The Steve McGarrett Story
– The Years In Between –
You can read the first part here
And a New Chapter begins in Steve McGarrett’s life. For the first time in many, many years, he starts dating somebody other than Catherine
It is around November 2015 and Steve goes on his first date with Lynn.
Around January 2016, Aunt Deb visits Hawaii to finish her bucket list and she dies with Steve by her side.
Mary and Joanie are with Steve to mourn their Aunt.
On Valentines Day in February 2o16, Lynn finds the proposal ring hidden in Steve’s drawer.
She did not know how serious Steve and Catherine’s relationship was. She did not want to be the rebound girl, but she understood Steve’s explanation and they continue their relationship.
And Steve deletes Cath’s number from his phone …..
But around March 2016, Steve finally gets an honest answer of why Cath left, back then, before he could propose.
And he also now understood why she left so suddenly – she was called on a mission.
Something that he knows very well – being called up at the drop of a hat.
You can see how it happened in …
To Steve’s surprise, he is told that Cath is actually working for the CIA, as a deep-cover agent. And he learns that her life is in danger if they don’t secure a stolen list. Then he (and we) realises, how much she still means to him, despite his relationship with Lynn.
This is Steve’s conversation with Agent Brenner:
Agent: Our engineers were able to identify which files Chris downloaded. The good news is any field ops that have been mentioned have been shut down. Most of the agents have been recalled.
Agent: The bad news is there are still a few deep cover operatives who, at the moment, can’t be reached.
Steve: All right. Well, you’ll be happy to hear that Dalton took steps to encode those files on that drive in such a way that only he can access them. So for now, the information is safe.
Agent: That is good to hear. Of course, no encryption is foolproof. The people that are behind this will throw everything they have into breaking it.
Steve: I’m sure you’re right. But at least we’ve bought ourselves some time to find them. At the very least, time to find those operatives who were potentially compromised now and pull them out of the field.
Agent: Actually, that’s why I’m here. You might be able to help with that.
Steve: How so?
Agent: Your name came up in connection with one of the operatives. The CIA’s been desperately trying to reach her, but they’ve had no luck. I think everyone’s hoping you might have a direct line.
Steve: All right, Brenner. I… I don’t know where Doris is, okay?
Agent: I’m not talking about your mother, Commander. I’m talking about Lt. Catherine Rollins.
Agent: Apparently, she’s called you a few times from a sat phone.
Steve: Yeah, she’s, …. she’s doing aid work in South Asia.
Agent: According to the information that we have, she’s involved in a clandestine operation in Kiev.
Agent: Yes. Do you have any way of reaching her? My understanding is she’s not scheduled to check in with her handler until the end of the week. Of course, the fear is that by then it might be too late. Commander? Do you have a direct line to Lieutenant Rollins?
Steve: No. No, I don’t.
Steve immediately confronts Chris to confirm how secure the list is.
Steve: Tell me again. Tell me again you’re the only one who knows how to unlock those files.
Chris: What? What what?!
Steve: Listen to me, all right? Somebody very important to me is at risk because what you have done. Now, tell me you’re the only one who can unlock those files.
Chris: Yes, yes…
Steve: Are you sure? Are you sure?
Chris: Yes. Yes. I encrypted the file with a 128-bit AES key, and I, … tacked on a few additional security measures. Tr-Trust me, it is secure.
And Chris gets abducted right from under Steve’s nose when they are all drugged.
Steve and the team need to go on a hunt, to find the spies and Chris again.
They take down the spy and secure the files.
Danny: Catherine’s safe.
Steve: Well, I mean, she’s on a covert op in the Ukraine. I don’t know how safe she is.
Danny: Well, you can contact her, right?
Steve: Nope, not while she’s in the field.
Danny: You gonna be angry ’cause she lied to you again or what?
Steve: Yeah. Yeah, I’m angry. You know something, Danny, if I’m honest with myself, I also understand why she did it. I mean, given the circumstances, I probably would have done the same thing.
Danny: Yeah, see, ’cause I think that maybe she just didn’t want you worrying about her. Little hard not to now. I think that she is gonna be fine. She’s gonna be fine. She’s a very tough lady. She can handle herself. Everything’ll be okay.
Steve: Thanks, Danny.
Steve realises what the thing was that Cath needed to do, and he admits that she handled it in the same way he would have done it. He understands …..
Then during the cause of 2016, Steve meets Yao Fat in a CIA black site in Morocco.
Soldier [after taking the blindfold from Steve’s eyes]: Commander, you understand why this was necessary.
Steve: Yeah. Yeah. You don’t want me to know I’m at a CIA black site in Morocco. Come on, boys. 17 hours on a C-5 Galaxy, the smell of saffron and cumin as we drove through the market, the call to prayer from the minaret, and then one of your drivers was speaking in Berber to his wife, apologizing for something he said last night. I just hope that whatever you got on the other side of this door is worth it.
He enters …
Yao: Come… closer.
[He sees the look on Steve’s face]
Yao: So, you do know who I am. You have your mother’s eyes. And her resolve, so I’m told.
Steve: Why am I here?
Then we go to where Steve tells Danny the story:
Danny: Forgive you? For killing Wo Fat?
Steve: Yeah. He said he understood. Said that his son’s obsession with revenge was his ultimate undoing.
Danny: Mmm… So you-you flew all that way for a fortune cookie quote? They don’t got phones in Morocco or what?
Steve: Clearly, it was important to this old man that he looked me in the eye when he said what he had to say.
Danny: Did he mention Doris?
Steve: Yeah. Yeah, he mentioned Doris, briefly. He said that despite my mother’s betrayal, he still loved her. The fact that she looked after his son for as long as she did, whether it was out of guilt or pity or-or a sense of duty… he said he was grateful for that.
This was my comments in my review at the time:
Obviously, the meeting with Wo Fat’s father serves the purpose of adding another dot to be connected in the McGarrett/Fat history and storyline. After all, this story is actually what started it all and should always be part of some focus of the story (in my opinion).
My questions about it however are, why was Wo Fat’s father such a high-value target for assassination 40 years ago? And what made him so dangerous as to go to all the trouble to have him incarcerated for so long under such mysterious circumstances? And what makes him still so important, that they would go to all the trouble to get Steve from the other side of the globe to visit him?
We never really get answers ….
Then later, at around September 2016, after a close brush with death and some time in the hospital to recover from his liver transplant, Steve admits to a total stranger (Ghost?) that he missed out on his one true love ….. Cath.
And that while he has been dating Lynn for the past 10 months ….
I still do not know if this was the “Ghost of Jack Lord Past” or if it was supposed to be a real person; or a figment of Steve’s imagination – but here is their conversation:
Ghost: No, it’s okay. I… I can use the company.
Ghost: My wife’s in surgery.
Steve: Oh, I’m sorry to hear that.
Ghost: She beat cancer a few years back, and put up with me for 45 years, so this should be a walk in the park. Right. What happened to you?
Steve: Work related injury.
Ghost: If you don’t mind me asking, what type of work do you do?
Steve: I’m, uh… I’m in law enforcement. Five-0 task force.
Ghost: I was a cop, too. Long time ago.
Steve: Okay, I’m sorry. You were a cop? You’ve been married for 45 years? What’s your secret?
Ghost: No secret. I just met the right gal. Huh. What about you? You married? Girlfriend?
Ghost: Well, I’m sure the right woman’s out there for you somewhere.
Steve: What if I already met the right woman, and, …… and I couldn’t hang on to her?
Ghost: Then she wasn’t the right woman.
Steve: Yeah, see, I’m not so sure about that. Sometimes it feels like this job of mine has taken everything good from me. I’ve been wearing the badge for six years, and I’m really starting to wonder whether… whether any of it’s worth it.
Ghost: Son, what we do can’t be quantified. Your worth is measured in the closure you bring, the people you save. That’s your real legacy. And the best legacy a man can leave behind is the people whose lives he’s changed. Trust me.
I had some strong thoughts about that episode at the time.
You can read then here:
Later that month in September 2016, Steve meets Harry, a British spy, who knows their world and the sacrifices that Steve and Catherine live with, very well.
Steve acknowledges to Harry (and to himself) what Cath means to him. But that he feels like he has lost her.
Harry: [Talking about his dead wife] She was the only one I ever really let in.
Steve: I got one of those.
Harry: Where is she now?
Steve: I don’t know.
Harry: Any chance of getting her back?
But only two months later at around November 2016, Cath (and with her; also mother McGarrett) walks back into Steve’s life. …
Cath knocks on Steve’s door while he is having Lynn over for a romantic dinner. They have been dating for exactly a year now.
Cath is there to tell Steve about Doris being in trouble.
Cath: It’s about your mother.
Steve: My mother?
Cath: She’s in trouble. Okay, look, I know I have a lot to explain with my leaving, the CIA, all of it. And-and that is a conversation that I want to have with you. But we’re really pressed for time here, so…
Steve: Yeah, yeah, all right. What’s going on?
Cath: All right, so, last night, Doris tried to break Wo Fat’s father out of a CIA black site. The op went sideways. Word is is that they’re holding her until they decide what they’re gonna do with her. And I’m trying to get more information. No one’s talking, and I don’t even know what country the site is in.
Cath: I’m sorry?
Steve: It’s in Morocco.
Cath: How would you know that?
Steve: Because I’ve been there. A couple of months ago, I had a, a sit-down with Yao Fat. And now, I’m realizing that Doris must have orchestrated that meeting so she could follow me out there and learn the location of the site. She used me.
Cath: We got to do something. We got to figure a way to get her out of there.
Steve: No way.
Cath: Steve. I know… she has hurt you. okay, but whatever she’s done, Steve, she is still your mother. Are you really gonna let her spend the rest of her life in a box? Okay, ’cause-cause that’s what she’s looking at right now. Steve… I know you. You don’t help her now… …you will regret it.
The two of them leave on a mission to save Doris.
But not before Lynn tells Cath about the proposal.
Cath: Sorry again for interrupting your evening.
Lynn: It’s all right. Whatever it is sounds serious.
Cath: Well, I have to say you’re being very understanding about this. I mean, because I know out of context, this could look a little weird.
Lynn: Yeah, my boyfriend’s ex who he was gonna propose to, shows up in the middle of our date and now he’s upstairs packing to go on a trip with her?
Cath: Yeah, out of context, that is a little weird.
Lynn: Oh, my God. Oh, my God, you didn’t know. I am so sorry. I didn’t mean to…
On the plane to Morocco, they get a chance to talk …
Cath: Yeah. I wanted to tell you. I did. You were the last person I ever wanted to lie to, Steve. And then when I found out what you did for me, and how… how you came through when my cover was almost blown, I… You saved my life.
Steve: You would’ve done the same for me, Catherine. When did they recruit you?
Cath: When I was in Afghanistan.
Steve: Right, so, last year, when you came to Hawaii... Yeah, yeah.
While they are working on the details of the operation to save Doris, Steve explains to Cath why his mother is doing what she is doing …..
Cath: What the hell was Doris thinking?
Steve: Well, ….. Doris wasn’t thinking. Clearly, this decision she’s made was an emotional one.
Cath: Okay, …. help me out here, ’cause… ’cause I, I don’t understand. .
Steve: Back in the day, Doris was assigned to kill this guy. Now, 40 years later, she’s risking everything to free him.
Steve: Because she never forgave herself for what she did to Yao and his family. I had never seen my mother cry before. She was always so happy, you know? I didn’t understand seeing her like that. It wasn’t until years later, when I learned about her relationship with Wo Fat. Everything that went down… it started to make sense. I started to get it, put the pieces together. I mean, the things my mother has done, the way she betrayed … the operation that killed his wife … she can’t … get past the guilt. The guilt of all that just haunts her. And no matter how much time goes by, no matter how much her life changes, she can’t shake the burden.
Steve reaches his mother in the cell where she was held captive, but they are boxed in and have time to talk …..
Doris: Oh, no, I’m sorry for… I should’ve told you about Wo Fat.
Steve: You know what, Ma? Not really the time for that talk.
Doris: It’s the perfect time. I mean, we’re both kind of stuck here, right?
Steve: Okay. Fine. Why didn’t you tell me about Wo Fat, Mom?
Doris: Because I didn’t think you’d understand and I was too afraid to find out. It was just easier for me to go than to face you, so I left. Went back to the only thing I was ever really good at.
Steve: And three years ago, when you looked me in the eye and you promised me you’d stay, but you left anyway, you knew you were gonna do that, too, didn’t you? You knew and I knew, too. You want to know how I knew?
Doris: No, how did you know?
Steve: ‘Cause you did it exactly the same way you did it all those years before when you left me and Dad and Mary. Exactly the same way.
Doris: I thought it was gonna be the last time I’d see you.
Steve: It was the last time… for a really long time.
Doris: I’m sorry. I’m so sorry, Steven. I… for everything.
Steve: It’s all right, Ma. It’s okay.
Doris: And …. thank you for coming to get me.
The Team manages to get away and Doris is taking Yao Fat to safety on a private plane.
Steve: You, …. you sure this is gonna work?
Doris: There are a lot of secrets in that man’s head. A lot of people at the CIA who still consider him a threat. It’s why they’ve kept him locked up all this time. So, long as he’s out there, they can’t touch me. Or any of you guys for that matter.
Steve: All right. So, …. what happens after that? Then what?
Doris: Then I’ll be able to come home.
Steve: Oh. Okay.
Doris: Seriously, I might… even get a place just down the street from you. Oh, trust me, you are never gonna be able to get rid of me.
Steve: I bet.
Doris: Come here. I want you to know that… everything I did, every decision… I made them for the right reasons. I– no, no, listen. I, at least I thought so at the time. You know? But if you ever want to know more about me, about who I was before, the answers are… waiting for you at home.
Steve: What do you mean?
Doris: Ten paces from the far wall in the study, there’s a loose floorboard. Under that, there’s a lock-box. The combination is 90268. Inside… you’ll find all the answers. Take care of yourself. Okay? What?
Steve: Being a spy wasn’t the only thing you were ever good at, Mom. I love you.
Steve and Cath get to say their goodbyes.
Cath: Hey. So, …. I’m gonna be hitching a ride with them. I got a… a new assignment, and Doris is gonna drop me off on the way.
Steve: Do me a favour, tell me something.
Cath: What’s that?
Steve: Are you happy? Doing what you’re doing?
Cath: Yeah. I am.
Steve: All right, good. That’s good.
Cath: I should go.
Steve: Oh. Thanks for coming to get me.
Cath: You know, just because I’m not in your life, doesn’t mean I don’t still care about you.
Steve: I know, I know.
Cath: See you around, sailor.
[She climbs up the steps, but turn back]
Cath: I know about it.
Cath: I know what you were going to do before I left…. I’m sorry.
Steve: Just, you know, out of curiosity…. If I’d have asked, what would you have said?
Cath: I would have said yes.
Steve nods, with the knowledge that he should have taken Danny’s advice back then and ask Cath to marry him, regardless of whether she was going away at the time or not.
Cath: Hey — Lynn, she seems like a nice girl. I hope that works out. You deserve to be happy.
Steve closes the plane door and you can see that with a lingering touch, he lets his long time love go – once again ……
So by implication, she actually now tells Steve that if he should have asked her to marry him back then, she would have said yes and stayed.
A year and a half wasted? Is it too late for them?
And then we experience another year and a half without any real story about Steve’s personal life – not with Cath of any other of his other family.
Around Valentines time in 2017, we know that he is still dating Lynn, who has at that stage somehow turned into a giggling teenager. #odd
Then in April 2018, fate brings Catherine back to Hawaii on a case.
Steve and Cath are walking alone and she asks him about the new girl Tani and then about Lynn.
And according to Steve, they are, after nearly 3 years, still taking it casually.
Steve: You know, she [Tani] actually reminds me a lot of you.
Cath: How so?
Steve: Well… she’s an Army brat. You’re a Navy brat. You’re both good at your jobs. You both got good hearts.
Cath: Thanks. So, … how’s it going with, … Lynn?
Steve: It’s good.
Steve: Just keeping it casual for now, you know? What about you? You been seeing anybody?
Cath: Oh, you mean besides assets and enemy combatants?
Cath: … it’s kind of hard to keep a relationship going when you do what I do.
Steve: Yeah, I bet.
Cath: But, um… I am dating a little bit.
Steve: That’s great news.
Cath: Thanks. Yeah.
Steve: That’s good.
Cath: Isn’t it great that we can talk to each other about this stuff now?
Steve: It really is. Yeah. Look how mature we are right now.
Cath: So mature.
Steve: Up high. Come on.
Steve: To maturity.
Cath: It’s not all that surprising, really, if you think about it, because… we were really good friends before we got involved.
Steve: Yeah, we were.
Cath: Yeah. I mean, sometimes I think it ruined us.
Steve: Well, we probably shouldn’t have slept together, but, you know…
Cath: Oh, god, huge mistake for the friendship. Yeah. I mean, not that it wasn’t awesome or anything. I’m just saying, probably not the best decision to do for, you know, the friendship…
They do a lot of small talk, but you can see that they are trying to see where the other one is at, at the moment in their lives.
Cath: Were you really gonna propose, or did you just buy that ring in the event that you decided you were gonna propose?
Steve: What do you think?
Cath: Just answer the question!
Steve: Yes, yes, yes. I was gonna propose, Catherine. Yes.
And we end up having the two ex-lovers back as being playful friends.
And maybe a new chapter starts for them?