Father’s Day is always a wonderful time to celebrate dads and all they do for our families. “Hawaii Five-0” has highlighted several father figures over the course of their eight seasons. As it was McGarrett’s love for his father that sparked the formation of the Five-0 task force, it seems as if the theme of fatherhood has been threaded through many storylines in each season. This Sunday, June 17 is Father’s Day, so it makes sense that the Five-0’s fathers, as well as those characters who take on a fatherly role, should be honored this weekend.
Scott Caan’s Danny Williams has been a father since the start of the series. As Dad to Grace (Teilor Grubbs) and Charlie (Zach Sulzbach), Danno often has a soft spot for suspects and victims with children. Danno’s love for his own children is always evident, like in Christmas episode, “’Oni kalalea ke kū a ka lā’au loa” (“A Tall Tree Stands Above the Others”), when Danno tells little Charlie a story about angels who help Uncle Steve catch a couple of very bad Santas. The interaction between Daddy Danno and Charlie is priceless, as Danno tries to not only tell his little boy a special Christmas story but also instills in him the true miracle of the holiday.
Danno’s deep love for his children is also clearly shown in “I ka wā mamua, I ka wā mahope” (“The Future is in the Past”) when he is shot in the chest and he “dreams” of a potential future for his children. He is shown counseling an adult Grace (played by Erika Brown), whose feet have cooled right before she is set to marry Will Grover. Danno tells her that their love will get them through the tough times. It’s a sweet moment that flows over into his dream of Charlie (Joey Defore) who he sees graduating from the HPD Academy. He shares the special day with Uncle Steve and all of their friends. Thankfully, Danno survives his gunshots and we know he will be able to see his children grow up and accomplish all that he hopes for them.
Big Daddy Lou
Chi McBride’s Lou Grover has always been a huge father figure– not only to his own children, Samantha (Paige Hurd) and Will (Chosen Jacobs), but this season to the new “kids” of Five-0, Tani Rey (Meaghan Rath) and Junior Reigns (Beulah Koale). Lou always seems to know when to be a friend or to be a mentor to Tani and Junior. He often works very closely with the two rookies, like in “Ahuwale ka nane hūnā” (“The Answer to the Riddle is Seen”) when they solve an old cold case together.
The Captain, as Junior calls him, not only teaches them how to investigate using old-school detecting, but how to think outside the box when technology can’t answer all of their questions. And when Tani is emotionally moved by the victim, Lou is the one to talk her through her anger and sadness. He helps her come to terms with how to deal with the kind of feelings that are normal for cops to develop during tough cases.
Likewise, Lou is also a man of strength for his children. In the season opener, “ʻAʻole e ʻōlelo mai ana ke ahi ua ana ia” (“Fire Will Never Say that It Has Had Enough”), he helps his daughter face her lingering fears about being kidnapped by Ian Wright (Nick Jonas) from season four. When he brings Samantha to see that they have Ian’s brother, Aaron (Joey Lawrence), in custody he assures her that she has nothing to be afraid of any longer. While Lou would do anything to protect his children, he also knows that they have saved his life.
While Five-0 leader Steve McGarrett, played by Alex O’Loughlin, may not literally be a father, he seems to have taken on a few children in his life to mentor and guide. While Steve has been a long-time mentor to Nahele Huikala (Kekoa Kekumano), this season he adopted former DEA detection dog, Eddie, and took in Junior Reigns, a young SEAL who is homeless after leaving the Navy.
Steve has always been a good uncle to Danno’s children– doing things like helping put together Charlie’s room, babysitting, coaching Grace’s little league, and just being there for Danny as he raises them as a single father. But for the first time, he himself has taken in two souls who he seems to need as much as they need him.
In “Ka lālā kaukonakona haki ‘ole I ka pā a ka makani Kona” (“The Tough Branch that Does Not Break in the Kona Gale”) when Junior tells him he is going to move out and get a place of his own– we can see Steve’s hurt and sadness at this news. It was like a father thinking about his child leaving home for the next stage of life. Steve knows it has to happen, yet he wants Junior to stay. When Junior is pulled into a SEAL mission to help save Joe White (Terry O’Quinn), Steve goes with him on the mission to help save Joe– but to also keep Junior safe.
As Steve tells Junior about what Joe means to him, he says: “It’s crazy to me how somebody who’s not even blood can make such a giant impact, you know?” Junior’s honest response is, ”Yeah, I think I know.” We know Junior is talking about Steve and what he has done for Junior’s life.
In turn, Junior has Steve’s back as well. When they are pushed against the wall, and Steve is ready to go ahead without the team and save Joe, he orders Junior to stay behind. But Junior surprises him and says: “Sir, we’re not cops today, we’re SEALs. So that means you ain’t my boss, so I’m coming with you.” Whether Steve is a fellow SEAL or a father figure to Junior, he is not going to be alone any longer.
Wendie Burbridge is a published author, playwright, and teacher. Reach her at Five0Redux@gmail.com.