Fans of “Hawaii Five-0” had best ready themselves for a sad goodbye as Masi Oka prepares to exit the show after seven seasons, taking chief medical examiner Dr. Max Bergman with him.
His decision, the former “Heroes” star tells Entertainment Weekly, has nothing to do with his experience on the show and everything to do the fact that he commutes to Hawaii, where the show is filmed, from his homes in Los Angeles and Japan.
“We’ve been so blessed to work for seven years on a great show, but a lot of my business has been in Los Angeles and Japan and it’s been increasingly difficult to really commute to Hawaii,” he explains. “I’m probably the only one who really commutes to Hawaii, maybe 18 times a year round trip. It got to the point where the producers were very gracious enough to — like we talked about it and we thought Max was entering his journey and they allowed me, kind of like for my health as well, to be able to take a reprieve from being on the show.”
When he asked the producers to write his character out of the show, Oka told producers he “just wanted to give him a nice send-off, and if it helps the ratings, please feel free to kill him off. Do whatever works for [showrunner] Peter [Lenkov] and his great writers to come up for a good ending for Max that would also help the show, because I want the show to go on as long as possible. So it was actually a very simple conversation, they were like, ‘Great, we’ll come up with something.’ It was really smooth.”
His character will be going off to Africa with his new bride Sabrina (Rumer Willis), and Oka says the door could be open for a return at some point, explaining that his final episode will be a sort of “greatest hits” of Max Bergman.
“You’re going to see things that really made Max’s character very interesting and unique,” Oka shares. “You see his relationships with Sabrina, with Commander McGarrett, with some of his working mates. You’ll see a little bit of a — I shouldn’t say a clip show — but as I said, the greatest hits. And there’s a lesson/awakening from an unexpected friend and he wants to take a final journey, not a physical one, but more of an emotional and mental one as he says his goodbye to everybody.”
“Hawaii Five-0” airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Global; you can also watch full episodes online.