Hawaii Five-0 interview: Peter M. Lenkov on cliffhanger, big Alex O’Loughlin episode

In just one week’s time (on September 27), the Hawaii Five-0 season 10 premiere will arrive on CBS! That means a chance to revisit the islands, see the sights, meet a new character in Quinn Liu, and also learn about the resolution of the big season 9 cliffhanger. Multiple characters are in danger of being shot, and the premiere does promise to address that — while also moving us forward to what the next generation of the show is going to be.

So who better to preview what’s next than the boss behind the scenes? In this interview, executive producer Peter M. Lenkov opens up about the aftermath of the cliffhanger, bringing on board Arrow alum Katrina Law as Quinn, a pivotal episode written and directed by Alex O’Loughlin and more. If you want to revisit what happened in the finale, be sure to watch the video below! After you do that, subscribe to CarterMatt on YouTube.

CarterMatt – How is everyone going to recover following the events of the big cliffhanger?

Peter M. Lenkov – When you go through a trauma like that — and when I say trauma, I mean a mental trauma, when somebody gets shot — how do people react? I really wanted to start off the season reacting to that. How people, in the wake of things like that, reassess and move forward.

I know one way you guys are moving forward is by bringing Katrina Law on board, who I love and was so happy to see be a part of the show. What was it about this [Quinn Liu] character and about Katrina that had you excited to write for her?

She’s great. She’s really strong. She can also play vulnerable. I was looking for someone who could really fit in.

In terms of [Quinn’s] skill set, she is a former CID who was bumped down to military police. She’s very much a broken toy, which McGarrett collects. She’s great at her job. I just wanted somebody who was believable in that kind of role. The action stuff, that’s hard — having a gun, being believable while running, you have to be great at that. But you have to be great at the emotional character stuff. [Katrina] really is the utility player; she can do it all.

Last season you had this epic premiere episode that was both a tribute to the original show, but also introduced a larger story with some of McGarrett’s past. Is there a similar big story set up in the premiere this time?

There are a lot of little things that we plant that will play out over the course of the season.

We’ve talked a lot about thematic stuff over the years, and new avenues for you to be able to explore on the show. Is there a new impulse this year, something new and unexplored, that you wanted to dive into?

There is so much stuff that I’ve never gotten to. There are still so many stories that we’ve always pushed downfield because, for one reason or another, we thought they would work better later. Now, on top of that, we have a whole new character to take a deep dive into — who she is, where she’s from, and how she interacts with everyone.

In between all of the episodes of this show plus MacGyver and Magnum PI, you gotta have around 300 episodes at this point. After all that time, what still excites you about this world?

Just the opportunity to tell different kinds of stories. That’s really the truth. When you get a loyal audience and they’ll follow you week to week, it’s a little sandbox that you can play in and try different things. I love trying to find a way to tell different kinds of stories that still fit within the framework of the show.

One of the big stories coming [later this fall] is one written and directed by Alex O’Loughlin that was filmed in Los Angeles. How did that whole idea come about?

He just had a story that he wanted to tell. He called me up and he said ‘I’d love to write one this season.’ After I read it, I thought he should direct it. He wanted it to look different — the story is very different — so we decided on LA. It started with him just wanting to tell a story that he was really passionate about.

I’ve seen social-media teases of a Halloween episode again this year. Is that happening?

Yeah, it’s on my desk right now — I’m editing it. It’s very scary. We went into it thinking about how we could do something like The Conjuring, or a monster movie on television.

Are there any notable guest stars coming back this year?

There are a lot of people coming back, but I don’t want to give [too much] away too early … There’s actually a connection to one of the Big Bads that we’ve had over the years, and that will come back to haunt [the team].

I know there’s talk about a possible Magnum PI – Five-0 crossover. Any telling when you’re going to get a chance to see that play out?

I hope that it will [air] very, very early in the new year, which means that we’d be shooting it soon. We just started talking about how to make it work and story ideas.

I remember there was talk around PaleyFest about trying to do a three-show crossover with MacGyver in there too. With it not airing until next year, is that even more logistically impossible now?

Yeah. If we were going to be doing a three-way crossover, we’d have to be shooting an episode of Five-0 and Magnum that is going to be airing in the spring. That’s just too complicated.

What do you want to see when it comes to Hawaii Five-0 season 10?

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