Hawaii Five-0: This is how the CBS series was really meant to end

The series finale was a heartwarming way to say aloha, but it wasn’t exactly what the creatives behind the show originally had in mind. In an alternate universe, Hawaii Five-0 would have had an ending that came earlier and contained a very different kind of emotional beat.

In 2010, viewers of CBS they got a first-class ticket to the sunny and occasionally plagued shores of the Hawaiian Islands. Hawaii Five-0 was a reboot of the classic criminal procedural of the same name (but with a slightly different spelling: Hawaii Five-O) that ran from 1968 to 1980. The 21st century version enjoyed a similar length, coming to an end in 2020 after broadcast 10 seasons.

There’s a moment in Season 7 that was originally meant to end the series.

In the final episode of the reboot series, our main character Steve McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) is preparing to leave both his role as commander of his police task force and Hawaii itself. Before leaving, his colleagues arrive to give him one last heartfelt goodbye in a scene that was as emotional for the cast as it was for the audience at home.

Conclude Hawaii Five-0 with a cavalcade of farewells from the cast members was great, but what if it all ended with a scene where McGarrett was confronted by none other than… McGarrett? Fortunately, we don’t have to imagine what he would have been like. The original concept for that final scene ended up being brought into the show in a different capacity.

The season 7 premiere of Hawaii Five-0 contained a remarkable meta scene. While enjoying some quiet time in a hospital chapel, McGarrett meets a talkative older man who is waiting for his wife to come out of surgery.

The season 10 finale wasn’t supposed to be the end of Hawaii Five-0.

The man reveals that he was also a police officer in Hawaii, but specifies that his tenure ended a long time ago. Anyone familiar with the original Hawaii Five-O will recognize the man as the early version of Steve McGarrett, played by actor Jack Lord.

This reunion of the two McGarretts was achieved through the use of CGI, as Lord died in 1998. It’s a stunning throwback to the show’s origins, and according to executive producer and series co-developer Peter M. Lenkov, the scene it was meant to have even more meaning.

“I originally conceived the idea, a scene between McGarrett and Jack Lord, to be the final scene of the series.”

So how did it end up in the season 7 premiere? In a post-series finale interview, Lenkov revealed that he included the scene in season 7 because, at the time, he did not expect the show to continue.

“It’s a scene where I didn’t think the CGI was that great, but I needed to put it in because I thought it was going to be the last year of the show.”

Of course, Hawaii Five-0 it ended up getting an additional three seasons, albeit without main cast members Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park. But even the heartwarming farewell fans received wasn’t part of the initial plan for the season 10 finale.

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Hawaii Five-0: This is how the CBS series was really meant to end


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