The Steve McGarrett Story – No # 106 (It’s never about ‘the birds and the bees’ for Steve, is it?)

We continue our story from here

We see Joe White flying to Hawaii, with scenes reminding some readers of Steve flying back to Hawaii in the Pilot episode. Joe walking down from the belly of a military plane, just as he arrived for the first time in the first episode of Season 2. Once again it seems that the writers watched some old stuff to get ideas to recreate some of the feels of season 1 & 2. 😀

Joe arriving like this, does it mean we will get some progress with the story of Steve McGarrett ……. or not?


And here I need to have some fun, just to cheer myself up with a scene that played out in my head: 🙂

Peter: Hi Terry, we need you in Hawaii to film an episode for Hawaii Five-0 in season 5.

Terry: That sounds good. What will it be about? Will I need to learn a lot of new material?

Peter: Don’t worry too much. Most of it is basically the same dialogue you have done in Season 2.

Okay, that was “fun”, but let’s get back to Steve’s story………

Maybe to better understand where we are with Steve’s story, we need to look back at Joe’s story, which is spread across 13 episodes of the series. Who is Joe White?

Just before we continue with Joe’s story – I personally love the idea of Joe White and I think Terry does a great job being him.

The first time ever we hear about him, was as somebody who trained Steve during BUD’s, when it was mentioned in Episode 107. But of course he was maybe just a possible character for the writers back then, because he was seemingly incorrectly referred to back then as ‘Master Chief White’. This makes me think that he was not really in the mix of characters for the writers, in the beginning of the McGarrett’s family history, when the series started.

But then Hawaii Five-0 got picked up for another season and Steve was in trouble – and therefore in Episode 201, enters the character of Joe White, old family friend and mentor of Steve. Apparently Joe and John McGarrett became friends around the time Steve was born. Up until present time, I can’t recall us ever hearing at what stage Joe and Doris McGarrett got acquainted.

After Doris’s fake death in 1992, John sends Steve to military school and Joe White kind of becomes his surrogate father. Not only that, but he also became his instructor during his BUD’s training in 2000.

In retrospect, it is so odd that Joe only features at that time, nearly a year after John’s death. Why am I saying this? Well, from what we learn in Season 3, Episode 320, it was actually Joe who sent Steve on the mission to catch Anton Hess only days before John’s death. And at the time of his death, it was thought that John’s assassination was directly linked to the Hess brothers and nothing else.

In Episode 203, we hear that Joe asked to be transferred to Hawaii. He wants to be close to Steve to help investigate the reason for John’s murder with him (now, a year after his death). In Episode 204 we get the first feeling that Joe is hiding something from Steve. It seems that Joe is reluctant to get DOD involved with recovering the sound data on the recording of the video John made of  himself, the Governor and WoFat in the Governor’s study, nearly a year before his death. Is this because Joe already knows the truth, or is it because he is scared of what they might learn from it?

In Episode 206, Joe brings in the help and expertise of his old friend Kensi, from NCIS-LA to lip read the video. Did he do this because in that way he could control what is revealed to Steve? Or did he not know anything about John’s investigation and that he really wanted to find the truth? And here we hear the name Shelburne for the first time. Was it also the first time that Joe heard the name, or did he know that it was Doris’s name as a CIA agent? How much did he know about her past as an agent? Did he know at this stage that she was still alive? Did he know of her involvement with WoFat at this time already?

What we do know is that Joe asked WoFat about Shelburne, while he and WoFat were fighting and trying to kill each other. For me that means he really did not know and genuinely wanted to get to the truth. (And just as a sidenote here to people that want to suggest that Joe might be WoFat’s father (Apart from lots of other evidence that shows that it can’t be real.) Why would Joe not tell that fact to WoFat, when they meet face to face and they try to kill each other, if that was the case? Why would he want to hide that truth from WoFat, even in the face of death? It just does not make sense at all!)

What we also do know at this stage, is that after Mokoto was tortured and murdered, Joe is begging Steve to let this investigation go before more people gets killed. But this all makes Steve even more desperate to get to the truth. He says that, but we never actually saw up till then or after that, that he was trying to get information at all – it all must be happening off-screen. 🙂 The only person we ever hear and see investigating the Shelburne affair, is Joe. 😕

Then we get to Episode 210. What is a bit odd here in retrospect, is that WoFat was looking for Shelburne, but he did not know what or who it was. This is odd to me because he has been hunting his father’s ‘killer’ for many years? Did he or did he not know that the person who ‘killed’ his father was Shelburne? He is torturing Steve, because he thinks he knows something about Shelburne. (And poor Steve  knows nothing, because EVERYBODY seem to think he needs to be protected from the truth.) 😀

In Episode 211 we hear that this whole affair with WoFat capturing and torturing Steve, and Joe and the team rescuing him, will cost Joe his career in the military. He is forced into early retirement. But is seems Joe still does not know about Shelburne, because he is trying to get some help from Hiro Noshimuri. Then Joe ‘abducts’ Hiro, in what we later realise is a ploy to fake his death and he takes him to Steve, in order to tell Steve what Shelburne is. Joe then tells Steve that he is off to find Shelburne, before WoFat can and he drives off with the bound and gagged Hiro. Joe then phones someone – what later seems to be Doris, to tell them that Steve is getting too close and they will have to move ……..

And this is what I wrote back then when I looked at that episode:

Why does Joe call Steve to inform him about Shelburne, just to say, a few minutes later that Steve is getting to close? How is Steve getting close, other than him, Joe, telling him stuff? 😕 It does not make sense to me.

And right here, the character of Joe loses me. Up until this point I thought he was as much in the dark as Steve and really searching for answers. Not knowing what exactly John McGarrett was working on, not knowing who Shelburne is and also not yet knowing that Doris faked her death.

I presume that he is speaking to Doris here – did he know from the start where she was or did he stumble across it during his search for answers?

If he knew from the start that Doris was Shelburne, why expose her name to Steve. Why ask WoFat about Shelburne, if he knew the answer? And by asking it, getting Mokoto killed and Steve tortured?

In Episode 212, Joe tells Steve that he can’t find Shelburne and that none of his contacts have any knowledge of such a person, but then later on, they have this conversation:

Steve: Do you know who Shelburne is, Joe?

Joe: Ask me another question.

Steve: Do you, or do you not know who Shelburne is?

Joe: I’m not gonna answer that. Your father sent you away, I promised to look after you. And that’s a promise I intend to keep.

Steve: Oh, yeah? By lying to me?

Joe: No, by containing this Shelburne thing, before you get caught up in it.

So it seems that at this stage, Joe and Doris decided that it is in Steve’s best interest to still hide the truth from him, for his own protection. For me it looks like they can’t get past the fact that he is not a child anymore and that he is a highly trained Navy SEAL, who kind of can take care of himself and even others as well.

In Episode 213, everybody wants to pin Hiro’s disappearance and “death” on Joe. After Steve saved Joe from the Yakuza, he admits to Steve that he faked Hiro’s death, in order for him to try and escape WoFat.

In Episode 214, Steve and Joe tells Adam that his father is still alive and that they need to work together to get WoFat. Joe then later on tells Steve the biggest lie ever, while standing right next to his father’s grave. He tells him that Shelburne is a name he a John made up and that it was actually he (Joe) himself who killed WoFat’s father. (I wrote a lot of my own thoughts about the Joe/Shelburne facts back then, and you are welcome to click on the link to have a look at it again)

So Joe leaves and after a while Steve realises that Joe lied to him about the identity of Shelburne. Alex goes to rehab and Steve goes hunting for Shelburne in Japan. But Shelburne eludes him all the time . However he gets word of WoFat’s whereabouts and catches him in Tokyo (Or rather WoFat allows Steve to catch him, after he tortured and killed Hiro – and cut him into pieces) With WoFat now in custody, Joe reappears in Episode 223, and tells Steve that he can take him to meet Shelburne. And for once Joe does not disappoint Steve – he keeps his word. He ‘drops’ Steve in his mother’s lap, so to speak and disappears for nearly a year. And as far as I can recall, Doris never even discuss Joe with Steve at all. (We have never seen Joe and Doris together – maybe they are one and the same person. Maybe Joe is Steve’s mother 😆)


‘Mommie Dearest’ Doris aka Shelburne becomes part of Steve’s life again, but never gives him any honest answers about her relationship with WoFat. And just as suddenly as she appeared in his life again, she leaves again……. And it does not seem as if there has ever been or now is any special connection between Doris and Joe……

In Episode 405 Joe pops up again in Hawaii, and Steve asks him about Doris’s whereabouts. And here we can clearly see that he and Doris does not have any contact. Joe reaches out to his CIA contact, Sam. All Joe shares with Steve from that contact, is that Doris is active in the CIA again and that she is not available. The indirect result of this contact with Sam, is that Steve unravels the truth about what happened with Shelburne’s mission to kill WoFat’s father. WoFat’s mother was accidentally killed and his father never to be seen again as far as we know. 😕

Doris apparently shared this information with WoFat while he was in prison on the mainland. He escapes and come back in Episode 507 to torture Steve, because he thinks Steve knows where his long-lost father is. He also reveals that Doris took him in after she accidentally killed his mother and then raised him as her own child for a few years until she was forced to give him up? WoFat in the end forces Steve to kill him……

And of course Doris and Joe love Steve so much, that they rush to his side after this nightmare ordeal of his with WoFat ……. oops, wrong story……

Nope, we only see Joe again, once he needs a favour from Steve in this episode. And Joe says to Steve that he can ask him anything and that he will look for Doris, once again. And only to report that Doris is off the grid again and that she won’t be found unless she wants to be found ………

And he adds that Steve should trust him …… and Steve shows us that he does not. And he’s got a golden opportunity to monitor what Joe is doing because he is in quarantine….. But will anything actually come from it? I am not holding my breath for any new information any time soon. Not until Episode 518 that is.

Spoiler Alert – In 518, Peter promises a few surprises at the end. He also said that they call in the help of EVERYBODY to help save Danny. We already know Joe will be there – but how about Doris?

Just some personal thoughts about details in this episode:

  • Is it just me or is this one of the rare occasions where Alex’s acting fails him a bit? Just for a small part of this scene, his acting really looks fake to me, when he looks like fake grinding his teeth? (The rest of the scene is great and on mark once again as usual, I feel)


  • From the information Steve gathers from Doris’s old CIA boss (Cobb)  in Episode 419, I always got the feeling the CIA or that boss of  Doris, covered up the wrongful killing of Lei Kuan Fat. Why would Doris now suddenly be liable for it?
  • I was just wondering about something. Maybe it would be a good idea for the writers to give someone an injury that does not hamper them in what they need to do for the rest of the episode………. Joe’s leg being hurt with what seems to be an injury that needs stitches, just to later on in the episode, climb up the side of a house and run after and catching a truck driving away. REALLY?

And some final thoughts as well:

I see here in comments and in other places online as well, that after this episode some people once again express the feeling that Joe might be Steve’s father. This is not an attack on those feelings and viewpoints, but just my personal thoughts on the matter.

For me Joe (Terry) as Steve’s father would physically and action wise, be a better match than Steve (Alex) and John (William). And it might even be some nice twist to the story.

But here is my problem with it: If that is indeed the truth, then the character and all the sentimental thoughts the has been built around Steve McGarrett, falls flat. Even the legacy of Hawaii Five-o and the old historic Steve McGarrett will be gone. First of all he will actually then be Steve White. All the sentiment and references to his Grandfather dying at Pearl Harbor disappears. The whole glove scene in Episode 410 is nullified. Everybody ever telling him that he’s got his father’s eyes, lied. His whole life will be a lie. Our experience of the past 4 ½ seasons, will be one big fat lie. Doris and Joe are then even worse characters than we ever thought them to be – Lying to their “loved” ones, all these years. And what reason would there be for them to have lied about it and to keep on lying about it, now that John is dead?

– Hawaii Five-0: Episode 513 –

La Po’ino (Doomsday)

To be continued here


Filed under Hawaii Five-0, Steve McGarrett

27 responses to “The Steve McGarrett Story – No # 106 (It’s never about ‘the birds and the bees’ for Steve, is it?)

  1. Wow! Fabulous thanks. Here are a few thoughts…

    1. I think Joe knew whew Shelburne was and was deliberately hiding it from Steve, after all he lied to Steve about sending the tape to DOD in the first place. A lot of what Joe has told Steve has been a lie.

    I think Joe knew Steve well enough to know that Steve would search high and low for Shelburne. I found it odd that Joe and Hiro knew each other and that Hiro trusted Joe enough to fake his death…as stated below could Joe be working with both sides….how else could we/they explain Joe and Hiro’s “connection” since Hiro was head of the Yakuza. Joe, Doris and Hiro are all tied together with one person Wo-Fat….makes you wonder.

    2. Joe could possibly be Wo-Fat’s father. Maybe it happened around the time that Joe and John were stationed in Vietnam. We might never know. Outrageous thought but by Joe sending Steve to go after the Hess brothers, did he know that John would be killed in the process? Could Joe be working both sides. After all when Steve said he killed Wo-Fat Joe didn’t seem too surprised.

    3. I truly believe that Joe does know where Doris is…I also think that Joe has more secrets that he cares to admit. How does he know all those CIA contacts when his career was teaching SEALS? Never heard about any “missions” that he went on…unless he got these contacts back in the days of Vietnam.

    4. The CIA will always cover up and better to blame an agent rather than have the “higher” ups take the blame. Could Joe be a part of the CIA and that’s how he knows Doris’ whereabouts.

    I hope that we will have a Season 6 so that some of these items can be answered.

    One note: If you look at the crash scene…as Steve exits the vehicle, removes his shirt and stretches there is NO orange bandage yet when he extends his arms to get Joe out we see it…then, briefly, it’s gone…funny how the editors missed that.


  2. buttercup4u

    Thank you FOYeur, you know I always love to read your thoughts 😉
    I lost track of the whole WoFat/Shelbourn story and I think so did the writers. They just didn’t know from the beginning where it will lead, that’s why some of the Joe/Steve story went sideways and seems illogical to us!
    I like Joe and I think he never actually had bad things planned for Steve, it just keeps the story going!
    I sometimes feel bad for Steve, being all messed up with his personal stuff, but it’s tv after all and supposed to be entertaining ;-( !
    I still have my hopes that Cath will be the one “Everbody” but I know it most likely will not be! Still licking my wounds !!!


    • I think we are not supposed to be thinking too hard about the story at all. 😀
      Guess we will have to see who are listed as guests for that episode – so even before it airs we night know who will be part of that rescue.


    • gracenotpark

      With you, Buttercup…all your thoughts are also mine. 😉


  3. Lena

    Lots of great thoughts and ponderings there. I can’t think of anything to add other than that I too want some answers and not just more questions. Oh and the continuity person/people on this show must be blind or simply don’t seem to care as the mistakes this season are huge and I see something in every ep of things that disappear/reappear or are just positioned differently in different takes.


    • It is always good when there are still questions in the story – but they could at least show some progress oe something more interesting than, ‘Your mother is off the grid AGAIN’ and ‘Trust me’ and ‘You deserve the truth’, along the way. 🙂


  4. It was good episode, although i didn’t understand why they chose this COTW to bring Joe back to Hawaii. And we had almost the same dialogue (and images) between Steve and Joe. Like Steve, i’m very tired of characters that “talking in circles” and the storyline doesn’t move. It bothers me that writers continue to drag the stories of the most interesting characters. I truly believe that Joe loves Steve, but he keeps hide and lying without a purpose anymore, in my opinion. We don’t have anything new to be eager about Steve and Joe story. At least Steve said he doesn’t trust Joe.
    I have to thank you to adress a subject that people are commenting – Joe as Steve’s father. I’m sorry but like you already said, they built Steve’s story with the myth of John McGarrett and grandfather Steve McGarrett. We connect Steve’s character with that legacy that tie us emotionally, so for me it would be very cruel that whole his life be a lie, and my biggest disappointment about the show.


  5. This is an INCREDIBLE post Foyeur. I love it.. It clears up a lot of questions i has with great answers THANK YOU


  6. To be honest I really lost track about the Joe White/McGarrett family connection. So I am absolutly impressed by your post. Incredible like pommienana said. You’re not only our source of all things O’Loughlin, you’re our 50 source too. Wow. Just wow. And I can’t stop giggling about your Terry/Lenkov talk, pretty sure it’s true :-D.
    I don’t really get what you mean with fake grinding his teeth. It is not really grinding it’s kind of moving or shifting his jaw. He did this once in S3 I think. When McMom left the house with Mick. That was the first time I saw it and I like it. He does it when he is kind of helpless, feels out of the loop but wants to do something.


    • Had a quick look at that scene with Mick again. The small “fake” grind work perfectly there for that scene. It was small in subtle. It was a funny situation and it was spot on to convey his feelings there.
      For me on the pier in a “life & death” situation like that – it did not fit well. I think there are a few options Alex and the director could have gone for him to do to show concern and frustration, to make it more believable.
      But that was just the feeling I got from it. But I am no acting expert and maybe I am missing what they tried to go for there in the scene.
      And as I said before the rest of the scene and the concern I saw there, where spot on and very well done. 🙂




  7. gracenotpark

    Well done post, as always. Thank the gods for you and your intrepid reporter skills, coz the “logic” of this sucker lost me 2 seasons ago. Your posts bring me up to speed…cos Show surely doesn’t! 😆

    I liked Alex’s interaction with Joe at the lake…he had been scared and now Joe is ok, so he relaxed suddenly. His jaw unclenched. And the little jests began. Seemed very macho-normal. 😉


  8. Skye

    Personally I don’t think Alex was ‘acting badly’ wrt the teeth grinding; as a matter of fact, I have noticed a little lisp in his speech ever since Season 5. Nothing major, or very noticeable, but just enough to go ‘hey, what was that?’. Maybe some teeth problems?


  9. AlexOloughlinlover

    season 5 Alex is my favorite double stuffed oreo


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