mama – she will play as hard and rough as the derby girls for sure! Great recap and insight Wendie!!

    • Thanks for reading Dina- it’s true Beth Chapman is dolled up to hunt down the bad guys, but she’s no one you want to mess with- that is for sure! Mahalo for reading and commenting:) Aloha, Wendie

  • Hi Wendie. It was great having a new episode to talk about. Loved this one, it was fun. I too did not want Catherine to get caught in Mama McG’s web, I was glad she told him. I was also glad to see that McG grew a little by understanding that his mother was the manipulator and that yes Catherine should have told him from the start, but that he understands how much Catherine cares for him, and afterall, McG is the one who actually threw her into Mama’s web. I was proud of him. I’m glad we found out what was in the floor boards. I would like this storyline to move a little faster though. I know its a big arc, but I would like more answers faster. I love Christine Lahti’s portrayal of Doris. We are not suppose to like the character, and she is doing a good job at that. I loved seeing Dog the bounty hunter, I would hope in the future they run into him again, it was a great start to the show. Thanks for your review Wendie.

    • Thanks for reading Diane, and taking the time to comment:) I called it- Cath getting caught in Momma’s web- though I did enjoy how H50 handled it. Was dramatic enough and not too melodramatic- which they could have completely done to milk the tension and drama. Mahalo~ Wendie

  • I enjoyed this episode last night. Michelle was excellent as a “doll”. So many trust issues came to a head between Steve, Mom and Catherine. I was almost lulled into a false sense of security with the fun rowing outing. A surprise lunch, a robbery gone wrong, Catherine confessing and sooo sad. The hurt so evident on Steve’s face. To me the derby action was secondary, though watching Michelle skate brought back memories of my Thursday afternoons at the local youth center/roller rink as a kid! Doris redeemed herself an iota with her statement about Cath’s love for him, but otherwise once a snake, always a snake. I hope Steve and Cath survive. Doris can’t leave soon enough, dead or alive.

  • Thanks, Wendie! Your description of the “dolls” reminds me of the Kachina dolls of the southwestern native tribes, or perhaps the statues of Catholic saints we were given for making our First Communion!

    I definitely see the comparison of the women in this week’s episode to the Ki’i you mention! They were strong, fierce and independent warriors! I admit to groaning when I heard we were getting a roller derby episode, but I feel it was well done, although – the lady pediatrician derby queen? Well, I guess, why not? I remember my grandmother, a lovely, kindly old lady, watching roller derby on her television at night in her downstairs apartment in our house while growing up (she was an Italian mamma, too! Oh! She would have made a terrific Mrs. Williams! She even raised a real life detective sergeant for a son, too!)

    Catherine was all I could hope for this week – and she didn’t need saving by her man, either! That bumped her up another couple notches for me, too. I thought she was a perfect choice to go undercover – everyone else had already been identified as cops at the rink, and Steve would want someone he knew capable of holding her own while undercover – not just a female cop he’d never met before. That’s just not his way. Michelle Borth saw a lot of action this week, and I think she was wonderful. Personally, I don’t think Catherine has any reason to be contrite about keeping quiet about Mom’s little run in with Mangosta! She was asked to keep a confidence, which she did! Since nothing seemed to come of it for months, it’s easy to put it out of mind, only to have the “situation” resurface when Mom’s house is burglared. It then became something that needed to be brought to light because it could very well be behind the break in – or, it could be Wo Fat trying to find out what Mom knows about him (or his father’s death!).

    Christine Lahti, you make Doris so enjoyable to dislike! But you know? I really don’t dislike Doris! I think she’s a fascinating character! She’s so conflicted! Her whole life is crashing down upon her, and she’s still desperating attempting to keep it from taking her children down with her! More heartache is coming – this we can be sure of. And I’m sure we’ll be talking about it all summer! Thanks again, Wendie! See you next week!.

    • Thanks Lynnette:) Great observations/comments:) I don’t trust Doris- but I do like her character for the same reasons you do- nice drama and conflict presented for herself, Steve, MaryAnn, Cath- and in a sense for the team as well. I loved the action Michelle had this week and I only hope that continues. Thanks for reading and commenting:) Aloha, Wendie

    • Hi Robin- I hope they made up! I hope Steve’s face at the end was more confusion about Mom rather than about Cath. It was a good scene, glad they added it. Mahalo for commenting:) Aloha, Wendie

  • I’m just glad Cath was given something to do on this show other than babysitting the suspect/victim of the week or making a glorified cameo appearance. Also hope we get to see “Dog” again in a future episode.
    Also of note: a similar plot device(team member joins the roller derby to investigate a murder) was used on Bone this season.

    • I agree! Love that she got to go undercover- that was fun for her character to do. I just started checking out Bones again, so I’ll look for that. I’m just happy H50 highlighted our local derby babes:) Thanks for reading and commenting! Aloha, Wendie

  • Great write up Wendie as usual! There are two historical figures that I admire greatly, Eleanor Roosevelt and Queen Elizabeth I. These were exceptionally strong women who did not have to rely on looks (since neither one was particularly attractive) but on brains and inner strength to do amazing things without a man. Eleanor used the office of First Lady to bring about change and raise awareness but if her husband hadn’t been President, I believe she would have done the same things. Elizabeth ruled an empire for over half a century alone, in a time when a women was considered worthy only if she dressed her man’s arm and produced sons. I have always looked up to these ladies for their strength of character. The ladies of Five-0 have always, from the first time we met Kono claiming ownership of her wave, been women of strength and determination. Catherine and Doris continue that. They do not need their men to come to their rescue. Like them or not, they can handle themselves and take care of themselves. Catherine taking out the killer before the men could come to a rescue she didn’t need…Doris taking on the thief hand to hand during the breakin. These ladies are no shrinking violets, that’s for sure.

    Catherine showed great strength as well as contrition when she told Steve about Mangosta and Doris. It broke my heart to hear Steve tell her “you should just leave” and you could see it in her eyes that she feared she had destroyed their trusting relationship. I was very relieved that Steve, after the initial shock and anger, blamed Doris not Catherine for the deception.

    Ahhhhh Doris. This women is an enigma wrapped in a mystery. I truly believe she loves her son and wants to protect him BUT she has been an operative for many more years than she ever was a mother and she just can’t deviate from that mind set. She will continue to deceive and misdirect until she comes to a point where she has to make a decision. I fear it will come down to a heartbreaking end for her and Steve’s relationship. I just hope if there’s bloodshed it’s not Steve’s!

    • Hi Linda! AGREED. Completely- love that the ladies can take care of themselves. I really hope Steve blames Mom and not Cath, but I guess we’ll find out in the episodes to come. Doris is- wow- are you all spy or are a Mom? I would imagine it would be hard to be both… especially when your son is Steve McGarrett. Thanks for your great comments and always supporting the Redux:) XO Aloha, Wendie

  • Wendie,
    Another great post. I am sending this as I look outside my window in NE Ohio at a heavy snowfall coming down. Five0land would look really good today. In any case I did like this ep especially the continued development of MamaMcG. Like some others I would prefer her to be permanetely writen out of the story arc. I assume she has a contract for a certain number of shows, etc. Hopefully this year it will end. Yes bring back Dog again.

    • Paul- I hope you see some Spring signs out of your window soon! Thanks for your comments- I don’t trust Momma McG but I do like the conflict. It seems strange for me- their relationship- but I never had a mother who faked her death and came back 20 yrs later- so what do I know? Stay warm! Aloha, Wendie

  • I tried to not focus on things like, someone who lives and works in Honolulu, skates in the roller derby in Honolulu, and has their roller derby photos on posters in Honolulu, yet no one knows about their double lives.

    When Steve told Cath “You should leave,” it killed me! I was hoping that Peter wouldn’t rend the couple apart too badly, and hopefully that was the worst of it. It was worth it to see the genuinely tender moment between the two of them at the end. If you melted, raise your hand.

    As with most CBS procedurals, I knew who did it very early on. A little surprise would be nice once in awhile. I guess the surprise came in the form of Doris calling who appeared to be her CIA handler. Is she still in the game?

    • Terry! LOL That is so true about people not knowing your “other” life in Hawai’i- it IS an island- and very much like a small town. I think I was too happy to find that Roller Derby really exists in Hawai’i and that H50 used real teams in the show. The Steve/Cath conflict was SO hard! I’m with you! Ouch is right. I think Momma McG has some explaining to do… and I wonder if we’ll ever get the whole and true story. Thanks for reading and commenting Terry:) Aloha, Wendie

  • I agree with Terry- when Steve told Catherine to leave, I gasped! Fortunately, he couldn’t stay away for long. Loved the ending. We did find out from Michele Borth with a tweet about those high heels on the rocks: Her quote on Twitter: “I literally had to be carried on and then carried off the rocks by our AD:)” (assistant director). Still don’t know how she stood there without falling over 🙂

    • Hi Terri- thanks for sharing that little tidbit about Michelle’s experience- those were great boots! 🙂 She’s so great to share that with us. I think their relationship (McRoll) is starting to get a little more interesting with all the conflict and drama that has been presented. I just love that Michelle is getting integrated more into the story lines:) Mahalo for reading and commenting! Aloha, Wendie

    • Thanks Ed! Yeah, I was lucky enough to find pics and posts from Mistress Lovehit and Miso Rowdy on their Facebook page. It was great to see them get a bit more coverage so folks will come to their competitions and support them here in Hawai’i. I hope they had a big crowd on March 22. Thanks so much for reading, supporting, and commenting! Aloha, Wendie

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