Hawaii Five-0 Was Originally Supposed To Have A Different Ending Scene

Alex 'O Coughlin and Lance Gross in Hawaii Five-0
(Image credit: Image Courtesy of CBS)

After a rather brief period to mourn its cancellation, Hawaii Five-0 took its last bow this past Friday. Hawaii Five-0 signed off with what was initially planned to be the long-running series’ season-ender. As Hawaii Five-0’s showrunner promised, the show ended with lots of action and heartfelt moments. However, it was initially supposed to have a different ending scene.

Fans are probably well aware of the significant plans that had to be scrapped in the reworked Season 10 finale/series finale. Hawaii Five-0 showrunner Peter M. Lenkov initially explained, for instance, that a rejuvenated McGarrett would have returned to the task force next season, among other developments. Now, Lenkov is revealing other changes made to the ending.

Years ago, Peter M. Lenkov had envisioned Hawaii Five-0 ending differently. And as it turns out, viewers already saw the original ending a few years ago in Season 7. That was when a CGI version of the original McGarrett, Jack Lord, chatted up the reboot’s McGarrett.

The scene would have been the one to send Hawaii Five-0 off into a picturesque sunset. Peter M. Lenkov ended up changing his mind when he believed the show would continue a while longer. It was a hope Lenkov still had before the series’ recent cancellation.

Between Peter M. Lenkov’s sense of Hawaii Five-0’s longevity and a desire to beat another show to the CGI punch, he decided to go ahead and go for it in Season 7. So how exactly were things going to go down? Lenkov told TVLine:

I actually wrote the scene very differently. The end of the show was McGarrett sitting on a bench, and this older man sits down next to him. McGarrett talks about his life and his focus and his commitment to the task force, and how it made him sort of sacrifice everything else, and the Jack Lord character says very much what was in that Season 7 episode — which is, what you’re doing is your legacy. [It] was going to end with McGarrett looking back over, and the guy is gone. The phone rings, and he says, ‘McGarrett…. I’ll be right there.’ So you know that even though he was considering maybe hanging it up, that conversation allowed him to realize that this is who he is. The audience would know that the task force would continue under his leadership.

What do you think, Hawaii Five-0 fans? Would that have been a better ending? Or did you like the way Friday’s send-off worked out for McGarrett and company? Had Peter M. Lenkov’s original conclusion unfolded, it would have offered a touchstone between past and present.

For some Hawaii Five-0 fans, the fact that a new "de-facto" ending had to be crafted may come as somewhat of a disappointment. This may only add on to the unfortunate notion of why the show really came to a close.

Although viewers didn't get to see that fateful meeting, what they ended up seeing was McGarrett heading off to parts unknown with Catherine Rollins after he chose to step away from the task force. In addition, Steve appointed the newly introduced, Lincoln Cole, as the leader of the Five-0. Despite some bloody teasers beforehand, Hawaii Five-0 ended with some semblance of a happily ever after for those involved.

Before it came to a close, Hawaii Five-0 even welcomed Chuck Norris as a guest star, a development that was years in the making. But in regard to the finale itself, fans are now left to contemplate which one they think would have worked better.

With Hawaii Five-0 over, fans will need some new television options. Thankfully, Netflix will have a lot to offer in 2020, and that's not where the possibilities end. There are also this spring’s premieres to consider!

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Britt Lawrence

Like a contented Hallmark movie character, Britt happily lives in the same city she grew up in. Along with movies and television, she is passionate about competitive figure skating. She has been writing about entertainment for 5 years, and as you may suspect, still finds it as entertaining to do as when she began.