By Wayne Harada
CBS’ “Hawaii Five-0” earned its best ratings so far this season, but there’s a caveat: Its primary challenger, ABC’s “Castle,” was pre-empted and replaced with a two-hour “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” in the 9 p.m. (10 p.m. Mainland) slot.
According to the overnight Nielsen TV ratings, two other CBS shows — “2 Broke Girls” and “Mike and Molly” — also posted season’s best numbers this week, even though the ratings rulers were “ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” (reaching its season high, in its final performance segment) and NBC’s “The Voice” (still narrowing down its competitive field).
“Five-0” managed to garner 10.1 million viewers, ahead of NBC’s “Revolution” (8.7 million) and the low-performing ABC “Extreme Makeover” edition (5.2 million). Yep, the No. 1 ranking in the hour was long overdue, though the victory was a tad shallow, what with the absence of "Castle."
The 18-to-49 demographics leader in this time slot was “Revolution” (2.9 million), a show that will soon disappear for a spell, perhaps giving "Five-0" some leverage to rebuild and recover from the challenges of season three.
The episode, “Wahine ‘Ino Loa,” or Evil Woman,” had a spectacular opening sequence, capped by a body burnt to a crisp and hit by a car, as good as the earlier episode where a polo player literally loses his head.
Nothing like a horrific beginning to capture the viewership.
The plot, alas, was a sometimes entertaining but overall an unsatisfying medley of a therapist posing as a madame (Vanessa Marcil) aiming to outfox and play mind games with Steve McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin). He’s onto her, however, rightfully expecting shenanigans, and her presence seems to be mostly to recall some parental issues from the past —and meddling with his head — making McG intent on proving she’s the killer of the kalua’d dude.
A subplot involving Catherine (Michele Borth) and agent Channing (Carlos Bernard) querying her about a dude named Mangosta, a figure from the Mama McG’s (Christine Lahti) past, who invades Catherine’s home — yet another lame plot attempt to create situations and build a past around newly established regulars. Intrusive without being interesting — and hopefully not another Shelburne-type arc. Doris McGarrett, alas, has much too much baggage — with still unknown issues involving Wo Fat.
This kind of new plodding, dreary details are painful, without much relevance to the here-and-now.
Sounds like McG and Mama need to put their heads and souls together, once and for all, to get all the cobwebs out of the family closet so that the procedural can proceed with fighting crimes and baddies, instead of taking detours to filter and weed out ohana secrets.
Surely, a lean-and-clean profile, with more emphasis on action than reaction to past shadows, will help the show regain, retain and maintain ratings that matter.