… Or Why I Still Love Five-0
I bet for many people there is an easy answer to the question “Why do you love Five-0?”. At first glance that would be an easy one for me too. Yes, like for many others, the main draw to the show, and lately even more so, is my love for one actor.
But as I said that would be the easy answer, and as I found out after reflecting on the past seasons, and in particular the last one, not the right answer.
In this season we’re going from a man in love, ready to propose, to a man losing almost everything important to him. The woman he loves and his liver. 😉 That pretty much sucks.
This season could be called “From happily ever after to happy liver after”.
In September 2010 something amazing happened; I fell in love with a TV character. To be honest it has happened before, but not to this degree. Not to this intensity. Never before was there a character that was brought to such life, to such presence like this one was, or better, still is.
The first episode of Hawaii Five-0 is still one of the best pilots of any TV show I have ever seen. For me it is the best. And I can still watch it again and again and still love it just the same.
There was this awesome Navy Officer, coming home to Hawaii to find the murderer of his father. Whose killing we had been a witness to in the first few minutes of the show. Anyone not being shocked by that sudden turn of events, is lying. 😉
That show has such great moments in it, wonderful emotional scenes, funny scenes, and of course a lot of action. It introduced us to a group of people, consisting of one I disliked instantly, one I loved from the start, and one I didn’t buy into. 😉
Danny, what a loudmouthed jerk and horrible detective; Chin, the guy I rooted for, and Kono, a young ‘girl’ I didn’t want to invest my time in. And it took her six seasons to get me on her side. 😉
But back then I loved to hate Danny, loved watching Chin interact with Steve, always hoping to learn a little bit from Steve’s past through him. And even tolerated Kono.
Over the years my ‘love to hate’ turned into disgust about the character, a character who, in my eyes, is the worst written character on TV. Something I do not understand. I don’t understand how they turned him into the biggest ass and jerk walking the TV screens; and still believe he serves a purpose on the show, or that his whining and bitching is any kind of cool. But hey, this editorial is not about Danny. Well, actually it is, but later. Yeah, yeah, this will be a little longer. So, better brace yourself.
This editorial is about season 6 (and season 7) and why I still love this TV show. Oh yeah, I know, there are many people out there who think I’m not a real fan, this is not a real fan page. Many people out there are openly hostile towards me and anyone who dares to point out any flaws of the show. But I don’t really care about such childish idiots. I pity them. What is your ‘love’ worth if you don’t love despite all the flaws? Nothing.
And there are many flaws in Five-0… but also plenty to love.
Oh boy, guess the introduction took a little longer. Yeah, well, ask Cokie, she will tell you I can’t do short. 😉 she tells the truth…
So, let’s start what this reflective editorial should be about… Season 6.
For me, the season started on a high note; Steve and Cath together at a wedding. And Steve made not only Catherine weak in the knees.
I loved seeing them back together. Of course, anyone with half a brain knew it wouldn’t last that long. After all, PL had said their love would be tested. Well, news flash, Mr. Lenkov, testing their love and what we got last season… two very different things. 😉
But despite the ridiculous draw-out of this story-line, I still have faith in this couple. For me, the best one on TV. Not overly mushy; on the contrary, a little bit more would have been nice at times. They just feel real, you know. They are both great characters in their own rights; they don’t need the other to shine. And that is what I love about them.
They are awesome together, but just as awesome when on their own. And they are great friends. The most important part in a relationship that you want to work. Steve and Cath knew each other long before we were ever introduced to Steve.
In The Pilot’s script Steve is on the phone with Catherine when he’s in his dad’s garage. Just before Danny comes in. And again later there is contact again. I guess PL decided to introduce her in person later on. Worked fine with me.
But as I said, from the first contact it was clear that these two had something special. And I want more of that in season 7. I’m rooting for them to be part of season seven’s story-line. Steve will need a lot of support, and not just from his friends. I just don’t want to see him alone at the end of the day. He needs the woman he loves by his side. In all these years there only has been one woman that he truly loves.
Yes, we had some flirting Steve in season 6; a Steve who might or might not have had a one night stand; a Steve who tried to move on. A ridiculous concept right from the start. But to be honest, I actually enjoyed watching this unfolding, because I knew it wouldn’t last.
So, back to the beginning of season 6. I wished we had more time with Steve and Cath, and had time to see their talk that happened off screen.
They were pretty much back to their normal in 6.02; so no one can tell me they hadn’t talked. They surely did before the third episode. Their relationship is too important to the both of them to be happily in bed together without putting the awkwardness aside. Too bad all this happened off-screen. As so many things happen off-screen on Five-0.
But to be honest, I don’t fret about that anymore. I came to terms with the constriction of time they have on a show. Of course, if they cut down on the ridiculous previously-on… they would have time for the one or other actual talk-time. 😉
Let’s stay a little longer with the first three episodes since I think they are really, really important. In my eyes, the lay the land for a dramatic change. And I’m not talking about Catherine leaving. Nope, I’m talking about Steve and Danny. Huh?
Yeah, those three episodes were the beginning of the end of their friendship. “Now she’s gone off the deep end.” I can already hear a few of you yelling that. No, I assure you, I’m of sound mind. Ehm, you might not ask others about that statement. 😉 no comment
Why do I think that? Well, Steve told Danny about an important step he was about to take. And Danny had nothing better to do than blurt it out to the world. OK, to Lou and Chin. But that was wrong on so many levels, I can’t even begin to say how disgusting I think that behavior was. And I’m very sure Steve was equally pissed at him. I do believe that moment damaged their friendship in a way Danny has no idea about.
Personally, I think that was unforgivable. Oh yeah, I remember people saying, Danny only did that because he was so happy for his friend. It’s just how Danny is. Sorry, but no. You don’t do that. Never. Ever. That was Steve’s to tell. No one had the right to take that away from him. I was disgusted and appalled by Danny’s behavior. And according to his look, Steve was too.
But there was another scene that made me mad. Danny talking to Catherine behind Steve’s back. That was the ultimate betrayal. And for something that didn’t achieve anything. The only thing he did was hurt Catherine.
I am sure Steve found out about that too. Steve always knows everything; I am certain he knows that Danny went behind his back like that. As Danny said, Steve would kill him if he found out. So, he knew what he was doing was wrong, but he did it anyway. But instead of literally killing Danny, Steve is cutting down the friendship and partnership. All those hurtful words Danny threw at his so called best friend over the years, has to come back and bite him in the ass at some point.
And I believe that point is season 6.
From there on their relationship was getting more strained episode by episode. Sure, a lot probably has to do with the fact that the actor wasn’t available, but I don’t think that was the only reason.
I never believed that Steve and Danny were such great friends in the first place. Let me explain what I’m talking about. I do believe that they care for each other, that they work great together. But I don’t see them spending time outside of work together. After season one we haven’t seen them doing anything together that wasn’t work related. And in season one Steve spent time with him to learn to know him. That is what you do with your team and partner. But after that, there wasn’t anything.
From then on, there only were work related gatherings. Nothing on a deeply personal level. Not that I can recall. Other than the fact that Steve still took an interest in Grace and helped her. Helping her pace herself on a run comes to mind. That’s right, but that wasn’t for Danny, it was for Grace. So it was… and her father was an absolute a** afterwards! Not just afterwards, he’s been an ass throughout the whole episode.
They both have their private lives, and Steve didn’t share any of that with Danny. In season four he talked about his deep dark secrets with his new friend he only met shortly before. Not with Danny, a guy he worked with for years. That is the difference between Steve’s relationship with Lou and the one with Danny. Lou and Steve have a deep connection. They get each other. Danny doesn’t get Steve. At all.
Steve doesn’t see Danny as a person he could trust his secrets with. He did that in 6.01, and look how that friend repaid him.
Anyway, I think a big part of season 6 was about friendship and trust. Well, it’s a huge part of every season, but even more so this past year. And I think Steve and Danny’s relationship is damaged beyond repair.
Oh, right, I already hear the outcry of how deadly wrong I am. After all, Danny gave part of himself to Steve. So what? I don’t think that is a big deal at all. Besides all his friends were willing to do that. Simply because that is what you do for a dying friend. That has nothing, nothing at all to do with any special bond.
And I will explain later why this act was the last nail in the coffin of their friendship.
But we’re not there yet. Told you this is going to be a little longer. I know what you’re all waiting for, it starts with L and ends with R. But we’re not there yet. Patience. 😉
Getting back to Lou and Steve for a moment. I truly love their friendship. I think that is the one relationship they got one hundred percent right on the show. From being adversaries to best friends. That was possible because they were written right from the start with a great deal of respect for each other. Although Lou didn’t like Steve at first (OK, hated his ass), but he respected him right from the start. And 4.08 was the turning point. And Steve invited him into his inner circle. He actively sought out his friendship.
And I believed Lou when he told Chin he would gladly take Steve’s place. This is a friendship how it should be; they are there for each other, they have each other’s back, on and off work. They just get each other. They have fun ribbing the other, but they do it with a lot of respect and never ever does it feel hurtful, resentful, nasty or plain stupid. This is a friendship where you can feel the love without any grand gestures.
Danny and Steve… I never felt the love. Ever.
You are probably wondering why I’m always coming back to Danny. That is easy to answer, he was a huge factor this season even though he missed many episodes. But that is actually the point.
I’ve never felt as strongly about this character as before. He felt like a foreign object for most of the season. I don’t know if that was intentional or not. I don’t believe it was. I think the writers got lax and simply think Danny’s behavior is funny. It’s not.
For me, he is the most uninspired and boring (I had another word for him, but thought that was too harsh) character on TV. One I would gladly do without. But the question is… would I miss him? Would I miss ranting about him? And more importantly, would the show be any less good without him?
A resounding no to all those questions. I found all episodes without Danny smoother, more rounded than the ones where they tried to fit him in. Face it, Danny doesn’t fit into the show with the schedule the actor negotiated for his contract. And it shows, and totally and completely destroyed the character.
I’ve never been a fan of Danny, I admit that. And I am biased. I know that. But that doesn’t change the fact that he stands out like a sore thumb. He just doesn’t fit into the team anymore. The explanations for his absences are ridiculous, and when he’s there he often really isn’t. And if he’s with the team, he often feels like decoration. He’s just traipsing along, so to speak.
So, sorry, but a character like that harms the show.
And again, this is NOT about the actor. I have no ill feelings towards his person. I wish him health and happiness. But his character is a totally different matter. This season made me wishing for him to be gone. And I am kinda sad about that. Because it seems that the other characters do tolerate or even like Danny to a degree.
Although I do wonder if the roof incident changed that. Professionally I mean. That was another thing that I do believe will have consequences. Steve looked really miffed about his behavior. I don’t think he will forget it. He might not act on it right away. But all those times Danny behaved like an idiot, called him names, disrespected him and his family, made work life a living hell for Steve, will be saved for later use. At some point it will be just too much, and I think Steve has reached that point.
Steve has also reached another point. He finally got his head out of his ass. Well he didn’t do it, but he was told why Catherine really left. It was about damn time. I always hoped that Steve would wake up and realize that there must have been a different reason why she left, other than what she has told him. Now he knows. For me, that was very important. That he knows she didn’t leave him.
Back in 6.03 I think everyone could see that leaving broke her heart. That was not an act. And I do believe that she came back with the intent to stay. Had she no choice but to lie about her mission? I don’t know. I do believe she thought she did the right thing, and I am certain she never ever meant to hurt him.
We had a few pointers that this would go down as it went. In 6.02 she said ‘the job always comes first’, and Steve agreed. That is when most knew she would leave because of a job. But as I said earlier, I want her back, I need her back. But most importantly Steve needs her back. No matter what some believe, Steve loves her. Will always love her. She’s the one. Period.
And there we go into season 7 territory. Cokie will remember that I told her even before season 6 aired it will be the struggle, and finally in season 7 they will be a team again. I still believe that. I just hope we don’t have to wait too long for it. yep, you kept telling me that… I had doubts… and still do. I just don’t trust PL!
There are many other things I could talk about that concerns season 6, like Adam/Kono, Abby or Lynn. But I won’t do that, because frankly they didn’t take up that much time. And are simply not interesting enough to waste my time with.
I will however talk about two things that bugged the heck out of me throughout the whole season.
Number one: previously on. Seriously, I get mad just thinking about all those wasted minutes. We often had two minutes of old material that no one benefits from. And then in addition to that we get another minute of scenery that had nothing to do with the episode. This is getting ridiculous. I understand it saves a lot of pages of dialogue that otherwise needed to be written, but it has taken on ridiculous proportions.
Please stop that in season 7. I’m begging you. Seriously!
Number two: unimportant secondary characters. They are there to round out the team, and the interaction of the team members. I do NOT want to get any more information on them. I don’t freaking care for them even remotely enough to learn anything about all these suddenly reoccurring characters. Even the fathers of these redundant characters.
You know, if you have a scene like with Steve and Max, where he tells about following his dream. That is fantastic, and I love learning that. I wish Max all the very best. But I don’t want to see an episode with Kamekona and his cousin going on a boat trip. Or seeing Kame’s whole backstory. Or Jerry’s sister, Danny’s mother, nephew, whatever. I don’t. I simply don’t want to learn of any of them. They are not interesting. They are boring, and bring nothing to the story telling. They DO take away from the precious little time an episode has.
I sincerely hope we are done with that now. Focus back on the crimes, focus back on the actual detective work, focus back on the actual main characters of this show. Steve, Lou, Chin, Kono, Max and yes, even Danny. There are so many unfinished stories to tell, focus on that.
And don’t even entertain the idea of giving Jerry a badge. That was another thing that was annoying, his constant asking about a badge. Writers, that is not funny, it’s annoying. And if you consider giving him one… that would be an insult to every law enforcement officer. That would be unforgivable. He is not officer material, and he certainly isn’t task force material.
Boy, that felt good. 🙂 So, are we ready to come to the really big one from this season? Liver anyone?
Let’s talk about what you’re all waiting for. The glorious idea of giving Steve a new liver.
Oh boy. What the hell was PL thinking when he wrote this? Some even asked if he was high while doing it. Well, I think he wanted to give season 6 a really dramatic ending, and I doubt he thought this through.
But let’s step back for a moment. Let’s take a look at the episode itself, ignoring the liver for the time being. Yeah, yeah, I know it’s hard, but let’s try.
I have to admit I loved the season finale. It had great and wonderful scenes, lots of action, and I could even live with Danny. To a degree.
Another twist at the end would have made this one of the best episodes, but the liver was just… just no.
For our regular story readers; there is another look at the season six finale coming soon. And I promise, there are no livers being swapped. And there is also a (canon) tie-in to the episode in the works, I just couldn’t take how they treated these major operations.
Because this is not how you look after major surgery, and after bullets have riddled your body. I mean, come on, what were they thinking?! Yeah, right, they probably weren’t. I had to make it right. 😉
So, now we’re stuck with a BAMF McGarrett who might never be any kind of BAMF? I think that was the major concern for most. And of course the repercussions such an operation would have on his life. For the rest of his life.
You know, I’m OK with Steve getting seriously hurt. Be honest, with all those bullets they face in almost every episode, it’s a wonder they still have all body parts. Every injury does have repercussions, some more serious, some minor. But every injury to your body will stay with you in one form or the other. From chronic minor pain when the weather changes, to disabilities due to the injury you suffered.
That is what happens when you break a bone, or get shot, stabbed, or otherwise injured. But those limitations won’t hinder you in your daily life, and they most likely won’t affect you for the rest of your life. Or shorten your lifespan.
A liver transplant is a completely different ball game. Well, that is what pretty much everyone thinks. And every one is right about it. In a way.
Yeah, there is a But. There is always a But. And no, it’s not the usual “this is a TV show, don’t worry”. No matter how often PL tweets it. 😉
What is actually the biggest worry most have? That Steve won’t be able to be the task force leader as we know him, that he would have to leave the Navy.
OK, let’s go at this step by step.
There are three major worries for Steve after the transplant. Rejection, rejection, rejection. What? 🙂
There are three types of rejection:
Hyperacute rejection occurs a few minutes after the transplant when the antigens are completely unmatched. The tissue must be removed right away so the recipient does not die.
Well, this obviously didn’t happen, so, he dodged that risk. Whew…
Acute rejection may occur any time from the first week after the transplant to 3 months afterward. All recipients have some amount of acute rejection.
This is the most dangerous phase, one where the patient is very closely monitored. This is the time Steve would not be able to work. Not even to mention that he wouldn’t work for three to six months due to his injuries from the bullets. But I guess he will overcome that in no time. 😉 Yeah, by September when the new season begins… Cokie can’t keep herself from butting in. 😉
Chronic rejection can take place over many years. The body’s constant immune response against the new organ slowly damages the transplanted tissues or organ.
And this is what will not happen with Steve. Why? Glad you asked. No, not because this is a TV show and our hero will be fine just because of that.
The answer plays right into the question if he can still lead a special task force? Yes, he can. IF… yes, there is an IF. A big one.
If the liver is a near perfect match, if he can be on a very low dose of anti-rejection meds, and if he recovers from the gunshot injuries well. Then he can go back to normal. To his normal. According to studies, about one in 1000 can lead a perfectly normal life. No ill effects, no problems with any side effects from the drugs.
People with liver transplants are allowed to do all sports. They can swim, run and even do martial arts. Fighting shouldn’t be on a competitive level though.
All this will be possible for Steve because he didn’t need a new organ because of an illness, but because of a traumatic injury. That makes a huge difference. With a damaged liver due to an illness, the whole body would be in poor health. That is not the case with Steve. That is a huge factor for his outcome.
The latest studies show that with modern medicine no steroids are given, which is a blessing since many negative side effects won’t be in Steve’s future.
If he is really lucky he will be part of the low percentage group that won’t have to take any anti-rejection meds (immunosuppressant drugs) after 12 to 24 months. That actually only happens with liver transplants. Because after a year the chronic rejection possibility can decrease to zero.
The liver is the only organ that can adapt to the new body, so that some of the recipients don’t need medication later on. Of course, Steve will be one of them.
All this is not the norm, but the exception. But according to studies (data from Johns Hopkins, Walter Reed and Mayo Clinic) it does happen. And with new discoveries of new meds more often than just a few years ago.
So, the chances that Steve will be back to his normal are there. And since this is TV he will be back to normal. And it won’t be total science fiction to boot.
What is the next big concern? That he would have to leave the Navy.
Well, that is also not going to happen. No disability or even a liver transplant is a sure way to be discharged.
There is a process to follow. His doctor refers him to the board, they will review his case and interview Steve to learn his wishes and hopes.
Options: discharge – honorable (needs to fulfill criteria, Steve does)
Other than honorable (that is NOT dishonorable)
Inactive for the time until he gets better (not an option for Steve)
Retraining according to his condition, keeping the current status
Most likely for Steve: staying in the Reserves, but not with the ability to travel. I’m sure they would want to keep him; therefore, they will find an opportunity in Hawaii with NI he could be activated to.
He will never be activated as a SEAL though, but he will be able to stay in the reserves. But in a very different capacity. They might find a post for him on Oahu, he would have to do a RFT, and the doctors had to agree. But one thing is for sure, travelling the world, going on missions will not be in his future with the Navy, whatever that future might hold for him.
But, honestly, when did we see Steve in uniform last? That was years ago.
Some even wondered if he retired after 4.21.
I don’t think much will change. Steve can stay in the reserves, but he won’t be called to active duty. And we won’t see any reserve drills. But I’m sure they will find a job he could do if they would ever need him.
And actually, Steve wasn’t with the SEALs when he started Five-0, he was with NI. So, even if he would be called to active duty, that wouldn’t be with the SEALs anyway. He can sit in an office for Naval Intelligence, or work a case on Oahu. But frankly, that will not happen, with or without liver.
I doubt they will address this at all. They haven’t addressed his status the last years, why should they now?
In real life, Steve wouldn’t have transferred from active duty to reserves in a blink of an eye in the first place. There is a process to follow, it takes quite some time. And the Navy wouldn’t have agreed to just let him go from one day to the other. And even if he finally would be a reservist, he would have to attend regular drills. One weekend a month, two weeks a year. And after five years going active for a full year. They ignored pretty much all of it.
But hey, that’s OK. That is something I can overlook.
So, Steve can keep his uniform and his rank and benefits.
And he will be able to perform his duties as the head of the governor’s task force.
Does any of this make this liver transplant a good idea? HELL NO! It is still the most stupid idea I have ever heard. Giving your main character of your action show an organ transplant? That is just outrageous. But on the other hand, shit does happen. And people do get seriously injured on the job all the time.
Besides, this is a TV show known for ignoring facts. Or pick the facts that fit their writing. Yes, there are rare cases where people are in no way negatively affected by their transplant. Where they have no ill effects.
Let’s all just hope that Steve is one of those ‘one in a million’. The ration IS lower than that, by the way. 😉
Let’s talk a moment about what is still to come. Season 7 and beyond. Yeah, I’m a firm believer in ten seasons. Yeah, laugh it up, we’ll talk again in a few years.
I think season seven will be the best. Why? Because they will ignore the physical trauma, at least for the most part and hopefully focus on the emotional and mental impact it would have on the both of them.
Danny will not be able to handle it. He will leave at the end of this season. That is why I think him being a donor will be the end of their friendship as we know it. (Yes, I do believe that despite all the so called spoilers of them getting even closer. Don’t believe everything that is posted quoting PL to cater one part of the fandom.)
Cath will be back. And they will give us awesome action, more McGrover and great scenes with an introspect Steve where AOL will blow us away with his acting.
Of course, future SEAL adventures with the Navy are not in his books. Flashbacks would still be really good. I hope for an episode like that.
So, yeah, after two weeks I’m back in good spirits despite the liver disaster.
And at the end of all this the Quote of the Year: “If this liver comes with your negative attitude, I swear to God I’m gonna cut it out myself.”
During my research I found some really strange things about liver transplants. And no, I did not do my research on Wikipedia. 😉
This I found most promising and it gave me a great idea. If all fails Danny can donate bone marrow to Steve: Bone marrow transplant can replace the transplant recipient’s immune system with the donor’s, and the recipient accepts the new organ without rejection. The marrow’s hematopoietic stem cells—the reservoir of stem cells replenishing exhausted blood cells including white blood cells forming the immune system—must be of the individual who donated the organ or of an identical twin or a clone.
So, when do you think they will come up with a Steve clone? No, no, no… the way they are going, they will make Steve a Danny clone. “Invasion of the Rogue Body Parts”. Ugh! Or hey, maybe all this is the alternate universe. How cool would it be if Wo Fat wasn’t really dead, and all this was just Steve still hallucinating in the hospital. PL do you hear us?
As Jean-Luc Picard used to say: Make It So. I gotta say… that would be totally cool…