Last fall when “Hawaii Five-0” aired their 100th episode, “Inā Paha” (“If Perhaps”), many deemed the much anticipated episode as a tour de force for the weekly drama. This week, the episode will air again on CBS, and while fans are excited about the replay— I find myself thinking more about sin.
Not just everyday sin— the seven deadly sins. One element I really enjoy about “Hawaii Five-0” is how their storylines reflect topical issues of the day, as well as good old-fashioned murder, and mayhem. And the drama is always steeped in at least one of the seven deadly sins. So it is always satisfying to watch the Five-0 team catch the villain, no matter how sinful or deadly they are.
The 100th episode was perhaps heavier in some sins than others, but there was a definite play on the sins of envy, pride, wrath, greed and gluttony, as well as a lust for power. Sloth is not as obvious, but it would not take much to add one more to the mix.
While the episode took us through an alternate vision of McGarrett’s (Alex O’Loughlin) life, it also gave us a dramatic conclusion to his relationship with Wo Fat (Mark Dacascos). If we look at the episode through the theme of the seven deadly sins, we can see how our heroes and villains are all victims of sin— and often in more ways than just one.
Envy is also known as jealousy, and while envy doesn’t seem as much of a sin as say greed and gluttony, it is probably one of the most common of sins. I see the most envy in Wo Fat, as he tries to control and manipulate McGarrett, all in order to find his father. There also seems to be a bit of envy on McGarrett’s face as he watches video images of himself as a young boy playing on a beach with his baby sister and his father, John McGarrett (William Sadler). The envy is not spiteful, but sad, as he is envious of his younger self being able to spend time with his father.
While McGarrett may have been envious of the time he no longer has with his father, it was his pride that kept him from his father before John was killed. McG having too much pride to tell his father how much he needed him growing up or even, when he joined the Navy, and become his own man— his pride that kept his father at arms length. While it took John’s death to perhaps show McGarrett how much he loved his father, sadly it took Wo Fat’s torture of him to realize how much missed John being in his life.
GREED AND GLUTTONY
Wo Fat is the biggest sinner when it comes to greed and gluttony. While greed is the sin of excess, so is gluttony the sin of excessive desire. Both deal with overindulgence or overconsumption. Usually greed deals with money, which is probably true in Wo Fat’s case, but in this instance, Wo Fat just goes overboard with his torture and brutalization of McGarrett. Yet, like most sinners, it is Wo Fat’s selfish and excessive desire to control McG that causes him to lose in the end.
Sloth is the hardest sin to wrap my head around, but perhaps one way to look at sloth, or the sin of inaction, is with the phrase “evil exists when good men fail to act.” While we love McGarrett, perhaps his failure in not going after Wo Fat, or finding out the truth of his mother— obviously, not completely his fault—caused the evilness that Wo Fat perpetrates upon him to happen. It’s a bit of a stretch for the sin, because no one wants to think McGarrett is lazy or as someone who just sits around and waits for evil to arrive. Still, when McG is faced with Wo Fat he does react with nothing short of swift action— so the sin is short lived.
Lust in this case has nothing to do with sexual desire, this has to do with a desire for ultimate power. We can see that Wo Fat has the strongest case of lust— desire for power, information, and strength over McGarrett. Yet, McG also has the same desire to overpower Wo Fat, and find out the truth about his mother and the connection between them. In one sense Wo Fat’s lust is beyond that of desire, but something that overlaps into greed and gluttony, while McGarrett’s lust for knowledge is based in a desire for truth in his life.
This is the strongest sin in this episode, and it rages hot and unrelenting throughout. Wrath is, of course, anger, but it is also violence, hate, and revenge. Wo Fat and McG show enough of all these emotions to fuel several episodes. We could say that their entire relationship has its foundation in wrath— McG wants revenge for Wo Fat having a hand in killing his father and Jenna Kaye (Larisa Oleynik), and Wo Fat wanting revenge for the death of his mother and anger at not knowing about his father. Perhaps Wo Fat’s deep anger comes from the death of his real mother and how his adoptive mother was ripped from his life. There is a lot of anger in both McG and Wo Fat, and both had to face that anger in a very dramatic way once the truth of their connection was revealed.
Sadly, only one man was able to survive that confrontation. Fortunately, it was our hero, McGarrett, who lived through their showdown. I suppose when anyone has to face their own sins, they may live, but not always in one piece. McGarrett still deals with the repercussions of facing Wo Fat and the visions he was able to see while Wo Fat drugged and tortured him. We can only hope that the sins of one man does not have to impact the other, without some kind of relief, in the near future.
Wendie Burbridge is a published author, playwright and teacher. Reach her via Facebook and follow her on Twitter.