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Five-0 Redux

A death in the family

  • CBS
  • CBS


Last week’s truly epic season six finale— has me in serious mourning. It’s the kind of deep grief which has got me wearing black every day and on the verge of tears as if I had lost one of my own family members. I am at a loss for words when someone asks me– “Are you okay?”

Because how do I explain to another rational human being that I am so very sad about the death of a television character? And the villain, no less?

But it’s true folks, I am really devastated by the death of Gabriel Waincroft, and the departure of actor Christopher Sean, from “Hawaii Five-0.” Seriously and completely wrecked by it.

I know– he’s the villain and in the case of “good vs. evil”– villains are supposed to die, be defeated, and/or be sent to prison by the heroes. I know this. I am an educated, logical person– I work, I drive, I vote, I use my brain for good– I GET IT.

Yet, still. After a week– I’m still so upset.

Really, “Hawaii Five-0,” do we always have to kill off those we love? Since season one every finale episode has killed off a character– and some I’ve been fine with, and others just left me saying– why?

Let’s break it down, shall we?

Season one: Laura Hills (Kelly Hu) is killed in a car bomb by then-Governor Jameson (Jean Smart), who is then shot by Wo Fat (Mark Dacascos), and McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) is framed for her murder.

Now, while I understood the story– killing Laura Hills seemed weak, but perhaps I was swayed by Kelly Hu being on a show filmed in her hometown. Hu is Native Hawaiian, born and raised in Hawai’i (she and Dennis Chun, who plays Sgt. Duke Lukela, are both alumni of the Kamehameha Schools, where students must prove their Hawaiian ancestry to attend). The killing of the Governor seemed like that should have been the only death, and I could have lived with that one alone.

Season two: Capt. Fryer (Tom Sizemore) is killed, Max (Masi Oka) is seriously wounded, Chin’s wife Malia (Reiko Aylesworth) is shot and eventually dies in the season three opener. Kono (Grace Park) is dumped into the ocean her hands tied behind her back and her mouth taped shut, at the same time Malia is shot.

I loved her Malia and I was so happy when she married Chin. I was also sad to see her go. But not as sad as I am about her brother. I may have to get myself checked.

Season three: Michael Noshimuri (Daniel Henney) is killed when, attempting to shoot Kono, he is stopped by his brother Adam (Ian Anthony Dale). This causes Adam and Kono to go on the run to escape Michael’s Yakuza associates who want Adam dead.

Yes, Michael was so so naughty, and actor Daniel Henney was super easy on the eyes– but I was fine with his death– as long as Adam was okay. I would trade any tattooed and good-looking bad guy to keep Adam alive. No question.

Season four: Bad guy Ian Wright (Nick Jonas), who kidnapped Lou’s (Chi McBride) daughter Samantha, is shockingly murdered by Wo Fat.

I was so happy about Ian Wright’s death– I sang Hallelujahs for a week. I might still be singing about it– if I wasn’t so immersed in my season six grief. I really did not like Ian Wright. Or maybe I’m not a Jonas fan. Nick Jonas was about as believable as a villain, as Michelle Krusiec, who plays Michelle Shioma, is as a female Yakuza boss. Or perhaps Jonas just needs to take a few villain training sessions from Christopher Sean. He makes being a bad guy look so amazingly good.

Season five: No one close to Five-0 is killed in this episode– but the entire island is threatened with a nuclear bomb.

No deaths– except for a little part of my soul when they made it seem like it was a pretty standard day in paradise for Five-0 to find a nuclear weapon in a Waikīkī Trolley.

Season six: Gabriel (Christopher Sean) dies on the operating table, after being shot by a meth head in the abandoned building where he was hiding from the Yakuza.

Again– in case you haven’t  been reading carefully– I am not happy at all about this death.

So– I’m back to my original question– why? When McGarrett killed Wo Fat (in the 100th episode, “Inā Paha”), the consensus was that the Wo Fat storyline had run its course and that there was nothing left for his character to do– except continue to seek revenge against McGarrett. And while I love Mark Dacascos, I suppose if for five seasons all your character does is play cat and mouse with McG in order to get revenge, it probably gets old.

I’m still fuzzy on why Wo Fat was seeking revenge. Oh, right the murder of his mother by Doris McGarrett, who then left her family to raise him because she felt guilty. But in last week’s season finale we got to see McGarrett being brought before the senior Fat (billed as “Old Man” and played by George Kee Cheung) and while he said very little, except to comment about Steve having his “mother’s eyes”– he sent for McGarrett to forgive him for killing his son.

I suppose this means that the Wo Fat plot door is finally closed– but Doris, and all the answers she has held all these years– that door is still flapping in the breeze. I had hoped that if any storyline was going to end this season, it would have been the Doris story, but I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what season seven holds for the McGarrett ʻohana.

It still doesn’t help to answer my questions about why Gabriel was killed. Unlike Wo Fat, who had five seasons in which he tortured McGarrett and his team– both literally and figuratively– Gabriel has only been with us since season four, and that still does not seem like enough time to have gotten to know the breadth of his bad guy ways.

With the introduction of his daughter Sara Malia (Londyn Silzer), there seems to be a great setup for some deep conflict for Chin (Daniel Dae Kim) as well as for Gabriel. Just think if Chin adopts Sara, and Gabriel was still alive– how awesome would that be? Chin would be in a morally ambiguous world where nothing he did would be the right thing to do.

Chin wouldn’t want to keep Sara from their father– but her father just happens to be a drug dealing murderer who has killed many people– including Chin’s father, Kam Tong. I know, Gabriel did ask for forgiveness, and he did beg Chin to look after his daughter– but really that would only be dramatic IF he is still alive. If he’s dead– there’s nothing to worry about– he can’t hurt anyone and he can’t do anything.

But if Gabriel is alive, as I’m hoping that is the case, that would make for a very interesting subplot for the next season. Complete with Uncle Steve, Uncle Danno, Uncle Lou, and Aunty Kono getting in on the babysitting/keeping Sara from seeing her bad daddy action.

So let’s recap: I did not like the fact that Gabriel was unceremoniously killed– on an operating table no less! I will also choose to believe that if fans want Gabriel back and try hard to convince the writers that Gabriel is worth bringing back from the dead– it could happen. We never saw his body– and there are just a few too many loose ends for Gabriel to tie up before he can officially part from Five-0. And I definitely would like to see any and all of those loose ends dealt with in the upcoming season.

Last but not least– let’s hope that in season seven– we stick to villains of the week dying and/or sent to prison. Not the series villain. We don’t need another death in the family.


This week CBS did not show an episode of “Hawaii Five-0” but will return in their regular Friday timeslot with the start of summer hiatus repeats. On Friday, May 27, ”Ka Papahana Holo Pono” (“Best Laid Plans”) will air. NFL great, Jerry Rice, makes a cameo appearance and don’t miss Hawaiʻi actress Lauren Murata who plays kidnap victim, Laura Ioane. I interviewed Murata about her Five-0 experience soon after the episode aired, and she talked about playing such a dramatic character. She also shares about her awesome end of the episode hug with Five-0 star, Alex O’Loughlin.


Wendie Burbridge is a published author, playwright and teacher. Reach her via Facebook and follow her on Twitter  and Instagram.

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