For Alex O'Loughlin and his co-star, Scott Caan, this was a big week on “Hawaii Five-O.” Both actors turned 41, and seem as fit and savvy as ever. Both men are dads, and definitely, enjoy good-natured ribbing back-and-forth, so it's almost certain that “being over the hill” was played to the hilt on the set. Personal milestones aside, Alex O'Loughlin was celebrated by fans this week in an August 25 feature to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, and it’s clear that the affection goes far deeper than the handsome Australian’s profile on camera. The premiere week for “Hawaii Five-O” is a month away, and executive producer, Peter Lenkov, described why Season 8 will be one that no fan would want to miss.

The old and the new

Many fans are still feeling unsteady after the rough seas that shattered their beloved drama’s “ohana,” resulting in the loss of Grace Park and Daniel Dae Kim to the force. Any transition so major takes a toll, but Peter Lenkov insists that the show will stay true to its roots, and the favorite “fixtures” between the cast that keep Friday night as appointment TV. The “carguments” between Danny Williams and Steve McGarrett “on the road” to cracking cases are apparently just as fun for the writers as for the loyal throngs of watchers, and Lenkov assures that the “great job riffing off each other” that has been TV gold for seven seasons will carry on even more memorably.

Fans are constantly enthralled by the emotion and respect that Alex O'Loughlin brings to the bridge that Lt.

Commander McGarrett must straddle and cross between his past and the present. Whether it comes through in resolving his own hurts with his father and mother, honoring a departed soldier with whom he served, fulfilling a final wish for Aunt Deb, or giving all he has to help his “Five-O” team to right a wrong from the past, he stays faithfully committed, and remains on that fateful crossing.

Lenkov divulged that the ever-present Halloween episode in the new season would draw heavily upon Hawaiian culture and folklore, so there may be more spells cast and fewer costumes of dark superheroes.

This week already held more revelations about the introductions of new cast members, and their interplay with O'Loughlin and Caan. Any good drama needs a little tension at times between characters to allow growth. Time will tell how Beulah Koale’s Junior Reigns, known for the more straight and narrow, will come to respect his less conventional boss, but the two already share a brotherhood in military honor to country, so it’s bound to happen.

Lenkov described that he felt most satisfied with how the new cast of Koale, Meaghan Rath, and the already familiar Ian Anthony Dale are “digging into” their new and expanded characters.

The truth always translates

As one would expect, almost no fan found it impossible to select a single favorite “Hawaii Five-O” episode in which Alex O'Loughlin shined. The one most mentioned per Facebook was the remarkable 100th episode, “Ina Paha.”

The episode depicts the power of choices in destiny when Steve is captured by Wo Fat. The heroic officer lives out a “reunion” with his father in a drugged dream-state, ultimately goes through unspeakable torture and a final, unforgettable battle with Wo Fat. Scott Caan is the portrait of intrepid in his collaboration with Adam to find Steve. Danny breaks down in tears to see his partner at last, and take him home. Perhaps what fans feel most is the humanity and frailness that is part of every hero, even ones with the most valiant hearts.

Humanity is at its finest display in another “Hawaii Five-O” gesture of "ohana," when Danny offers a portion of his liver to Steve. Alex O'Loughlin will still be contending with emotional and physical struggles in Season 8, and it remains to be seen if the drama will reach past memorable peaks. Everything must move forward to maintain life, and that mantra has to guide this actor in forming a new force for good into the future.

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