It was lights, cameras and prayers for the "Hawaii Five-0" ohana as work began on the second season with an early morning blessing Monday.
Everyone gathered on the show’s headquarters set, which had been moved from the downtown post office to the "Five-0" studio at the old Honolulu Advertiser building while the CBS show was on a three-month hiatus. It was so new that people had to wear cloth booties so as not to scuff the freshly painted floor.
Hugs and handshakes were the order of the day as a gallery of news cameras clicked to document the return of the show’s main players: Alex O’Loughlin, Scott Caan, Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park. They were joined by series regulars Masi Oka, Taylor Wily and child actor Teilor Grubbs, who plays Danny "Danno" Williams’ daughter on the series.
They shared the spotlight with two men who are just at home in front of the camera as the cast: Gov. Neil Abercrombie and Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle.
Curtis Pa‘alua Kekuna, kahu and senior pastor at Kawaiaha‘o Church, thanked CBS and the "Five-0" team for shooting the popular drama in Hawaii. He asked O’Loughlin and executive producer Peter Lenkov to hold hands while he prayed.
"Father, thank you for what you have already done in the first season of ‘Hawaii Five-0.’ Their success is our success. Their blessing is our blessing," Kekuna said.
The show’s success can be measured in the lives it touches, the pastor said. "It helps all the people who not only need jobs, but need sustenance," he said.
After the ceremony the cast went to work — and it wasn’t even 7 a.m. A smiling Park, who opted for bare feet during the ceremony instead of booties, said she was excited.
"It’s good; we’re all here," she said. "Someone said, ‘Are you ready?’ I said, ‘I don’t know but we’re going to do it.’"
The actress said she spent her time off recharging her emotional batteries. Park said she didn’t think much about the show and had little contact with her fellow stars, aside from text messages from Kim.
"We saw so much of each other that we just really needed to get in our own space again so we could re-collect, because it is so intense when we shoot," she said. "It’s good to get your mind to rest and then do other things and remind yourself about why you do this, and then come back."
Kim looked fit and rested from his time off, which included a trip to Europe.
"It’s few and far between when we get days off, so my hiatus was really fantastic," he said. "But now I’m ready to work and this blessing was fantastic."
The season one finale, which was finished in mid-April and aired about a month later, left the "Five-0" story line at a chaotic juncture. The episode ended with the governor murdered, "Five-0" disbanded and its leader, Steve McGarrett, under arrest.
So fans naturally have a lot of questions about the second season of one of television’s hottest action shows.
But Kim isn’t giving much away.
"I don’t know much about the season arc," he said. "The first script is really strong and answers a lot of questions that were left open at the end of season one."
Those questions won’t be answered until the Sept. 19 season premiere. Fans in Hawaii will get an advance screening of the first episode at a Sunset on the Beach event Sept. 10 in Waikiki.