Fall TV Preview

Hawaii Five-0: 8 Things to Know About Season 4

Aloha ke kahi I ke kahi (We Need Each Other)Cue the drums and launch your catamarans, because CBS’ Hawaii Five-0 returns tonight, in its new Fridays-at-9/8c time slot. Who’s coming after McGarrett? What is Doris’ deal with Wo Fat? Who’s about to get in Five-0’s face? When will Kono return? Here’s what showrunner Peter M. Lenkov and star Alex O’Loughlin have to say about Season 4.

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KNOCK-KNOCK-KNOCKIN’ ON PRISON’S DOOR | When last we tuned in, McGarrett’s grilling of Wo Fat (see below) was interrupted by a violent assault on the jailhouse, with a band of mysterious baddies set to blast through the steel cell door. “You have to think that if they made it that far, they’re pretty formidable,” Lenkov notes. “And if Wo Fat is scared, that’s a big deal.” All told, “The people on the other side of that door really are a payoff to characters that were introduced in Season 3, a continuation of one larger story.”

MOM’S THE (FOUR-LETTER) WORD | Vexed by the discovery that his mother Doris once visited arch enemy Wo Fat behind bars, McGarrett will be like a dog with a bone when it comes to finding out why. “This is one of the most important emotional beats for McGarrett,” says O’Loughlin. Having already been epically duped by his mother (when she faked her death for so many years), the two ultimately arrived at some semblance of trust. “Yet now she’s doing it again,” O’Loughlin sighs. “I can’t imagine the looming existential crisis that’s following him around, day in and day out.” What is the Doris/Wo Fat connection? Lenkov will only say, “It’s not the obvious answer” – which just might be the first tree McGarrett climbs. “He really believes that they’re closer than he thinks,” O’Loughlin says, “that there may be some sort of blood connection there. 'A'ale Ma'a Wau (Fish out of Water)He’s obsessed with that idea, and it’s something he’s going to pursue.” At Steve’s side through this odyssey is one of the few people left for him to rely on. “Danno is his brother in arms,” O’Loughlin says. “[And] that solidarity connects those two characters even deeper, which is really great.”

FRACTURED FIVE-0 | Asked for this season’s theme, Lenkov says that with Kono in hiding with Adam (though still seen here and there), “The team’s a little fractured, so it’s about filling that void, fortifying the family. They’re working for a while like a three-wheeled car, where something’s wrong and they know what the problem is – it’s Kono – so, how do they get her back?” Lenkov adds, “We’re hoping to have her back working with Five-0 by like midseason,” but until then, a void is a void — “and that’s where Chi McBride comes in.”

SWAT’S A MATTER WITH YOU? | As the premiere’s jailhouse invasion plays out, Pushing Daisies‘ Chi McBride makes his debut as SWAT Captain Lou Grover (a character once featured on TV’s original Five-0 series). “If people thought Steve McGarrett was ballsy and lived by his own set of rules, they haven’t met Chi’s character yet,” laughs Lenkov. “He’s going to give McGarrett a run for his money in a way nobody has.” Adds an excited O’Loughlin: “He’s a very powerful alpha character, with a hell of a presence, too. McGarrett’s usually the big mouth of the room, and when this guy comes in, it’s a challenge and a contrast.” And it shall continue to be! “I’ve just read Episode 8, and we argued for 47 of the 50 pages,” O’Loughlin reports. “They’re really getting into it with those two.”

A ‘BEAUTIFUL’ REMEMBRANCE | As previously reported by TVLine, H50 will remember the attack on Pearl Harbor with a story told partly in flashback, through the lens of an elderly Japanese man arrested at the start of the hour. “It’s beautiful. One of the most beautiful scripts I’ve read,” O’Loughlin effuses. “And it’s a very important episode… because it gives a Japanese perspective on that day, and it’s rare that we here in America get the Japanese perspective, or the Afghani perspective or the Iraqi perspective or whatever it is, because we’re in this CNN, Starbucks-fueled hub of glory.”

TROUBLE IN PARADISE? | Catherine will leave the Navy to work for her ex-boyfriend Billy’s private security firm — at Steve’s urging, yet nonetheless with jealousy-tinged ramifications. “What does that mean if she leaves the Navy? And what does it mean that her ex-boyfriend showed up? And do I need to kick his ass?” O’Loughlin wonders. On the professional front, it will lead to a fun reversal of roles. As Lenkov notes, “We set up for three years McGarrett would always come to her for favors; now that Catherine’s in the private sector, it will be interesting for those tables to be turned.”

A BLAST FROM THE PAST | “We’re bringing back the Champ box” – Ka 'oia' i' o ma loko (The Truth Within)aka the late John McGarrett’s more-than-a-toolbox – “which was a big mystery in the first season,” Lenkov reveals. “Joe White (the returning Terry O’Quinn) is going to be sort of running that little story.”

VIP TOURISTS | In addition to the likes of Tim Daly (Private Practice), Rebecca De Mornay (Risky Business) and, well, a Jonas, Season 4’s guest stars include Melanie Griffith as Danny’s mother (who arrives on his doorstep when his Dad overwhelms her with a midlife crisis), Jorge Garcia (“There’s a little nod to Lost” in a scene shared with Daniel Dae Kim, Lenkov promises) and a Thanksgiving visit from the Carol Burnett, as McGarrett’s aunt. Says Lenkov, “We’re hoping she gets to do a little song at the end, at the bar, and maybe tugs on her ear.”

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