Hawaii Five-0 Boss Explains Series Finale Absences

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The decision to end Hawaii Five-0 was only announced weeks ago, and now the series is over. 

Naturally, fans thought there would have been more characters from the past popping up, including Chin Ho Kelly (Daniel Dae Kim) and Kono Kalakaua (Grace Park).

The pair previously exited the series following Hawaii Five-0 Season 7 when negotiations fell through because the actors wanted parity with co-stars Alex O'Loughlin and Scott Caan. 

Ohno Forever

Now, showrunner Peter M Lenkov has opened up in a new interview about learning the show's fate after the season finale was already written, and how it meant weaving in past stars was an issue. 

"If I would have brought those characters back, I feel like they needed more time on-screen," he told TV Line.

"I couldn't just put them in for a moment at the end. They deserved more."

Chin Kono

He subsequently opened up about the response to Kamekona Tupuola (Taylor Wily) and Duke Lukela's (Dennis Chun) limited screen time in the finale, saying:

"I wrote the episode thinking that there was the possibility of a season 11. And when I went back [to make tweaks], there was no time."

"Everybody that's ever been on the show, that's played in more than one episode, has really been family to [Steve McGarrett], to the character, so I'd love to put everybody in."

"It's just a matter of filling only 43 minutes. I have 12 minutes of that show that are not in there that are on the cutting room floor."


Indeed, CBS made the decision to end Hawaii Five-0 while there was still the possibility of an eleventh season, so it undoubtedly made it difficult to bring the show to a close in a satisfying way. 

Had CBS given the show a pre-planned final season, there would have probably been more returns. 

However, it's good to know there was a conclusion for the series. Many conclude without a satisfactory goodbye, and this was the best things could get given the circumstances. 

What did you think of the way it played out? 


Do you wish more past stars returned for the ending?

Hit the comments below.

Remember you can watch Hawaii Five-0 online right here via TV Fanatic. 

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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