H50 is more than just McGarrett: The ultimate arch nemesis

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:

Chin 1.12

And a considerable sum of money is stolen from the HPD asset forfeiture locker to secure Chin’s release:

McG steals money 1.12

Stealing money from the HPD asset forfeiture locker – a good idea at the time maybe?

And McG does some serious a-smashing:

McG and Spike 1.12_4

Fortunately, it turned out OK for Chin.  Not so for the money:

money burns 1.12 collage

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.

Wo Fat 1.12 collage

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:

McG 1.13 collage

Bottom right pic – OMG, his arms!!!

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:

WF and McG 1.13

Love it when McG is all “and who are you?” to Wo Fat

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.

Jenna 1.19

Entering a room, McG style. Jenna, once recovered from McG’s spectacular entry, gives him the good oil on Wo Fat.

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 and WF 1.19

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)




  1. I love Wo Fat. He’s the PERFECT arch nemesis. I just hope he and Steve aren’t related. Are you listening, AtPlenkov??

    1. Do.not.even.think.about.it. No, just no.

  2. Could not agree more with You. Including your comment! Hope the McDrama doesn’t end like that, but unfortunately, it all points in that direction!
    I love Mark Dacascos’s subtle, never over the top, interpretation! He is classy and scary at the same time. And not as wooden and overdrawn as in the original series. He brings a authenticity and truth to all his parts that is totally underrated. (The Crow TV-series, or Crying Freeman to name just two)
    Was a brilliant move to hire him. But I must also agree with Alex, its time to move on, to get some answers, develop that relationship!
    Thank You for that great post Westy 😘

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Nat. “I love Mark Dacascos’s subtle, never over the top, interpretation.” Exactly! He IS “classy and scary at the same time.”

      As with other things in Show right now, we really do need to move on and see some development. I realize that WF was McGarrett’s arch nemesis in the original show for the entire time (think I am right in saying that) but sheesh, we need to know WHY especially after all the Shelburne bits and pieces have been presented to the audience.

      I can’t even entertain the thought that McG might be WF’s half brother…..

      1. Anonymous · · Reply

        Oops sorry Andrea not Westy, pardon me 😉 Could not agree more. That half brother shadow lurking on the horizon curls my toes…

        1. No problems. We’re all part of the one Champ Box team anyway 🙂

          Toes curling indeed!

    2. Could NOT agrre MORE with your Fabulous post. Wonderful assessment of WO Fat and Mark.What makes it even better is that in RL he is not only gorgous but a gentle refined man who is devoted to his wife and family
      Thank You Nat

  3. Thanks, Andrea! I love Mark Dacascos as Wo Fat, especially because I know him primarily as the Chariman on Iron Chef which has him being a very affected food critic. He really does have a death stare is able to get under McG’s skin. He is really the only one who makes him so flustered like that–except maybe Doris… I, too, hope that Wo Fat isn’t his half-brother, but mostly, I just want them to get on with it so we can make sense of all this mess.

    The photos are wonderful; well done. I love the “who the hell are you” face on the golf course and, predictably, the Danny and Chin photo absolutely melts my heart.

    Well done you.

    1. Thanks! It was fun looking for the pics for this post – so many wonderful faaaaaaces from both Alex and Mark. That golf course scene is perfection – all that understated menacing and getting into each other’s faces. Brilliant.

      I am not sure if any of it will make sense. Alicia and I just about keeled over from brain strain trying to figure it all out for Buster. I just hope the Big Reveal is worth it!!!

  4. Really well written Andrea! Very enjoyable read & recap of WF in Season 1. Practicing the evil faces in the mirror — so funny & true. My hope is we get a better understanding of WF’s motives. Right now he seems to be evil for evil’s sake (which, really, is fine, McG is sometimes just good for goodness’ sake) but I think it’s time to up the ante from “mysterious” to “slightly more complex” (without making him sympathetic, I mean, he did kill the Governor, Hesse & Jenna just for starters).

    1. I’m totally with you, Steph, I want to know WHY Wo Fat is doing what he is doing. I totally agree that at the moment he is evil for evil’s sake. I think that’s why I had a slight problem with the last ep we saw him in – I mean, how many more of his evil schemes do we have to endure until we find out what he is really up to? We don’t really know much about him at all but I suppose that’s the idea, right? Mystery and all that? And yes, we don’t want him to be sympathetic after everything he has done (even though I like WF simply because MD does such a brilliant job of him).

      1. It really says something that he’s such a beloved villain (if you know what I mean) when we know so little about him, he has so few lines and not really many facial expressions either. Mark Dacascos has so much charisma it’s ridiculous. He and Alex are so well-matched as the hero/arch-nemesis pairing, perfect casting!

        LOVE this post, Andrea. Especially the totally pertinent pics ;-). I really hope we find out something more by the end of this season (but I’m not holding my breath).

        1. Good points, Alicia. We don’t know much and certainly knowing more would help us understand his motives yet we like him as a villain anyway. MD does have crazy charisma and he and Alex are terrific together.

          You and I are united forever through our Buster project *hugs* What do you reckon our chances are of The Big Reveal being anything like our theories? As we say in Oz, Buckley’s and none.

          The pics were totally pertinent, of course 🙂

  5. Wonderful summary of the “evil man”, Andrea. You make me even like him more as the villain.
    I really hope they don’t make him to “good” at the end. It seems there are no more “real” good and evil in the world any more… (if that makes any sense at all….!) 🙂

    “However, Koji’s prints are found on the now-recovered Champ Box so he knows for sure the Noshis are behind Mary’s kidnapping.”

    As far as I can remember it was Hiro’s fingerprints that were found on the Champbox…that’s why he went to prison for Mary’s kidnapping and not Koji.
    Poor Koji he was dealt with pretty quickly!!

    1. I know I am not supposed to but Mark Dacascos makes me want to like Wo Fat :). He’s just so well played, with that understated menacing face and ice cold exterior. I am really keen to find out what is going on with the Shelburne story. It’s hard to know what’s going to happen because we know WF has done some pretty horrific stuff but we know he is connected to Mom somehow so perhaps he is a double agent?

      I don’t know, I’m still so confused by the storyline. As you can tell, since I got the fingerprints thing wrong. Thanks for picking that up. I think you are right, it WAS HNoshi’s fingerprints. I kept thinking it was KNoshi as he was the one who was dispatched for his poor performance so quickly :).

      1. Only reason I remember about the prints being Hiro, is because Danny told Hiro, he should wear gloves more often when touching evidence. 🙂

        1. Ahhh, I had forgotten that. Thanks 🙂

  6. Andrea this was a brilliant post that I thoroughly enjoyed, Mark is SUCH a beautiful man and talented actor that he is perfect as “The man you LOVE to hate.

    1. Thanks, PN! We’re really glad TCB readers are enjoying the new posts this year.

      Mark does a brilliant job, I agree – hope we get to see more of him as the Shelburne/WF storyline progresses.

  7. heymomo · · Reply

    Late to the party on this one… but I got here eventually!!
    Great post Andrea, love the insight you’ve brought to Wo Fat’s character analysis. He’s the baddie I can’t help but like!
    Mark Dacascos does a great job with the evil stare and so much more! I’m with Sage, my knowledge of Dacascos is mostly from Iron Chef, which is SUCH a different role than this!
    Looking forward to learning more about Wo Fat and why he does what he does.
    p.s. fabulous photo collages!!

  8. Momo! Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting 🙂 Wo Fat is definitely I can’t help but like.

    Glad you loved the photo collages. I think my favourite is the golf course one as I just loved that scene. The ‘face off’ between McG and Wo Fat is a classic. I really do hope we find out what motivates WF and what is really behind the whole Shelburne thing. Fingers crossed!

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