(new) Hawaii Five-0 on CBS

Stave off the government, save the world?

That is presumably the plan for Salvation’s Harris, Grace, Darius and Liam as CBS’ new summertime drama launches its freshman finale tonight at a special time, 10/9c. Having discovered that President Mackenzie was A) targeted for assassination by a treasonous cabal but B) actually survived and has been holed away by trusted allies, Harris is getting in bed with the enemy (so to speak?) by cozying up to the White House chief of staff as part of a plan to expose and overthrow newly installed President Bennett’s ruthless, asteroid-sympathetic regime.

Ian Anthony Dale, who plays the Deputy Secretary of Defense, spoke with TVLine about Salvation‘s action-packed finale and his hopes for Season 2 (in outer space?), as well as his bolstered Hawaii Five-0 role (albeit sans leading lady Grace Park).

TVLINE | Jen [Finnigan] told me that she had never seen Deep Impact or Armageddon, that they simply weren’t her “jam.” What about you?
Yeah, I’d seen them, but it’s been quite a number of years, so they weren’t very fresh in my mind. I had some reference point to be able to draw a comparison to Salvation, and one thing I think we do better than its predecessors is exploring the geopolitical element of what would happen in the event of an asteroid coming to hit Earth. We’re really investing in the relationships and asking the question, “How would you want to spend potentially the last days of your life?”

TVLINE | What is Harris’ mission going into the finale, with regards to Claire, President Mackenzie being secretly alive and everything?
What we learned from Episode 12 is that things became extremely personal for Harris when he learns about what appears to be the loss of his son in the warehouse explosion, when Bennett ordered the raid. Harris was on a trajectory of taking down this evil faction within the U.S. government, but now he has become even more motivated. You can expect to see Harris really taking charge in the finale and trying to get justice.

TVLINE | Is that why last week’s scripted directed you to give Claire a “kiss that could kill“? Because he’s that angry?
[Laughs] I think the writers really wanted to differentiate the way Harris is with Claire versus the way he is with Grace. So yeah, in the stage direction it says Harris kisses claire with a “kiss that could kill,” so I played with that interpretation. I think [his hands on her neck] perhaps was telling another story to the audience, that Harris and Claire have a particularly kinky bedroom life, where a bit of asphyxiation might be fairly common.

TVLINE | Claire is pretty intense when simply being thirsty. How might she be was a woman scorned? I’m almost afraid for him.
Oooh, yeah. Harris is definitely playing with fire, in every moment of manipulating Claire. As he gets more and more invested in the charade with her, he’s setting himself up for some serious repercussions. Hell hath no fury….

TVLINE | Especially when the “woman scored” has a secret government cabal at her disposal!
One that’s not afraid to order a hit on the U.S president or the press secretary! I don’t know how much sympathy she’s going to have for Harris. let’s put it that way.

Watch this exclusive sneak peek below to get precise insight into Claire’s mindset

TVLINE | Is there a ticking clock element to the finale? The asteroid is still weeks away from impact…
I watched the finale last night and it was probably the fastest-paced episode of the season. It had a very 24 feel to it, where there’s just so much happening and so much momentum building toward the finish line. And you have these really wonderful character moments — emotional moments where you get to see what happens with some of these love triangles and how they’ll ultimately situate themselves as we end Season 1 and hopefully start preparing for Season 2.

TVLINE | Speaking of triangles, might the simmering between Grace and Darius compromise Harris’ decision-making?
I think he’s been picking up on it throughout the season, certainly as we ramp towards the end. Harris has grown throughout this season and become more understanding and self-reflective, understanding what role he plays in his relationships with his son, with Grace, and he’s taking some responsibility. I think he realizes he’s losing Grace but there’s nothing he can do.

TVLINE | The circumstances are a bit extreme, you know. Most couples don’t go through this.
[Laughs] No, they certainly don’t. There’s been a lot of deception, a lot of lies and a lot of secrets, and no healthy relationship is built on those things.

TVLINE | Harris is actually on Darius’ list for the ark. That’s a nice gesture.
It is a nice gesture. Everyone has grown through being challenged by this experience. We’re all sort of realizing our own human fraility and our limitations. As these last episodes unfolded, we’ve seen the core four come together to try to work together, to hatch some positive ending to this season — and have some hope for the future.

TVLINE | What sort of emotions will the audience go through during the final moments?
Some fear. Some desperation. Some edge-of-your-seat [tension]. Some heartbreak. Lots of excitement. Lots of anticipation. And a big surprise at the end.

TVLINE | Is there a Season 2 plan in place? If the show gets renewed?
There is a plan, yeah. That’s the thing, there’s so much more story to tell. I’m hopeful that I’ll be buying winter clothes for my newborn son, which means we’d be headed back to Toronto in February and I get to see what [showrunners] Liz [Kruger] and Craig [Shapiro] have up their sleeves. The way we end it really leaves the door open for a lot more story to be told and I certainly would love to get back together with this group of people. This was a wonderful, harmonious experience — and I’m sure Jen has told you the same thing.

TVLINE | I could see Season 2 going two ways — everybody stays put and we cover the remaining weeks until the asteroid hits, or people get on the ark and it’s about life in outer space.
There are definitely options. And when you’re able to bring the elements together — this cast, these writers, that crew in Toronto — it would be foolish not to recreate that magic at least one more time.

TVLINE | Of course, before you return to the cold of Toronto you are back in Hawaii, for Season 8 of Five-0. Was it a bit bittersweet being promoted to series regular but not having your leading lady Grace Park there?
Of course it’s always going to be a little different. I had six seasons playing on-screen with Grace and we’ve grown very close. But we continue to be friends and she was completely supportive of me joining the cast as a regular. There’s going to be a bit of an adjustment period that happens, but fortunately I have roots in Hawaii, I have history there and close friends within the remaining cast and crew. I’ve been there twice now [for the new season] and it feels a bit like going home in a way. I’m excited to see what the season has in store for my character.

TVLINE | Whats Adam’s POV on Kono being away, doing her thing? How does he find peace with it?
That’s going to be something that peels away slowly throughout Season 8. We do certainly see the disappointment etched on his face when he returns to the island alone, but he doesn’t have much time to lament before he’s thrust into the action with McGarrett & Co. McGarrett has a very intriguing proposition for Adam, to perhaps wander back into his dark past in order to help the Five-0 task force with some of their bigger issues. I appreciate the way [showrunner] Peter [Lenkov] has found an organic way to continue my storyline that sort of recognizes where my character has journeyed from the beginning until now. Instead of just handing me a badge and a governor’s pardon for those two murders Adam committed back in Season 5 or 6 or whatever, for him to continue on in a way that is more true to how he has developed over six seasons, I think the audience will appreciate that — and I certainly do, as well.

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