#H50 – Steve and Catherine – My Take

After watching the first episode of Season 6, I really began to give some serious thought to what may or may not happen in the relationship between Steve and Catherine.

As I said in my episode review this past week, I have been trying to hold off voicing a public opinion.  I mean, I know how I feel and I have discussed it with those close to me privately but after watching 6.01, I can finally say, quite honestly, that Steve and Catherine, as a couple at this point in time, leave me totally cold.  And, frankly, I get no pleasure from that statement because I really did love them together in the first three seasons of the show and especially in Season 3.  But Season 4 totally destroyed them in my view and I really can’t see them ever getting back to where they were in Season 3.

I have always said that I would have preferred that Catherine had never left the Navy.  She was a well trained, extremely experienced and decorated officer.  She is young, way too young to consider retirement at that time.  I always thought that a much better use of her character would have been to give her a legitimate avenue to be of help to Five-0.  If I had been a writer on this show I would have suggested the creation of an entirely new position for her, within the structure of the Navy.  Something like “Special Naval Liaison to the State of Hawaii”.

In this capacity she could have retained her status as a Naval officer, yet still been available to help Five-0 when needed.  It would have taken away that “doing favors for Steve” thing that bothered so many people because, while she would still be doing those same “favors”, they would have been sanctioned and approved by Command as part of her official duties as Liaison.  If Five-0 was down a man, as they were for the months Kono was on the run with Adam, Catherine could have been put on “temporary assignment” to Five-0.  When Kono came back, Catherine could have gone back to Pearl and her official duties.  There was no need for Catherine to become a permanent member of Five-0 and have her be there every single day.

I always liked this idea because, like I said, I loved the way the Catherine character was written in Season 3. She was stationed at Pearl.  She helped Five-0 when needed.  She went undercover for them with the Roller Derby and was instrumental to cracking that case.  In an official Naval capacity, she accompanied Steve to North Korea to retrieve Freddie and when that went sideways, she was extremely capable and brave in helping Steve ultimately find Freddie and bring him home.  At home, she and Steve were really cute together.  Watching scary movies on Halloween. “Getting caught” making out on the sofa by “mom”.  Need I mention the “foxhole fantasy”?  They were adorable.

But everything changed in Season 4.  I’m not going to address what happened on social media or anything which might have happened on set which could have contributed to how Catherine’s character was written.  Any rumblings of occurrences on set are unsubstantiated rumors which we mere fans will never have confirmation of.  So I will concentrate simply on the character, not the actress.

Season 4 started off with Steve and Catherine where they were in  Season 3.  They were happy together.  Steve risked his career to save her in the Season 4 premiere.  The relationship was good and solid.  Yes, Catherine had withheld information from Steve about Doris in Season 3 but Steve had moved past it.  He told Doris that he and Catherine had a ‘good thing going’ and Doris confirmed to Steve “that girl loves you”.  Everything was just fine between them entering Season 4.

Then Catherine decided to leave the Navy and take a job with Billy and his new security firm.  I don’t know what happened with that story.  I doubt it was intended to be only a 2 episode arc. Maybe the actor playing Billy became unavailable for some reason and the story had to be re-envisioned.  Either way, it’s a shame because it would have not only given us a chance to see a “jealous” Steve with Cath working with her ex but it would have given Cath something to actually do.

She would have still had a position that utilized her knowledge and her expertise.  She could have still helped out Five-0 when needed and she and Steve could have continued their easy relationship at home.  Maybe even moved forward with it, once Steve realized Billy wasn’t a threat.

But that didn’t happen.  Billy died and Catherine was left rudderless.  She had no job, no place, no purpose anymore other than to be Steve’s girlfriend.  She was awesome for a couple of episodes when she decided to help Kono and she was instrumental in tracking down Rico Sato and helping Kono and Adam.  But that only took us to Episode 7 which is the episode where Steve hired her to be a permanent member of Five-0.  That move..right there..is the moment that destroyed Catherine’s character.  Instead of a Naval officer or a founding partner in a security firm, using all her experience and skills in her position, she became a fifth wheel in Five-0 who was only there because she was sleeping with the boss.  What a total waste of a strong, intelligent, brave, resourceful woman.

I know that sounds harsh but if you think about it, when Steve found out she was leaving the Navy and was offered the position with Billy, he never said to her “If you’re looking for work after the Navy, why not work for Five-0 instead of with Billy?’  After Billy died and Catherine was beside herself not knowing what she was going to do going forward, Steve told her she had to “find something….doesn’t even have to be a job…it doesn’t matter what it is….you just need to find something” to help her move on.  But he never said “Hey, you know what? Why don’t you come work at Five-0”.  So, I think, it’s safe to assume that Catherine would have never ended up working for Five-0 if A) she wasn’t in a relationship with Steve and B) he felt sorry for her.

As Season 4 progressed, we began to see less and less of Catherine.  This may be where those rumors of on set friction and/or the consequences of social media behavior play a role.  But, again, since they are unsubstantiated rumors there is no way to ever know for sure.  For whatever reason, Catherine began to be written almost as a recurring character and not a main character.  For example, where she had, at first, left the Navy behind, now all of a sudden she was still in the Naval Reserves, thereby having a convenient excuse for her to be out of entire episodes. Where Steve and Catherine were practically living together in Season 3 and the beginning of Season 4, all of a sudden Steve is telling Jerry how much he likes to live alone.  And even when she was there, they didn’t give her much of anything to actually do.

As we were getting closer to the end of the season they needed to make Catherine’s eventual parting more emotional, so they had her play a big part in E4.19 (Ku I Ka Pili Koko), rescuing Steve and Danny from the collapsed building with a loving hug between she and Steve when he was pulled from the wreckage.  And then of course there was E4.21 (Makani ‘Olu a Holo Malie).

This is the Catherine I loved. Whether we felt her obligation to go to Afghanistan was a fool’s mission or not, it showed Catherine to be courageous, resourceful, loyal and brave.  I do not blame her for not going after Steve when he was captured.  She had those children to protect.  Those of us who love Steve like to think he’d have done things differently, but truth be told, if positions had been reversed, I feel he’d have done the exact same thing. Protect those children.  The moment she was able she called Danny, knowing that Danny would move heaven and earth to save Steve.  She did the right thing.

The part that bothered me was when she called Steve once he was home and she and the kids were safe.  During that entire conversation she never once asked him if he was OK.  She never once said anything like “Oh my God, Steve, when I saw them drag you off I was so scared. I was so afraid for what they could do to you.  Thank God you’re safe”. Nothing.  Steve asked her if she was OK, but she never asked him.  Part of me has always wondered if the broken man we saw after he hung up the phone was just as much his heart breaking at her lack of concern for him as it was that she was staying there.  Add to that, as we saw in the deleted scene from 5.01, she broke up with him in an email.  I’m sorry, seriously?  After 10 years together, you can’t find five minutes to get on a SAT phone and call him and talk to him?  An email?  I’m sure there are going to be scores of people who will disagree with me but that is damn cold!

Now she is back and, really, I could not care less.  And it has nothing to do with Catherine staying behind in Afghanistan, doesn’t have to do with the way she broke up with him in an email or that she stayed away for an entire year.  Obviously Steve doesn’t have a problem with any of the things Catherine has done over the last couple of years and if I consider him a strong, intelligent man, which I wholeheartedly do, I have to accept his judgement in this matter.

He’s happy she’s back.  I’m happy for him that he has her back.  Now that she is, Steve is ready to take the next step. For the time being, I will be excited for him, just like Danny and the rest of the guys are, but I’m going to wait and see how it all plays out.  I have said it before. I honestly don’t consider Catherine an important enough character to care one way or the other whether she stays or goes. As long as it’s written well.  And with Alex at the helm of this story line I know it will be acted extremely well no matter what happens.

But ultimately, I don’t think it’s going to happen.  Not only won’t they get married, I don’t think Steve will ever get the chance to even ask her.

Personally, I still can’t help but wonder why she’s back.  Did the village in Afghanistan all of a sudden become a safe place she now feels comfortable to leave? The children, all of a sudden, don’t need her protection anymore?  She said she came back because she “couldn’t miss Kono’s wedding”.  First off, how the hell did she even know about the wedding and, seriously, that’s the reason she came back…for a wedding??  Seems like a pretty frivolous reason to leave children in danger.  If that danger ever actually really existed.

I know there are folks out there floating the theory that Catherine had help in her search for Najib and that the help came from Doris.  I actually really love this theory.  I like the idea that Catherine reached out to the one person she knew owed her a debt.  Catherine was off the grid in Afghanistan and reached out to the one person she knew was also off the grid for help.  Perhaps Joe White facilitated their communication.  So yeah, I can see Doris helping Cath out.  It would make sense because, how did Catherine manage to locate Najib “over the border” with no resources and no intel other than rumors from the local population? And even if she were able to locate him based on those rumors, how was she able to extract him from the Taliban all by herself?  It took an entire SEAL team to get Steve away from one guy and his minions.  And if Doris helped her, you can bet she’s going to want something in return.

I know lots of people, me included, love this Doris idea but I just don’t think the writers are going to be brave enough to do it. What would Doris want from Cath?  Perhaps send her back to Oahu to keep an eye on Steve, let Doris know what Steve is up to?  I don’t think the writers will go there because it would make Catherine either a bitch for spying on Steve for Doris OR a weak pawn doing Doris’s bidding. One thing Catherine has never been is weak nor a bitch. I honestly don’t think Doris is going to play any part in why Catherine is back.

No.. .I think she came back because she’s possibly being considered for a position somewhere, away from Oahu. It could be a civilian job with the Navy. It could be CIA or some other agency.  I think that’s what brought her back home and she used Kono’s wedding as a convenient cover. I think she has some sort of  “interview” scheduled and once that’s over she’s going to be mulling over the idea of taking the position. This theory could also work with the spoiler we’ve already heard about Danny and Catherine having a private conversation at Danny’s thinking spot.  Could be Danny somehow finds out about Catherine’s job offer, maybe he intercepts a phone call or something.  Danny, knowing Steve is preparing to propose, would want to protect Steve from getting his heart broken again.  Danny might call Catherine and tell her to meet him at his thinking spot and tell her something like “Look Catherine, whatever you’re up to, you need to tell Steve what’s going on.  You cannot keep this from him and if you don’t tell him, I will.”

If my theory is correct and it is some type of high level job offer, Steve would never stand in the way of a great opportunity for her. And what is she supposed to do in Hawaii anyway? She’s not Navy….she’s not Five-0.. What is she supposed to do with all her knowledge and training?  I think, ultimately, she decides to accept the job and when she tells Steve about it, he won’t want to stand in her way.  The heartbreaking scene we may see is Steve stuffing that ring deep into his pocket and never even asking her.

My personal opinion is that TPTB want Steve to move on away from Catherine.  But he couldn’t do that, even though, before she came back, she told him to move on.  He couldn’t, for all those months, because of those words… “don’t wait for me”. That didn’t mean she wasn’t coming back, just that she didn’t know if or when she was. It was actually a very kind thing for her to do…basically telling him the truth. “I might come back, but then again, I might not. It’s not fair of me to ask you to wait for something that may not ever happen”

But in his mind, it was that slight possibility that she might come back that kept Steve from moving on, even though she told him to. He’s lost so many people in his life. It’s understandable he’d hold on to that hope and not want to be the one to officially move on. As always, he’s noble to a fault. So he rationalized it in his head. She didn’t leave him…..she stayed with them. She’s a hero. She’s doing what’s right. All the things his military training taught him.

But that hurt little boy, who’d been abandoned so many times in his life through death and worse, through choice, didn’t want to be the one to cut that last tie and be the reason he lost her too. So now she’s back and he’s happy to have her back and he doesn’t want to run the risk of losing her again so he wants to propose.  All the people he’s lost…he thought he’d lost her too.  He sees her coming back as a second chance, a chance he never had with any of the others.  He’s not going to blow this second chance and risk losing her again.  He does love her but I think she’s going to hurt him again (even if she doesn’t mean to) and the proposal will not happen.

If Steve is to move on, whatever happens between him and Catherine needs to happen face to face.  The only other way for Steve to ever be free to move on would be if Catherine was dead and the writers would not do that to Steve, not with all the people he’s already lost in his life.  No, the only way for Steve to move on would be for them to have either a bitter, horrible breakup (which would work into the Doris theory because Catherine helping Doris behind his back he would NEVER accept), which, again, I don’t think they will do OR they need to part ways amicably.

If it turns out that Catherine accepts a position off island, Steve will let her go because he would not stand in her way. But he would also realize that he’s basically her “fall back position”.  “How long are you staying?”  “How long do you want me to stay?”  He obviously wants her to stay forever.  If she takes a position off island, away from him, it will show she doesn’t feel the same way if she’s willing to just leave again.  He’ll realize they are just not meant to be.  She will leave and he’ll be free to move on.

Now…having said that.  It doesn’t mean there is no chance Catherine can never come back.  I’ve watched soap operas for decades and people who are not dead always, eventually come back.  Actually in Soaps, even if they are dead they manage to come back.  So even if this is the end of them for now, there is no reason there still can’t be a reunion at a later date.  Never say never.

But, obviously, I really have no idea what the writers are going to do with Steve and Catherine.  We’ve heard Michelle is only going to be in three episodes.  We’ve heard Sarah Carter is coming on board as Steve’s new love interest, Lynn.  Ultimately, the only thing as sure as death and taxes is that we have to sit back, relax and just watch the show to see what happens.  No doubt, whatever does will be dissected, analyzed, and fought over for weeks and weeks.  Some will love what happens…some will hate it.  Some will sing it’s praises and some will vow they are through with the show and never watching again.  No matter what, it’s for certain going to be an interesting adventure.

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8 thoughts on “#H50 – Steve and Catherine – My Take

  1. Wendy says:

    Well said, you have some really valid points there and I agree with most of them. I believe this weeks episode will be the last one for Catherine. I just hope she doesn’t hurt Steve too much.

    Liked by 1 person

    • She’ll be in this week and next week (6.02 & 6.03). After that who knows. I hate the idea of Steve being hurt again but the possibility of him finally finding some kind of happiness is exciting. But like I said, who knows? We’ll just have to wait and see.

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  2. Carole says:

    I agree with much of what you say. Her character was totally messed up in season 4. (OK – I’m not sure I’d have forgiven her for the Doris fiasco in S3, but Steve did so I did too. ) But the beginning of S4 made me crazy. To begin with, very few leave the military after giving that many years of their life without sticking it out to get the pension. I do not believe she was old enough to retire and they did not say she did – just deciding to get out made absolutely no sense. Then they start down the ” working for Billy ” path and promptly kill him off – what the #$%=/%! I thought that would have been a great way to have her around, but not all the time. At least it would have helped justify leaving the navy. There were a few nice moments, but for the most part from then on it just seemed forced. By the end of the season I wasn’t sorry to her go. Unlike you I was pretty mad at her for getting Steve involved in her little unauthorized trip. And that phone call was just heartbreaking. Poor Steve – I just wanted to reach out and hug him because he doesn’t deserve all this. I think your theory about what will happen in the next couple of weeks is pretty close – I can’t believe they’d be cruel enough to have Doris pulling the strings. I just hope Steve can finally let her go and find peace and happiness – and the writers give him a break.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I never had any problem with Steve going with her to Afghanistan. She didn’t ask him to go, he just showed up at the airport. It’s what Steve does. He went with Jenna to N. Korea, he went with Danny to Columbia. A friend, a member of his Ohana needs help, he’s there. So I never saw it as her “getting him involved”. I always saw it as he “volunteered”.

      I agree that the relationship between them felt very forced for most of Season 4. We stopped seeing them together, alone. We only saw them together in connection with their work and always with other members of the team. When they were together their body language and vibe just screamed “uncomfortable”.

      That’s where those onset problem rumors come into play. If they are to be believed (and we have no way to know if they are true) it could explain why the vibe between Alex and Michelle changed and therefore facilitated a need to change the story. But who the hell knows.

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  3. Carole says:

    Perhaps I wouldn”t have been so annoyed if she had shown more concern in that phone call. You have a good point Linda – it’s what Steve does and letting her go alone would have been out of character.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Even with everything that went on in Season 4 it was that phone call that finally did it for me. The moment Steve heard her voice he was physically effected. His overwhelming relief that she was on the phone, that she and the kids were safe, it was palpable.

      The first words out of his mouth were “Catherine…where are you….are you ok??” He even asked after the children she saved and asked if Najib was with them. So Steve inquired to the health of every other person involved in that day.

      Yet all Cath spoke about was how she had to lay low because Hassan’s men were in the area, how she got wind that Najib had been taken over the boarder and that she was going to follow him and not come back until she found him. Never once did she inquire about Steve’s health.

      She watched him be captured by the Taliban. She’s spent years in that part of the world, she KNOWS what the Taliban does to prisoners, especially those in the military. She had no way of knowing if Steve was flat on his back in a hospital room. When he answered his phone he could have been hooked up to all kinds of tubes and wires and been in really bad shape, yet she never asked him once if he was ok. That, right there, was the turning point for me.

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  4. I agree Linda. It all fell apart in season 4. She should not have been put on the team. Steve should not have been her boss. They became boring when she was put on the team. I kept thinking they could have given her a job with Homeland Security or any of the three letter agencies, like CIA or FbI. With her intelligence background, she could have done a lot. I liked her when she was teamed up with that guy who was watching Doris. I just have to say one thing about social media and this is in no way a reflection on Michelle Borth. I’m old school, and I long for the day when actors were judged by their skills, and not how many followers they have on twitter. Well, off to work now but I had to comment.

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