Because of all the unpleasantness that surround this subject, I just want to clearly state, that we do not either have a special love for, or any form of hate towards either Catherine Rollins OR Michelle Borth. We are just silly fangirls adoring Alex and enjoying his work. Hawaii Five-0 is Alex’s job at the moment and the present showcase of his talent. We take it as it comes, because it belongs to the Network and the creative talents of the producers, writers and actors. The show might entertain us on the one hand or on the other hand disappoint us on many levels, but our support lies with Alex and his career.
Personal relationships in a procedural cop show like Hawaii Five-0, is not the highest priority. As soon as it takes up too big a part of the show or mess with any romantic couples that are shipped, some cynical, disgruntled and fanatic fans will quickly scream “Soap Opera”. Having said that, the whole set-up for Hawaii Five-0 is built
around family. Steve returns to Hawaii to solve his family’s mysteries. Danny followed his ex-wife and daughter to Hawaii from Jersey. Chin lost his job as policeman and also his fiance, while protecting his uncle. Kono followed Chin and the family tradition and joined the police when she lost surfing as a career option. Family (Ohana) and close friends are very important to all of them.
I think that is why we love the characters so much, they are very human and have real lives. And what can be more human than love and passion? Although the show we follow are fiction, those characters are played by real people. Because of that, characters can only be used as part of the story when those actors are contracted and available to be in Hawaii for filming……….
We meet Lt. Catherine Rollins for the first time in Episode 1:04 when Steve phones her for some help tracking the car of an escaped convict. What their relationship was supposed to be, we did not know at that stage (I wonder if the writers even knew? 😀 ) But we did not have to wait long to find out a bit more about their connection, because in the next episode we see that they are lovers who miss out on a lot of meals, because they can’t keep their hands off each other 😛 . The spring in Steve’s step and the foolish grin on his face during the rest of that Episode 105, tells a story of delight and what she means to him.
Apart from a few references for the rest of the season from the rest of the team and asking her to help them with their investigations, we only get to see Cath once again in Episode 115. This time Steve and Cath are in such a ridiculous set-up scene – storming down the stairs, getting dressed to answer their phones to hear about the Tsunami. My question is, who puts on their clothes first to answer their cell phones – REALLY? (It makes me laugh every time I see it 😆 ) But although the scene is silly, we see the playfulness and also care between these two.
From Season 1 we therefore know that Steve has a lover, who on occasion can provide him and the team with information, acquired with Navy resources, to help them solve their cases. It is nice to see Steve interact with somebody outside the team, and a connection from his past, who obviously knows him well and cares about him. Steve McGarrett is human after all. 🙂
According to what I understand from an interview with Mike Gordon, Michelle Borth was asked by Peter Lenkov, to join the team on a more permanent basis for a bigger role, but she declined it at this stage, because she was offered a leading part in ‘Combat Hospital’.
In Episode 205 we kind of get the feeling that Cath is on her way out of Steve’s life, being posted to the Gulf and doing one last favor before saying goodbye. With Michelle starring in another show and not available at the time, that was most probably the best way the writers could deal with her absence and maybe the possible permanent departure of her character, if Combat Hospital succeeded. Of course Combat Hospital only lasted for 13 episodes and Michelle was once again available to play Catherine. This is also maybe why we see her emerge in Episode 216 (the Valentine’s day episode) again. They were reintroducing the character as a factor in Steve’s life in order to bring her back to the show for Season 3, on a more permanent basis as Steve’s love interest.
With all the scenes it is visible that Steve and Cath has an easiness with each other and that there is a special bond between them. Bravo to Alex and Michelle for creating this feeling, with just a few scenes up untill now, between them.
Michelle’s comment to Officer 808 from Five-0 Undercover:
We genuinely do have that connection that people see that Alex and I have. We really do work like that, we get along really well, we have a kindred spirit. I’m grateful for that, and I think it shows when we work together.
During hiatus 2012, it was announced that Michelle was being cast as a season regular for Season 3 of Hawaii Five-0…..
Alex to IGN about Steve and Cath at the beginning of Season 3:
“Michelle is now a part of our full-time cast, which is terrific. From the beginning, McGarrett hasn’t had a steady girl, and you know, Michelle’s been in and out. But she’s the obvious one that he has love for and a potential future with. So that’s going to open up a side of McGarrett that we haven’t really seen. Hopefully, we’ll tap into a softness and an accessibility that we haven’t seen that much of with this military sort of guy.”
In Season 3, Catherine lands in the hot seat pretty quickly, having to babysit Momma McG (aka Shelburne). Up until this time the character of Catherine had not been explore much further than being Steve’s former colleague, lover and friend for a number of years. In Episode 302 she shows her skills, when Steve needs to find the whereabouts of his mother, so soon after he sends her away for her own safety. From the very beginning Catherine’s character is shown as a very competent person, having great skills in looking after herself and to obtain information. In Episode 303 she helps the cousins to find evidence of what happened to Steve and Danny, when their boat gets jacked.
Michelle talking with The Jakarta Post – January 2013
“It’s kind of an ongoing joke because we both refuse to say that we’re boyfriend and girlfriend”
At this stage, although she had her own place, it seemed as if Cath was spending more and more time at Steve’s house, because in Episode 304 we find them in bed, with Doris surprising them with some breakfast. In the Halloween Episode 305 we see the wonderful playfulness between Steve and Catherine. It was great to see how much fun they still have with each other, even after all these years of being together. In Episode 306, Cath is once again useful to the team while they need to track down terrorists who are threatening the Island with bombs.
Michelle about Steve and Cath in January 2013 to The Jakarta Post
“Just by bringing me on, it’s a vehicle to get to know McGarrett better. When he’s with Catherine, he smiles in a way you’ve never seen him smile. He’s vulnerable in a way that you’ve never seen him in action. So it doesn’t make it into a soap opera; what it makes is a really good drama.”
In Episode 308, the past came back to visit Cath, when the agent who she used as a mark in Episode 302, to get information about Doris’s whereabouts, came back to tell her that a bad guy from Doris’s past emerged on the Island. The two of them together with Doris set out to expose this person (Mandosa), while Steve is busy with a case that is affecting him a lot personally. At the end Doris begs Cath to keep the things surrounding this event from Steve. 😦 And against her better judgement Cath agrees to keep it from Steve. Even after he did tell her that he hated being played ……
In the Christmas Episode 311, we get to see more of Steve and Cath actually being a couple and working together. They start off with breakfast at a roadhouse, get car jacked and end up helping a boy locate his father. Cath shows her skills of looking after herself and of protecting the boy under her care and defending them against a criminal. In the end we see Steve carry her off in his tuxedo, for what we can only hope to be a romantic dinner – not that they have a good reputation of actually making it to dinner ……….. 😛
In Episode 316, the wonderful playfulness between Steve and Cath continues.
When she sees him longing for the “wonderful” army food, she suggests them playing out a “foxhole fantasy”, just to be interrupted by mom Doris again 😦 . In Episode 317 she playfully shows the boys that she and Kono can actually have some great fun without them. It is clear that Cath has the ability to enjoy her life with and without Steve. And by that I mean that she is an independent woman who does not need a man to define her. She might be doing him a lot of favours for the plot of the show, but she is her own person …..
In Episode 318 the relationship was tested when Doris got burgled and attacked in her own home. Cath tells Steve the truth about Mandosa and Steve is devastated by her betrayal. But lucky for her he also knows his mothers’ ability to persuade people and gets all his facts straight by confronting Doris. He also acknowledges to her what Cath means to him and in the end in a beautiful scene he shows Cath that he understands the situation and does not hold it against her.
Because of the many thoughts I have about Steve and Cath in Episode 320, I will not repeat all of it here, but you are welcome to read my review on it here. For me the biggest thing that I took away from that episode, is how competent Steve believes his lover is and that he would not hesitate to lean on her for help when the chips are down. Her being with him, also did not affect him in negative way, in being capable to do his job in the most dangerous circumstances. What a great compliment to her that he does not feel the need to protect her, but see her as a partner in combat. I ❤ ‘d it!
Freddie: Thanks brother.
Don’t think you’re not going down next, Smoothdog. I’ve seen you with Lt. Rollins. That’s the real deal man. Try not to mess it up.
Steve: Roger that.
For the rest of the season she is there as support for him. In Episode 323, she shows her loyalty once again, by warning Steve that his mother might be in some sort of trouble. It is clear that the team also sees her as one of them, because she visits Kono in the hospital with all of them, even without Steve being present.
In the last episode of Season 3, we meet Billy Harrington ……..
Cath: I’m seeing someone.
In Amsterdam, you told me that was over.
Cath: It was. What happened between you and me was real and I will never regret Amsterdam or working together in Kabul. But it’s been five years Billy. Things change.
Billy: Well if things change again, I’ll be staying at the Ilikai.
From this conversation, it looks like Steve and Cath had something going on for a long time already and then they broke up before Cath and Billy had an affair five years ago. We also know from Steve and Freddie’s conversation in Episode 320, that Steve and Cath were already seeing each other again by 2010.
Sidenote: Just an observation from me about Season 3 – from BTS pictures and tweets from various people, it seemed that the cast had lots of fun amongst themselves on the set during this time. Their interactions onscreen seems to reflect it as well.
Here are just some of Michelle and DDK’s tweeted pictures for Season 3
Michelle on working with Alex in her interview with Mike Gordon:
But what I realize working with Alex is he is in this 100 percent all the time. He is never phoning it in. For me that makes me work harder and brings me in the moment and allows me to go to different places I wouldn’t have before. We would have gone out there and said our lines and made it look natural. But with him it goes a little bit deeper and I think that’s why so many people really love the relationship because with what we can show on a network I think people buy it. I think people really love it and believe it. He kind of brings that out in me. We have these little moments that are really genuine and really sincere.
In Episode 401, we see just how much Cath means to Steve, as he is willing to do everything in his power to get her from her abductors. He even takes on the SWAT team and pissed Grover off big time, by intercepting them transporting the terrorists and at gunpoint freeing them, because of the demands by their leader in order for Cath to be freed.
Steve: I lost my dad dealing with people like this. I’m not going to lose Catherine too.
In Episode 402, Billy Harrington offers Cath a job in his new security firm. Even with all Danny’s doom prophesies Steve encourages Cath to take the job with her old lover. Cath is in doubt about her decision, but in Episode 403 Steve promises her that she is not doing it alone and that he will be with her every step of the way …..
Michelle in May 2013 to The Star Online:
“Long distance relationships are always like a honeymoon. You don’t see that person for months at a time and then you see them in one weekend, it’s a honeymoon. That’s kind of what season one and two were about. In my opinion, with Rollins moving in, it’s only going to make things difficult. To have to put up with each other all the time while working in a high-pressure situation makes things complicated.
“But you never know, hopefully it ends with them walking down the aisle” .
In Episode 404, Cath does not hesitate to cash in on all the favours she has done for the Five-0 team. She and Billy is looking after a VIP and she asks to use Five-o resources for some information. She comes back home late……..
Steve: I couldn’t sleep. I wanted to make sure you got home okay.
In Episode 405, on a seemingly harmless stake out, Cath and Billy lands in the middle of an assassination and Billy is mortally wounded. This sad event, effectively kills her new career with Billy and she is now jobless after leaving the Navy. In Episode 406, with encouragement from Steve to get her mind away from the tragedy of loosing her boss and friend, Cath starts to gather information to find the whereabouts of Adam and the people who took him. She wants to help Kono to find him and to get them both back home safely. (Obviously Grace Park had her baby by then and was ready to come back to the show 😀 )
With Steve’s semi approval, Cath goes undercover in Episode 407, to try to get some information about Sato (Adam’s abductor) via his “money man”. To help give her some form of ‘protection’ and authority, Steve gives her a Five-0 badge to make her actions more official.
The moment it all changed?
……..Cath becomes part of the Five-0 team……
In Episode 408, Catherine shows her worth in the team, by using the information she could gather from her old colleagues in Naval Intelligence. They are dealing with a very intelligent but also dangerous cyber criminal and only the most advanced technology can help them stop him.
Thanksgiving – Episode 409
Deb: Dear Catherine, I’ve got a feeling you’re gonna be sticking around for a while. So can I ask you a favour?
Cath: Of course
Deb: Well you know Steve has that tough guy act now, but underneath it all he’s still that vulnerable little guy who thought he lost his mom and had to grow up too soon. And Mary, she’s the only one who really gets that about him, because she lived that too. Once I’m gone, they’re going to need each other more than ever, although they both won’t want to admit it – stubborn kids. So, maybe you can see to it that they stay close.
Cath: I will. I promise
Somewhere between Cath promising Aunt Deb in Episode 409, that she will be there for Steve and Mary, and the rest of Season 4, the independent character of Catherine Rollins loses all sense to me. She is just hanging around with the team, doing odd little things, helping to solve their cases. It also seems like she no longer lives with Steve. During the course of Season 4 it also looks as if the writers as well as the two actors (Alex and Michelle) lost all direction or will to portray the characters of two lovers, which they have built over the past three seasons. With no reason given in the story line, they act as if their characters merely know each other as colleagues. All the playfulness of Season 3 and the affection from the beginning of Season 4 is gone. They were never overly affectionate inn public or clingy to begin with, but now they barely touch or even smile at each other. Now they only give each other pecks on the cheek and hugs only when there has been danger – acting out the bare minimum of affection.
I know the characters needed to show some sort of professionalism, as they are now working together at Five-0. And that Catherine did go through a lot of trauma that affected her, but for me long time lovers will have a special way of looking at each other, shooting glances, smiles and small little things in the way they touch and interact with one another, as they used in earlier seasons – even at the workplace. My thinking is that writers also do not always write every movement or small actions of the actors and their characters, but leave it up to them to fill in. What happened to the easy playfulness and lovers’ affection on their faces and in their eyes? ……. I am sorry, but their portrayal just does not make sense to me at all.
And for now, this is how far Steve and Barry White came……….
The tweets of Michelle from the set, send from Michelle, DDK and Jeff Hunt for Season 4
Most of you will already know by now, that Michelle Borth’s contract as a regular was not renewed for Season 5 of Hawaii Five-0. We therefore will have to say goodbye to Catherine Rollins as a regular character in tonight’s Episode 421. She will from now on, not be around in Steve’s life on a regular basis (and I doubt if she will be back any time soon or ever). C’est la vie ………
This is our tribute to Steve’s lover and friend.
– Fair Winds and Following Seas –