As you saw in last week’s kick-ass season premiere, Hawaii Five-0 is gearing up for an exciting fourth season, as each member of the team has a compelling story that doesn’t look to be resolved any time soon.
While in Hawaii last week for the premiere (check out the red carpet videos now), I grabbed some time with Executive Producer Peter Lenkov to chat about what we’ll see with McGarrett, Danny, Chin Ho, Kono and (resurrected from the original series) Captain Lou Grover, played by new series regular Chi McBride. (Tonight's episode features guest star Tim Daly, pictured below with O'Loughlin and Kim).
Scroll down for excerpts from our Q&A and gather up some Hawaii Five-0 Season 4 scoop now...
TV Fanatic: What are some of the major themes for Season Four? Will the Wo Fat business get resolved fairly soon?
Peter Lenkov: Well, it’s never going to be resolved. Not this season, but we do have some answers and I think some of the obvious answers that the fans have been asking. We definitely address that. We address that big question that I know is on everybody’s mind, ‘are the two related?’ We’re definitely going to address that. I think with our show…at least we try. We may not always hit the bulls-eye, but I think we try just to surprise the audience a little bit. Things could change.
TVF: McGarrett’s journey this season, is there still more stuff with his mom (Christine Lahti)?
PL: I think McGarrett’s going to learn some new discoveries with his mom and I think clearly there’s not a lot of trust there in the relationship. I think we’re going to explore that a little bit. We’re going to get to meet Carol Burnett, who plays his aunt. In the mythology of the show, when the mother supposedly died, Mary was sent to go live with an aunt in LA so Carol Burnett’s going to be that aunt. She comes back at Thanksgiving and we get to meet her and it’s really a very, very heartwarming episode.
TVF: Have you already shot that?
PL: No, we haven’t shot it….she’s going to sing at the end of the show and she plays somebody who struggled for years to be a singer. She finally got a recording contract very late in life and then all of a sudden, boom, she gets this little girl on her door step so she had to put everything aside to be a mother so there’s this nice moment at the end where she gets to sing in front of an audience. It’s a very warm episode.
TVF: Is it a lighter episode because we’ve seen Carol Burnett comedy, but she can also do drama?
PL: No, no. It’s drama. It’s definitely drama. I mean, we naturally always have some comedy in the show, but her being there is mostly drama.
TVF: From the season finale, it looks like Chin Ho’s going to get busy with Lailani (Lindsay Price). Will we see some of that on the show?
PL: She’s not in the first batch of episodes, but the idea is that they’re in a relationship. It’s not like a heavy duty relationship but he’s open to the idea of spending time with a woman.
TVF: Is that making him a little lighter now that he’s got that in his life? He’s had some bad knocks there.
PL: Yeah, but I think there’s an interesting episode that’s coming up where it’s really…there’s a lot of time with him being grilled by Internal Affairs. We’re going to learn a lot more about his backstory. We thought we knew everything. We thought we knew why he lost his badge but there’s going to be a lot more that’s going to come out and a very big, surprising twist in this flashback episode where you find out about his relationship with Malia and you’re going to learn about his father, Chin Ho’s father and about being mentored by McGarrett’s father so there’s a lot of good stuff in that episode for him.
TVF: Is this all stuff that you guys have kind of known the whole time and you’ve just been parceling out or are you coming up with it as you write the story?
PL: Some stuff has come up on the road but mostly the arcs for the characters, I thought a lot about that when I first started to write the pilot, just in terms of where I wanted to go, but some stuff is new. As these things come to life…
TVF: Is Danny going to have a happily ever after at home since it seems like his family is together at the end of last season?
PL: I think the thing about Danny is Danny’s more interesting when he’s not happy. When he’s got some conflict so I would say that. I think it’s not going to be that smooth for him.
TVF: How long before Kono gets back to the family because it looks like she’s going to be off on her own story for awhile.
PL: She’s got a real, solid story with Adam (Ian Anthony Dale) and being on the run and by the time she comes back and is a full member of Five-0, it’s probably mid-way through the season. We really want to do this arc and make it feel real. It’s not that simple actually, what they go through, but it’s fun. It’s really fun and I think for an actor to be able to do that kind of stuff, to be able to do not just the case of the week, but to be able to have this runner of half a season arc, I think she’s really excited. Also, we are as writers, but she’s very excited.
TVF: Okay. Lastly, having Chi [McBride] now in the group and kind of working against them and with them somewhat, is that shaking up the Five-0 family?
PL: First of all, it’s the best thing to happen to us in a long time having him in the show. He’s amazing and the chemistry between him and Alex and the rest of the team is great. I think a lot of it is earning each other’s trust. That’s going to take a while.
It just adds another dynamic and it’s some of the fun we had in season one with Danny…now, [Danny’s] drunk the Kool Aid a little bit so now he sort of understands when we do stuff. I think for him, for Chi, it’s not what he’s used to and I think that’s where the drama comes.
Hawaii Five-0 airs Fridays at 10 p.m. on CBS.
Jim Halterman is the West Coast Editor of TV Fanatic and the owner of JimHalterman.com. Follow him on Twitter.