A lot has been made about Grace Park and Daniel Dae Kim leaving Hawaii Five-O after seven seasons due to pay equality issues, but how will the series deal with the loss of Kono Kalakaua and Chin Ho Kelly? Their exits were set up at the end of season seven as their possible departures were known. Kono is off chasing sex traffickers and Chin Ho is setting up a Five-O office in San Francisco.
This leaves McGarrett (Alex O'Loughlin), Danny (Scott Caan), Grover (Chi McBride) and Jerry (Jorge Garcia) to deal with the changes. Showrunner Peter M. Lenkov told TVLine:
"[They] are still trying to accept the fact that the team has changed. Everyone is happy for where the two of them are in their lives."
The task force is adding Tani Rey (Meaghan Rath), who is described as a rule-bending cadet who got booted from the police academy — or as Lenkov says "a female McGarrett." There is also Junior Reigns (Beulah Koale), a Navy SEAL fresh out of the service who immediately goes to McGarrett for work. And Adam (Ian Anthony Dale), Kono's husband, becomes an asset as his checkered past helps with the new players in the organized crime families.
And there will be another holiday rivalry between Danny and his son Charlie (Zack Sulzbach), but instead of Halloween, this one will be a Christmas episode.
Hawaii Five-O returns for season eight on September 29th on CBS.