As promised, this week we present our introductory post on Wo Fat, McGarrett’s arch nemesis. According to imdb, Wo Fat has only been in 10 episodes to date. It seems like way more than that to me!
The first time we meet Wo Fat is in episode 1.12 Hana ‘a’ a Makeahewa (Desperate measures). This was the episode when Chin had to endure The Necklace of Fire:
And a considerable sum of money is stolen from the HPD asset forfeiture locker to secure Chin’s release:
And McG does some serious a-smashing:
Fortunately, it turned out OK for Chin. Not so for the money:
Now here is where we first meet Wo Fat.
Victor Hesse is in jail and he takes a visit from a mysterious stranger. This is the exchange between the two men:
VH: “Wo Fat”. (So he’s not a stranger now. Just mysterious.)
WF: “I have one question for you. How much does Steve McGarrett know about what his father was investigating before you killed him? How close is he?” (That’s actually two questions but never mind all that.)
VH: “Too close”.
WF: “Well, we can’t have that now, can we?”
Check out the amazing Wo Fat faaaaaaaces. Wo Fat is the Master of the Evil Death Stare.
Personally, I didn’t think McG was very close at all. He’d only just found out in the previous episode that the accident report into his mother’s death was missing and it was actually a homicide report. He just starts to realize that there could be more to his mother’s death than he has been led to believe for the past 20 years. And what has Dad been up to recently that led to his death?
The first clues he finds to the mystery are in The Champ Box. There are postcards from Osaka containing the names of two now-deceased Yakuza lieutenants. He also finds a key which doesn’t fit any of the furniture in his house. What was his father was up to at the time of his mother’s death? The plot thickens!
In the very next episode, 1.13 Ke Kinohi (The beginning), McG is tasered, the Champ Box is stolen and Mary is kidnapped:
This episode gives us the first real clues about possible Yakuza involvement in the deaths of the McG Parents. Obviously whatever was in The Champ Box is important to the Yakuza.
Later McG finds the Governor at lunch with Hiro Noshimuri, the head of the Yakuza. He also discovers, through Mamo, an old family friend, that Koji Noshimuri (Hiro’s brother) had been seen tampering with the McGarrett family car just prior to the explosion. McG has nothing else to connect him to his mother’s death yet though but of course he thinks that Mom was probably just in the wrong place (car) at the wrong time. However, Koji’s prints are found on the now-recovered Champ Box so he knows for sure the Noshis are behind Mary’s kidnapping.
At this point, McG still doesn’t know who Wo Fat is but he sure makes himself known to the Noshi brothers and their mysterious golfing buddy:
Again we are treated to more awesome Wo Fat Evil Death Stares. When McG tells Wo Fat to take a hike, he calmly hops into his golf cart and is driven away, all the while maintaining the ice cold exterior that he’s so incredibly good at. There’s a bit of a ‘stare off’ between McG and Wo Fat and McG’s spidey senses are off the charts. This is a terrific way to set up future encounters between McG and his Arch Nemesis. Who is this Wo Fat person?
Later in season 1, in episode 1.19 Ne Me’E Laua Na Paio (Heroes and villains), McG meets Jenna Kaye, a former CIA intelligence analyst who is on the trail of Wo Fat, but for very different reasons to McG. This is a great episode for Wo Fat intell. According to Jenna, Wo Fat started out as a Chinese agent and worked counter intelligence, rising to the rank of Colonel. He then disappeared for a long period of time and resurfaced as a major player in the criminal underworld. The CIA had been tracking him for years and they believe members of Club Yakuza – the Hawaiian Chapter don’t so much as brush their teeth without first seeking Wo Fat’s approval.
This is where we really start to see the Shelburne story develop. Of course we haven’t heard of Shelburne at this point but it’s looking increasingly likely that Dad was digging around in a Yakuza hornet’s nest and Wo Fat is somehow involved in Mom’s murder, mistaken identity or not.
Anyway, McG goes to meet Jenna at the end of episode 1.19 but instead encounters Wo Fat. This is what happens at the restaurant:
McG: “What do you want?”
WF: “To know the man who is trying to know me”
McG says that he thinks Wo Fat is behind his mother’s murder.
WF: “Interesting theory. I wouldn’t dig too deeply into your family’s past. You might not like what you find.”
So now we are all wondering what went on 20 years ago and what role Wo Fat had to play in all this. What is in the McGarrett family past that Wo Fat thinks McG won’t want to know about? What really happened the day Mom died? Was the bomb meant for Dad but Mom got in the way? So many questions!
I think Wo Fat makes a spectacular arch nemesis even if I am still totally confused about the whole Shelburne thing. Mark Dacascos, who is reported to be a pretty stand up guy, goes a fantastic job of the Evil Death Stare. Even though we only had a few minutes of screen time in the three episodes featured in this post, there is no doubt that Wo Fat is one seriously bad dude.
What a great job it must be to play Wo Fat. He’s a snappy dresser and he gets to do all sorts of evil stuff. Fun! And he doesn’t say much so there’d be very few lines to learn – just lots of practising of the Evil Death Stare in the mirror.
If you haven’t already and you are interested in reading our theories on Shelburne, go to the top of the Champ Box page and click on The Buster Project link. It’s password protected so you will need to email Andrea at andreabriz24 at hotmail dot com for the password.
As we learn more about the Shelburne story this season, we will bring you further posts on Wo Fat. Watch this space!
(Screen caps courtesy of screencaps at atithine.org)