Hawaii Five-0 86’d a long-running character this Friday night, though not necessarily in a fatal, forever kind of way.
As previously reported by TVLine more than a month ago, Michelle Borth — who made her debut during Season 1 and got promoted to series regular for Season 3 — has parted ways with the CBS drama.
To facilitate that exit, Five-0 revisited a bit of Catherine Rollins’ past, when in the midst of a (very fun) charity poker night, she received an unexpected, staticky phone call from Amir, an Afghani father she had met during her tour of duty eight years ago. In flashback, we saw how Rollins saved Amir’s son Najib from dashing out into a possibly land mine-filled field to fetch a soccer ball. (Instead, she summoned a military mine-sweeper to clear the way, so that the toy could be retrieved.)
Amir remembered that kindness of a foreign stranger a year later, when he found a gravely wounded Catherine in a field. He sneaked the American soldier into his and his wife’s humble home, tended to her injuries and even hid her in a secret tunnel when Taliban grunts came snooping.
As such, when Amir reaches out to her in the present day, to report that Najib has been taken by the Taliban — likely to be used as a human bomb (as many children are) — she has no choice but to do what she can to help. McGarrett at first bristles at the “crazy” idea, but ultimately calls in a favor from Joe White and gets both of them dropped into Afghanistan, where they soon find a wounded Amir, but no Najib.
Ultimately, McRollins get a bead on and intercept a Taliban convoy that’s toting many children, and while they’re successful in spiriting away the young ones (though no Najib), Steve is KO’d by a grenade blast, then taken away by the baddies. But before the Taliban can torture out of him the name/location of the woman who was assisting him, the U.S. Army storms in and saves the day.
Forced back home by angry military/CIA brass — yet after a really nice hospital scene with a very J. Crew-looking Danny, who traveled all the way to Afghanistan to make sure his best friend got out alive — McGarrett gets a call from Catherine, who stayed behind in Amir’s village and is resolved to finding Najbi, who has since been taken across the border, inching closer to a dire fate. Steve offers to lend another assist, but Catherine knows he can’t, and before she saddles up and rides off into the Afghani sunset, the lovers exchange “I love yous” and then an “Aloha,” which in this sad case means goodbye. At least for now.