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+.


I loved this episode. I did not think there was much to complain about, but I knew someone would.
Mrs. Clever...I agree, I loved Kono and Danny together, I don't recall much of that since the first season when they were trying to lure the dumb guy to the bar with one of the employees text messages. I still like Steve/Danny, but a little mix up is good.
Catherine is played perfectly. Catherine and Steve are boyfriend and girlfriend, of course she is going to stay over. This is reality, which is what a lot of people complain does not happen with this show. Get over it, yes she does help him, so would you.

Mrs cleaver

One of the best episodes ever - loved it.
Nice review by the new reviewer (no Jim this week?). Carissa nailed it.
@Kelly - he puts up with her cause SHE'S HIS MOM-lol. People put up with alot from their moms, as I'm sure alot of people could tell you. That doesn't mean he believes her.
Love Jere Burns, he's a great actor no matter what he's doing. Kono & Dan should work together more, they are great together - "You pay, you make more than me" lol.
Writers are doing a great job with Cath (as in not jamming her down our throats)working her in/out of the episodes. McG really relaxes around her and smiles alot - love that.
Kitchen scene was hysterical. So Happy H50 is back!


We are back!! Great episode.


What a great epi!!!! I LOVE the characters in this show! McG was adorable last night, a SuperSEAL suddenly having to deal with an aggressive mother. And what a bad mommy! Christine Lahti is playing the villain mom to the hilt! Michelle Borth is so perfect as Catherine. She backs McG up, but she let's him know he owes her. And she's just saucy enough you know he won't really cross her. And Danno was his usual silly self, loved his interaction with Kono at the fortune tellers. He had to pay, lol. But he suspects Doris even more than McG does and he's so clearly worried for his friend. And Chin with Doris, that scene was fandamntastic! I love how they mixed and matched the pairings last night. The entire ohana can work seamlessly together. Great review, btw. You are so right, this show is just so much fun!


I enjoyed this episode more than last week but once again the problem with this show is the characterization. Last week Danny was the most irritating charater on TV but this week that title goes to Doris. Why do they make her into such a jerk and why does Steve put up with it. He should call her on her crap just like he should have done to Danny last week with all his whining. Dors is nothing like Steve, its an insult to compare her to him.
Catherine is still in the background doing favours and having sex with Steve, what a let down for her character. Chin was back to his smiling self, the little bit we saw of him. Malia all forgotten and no mention of the fact that he murdered someone. But putting all the dreadful characterization aside the episode was midly entertaining.


I liked this episode a lot. There were a lot of twists and turns I didn't see coming. Everyone was good. Alex was fabulous. I can't get over how animated and open he is this season
I felt so sorry for the young killer. What kind of mother would not do anything to ensure their child's safe return?
Liked Catherine in this episode too. Not overdone.
Doris was obviously lying to Steve about why she didn't kill Wo Fat. I don't know how many episodes Christine Lahti will end up doing, but if they drag this out to the end of the season, like they did with Joe White's lies last season, I will scream.

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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.