HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Producers billed it as an "event" episode that would leave you on the edge of your seat. It didn't disappoint! They packed the season finale of Hawaii Five-0 with car chases, bombs, a pregnancy, a brutal killing - and cliffhangers throughout.
We knew, going in, producers had some surprises in store, but wow! What a finish! "Our season finale is the strongest episode of the season," says Daniel Dae Kim, who plays Chin Ho Kelly.
Even the actors weren't sure how it was all going to end. "A bunch of the script, they (the producers) didn't release, as well, because it's sort of top secret stuff, and they're sending it out in pages as we're shooting it," explains Alex O'Loughlin, also known as Steve McGarrett.
After 23 episodes and a pilot, bending the rules finally caught up with McGarrett and team. "I don't think there's anything wrong, personally, with the way he polices," says O'Loughlin with a laugh. "I kind of like it, but perhaps there are consequences at the end of it that he needs to face."
Off-screen, the cast built a bond over the past year.
"It's been a long season with some grueling hours, and we've all fought through some sicknesses and you know, some personal difficulties, and so the fact that we're all here working together and pushing hard to the end, I find inspirational," says Kim.
In fact, there were plenty of 15+ hour days on the set, and cast and crew say they're looking forward to some downtime and a little rest and relaxation.
O'Loughlin says he'll divide his time between Los Angeles, Australia, and Hawaii. Scott Caan – who plays Danno Williams - has his HBO gig on "Entourage", and he may do a play. Grace Park is keeping mum on her summer plans, and as she looks back at the first year, she says nothing could have prepared her for the ups-and-downs of being on a hit show. She plays Kono Kalakaua and says her favorite moment of the season was actually shooting a funeral scene that came at the end of a show.
"There was a ring of surfers in the water on their surfboards. That was pretty epic, and not just because it looked great and was an emotional thing, but because it's something that really happens."
Caan's best times have also been in Hawaii's waters. "When I hurt my knee in the beginning, I wasn't able to surf, so the last couple of months have been my favorite moments because I've been able to surf. I got some good waves and that was fun."
It's been one wild ride this season – with, hopefully, plenty in store for the next. CBS will officially announce its fall-line up this week, and it looks like the show will be picked up for another year.
And as Jack Lord would say: Be there. Aloha.