Alex O'Loughlin has never been anything but honest about his love for “Hawaii Five-O.” Many loyal fans who have followed the versatile star from his acclaimed roles on Australian TV to his memorable roles in “Moonlight,” “Three Rivers,” and “The Shield,” will recall that Alex O'Loughlin assured fans that “I'm in for seven,” in early interviews after first being cast as Lt. Commander Steve McGarrett back in 2010. After proving his depth with his craft, and his aim to audiences’ hearts as sure as a stealth missile, Alex O'Loughlin found his creative home as boss of the elite “Hawaii Five-O” task force.

O'Loughlin fell in love with the islands, their beautiful nature, and welcoming people even beyond playing his part, and Oahu became home for him and his growing family. It wasn't long before he settled in with his wife-to-be, Malia Jones, and her young son, Spike, from an earlier relationship, and his older son, Saxon. The couple welcomed their son, Lion, in 2012, and married in 2014. Alex O'Loughlin teased that he felt his home had become a “man factory” to Ellen DeGeneres, but the pace of island life seemed perfect for the father whose wishes have always been simple and sweet away from the rigors of the “Hawaii Five-O” shooting schedule.

Faithful “Hawaii Five-O” fans have been balancing their loyalties with some tension through the current season.

Their favorite Friday night crime-fighters continue to sweep the ratings shares, and new cast members Meaghan Rath and Beulah Koale are easing into their own audience appeal. What worried many was the Collider interview in 2016, in which Alex O'Loughlin detailed that the physical toll of playing McGarrett was giving him more than pause about returning after Season 8.

At the Veterans Day “Sunset on the Beach” event last fall, the leading man didn't say yes, nor did he say no to his future on “Hawaii Five-O.” He responded only that he hoped producers and himself could “make it happen.”

It seems that time, “ohana,” and a few less demanding stunts have worked miracles because Alex O'Loughlin is quite content to consider himself as McGarrett for at least another full season.

Healing hands of time

To his credit, Alex O'Loughlin has never shown anything but love for “Hawaii Five-O,” the legions of fans of the drama, and every single person involved in getting every episode onto television screens. The actor had been plagued by back injuries from very early in the series, and until recently, had not found any therapy techniques that made a meaningful difference. He has discussed successes with stem cell treatments.

He openly admits that two years ago, his instant answer to a Season 9 would have been “No f****** way,” opting instead to save his back and physical stamina for play time and sports with his young boys. According to his March 23 interview with TVLine (reported by Digital Spy), negatives have been replaced with possibilities, perhaps even probabilities, for Alex O'Loughlin to serve and protect for a season more, or two.

He refuses to call it a “second wind,” but he certainly is reconsidering an early retirement from the force. “Is there a way I can realistically see a season nine being part of my life? I think so." the actor said.

Better than carting groceries

No one in the business disputes that salaries for stars of hit dramas earn a lot of “lettuce” of the spendable green kind, but no amount of dollars can compensate for a son’s first throw at a game or a glorious family swim day along the beach.

Alex O'Loughlin and Scott Caan stayed quiet, calm, and supportive when salary negotiations for Grace Park and Daniel Dae Kim failed, and the founding cast members made decisions to depart. For his part, Alex O'Loughlin asserts that “if CBS can make a deal and be reasonable, then I'm prepared to be reasonable, too.”

Few stars in these times of streaming services have stayed with a series through nearly a decade and 200 episodes, and the actor reiterated his consideration for more than just himself, Caan, and the rest of “Five-O”

In terms of another green reference, O'Loughlin rightly mentioned the immense economic impact of “Hawaii Five-O,” emphasizing “keeping many people employed in Hawaii who might otherwise be stacking boxes at a grocery mart.

No official announcement has come from CBS regarding a ninth “Hawaii Five-O” season yet, but it's good to know that Alex O'Loughlin is feeling fit to take charge again. Seeing the star at the helm to finish 10 seasons would be fine, and perhaps leave room for a new companion, besides Eddie, of course.