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Hawaii Five-0 – Is this the end of the Lori Weston experiment?

What's with the women on 'Hawaii Five-0'? Unless you're Kono (or Danny's daughter Grace), you don't seem to stick around on this show very long. Are we adding another name to the ex list?

- Season 2, Episode 16 - "I Helu PU"

Tonight’s episode of Hawaii Five-0 had a scene that many viewers (myself included) had been hoping for: the apparent departure of Lori Weston (Lauren German). But as much as I never liked her, it might surprise you to know that I’m not necessarily jumping for joy at the moment. I’m glad she’s gone (if she’s gone), but her leaving fingers something that’s really starting to nag me about this show: what is up with the women?

(If you’re named Kono Kalakaua or Grace Williams, you may skip this argument.)

I’m not sure that the Five-0 writers have a clear idea of what they want to do when it comes to the fairer sex. Let’s take Steve’s love life as an example: he appeared to have a relationship with Catherine Rollins (Michelle Borth), only for them to break up in the fourth episode of this season. After she left, we got a ton of obvious flirting between him and Lori. Now, in the same episode that Lori admits that she has feelings for him, Catherine is back and they’ve apparently been back together for some time. What changed and when did it change? And if it was going to change, why did the writers put us through another scene of Steve and Lori being all cute together last week? (It’s also kind of funny to note that Lori left the same way Catherine did: with an awkward hug in Steve’s office.)

I don’t care who Steve dates (given how many women swoon over Alex O’Loughlin, myself included, there’s going to be a romantic subplot), but I want it to feel real to me – and not have the important parts skipped over.

This is also true for Danny. We spent all of last season thinking he was going to reconcile with ex-wife Rachel (Claire van der Boom), only to find out they’d been having an affair and that she might be pregnant with his baby. It was like a plot twist out of Maury. The kid turned out not to be his, so the show gave him a new love interest in Gabrielle Asano (Autumn Reeser), who appeared in all of two episodes. She hasn’t been seen or mentioned since episode seven. Yet this week we hear Danny mention getting “something for Gabby.” Did these two become a couple? And when did that happen?

Lori’s departure is also representative of another problem the show has unsuccessfully tried to tackle: finding a second female lead to work alongside Grace Park. You’ll recall that they tried this same “new addition to the team who might have a thing for Steve” concept last year. Her name was Jenna Kaye. She was supposed to be a regular, but never made it into the main credits, and eventually died. Lori fits the same description, Lauren German was touted as a regular, but left as “also starring,” and now she’s gone, too. That’s twice (three times if we count Taryn Manning) that the series has talked up a new regular, seen the character not quite work, and then axed them. Here’s a suggestion: perhaps we should lay off on the new characters? Or if we’re going to persist in looking for one, try them out for an episode or two before we rush them to regular status?

I get that sometimes things don’t work; I’m a writer, and I’ve scrapped plenty of concepts that I once loved. The difference is that my deletes and edits don’t show up on screen. It’s unfortunate that all the missteps happen to involve women, but I think the real issue is that the writers just have to take a few steps back and decide what they really want. I still like this show, and I’d love it a lot more if it laid off on the girlfriends and new sidekicks, and just got back to Steve, Danny, Chin and Kono being awesome, because they still are. That part’s never changed.

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Photo Credit: CBS

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29 Responses to “Hawaii Five-0 – Is this the end of the Lori Weston experiment?”

February 14, 2012 at 8:52 AM

“what is up with the women?”

You mean what is up with white women who dont stick around? Good question. I think they still have a slot for a white woman, and they will try again. Someone else will take the spot, if Lori herself does not return later.

February 21, 2012 at 9:34 AM

Sorry George but your comment is a racist comment. It is true that there are not enough women of color or of races different than White in TV and the movies, but to come out and make such an obvious, reverse racist kind of White TV affirmative action statement is totally uncalled for. I happen to be a Grace Park fan partly, and admittedly because she is Asian in heritage, along with being hot of course. Don’t get me wrong I am a flaming hetrosexual, and love ALL women of whatever race or hue; they are God’s best gift. And in the interest of fairness I cop to being an urban African-American male. But to make such a blatently racist statement that there are not enough white women on a major, mass-market tv show, is white centralist racism. Now on the Lori Weston character I still am not sure what the writer’s intent was for her, and frankly I was getting kind of used to her, even while initially I was a bit frustrated that another female possible team member was being brought in. I frankly am of the mind that good writing, dealing with the professional kick-ass lives of the main characters, while developing the side lives they live–ala NCIS for instance–would be fine; if a new character is brought in to the main team, then a team member there would have to leave show, as long as it’s not Grace Park. -:)

Anyway George sorry you have such a viewpoint, and I hope you take this is the spirit its is meant. Bottom line, do you enjoy the show? Is it a good story with characters and plot lines you like? That is what is most important.

February 27, 2012 at 4:17 PM

Dave my good man, I just popped in to see if they were still reviewing the great H5-0. It is comforting to see that there is someone to carry on the cause for the elite Grace Park. I think you will do just fine. As you and I both know, Grace Park does not just add to the show….she IS the show.

Say bsgfan….today is Tylers birhday!…3

February 27, 2012 at 6:19 PM

Thanks and she certainly is that. It was her work on Battlestar Gallatica that got me to buy all four and a half seasons, and I hope to see her in other projects. A movie or two would be nice also, and congrats on the baby bd.

February 14, 2012 at 9:10 AM

I was never a huge fan of the Lori character but I did start to like the scenes that her Kono would do together. As for Catherine they didn’t break up in episode 4. She was temporarily transferred by the Navy and they even made plans to try to meet each other when she had leave. As for their relationship I always thought they were friends with benefits. Back to Lori I’m not convinced we’ve seen the last of her. We’ll just have to wait and see.

February 14, 2012 at 12:46 PM

That makes it sound just a tad better, but it was still the show writing Catherine out…and then bringing her back. And I, like you, wouldn’t be surprised if Lori comes back. I kind of liken it to being dead in comic books. If the show’s going to have a character leave, I want it to mean something, otherwise why should I take it seriously?

February 14, 2012 at 10:50 AM

I agree about Lori and the role of women on this show. Since the premier we have seen more women come and go (the governor, Steve’s sister, the governor’s assistant, Catherine, Gabby, and to a certain extent Rachel)than most series. I am not in any way shape or form saying the show should be a soap opera but Kono can not be the only level headed woman is the whole state of Hawaii.

On a side note what is wrong with the comments. Much like women on this show sometimes they appear on the site and sometimes they don’t.

February 14, 2012 at 12:49 PM

I want to see what they do with Malia. We know Reiko Aylesworth is a great actress from 24, so I wouldn’t mind more of her, although since she’s a civilian they’re presumably limited to what they can do. I just hope she doesn’t become “Chin’s non-existent wife.”

The list of women who’ve turned up and left again on this show is starting to amuse me…and I think it would bug me less if I wasn’t hearing beforehand that some of them were or were possibly new regulars. I’ll give the show the benefit of the doubt and say maybe they were telling the truth at the time they said it, but you’d think at least after the Jenna debacle, they’d be more cautious about throwing that word around.

February 15, 2012 at 2:39 AM

I didn’t like Lori at first. Grew to enjoy her.

Please please please please, get rid of Masi Oka. He brings NOTHING to the table what-so-ever… and if Lori leaving means more of this stiff nerd, then it’s a terrible decision.

February 19, 2012 at 6:32 PM

I liked Lori, actually. I thought she had nice chemistry with all the characters, even more so than Kono. She seemed to bring out something different in each of them, and I thought that really added to the show.

March 5, 2012 at 10:41 AM

Lauren German’s beauty is celestial. Gave one something to look at.

February 19, 2012 at 8:39 PM

I have to say that just a few days ago I was thinking the same thing concerning the whole relationships thing in the show- for some reason the writers are intent on avoiding showing any of them develop or start- they even avoid the whole sexual tension thing- don’t they know that sexual tension is gold for TV shows? It’s the darndest thing- why not incorporate the beginning of Danny’s affair with his ex into the plot? Why not allow for Lori to have a bit of tension with the team, and THEN have her and them warm up to each other? Why not give us maybe an event that made Lori fall in love with Steve? The writers seem to be so intent on their desperate attempt of creating an original crime case (which they have no chance of), that they view all the character development as a distraction. They just give a weekly summery. I loved the way the show started, but now I have to say, I’m loosing interest. Fast. Oh, and what about giving Steve an actual character and feelings? He seems to brush off everything that is happening to him. Nothing leaves a mark and no feeling lasts more then a scene. It’s a pity…

May 7, 2012 at 12:15 PM

bonjour . suis tout a fait d accord avec ce qui a ete dit . j ai l impression egalement que catherine est plus une amie pour steve et qu il l appelle pour quelques infos ou pour passer du bon temps . je pense qu il a beaucoup de complicite avec lorie et qu elle c est completement fondu dans l equipe . je trouve cela dit les episodes court toutes les actions et petites anecdotes sont trop compresses dans les 45 mn . je reviens sur lorie en esperant qu elle revienne dans la serie car elle amene vraiment ce petit plus qu il manquait dans la serie 1 . son depart serait un peut trop expedie compare a tous ce que l equipe a pu vivre avec elle . je l adore

February 20, 2012 at 12:04 AM

I agree that Lori should remain on the show. She has good chemistry with the rest of the cast members. I hope CBS lets her stay. As for Masi Oka, his character must go. What an insult to the forensic pathology profession that his character portrays. What was CBS thinking when they allowed his character on the show. They should know better.

February 20, 2012 at 6:59 PM

The Lori character should be gone and permenently. She brought nothing to the show and seemed to suck the energy from every scene she was in. This character took time away from Chin and Danny but most importantly Kono. I don’t think the writers/producers have ever known what to do with her. LG said she was cast as a love interest for Steve. CBS played up the whole female McGarrett angle and “possible” love interest. In the end despite the claims the character made about her skills set..we saw nothing that would make her worthy to be part of the team. I’m glad she is gone and hope that she never returns. I didn’t want her necessarily killed because too many women on this show have died violent gruesome deaths.

February 20, 2012 at 10:38 PM

Umm, not all the viewers disliked her. I for one was a fan of Lori. Just saying.

February 20, 2012 at 10:42 PM

I didn’t say “all the viewers” disliked her; I said that many didn’t, which is indicated by the mixed responses both here and in my previous episode reviews regarding the character.

February 22, 2012 at 5:34 PM

Hi Brittany, I basically responded to another reply post where the poster brought up the race of women characters in the show, but I wanted to respond to the original poster that the actress playing the Lori Weston character did a good job with the role she was asked to play, and being a Grace Park fan I was happy she was not being groomed to be some kind of team replacement. I mentioned in my other post that main character replacements in team character shows have to be replaced by powerful new characters. My model for this is the original NCIS where the actress playing Agent David has a really strong role, more than making up for the woman she replaced. That being said I did grow to like the Lori Weston character, as I said, but I could not see the story point for her. All the main characters have not only clearly written roles in the main story–well I want to see more with Daniel Day Kim’s and Grace Park’s characters–but they also have developed or developing side stories. Jenna’s side story resulted in her death (which I did not see coming I must admit). Lori’s resulted in her basically taking one for the team–she became unable to be objective about the team as contrasted with what the Governor had assigned her to do (which was to be the tattler). I might say duh, what would you expect? Still her role is/was just not clear. I think the writers and producers have a problem trying to go beyond the original characters, and it detracts from the dramatic thrust of the show. Don’t get me wrong, I am a loyal fan, but the show needs to be careful about that, or it could be a bad thing ratings-wise. On the other hand we have two months to May sweeps, so lets see what happens.

February 20, 2012 at 11:16 PM

To be honest i never really like lori character and i think the biggest problem is she came on as a love interest for steve only thing is the two actors have no chemistry most of the time when they were doing some sorta of hint in that direction it seemed forced so i am not all that surprised that she is gone. As for danny is love interest is way to confusing it hard to dislike a character when she isn’t really ever on i think she was on in the first two episodes then she disappears and we hear nothing about her until last week when danny has to buy her a gift for valentines day. I am not really sure what the purpose of her because even when she is on an episode she is only in for 5 secs and then there is danny ex who seems to still be some strange thing going on there it was only last week we heard a msg that danny sent rachel declaring his love. I have to say in this one i have no idea where the writers are going with all this it seems all very choppy and out there. Also considering the actress that plays gabby is on another series i don’ t see this lasting either

February 20, 2012 at 11:35 PM

I was getting used to Lori finally. So my daughter and I are kinda upset that once again she is now gone. We love the show but are getting tired of them dumping pepole when we get used to them.

February 21, 2012 at 10:35 PM

I really like the Lori Weston character. I was very disappointed when she moved on. I hope we see her come back.

March 6, 2012 at 8:16 AM

The point of the relationships changing in the background is give an element of reality: You aren’t watching every aspect of thier lives in each episode, thier lives carry on without you. Of course then there’s also the obvious, that particular relationship isn’t necessary to any plot lines therefore it simply hangs in the background and can be used as a running joke or whatever else the writers dream up. The point being its meant to be insignifcant background filler.

May 7, 2012 at 6:28 AM

bonjours a tous . je tiensa dire que j ai adore lorie weston que j espere qu elle reviendra et pas pour se faire tuer .entre steve et lorie il y a beaucoup de complicite et elle a du repondant . j aimerais vraiment qu elle revienne

May 9, 2012 at 2:06 PM

Boy this is a moribound blog. Is anybody ready to comment on the season 2 end programs? Or is it season 3? I think its 2, forgive me. Grace Park’s character is being given a lot more screen time and involvement, what with her love relationship with the young Yakuza leader. Wow, hot and steamy!! Actually she does hot and steamy really well, as anyone who managed to see a couple episodes of Battlestar Gallactica will testify too. Helo in that series got to be hot and steamy with two versions of the same hot Cylon, the lucky stiff. -:) Anyway, as I have been saying I think the writers are tying in the Shelbourne mystery with the common relative of the two cousins, Kim and Kono. They are cousins, and both had a problem with Honolulu PD. But I am just old enough to remember that there was an Asian police officer who was extremely loyal to the original McGarrett, and I think that is who the common ancestor is. Maybe a brother of either Kim’s or Kono characters fathers. I think he knew a lot about what happened to McGarret’s family and took it to his grave. Anyway, the season finale should be a real barn burner. We will be left hanging in the balance. But I still predict that Wo Fat will be dispatched if not this season, at the beginning of next season (the actor should get kudos for being such a good villian), and Kono, with her dead shot self, will be the one to do it, point blank. Any bets?

Steamy, with a bad boy, who may or may not be reformable. What a perfect set-up for my favorite character. Now I just hope the writers up their game so that all of the episodes come up to the quality of the season enders. Some of the ones up-to-now have been snorers, although again I love the show, and as long as my favorite actress is there I am still a loyal fan.


May 29, 2012 at 3:22 AM

Bring back Laura German as officer Lori Weston as soon as possible. She brought an element of entertainment to the series that many of us really miss. (not just the “eye candy factor,” well that too) but the series needs a fifth major character. I really looked forward to seeing her on the show. The writers could have given her parts as a very smart and serious CSI investigator, and not just some frivolous “love interest
” with McGarrett. Laura German was a perfect addition to the show. Honestly, the last few episodes without her have been rather boring.

May 29, 2012 at 11:38 AM

It will be pretty tough, considering her new full time gig on Chicago Fire on NBC starting next season.

H-50 IS adding another full time cast member, promoting Michelle Borth from the recurring role she’s played as Steve’s on-again, off-again girlfriend Catherine Rollins.

May 30, 2012 at 11:58 AM

Really? Hope so because McGarrett needs some humanizing other than the bromance with Danny. You have any other personnel information? Such as with my favorite character Kono? I keep trying to envision scenarios where she gets out of the Pacific Ocean and gets rescued by her Yakuza boyfriend, Adam. A lady got out of duck tape in water recently in real life, after she was thrown or fell in, and she was pregnant!! I can’t imagine that she will not survive. Any info?

May 30, 2012 at 12:04 PM

No sir, that’s all the gossip I’ve heard around the net :)