“Hawaii Five-0” has always had a resident villain. The bad guy everyone loves to hate.
In the classic “Five-O,” Steve McGarrett (Jack Lord) was plagued by Wo Fat (Khigh Dhiegh) from the first episode. In the reboot, McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) battles an enigmatic Wo Fat (Mark Dacascos) from the series premiere until their ultimate face-off in the 100th episode.
The Five-0 team has always had to battle villains; it’s a staple for any police procedural. Yet, I really love the fact that while there are weekly villains, there is also a bigger nemesis — someone who poses more than just a one-time threat, a force the Five-0 team must battle together.
Season five villains were many, but I had a few favorites. Of course, Wo Fat, is at the top of my list, but I also enjoyed watching Columbian drug lord Marco Reyes (Anthony Ruivivar); semi-sadistic internal affairs Detective Coughlin (Robert Knepper); seemingly mild-mannered antique book shop owner Thomas Farrow (Greg Ellis); Grover’s former partner from Chicago, Clay Maxwell (Mykelti Williamson); and Chin’s brother-in-law, Gabriel Waincroft (Christopher Sean).
I can’t say I’m upset or saddened that Reyes was killed by Danno, nor am I upset by the murder of Coughlin in “Pono Kaulike” (“Justice for All”). If there are two villains who really deserve to die, they top my list.
On the flip side, I’m still so angry that Maxwell is free with little to worry about except a very angry Grover (Chi McBride). I hope Grover gets a chance to catch his ex-best friend who murdered his wife during season six. It would be a very satisfying collar.
I did enjoy how Farrow was caught red-handed by McGarrett and his crew, and I was happy Jerry (Jorge Garcia) correctly suspected him of counterfeiting, as it gave Jerry a lot more credibility with the Five-0 team. For once, Jerry didn’t look like the crazy conspiracy theorist he is sometimes made out to be.
I think my biggest villain worry is who is going to become the next Wo Fat. While I’ve already pondered the end of Wo Fat in “Inā paha” (“If Perhaps”), I now wonder who would fill the hole left by his demise.
While the other villains who faced the Five-0 team this year are equally as evil, if not more, no one has come as close to filling Wo Fat’s shoes, other than Gabriel Waincroft (Christopher Sean). Sean was stellar last season, and I know I’m not alone in my appreciation for his strong performance as Gabriel.
Gabriel returned to allegedly help brother-in-law Chin (Daniel Dae Kim) save Danno and his brother, Matt. Danno needed $5.5 million in order to save Matt from Columbian drug dealer Reyes, but the money saved no one as Matt had long been dead. But it did help Danno find some closure.
Gabriel also saved Chin from Coughlin. True, he committed murder to save Chin, but without the death of Coughlin, who seemed to want to bury Chin using any means necessary, Chin would have been in a whole lot of trouble.
Don’t ever forget Gabriel is a true villain. He hasn’t forgotten Chin’s debt and has come forward several times to get him to pay. Most of the time, I’m torn between loving Gabriel, who seems to know when our Five-0 Team needs a bit of help, and hating him for being so underhanded. He does help a lot more than he hinders, even if he is a really bad guy.
At the end of last season, Gabriel really scared me with his showdown with Chin, holding a gun to his head and threatening him at Kono’s wedding, saying, “You owe me a debt.” I know Gabriel is coming back in season six to give Five-0 a few headaches, but how much of it will come to fruition?
With Wo Fat, we now understand why he never killed McGarrett. While he came close on more than one occasion, it was as if his ties to Steve’s mother kept him from killing his brother.
But what is keeping Gabriel from really hurting Chin? Does Gabriel feel some kind of remorse for killing his father, Kam Tong Kelly? Does he still see Chin as an older brother, one who tried to help him long before he was lost to a world of crime and easy money? What really makes Gabriel tick?
Perhaps those are the new questions for season six. And while I’m sad to see Wo Fat go, I’m pleased Gabriel is a villain fans will enjoy watching scheme against the Five-0 team as much as they’ll enjoy watching them work to catch him.
REDUX SIDE NOTE
Don’t miss next week’s repeat, one of my personal favorites, “Poina ʻOle” (“Not Forgotten”).
The episode focuses on a 40-year-old mystery about the disappearance of four reform school boys. The storyline mirrors the real-life story of the Waialeʻe Industrial School and an escape by four boys in 1946.
While the timeline is bumped up to work in 2015, the story is just as heartbreaking for the Five-0 team.
Wendie Burbridge is a published author, playwright and teacher. Reach her via Facebook and follow her on Twitter.