At least two sets of young sisters are happy fans of the Hawaii Five-0 season three premiere. They had never met before we shared a spot along the pedestrian barricade at the “Sunset on the Beach” event, but they knew who they wanted to see: Kono! One mother asked her daughter, “What if Kono dies? It says one of the Hawaii Five-0 family will not make it.” Undeterred, the approximately 6 year old girl replied, “I would tell her to come back anyway.”

A sunset premiere of season three attracted thousands of Five-0 fans.

Although we never got to see Kono (Grace Park) on the red carpet, the girls and their families did move to the front of the screen and were rewarded with Kono’s triumphant return. She was rescued from drowning by boyfriend Adam Noshimuri (Ian Anthony Dale), after a call from her cousin Chin Ho Kelly (Daniel Dae Kim) as he raced to save his new bride Malia (Reiko Aylesworth). Not only did she resume her place in the team, Kono later took out the evil henchman who had shoved her off the boat, bound and gagged, with a shot through the windshield that was reminiscent of her Boomer role on the Battlestar Galactica reboot. As with Kono in the original Hawaii Five-0, the character of Boomer was played by a man on the original Battlestar Galactica. Park’s version of the characters is actually more physical than either of the originals.

The rest of the world got to see the season premiere Monday night. Both Steve McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) and Chin Ho Kelly dealt with grief and emotional loss in the episode, a more dramatic turn than is often shown in the fast-paced law enforcement procedural. But there was plenty of action! The helicopter abduction of an armored truck was new, and the climactic mid-traffic shoot-out used the entire annual bullet budget of a small town police force. One of my favorite scenes was near the end at the Manoa safe house, where Michelle Borth (Catherine Rollins) is guarding McGarret’s mom (Christine Lahti). Just before she encounters a bad guy on the porch, Five-0 Executive Producer Peter Lenkov tweeted, “Ramboette coming soon.” Michelle dispatched him with all the efficiency you’d want from a trained member of the military.

Lenkov and the Hawaii Five-0 actors who are on Twitter live-tweeted during the east coast showing of the premiere, sharing comments, teasing one another and even posting photos of themselves. Nine o’clock on the east coast is the middle of the afternoon in Hawaii, so local viewers avoided those spoilers to tweet their own comments as it aired much later in the islands. One of the episode co-producers tweeted a photo of the episode on the big screen at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. Kyle Harimoto may have had a hand in scripting the episode’s second “cargument,” as fans call arguments McGarret and Danno Williams (Scott Caan) have while driving. As they are discussing the impending move of Danno’s ex-wife and daughter to Las Vegas, McGarrett says, “Locals call Las Vegas the ninth island.” That’s true. It’s also true that Harimoto’s Twitter bio is: “Writer of two shows that both take place on Hawaiian Islands: Las Vegas and Hawaii Five-0.”

Every member of the on-screen Five-0 team is battered, physically and emotionally, in the season three opener. But they’re all back and ready to show you more of Hawaii, one Monday at a time.

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