Expect to see a lot of soul-searching in between the car chases and shootouts this season on Hawaii Five-0.

McGarrett's (Alex O'Loughlin) liver transplant at the end of Season 6 has left him and the other members of Five-0 reeling, executive producer Peter Lenkov tells TVGuide.com.

"After a near-death experience like that and suffering that kind of trauma, I imagine somebody would reflect back on everything that led him to that place, just his job and just the toll that that career takes on his life. I wanted to sort of start the season with him reflecting on everything and the price of what that costs," Lenkov says. "So [Season 7] starts a little more mellow than we normally start our seasons. ... It goes right into a very poignant, sort of more reflective McGarrett, thinking about everything that happened and what the price of that is. Maybe his relationships have suffered because of his career."

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And McGarrett's new mindset is contagious. "It's sort of a theme that we start," Lenkov says. "Everybody in one way or another starts looking at the bigger picture in their lives, and how to fill some of those holes. There's more to being than just their jobs. So people are going to expand their lives a little bit more this season, and I think it starts with McGarrett just being reflective over what happened last season."

With that in mind, here are eight things to expect from Season 7.


1. Chin gets a taste of domesticity.

Chin (Daniel Dae Kim) gets to play dad this season (well, technically uncle), when he takes on a paternalistic role with Gabriel's orphaned daughter Sara, and eventually finds himself in the middle of a custody battle of sorts to determine who gets to foster the young girl. It may not go his way, but the experience of caring for Sarah will have a lasting impact on Chin. As for his relationship with Abby (Julie Benz), things are progressing nicely since she's moved to Hawaii from San Francisco, and has joined the P.D. so that their jobs don't conflict. "For somebody like [Chin], he deserves to have some good in his life," Lenkov says.

2. Adam gets out of prison -- but doesn't totally leave the life behind.

Adam's (Ian Anthony Dale) release from prison will come early on. But he made some friends in the slammer, who will be grateful to have a connection in the "real" world. In one early episode, Adam is asked to "fulfill a promise he had made," Lenkov hints. "Not really a promise, but help a friend out that was in prison, getting something done for him on the outside."

3. Baby talk for Adam and Kono?

Once he's released, Adam and Kono (Grace Park) will be crossing their fingers for a drama-free patch in their relationship. But, like McGarrett, they also find themselves rethinking their priorities after what they went through last season. "I think it brings them closer together, knowing that everything's fleeting, and I think they're looking at their relationship in a different way," Lenkov explains. So, will there be a baby on the way? "I like to believe they're going to be thinking about starting a family," Lenkov says tentatively, "and about just trying to move on from all the bad in their life."

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4. Catherine returns ... for good?

Catherine/McGarrett 'shippers will be thrilled to know that Catherine (Michelle Borth) returns in Episode 7, which is the show's 150th episode overall. But is she here to stay? We'll have to wait and see. The episode will pertain to the storyline about McGarrett's mother Doris (Christine Lahti) and her relationship with the late Wo Fat. Lenkov won't say what it is that spurs Catherine's return, only that the newly inward-looking McGarrett's "attitude toward the relationship is definitely reflective of what he's been thinking the [previous] few episodes."

5. Wo Fat's gone, but not forgotten

Speaking of Wo Fat (R.I.P.), while the crew doesn't have to deal with him directly anymore, his father will continue to have a presence. "You can count on that for sure," Lenkov says. Let's just say that him giving McGarrett his "forgiveness" won't be the last interaction they have.

6. A new big bad

Season 7 kicks off with a case about a serial killer who's "sort of working the island," Lenkov says. That story will play out over the first four episodes, and the threads from that plotline will extend through the rest of the season, with someone tied to the serial killer story line becoming Five-0's new Enemy No. 1. "It's a very different big bad," Lenkov hints. "Somebody a little bit more cerebral, a little bit more complex than anybody that we've dealt with before." Sounds ominous!

7. Danny's little girl is growing up

Every father's worst nightmare becomes a reality for Danny (Scott Caan) this season: His daughter gets her first boyfriend. "That's going to be an irritation to Danny,," Lenkov says, which we can safely assume is quite an understatement. "He's going to use some of his cop skills to sort of figure out who she's dating."

8. 11.21.63

One episode will revolve around Jerry's (Jorge Garcia) exploration of a real-life conspiracy theory -- or rather, question -- about why half of John F. Kennedy's Cabinet members were in Hawaii the day before he was assassinated. The majority of the episode will be set in Hawaii on November 22, 1963. "Jerry's got a conspiracy about that, and so we're going to see flashbacks to Hawaii back in the day," Lenkov promises.

Hawaii Five-0 kicks off Season 7 Friday at 9/8c on CBS.

(Full disclosure: TVGuide.com is owned by CBS.)