Things are getting personal on Hawaii Five-0 Season 6.
And by personal, I mean the personal lives of our 5-0 gang of crime fighters will be prominent as we kick off another run of new episodes.
Alog those liens, Executive Producer Peter Lenkov talked to me last week about the stakes this season for McGarrett, Danny, Chin, Kono and Grover.
Then, of course, there is big bad Gabriel (Christopher Sean), who is showing our team an all-new level of evil, which he shows off in Hawaii Five-0 Season 6 Episode 1 when he kidnaps a honeymooning Adam and Kono.
Besides Lenkov giving me his take on the new season, I also had stopped by the set of Days of Our Lives, where Sean plays good guy Paul, to get a take on just how bad Gabriel is going to be. (Trust me, it's baaaaaaaaaad).
TV Fanatic: What would you say is the overall arc of the new season? There’s a lot of personal stories definitely in the mix but how would you describe what were going to see overall this season?
Peter Lenkov: I think what you’re picking up on is everybody’s relationship is going to be put under a microscope and that’s really sort of the theme of the season is relationships. Every year we sort of go through this thing whether it’s strengthening the family or whatever the theme is, but this year it’s going to be everybody’s relationships.
Chin Ho is going to have a woman come into his life. She’s going to be a San Francisco inspector who is on loan to Five-0 because they’re thinking about doing a task force in San Francisco. She’ll become a love interest. Catherine’s relationship is going to take a big turn. Kono and Adam are now married. We’re really exploring relationships and that’s the main sort of theme. That’s a long-winded answer to what you already concluded.
TVF: With marrying off McGarrett, what with the challenges be to get to that wedding? I have a feeling there will be roadblocks.
PL: Yes, roadblocks. I wouldn’t be counting on him being married so quickly. Look, it’s a drama so at least we try to make a drama so there’s nothing interesting unless there’s some conflict. There’s going to be some big conflict in the first couple of episodes once he makes his proposal known to everybody and Catherine as well.
TVF: Gabriel just feels even worse than Wo Fat ever was because there’s just no sympathizing with him at this point. I know he’s around quite a bit so how is he going to fit into the season?
PL: He’s around for sure. With Wo Fat there was an emotional component that drove him. He was driven emotionally even though he’s very cold and calculating and played everything like a businessman. I think the difference with Gabriel is that the guy’s a sociopath. He’ll do whatever it takes to get to the place he wants to be at. He is really going to leave some scorched-earth this season with some of the stuff is going to do. I think some of the stuff he does in the first episode is pretty tame compared to what is going to do later on in the season.
In our universe, Wo Fat was such an interesting and such a strong villain. You love to hate that guy. Filling those shoes, somebody coming in and being another sort of big bad in our world you have to be pretty bad and very different in order to stand out. We’re trying to make this guy more of a Street fighter where Wo Fat was more of a Cassius Clay in the ring.
TVF: Is there a bigger picture to what Gabriel wants and what we see in the premiere?
PL: I think he wants at all…I don’t think this guy is afraid of anybody.
TVF: I’ve talked to Christopher Sean several times because of Days of Our Lives and to see him play this role is really amazing. They’re very different roles!
PL: It is because it’s very unexpected. It really was his good work that made us realize there’s something here because he was really only supposed to be in that one episode and that story was going to be over but he just did such a good job. He also felt like for the audience he came out of left field as a bad guy. I think everybody thinks because he’s got an emotional connection to Chin Ho that there’s something personal there but I don’t think the guy cares.
TVF: I thought it was interesting in the premiere that Adam and Kono are kind of being held by Gabriel and the rest of the gang doesn’t really know it because they’re supposed to be off on their honeymoons. Is that, by chance, a theme of the group being disjointed or pulled apart this season?
PL: It’s funny because there is a story that comes later on - I think it might episode five - where McGarrett’s in a similar situation where he’s on his own and our guys don’t know what’s going on but there’s an explanation for why they wouldn’t be in contact. I think when you’re on your honeymoon the last thing you want is you know you just want to be alone so I think everybody giving them that a longtime not really knowing what’s going on. So it’s organic. I think it makes sense. I think there’s no reason for them to think there’s any kind of trouble. I think it’s smart on Gabriel’s part that this is a window of opportunity for him because he knows he won’t get any interference.
TVF: When you are getting these guest stars lined up, is the part already written or does it start with once the actor?
PL: Usually it’s written or we have something in mind for them but over the years there were a couple of times [like] with the Carol Burnett character, I heard she’d be open to a role I just went into the mythology of the show and found Aunt Deb. I didn’t want her just to be a one-time guest star. I wanted her to be part of the fabric of the show so I dug back into the original series. We do that a lot of we have a regular character or recurring character.
We’ll go back to the original show like Grover, Chi McBride’s character. That was a character that exists in the original show. It’s happened before where somebody’s so interested that we’ll write something for them but for the most part the roles are written and we just try to find the best actor available.
TVF: I know that Carol Burnett is coming back. Who else are we seeing this season?
PL: Michael Imperioli’s coming back. Willie Garson’s back for a bunch of episodes. We love him. Julie Benz is in a number of episodes. Sarah Carter is going to be in a couple of episodes. Mykelti Williamson is back. I was just talking to Ziggy Marley the other day. I’m hoping to get him in an episode. We’ve been talking to him for a couple of years.
Hawaii Five-0 Season 6 airs Fridays at 9/8c on CBS.
Jim Halterman is the West Coast Editor of TV Fanatic and the owner of JimHalterman.com. Follow him on Twitter.