In addition, Steve is also the leader of the Hawaii Five-0 Task Force and partner to Detective Sergeant Danny Williams (2010).
Steve grew up with his younger sister, Mary, and his parents, his father, John and mother, Doris in Honolulu, Hawaii.
When Steve was fifteen or sixteen years old, his mother was killed by a drunk driver in a car accident (although it was later to be revealed as a homicide) but she survived revealing after Season 2 that she is Shelburne. This left his father John to raise his two children alone.
Unknown to them, their father was investigating the Yakuza and Hiro Noshimuri (which ultimately got their mother killed).
Fearing for Steve's and Mary's safety, John sent Steve and Mary separately to the mainland while both children remained unaware of what was really going on at the time.
After attending the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, graduating at the head of his class. Steve then joined the Navy SEALs, graduating at the head of his class (BUD/S 203), and served for six years (four years in Afghanistan) before transferring to the Naval Intelligence Corps. He had been pursuing terrorists Victor Hesse and Anton Hesse for five years. During this time, he learned to speak Mandarin Chinese.
When his father was murdered, Steve flew home to Hawaii for the funeral and at the request of Governor Pat Jameson, became the leader of the Five-0 Task Force and joined the Reserves which means that while he can aid and participate in active investigations that the team usually handle, there's also the chance that Steve can be recalled to active duty or given orders to go on a new mission.
He is acquainted with Sam Hanna from NCIS: Los Angeles whom he apparently owns a steak dinner.
Being a former military man, Steve can be described as "stiff" or "wooden." Steve seldom shows his emotions. According to Detective Lieutenant Chin Ho Kelly (2010), Steve has "a laser focus embedded in his DNA." Mary also adds that Steve is like a ninja. Steve is a fearless, resourceful, and loyal man, as Pat Jameson, the murdered Governor entrusted Steve with establishing a task force.
Steve has also been complimented by Victor Hesse on one occasion. Steve is shown to have an intense hatred of Wo Fat, who was responsible for his parents's murders. Steve is also shown to have a sense of honour, even though he would go to prison for "borrowing" ten million dollars that ultimately went up in flames in order to catch a criminal with Steve catching the criminal anyway.
Steve is also shown to go to drastic measures to get the job done: hanging a man thirty feet in the air on a roof, throwing another man in a shark cage, etc. much to the anger of his partner, Detective Sergeant Danny Williams (2010) who regularly berates Steve for doing so.
Steve is also shown to have not only medical knowledge, but knowledge about nature.
However, Steve knows little about human interaction and is originally awkward around children. Despite this, there's usually a softer, goofier and warmer side to him with his sister, Mary, and Danny. Although Steve's partner Danny irritates him often and they often argue, Steve deeply cares about Danny, and the rest of Five-0.
Steve is willing to risk everything and anything to save those he cares for, as shown in Hana 'a'a Makehewa (episode), and again in Ke Kinohi (episode). He is also willing to go against protocol to stay behind and aid a friend who's in danger which is seen in Hana 'a'a Makehewa (episode) when he stays behind to talk to Chin who has a bomb collar around his neck.
Skills and Abilities
As the leader of the Hawaii 5-0 task force and a US Navy SEAL, Steve is skilled in a variety of areas:
- Multilingual - Steve is fluent in Hawaiian, English, Korean and Mandarin Chinese.
- Keen Observational Skills - Steve has great observational skills. Couple that with his honed senses and there's not a lot of things that can get pass him.
- Resourceful - Steve is very good at making do with what he has around him. For example, he was able to get fingerprints off some blood bags by using the dust from a vacuum cleaner and a feather duster.
- Technologically Adept - Just like Chin and Kono, Steve is exceptionally skilled at using any type of technology.
- Firearms - Steve is skilled with various firearms, being able to aim with precision and accuracy. Steve rarely misses an intended shot.
- Highly Adept in Water - Growing up in Hawaii, Steve is an excellent swimmer and an avid surfer as seen throughout the series.
- (Advanced) Hand to Hand Combatant- Steve's primary choice for taking down targets. Steve excels at close quarter combat being able to incapacitate most of his adversaries with ease, even a mixed martial-arts master who was a high value target.
- Intimidation - Steven can strike fear into suspects through a variety of techniques.
- Interrogation/Questioning Suspects - As displayed throughout the series, Steve is an exceptional inquistor being able to get the information he wants out of people by using law enforcement or just outright torture.
- First Aid Training - Whether it because of his training or school, Steve is pretty knowledgeable in the field of medicine being able to help a man's collapse lung after acquiring the information he wanted.
- Tracking Skills - Steve is proficient in tracking suspects using his terrain to his advantage while incorporating stealth. He displayed this feat when he had to trail through the jungle to find and protect a witness who ran away from her safehouse after Yakuza hitmen were sent to find and kill her.
- Above Average Physical Condition and pain tolerance - Thanks to his training in the Navy SEALs, Steve is very fit and athletic and is capable of handling or withstanding more pain than an average human being.
- Hawaii Five-0 Season 1- All episodes.
- Hawaii Five-0 Season 2- All episodes except for Ha'alele- (Abandoned) and Pa Make Loa- (Touch of Death).
- Hawaii Five-0 Season 3- All episodes.
Steve's relationship with Detective Sergeant Danny Williams (2010) is one that has gone through many changes in recent years.
In the beginning, Steve resented Danny for leading the investigation into his father's murder as Steve was the one who had knowledge and information into the one responsible for his father's death.
After their first confrontation at the crime scene that ended with Steve gaining control of the scene after making a call to Governor Pat Jameson and accepting her job offer, Danny attempted to move on, only for Steve to head back into his life again, announcing that as the head of the unnamed Task Force, he would make Danny his partner and second-in-command, a role Danny accepted albeit grudgingly.
Despite that, their relationship has warmed in recent years with both men expressing concern for each other while their behaviour towards one another has caused many of the other characters to believe that they're married although both men strongly deny this.
Steve's relationship with his estranged sister is one that is full of tension given that Mary has a habit of arriving and then fleeing Hawaii but despite this, they both love each other very much.
In the Pilot (episode), Lieutenant Commander Steve McGarrett is transporting a prisoner in Pohang, South Korea. Anton Hesse, who McGarrett has been tracking along with his brother Victor for over five years, is an international arms dealer. Hesse taunts Steve just as his cell phone rings and Steve looks to see the caller ID is his father John. He answers the phone to find Victor Hesse on the other end. Victor explains that Steve will release Anton and his father will live. John McGarrett asks to talk to his son and when Victor puts the phone up to him, he tells Steve, "Listen to me, Champ" and admits that he lied to him. He further states that he loves him and then tells Steve to do the right thing.
Victor hangs up the phone and Anton looks at Steve as the first transport is blown up by a helicopter. Victor was actually using the call to track the transport by tacking Steve's cell phone. The helicopter shoots at the second armed vehicle and then several armed men rappel from the helicopter. Steve and the other men hold off them and Anton uses the opportunity to duck away from Steve. Steve chases him and Anton reaches for a gun, pointing it towards Steve, who shoots him. Victor calls Steve and asks what's happening.
Upon realizing that Anton is dead, Victor responds by shooting John dead in revenge, causing Steve to shout, "No!" in horror.
Steve lands in Honolulu on an Air Force transport to attend his father's funeral. As he is landing, a call comes in to the flight crew for Steve, and it is the Governor. He meets Governor Pat Jameson at Pearl Harbor. She wants him to come back to the island and run a newly formed task force for her.
She explains that she will give him the authority and her full backing to do what is necessary to keep her island safe. Steve is not impressed and notes that she had this meeting at Pearl Harbor, where his grandfather was killed. He thinks that she is running for re-election and turns her down. She reminds him that she knew his father and wants Victor to pay for his crimes. Steve explains that Victor already had an exit strategy and is laying low until he leaves. She gives him her card telling him to think about it.
After meeting the lead investigator, Detective Sergeant Danny Williams (2010), Steve changes his mind and contacts Jameson, informing her that he'll take the job and once he's taken an oath, gains access to the entire investigation, informing Danny that the crime scene now belongs to Steve.
Despite bad blood brewing between the two of them which eventually culminates in Danny punching Steve after Steve had Danny in an armlock, Steve adds Danny to the team, making him Steve's partner and also the second-in-command of the unnamed Task Force.
For a year or so, the team begin cleaning up Hawaii, arresting various criminals with their actions drawing the attention of crime boss, Wo Fat (2010).
Upon learning that Governor Jameson is corrupt and in league with Wo Fat, Steve breaks into her mansion to arrest her but is tasered and knocked unconscious by Wo Fat who then kills Jameson before framing Steve for the crime.
As a result, Steve is arrested and imprisoned while Hawaii Five-0 is disbanded due to Kono also being arrested and Chin rejoining HPD while Danny's position is left vacant.
A week after the events in Oia'i'o (episode), Steve is awaiting trial for Governor Jameson's death. He is attacked in the prison yard by Victor Hesse who stabs him so badly that Steve needs to be brought to hospital for treatment.
During the transfer, Steve takes the opportunity to escape and go on the run, arriving at a house that Dr. Max Bergman lives in where he faints in the bathroom from blood loss.
Max arrives and finds Steve before successfully bandaging Steve's injuries. Danny and Chin eventually arrive, Max having alerted them to the house. After some work from the team with the help of Joe White, Steve's C.O, Steve is found innocent and the H50 team is officially reinstated.
He reacts with anger upon discovering that Kono was working for Captain Vince Fryer and once the team have brought Fryer's former partner to justice, Steve punches Fryer in revenge for Fryer using Kono as a bait.
During the year, Joe informs Steve of someone named "Shelburne" who Wo Fat supposedly fears. This has Steve digging into his father's past more deeply and after Joe tells Steve that Joe is Shelburne, Steve is left shaken.
Steve eventually resolves to get answers for himself and heads to Japan to look for Joe prior to Ha'alele (episode). As a result of his absence, he leaves the team in Danny's hands, resulting in Danny becoming the temporary leader while Chin is the temporary second-in-command. (In real life, this was written in after Alex O'Loughlin who plays Steve went to rehab to get treatment for prescription pain medication due to a recent shoulder injury.)
Although he doesn't appear in Pa Make Loa (episode), Steve is mentioned during a talk with Chin and NCIS Special Agent Sam Hanna concerning the supposed steak dinner that Steve apparently owns Sam while Chin also brings up the fact that Steve speaks very highly of Sam.
Steve officially returns in the Season 3 finale episode, Ua Hopu (episode) where he successfully tracks and captures Wo Fat before returning to Hawaii which results in him becoming the H50 leader again while Danny and Chin return to their original positions.
At the end of Ua Hala (episode), Joe brings Steve to a lone hut in Japan where Shelburne is meeting. Steve approaches, knocks on the door and gets a huge surprise when it's revealed that Shelburne is his supposedly dead mother.
Upon meeting his mother, Doris McGarrett for the first time in twenty years, Steve reacts angrily to the fact that Doris faked her death for the sake of her children and her husband, remarking that Wo Fat (2010) killed John McGarrett anyway. In spite of this, Steve later brings his mother back to Hawaii but is forced to put her into protective custody after learning from Danny that Wo Fat has escaped prison.
- Alex O'Loughlin who plays McGarrett is originally from Australia.
- Despite leading a police task force and being a reservist, he is always unusually addressed as Lieutenant Commander or Commander and not by a police rank.
- His common side arm is a SIG Sauer. This starts off with a SIG-Sauer P226 and SIG Sauer P226 E2 in Season 1, moving to a SIG-Sauer P226 (Navy) with a Surefire X300 in Season 2 and 3.