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+.


The ball is in her court. I want to know how Joe fits into this. How long has he known about Doris being alive? How could he keep this from Steve's Dad, especially since they were as close as brothers could be. What was the timeline? What has Doris been up to all these years? And just for the record, i always liked Joe. Especially after the Korean rescue mission and the final scene where Joe had his hands on Steve's shoulders for the ride. Joe is Steve's surrogate Dad. Aaah, the questions are many. I'm buckling up for the ride :-) I think this will be a stellar season IMHO.


Great episode. Mixing up the partnerships with Kono and Danno was really enjoyable. They have great chemistry, not romantic, just very comfortable and funny. Loved the scene when Steve finds out that Chin brought Mom to HQ. Priceless expressions on Steve's face when Chin told him that his Mom called him out, when she was in the kitchen cooking breakfast and when she told him her plans to stay with him. Thought the writers did a great job of keeping all the characters in play and it wasn't awkward to watch. I like how they're easing Catherine in, good pace. And of course Mom's lying about the Wofat encounter but there's a story, just wait... for it. I personally like Mom and think that the future episode will be exciting to watch. Can't wait to see MaryAnn come back and see her Mom. And my guess is WoFat knows who Doris is but not as Shelburne. She has something he wants and Doris knows it which makes her feel it's safe to come back to the island and stop hiding. The ball is in her court. I would like to find out how Joe's been involved, how long has he known that Doris is alive. How did he keep that from Steve's Dad since they were as close as brothers could be. Aahh, the questions. And for the record, I liked Joe. I'm buckling up for the ride.

Mrs cleaver

Can we all at least agree that Alex O is looking FABULOUS and fit again? Saw where he and his girl are having a baby (in real life) so hoping he's in a good place and happy.


I've been a fan of Hawaii 50 since the first episode of the ORIGINAL SERIES way back in the SIXTIES. Gasp!!
I loved the fortune teller thinking that Dano and Kono were a couple: and their expressions and 'never-gonna-happen' denials.
Besides, back in the sixties, I was the geeky little sister who watched cop shows. Now I get to say things like: "you think that was scary, wait until Wo Fat shows up" and "Mary finally showed up, now the fun begins" and "Kono used to be a boy". That last one really got my sister's attention.


I enjoy H5O, as a rule, and I think the acting is pretty darned great for the most part, sure there are mistakes, there always will be, actors are human, directors are human, etc.
Still this episode was a bit too gross for my tastes, I honestly do not think they needed to show us this guys head being sliced off over and over...nasty. More suited to a horror movie than a crime drama.
But I did enjoy Christine Lahti as Steve's mom, and I loved how awkward his reaction was to her just dropping in, because it was realistic, as most boys/men react that way when mom drops by unexpectedly! I also enjoyed her chat with Daniel Dae Kim...she knew why he was there right away! Good job!


I don't think the problem is that people have different opinions, what people have a problem with is the same people, week after week ripping the show apart same people as last year. It's ok to dislike something, but try to give credit when its due. This is not telling them what to think or feel, but if they go back and read every comment that they have made, they themselves have to see that they aren't happy, and its probably time to find a show that is more suited to them. Not saying, everyone who has a dislike does this, but if you have been on this site long enough, you just need to look at the name and figure out what they are going to say without reading it. I've complaints as well, and I don't look at it through rose colored glasses, but the majority of this show is great, as are the actors and their acting.


The constant hand gestures and over acting by the Danny character are driving me away from the show. And now the director has the Steve character doing all that silly nonsense. Enough already. What made Alex O'Locklin so cool and sexy in Twilight was that he was laid back, understated, strong, and calm - this frenetic activity in the Hawaii 5 0 role is going to ruin his acting career.


Why do some feel the need to tell others how to think. It's pretty obvious there are many different viewpoints on what is good and not so good about the show. But whatever the writers are doing its not bringing back the viewers. Everyone blamed Lori last year but it was the weak writing and bad characterization that caused many to give up on the show and sadly that has continued into season 3.
I also agree that the chemistry is not there anymore because its been forced too much and I enjoyed the break from the McDanno. In fact I actually enjoyed Danny when he was away from Steve. I'm not as invested in the characters as I used to be, but except for Doris last night was an improvement.


This is a comment section so everyone has the right to his own opinion, we all have different tastes, Thank god otherwise it would very soon get bored in here. It's normal that people love some episodes and some don't. I like Christine Lathi she plays her role perfectly and her scene's with Alex are wonderful. It is her character Doris I dislike but she is here for a reason to continue the storyline for Steve. What changed from 20 years ago that makes it safe for Doris to decide to stay in the house now? Wo-Fat is still there why fake her own death and leave her family in the first place. I hope we get answers soon and not in the season finale I don't want that Doris becomes a second Joe.

Sarah silva

Kelly I can see your side of things. I too did not lik Lori. I do not like Doris but we are not supposed to like her and for that works.
I am sure some people find Danny annoying but I really like him.

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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.