When Hawaii Five-0 season 8 premieres on CBS a little bit later this fall, there is probably one word to describe its story options: Flexible. There is a real sense that anything can happen over the next season, and what’s remarkable about it is that the writers have actually created an ending for a season 8 finale one season earlier.
What does that mean? It’s not lost on many diehard fans that Alex O’Loughlin could leave the show at the end of season 8, and in establishing a story where the radiation exposure could end Steve McGarrett’s police career, the writers have provided an out in the event the story goes in that direction. Not only that, but there are multiple outs in the works now for many other main characters.
Steve: Let’s talk about that radiation season 7 cliffhanger for a second. This gives him an out if O’Loughlin decides that season 8 is the end for him, but after hearing that this radiation poisoning is going to have long term effects on him are we really looking at a happy ending where he goes off into retirement or will he be facing an early grave? It’s not exactly the ending fans want for Steve, and wasn’t the direction we expected the writers to go in.
Chin – Could he move to San Francisco and start a whole new life with Sara and Abby while leading his own task force? It’s a worthy discussion point, and something that he will have to think about. Granted, it’s hard to see this story prolonged for the entirety of season 8, but it’s certainly a happily ever after ending for Chin -especially with all that proposal talk at the end of season 7.
Danny – Throughout the second half of season 7 there was a lot of a discussion about his future, and with all this talk about Danny retiring and opening a restaurant on the island it opens up some possibilities here. If Steve leaves the task force and Danny is opening a restaurant is it not possible that they could be working together on this new project? They would have some challenges working together on the restaurant though since Steve wants it to be named after him and Danny is having none of it.
Kono – She has always been passionate about her job, but the sex-trafficking case really got under her skin. After clearing up that small part of the ring in Hawaii, it wasn’t enough for her and we saw her take off to Las Vegas to tackle the next ring. We could see her deciding to work all over America helping to set up other task forces or sharing information with them until she has put an end to it.
Hopefully, many of these actors and characters will return for many more seasons, but all options do seem to be open now depending on what happens. What is smart about crafting these stories now is in the event there are some departures, they are planted within the world of the show early leaving no surprises (or angry fans). It’s similar to what happened with Max during season 7; you could get the sense in advance that he would be moving on, and CBS announced Masi Oka’s exit early enough so there was time to prepare for it.
Time will tell starting in September what happens with many of these different characters. For now, it just makes sense thematically to ask these questions about the future for a season themed heavily around legacy. No one in this world wants to be remembered for just their job or one facet of their lives. Humans are fluid, and it’s beautiful for the show to recognize that.
Do you like how Hawaii Five-0 is planting some of these stories to lay the course for the future? Share in the comments below!
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