The Steve McGarrett Story
– The Beginning of the End –
This is the last piece of my chronological account of the story that the show gave us over the years – up to now.
Hope I did not omit any parts of the personal story arc.
We start this next phase in Steve’s Story, with Episode 8:24.
Although he did not get credit for writing this episode, it is listed as a story by Alex O’Loughlin himself – the man behind our hero, Steve McGarrett.
How much of the content and storyline of the episode was part of his suggestion? We don’t know. But I guess they would not have credited Alex if it was not a big part of it.
It is around May 2018 and Steve and Junior go on a mission with Junior’s old SEAL team. They have another target, but part of the mission is to help extract Joe from that location, in Nigeria.
During this mission, we also realise how much Steve and Junior mean to each other. (But that is a story for another day)
Along with this present mission, we get to see flashbacks of how Steve remembers what Joe means to him. In the flashbacks, we see the two of them on a mission way back in 2002.
(It was 18 years ago, Steve was around 25 years old, and been a Navy SEAL for 2 years)
Steve is wounded and Joe is saving his life and keeping him alive, with the hope of future and past loved ones – his future lover Cath and his forgotten father, John.
Joe: Let me ask you something. That girl, Catherine… what’s the deal there? That ever gonna happen?
Steve: What do you mean?
Joe: I mean… I’ve seen the way she looks at you. It’s very clear the feeling’s mutual. What are you waiting for, Steve?
Steve: She’s a lieutenant. We work together. We’re friends. I don’t want to screw that up.
Joe: She’s smart. She’s pretty. She can assemble a rifle in under 30 seconds in the dark. Not asking her out is a screw up.
Steve: You need to leave me here.
Joe: No. I’m fine.
Steve: Stubborn son of a bitch.
Joe: We’re gonna make it through this, both of us. I made a promise.
Steve: What are you talking about? A promise to who?
Steve: There’s 20 of them and two of us. We’re gonna be dead in a couple minutes.
Joe: We’re not dying today, son. But I want you to promise me two things. When we make it back, I want you to ask Catherine out. And I want you to visit your dad, and I don’t want to hear you say no, either. That’s how you pay me back for this. You got one father, and despite what you may think, that man loves you.
Steve: Okay, Joe. Okay, Joe.
After they survive the present day rescue mission, Steve visits Joe in hospital and he reminds Joe of that time back in 2002 and what those promises he made Joe, mean to him. He said that making Cath part of his life and visiting his Dad, meant more to him than being saved from death.
Steve: Listen, when we were in Afghanistan, you said you made a promise to keep me alive.
Joe: I’m surprised you remember that. You were pretty out of it.
Steve: I remember. And it wasn’t till years later that I realized that promise you made, that was to my mother, wasn’t it? Of course, at the time, I thought she was dead.
Joe: Even if I hadn’t promised her, I would never have left you there.
Steve: I know that. You know, the day I got back, I asked Catherine out.
Steve: Yeah. Then I went to see my dad, too. Because of you, I got to spend some great time with him before he was gone. Thank you for that. More than saving my life, thank you for that.
Then in September 2018, another woman enters the story.
But she’s actually been there all along and shares a history with Steve, from before Catherine – she is Agent Greer
We also learn via Danny, that by now, Steve’s relationship with Lynn is over, when he suggests that Steve and Greer should rekindle their old acquaintance.
Greer and Steve shared some sexual interlude many years ago, but it ended when he was deployed. And she kind of blames Steve for the two of them never getting back together again. She also mentions, that she met Catherine once and that she knows that the two of them were an item.
Steve: Listen, thanks for coming.
Greer: Of course.
Steve: I just figured after Morocco, maybe…
Greer: I’d never want to see you again? Don’t flatter yourself, Steve. We spent two days of R&R in a Marrakesh fleabag. I didn’t expect you to propose.
Steve: Okay, well, I really did get deployed, just so you know.
Greer: I found your note.
Steve: Good. Everything I wrote in that note was true.
Greer: Except the part about seeing each other again.
Steve: Yeah, my life got a little complicated.
Greer: Yeah, I know. Lieutenant Rollins and I ran into each other a few years back. But you didn’t ask me here to talk about old times.
It soon becomes clear that Greer is a double agent and she is the mole in the CIA who is causing a lot of undercover agents to be killed.
They set a trap for her and she is caught and arrested by the team for betraying her country.
When Steve drops Greer off to be transported to the mainland, she threatens him ….
Greer: For what?
Steve: No American has ever been charged under the Espionage Act. It looks like you’re gonna be the first.
Greer: Do you remember Marrakesh, Steve?
Steve: What’s that got to do with anything?
Greer: It’s actually what we did before we jumped into bed. I always worried our enemies would know it was us, and retaliate, but I had the comfort of knowing you never would have implicated me, as I’m sure you knew that as long as we were on the same side, I wouldn’t implicate you.
Steve: You threatening me?
Greer: Just stating the facts. Facts.
Steve: You know as well as I do, we were just following orders.
Greer: That won’t matter to the people who want answers.
In December 2018, less than 3 months later, there are simultaneous assassination attacks on the members of Steve and Joe’s old SEAL team, who took part in a specific mission. Steve survives the attack on his life.
Steve and Joe are really quick to figure out who sold them out – Greer.
Steve: I know why I was targeted. This is blowback from an operation that I was on back in 2002. I was part of a six-man SEAL team; we went into Morocco, we took out a high-value target. Over the last 24 hours, three of my team have been assassinated. Myself, Joe White, and another SEAL by the name of Cole are the last men standing.
However, they do not know who was trying to kill them. Steve visits Greer in jail and she admits to her betrayal. She also takes the bait that Steve sets for her, when he tells her that Joe was still alive, and that he did not die earlier that year in Nigeria.
On Joe’s farm, Steve, Joe and Cole are preparing to defend themselves against the assassins. While they are setting up their defences, Steve finds a picture of the new woman in Joe’s life and they get a chance to talk about love and happiness.
Joe: Steve, don’t wait.
Joe: Don’t wait as long as I did to find someone. I sat out too long. I don’t want that to happen to you.
They kill all the attackers, but not before Cole dies and Joe gets mortally wounded. And then the Five-0 team, tells them who is behind the attack.
Steve: Omar Hassan is the son of the high-value target we took out on that operation in Rabat, 2002. He was about ten years old then.
Not only do they hear who was behind the attack, but we also learn that Greer was the actual villain during that mission when Hassan’s dad was the target that they killed. She forced them to go on a mission, where there were innocent women and children involved.
Joe realizes that he is dying and he and Steve use the time to reflect …..
Steve: There’s something I never thanked you for. Joe, I never thanked… There’s something… Yeah? I never thanked you for Carlsbad.
Joe: Carlsbad? What are you talking about?
Steve: My first week in military school, when I stole that car.
Joe: Why would you go and do-do a dumbass thing like that?
Steve: Well, gee. I don’t know. I thought my mother was dead, my father just… shipped me off like I was a parcel. I don’t know, I just… I wanted to get the hell out of there, get back to Hawaii any way I could. You know?A 16-year-old kid gets pulled over in a stolen car, you don’t– That doesn’t just go away. You don’t just walk away. I figured somebody made a call. Pretty sure that was you, right?
Joe: Now that you mention it, it does sound familiar. Your mother had people watching you. When she got word of the arrest, she reached out to me. Called in a few favors. I was-I was happy to do it.
Steve: Yeah, well. That night… changed the course of my life, Joe. If I hadn’t have gotten off with that warning, I-I never would have gone on to the SEALs. To Five-0. I realized that night that somebody believed in me. Even though I’d given up believing in myself. That’s it. That’s what I had to thank you for.
Joe: Have you lost your mind, son? You’ve thanked me every day since, with the man you’ve become. With the work you’ve done. Don’t you see that…
Steve: Joe, I got you. I got you. ….. I got you. I got you.
Joe: Listen. Listen… The way I… looked out for you, that’s the way that you… watch over the people in your life now. I couldn’t be prouder of the man you’ve become.
Steve: We’re gonna get him, Joe. You know that, right?
Joe: Of that I have no doubt.
It is about a month later, around January 2019 and Steve is still on the farm, trying to get information about the whereabouts of Omar Hassan.
It is clear that Steve must have contacted Catherine to help him with his mission of revenge for Joe.
(I guess somewhere along the line, he saved her number on his phone again.) 😉
She is already there on the farm to help Steve when Danny arrives to check on Steve. Once they establish Hassan’s location, they meet up with the rest of the team – Junior, Wade and Harry also form part of this group in Steve’s operation.
On the plane to Africa, Steve and Cath have some time to talk. She sees that Steve was deep in thought, while he is thinking of what Greer actually wanted from him, back in the time of their short affair.
(But what is also clear from the date on this flashback of him with Greer, and what we know of Steve’s flashback of his mission with Joe in 2002, is that Steve and Catherine became a couple very soon after this affair with Greer.)
Cath: Where’d you just go?
Steve: I don’t know, I’m just, … I’m just thinking we’re doing all this stuff to get this guy, Hassan, and for good reason. But at the end of the day, I get it … I totally get it. I understand why he did what he did. He’s avenging his father’s death. I would have done the same thing. But he wouldn’t have been able to do that if it wasn’t for Greer. Greer’s the one who sold out her country, who turned on her people.
Cath: We’ll find her. Hassan worked with Greer. He might be able to tell us what rock she’s under. But if he can’t, then we just keep looking. And we keep looking until. Okay, we owe Joe that much.
Cath: And I’m in this with you until the end. Okay?
Very appropriately, Harry is there to help them set up the operation. Harry finds it amusing that his plan involves Cath and Steve pretending to be a married couple. At this stage, he must already be aware that the woman Steve talked about back when they met in 2016, must have been Cath.
They all joke around about the pretend marriage.
Cath: Wait. Hate to be that girl, but, … I don’t have anything to wear.
Harry: I took the liberty of purchasing something suitable earlier today. Oh, and, …. for the purposes of this operation… you two… are married.
Gutches: Aw… isn’t that sweet. Mazel tov.
Steve: I do.
But during the preparations, Steve is pensive.
Steve: Joe’s death is my fault.
Cath: No. Don’t do that.
Steve: You asked, I’m telling you. He took a bullet for me, I couldn’t save him.
Cath: And had it been the other way around, you would have taken that bullet for him. That’s what we do for the people we love. It was Joe’s choice, okay? He wouldn’t want you feeling responsible.
Steve: But the fact is, if it wasn’t for me, he wouldn’t be dead. If I was able to see Greer for the threat that she was, Joe wouldn’t be dead, right? But I couldn’t see that ’cause I had a blind spot for her. Cath, there’s something you need to know. Before you and I started dating, Greer and I…
Cath: I know. I know.
Steve: What do you know?
Cath: Years ago, I was at the Pentagon, doing an Intel briefing.
[Cath thinks back to that coversation]
Greer: “Lieutenant Rollins. Listen, just so this isn’t awkward, I heard you’re dating Commander McGarrett. And I just want you to know that I am really happy for you.
Greer: One… piece of advice, though; you might want to temper your expectations. As much as we all want him to be, he’s… just not the type to ever settle down.
Steve: You knew about me and Greer all this time and you never said anything?
Cath: It was before we started dating. And I didn’t believe anything she said about you anyway.
Did Cath always have it in the back of her mind – that Steve would never commit and settle down?
Is that one of the reasons she felt she needed something more for herself?
They track down Hassan at the place where he lives with his wife and kid. The wife and kid are present when Steve and the team apprehend him, after Junior shot him in the shoulder.
Hassan: Don’t make the same mistake Commander White made when you people killed my father. If you let me live, I promise… you’ll regret it.
Steve [referring to Hassans’s son]: Is that what you want? Is that what you want for him? Why would you want that for him? So he can relive the same cycle? All over again?
Hassan: Do it!
Steve: No. I want something else out of you.
We don’t get to see it, but obviously, they get the information from Hassan and Steve and Catherine track Greer down in China, and they confront her….
Greer: Finally. We’re all together again.
Cath: Yeah. But not for long.
Greer: And after all the good advice I gave you.
Steve: Why don’t you explain something to me? Help me understand. You turn against your country. You give up the names of men and women that you’ve served with, knowing full well they would die. What amount of money could have possibly made that worth it?
Greer: Maybe it wasn’t just about the money, Steve. Maybe there were… other factors.
But before we could hear what other factors she meant, Greer pulls the gun on Steve, and Cath kills her. Was she just a woman scorned, or was there more to her comment? Is she implying that she became a traitor because of Steve choosing Cath over her?
We know Steve is gorgeous, but that sounds like a bit much?
On their return back home, Wade Gutches offers Steve some advice.
Wade: My advice to you, though; find yourself a good woman, a boring hobby, and … first chance you get, retire.
Steve: All right. I’ll give that some thought.
Wade: No, you won’t. Joe would’ve been proud of you, kid. I know I am.
Steve: Thanks, Gutch.
And Cath says her goodbyes.
Steve: So, what’s next for you?
Cath: Back to the grind. You know, protecting the homeland. Chasing bad guys. Yada yada yada.
Steve: Thank you so much, Catherine. We couldn’t have pulled this off without you
Cath: He was a great man, Steve. We both owe him a lot.
Steve: You still don’t know, huh?
Cath: What do you mean?
Steve: Joe wasn’t just my mentor. A father figure. He brought you into my life, Catherine.
Steve: Let’s just say I, …. I took some good advice from an old friend.
Cath: I’m really glad you took his advice.
Steve: I am, too.
Cath: You take care of yourself, okay?
Steve: You, too, kid.
Cath: Hey. Till next time….
There is no real reason for Steve to mention to Catherine that Joe was instrumental in them ending up having a relationship, but he chooses to tell her that at this time, after she said that they both owe Joe a lot.
Since that time back in Episode 8:24, it seems to be an important thought at the back of Steve’s mind – knowing what their relationship means to him in his life.
They have both offered up a lot in the service of their country and to help the people they met along the way.
In May 2019, as I direct consequence of that revenge mission on Hassan, there is an assassination attempt on Steve’s life.
Hassan’s wife uses her little body to get close to Steve at his office.
She fails in her attempt to shoot Steve, but wounds Jerry in the process.
It is unclear what happened to her or the boy after the incident.
Later that year in October 2019, Steve is contacted by the CIA and ordered on a rescue mission to extract his mother Doris from Mexico.
It is a ‘do or die’ mission.
Eight weeks later in November 2019, Doris dies in Steve’s arms, while he presumed her to be a traitor to him and to the country.
In the end, he was left with only a few consoling words
– Your mother stayed on target till the end. She did her job, Commander.
You can read my thoughts on the episode here:
This means Steve now tragically lost both his father figure and his mother in less than a year …..
A month later in December 2019, a ghost from the past emerges, in the form of Daiyo Mei.
She arrives in Hawaii, claiming to be Wo Fat’s wife. She recently escaped from a Chinese prison, where she was doing time for trafficking illegal weapons.
It looks like she wants something from Steve. What is her mission in Hawaii? What will she reveal from the past or is she just here for business?
Now, in March 2020, with a lot of pacing at night and voices of the dead haunting his days, we realize that Steve is reflecting on his life.
While digging up some of those old memories of his father, Steve receives a call from Doris’s barrister in London. She left him a package that will be hand-delivered to him, on her order of 4 months after her death.
And now we are at this moment in time before the last chapter.
And to recap….
Was born in Hawaii. He lived and grew up there with his parents John and Doris McGarrett and a sister Mary. His mother was a teacher and his father a cop.
At the age of around 16, his mother tragically died in a car crash later to be revealed as a bomb. He was shipped off to military school on the mainland. He made the Navy his career and family when he became a Navy SEAL. He worked for Naval Intelligence until his best friend Freddie died on a mission and his father was assassinated.
On return, he realized that he would need to investigate his father’s murder himself and on invitation by the Governor of Hawaii, he forms a task force to solve the case. He stays on to solve crimes in Hawaii. His team becomes his family.
His sister Mary and her adopted daughter Joanie visits occasionally.
Over time, he was confronted by a man named Wo Fat, who orchestrated the murder of his father. Later he realized that their lives intertwined and that his mother never died. He brings her back to Hawaii. But after a while she moves away again, to carry on with her life as a spy.
After being tortured twice by Wo Fat for information he did not have – he eventually manages to kill him.
During his years in Hawaii, his Aunt Deb, who raised his sister Mary, dies.
Steve loses the love of his life and never really finds someone to replace her.
Tragically his mentor and friend Joe and his mother, both die in his arm in less than a year. And on top of that and his stressful job as leader of the Governor’s task force, he also survived two assassination attempts on his life in the past year.
Steve is now in his 40’s. Hawaii and his work and friendships there, has been his life for the past 10 years – but will that remain to be enough for him? With all the tragedy that his family and career brought him, he seems to be tired and he lost out on personal peace and happiness as a man.
Which of all these matters that we mentioned along the way, will connect with the other at the end of Steve’s Story?
Will, there be more heartache and just more questions left?
What will life still throw at Steve and what will his decisions about it be?
On 3 April we will get our answers ….. or not 😉
And just as an afterthought, I want to take you back to the title of the first part in the series of three post that I made.
Think about the meaning of the words of this old saying.
– “If you love someone, set them free. If they come back, they’re yours; if they don’t, they never were.”What does the saying mean?If you are in a situation, where you will have no choice, but to let that person go. In that time apart, they will either miss you and reconnect and rekindle the relationship, or they’ll stay gone.So yes, if someone comes back to you after setting them free, that means they loved you enough, to get back to you…..
I will leave you with the words of the men who love and know or knew Steve the best, and who are/were the closest to him in his life:
2002 – Joe:
“I’ve seen the way she looks at you. It’s very clear the feeling’s mutual. What are you waiting for, Steve? Not asking her out is a screw up.”
2010 – Freddie:
“I’ve seen you with Lieutenant Rollins. That’s the real deal, man. Try not to mess it up.”
2015 – Danny:
“Steve has been very happy since you’ve been back. Look, I have no idea what he was like before I met him, but I can tell you now, that he is the best version of himself when you are around.”