Five-0 Redux: For the love of McGarrett and Danno
BY WENDIE BURBRIDGE / Special to the Star-Advertiser
If you ask the typical “Hawaii Five-0” fan what they love about the show, most of the time you will get something along the lines of “I love McGarrett and Danno.”
Alex O’Loughlin, who plays Steve McGarrett, and Scott Caan, who plays Danny “Danno” Williams, are a big part of that love — yet sometimes the fan adoration for McG and Danno goes beyond the actors themselves. There are many fans who fall solely in the House of McG, and others who swear by All That Is Danno, but there are a large portion of fans who love both of them and refer to them as a unit of one.
For most of us, McG and Danno are more than a bromantic duo. They are brothers in arms, friends and partners to the end. Like soldiers who have spent time on the battlefield and trust each other instinctively and without a second thought, McGarrett and Danno have saved each other in more ways than just in the line of duty.
Over the last four seasons these two characters have gone from reluctant adversaries thrown together by circumstance and need to solid partners who would do anything for each other. They have stood by each other in desperate moments and in times of great heartache and fear. They never wavered in their belief in each other’s sense of justice and steadfast search for the truth. They have come full circle and seem to care and love each other as much as if they were true brothers.
In the pilot episode we saw both men wanting answers about the death of John McGarrett (William Sadler) — McG’s father and Danno’s fellow police officer and current case. I wouldn’t say it was love at first sight, but both men found while they had different ways of getting the job done, they had a connection that could make an impact on fighting crime in Hawaii.
Maybe that wouldn’t be called the birth of a Dynamic Duo, but even superheroes have to start somewhere. Okay, so McG gets Danno a bullet hole in his arm in the first episode, and I vaguely remember Danno uttering how much he hated McG; but they’ve come a long way from season one to season four.
When Danno declared in “Kū I Ka Pili Koko” (“Blood Brothers”) “No matter what happens, I really really hate you,” we all knew that it was not to be taken literally. No matter how much grief they give each other, there is a lot of real love between them.
While both men stress the importance of ʻohana within the Five-0 team, they also have strong feelings for their own loved ones. Both men have had significant others in their lives at different points of the show, and both have dealt with family strife and sibling trouble.
Currently, McG has lost his lover Catherine (Michelle Borth), while his mother, Doris (Christine Lahti) seems to be in the wind and still a huge enigma in his life.
His relationship with his sister, Mary Ann (Taryn Manning) is on the mend, since she adopted a baby girl and made Steve an uncle. True, he’s always been an uncle to Danno’s daughter, Gracie (Teilor Grubbs) who is growing up faster than Daddy Danno would like.
While McGarrett’s biggest loss has been the death of his father, John McGarrett, there seems to be another loss headed his way, as his surrogate mother, Aunt Deb (Carol Burnett), who only recently returned to his life, has terminal cancer.
We can only hope that season five will bring good news about Aunt Deb as well as about Matt, as both Burnett and Cook will return to reprise their familial roles and perhaps ease some heartache for both McG and Danno.
McG and Danno seem to have survived more than just bullets, explosions and numerous car chases. They have rescued each other from the unthinkable.
They have worked together on several occasions to save their other teammates — Kono (Grace Park), Chin (Daniel Dae Kim), as well as Capt. Grover (Chi McBride) — from similar harrowing moments, like neck bombs, crooked cops, creepy serial killers and even prison.
Yet, McGarrett and Danno have their own personalities and goals, and regardless of their partnership can still be seen as individual men. As a trained SEAL and military man, McGarrett reacts differently to situations than police-trained detective Danno. And as a father, Danno is deeply effected by cases that involve children.
Yet together the partners work well together and take into consideration each other’s strengths in order to get the job done in the most efficient and successful manner.
Overall, I’d like to think that part of the reason we love McG and Danno has more to do with the actors who portray them, than what their characters do and say on our small screens. The dramatic talents of both O’Loughlin and Caan bring a strong reality to their characters, and a large part of the success of “Hawaii Five-0” has to do with the actors performances.
As much as fans love the show, they adore O’Loughlin and Caan just as much as they do their complex characters.
REDUX SIDE NOTE
Details about the television season premiere on Sept. 26 were released this week. “ʻAʻohe kahi e peʻe ai” meaning “nowhere to hide” involves the island of Oʻahu “going on lockdown while Five-0 hunts for a terrorist who starts using weaponized drones on civilians.” And the secondary storyline seems to be very timely for this week’s post — McGarrett and Danno must attend “a mandated review with a psychologist,” and it seems as if the boys review turns into “couples therapy.”
Don’t forget the Sunset on the Beach season premiere will take place in Waikiki starting at 6 p.m. Sept. 13. Make sure you visit honolulupulse.com for extensive coverage and photos from the red carpet.
Wendie Burbridge is a published author, playwright and teacher. Reach her via Facebook and follow her on Twitter.