Hawaii Five-0 Review: Mommie Dearest and The Headless Horseman

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"Popilikia (Misfortune)" was a Hawaii Five-0 Halloween extravaganza in disguise. We had representation from old movies starring Faye Dunaway, a nod to Ichabod Crane, a wacky fortune teller and McGarrett playing the football player without costume performing not one, but two epic tackles.

Did Bai Ling play the worst fortune killer of all time or what? Everyone knows the Death card doesn't represent physical death and even if it did (hello!), nobody would go to one who whispered the equivalent of "seven days...." in your ear! I'll give her some credit, at least she was talking about the wrong customer, and the girlfriend read into it what she wanted anyway. She was touched by Billy's death.

McGarrett & Danny Investigate

The poor polo player did have a serious misfortune, though, didn't he? Danny calling him the Headless Horseman was perfect for the month of October and production was damned happy with their CGI because we got to see that head sliced off again and again and again. How very Final Destination of them!

Once we discovered who was actually intended to be murdered, I immediately suspected Jake's dad. It seemed like a long time to wait for a second go at your own kid, but if Jere Burns isn't playing a bad guy, he's extremely funny. He didn't seem so funny to me. Then his wife exploded, and I hesitated. She was kind of hot. Perhaps she was a mistake?

Nope. I was standing by my man. With the reveal of his wife and Billy having an illicit affair, I knew I was going to come home with the trophy. The timing of his son's kidnapper's release from prison was ideal. Seriously, could I possibly be a worse detective?

I wondered why Jake didn't just kill his father instead of taking out his friend and step mother. Sure, she was the trigger to the reason he lost his finger and was traumatized for life, but his dad made the decision. I was wrong that Burns was playing the criminal, but he played a weak man and a poor father.

He should have given the money for his son's release as soon as it was demanded. Somehow, after everything he went through, it seemed the only thing Jake wanted all those years later was the love of his father. Some people should never be parents.

Christine Lahti as Steve's mom was such an inspired choice. They play off each other so perfectly and she's the one person he can't get the better of. I should have known she was moving in for something other than old home week, but I want her to be McGarrett's mommy. With exchanges like this, who wouldn't?

Steve: What is this? What are these bags? You're staying?
Doris: Yeah, is that okay with you?
Steve: Mom! | permalink

Doris wasn't so convincing when it came to Wo Fat. I wonder how long it will take Steve to crack the second most important case of his life, after the murder of his father. Steve didn't believe her sham story about the safe house and wildly shot bullets. She was too good to let that happen and everyone knew it.

What was on the film in the little safe? Did it go back to Steve's childhood? How was it that nobody noticed the strange sound in the floor? Most importantly, why was there only a single roll of film inside a special case inside a safe, seemingly exactly in the middle, still standing? Silly television shows. As she lifted it out of the floor, it was almost as if it was important to keep it upright. Then we found out it was film.

You know what? I don't care. Hawaii Five-0 remains one of the most entertaining CBS procedurals running and watching it every week is a joy. The wit, the banter, the twists and turns never get old. Share your theories in the comments and be back here in two weeks when Jim Garner reviews the real Halloween episode!


Editor Rating: 4.3 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (158 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.


There is a poll on my blog about the ratings. You are welcome to vote. let's see what people think.


Maybe it would be better to move H5O to Tuesday night where we have NCIS & NCIS LA as lead in. On Monday's It's a comedy night on CBS, and H50 is an Drama/action show.


One additional comment about ratings. H50 isn't getting much help from the CBS comedies that precede it. They are being beaten significantly by the two "talent" shows The Voice(NBC) and Dancing With the Stars(ABC) which run from 8-10 PM.


Enjoyable episode. One question - the team's star player is killed in the morning and that afternoon they play a game as if nothing happened? at least guys black arm bands?. Here are the ratings so far:
Revolution Castle H50
9/25 9.2 10.4 8.1
10/2 8.3 10.3 8.0
10/9 8.0 10.6 8.4
10/16 8.6 10.9 8.7 Numbers are millions of viewers. Revolution leads in the 18-49 age group. Castle has the most viewers but is last in the 18-49.


Doris is not like a normal mom just dropping in on her son. Firstly she abandoned Steve and pretended to be dead for 20 years. She keeps lying to him and told him she was leaving the Island but suddenly turns up making breakfast. Doesn't Steve want any answers or is "I did it to protect you" sufficient for him. Suddenly she wants to settle down but what happened to all the "danger". How is she protecting Steve by inviting danger to his home. She's putting Steve and especially Cath in danger - wouldn't Steve have a problem with that. What happened to Cath's Navy career. Where is she getting all this time to keep doing favours. So yeah the characterization is still a huge problem for me and I'll continue to express my issues with it. But it was nice to see a mix up in the pairings this week and I really hope the writers continue to do this. The show needs to keep mixing things up otherwise it becomes repetitive and less interesting.


@Emmydee23 - According to my poll 71% of the voters (252 people) think Wo Fat is Doris's son.


my theory: I'm thinkin Wo Fat and Steve are half brothers...and he didnt kill her bc he cant shoot his mom.....just a thought


I agree, Lynette! A larger word count would be nice. I had to re type and I think my original comments that disappeared into Internet limbo was more eloquent than the final posting. Hehehe.


(cont.) his mom's room. Would be nice if TVFanatic would give us a slightly larger word count to work with! H5-0 fans are a wordy group! LOL!


Thanks, Carissa, for your entertaining review! I enjoyed this episode, but then, I'm a pretty hardcore fan and as such, a rather boring commenter, because I have a hard time seeing anything wrong with an episode! This week, Christine Lahti wins kudos from me for portraying Doris as a woman attempting to fall back into the role of mother that she abandoned 20 years before. Talking to Steve as if he's a 15 year old boy again, pretending that nothing has changed in their relationship. It's not going to work, of course, Steve isn't 15 and he's had enough experiences to know better than to blindly trust someone who faked her death 20 years ago, abandoned her family and then waltzes back into the home cooking breakfast! Lots of other things I liked this week, too! Danny/Kono at the fortuneteller's and their little cargument afterwards! A "cowed" Chin telling Steve his mother is very convincing! All good. Oh, good procedural, too! Didn't figure out the killer until I saw him walk out of his mom's hospital room!

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Hawaii Five-0 Season 3 Episode 4 Quotes

Steve: What is this? What are these bags? You're staying?
Doris: Yeah, is that okay with you?
Steve: Mom!

Stop playin' with your gun and come have breakfast.