Credit: CBS/Norman Shapiro

Warning: This story contains major spoilers from the season finale of Hawaii Five-0. Read at your own risk!

Hawaii Five-0‘s season finale claimed one life and nearly took another.

As a dangerous batch of meth caused countless deaths across the island, the team is finally able to capture Gabriel (Christopher Sean), who eventually dies after Shioma’s (Michelle Krusiec) thugs besiege Five-0, preventing them from getting Gabriel to a hospital after he is shot.

In the wake of Gabriel’s death, McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) and Danny (Scott Caan) infiltrate the supplier, posing as pilots flying in a new shipment, but McGarrett gets shot on the mission. Danno is able to land the plane and even donates his liver to help save McGarrett. All’s well that ends well, right? Actually, yeah. But McGarrett’s near-death experience will be a big topic next season. Get the scoop from executive producer Peter M. Lenkov:

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How do you think McGarrett’s near-death experience will change him?

PETER M. LENKOV: When somebody has a near-death experience, they start to reflect on their life, and I think that he’s going to do that. He’s going to look back and say, “What’s my legacy here? I almost died, and what do I have? I’ve lost my father, I’ve lost my mother, I’ve lost the woman that I’ve loved.” He just starts to reflect on everything, the choices that he’s made and looks for a reason to continue doing what he’s doing. That’s going to play a little bit of a theme next year. McGarrett may be being a little more aware of his mortality, and also his legacy of what am I going to leave behind?

What does this do to Danny, knowing he was ready to kill McGarrett’s shooter?

He’s got that temper where you believe that he could do something like that. I think Danny probably would have done before he had kids and before he got married. Somebody hurt his family, somebody hurt somebody that’s very close to him, so it took every ounce of restraint to not shoot him. If Danny didn’t have a family, he would have just put a bullet through that guy’s eyes. He’s been humanized by the fact that he has this son and a daughter and an ex-wife. We played Danny early on in his career where he was a little more hotheaded. Adulthood, or even fatherhood, changed him and made him a more well rounded human being.

With McGarrett’s life in danger, did you consider bringing Catherine (Michelle Borth) back for the finale?

I did. I really did, and here was my dilemma: I brought her back in the finale last season, and I didn’t want to replay that moment of him laying on his deathbed and her coming in, because it would feel very similar to last year, even though it was not a life-and-death situation, it was Kono’s (Grace Park) wedding. It just would have felt like similar territory. I want to bring her back in a different way than what we did last year. To be honest with you, she was in the first draft of the script I wrote, but I ended up taking her out, because it just felt very similar to last season.

Do you expect to bring her back next season?

I hope so. Yeah, hope so. I’ll be honest with you, if I knew it was going to be the last season this year, she would have definitely been in the show, but because I knew it wasn’t, and it just felt wrong, now I have the luxury of another 25 stories at least, so I can do it in a different way.

Why did you decide to kill of Gabriel?

It felt like the right thing to do. First of all, the audience was probably going to expect something big to happen with Gabriel in the last episode. I wanted to do something unexpected, and I wanted to start an arc next year with a new villain. Sean is great; it had nothing to do with anything but the fact that it had just felt like we had done everything we could with the character, and I just wanted to move on. Everyone is going to miss him the same way we missed Wo-Fat.

Do you have thoughts on who the new villain is going to be next year?

Yeah. Somebody very unexpected, I think.

Shioma disappeared in the finale, but is she coming back? Is she part of the big bad situation next season?

No, she’s not part of that, but definitely we have to [address her] at some point, because she’s definitely out there in the wind.

Chin (Daniel Dae Kim) is facing the possibility of becoming the father of Gabriel’s daughter. Will you explore that next season?

Yeah, that will be a big arc next year for sure — what he does, and does he end up fighting for adoption?

With Chin dealing with possible fatherhood, do you think he’s on his way to proposing to Abby (Julie Benz)?

We start the season, [and he’s] living with her. It’s going in that direction for sure. I want these people to be happy, because they’ve become my family, too. And the same way with Kono and Adam (Ian Anthony Dale) getting out of prison. I do want these people to be happy.

Kono makes the point that Adam will get out of prison in four months. Will that happen when the show returns?

What you’ve got to remember is McGarrett’s recovering, so I’m going to start the season with him coming out of the hospital, so it’s going to be less than four months.

But do you see Adam coming out by next season?

Yeah, for sure. We love Ian, so we want him back.

In the wake of what happened to McGarrett, Kono said a few things that made me suspect she’s considering leaving Five-0. Is that a possibility?

The theme of next year is everybody is weighing the legacy — or what they’re doing and the affect that it has on their lives. Kono’s gone through some amazing trauma and her husband was taken away from her. A lot of it stems from her job. She would have probably never had met Adam if it wasn’t for her job. She’s in that place of reflecting the choices she’s made as well, the same way that Chin is looking at, “Do I adopt this girl? Do I change her life, which ultimately is going to change mine?” You get to a point where you start weighing everything, and you put things in a plus and minus column, and you say, “Is it worth it?” That’s really where I want the characters to be, where they’re really weighing the good that they’re doing.

Max (Masi Oka) is heading to Doctors Without Borders. What does that mean about his future on the show?

Right now, in my head, I’m planning on him still being out there doing that for the first couple episodes and have him come back a little wiser, maybe a little more mature, making some decisions about his future. Someone like that who works with dead people all the time, I think their personality doesn’t grow. He’s going to come back slightly changed and energized by what he did.

What did Wo-Fat’s father really want from McGarrett? It didn’t seem like he was just looking for forgiveness.

Yeah, good, okay. [Laughs.]

Were you aiming for that to be ambiguous?

Yeah, I’m glad. [Laughs.] It’s going to be a part of a story next year. It’s something bigger in mind, but I had to plant it in there at the end. Danny says, “He called you all the way there just to forgive you?” You’re going to realize it’s more than what happened in that meeting. It’s not like McGarrett’s hiding anything, it’s more what Wo-Fat’s father has in mind.

Hawaii Five-0 is slated to return to CBS in the fall.

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