Alex O'Loughlin understands that waiting can be difficult, and how hard it can be to put a lot of effort into a passion, only for a part or a role to end. This year's season of March Madness has taken O’Loughlin and the rest of “Hawaii Five-O” on a two-week hiatus, but their return is a treat.

Alex O'Loughlin has always been a versatile actor of many talents. Well before embodying the willing and ever-ready Lt. Commander Steve McGarrett of “Hawaii Five-O,” the Australian actor earned acclaim in “The Incredible Journey of Mary Bryant,” portraying a dutiful and rugged brother.

As Jack Flange in “The Oyster Farmer,” Alex O'Loughlin oozed all the rogue-ish charm that any female could handle. Those roles garnered him recognition in his native land, along with delighted fans.

Those same fans showed great devotion for O'Loughlin in “Moonlight,” which lasted only one season on CBS in 2007, but was a People's Choice award winner, and ensured that the network wouldn't forget Alex O'Loughlin. A stint as an empathetic young doctor in ABC'S “Three Rivers” came next, then memorable parts in “The Shield” as Kevin Hiett and in the film, “August Rush,” as well as others. When the island breeze carried the call to “Hawaii Five-O,” Alex O'Loughlin was all-in and knew that he had found a home.

He never had to officially audition for his role as McGarrett. He was cast, and the chemistry between him and co-star, Scott Caan, came as naturally as breathing.

It was the actors themselves who developed the beloved term “cargument” for the predictable disputes that always seem to start while in a vehicle, to the delight of fans.

College basketball’s annual “March Madness” has meant that “Hawaii Five-O” faithful have had to be satisfied with catching up with old memories from past episodes. Storylines of late on the drama have not been heavy on “McDanno” connections, either, instead focusing on Adam's character taking on the underworld. Alex O'Loughlin will make all the waiting worthwhile, as he will direct and star in the “Hawaii Five-O” return (Episode 18) on March 30.

Answers at last

The March 30 episode is aptly titled “E h’oko kuleana,” which translates to “To Do One's Duty.” Commander McGarrett has always gone above and beyond in his mission to protect and serve, and he often has saved lives alongside his task force.

Back on the March 2 episode of the current season, Danny's Uncle Vito (Vincent Pastore) recognized the face he saw on TV as someone he gave an estimate to for a bathroom remodel. Danny’s introduction was much more deadly since the man was the assailant who shot him while in quarantine.

The case will hit even closer to home in the 18th episode when the ex-wife of the shooter will divulge to Danny how his intervention into what might have become a deadly domestic dispute saved her life back in New Jersey.

The team has all the identity information they need to close in on the deranged shooter now, but expect that McGarrett is going to go into hyper mode to ensure that no further harm comes to his partner.

Junior and Tani (Beulah Koale and Meaghan Rath) are supposed to be patrol officers, but they don't take “routine duty” so well. Adam (Ian Anthony Dale) has all the danger he can handle, being framed for Tashiro’s murder. Old friend Jimmy Buffett revisits his "Five-O" friends as Frank Bama.

Heavy drama and a little harmony

it was Alex O'Loughlin's idea to cast Eddie, the dog, as a regular on “Hawaii Five-O” this season. The bond between the canine and his crime-fighting owner has only grown deeper, except for Eddie's disapproving whimper during survival training.

A lovely tidbit of a spoiler on the O'Loughlin-directed episode is that Eddie may join in with McGarrett for some acoustic harmony, as the character plays the guitar. Fans are always glad to see another dimension to the man who drives the police drama, and this one is sweet and soothing, and so worth waiting for on that March 30 Friday.