Five-0 Redux: Those evil women

Nov. 27, 2012 | 13 Comments

<em>McGarrett (Alex O'Loughlin), right, plays cat and mouse with smart and seductive therapist Dr. Olivia Victor (Vanessa Marcil), left, in this week's episode. Also pictured is Sgt. Duke Lukela (Dennis Chun). (Courtesy CBS)</em>

McGarrett (Alex O'Loughlin), right, plays cat and mouse with smart and seductive therapist Dr. (Vanessa Marcil), left, in this week's episode. Also pictured is Sgt. Duke Lukela (Dennis Chun). (Courtesy CBS)

BY WENDIE BURBRIDGE / Special to the Star-Advertiser

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.

<em>McGarrett and Danno (Scott Caan) do their arguing outside of a vehicle this week. (Courtesy CBS)</em>

McGarrett and Danno (Scott Caan) do their arguing outside of a vehicle this week. (Courtesy CBS)

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.”
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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.

  • Diane

    Hi Wendie. I liked this episode, I thought it was a solid one. I love Vanessa Marcil, she is a very versatile actress. The cat and mouse game that her character and McG played was done well. McG was getting frustrated not only because the others were doubting his instincts, but the evil woman was getting in his face from the start.

    As for Doris, I’ve said before, I love the actress and her portrayal, but don’t like the character. We are not suppose to like her, so in that respect, the writing for her is what it should be. I cringed when Catherine agreed to keep her secret, I was hoping she she would say no, and you need to tell him yourself. I think Doris’ excuse as to why Catherine should not tell Steve was lame. She doesn’t want Steve to think he could lose her again? Really, I think she just doesn’t want Steve to find out her secret and what she is really involved with. Now Catherine is involved, which will surely bring some conflict between her and Steve down the road. Poor Steve, here is another person hiding something from him, but then again, he was the one who got Catherine involved with his mother. I would still like to know what they did with Mangosta, I wish they would have explained that. Overall a solid show.

  • Anonymous

    C

    Wendie,

    Let me be among the first to comment on your excellent post again this week. I really
    enjoyed seeing Carlos Bernard back again, especially in an ep that featured
    some heavy duty scenes with Momma McG getting some info out with the old
    battery shock method, just like he was familiar with from his 24 days. Brought
    back memories of another great show that lasted many years. This was a great
    show from the opening on a different island to the final credits.

    Paul

  • Anonymous

    Great review Wendie! It was funny to see how all 3 doubted Steve’s instincts when it came to the devious doctor. I’m glad he stuck to his guns! It adds an extra dimension to the team when they doubt each other but then rally round and cover each others backs! Danny almost got his wish for Steve to see a shrink!!! This was another great episode – teamwork at its best!

    Watching Catherine in action also added another dimension to her. We now know what she’s capable of, love that she’s kicka$$ too! I don’t like mom, she’s a brutal, devious murderer, much like the psychotic doctor Olivia and no good can come of that. The look on Catherine’s face and the way she hesitated to answer Doris’ vow for secrecy was upsetting. She knew she signed a deal with the devil. Doris doesn’t have a compassionate bone in her body (glad shes not my mother) and this pact with Catherine is only going to cause more pain and hurt for Steve and Catherine too, because a secret, like a pregnant woman, eventually shows (an old Italian saying translated into English from my old Italian grandmother.) Can’t you feel and smell the trouble between Steve and Catherine coming? As much as I don’t like Doris, I’m interested in seeing how this’ll play out, because the evil Doris is hiding will definitely come back to haunt them.

    I’m absolutely loving season 3! It’s so refreshing after the debacle of s2. Keep up the great work!!!

    Sent from my iPad

  • http://www.facebook.com/kari.oloughlin Kari Oloughlin

    totally loved this epi Wendie, it has the right meaning to the title “evil woman, the women is this one were for sure up to big things & did take control of all what was going on in the episode, if it was for good or for bad :)

    i admit mama McG is hiding things that could lead to a big surprise, not sure what that is but im so thrilled to find out & i aint going anywhere, coz this show has just started its best part.

    Awww, poor Steve, that little Miss Skinny Pants did play him well & definitely got under his skin, i kinda loved it coz it showed that Alex O is not only made to play action roles, but also drama & he scored that one last night :)
    so agree with your review honey, love the way you explained your thoughts & made them much ours :)
    always a pleasure to read your blog <3
    Mahalo babe

  • http://twitter.com/hedwig2212 Dina

    Thought the episode was brilliant as well! Sure there is always a bit of “overdone”? but hey its a tv show and the bad guy – or here WOMEN gets caught within an hour! But the episode made me think of S1 and I truly hope the remainder of the season continues with these type of episodes intermixed with some more character driven episodes- well done by the team and well done review Wendie

  • Anonymous

    When the credits rolled at the end of this ep,, my mind had a spontaneous moment of nostalgia for Steve’s happy little family reunion last week! Mom McG must be suffering from a split personality! One week she’s a just a mom living with the regrets of giving her family up “to protect them” and the following week, she’s a crazy lady battery-charging her victim who didn’t die so permanently 37 years ago! Wow!! I don’t know what to think! Will the real “Doris McGarrett” please stand up? Just like you, Wendie, I’m far more excited about the last couple minutes of this ep than I was about finally finding out Shelburne’s identity! I’m intrigued again. I’m drawn into the story line once more! This time around, we have Catherine thrown into the mix – poor girl. She’s only trying to protect Steve because he’s been so messed up by this woman who claims to love him (I don’t think loving any human being is possible for her), but all she will manage to do is hurt him to the point where he doesn’t trust her either. (Pretty soon, the only people on the face of the earth he CAN trust is going to be his team! Heaven help Peter Lenkov if he ever takes that away from Steve, too!) Fascinating episode all around – loved the other “evil woman” Vanessa Marcil, as well.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=659376696 Val Lai

      I love how your mind works and I completely agree with your comment about Doris and her “battery power” torture scene, kind of really makes it difficult to imagine the same woman wearing an apron with a spatula for cooking!!!

      Can’t help be amused by the thought of how the men in the crew and production team might be a little teensy weensy intimidated by what they see behind the camera lens or are they in awe as we are.

  • http://twitter.com/Terrysagirl Terry

    Thanks, Wendie! Not only did we get your usually insightful take on the episode but you made me laugh as well. And yeah, what the heck was up with that car-washing outfit? I did love the way Olivia threw Steve for a loop and kept the boy off balanced. The rest of the team didn’t quite see the real “doctor” for what she was, but they weren’t ones she was toying with. This is really the first time we’ve seen Steve go up against a female adversary with so many weapons: brains, beauty, sensuality, and absolutely no conscience. Sadly, she may just be the mirror image of mom.

  • http://twitter.com/3DHawaii 3DHawaii

    Always. Trust. McGarrett. :-)

  • http://twitter.com/NatValCas Natalie Casetti

    Aloha. Thank you for Your weekly reviews. I really like Your insightful and well researched look at the show

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=659376696 Val Lai

    Hi Wendie:

    “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”. – Love that comment!!

    Definitely a lot of girl power in this episode. But wow Christine Lahti really pulled out a zinger holding those two power car jump switches to torture Mangosta with it, did you see the look of demonic anger in her face as she continued her interrogation. What if Catherine and agent Manning had not been able to stop her in time. Would there be a dead body at that scene? How do you cover up a murder? Would Doris really ask Catherine to keep it quiet, all in the name of her job for some secret Government agency? What do we know about her job? Is she now officially on retirement or does she still have ties to the CIA or what other agency she is working for? Expect more trouble from her. I feel really bad for Catherine who is now stuck with her mess and she can’t tell Steve at least not yet, but I think she might eventually when the time is right for Steve to know the truth, maybe Steve will realize how lucky he is to have Cath in his life if she succeeds in keeping Doris safe, and yes I believe Steve will forgive her. I’m hoping for the best outcome for Catherine since she is a regular cast member of the group so there has to be.

  • http://www.facebook.com/FabFourLover Linda Stein

    Intrigued. Yeah…that’s the perfect word! I am intrigued with Doris. I don’t trust her one bit, of course but I am totally intrigued with the idea of finding out what the hell she is up to. I DO believe she loves her kids and that she regrets what she did but I have no doubt she’d do it all again without hesitation. I really wish Cath had told her to go do hell. Poor Steve. This is going to really rock him to his core if he thinks Cath can’t be trusted either!

  • Anonymous

    “Little Miss Skinny Pants”? Did I just read that? Anyway, great review of a great episode, Wendie.
    I thought this was one of the year’s best. I love Michelle Borth and I like any episode that gives her plenty of screen time. But I also liked the cat and mouse game between McGarrett and the evil doctor a lot and it kept me guessing for most of the show. I also was happy to see Carlos Bernard return and I hope it is not the last we see of him – he is a great actor who should not have taken this long to re-surface after 24. Was I the only one who thought that Steve would discover Channing hiding in Catherine’s house?
    Anyway, season three is really picking up steam and producing some really solid episodes. Monday night’s show and the Veteran’s Day show remind me of why I keep tuning in (that and Grace Park).
    Thanks Wendie.