(new) Hawaii Five-0 on CBS

Five-0 Redux

By Wendie Burbridge / Special to the Star-Advertiser
May 19, 2017
  • COURTESY CBS"Hawaii Five-0" series star contemplates his immediate future in the season finale, "Ua mau ke ea o ka ʻāina i ka pono."
    COURTESY CBS"Hawaii Five-0" series star contemplates his immediate future in the season finale, "Ua mau ke ea o ka ʻāina i ka pono."

After seven years, “Hawaii Five-0” starts another summer hiatus with fans wondering what awaits them come September. While season eight is only four short months away, fans seem to always have a hard time containing their hiatus anxiety. The year started off with the treat of a seventh “Sunset on the Beach” premiere, and CBS launched a great new Friday lead-in for Five-0, the Peter Lenkov-driven “MacGyver.” The season also promised fans an interesting search for a clever serial killer, as well as another groundbreaker– the 150th episode.

Yet, despite all of this season seven goodness, fans seem to have even more anxiety about the fate of their favorite show as they head into season eight. Everyone is wondering if certain members of the Five-0 cast will be back, and if popular recurring cast members will be elevated to series regular and return in eight for good.

One of the biggest concerns for fans is the fate of the series. Around the time of the 150th episode in November of 2016, series star Alex O’Loughlin gave an interview to Collider.com and shared that if “Hawaii Five-0” was renewed for an eighth season, it would be his last. The idea of O’Loughlin not returning to the show sent the Five-0 fandom into a tailspin. Another red flag went up in February when series regular, Masi Oka, said “aloha ʻoe” to the show. Even though the cast celebrated his character, Dr. Max Bergman, leaving Hawaiʻi to join his new wife in Africa, the fact that Oka was leaving the show for good, did not bode well for the future of Five-0.

So as fans waded through the year wondering who else seemed to be headed off the island, the season finale again left them with even more questions about the departure of more of the team. With Grace Park’s character, Kono Kalākaua, headed off to Carson City, Nevada to save more girls caught in a Hawaiʻi-linked sex trafficking ring; and Daniel Dae Kim’s character Chin Ho Kelly being offered his own Five-0 styled task force in San Francisco– fans ended season seven wondering what the next season’s cast would look like. And likewise, with both Park and Kim’s characters seemingly on their way out, what would that mean for their romantic partners on the show– Abby Dunn and Adam Noshimuri, played by Julie Benz and Ian Anthony Dale.

Really, the ultimate worry fans have been carrying around since the November article is the fear that their favorite actor O’Loughlin would leave McGarrett and Five-0 behind. In the Collider.com article, O’Loughlin discussed how much he likes working on the show with people he now considers to be his friends, and how comfortable he feels living and working in Hawaiʻi. But he also revealed the effect of the many injuries he suffered doing his own stunts in season one. Part of the reason he suggests he would not return is because he doesn’t think he can handle more of the physical demands of the show.

But O’Loughlin recent interview in the June issue of CBS Watch! Magazine suggests he has new energy to continue past season eight. In the article, O’Loughlin suggests that his deep connection to Hawai’i and his family, as well as the fact that the treatment he has received to help heal his back injuries have caused him to feel physically better and able to press on with “another season or two.”

Personally, I don’t think O’Loughlin will ever leave Hawaiʻi since he married swimwear designer Malia Jones, who is part-Hawaiian and grew up on the Windward side of Oʻahu, and because he sees Hawaiʻi as his home. He has said in an interview during “Sunset on the Beach,” that his “wife is from Hawaiʻi and (his) son was born here,” so Hawaiʻi is now his home. As most Hawaiians do not leave their island home and O’Loughlin seems to have such a heart for Hawaiʻi, this leaves me with little doubt he will choose to leave “Hawaii Five-0.” As long as he can continue to work and handle the physical requirements of the show, I think he will continue for many more seasons.

This would be my same conclusion for Daniel Dae Kim. Kim has lived in Hawaiʻi since about 2004 when he starred in the hit television show “Lost.” When I interviewed him a few years ago at Sunset on the Beach, I asked him if he felt like a kamaʻāina or local resident of Hawaiʻi, and he was humble in his answer. He said he did feel like Hawaiʻi was home for him and his family.

Last summer, Kim took on Broadway, playing the King in “The King and I” and this summer, it looks like Kim will be busy with a new show of his own. Earlier this month, ABC picked up a new medical drama “The Good Doctor,” which is executive-produced by Kim and his company 3AD media. Based on the South Korean drama series of the same name, the series stars Freddie Highmore as a young surgeon with autism and savant syndrome. Kim told TV Guide that his producing duties on “The Good Doctor” will not keep him from working simultaneously on “Hawaii Five-0.” Like some of the other cast members who use the hiatus to delve into other projects and stage or film work, Kim is continuing to pursue other projects while never disappointing us with his work on Five-0.

Both Scott Caan and Chi McBride seem to be in status quo mode this hiatus season. Caan usually writes and/or works on a play during hiatus, and currently, a film he worked on, “Untogether” with Jamie Dornan and Jemima and Lola Kirke is in post-production.

Ian Anthony Dale and Julie Benz are not series regulars, but because they play the romantic partners with two series regulars, fans seem to love them as much as they do the regular cast. Dale’s character Adam is married to Kono, and Benz’s character Abby is with Chin. Chin seems to want to take their relationship to a new level and wants to “make it official.” Now, this could mean that he asks Abby to move in permanently, or to go steady, or share a dog– but the assumption is that Chin will ask Abby to marry him next season.

Benz has not been in the show very much this season because she had been busy filming the CBS drama “Training Day” starring the late Bill Paxton. Benz played Holly Butler, a Hollywood madam who seems to also be Detective Frank Roarke’s (Paxton) girlfriend. Sadly, because of Paxton’s untimely death, the series was canceled by CBS on May 17. This leaves Benz completely open to working on “Hawaii Five-0.”

On the flip side, Dale’s future seems hazy on the show, as he signed on to star as Deputy Secretary of Defense Harris Anders in the CBS summer drama “Salvation.” The series sounds like one summer fans could get into as an asteroid is six months away from hitting Earth. Dale plays the man who has to run the government’s top-secret plan to deflect a planet killer asteroid. Dale’s last series on TNT “Murder in the First” was canceled in October 2016, so I’m glad he will be seen in a lead role in a series. Dale is also busy getting ready for the most important role of his life, as he is about to become a father.

Yet it is not Dale’s busy calendar that puts his fate on Five-0 in jeopardy– it is the fact that his wife on the show, Kono, played by Grace Park, seems to be in the wind working a case on her own. Based on farewell messages and pictures posted on social media, which suggest Park was given a sweet “Aloha ʻoe” send off by the crew, some have come to the sad conclusion that Park has left “Hawaii Five-0.”

As the season finale connotes that Kono left Five-0 to help the young women being trafficked on the mainland, it seems that until Park’s leave is made official, she may return to film other episodes in season eight. If nothing else, Lenkov has left the door wide open for her to return to the team, or at least to guest star at some point. Hopefully, this is not the last we have heard from Kono.

Regardless of where our anxiety lies about what will happen with the cast and crew of our favorite show, we do know that most of our favorites will return. And as long as we return as well, then there’s little to be really worried about.

REDUX SIDE NOTE

There was no episode this week as CBS showed “The New I Love Lucy Superstar Special” in the Friday “Hawaii Five-0” slot. Look for a repeat next week of “He Moho Hou” (“New Player”) where McGarrett and FBI profiler Alicia Brown, played by special guest star Claire Forlani, started working together to hunt the “Chess-Piece Killer.” Forlani played Alicia Brown in a multi-episode story arc this last season, and many fans loved how well she worked with McGarrett and the Five-0 team.


Wendie Burbridge is a published author, playwright, and teacher. Reach her via Facebook and follow her on Twitter and Instagram.