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+.


Not everyone is going to like every ep and if we don't I'd like to think we have as much a right to express that, but I guess I'm wrong.
As a student if I get a 90% on a paper I would like some criticism so I can make adjustments. Most eps I enjoy very much and love this show, it's the only show I watch every week and I have every ep and will probably download this one eventually, but I don't believe I have to like everything about every ep and I don't think that makes me a "crank". I just did not find this particular ep that enjoying. Thank for allowing me to have my opinion. Some sarcasm intended.


@Lizzie I agree with you 100%!!! I. Always enjoy the show and then read comments and they bring me down. It's such and entertaining show with such a great cast. The writers try so hard to put a little bit of everything into a 40 minute show and people always pick everything apart. Try to watch it for laughs and entertainment not for realism.


I don't like the storyline with Steve's Mom. Either it was miscast or the acting is off. I don't buy it.


The writers probably see Doris as some complex character who had to make a difficult decision 20 years ago. They seem intent on telling us that's she just like Steve and her snarky personality shows how tough she is. But she's not tough and nothing like Steve at all, otherwise why did she have to hide for 20 years. She's just a rude opinionated woman. Why would Steve have loving memories of this woman. I hope he finally calls her on her crap and they don't have him accepting her lame excuses anymore. Maybe Steve then can close this chapter in his life and move on and finally realise that Cath is far more to him than someone to ask favours of.


i think the show has lost its way. it's still fairly enjoyable, but the formula that made it so great in the beginning seems to be gone. the rhythm of the show and chemistry between the characters is just off to me. that being said, i really enjoyed this review!


has a job on base which makes her slightly more interesting to me. I absolutely hated the "You're a girl" line. Yes, sadly, people use that term as an insult all the time, but I just don't buy that STEVE would - he has too much respect for women in general and Kono, Cath, etc. in particular, IMO. The case was all kinds of complicated and gruesome, but I don't really watch for that anyhow. All in all, a good, solid episode - pretty entertaining with a few eh moments.


Did anyone beside me get a Burn Notices feel from the show they even had the main bad guy from Brun Notices on there I don't know I felt like I was watching Brun Notices with Hawaii Five O


This episode was a solid B for me. Enjoyable, but it had some grating moments. The bulk of my enjoyment came from the Danny/Kono moments (more of that would be great - they have a very charming brother/sister vibe together and I found him softened slightly with her which made the snark less biting and more enjoyable) and Max (which was a surprise for me because he is not usually someone I enjoy). Chin, as always, was gold, but there wasn't enough of him. I also enjoyed the wide range of Steve moments (over the top rage/disgust at the criminal vs. vulnerable with Doris in the truck). Mom McG is someone I am starting to love to hate - I can't decide if she is evil and only looking out for herself or something else. I am interested in the storyline, but I think a few more episodes of it and I will be at my max. So, I just hope they don't drag it out like Joe White/ Shelburne last year. I am completely ambivalent about Cath - could take her or leave her but i am least glad to hear she still has a job on base which makes her slightly more interesting to me. I absolutely hated the "You're a girl" line. Yes, sadly, people use that term as an insult all the time, but I just don't buy that STEVE would - he has too much respect for women in general and Kono, Cath, etc. in particular, IMO. All in all, not a bad episode - pretty entertaining with a few eh moments.


Well, I see we still have some "cranks" out there who tune in just to pick at this wonderful show....Wouldn't it be more fun for you if you tune in to be entertained - - There's so many things about it to enjoy -- the producers have put a little bit of everything into this series and it all comes together and works just fine --- I don't see Danny and Steve's bouncing off each other as anything but funny and downright entertaining... and because of the nature of the stories, you have to throw in a little levity... and romance...and comraderie between all of them.... the team and their extensions round out a terrific blend of everything most people would look for ..... and millions of fans love this fantastic cast and how they work together --- Come 'on, sit back and relax and let them entertain you....they have the recipe!....


When are the producers of this once great show going to learn they don't need to add new characters. Get rid of mom, keep girlfriend at home, have guest stars in crime of the week. Worked befoere.

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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.