Hawaii Five-0's Alex O'Loughlin Wrote And Directed Season 10's 'Brilliant' McGarrett Tearjerker

Alex O'Loughlin as Steve McGarrett in Hawaii Five-0 Season 10 Episode 7 CBS

Christine Lahti as Doris McGarrett in Hawaii Five-0 Season 10 Episode 7 CBS

Christine Lahti returns to Hawaii Five-0 as Doris McGarrett, Steve McGarrett's mother, in Season 10's powerful new tearjerker episode written and directed by McGarrett actor Alex O'Loughlin.

The Friday, November 8 episode is called "Ka 'i'o" -- Hawaiian for "DNA" -- with the CIA informing McGarrett that his mother has gone rogue on her undercover mission and may have killed her partner. So Steve goes solo to bring her home and prove her innocence.

Executive producer Peter M. Lenkov had teased that the "brilliant" episode would be one to watch:

A photo posted by on

Peter Lenkov also broke out a swanky packet of special Hawaii Five-0 tissues to make the point that the McGarrett mother/son episode would be a tearjerker:

A photo posted by on

The promo for Season 10, Episode 7, was pretty intense, including Doris McGarrett aiming a gun at her own son:

The great Christine Lahti has been in nine previous episodes of Hawaii Five-0 from 2012 to 2016, playing McGarrett's mom, aka CIA agent "Shelburne."

This is star Alex O'Loughlin's third time directing a Hawaii Five-0 episode -- after Season 8's "E Ho'Oko Kuleana"/"To Do One's Duty" in 2018, and Season 9's "E'ao lu'au a kualima"/"Offer Young Taro Leaves To" earlier in 2019. He has a story by credit for Season 8, Episode 24, but this is his first time as the sole credited writer, which is pretty exciting.

Alex O'Loughlin as Steve McGarrett in Hawaii Five-0 Season 10 Episode 7 CBS

Back in 2018, Alex O'Loughlin talked to EW about his directorial debut, saying the most difficult part was that his extra duties as director prevented him from spending as much time as he wanted prepping as an actor. Usually, he said, he studied every beat of a scene and put hours of homework into it before stepping on set.

I was [acting] in the script a lot more than I would’ve liked to have been. I really didn’t do as much acting homework as I usually do. I just didn’t have time. I think next time hopefully I’ll be in it less, or I’ll have time to do my acting prep as well as my directing work. That was definitely the most frustrating for me.

That was then, though, and I have no doubt he learned a lot in the next two directing trips -- especially since he's so heavily involved in the new one. But even after just getting his feet wet with that directorial debut, he knew he had the directing bug:

I really loved it. I didn’t know how it was going to be with actors, I just thought I would try to be the way I enjoy directors to be with me, which is informed, and informative, and open, and full of questions, and collaborative, and have a passionate connection to a story. For the most part the actors really felt that, and I had a lot of positive feedback from the actors. So that was great.

After Alex O'Loughlin's "Ka 'i'o," Hawaii Five-0 Season 10 continues with "Ne'e aku, ne'e mai ke one o Punahoa"/"That way and this way shifts the sand of Punahoa" on Friday, November 15 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

Gina Carbone

Gina grew up in Massachusetts and California in her own version of The Parent Trap. She went to three different middle schools, four high schools, and three universities -- including half a year in Perth, Western Australia. She currently lives in a small town in Maine, the kind Stephen King regularly sets terrible things in, so this may be the last you hear from her.