McGarrett Faces Rivals From Both Sides

Give me a “W”! Give me an “O”! Give me an “F-A-T”! WO FAT!

Yes, the major takeaway from Season 3, Episode 14 of CBS’ new Hawaii Five-0 is the return of arch-villain Wo Fat (Mark Dacascos). That’s the good news.

The bad news is that his appearance does nothing to further the long-running McGarrett family story line, in which Wo Fat has been the nemesis of Five-0 Cmdr. Steve McGarrett, his police officer father and his CIA spy mother. It merely establishes that Wo Fat is still on Oahu and trying to curry political favor by framing a U.S. Senate candidate in the death of a prostitute.

The setup is a special election to fill a seat vacated by the death of the sitting senator. I’m a little surprised that the H50 writers went there so quickly – only about six weeks since the passing of actual Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, D-Hawaii.

Richard T. Jones

Richard T. Jones

Gov. Sam Denning (Richard T. Jones) assigns the task force to investigate the death of a young woman in a home owned by some of his friends – and keep the investigation on the down low. This was the governor’s first appearance in Season 3. While his predecessor was integral to the ongoing plot in Season 1 – McGarrett was framed for her killing in the season finale – Denning’s last appearance was in Season 2, Episode  16, when a woman turned up dead at the hotel hosting his charity gala and the governor wanted that investigation kept low-key. That episode ended with the governor canning Five-0 team member Lori Weston (Lauren German) – an incident Steve cites when Danno protests the new assignment.

Pointing out that the task force exists at the pleasure of the governor, he says: “The last time we butted heads with Denning, he sent Lori home. I don’t want to see what he’s got planned for an encore. Do you?”

[En encore appearance for Lori would make this blogger very happy.]

But back to Episode 14.

This time everything points to a cover-up of the governor or one of his cronies killing the hooker. Steve storms into Denning’s office for the inevitable confrontation, catching the governor unaware the victim’s profession. Denning admits he let Rep. Chris Freed (Wiley M. Pickett), one of the Senate candidates, use his friends’ home while they traveled abroad.

Turns out Wo Fat has seized the opportunity to kidnap Freed and frame him for the killing. It will come as no surprise to regular H50 viewers that Steve and Danno rescue Freed, but Wo Fat gets away.

Family Matters

Episode 14’s main plot is bracketed by scenes relating to Danno’s bid for shared custody of his daughter, Grace, to prevent his ex-wife from moving the girl to Las Vegas. In the first, Steve and Danno go before a family court judge. At the end of the hour, the two are sitting by the ocean, lamenting Wo Fat’s escape, when they are joined by Denning – wearing an aloha shirt and shorts and bearing a six-pack of Longboard Island Lager from Kona Brewing Co. on the Big Island. Danno’s phone rings. While he takes the call, Steve and the governor make their peace. When he returns, Danno announces that the judge has ruled in his favor, and Grace cannot leave the island without his okay.


  • Despite the reappearance of Wo Fat, the episode offered nothing about his supposed Season 3 target: Doris McGarrett. We haven’t seen Steve’s mom, played by Christine Lahti, since she tortured a dude with jumper cables in Episode 8.
  • The episode included a scene in which Chin Ho and Kono turn the tables on a black SUV tailing them. As the SUV flees, they note that it has government license plates. That factors into Steve’s subsequent confrontation with the governor. But the license plates are federal, not state.
  • While the guys toasted Hawaii with the Longboard Island Lager, your friendly neighborhood blogger prefers Bikini Blonde Lager from Maui Brewing Co.
  • Other product placements included a bevy of Chevys and a catamaran with “Hilton” on the mainsail.


Stuart J. Robinson, a college friend of the TV Tyrant, is a writer, editor, media-relations practitioner and social-media guy based in Phoenix.