Show and women. Hmmm. It’s a tricky one to tackle because Show isn’t very good at women. It tries, bless it, but it usually gets it just a bit… off. But it’s a day when we celebrate women, so let’s celebrate the times Show got it right. Or at least, the times I think Show got it right. Which is the same thing, after all. (KIDDING!!)
My very first girlcrush, and the standard against which all future potential girlcrushes have been measured, was this amazing lady:
She’s tough, feisty, doesn’t take any lip, can handle a gun that’s nearly as big as she is and keeps spare ammo in her cleavage! WHAT’S NOT TO LOVE???? What Vasquez would do if Drake tied her up with duct tape doesn’t bear thinking about (assuming he did actually manage it, and still had both his arms attached by the time he’d finished trying). Seriously, when someone said ‘female McG’, this is who I saw in my head. It was never going to work.
Anyway, before I spend all day talking about Aliens (and believe me I could) these are the times (in reverse order of awesomeness) when I’ve felt Show has managed to create a female character who was – to shamelessly pinch Sage’s brilliant phrase – sassy in her smarts. A couple of them are bad guys, but hey. We never said we were perfect ;-).
6. Kat Carrigan (Tree O’Toole) – 3.16 Kekoa
OK, so she’s trying to kill Maggie (which seems kind of mean given that – fun fact! – Tree O’Toole was Summer Glau’s stunt double in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) but HOLY HELL LOOK AT HER GO!! She’s strong, super-skilled and aspirational in that she makes me want to go for a six-mile run even though it’s raining. Maggie, by comparison, seems a little meh, and just makes me want to sit on the sofa and eat cake because, y’know, it’s raining. She’s got the moves but she hasn’t got the ‘tude. I guess the storyline didn’t permit her to say to the big guy “you killed my father to make money? OH HELL YEAH I’LL FIGHT HER, and once I’m done with her YOU’D BETTER START RUNNING” but still – what would Vasquez do? Vasquez would probably have tried to take both of them on at the same time. AND she would have won.
(this is the best cap I could find of her. She just would not bloody keep still.)
5. Julie Adelman (Mariana Klaveno) – 1.16 E Malama
LOVED Julie. We’ve gone into this in some detail already with this awesome post but some of it bears repeating. Julie is the person we like to think we could be – normal, no special skills, scared, but still using her smarts to outwit people who are ruthless and evil (quite Ripley-esque, now I come to think of it). Remember when Kono said “I hope she’s still alive because I want to meet her” and we all tried to *fistbump* our TV’s? She has determination! She has self-control! She has a core of STEEL!! She’s the most well-rounded female character Show has created so far and she was only in one ep! More of this please :-).
4. Madeline (Lesley Boone) – 3.10 Huaka’i Kula
She is in charge.
McG thinks he is in charge.
He is not in charge.
Madeline is awesome. We’d be like the Aloha Girls, right? All mesmerised and ‘ooooh!’ as McG throws a knife into a tree. In fact, who are we kidding, we totally were like that. But Madeline? Nah, she’s seen it all before. That don’t impress her much. She talks back to bad guys. She’s cool under pressure. She knows whether there are bears in the jungle. She’s a dynamite tracker. She’s so bada/s she doesn’t even have a last name.
“There’s a spider on your neck.”
Heh. Danny’s not in charge either.
And you know, she’s an ER nurse. With the amount of people who get injured on Show, surely there’s scope for her to be in an ep every now and then? Wouldn’t you think? *hopeful look*
3. Dakota Hayes (Jenny Mollen) – 3.17 Pa’ani
Dakota Hayes – it’s not the kind of throwaway name you give to a minor character who appears in one episode, is it? You don’t give a character a name like that and not even mention it in the episode unless the character’s coming back, right? I hope so, because I really liked Dakota. She’s an expert in a particular field – always good, better than being an expert in everything (which is a mistake they’ve tried to make before) – and she damn well knows it. You can see in the way she holds herself that you could throw any question about this stuff at her and she’d have the answer quicker than you could say ‘thigh holster’. Also, she’s McNerding about guns to McG. TO McG!!! ABOUT GUNS!!!! Please can she come back soon? I think I might love her.
2. Grace Tilwell (Sydney Tamiia Poitier) – 3.06 I Ka Wa Mamua
Strong? Check. Fearless? Check. Not letting Danny drive his own car? Check. Beautiful? Check (hey, I’m shallow, this should not be news).
Grace was a good example of a character who wasn’t trying to be strong, she just – was. And I loved how much Danny respected and cared about her. I would totally have watched New Jersey: Five-0 with these two as the leads #justsayin
1. Hillary Chaver (Taylor Cole) – 2.23 Ua Hala
*shakes head sadly* Hillary, Hillary, Hillary. You bad, bad girl. Just LOOK at what you’ve done. You’ve killed Fryer, shot Max, blown up HPD, killed a vet’s receptionist and then the vet himself and tried to kill McG (and you know, we don’t react too kindly to that). Hillary’s a very bad girl. So bad that I was glad she ended up dead – and yet, still top of my list. Why is that?
Well, dark-haired and feisty, that never hurts. Also legally dead (you know, I never noticed before that women faking their own deaths and pissing McG off was such a theme in this ep) which takes some doing. She’s self-reliant and very smart; after she shoots Max she not only manages to get away – while injured – but also leads Five-0 (in a car chase that lasts a pretty long time and let’s not forget this is McG driving the Camaro with about four other cars behind him, and she’s in an HPD car; people have ended up in harbours when up against those odds) to HPD, on the basis that the best place to hide a tree is in a wood, and – in quite the most impressive display of sheer bloody cheek in the history of ever – pretends that the killer attacked her and gets sympathy from McG.
Inspired!! (and McG’s face when he works this out is a picture! Maha’s always said she wanted to see McG get his a/s handed to him by a woman. Think this is probably the closest we’re ever going to get).
Not only that, but she’s in a building full of cops who are all on the alert and she still manages to blow the whole thing up and get away. I mean, I know Useless Coppers Are Useless, but they’re not that Useless. Oh Hillary. You’re just too bad.
Then later, at the vet’s surgery, she’s utterly and completely ruthless. I’m still shocked when she kills the receptionist and even the vet, but I admire Show for making her so unlikeable. I remember in the Sardonic comments that we said she was like a female McG but really, she’s more of a female Wo Fat. She’ll kill anyone who gets in her way, she doesn’t care. She is totally amoral. And then when Five-0 turn up and Toothpick refuses to help her and she’s on her own… well what would Vasquez do? Exactly what Hillary does: she doesn’t actually say “you always were an a*shole, Toothpick” but you can tell she’s thinking it and then she gets out a crazy-massive rifle (it’s bigger than McG’s, FYI) and goes down fighting. Awesome.
It seems odd even to me that my favourite female character of Show is such a total and utter b/tch, but I would love to see a really loathsome recurring female villain as much as I’d love to see a really strong, well-rounded female good guy. I just like to see women doing whatever the men can do, because… well, because why not?
So have a Happy International Women’s Day, all you lovely feisty ladies, and remember:
Screencaps from gallicka.com