One of the reasons why “Hawaii Five-O” fans can hardly wait until Friday night is the character, courage, and personal connection brought to life by Alex O'Loughlin in the role of Lt. Commander Steve McGarrett. The actor and his character consistently enrapture the police drama’s faithful following by balancing his daring against his human flaws, and fears of intimacy. This season has conveyed the passing of the “Hawaii Five-O” legacy and sense of honor to a new generation of team members, Junior Reigns and Tani Rey (Beulah Koale and Meaghan Rath).

It has also presented some of the most daring feats ever seen by McGarrett. Lifting a cabin containing his entire “Hawaii Five-O” force by helicopter and performing surgery to save his beloved partner, Danny’s (Scott Caan) life are just two examples.

Alex O'Loughlin has a new lease on life due to feeling fully healthy again, and he's much more focused on the camaraderie he has on “Hawaii Five-O” today than he has been in the past. The star is more excited than ever about taking on director’s duties for this week's March 30 episode, “E ho’oko kuleana (To Do One’s Duty)," which has a deep storyline involving Danny and the now-deceased shooter who nearly took his life.

The director discusses the delights and dilemmas of going behind the camera in March 28 interviews with Entertainment Tonight via Click2Houston and TVLine.

Alex O'Loughlin will portray McGarrett's musical side, playing some guitar, and in a couple of weeks, Michelle Borth will make a return to “Hawaii Five-O” as Catherine Rollins. The 41-year-old Australian gave a glimpse of what their reunion signified, with sweet sentiments.

From the master class to the moving parts

Alex O'Loughlin could not keep from using words like “fantastic,” “super excited,” and “rad” while he described his experience in directing the upcoming episode.

“This show has been a master class in acting,” the leading man says of his nearly eight-year run on “Hawaii Five-O.” He mentions that he was “a little OCD” with his drive to do everything right in his directorial debut that came by “chance.”

The star discusses how acting involves going “inward to get to the work that I've done” and to the depths of his character.

In contrast, directing involves every single camera angle and every cog. “You create the world in every detail,” explains O'Loughlin. As an actor, he tries to make “all the people holding things go away,” so he can pull the needed emotions from inside.

The actor admits to being much more “gregarious” as a director, filming scenes, and rushing to monitors to see the results of a scene. He also thrives on building trust with the “wonderful actors” of “Hawaii Five-O” and the drama’s recurring guest stars. He gives credit for caring about the human story and condition to past directors with whom he has worked. That trust has always been part of the genuine “ohana” that is a hallmark of “Hawaii Five-O.” Those bonds are sure to be felt in the episode, as a young Danny goes back to his days in Newark to unravel the story.

Welcome back and better days

Successful stem cell treatments have been part of the reason that Alex O'Loughlin is seeing a future with “Hawaii Five-O” that he could not envision two years ago. Medical treatment is only part of the reason for the actor’s optimistic outlook. He asserts that he doesn't read any of the press regarding cast departures that came last summer, and calls the addition of Beulah Koale and Meaghan Rath, a “charming adjustment” to the crime-fighting cast and “part of why I'm more open to coming back as well.”

The April 13 episode will feature another “great” cast adjustment, in Alex O'Loughlin's words, when Michelle Borth returns to the island as Catherine Rollins. It was “cool to pick up where we left off,” says the man who portrayed McGarrett through his heartbreak in an almost-proposal.

It was “a big blow” for the character, and O'Loughlin has referred to McGarrett as a “poor bastard” when it comes to romance.

This time, the actor insists, will be “a gentle closure” and “reinstated friendship” for the pair.

No official announcement or deal has been made regarding Season 9 of “Hawaii Five-O,” but cast stability shouldn’t be a problem this summer.