The Steve McGarrett Story – No #1 (Pilot)

For the past four years, we have been following the events in the life of Steve McGarrett, Lieutenant Commander in the Navy and a member of the SEALS, now part of the reserve forces. Circumstance leads him back to the place where he grew up – Hawaii, where he has been the head of a Special Task Force for the state for this time. I thought it might be an appropriate time to recall his story……

We meet 33-year-old Steve McGarrett on 20 September 2010.  Steve is part of a military team transporting Anton Hess. When we first see him, it is minutes before his last conversation with his father, and minutes before he hears his father being shot and killed at the hands of a man called Victor Hess. In an escape attempt, Steve shoots and kills Anton. Steve thinks his dad is shot in retaliation for Anton being killed. He later learns that John McGarrett (age 68), was actually assassinated by order of a man called WoFat.

What we also only learn 3 years later, is that Steve tragically lost his best friend and Navy SEAL buddy Freddie, while on a mission to capture Anton in North Korea, just a few days before.

These tragic events bring our hero to the island paradise of Hawaii……

Just as a sidenote at this stage in my story – whenever we meet an interesting character, who also die during this course of the story, I will share the time and manner of their death with you. The first person: Victor Hess – His throat is slit by WoFat a year later, while he was defenseless in prison.

Continuing with our tale, we see Steve arrive in Hawaii and all dressed up in his Service Dress Blues after his dads funeral, meet the Governor of Hawaii. The Governor offers him a job as head of a task force to find his father’s killer and to help clean up Hawaii of dangerous criminals. (Gov. Pat Jameson – in about a years time, she is shot and killed in her own study at home, by WoFat, while our hero Steve McGarrett defenselessly witness it.)

At this time, Steve is not very impressed with her offer and he declines. While walking away from his meeting with the Governor, Steve runs into Chin Ho Kelly, a former police partner of his dad, now working as a security guard at Pearl Harbor. Chin tells him that a detective formerly from New Jersey is handling his dad’s murder case. Detective Danny Williams moved to Hawaii six months before, to be with his daughter Grace. Danny’s ex-wife Rachael, moved to Hawaii with her new husband, Stan, and he followed them.

Danno & Gracie

Steve goes to his dad’s house to see if he can find any evidence that can lead him to Victor. During their last conversation, John called Steve, Champ and when Steve see a toolbox with the word Champ on it in his dad’s garage, he realises that it was a clue his dad gave him. We “meet” the red “champbox”. It seems to have a lot of hidden secrets inside. At this stage I thought we will have many mysteries coming from it and that we will see how Steve get to solve some of them…… boy, was I wrong. 😦


Inside the box, Steve finds an old tape recorder…….

I can’t continue this investigation into the police department from the inside. I don’t trust the people I work with. So I’m gonna have to do this on my own. It’s all about the key. I don’t know what it’s for. I’ve only been able to find a source……

Voice recording of John McGarrett

Finding the box and the message in it from John, Steve realises that he can’t have the HPD (Honolulu Police Department) investigate his father’s death. And while being confronted my Det. Williams, he phones the Governor and except her offer to head up her special task force.

Steve: I, Steve J. McGarrett, do solemnly declare upon my honour and conscience, that I will act at all times to the best of my ability and knowledge in a manner befitting an officer of the law.


After looking into the evidence from the initial investigation into his dad’s murder, Steve realises that with his history, the one policeman he can trust at the moment, is Danny Williams. Under protest from Danny, Steve makes him an offer he can’t refuse – to be the first member of his team.

The two of them continues with the investigation and Danny gets a flesh wound in the arm, after being shot by the gunrunner, who sold Victor the gun that killed John. In the guys house they find a girl who was smuggled in from China. Realising they need help to find the people who smuggle these people (who most probably also smuggled Victor onto the Island), Steve and Danny sets off to recruit Chin as the next member of their task force team.

Steve 101

Chin who lost his job at HPD, because he was suspected if stealing drug money, accepts Steve’s offer and he introduces them to ‘Shave Ice’ entrepreneur Kamekona. As an ex-convict with his hands still in many pies, ‘larger than life’ Kamekona deals in information at a price. From him the get the name of human trafficker Sang Min. The three men now need and unknown person as undercover to visit Sang Min and get information about his business, that might lead them to the whereabouts of Victor.


And as it happens, Chin knows just the right person (woman) for the job – his cousin who is about to graduate from the police academy. The boys set off to meet Kono and recruit her as the fourth member of their merry band. Kono chose to join the police, after an injury cut short her career as a professional surfer. Kono being an adventurous girl who is capable of holding her own amongst the men, immediately accepts their offer.

Kono masquerades as a girl trying to smuggle relatives from China to Hawaii, but with the help of an informant in the HPD, Sang Min discovers her identity as a police officer. In a shootout they apprehend Sang Min and discovers the rest of the stowaway people in a ship container at his place. Without having to worry about “red-tape” Steve and Chin, using some extortion tactics, gets the relevant information about Victor’s escape plan from him.

Steve -

Sang Min: What kind of cops are you?

Steve: The new kind.

Steve and Danny “boards” a Chinese freighter ship with their car, to capture Victor. During a gun battle and a fight, the already wounded Steve, shoots Victor and he plummets into the water. Thinking that he killed Victor, Steve and his newly founded team celebrates their first success…….

The Team

And that was Steve’s Story for:

Hawaii Five-0 – Episode 1:01

Pailaka (Pilot)

Written by: Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci & Peter M. Lenkov

Director: Len Wiseman

(20 September 2010)

To be continued here:


Filed under Hawaii Five-0, Review, Steve McGarrett

19 responses to “The Steve McGarrett Story – No #1 (Pilot)

  1. Thanks for the recap…Kono is Chin’s cousin not niece.

    Was Steve born in Hawaii? I thought he said (episode 2 or 3) that he and his family moved to Hawaii and that is why the dad called them 5-0 because they weren’t “native” to Hawaii. It was the episode where Chin and Kono are watching the football game (I think it’s at the end of Episode 3) and how 5-0 got it’s name.


    • Thanks Barbs
      Common mistake for me to get cousins and nieces, mixed up – translating from my native tongue always couses the mistake, when I don’t concentrate 🙂
      And of course you are correct about the place of birth. The things that I have never learned in the 2 yrs since we have been here, but still do – don’t post something typed in a hurry (I added the intro in at the last minute) and when you are tired. And always have Paula read through it before I publish. In this case I ignored both those rules! 😦


  2. karen1228

    Love the recap! Don’t worry so much about mixing up relatives! I’m of Italian descent and everyone is an aunt, uncle, cousin! We’re one bing happy family, just like 5-0!


  3. gracenotpark

    Enjoyed the recap. Like you, Foyeur, I’ve been bummed the Champ box was so summarily dropped. It had seemed such a promising meme for future stories.


    • I made a list if all the stuff I could see in there from different scene, trying to think of things it might be evidence off. 😦
      They more of less killed it for me when it was stolen. Will have a better look at how it was used,when we get to the episodes where it’s content was still used as clues and evidence.


  4. Foyeur, will we have more McGarrett’s stories? I liked this recap of my favorite H50 character. TY


  5. I have always loved the scene where Steve and Danny meet for the first time but the scene where Steve twists his arm and Danny punches him is the greatest 😀


    • As far as I can remember, the scene with the twisting and punching was done after a suggstion from Alex. Can’t remember now where I got that from – will need to investigate again. Smile:


      • buttercup4u

        I love this scene, one if the rare moments where we catch steve off guard!
        And make up departement didn’t mess up and we can see his red cheek later! First BTTF 😉


        • I think the make-up people (just as the stunt team) were totally different people for the Pilot episode, than those who started working on it more permanently, when they started shooting the series onwards.
          Maybe that is why the scare on Steve also moved a but 😀


      • ooh really?!! If that’s true, it seems all the best bits are ad libbed. Danno’s air heart was too and that was epic! 😉


  6. buttercup4u

    I felt in love with steve mcg, with this first ep! I loved his determination, with him i felt safe! Still do 😉


  7. I am going to love these recaps 🙂 Thank you so much!


  8. The pilot ti H50 is still one of my favorite all time episodes in the history of the show. Thanks for the memories of the show. I still scene where danny and steve first meet and keep telling each other to put their guns down. I also want to give a special shout out to the actor who play Antio hess. so funny how now Norman reduss is a big tv stat on The Walking Dead as Daryl. It all stared by being on HFo. wow I think H50 played a part in making him a star. … just a shout out.


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