The crime drama Hawaii Five-O was a popular CBS series that ran for 10 seasons from 2010 to 2020. One of the main characters was Kono Kalakaua, played by Grace Park. Kono was part of the Hawaii Five-O Task Force and quickly became a fan favorite. However, in Season 7, Kono mysteriously left the show, leading many viewers to ask: what happened to Kono on Hawaii Five-O?

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Grace Park, the actress who played Kono, left Hawaii Five-O because she could not reach an agreement over her contract and pay with CBS. Her character’s absence was written into the show by having Kono go off on her own undercover mission.

Kono’s Backstory on Hawaii Five-O

Kono Kalakaua, portrayed by Grace Park, is a beloved character on the hit TV show Hawaii Five-O. Throughout the series, Kono’s backstory is explored, shedding light on her journey and experiences.

1. Early Life and Family

Kono was born and raised in Hawaii, coming from a family with a strong connection to the island’s culture and traditions. Her parents instilled in her a deep love for the community and a sense of justice.

2. Becoming a Police Officer

Kono’s desire to serve and protect led her to pursue a career in law enforcement. After completing her training at the police academy, she joined the Hawaii Five-O task force, working alongside Steve McGarrett and the rest of the team.

3. Kono’s Skills and Contributions

Kono’s skills as a police officer are diverse and invaluable to the team. She is a talented surfer, skilled in martial arts, and has an exceptional eye for detail. Her ability to connect with people and gain their trust has also proven to be a great asset in solving cases.

4. Challenges and Growth

Throughout the series, Kono faces various challenges and undergoes personal growth. She navigates complex cases, deals with loss and betrayal, and learns to trust her instincts. These experiences shape her character and make her an integral part of the Hawaii Five-O team.

5. Kono’s Relationships

Kono forms deep bonds with her team members, particularly with her cousin, Chin Ho Kelly. Their shared heritage and experiences create a strong connection between them. Kono also develops a romantic relationship with Adam Noshimuri, a member of a prominent crime family, adding an additional layer of complexity to her character.

Grace Park’s Contract Disputes and Departure

Grace Park, who played the beloved character Kono Kalakaua on Hawaii Five-O, left the show after contract disputes with the network. The actress had been a part of the show since its inception in 2010 and had gained a significant fan following for her portrayal of the strong and independent character.

Contract Negotiations

Park’s departure from Hawaii Five-O was a result of unsuccessful contract negotiations. It was reported that the actress and the network could not come to an agreement regarding her salary for the upcoming seasons. The details of the negotiations were not made public, but it is believed that the disagreement stemmed from the disparity in pay between the male and female leads of the show.

Contract disputes are not uncommon in the television industry. Actors often negotiate their contracts to ensure fair compensation for their work. In the case of Grace Park, it seems that the negotiations did not yield a satisfactory outcome for both parties involved.

Impact on the Show

Grace Park’s departure from Hawaii Five-O had a significant impact on the show and its fans. Kono Kalakaua was an integral part of the Five-O team, and her absence was felt by viewers. The show’s writers had to come up with creative ways to explain her character’s departure, which included Kono accepting a job offer in another state.

Despite the changes, Hawaii Five-O continued to entertain its audience with new storylines and characters. However, some fans expressed their disappointment over Park’s departure and the circumstances surrounding it.

Grace Park’s Career After Hawaii Five-O

Since leaving Hawaii Five-O, Grace Park has continued to work in the entertainment industry. She has appeared in other television shows and movies, showcasing her talent and versatility as an actress. While it was disappointing to see her leave Hawaii Five-O, fans have been able to enjoy her performances in other projects.

It is always difficult for fans to see a beloved character leave a show, especially under contentious circumstances. Grace Park’s departure from Hawaii Five-O was a result of contract disputes, and while it was a loss for the show, it opened up new opportunities for the actress. As viewers, we can continue to support both Park and the show as they move forward in their respective careers.

How Kono’s Exit Was Written on the Show

One of the most beloved characters on the hit TV show Hawaii Five-O was Kono Kalakaua, portrayed by the talented Grace Park. Kono was a fan favorite, known for her intelligence, bravery, and dedication to her team. However, as with any long-running show, there comes a time when actors decide to move on to new projects. This was the case for Grace Park, and her departure from the show had to be addressed in a way that satisfied fans and stayed true to the character of Kono.

Kono’s exit storyline

When it was announced that Grace Park would be leaving Hawaii Five-O, fans were understandably disappointed. However, the show’s writers and producers came up with a storyline that honored Kono and gave her a fitting send-off. In the show, Kono is revealed to have accepted a job offer with a task force focused on stopping sex trafficking. This decision aligns with Kono’s strong sense of justice and her desire to make a difference in the world. It also allows her character to continue fighting for what she believes in, even if it means leaving her team behind.

The impact on the remaining characters

Kono’s departure had a significant impact on the other characters in Hawaii Five-O. Her absence left a void in the team, as Kono was not only a skilled investigator but also a trusted friend and confidante. The show explored how her departure affected the dynamics within the team and how they had to adapt to her absence. This allowed for character growth and development, as the remaining team members had to step up and fill the void left by Kono’s departure.

Fan reaction

When Kono’s exit was first announced, fans were understandably upset. However, the way her departure was written and handled on the show received positive feedback from viewers. Fans appreciated that Kono’s character was given a meaningful and impactful exit storyline, rather than simply being written off without explanation. Grace Park’s portrayal of Kono had touched the hearts of many viewers, and her departure was treated with the respect it deserved.

Fan Reactions to Kono’s Absence

Disappointment and confusion

When it was announced that Kono Kalakaua, portrayed by Grace Park, would not be returning to Hawaii Five-O, fans were left feeling disappointed and confused. Kono had been a beloved character on the show since its inception, and her absence was deeply felt by many viewers. Social media platforms were flooded with comments expressing sadness and even anger over the decision to write Kono out of the series.

Speculations and theories

The absence of Kono sparked numerous speculations and theories among fans. Some speculated that Grace Park’s departure was due to contract disputes or creative differences, while others wondered if it was a storyline choice. The lack of a definitive explanation from the show’s creators only fueled the speculation, leading to a wide range of theories about Kono’s fate and potential return.

Support for the show’s direction

While many fans were disappointed by Kono’s absence, there were also those who expressed support for the show’s direction. They acknowledged that characters come and go in television series, and that it was important for the show to evolve and introduce new storylines. Some fans even expressed excitement for the potential new characters and narratives that could be explored in the absence of Kono.

Continued love for Grace Park

Regardless of their disappointment over Kono’s departure, fans continued to show love and support for Grace Park. Many expressed their admiration for her portrayal of Kono and her contributions to the show over the years. Some fans even expressed hope that Park would return to the small screen in a new project soon, showcasing their unwavering support for the talented actress.

Exploring other characters

With Kono’s absence, fans turned their attention to other characters on Hawaii Five-O. They eagerly awaited developments in the storylines of Steve McGarrett, Danny Williams, and other familiar faces. The show’s writers and producers had the challenge of keeping viewers engaged and invested in the series without one of its main characters, and fans were curious to see how they would tackle this challenge.

The Future of Kono Kalakaua

Will Kono return to Hawaii Five-O?

One of the most pressing questions fans of Hawaii Five-O have is whether or not Kono Kalakaua, played by Grace Park, will return to the show. Unfortunately, it seems that Kono will not be making a comeback. After seven seasons on the show, Park decided to leave due to contract negotiations. While it was a disappointment for fans, it’s important to respect the decisions of the actors and their personal career choices.

What has Grace Park been up to since leaving the show?

Since her departure from Hawaii Five-O, Grace Park has been keeping busy with various projects. She starred in the critically acclaimed series “A Million Little Things” and has also been involved in producing and directing. Park’s talent and versatility have allowed her to explore different opportunities in the entertainment industry. Fans can look forward to seeing her in future projects and supporting her in her new endeavors.

How has Kono’s absence impacted the show?

The absence of Kono Kalakaua has definitely left a void in the show. Her character was a strong female presence and a fan favorite. However, the writers and producers of Hawaii Five-O have done a commendable job in keeping the show engaging and entertaining despite her departure. They have introduced new characters and storylines to keep the audience invested. While Kono’s absence is felt, the show continues to thrive and captivate viewers with its action-packed episodes and intriguing mysteries.

Is there a chance for a Kono spin-off?

As of now, there have been no official announcements regarding a Kono spin-off. However, spin-offs are not uncommon in the television industry, and fans can always hope for the possibility of a new show centered around Kono Kalakaua. A spin-off could delve deeper into her character and explore new adventures and storylines. It would undoubtedly be an exciting prospect for fans of the character and the Hawaii Five-O franchise.


Kono Kalakaua, played by native Hawaiian actor Zulu, was an integral part of the original Hawaii Five-O cast. His sudden mid-season disappearance due to contract issues disappointed many viewers at the time. Although there were unsuccessful attempts to bring Zulu back in later seasons, Kono was never seen again in the original series run. The unexplained on-screen write-off of his character remains one of the most controversial cast exits in television history. Kono’s legacy lived on in the show’s popularity and later revivals, reminding viewers of one of Hawaii Five-O’s most iconic characters.

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