NCIS: Hawai'i Star Tori Anderson Talks Kate And Lucy's Happy Season 1 Ending And Domestic Moments Ahead

Tori Anderson as Kate Whistler in NCIS: Hawai'i Season 1
(Image credit: CBS)

NCIS: Hawai’i debuted on CBS in 2021 and quickly became one of the biggest new hits on television, all while making history with Vanessa Lachey as the first woman in the lead role of an NCIS series. The first season came to a end without any terrifying cliffhangers for fans to deal with over the hiatus ahead of Season 2, and it was a particularly uplifting ending for Kate Whistler and Lucy Tara, as they got back together after a tumultuous season. Tori Anderson, who plays Kate, opened up about their first season ending and the domesticity ahead. 

With Season 1 of NCIS: Hawai’i arriving on DVD on September 6 and Season 2 premiering on September 19, there’s no better time to revisit the series, and Tori Anderson was enthusiastic to do so when speaking with CinemaBlend about Kate’s reconciliation with Lucy. She shared her reaction to them getting their happy ending in the first season finale:

Oh my gosh, I was so happy! You know, I think it was such a tumultuous journey. There were ups and then downs, and then more downs, and then valleys. So it was really nice to end on a high note. I think that Kate learned a lot about communication throughout the season, and honesty. Watching her grow was a gift that I didn't expect. When you go into a show, you don't really know what your character's arc is going to be, and I was very pleasantly surprised and very happy and thrilled that at the end of the day, they got back together, because can you imagine how disappointing it would be if they didn't? It just would be heartbreaking. So I was very happy.

There were ups and downs for Kate and Lucy throughout the first season, but not just drama for the sake of drama. Kate grew and evolved to the point that she was ready – albeit clearly very nervous – to serenade the woman she loves with “Make You Feel My Love.” It wasn’t the grand gesture that Ernie had in mind when giving her advice, but the very literal gesture worked, and NCIS: Hawai’i headed into hiatus on a less stressful note than NCIS with its Season 19 finale.

Of course, Season 1 ending on a high note for them doesn’t guarantee that they’ll be in for smooth sailing in Season 2. Still, Tori Anderson had some encouraging words about what to expect from the two characters when the show returns in September. She weighed in on whether Kate and Lucy were set up for a happy Season 2:

Oh, gosh, yes! I think that if there's anything the writers found out is that – you know, they really put Kate and Lucy through the wringer last season, so I think they want to explore what a happy domestic place they can be in, and how that can kind of fizzle into their work environment as well. And seeing them work together without any animosity.

Fans don’t need to worry that the Season 2 premiere (which will be half of a two-part crossover with NCIS) will hit the reset button on Kate and Lucy’s relationship and send them back through the wringer all over again. That’s not to say that the course of true love runs smooth for them in the new episodes, but their journey in Season 1 has led them to a brand new place. When I noted that it’s nice to have some domesticity in a show that can be very serious and action-packed, Tori Anderson responded:

Right? It's nice to see because in those domestic moments, you actually see characters grow, and you get to know more about them, and you sort of fall in love with them and are able to understand their motives behind what they potentially do at work. So it all lends itself to the storyline and the world that you're creating. And the more in-depth you go with the home life and what's going on there, you get a little bit of an interior look at at why characters act the way they do.

If you want to revisit the first season of NCIS: Hawai’i, you’re in luck. Season 1 will arrive on DVD on Tuesday, September 6 with all 22 episodes and more than 45 minutes of special features. The DVD set also includes both parts of the crossover with NCIS instead of just the Hawai’i half that aired back in March, and what’s not to love about deleted scenes and a gag reel? Those certainly aren’t available with a Paramount+ subscription.

You can also look forward to the return of NCIS: Hawai’i on Monday, September 19 at 10 p.m. ET on CBS, immediately following the Season 20 premiere of NCIS. September will be packed with big premieres, so be sure to check out our 2022 TV schedule for what’s coming back and when to tune in.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).