Faithful fans of “Hawaii Five-O” have had several reasons to head into the summer with smiles on their faces, even if they can't quite afford that dream vacation to the Hawaiian paradise just yet. Season 8 literally is winding up its run with a bang, as anyone who watched Episode 20 [VIDEO] last week will attest. This time, Steve McGarrett, portrayed by Alex O'Loughlin, could truly plead innocent. He never even did so much as cause a single spark. There were sparks, or at least embers, along with fond memories, between McGarrett and the woman to whom he nearly proposed, Catherine Rollins (Michelle Borth). Their reconnection on a case settled some history while proving their deepest devotion to protect and serve in defense of the country.

The crime-fighting force who rules Friday nights has a new lease on life with official news of renewal for Season 9 coming on April 18 from CBS. The announcement should also mean much more soothing poolside days for “Hawaii Five-O” fans than during the unexpected struggles in the surf last summer, after decisions from Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park to leave the police drama once efforts to achieve salary parity failed.

New cast members Meaghan Rath and Beulah Koale (as Tani Rey and Junior Reigns) stepped into their roles running, and the ratings for “Hawaii Five-O” have continued to dominate Friday nights. Still, the better news is that Alex O'Loughlin has affirmed that he is up for another season after finding successful treatments for his back, and going quite a bit easier on his stunts.

Mind and body seem to be in a much better place for the Australian star who makes Hawaii home.

Fans will dream that “Hawaii Five-O” never ends, and dreams like that can only be possible in syndication. It is looking more and more like the decade mark can become a reality for the favorite drama, and there are many reasons for looking toward clear skies and confined criminals ahead.

A sweep of approval

With the Wednesday announcement this week that “Hawaii Five-O” would be renewed, CBS also put a seal of approval on its 10 PM police drama block with “Blue Bloods.” “MacGyver,” the “NCIS” franchise, “Madame Secretary,” “Mom,” and news broadcast stalwarts, “60 Minutes” and “48 Hours” also got nods.

More recent shows “Bull,” “SWAT,” “SEAL Team,” and “Young Sheldon” also can celebrate future seasons. The 17 renewals in current programming represent pulling the entire lineup for CBS Tuesday and Friday nights into 2018-2019. That's a feather in the cap for any mainstream network in these times of TV on demand via any device.

Telling the full story

“Hawaii Five-O” has always been grounded in the spirit of “ohana,” that denotes family deeper than blood in island custom. The family has surely bonded through this season, performing surgery to save Danny's life, diving into surging seas after life-saving antidote, and Adam coming close to death on more than one occasion to bring organized crime to an end. Eddie, the dog, has even gone to his limits to prove dutiful to the extreme.

In the episode for Friday, April 27, Tani will be part of the story in “Kopi wale no i ka i'a a 'eu no ka ilo (Though the Fish Is Well Salted, the Maggots Crawl)" reuniting with her brother, Koa (Kunal Sharma), who was last seen confessing to a heavy drug habit, and promising to enter rehab [VIDEO] in Episode 14. For both characters of Tani and Junior, viewers have seen snippets of painful pasts and even future visions. Now that the characters have a full season ahead, the time has come to reveal the whole story that makes them the team members that they are.

Alex O'Loughlin broadened his influence on the series this season by directing [VIDEO], and his touch behind the camera brings added dimension to his artistic imprint. It’s easier than falling onto moving 18-wheelers, too. Scott Caan has dealt with an arm injury since early in the current season, but with his impeccable credentials for stage and screenwriting, his contribution to writing a few storylines for “Hawaii Five-O” would be beyond welcome for fans of the “McDanno” bromance.

Fans can look forward to Chris Vance coming back to the island as Harry Langford this week. He needs Steve and Danny's help to find a royal runaway, and hopefully this time, Eddie won’t run away. Familiar guest stars are forever welcome on “Hawaii Five-O,” where gone never means forgotten, and hearts stay open wide.