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Alex O’Loughlin joins the fight against ALS

July 29th, 2014 by

Fans of Hawaii Five-0 star Alex O’Loughlin are used to seeing him lend his presence to raise money for a good cause.  Whether it’s to spur organ donation, clean the coastline, or fight cancer, O’Loughlin has always generously donated his time and efforts to them.

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Photo Credit: Kokua For The Philippines.

The CBS star’s latest cause however, has an extremely personal connection.   A recent Twitter post by the Golden West chapter of the ALS Association (@alsagoldenwest) alerted us to the fact that O’Loughlin would be joining the group in September to promote their “Walk to defeat ALS.”

Photo: @alsagoldenwest

Alex with ALS Golden West CEO Fred Fisher  Photo: @alsagoldenwest on Twitter

Although we here at  50undercover.com were initially unaware of his personal connection with the cause, we have some friends who knew the circumstances leading to this partnership.  Through them, we discovered that the mother of Alex’s wife, Malia, was a victim of ALS, and so this charity has particular meaning to their family.  Violet Jones-Medusky was a triathelete, and in a rather cruel irony, ALS often attacks people who are in exceptionally good shape.  Also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease,  Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis affects the motor neurons that normally send signals to your voluntary muscles. Without those signals, the muscles weaken, atrophy, and eventually stop functioning. The sufferer becomes paralyzed and is unable to breathe or swallow on their own.

As I looked into this story, I discovered that Vi Jones-Medusky was quite an extraordinary woman. An avid athlete, Jones-Medusky conquered triathlons, marathons, and even “Ultra-marathons”, including the “Haleakala Run to the Sun,” a grueling 36 mile trek up 10,000 feet up Maui’s famous crater.  What impressed me most about this woman wasn’t her athleticism, but her love for life in spite of the hand she was dealt. Even as her muscles ceased to work and her quality of life deteriorated, the photos always depict a woman with a warm, genuine smile on her face.

A nurse by profession, Vi knew what she faced once she received her diagnosis.  Determined to fight as long as possible, she continued to run, and when she could no longer complete an entire race, she joined relay teams where less endurance was required.  And so it went until she had to rely on a wheelchair for mobility.  Rather than feeling sorry for herself, Jones-Medusky became a tireless advocate for others suffering from ALS, offering them support and cheer while maintaining a blog chronicling her own fight.  Her posts allow you into the mind of this incredible woman who always made the best of her situation, who not only celebrated family and love, but celebrated her life, as difficult as it was.  “The transition of beach to sea was alot smoother,” Vi stated in her blog.  ”I think my friends are getting the hang of it !!! So everyone got a turn holding and helping me to do my exercises for my legs and arms. Thank you again to all of my friends and see you next week as I love swimming with you!”

 

From "Violet's Web"

From “Violet’s Web”

Most ALS patients live between three and five years after diagnosis, but Vi managed seven, all the while surrounded by her loving, supportive family.  Violet Jones-Medusky passed away on March 29, 2011 at the age of 59, but her spirit lives on.  Her friends and family continue to raise funds to beat this horrific disease because as Vi told Midweek, “ALS is an orphan disease, because compared to diseases such as breast cancer, heart disease and diabetes, drug companies put all their money into these diagnoses, because so few people have ALS that it’s not popular. Therefore, research money (for ALS) usually comes from family and friends of victims.”

Vi with daughter Malia From Violet's blogsite

Vi with daughter Malia
From Violet’s blogsite

And that, my friends, is why we’re asking you to support the fight to defeat ALS.  Join Hawaii Five-0’s Alex O’Loughlin, join long-time Hawaii Five-0 crew member Eric Uyeda and his “H50 ALS Warriors,” in keeping Vi’s fight alive.  Please check out her old blog posts and photos at “Violets’ Web,” and then come back to the link and donate what you can. No amount is too small.  Alex will appreciate your support, but even more importantly, so will the people battling this disease.

Mahalo!

 

Details:

 When: September 6, 2014 Check-in 7:30 AM  Walk begins 9 AM

Where: Honolulu’s Kapiolani Regional Park

Distance: 2 miles

Meet Hawaii Five-0′s newest member

July 16th, 2014 by

The name of Hawaii Five-0’s newest cast member has been revealed in a TV Guide exclusive. Much in demand actress Amanda Setton has been cast to play trainee to medical examiner Max Bergman (Masi Oka.) The exotic beauty was most recently seen on the Robin Williams’ comedy The Crazy Ones, and prior to that, played pushy office assistant, Shauna Dicanio on Fox’s The Mindy Project.

Amanda Setton

Amanda Setton

Earlier this month TV Guide reported Season 5 would bring a new love interest to Five-0 boss Steve McGarrett, and since Max already has a girlfriend (played by Willis-Moore offspring Rumer Willis,) could it be that Setton’s character Dr. Mindy Shaw, will fill the slot left by Michelle Borth?   Many fans were upset at the announcement that Borth’s Catherine Rollins was being written off the show, so any new love interest will be met with much skepticism from many, particularly after we witnessed a heart-broken McGarrett in tears upon hearing Cath was staying in Afghanistan.

Alex O'Loughlin in "Makani 'Olu a Holo Malie"

Alex O’Loughlin in “Makani ‘Olu a Holo Malie”

 We here at 50undercover wish Amanda the best of luck, both in her role and in her reception from the fans.  Unfortunately, female actors cast on the show (other than original member, Grace Park) haven’t always been met with wholesale acceptance from some on social media.  Let’s make this a positive experience and show Amanda the aloha spirit!

Hawaii Five-0 Season 5 Blessing video and recap

July 8th, 2014 by
Alex O'Loughliin Hawaii News Now

Alex O’Loughlin Photo credit Hawaii News Now

In what has become an annual tradition, a Hawaiian blessing was performed by Kahu Kauila Kawelo Barber, Hawaii Five-0′s Hawaiian Language and Protocol Advisor, to kick off Season 5 . Getting a show to a fifth season is difficult so perhaps the blessing is working. Present were Alex O’Loughlin, Daniel Dae Kim, Grace Park, Dennis Chun, Jorge Garcia, and Peter Lenkov, as well as extras and crew.

Grace Park had this to say about the blessing, “There’s a beauty to the commencement of something and to come together and to recognize not only that point, but to have a vision of the entire time. You don’t know what it will look like, but you feel there is a hope and some reflection.”

Grace Park with Tannya Joaquin. Photo:  Hawaii News Now

Grace Park with Tannya Joaquin. Photo: Hawaii News Now

Fans immediately noticed the substantial facial hair that adorned Alex O’Loughlin’s face at the ceremony. He said that many people have been offering their opinions on it – not all of them positive. Shortly after the blessing, O’Loughlin was seen sporting a mustache as he began his transformation into Steve McGarrett.

Alex discussing his beard with Tannya - Hawaii News Now

Alex discussing his beard with Tannya.
Photo: Hawaii News Now

Many hints were dropped about Season 5 including an extended 25 episode season!

Other spoilers include:

  • The island of Oahu will be  turning into a ghost town with the disappearance of a million people in the season premiere
  • The return of Carol Burnett, Larry Manetti and Frankie Valli in episode 8
  • A possible appearance of golfer Michelle Wie
  • A new female cast member joining the medical examiner’s office as an assist to the quirky Max Bergman
  • Jorge Garcia and Daniel Dae Kim ,  Photo:  Hawaii News Now

    Jorge Garcia and Daniel Dae Kim , Photo: Hawaii News Now

     

    Hawaii Five-0 returns to CBS on Sept. 26, 2014.

H50 Summer Scanner – July 1, 2014

July 1st, 2014 by

There is some big news coming from the Hawaii Five-0 camp as the cast and crew get ready to start filming Season 5 next week!

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Steve finds out that Catherine is staying in Afghanistan.

TV Guide is reporting that Steve McGarrett will  be getting a new love interest this year. His former flame, Catherine Rollins (Michelle Borth,) was last seen riding off into the Afgan sunset leaving a big hole in McGarrett’s heart. The new lady is somehow connected to the senior McGarrett and when she visits his gravesite on the anniversary of his death, she’ll meet our favourite Navy SEAL. Will sparks fly?  Judging from reaction on social media, not all fans like the idea of the Five-0 leader rebounding from heartbreak so quickly.  What do you think? Yea or Nay?

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See that guy the second from the left? Recognize him? That’s Victor Hesse, the man who killed Steve McGarrett’s father. Hesse went on to meet an untimely end at the hands of Wo Fat in Season 2. Or did he? Executive Producer, Peter Lenkov, released the following teaser tweet.

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@Jm_Live is the Twitter handle of Buffy the Vampire Slayer veteran, James Marsters, the actor who played Hesse. Although he killed McGarrett’s father, he later saved Steve’s life. Looks like the complicated character is coming back to the island! It is not clear if he survived his jail house shanking at the hands of Wo Fat or if he will appear in flashbacks. As the kind of villain you love to hate, we’re hoping Hesse has lived to see another day.

Teilor Grubbs with Ian Anthony Dale

Teilor Grubbs with Ian Anthony Dale

In other news, Ian Anthony Dale is keeping himself busy this summer. He will be joining the Hart of Dixie Season 4 cast as a rich, charming doctor that men would like to be and women would like to be with (not too much of a stretch for Dale.) This casting could mean he will not be returning to Hawaii Five-0 in the near future. Sorry, Adam fans, he may be scarce in Season 5. The Heart of Dixie can be seen on the CW network.

Hawaii Five-0 Double Header Weekend

June 27th, 2014 by

 

It’s a Hawaii Five-0 double header repeat weekend!

In Friday night’s episode titled “Ma lalo o ka ‘ili”, fans relive Danno fussing over his parents’ break up. Melanie Griffith (as Clara Williams) and Scott Caan work well together playing mother and son, ending the three part story arc in this episode. Conspiracy theorist Jerry, helps decode more of the Champ box for McGarrett, leading Steve into a deeper mystery about his mother. Not wanting all the attention going to Jerry, McGarrett rips his shirt off when confronting a CIA operative.  OK, so it doesn’t happen exactly like that, but you ladies deserve a heads up.

Does Jerry have a 'Beautiful Mind'?

Does Jerry have a ‘Beautiful Mind’?

On Saturday, fan’s heart strings will be tugged in “Kupu’eu” as a guest star  is killed off , and a little too early, in my opinion. I was hoping for this character to be around much longer to give McGarrett a run for his money since his story had a lot of potential.  No spoilers here, though! You will have to tune in to see who it is, if you missed it the first time. One of my favourite characters, Joe White also returns. You know that his appearance only means more angst for McGarrett.

Autumn Reeser as Gabby

Autumn Reeser as Gabby

As a side note, former Hawaii Five-0 guest star, Autumn Reeser (Danno’s love interest, Gabby) will appearing on the Thrilling Adventure Hour panel at San Diego Comic Con in July. Reeser has been part of the stage show and podcast team for the last 6 years. If you will be in San Diego on Comic Con weekend (July -24-27, 2014), Reeser will be appearing in the old time radio stage performance on July 26th, 2014. No Comic Con badge needed! Tickets are available through Ticketmaster.

 

H50 Summer Scanner – June 25, 2014

June 25th, 2014 by

Mark your calendars!

On June 24th, CBS announced the Fall schedule with Friday, September 26th, being the date for Hawaii Five-0′s fifth season to debut.  The show is maintaining it’s Season 4 timeslot, 9pm/8c.  The DVD set for last season goes on sale on September 16th.

Season 5 premiere date.

Season 5 premiere date.

But until then, it’s almost time for the filming of Season 5 to begin; July 8th to be exact. If we’re lucky, the show and local media will share the opening Hawaiian blessing ceremony with us via live video stream as they have in the past two years.  And let’s hope for some good on-set photos this season, as cast and crew don’t seem to be sharing as many as they did in the first few years.  Come on, CBS, give the fans some Season 5 love!

Recently Daniel Dae Kim was spotted in Atlanta where Insurgent (of the Divergent movie series) is filming. Daniel took advantage of his southern location to skip over to North Carolina and cheer on Hawaii native Michelle Wie, who went on to win the U.S. Women’s Open.  Obviously enjoying the filming experience, Kim tweeted, “That was a good day. Really impressed by the talent and kindness of the people on this project. #Insurgent”

Daniel tweeted this photo of himself with U.S. Open champion Michelle Wie.

Daniel tweeted this photo of himself with U.S. Open champion Michelle Wie.

On Monday, June 23rd, students and staff at Hongwanji Mission School (the first Buddhist School established outside of Japan) were fortunate to host the Five-0 main-man himself, Alex O’Loughlin.  O’Loughlin, a guest of the school’s Ohana Arts Program spoke about “about acting as a profession and his experiences.

Photo: @ohanasummerarts on Instagram

Photo: @ohanasummerarts on Instagram

He answered questions from the students and offered some sage advice regarding being true to oneself and treating others as you want to be treated,” according to a school representative.  Apparently Scott Caan also phoned in to speak to the students as well.

From @hmsdolphinsnow on Intagram

At Hongwanji Mission School – Photo: @hmsdolphinsnow on Intagram

 

 

Hawaii Five-0 Season 4 DVD release date

June 23rd, 2014 by

Although you’ve been able to pre-order the Hawaii 5-0 Season 4 DVD on Amazon for awhile, we now have the release date for you!  Mark your calendars for September 16th and f you’d like to support this blog, you can order using one of our links here or by clicking the Amazon link on the right side of the blog.

:)

TVshowsonDVD.com has a few more details for you, but we’re hoping the Blu-ray is released on the same day.

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Many viewers thought that the fourth season of the CBS show was better than the previous two, so you’ll want to add this one to your collection.  In addition to behind the scenes features, the gag reel featuring a very funny Alex O’Loughlin, Grace Park, Scott Caan, and Daniel Dae Kim, is always one of the high points of the set, and new cast member Chi McBride should add a few laughs.

Hawaii Five-0 fan grapples with Alex O’Loughlin

June 16th, 2014 by

 

Alex O'Loughlin at Egan's Training Center

Alex O’Loughlin at Egan’s Training Center

Last November Hawaii Five-0 star Alex O’Loughlin teamed up with friend and trainer, MMA artist Egan Inoue to offer two self-defense classes for women.  The proceeds of the event at Egan’s Training Center topped $10,000 and went to the Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children.

Zoe Griffiths, once of our readers from Great Britain, saw the announcement for the event here on our blog, which led to her incredible husband giving her a most generous gift; a trip to train with with Steve McGarrett!  After seeing Zoe post photos on social media, we contacted her to see if she’d be interested in sharing her story with us.  We were thrilled that she responded positively, but her write-up languished for a while in the very busy Officer 808’s in-box.  Perhaps that’s turned out for the best as we now having something “new” to read while we suffer through the slow months of Hawaii Five-0 hiatus.

We hope you’ll enjoy Zoe’s narrative and the photos she shared, as much as we did. Additionally, we’d like to nominate her husband for “Man of the year.”

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From Zoe:

Having spotted and commented on your post about the seminars on Facebook, I didn’t really think much of it, let alone contemplate the possibility of traveling from UK to Hawaii to attend. What I had not accounted for was my husband spotting the post I had commented on, and booking a place for me as a surprise anniversary present (serious husband brownie points). With my place booked we set about organizing our trip to Hawaii.

Since the pilot episode I have been desperate to visit this island and it completely surpassed all expectations. We were lucky enough to stay at the Hilton Hawaiian Village and a couple of days prior to the seminar I had my first glimpse into the H50 world. One evening we noticed that around half a dozen white trucks had been parked on Ala Wai Harbour next to the hotel, so being curious we wondered over to take a look. Much to my excitement it turned out to be base camp for the 5-0 crew, the crew were really nice and happily chatted to us and explained that the cast were a couple of blocks away filming scenes at the ‘Hideaway Bar’. So no cast sightings unfortunately but as a huge fan of the show, still amazing to see the set up.

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Alex with the adorable Zoe

The seminar itself fell on our final day on the island. The team at Egan’s Training Center had been brilliant in helping me organize things prior to arriving. I was going to be part of the first seminar so they had advised us to arrive by 12.30pm for a 1pm start. When the day arrived I was excited/nervous/apprehensive all in one, I was unsure of what to expect in terms of how much time we would get to meet Alex, what the format would be, how many people would be there, what to wear (girl problems!) and also attending the event without knowing anyone else! Also prior to this point anyone who knows me would have happily told you (myself included) that I was allergic to the gym!

Talking about it now it still feels very surreal, even more so than it did at the time! Once the taxi pulled up outside the studio it really did start to feel like an out of body experience. I checked in at the front desk and started to fill out my forms, I think I had been there less than a minute when I spotted Alex out of the corner of my eye in one of the offices off to the side of the studio…now it was real and surreal all in one. There were a couple of other ladies who had arrived ahead of me, and I got talking to a lovely lady who had traveled from Tasmania, Australia and later another fabulous lady, Kathy, who was local, who became my partner for the session. Whilst we were chatting on the benches at the front of the studio, Alex came out of the office and started doing some stretches on the mats behind the front desk, at one point he had his head on the mat to do some neck stretches when his t-shirt fell forwards giving us all a view of his impressive lower back tattoo (credit to the H50 make up department for covering all that up!)

Alex looking quite delighted.

In total there were only about 16 of us for the first class – I was surprised and thrilled that is was such an intimate group. At last we were on the mats and Marcia (Egan’s wife) did the introduction for the seminar and introduced Egan and Alex individually; she introduced Alex as one of Egan’s pupils and contributor to the training center, then also added that we might also know him from various shows – to which Alex joked that he was ‘really good at pretending things’. Marcia also explained that they had arranged for Kelli Bullock to do photography for the day so asked that we not use personal cameras/phones during the session, and also then told us that Alex had kindly agreed to make time at the end of the seminar to do individual photos with everyone…by this point I am really not even sure this is real let alone happening right now in front of me.

Egan and Alex were supported by 2 other trainers from the center who helped demonstrate the self defense moves we were learning; Heather Wong and Corrie Agon – both of whom were amazing. So came the time to learn self defense (remember this is really what we were meant to be here for!) I tried to concentrate on remembering every second of the experience as I doubt I will have such a opportunity again, I gave myself an inner monologue of a pep talk to get over my nerves and have the confidence to enjoy the experience and most of all have fun! During the first moves Heather helped Kathy and I get started, she chatted to us whilst we worked and then whispered that we would have more fun if Alex came over to show us, then casually asked Alex to come over and help us…I tell you; Cloud 9 has nothing on this! Alex was incredibly relaxed and very down to earth, full of smiles and quick humor, and very easy to talk to. Throughout the session, Kathy and I were very very fortunate with the amount of time we got to spend interacting with Alex. He helped us with several moves, happy to answer questions and go through things as many times as you needed, he also used us to partner him when he was trying to demonstrate what he was saying to us…I was not ready for this.
;-)

At the end of the session, we each got the individual photographs we were promised (everyone secretly hoping they didn’t look too hot and sweaty!) I was the last one to have their photo done and was able to chat more with Alex after our photo. We talked about his martial arts training which he has been doing for a good 20+ years and also that he spent 6 or so years boxing as well. He asked about whereabouts in the UK I was from, and that he missed being in the UK and hadn’t been back in a long while.

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I’ve always been nervous about meeting someone who I would say is an ‘idol’ as you can never be sure if they will live up to your expectations, but I can safely say that Alex squashed any fear I mighthave had. He presents himself incredibly well, he’s very approachable and seems just a nice, genuine person to be around. He made sure he spent time with everyone in the class and seemed genuinely happy to be there. He mentioned his wife (he does refer to Malia as his wife, sorry ladies) and children several times and is obviously in a very good, happy place now.

Before we left I was able to take some sneaky pics on my photo whilst he was getting ready for the second session. He was mixing a protein drink at the front desk before he went out to his car when we were leaving the center. On our way out of the car park; he waved, grinned and wished us well. Perfect end to a perfect day. Well worth the 24hrs of traveling it took to get to the island, and I barely noticed the return journey home afterwards.

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Alex O’Loughin “hands-on” with Zoe.

After about a week of post-Hawaii blues and serious jet lag I came home from work to find an email from Kelli Bullock who did all of our photos with Alex, with links to the online gallery and first looks at
our individual and group photos. Then just before Christmas a very special parcel arrived on my doorstep all the way from Honolulu – this was our event t-shirt, certificate and signed photograph of Alex. I was expecting a generic signed photo of him, but I was thrilled to find that he had actually signed our photos taken with him. A couple of days after this we had yet another email from Kelli to tell us that
Alex’s rep had approved the release of the candid shots taken during the classes (minus any shots that were seen as ‘compromising’ positions between Alex and class members; a fabulous early Christmas present!

Alex talking to students while whipping up a healthy drink.

Alex talking to students while whipping up a healthy drink.

Alex O’Loughlin’s guilty pleasure returns to the air

May 27th, 2014 by

You can help help save one of Hawaii Five-0 star Alex O’Loughlin’s favorite pleasures this summer.  I’ll bet you didn’t realize you had that much power.

Alex O answers fan's questions

As a long-time fan of FOX’s dance competition show, “So You Think You Can Dance,” I have to admit that I got a bit of a thrill upon hearing that the Aussie actor not only loves the show, but gets cranky if he misses an episode.

When CBS released a video of the man behind Steve McGarrett answering fan’s questions, one of the inquiries was, “What is your guilty pleasure?”  I think most of us were surprised at Alex’s response.

So You Think You Can Dance.  I love it so much.  I dream about it.  Listen, I don’t care.  I don’t care if the world knows.  This is the thing – I DVR it.  If I don’t get to watch it within 72 hours of the DVRing, I get extremely grumpy.  I get short with the kids, I get short with the people at work.  I have to watch it.  I get very emotional when it’s on.  When people get cut, or sometimes they get a little, they get a little upset…I have been known to get a little misty.”

Alex, I know exactly what you mean, because I have shed more than a few tears while watching the inspiring performances, gorgeous choreography, and heartbroken fellow contestants as their friends are sent home.  One of the aspects that sets this competition apart from others on television, is that most of those who make it into the top 20 have devoted their lives to studying their passion, they haven’t just moonwalked in their bedroom and thought they were ready for prime time.  Not all of the contestants have studied their art formally, some have learned their style on the streets. so there are opportunities for all.  SYTYCD celebrates all genres of the art and I love watching as these performers learn styles that push them outside their comfort zone.

Now, you may ask why I said you can help save this show.  Television is a cut-throat business and in recent years FOX has already dropped the separate elimination episode and SYTYCD has had to incorporate results into the competition episodes.  It’s resulted in an awkward format, but executive producer Nigel Lythgoe has done the best he could with the time he’s been allotted.  Like most shows on TV today, this one is on the edge, and last month Mr. Lythgoe tweeted his pleas to fans to watch the show, and to implore their friends to do so.

 

From SYTYCD EP Nigel Lythgoe

From SYTYCD EP Nigel Lythgoe

Alumni of the show have gone on to Broadway (Newsies, Wicked) movies (the Step Up series) and Hawaii native Mark Kanemura from the fourth season, became one of Lady Gaga’s primary dancers.

I don’t know about you, but I certainly don’t want a cranky Alex O’Loughlin taking his bad mood out on his kids and co-workers, so it you want to keep the man in a good mood, here’s your chance!  We were fortunate enough to get a Season 11, but let’s see if we can get the gorgeous Aussie (and ourselves) a Season 12.  You can see the entire interview below, or you can skip to the 7:54 mark to hear him talk about So You Think You Can Dance.  But why wouldn’t you want to deprive yourself of more of that Australian accent?

If you’d like to check out the show, tune into to your local FOX station Wednesday, May 28th at 8/7c.

Wendie Burbridge Recaps Hawaii Five-0 Season 4

May 15th, 2014 by

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From our good friend, Wendie Burbridge (of the Hawaii Five-0 Redux), in a special to the Honolulu Advertiser-

If there is a phrase to describe season four of “Hawaii Five-0,” it would be “to change is to mature.”

A more grown-up version of the CBS series debuted on a new night and time — Fridays at 8 p.m. — bringing in two new characters while saying aloha to another. And while the show kept its action-filled story line moving along at a smart and stronger pace, changes helped “Five-0″ ramp up the quality without losing its focus.

» Change is good. Many fans thought the move to Friday would kill the show, but “Five-0 Friday” seemed to be what the series needed to regain its season one audience numbers. The earlier time slot as well as being the lead-in for Tom Selleck’s cop family drama “Blue Bloods” also seemed to help propel the Hawaii-based series onto the list of the top 20 shows of the TV season.

» Change can be difficult. The season started with “Aloha ke Kahi i ke Kahi” (“Love One Another”), where McGarrett (series star Alex O’Loughlin) broke every law to save his kidnapped girlfriend, Catherine Rollins (Michelle Borth), who had been taken by drug lords. Over the course of season four, we got to know more about McG and Cath’s love for each other and how their careers have intersected.

Yet even their sweet on-screen relationship did not help to save Rollins from being written off the show in episode 21, “Makani ʻOlu a Holo Malie” (“Fair Winds and Following Seas”). It went down like this: Catherine and McGarrett take off to Af­ghani­stan to find the son of a Pashtun man who once saved her life. During their search, McG is kidnapped by the Tali­ban and is forced to leave Catherine behind in Kabul. She is last seen on a black motorcycle, riding off into the Afghan sunset, determined to continue looking for the lost little boy. Fans hope to see Cath come back to McG, but Borth is not returning for season five.

» Change can be encouraging. Chi McBride guest-starred in the season opener and joined the cast as a series regular by November. McBride’s character, SWAT Capt. Lou Grover, moved his family to Hawaii to start a new life, away from a tragic mistake he made as a cop in Chicago.

It was Grover’s episode in the season finale, “ʻO ka Pili ʻOhana ka ʻOi” (“Family Comes First”) as Grover pulls a McG — breaking all the rules — to rescue his daughter Samantha (Paige Hurd) after she is kidnapped by evil computer hacker Ian Wright (returning guest star Nick Jonas). McGarrett offers Grover a spot on the Five-0 task force after he is forced to retire. Next season should be interesting, with the captain (Grover) and the commander (McGarrett) trying to work together without killing each other.

Jorge Garcia also joined the cast this season after he guest-starred as conspiracy theorist Jerry Ortega, Chin Ho Kelly’s (Daniel Dae Kim) old pal from Kukui High, in “Ka ʻOiaʻiʻo Maloko” (“The Truth Within”). His character quickly became a fan favorite, and Ortega’s love of secret government plots seems to have helped McGarrett solve more of the Shelburne mystery surrounding his mother, Doris (Christine Lahti), and her connection to Wo Fat (Mark Dacascos). Ortega found a cypher on the bottom of the Champ box left behind by McGarrett’s father, leading the Five-0 leader to a grave in Cambodia that once held villain Wo Fat’s mother.

Perhaps next season Ortega will help McGarrett finally solve the mystery surrounding his mother and her connection to Wo Fat. If nothing else, he will add a bit of quirky comic relief.

» Change happens. There were many changes for the core four this season. Whether they were good or bad, we know what the team is facing in season five.

Kono Kalakaua (Grace Park) spent half the season “on the run” from the Yakuza with her lover, Adam Noshi­muri (Ian Anthony Dale). This was in part because Park was on maternity leave. While we saw Kono and Adam in several episodes, those scenes were filmed in Vancouver where Park gave birth to a baby boy. It was a happy day when Kono and Adam returned to Hawaii in “O Kela Me Keia Manawa” (“Now and Then”). In the season closer, Kono mentions that Adam has brought up the “M” word — perhaps there’s a wedding on the season five horizon?

Chin seems to have made peace with the loss of his wife, Malia (Reiko Aylesworth), who was killed at the end of season two by bad cop Frank Delano (William Baldwin). In the intense episode “Hana Loko­mai­kaʻi” (“Favor”), he said a final aloha to her at the beach where they first met. Chin’s new girlfriend, Leilani (Lindsay Price), seemed to have a presence this season, but with the news that Price is expecting her second child, Chin may be in for more heartbreak.

Danno Williams (Scott Caan) dealt with his parents’ divorce (Mela­nie Griffith and Tom Berenger played Mom and Pops Williams) as well as the obvious growing pains of having a near-teenage daughter (Teilor Grubbs). His new love interest, Amber (Lili Simmons), seems to be making him a bit happier, but with Danno we never really know. Caan was sporadically pres­ent during the season — in one episode and hardly in the next — but with the news of his impending fatherhood in real life, fans can only hope we see Danno in season five.

McGarrett’s ohana has grown, as his sister, Mary Ann (Taryn Manning), returned home after adopting a little girl. Unfortunately, he seems to have lost not only his girlfriend, but his Aunt Deb (played to perfection by Carol Burnett), who came for Thanksgiving to tell him she was dying of cancer.

McGarrett spent a lot of season four trying to find out why his mother seems to have such a soft spot for Wo Fat. At one point he thought Wo Fat was his half-brother, even having Max (Masi Oka) test the bad man’s blood to see if they were a DNA match.

So when Wo Fat returned in Friday’s season finale, we did get a bit of a cliffhanger. Not a huge hang-onto-the-edge-of-your-seat ending, but one that gave us something to think about for season five.

In the season finale, Wo Fat breaks out of a Colo­rado supermax prison after it seems Doris aided his escape. He shows up in Hawaii, only to kill Ian Wright and free Samantha Grover. While he’s still in the wind, the message he has Samantha deliver to McG is that they need to talk. That’s a meeting fans can’t wait to see in season five.

So perhaps one of the biggest “Five-0″ changes will come next season: Wo Fat turns out to be a good guy?

What fun would that be?

Read Wendie Burbridge’s “Five-0 Redux” blog with episode recaps, interviews and cultural insight into the popular CBS series at hono­­lulu­pulse.com.