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Thread: McGarrett's Worst Speech?

  1. #1
    Five-O Home Page Author Mr. Mike's Avatar
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    Mar 2019
    Vancouver, B.C.
    The last 3 seasons are full of McGarrett speeches. Which do you think is the worst one?

    Up the Rebels
    McGarrett and Danno show up at the warehouse, and lot of speechifying by McGarrett follows, especially after Fogarty tells him the explosives will be used for "tactical necessities," a term which only a short time before Rourke used as a euphemism for murder. McGarrett pulls a London newspaper out of his pocket (!) which details how several children in Ireland were killed and maimed and starts reading from it. Fogarty finally breaks down and tells him that "everything you want is on that boat," pointing at the Halls of Tara which is leaving the harbor.

    Shake Hands With The Man On The Moon

    "Commander, think of the man you were ten years ago. You can be that man again. You've got the same mind, the same character, same talents. Sure, we've all had some bad breaks, and I know you've had more than your share, but for God's sake, pick up the pieces."

    The way McGarrett and Danno have a dual brainstorm at the end of the show to determine that the Brain Trust is behind the hoax is far too easy, and the closing scene has the typical later season peters-out kind of resolution, despite a few moments in the students' house where McGarrett's blood pressure rises a bit and he indulges in a bit of speechifying.

    The Big Aloha
    Parker's character accuses McGarrett of being "a bleeding heart liberal who believes the Hawaiians were exploited by the missionaries." She describes the local people as "childlike as far as responsibility and initiative are concerned," telling McGarrett that she and her ancestors, going back to her great-grandfather who "established his mission here," have done a lot for "my people," giving them " pension plans, a hospital, a school for their children." McGarrett responds: "How are they going to learn responsibility if everything is taken care of for them? ... I think initiative is like a muscle. Unless you're allowed to use it, it atrophies."

    When Does A War End?
    McGarrett makes a big speech to newspaperman Joe Boyd (Joshua Bryant) who has been dogging him throughout the case. Boyd, who is a smug individual, says, "I was right, huh? World War II vengeance." McGarrett tells him, "It's not the real story ... the real story is about people who can't let go of hate and what hate does to them and others ... When do all wars end? When people stop hating and start loving?" Bryant asks: "You think that'll ever happen?" to which McGarrett replies, "It better. Oh, God, it better." Augh!

    A Very Personal Matter

    McGarrett goes to the clinic to talk to Danworth and appeal for his help in nailing whoever is pushing pills and handing out phony prescriptions. McGarrett still can't avoid implying the doctor is bad: "Maybe I was wrong about you, doctor. Maybe you're not one of the guilty ones. Maybe you can help me find the ones who are guilty." (During this speech, I kept yelling at the TV screen.)

    Lion In The Streets

    After Andy is busted, he is brought to McGarrett's office: "I had you brought here in the hopes that maybe I could talk some sense into that hard head of yours. I know you've been set up, but Alika and his gang are experts at that. You can't fight them alone. Okay, be stupid, clam up, but I don't think you really care about the union and your people, just revenge." (And later...) "Andy, listen to me, will you? We're a nation of laws, not men, not always perfect, but we keep trying. Now, I'm not gonna kid you, Alika may beat that charge again but sooner or later, he's gonna make that one... That one big mistake. They all do and I'll be waiting for him. Now, that I promise you."

    Though The Heavens Fall

    Slade says he wants a lawyer. McGarrett makes a profound speech about constitutional rights and the permissive society, then tells Kimo to "book him," making sure to "read him his rights."

    Use A Gun, Go To Hell
    This show must have been a favorite of Jack Lord's, because he was reportedly very much against handguns –- no wonder there are these huge attacks of speechifying.

    The Flight of the Jewels

    The students start patting themselves on the back for their efforts in catching the bad guys, but McGarrett takes the opportunity to give them another season twelve speech as to what they can really expect: "You go to prison and you serve your time. You come out, and your lives and your reputations are ruined. You're felons, indelibly marked. I suppose you geniuses considered this some sophomore experiment, that you're sorry for and you can walk away from, huh? Well, it doesn't work that way. A police officer's life hangs in the balance. Now, fortunately for you, he'll probably recover. But look at the physical pain and the mental anguish that you've caused, plus the destruction of museum property and your own reputations. What a waste. God, what a waste. You're under arrest. Book them, Kimo."

    A Bird In Hand...
    Horrible, horrible banalities at the end, with McGarrett reciting a poem which goes on for almost a minute. He starts by saying "When I was a boy, my father used to give us a penny a line to learn poetry." (This actually happened in Jack Lord's real life, according to one article I read.) Terrible! Kimo and Angie walking beside McGarrett are at a loss for words.

  2. #2
    "When Does A War End", hands down for me because the whole speech is rooted in a false premise about how no one should give a darn about past atrocities committed by the Japanese. McGarrett would never have made the same speech if the whole episode had centered on revenge against someone who worked in a German camp in WW2 and was never held accountable for his "war crimes."

  3. #3
    I also vote for “When Does a War End” as the worst of the speeches. Rings hollow as noted above.

    He’s also prone on occasion to speeches in some early season episodes, though not as frequently, and they are delivered better and written better in most instances.

    One in particular is the speech to the student protesters in S1’s “Not That Much Different”, a clip from which was used in the movie “Jerry Maguire”.

    He also gives a pretty solid speech to John Hayes in “Pray, Love, Remember “ at the end, too. More of an inspirational pep talk, really.

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