I have been seeing a lot of discussion on Twitter in the last couple of weeks, this week especially, on what some folks are seeing as a “changed” McGarrett. They are bemoaning that, in their opinion, there has not been enough Steve in the first 4 episodes of the season, the writers have not yet addressed all of Steve’s “issues”and that Steve has not been “himself”, has not been all BAMF nor the SuperSEAL we have all come to know and love. I’ve been reading these conversations and scratching my head in confusion.
I’m going to assume that all of these complaints, in the minds of those tweeting, are related. Related in the sense that they all stem from the fact that, indeed, the show has not yet addressed Steve’s “issues”. Personally, it is my belief that TPTB wanted to tell the Danny/Matt story first, not because they were actually any more interested in Matt than the rest of us, but to use it as a means to set up events to come for Danny and for Steve as well. Any attempt by Steve to either help Danny, or even chastise or fight with him over what happened in Columbia could very well bring Steve’s “issues” more out in the open, may actually force Steve to face them as he never has before. It is very possible that Danny and Matt’s story is, essentially, a building block to Steve’s.
It is also my belief the complaints that Steve is “changed” also stem from the disappointment that Steve’s “issues” have not been addressed yet and people are seeing what they want to see in Steve’s actions and behaviors. If Steve is being wheeled out of the hospital and is sitting quietly while his FIVE friends are having spirited conversation around him, some people are seeing a subdued Steve, lost in his thoughts, remembering all his “issues” instead of seeing a man who has been shot, stitched up and probably on pain meds sitting back and enjoying the company of his friends. I could be 100% wrong in my assessment but then, so could they. It’s all a matter of interpretation.
But, honestly, the more I read those tweets, the more I thought maybe I’m just missing something here. So, even though I have already watched the four episodes a few times, I went back and watched again. This time paying special attention to the so-called “changed” Steve McGarrett and I have to say…. I STILL don’t see it. To me, he looks, sounds, and acts just like always. It is true that in these episodes there hasn’t been as much badass SuperSEAL but that’s not because Steve is different, but because there just wasn’t any need for much of it in these 4 particular episodes. These episodes had some great action and stunt moments but for the most part there wasn’t an over abundance of car chases, gun battles or fist fights. It’s a little hard to be badass SuperSEAL walking the halls of HQ delivering lines and lines of exposition.
In the pilot, everyone including Steve spent a lot of time walking around crime scenes, HQ and the magic table trying to figure out how to protect the island and take down the drone. When the drone did attack them out on the street, Steve, trying to protect a homeless man, took a bullet in the leg yet still took off on foot and ran down one of the suspects……. on foot…..with a bullet in his thigh! The only reason Danny got the big gun battle was because Steve…had a bullet in his leg…. so he ran after the slower bad guy.
In episode 2 they were trying to find the daughter of the Navy SEAL. But there weren’t any gun fights, or car chases and Steve, along with Danny, spent almost the entire episode in the home of the other parents waiting for the kidnapper to call. A little hard to be a BAMF in that situation.
In episode 3, we had the 3 girls holding up tour buses. Again, a lot of walking around and a lot of exposition. But in the one scene where there was a lot of gun play, Steve almost got run down by the escaping car but did a nifty roll to his feet to keep shooting. The main suspect in that case gave up without a fight. I suppose he could have barreled in, guns blazing and just shot her for good measure but it really wasn’t necessary.
In episode 4, we had two rather long scenes of just other people talking and Steve listening. First, the FBI woman giving the team all the intel on Valentine on the big screen and then Valentine himself telling his “change of heart story” in the hospital. But also in this episode Steve ran full tilt after hit man #1, then after he was killed ran full tilt again, through oncoming traffic on less, bobbing and weaving through moving cars, then leaping over a crashing patrol car to shoot at Valentine. He also, just like everyone else, took down his man at the compound where those people were hidden. As a matter of fact, his man put up more of a fight than any of the others and Steve took him down, like always. Then with Danny, took out 4 or 5 heavily armed goons in that basement in Columbia.
Now if the people seeing a “changed” Steve are taking the 3 minutes at the end of the last episode, where Steve stood by and let Danny take his revenge as PROOF that this is not the same Steve McGarrett we’ve always had…… I’m going to repeat myself…. I just don’t see it.
Tonight’s episode is very Steve centric. The first real Steve centric episode of the season. Danny’s arc is done for the time being. I wouldn’t be surprised if Danny isn’t even in Oahu for tonight’s episode, probably back in Jersey dealing with his family over what happened to Matt, so there will be tons of Steve. But there are other stories out there to tell and while Steve’s is and has always been the central figure in H50 he is not the be all…end all of the show. There are SEVEN main cast members now and everyone deserves a chance to shine in their own right. Besides, Alex being asked to be all BAMF SuperSEAL for 25 episodes might just put the man flat on his back again. No one wants that. Every single actor on this show is exceptional. Alex may lead that list but he is not the only shining star on this show. Personally I’m happy to see everyone get a bit of the spotlight.
That doesn’t mean I’m not really looking forward to seeing the show begin to address Steve’s “issues”. I agree it’s about time they did. I’m looking forward to watching Alex totally KILL those scenes. That man has never disappointed me when given truly meaty material to work with. I know he will NOT disappoint me now. He NEVER does!
5 thoughts on “#H50 The “Changed” McGarrett – I just don’t see it”
Thinking we are just Alex fans wanting as much Alex as we can get. A great actor taking this show to the top.
I’m enjoying the character stories going on and loved seeing Scott shine last week. He too is a great actor that has made this show a success. Showing these stories give an action show heart.
My personal comments are: 1. the show feels different this year. I think this is the addition of Jerry and conspiracy theory take on the storyline. 2. Steve does feel different and this started last season when the relationship with Cath seemed distant.
5 seasons on TV requires change and I’m fine with that. We’ll see where it goes and I’m in it for the long haul.
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I respectfully disagree. I see the differences, some for the good and some in my opinion failures. I love your blog and your opinions and I respect you very much. At times the H50 fandom feels like a war zone. Where we once were able to share our dislikes and likes in a respectful way sadly that is no longer the case. Maybe it comes down to fans mad because what they want to see on the show isn’t happening, I don’t know. Linda you have always been a person who has respected everyone’s opinions and for that I thank you.
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It’s perfectly ok to disagree babe! Like I said before, it all a matter of interpretation. What bothers me is the constant hatred, yes hatred, aimed at the show and the EP by certain people who don’t see what they want to see. Disagreement is fine. Loving or not liking a character is fine. Wishing the show would go in a certain direction is understandable.
But vicious name calling and voicing a desire for the show to be cancelled because it’s not what someone wants is over the top in my opinion. It bothers me a lot when I see things like that because, you are right, it turns the fandom into a war zone and that’s not good for anyone. I simply don’t understand why people who dislike the show, or the story lines so much still continue to watch.
But, that’s just me. Just because I don’t understand it doesn’t mean it’s not valid. My brand of Kool Aid isn’t for everyone and that’s more than ok too. Everyone is entitled to their opinions and their likes and dislikes. I just don’t understand why people need to be horrid about it.
Thank you for this blog today, Linda! I was thinking maybe I needed another eye exam As I haven’t exactly been seeing a different Steve this season, either. At least not so different as others have.
I, too, am ready for a return to the Steve show, but it would be nice if they keep the other characters involved in it this time, which, I think they will do. TPTB have brought the team together in in a true brotherhood sort of way through the storylines from last season and into this season so far, building up to the 100th ep. Which is supposed to be dripping with Ohana!
Remember back in S1, the finale was supposed to rip the newly formed team, who really didn’t KNOW each other so well yet, totally apart — which it certainly did! I think it’s been Peter’s long term goal to bring the team to the Ohana – family – place by the 100th ep all along! Luckily he’s had the time to pull it all together.
It’s a case of reflecting on all 100 episodes, not just looking at the show from one season to the next. Sure, there have been glitches along the way for the viewers. But, if you sit down and reflect on the series as a whole, it becomes clear that it really isn’t a remake of H5O at all – it IS a reboot, a totally new show using the premise of the old H5O, to create a totally unique television product full of real life characters. Like I said, it’s not perfect – some plots have bordered on the ridiculous, some stunts seem a little too comic book, but the human side of the show is very much ”
Possibly what some viewers are seeing different about Steve can also be said about Danny. He’s different this season, too. The partners, who are so innately different in personality and life experience, have come to know each other intimately over the course of the 4 years they have been together – through thick and thin, so to speak. They have come to respect each other and have developed a complete trust in each other that obviously wasn’t there in the beginning, and took a good 4 years of experiences together to get there. I think THAT is the change we have seen, not just in Steve but also in Danny. They each know what the other will do in any given situation, and they are now comfortable that the other will ALWAYS be there for them. They have become true “blood brothers” since 4.19.
A second thought I had today while ready your post, Linda, is that I think it’s quite possible that watching Danny shoot Reyes in cold blood, so to speak, even though we all agree that Reyes certainly deserved it, could be part of the trigger for Steve’s PTSD, although I firmly believe whatever WoFat is going to do to him in 5.07 will be the real catalyst for a future PTSD flare up.
The look on Steve’s face when he was in the basement, from the time Matt was brought out in the barrel through the shooting of Reyes, did look to me to be one of – not fear per se, but more déjà vu? Like Steve had been down a very similar road himself not so long ago? Think about Afghanistan and his near beheading. Steve is back in a situation he really has no control over and it’s all a touch overwhelming.
So, IF there is really something different about Steve in the last episode, it could be this déjà vu feeling of having recently been in a similar situation. I can see this as a possible trigger for the PTSD we hope is coming.
It’s also possible that we will end up with TWO guys with a case of PTSD! Danny, who basically sealed Matt’s fate by letting him fly away in Season One when he could have saved his life by shooting him in the leg or shooting out the tires on the plane and turning him over to the FBI, and Steve who left his other blood brother, Freddie, to die while he got Anton Hess away. These two guys are in a very similar place now, and can’t you just see the emotional fallout when they deal with their respective issues. Together?
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Thanks Lynnette. That’s exactly what I meant by using Danny and Matt’s story as a way, as a catalyst, if you will to not only Danny’s future story but Steve’s as well. I couldn’t give a rats butt what happened to Matt except in the way it was going affect Danny and the way this story was written gave me exactly what I wanted. If an added benefit is that it give Danny an additional perspective into what it was like for Steve to be a SEAL and the traumas he’s endured or witnessed mores the better.
Now I am NOT saying that Steve doing his duty as a SEAL is the same as how Danny killed Reyes. But the emotional trauma, the toll it takes on a man, to take another mans life, no matter what the circumstances, well, I tend to think that messes with the head….a lot. Danny now knows what that feels like.
It just may be that while Steve may need Danny to help him through his emotional issues, Danny may need Steve just as much. And now they both KNOW how it feels, in stead of just trying to understand how it feels.