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The Continuity Issue Fans Have With Jerry On Hawaii Five-0

Co-creators Peter M. Lenkov and Alex Kurtzman's 2010 reboot of Leonard Freeman's "Hawaii Five-O" may not have lasted quite as long as its namesake and inspiration, but in its seven season-run on CBS, the island-based procedural managed to garner an impressive following. Starring Scott Caan (of "Entourage"),  Daniel Dae Kim (of "Lost"), and Alex O'Loughlin (of "Three Rivers"), the series followed Lieutenant Commander and former Navy SEAL Steve McGarrett (O'Loughlin) as he led his own task force to solve the island's most difficult crimes (including the murder of his own father). Nominated for multiple Emmy awards for Outstanding Stunt Coordination, "Hawaii Five-O" understood what its audiences expected from and hope for in the series, and knew exactly what it was doing when it added Jorge Garcia to its ensemble cast in 2013.

Better known as Hurley from "Lost," Garcia first joined the series in Season 4, Episode 3 (titled "Ka 'oia'i'o ma loko"), and his character, Jerry Ortega, would go on to appear in 129 more episodes (via IMDb). An instant fan-favorite, Jerry brought a degree of levity and intrigue to the team with his wild theories and code-cracking know-how. That his storyline involved him going to band camp with fellow "Lost" star Kim only added to the audience response. There was, however, one major inconsistency in his beloved character, and it did not go unnoticed by the series' more observant fans. 

Jerry went from Luddite to tech whiz in just a few episodes

When Jerry first appears in "Ka 'oia'i'o ma loko," he's much more like the conspiracy theory-happy John Munch (Richard Belzer) of early "Law & Order: SVU" than he is the team's own private TARU. His home is littered with manila envelopes, filing cabinets, hard copies, and he makes his dislike of technology known multiple times. When he remerges in Season 5, however, he's already working with covert listening device technology and morphing into the team's Stock Tech Guy — a transformation that left many fans scratching their heads.

In a post on the series' subreddit, user PeteyHoudini noted the continuity error, writing that Jerry "was even using a typewriter at the start." Several other fans were equally baffled by the character's seeming 180. "That's what I noticed too," wrote user Apfelmatschi, adding "Jerry was introduced as a conspiracy theorist, guy distrusting the government etc., but...became the stereotypical tech guy in the HQ." The transition was made all the more confusing given the short timeframe in which it took place. User HolyQuack_ noted that, early on, Jerry "needed help from some teen to use a laptop" but shortly thereafter "boom he knew how to work a gigantic touchscreen and all the applications on it." 

The leap in Jerry's abilities notwithstanding, at least one fan had a theory about the break-neck speed of his transition. "(It) seems like Jorge Garcia was meant to be a guest for an ep or two," wrote CaseyRC, "...and then people (liked) him and so they retconned Jerry to make him useful to the team (by being) good with computers." Ah, a classic case of retconning. Given the gap between Season 4 Jerry and the one-man-tech-band of later seasons, this makes sense.