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Five-0 Redux

A real treat

Corbin Bernsen, right, was this week's special guest star on "Hawaii Five-0." (Courtesy CBS)
Corbin Bernsen, right, was this week’s special guest star on “Hawaii Five-0.” (Courtesy CBS)

Hauʻoli Heleuī, “Hawaii Five-0” fans! Once again, it’s time for the another fun Halloween episode filled with quirky Max-isms, Danno phobias, and yes, even zombies.

Zombies in paradise? Just as plausible as Satan worshippers in Mānoa, right?

Sorry, I couldn’t resist mentioning season three’s offering, where guest star Lee Meriwether was great as the psychotic invalid grandmother and we learned that Danno (Scott Caan) had a Hitchcockian-style fear of birds. The best Halloween-themed episode was season two’s “Ka Iwi Kapu” (“Sacred Bones”), as “Hawaii Five-0” used the culture and superstitions of Hawaii to its advantage.

This season’s foray into the supernatural was more clinical than spooky, but I did like it more than last year’s “Mōhai” (“Offering”). As usual, the best parts of the episode were the times when the team was allowed to just be themselves.

Max (Masi Oka) dancing with his lady love Sabrina (Rumer Willis) on the beach to the “Time Warp” from “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” was classic Max. But add that fact that he is dressed in his Keanu #3 costume as Prince Siddhartha from the mostly unknown Bernardo Bertolucci film “Little Buddha” (#1 was Neo from “The Matrix” and #2 was Ted of “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure”) and we have Max at his fan-geek best.

Alex O'Loughlin as Steve McGarrett. (Courtesy CBS)
Alex O’Loughlin as Steve McGarrett. (Courtesy CBS)

I adored Sabrina and Max’s solemn declarations of love for each other. I know, they didn’t really share a the more traditional version of “I love yous” but when a man tells a woman she can kill him if he turns when the zombie apocalypse hits, he is truly in love. Likewise, when a beautiful woman tells a man there’s no way she’s killing him — she’s going to let him bite her so they can live happily-undead-after eating brains and having zombie babies — that is true love, folks. Trust me.

For the most part, that covered the zombie theme of the episode, besides what was offered up to introduce the investigative procedural. The idea was clever; a rich man, Henry Upton (Corbin Bernsen) writes a blank check to mad scientist Dr. William Ellery (Kenneth Matepi) to cure his son Brock (Yosef Kasnetzkov) of his criminal tendencies, thus creating virtual “zombies” who have been injected with toxoplasmosis or a parasitic disease to supposedly quiet their brains and cure their bad behavior.

When Max started speaking brain I got a little confused, but for the most part I think this is what the bad doctor was trying to cook up. If nothing else, we were treated to a creepy performance by DJ Qualls (who played homeless heavy breather Marshall Demps), witnessed as close to a real zombie as we may see outside of “The Walking Dead,” examined a headless corpse, and watched a brain being dissected. All in the name of science!

Or perhaps, all to scare everyone for Halloween. But it wasn’t that scary — at least the zombies died down after the initial bite. We didn’t see too much gore, because recurring officer Sgt. Chang (Keo Woolford) shot the zombified hospital administrator (Scott Folsom) and Sgt. Lukela (Dennis Chun) thankfully explained the rest of the bloody opening scene.

Sadly, we didn’t see too much of Woolford, which would have been great as the last time we saw him he was arresting McG (Alex OʻLoughlin, in the season two opener). It would have been nice to let him have a few moments as the cop who saved the “Rocky Horror” fans from the zombie horror.

Another thing I missed? Gracie (Teilor Grubbs) in costume. Perhaps Grace has grown out of the dressing up for “Trick-0-Treating,” but I was glad to see her in a cute scene with Daddy Danno as he taught her a valuable lesson: don’t TP Danno’s house, because he will get the forensic guys to figure out what ply you used and make sure you are prosecuted within the law. (Because TPing someone’s house is a gateway crime to bigger crimes and is completely a violation of the sanctity of Danno’s home.)

Teilor Grubbs makes an appearance in this week's episode of "Hawaii Five-0." (Courtesy CBS)
Teilor Grubbs makes an appearance in this week’s episode of “Hawaii Five-0.” (Courtesy CBS)

Little did he know that poor Gracie was his culprit, and she only did it to her own home because she thought it would be mean to do it to someone else. Good thing Danno knows that Uncle Steve’s house has many more trees for Gracie to practice her criminal ways and get it all out of her system.

Along with a great Gracie scene, I loved that we also got a healthy amount of McG and Danno to make us feel like it was Christmas. Thankfully, Danno was actually IN this episode, complete with mini-cargument, bickering about Steve driving the Camaro (it get’s better gas mileage, Danno), and the revelation of Danno’s claustrophobia. And the scene with Danno and McG sharing a ride in a house-pumping stripper-pole sporting party bus was awkwardly funny and darling at the same time.

I did like the scenes of Catherine (Michelle Borth) mourning Billy’s (Justin Bruening) death. McG trying to counsel her about getting over her grief were really nice touches that sometimes “Five-0” forgets to add. I still feel like Chin (Daniel Dae Kim) has never been allowed to mourn Malia quite enough, so I was glad to see that Billy’s death wasn’t just brushed under the lauhala mat and filed under “In the Past” like a few other major events that have affected the team.

And even though we didn’t get to see Kono (Grace Park) searching for Adam (Ian Anthony Dale), Chin and Cath working together to figure out a Hawaii connection to Sato, the man who has Adam, really helped to keep that storyline rolling along.

Overall, I definitely had a good time watching this episode. I loved seeing the team back together, for the most part, and seeing the further development of our favorite characters. While guest star Corbin Bernsen did a great job playing a concerned, yet misguided father, it would have been nice to see a little more development between his character and his son, who only really showed up at the end of the episode.

Yet with all the interplay, I can give bad dad a break. For me, seeing McG, Danno, and Chin in action is what made this season’s Halloween episode a real treat.

Redux Side Note

This week’s title, “Kūpouli ʻla,” translated by CBS as “Broken” didn’t quite work for this episode. A better translation of “kūpouli” would be “befuddled, stupefied, mentally clouded, dazed, carried away with emotion, or stricken” and “la” translates as “day.”

This would make the title “Day of the Stupified,” or even better, “Day of the (Mentally) Clouded,” which actually works if you think about how the procedural dealt with medical experiments on the brain. The ʻokina before “la” seems superfluous, at best. (Thanks to Monica Bacon for the help deciphering the title.)

TNT has switched their schedule and episodes will air Monday, Nov. 4, with “Haʻiʻole” (“Unbreakable”) and Wednesday, Nov. 6, with “Mea Makamae” (“Treasure”).
Wendie Burbridge is a published author, playwright and teacher. Reach her via Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

11 responses to “A real treat”

  1. Donna Shannon Marie says:

    awesome read as usual x

  2. LindaStein says:

    really enjoyed this episode too Wendie. It was a very nice Halloween episode.
    The crime of the week was pretty good, mostly because of Max’s
    involvement in it. He was just wonderful and he and Sabrina are
    ADORABLE….period. I actually liked last years crazy grandma and grandson better as the crime of the week, though but this one was fun too. Max trying to explain what was going on to the guys and having to dumb it down for them was hysterical and I especially loved Danny’s remark about Max… “He must be trilled. I’m sure being attacked by a zombie was on his bucket list” ROFLMAO…Priceless!

    I really loved was the character stuff mostly Catherine. Like you, I’m very
    happy they have her going through a bit of a crisis after Billy’s death.
    I agree, I felt they had Chin bounce back too soon after Malia died. I know we
    found out after the fact that he’d been in therapy for months but we
    never really saw any of that, so it was nice to see Cath really
    grieving, not only for Billy but for herself, the choices she has made
    and her future without the Navy. Also wonderful to see Steve strong and
    supportive and there for her. I’m also glad he didn’t offer her a spot
    on Five-0 right off the bat. It works this way very well.

    I also really like that they seem to be weaving her into the Kono and Adam storyline. The writers have already established a relationship between Catherine and Kono. Kono went to her when she first heard about
    Sato to get intel. Cath invited Kono to share her field level
    Pro Bowl tickets and that hug on the docks was a
    very warm, sisterly embrace. “I’m seriously going
    to miss you sister”.

    reasonable to assume, after the loss of a good friend, a person would
    take stock in the friends they have left, looking for a happy thoughts
    other than those of grief and loss. But when Cath thinks of Kono it only brings more feelings of
    loss. It’s completely understandable that a person looking for
    direction, looking for a purpose, who HAS the resources, would try to
    help their missing friend. “I couldn’t help Billy, but I’ll be damned
    if I won’t try to help Kono”.

    All the elements of the episode clicked for me really well. Great to see Danny back where he belongs and that last scene with Grace was priceless. Teilor has grown into quite the beauty and a great little actor. Her look of fear and remorse were spot on. Now…on to Three Men and a Baby! I can’t believe we have to wait an entire week. This season really is shaping up to be a winner all around. Mahalo for the great review Wendie.

  3. Dina says:

    yes this was a nice Halloween “treat” from the cast and crew. I adored that the “culprit” was Gracie and why she did it! Guess Rachel and Danny did bring her up right! Interesting enough there are a LOT of ppl complaining about the writing this season- yet I feel this season they are doing more with cont story arcs (even when actor/actresses not available) and the stand alone episodes like this one entertain and still do the job!

  4. Robin Jane Bridges says:

    I liked the episode, too. For once there was a logical explaination for the Zombie. Did you see that strange guy next to the tree, before Steve went into the tunnel, I kept waiting for that guy to hit Danny and go after Steve. I don’t know it is wise to try to tp Steve’s house. He has alot guns, knives, gasline and empty bottles and knows how to use them. LOL!

  5. Angela Gerstner says:

    As I’ve never been a fan of creepy, spooky, gory Halloween and the typical elements in the last three seasons’ Halloween episodes (like the ritualistic murders in S3), I was honestly expecting “the worst” after those zombies were announced in the promos. BUT I was pleasantly surprised when the whole zombie story turned out to be rather scientific or medical – cause I find medical stuff quite interesting. I’m pretty sure that I’ve even read an actual report about those undersized amygdalas in aggressive persons and criminals. It just didn’t seem to make much sense to inject parasites which would destroy the amygdalas that were already smaller than usual anyway – or maybe those cysts were supposed to enlarge them?! Whatever! Like you I was a little confused by Max’s medical explanations but I’m not going to break my head over that – it’s just a show, after all 🙂

    I absolutely loved Max in this episode, and he’s so cute with Sabrina. Hopefully, we’ll get to see a lot more of these love birds together. Let’s just keep our fingers crossed for them to not end up in the intensive-care unit again on their next date.

    Like other fans, I was veeery happy to see Danno back and very much enjoyed all those great scenes with Danno and Steve, Danno and Gracie, Steve and Cath – No need to go into detail cause you’ve said it all for me! There was a whole lot of personal and character stuff to love about this episode. Even though the Halloween episodes will probably never be my “season favourites”, I did like this episode a lot. You’re right – it was a real treat!

    Speaking about treats – Next week’s “Three Men & A Baby” episode of H50 is likely to be the best treat of this season 🙂 Can’t wait to see it!

  6. pauldunn1 says:


    Great post as usual. I also have enjoyed this ep. In addition I have appreciated this season the fact that Sgt Duke has had a speaking role in most of the eps. He is pitch perfect. in his role and great homage to the original Five0.

  7. jlopie1 says:

    I like spooky stories, so last year’s episode was scarier for me, but this year’s Halloween episode made sense that it wasn’t as scary! It was, in fact, shown after Halloween, so it didn’t need the spookiness! I really liked the fact the episode took place on Halloween, but was more medically spooky that ghoulish — does that make any sense?

    I was very pleased to see the direction the writer’s took Catherine’s character this week – still trying to come to terms with Billy’s death, and yet understanding the need to move on and do something useful with her life now — and taking on Kono’s problems is a great direction to go in! So glad to see Steve didn’t simply offer her a spot on the Five-0 team right off the bat. She will probably end up there eventually, but I don’t think she’s mentally ready for it yet.

    I think it’s rather amazing – as well as being a testament to their chemistry — that Alex and Scott can get right back into their characters’ friendship, after not being together much in the last two episodes, without skipping a beat! The quips were spot on and delivered so nonchalantly – it was perfect!

    Max and Sabrina were totally awesome! What a cute couple! ICU dates! Zombie babies! OMG!

    But the best of all, for me, was Grace owning up to TPing their house. Honestly? I did not see that coming, but I’m so glad it did! Grace is growing up before our eyes! She’s past the trick or treating phase and on to the peer pressure times when even the best of kids will succumb to the need to be popular! The best part of all was Danny telling Grace to call him next time and he’d take her to Uncle Steve’s! That humongous grin that erupted on Grace’s face was priceless!

    All in all, a very satisfying Halloween episode, Corbin Bernsen played the baddie admirably, and I was pleased to see forward movement on Kono’s story even if we didn’t see Kono! Thanks for a great review, Wendie — and for a place to let H5-0 fans gather and converse!

  8. Kate J says:

    Great read again, Wendie! There were some great things about this episode, many of which have been mentioned in other comments here. I like where Catherine’s story went this week. She’s going through a lot with leaving the Navy, losing her friend and losing her job all in a short time. It’s nice to see her find a new purpose in helping to save Kono. I also liked how Chin got to be first on the scene of the crime. It was great that Steve’s serious conversation with Catherine didn’t get interrupted by a phone call for once! Season 2 had my favorite Halloween episode (it was quite a bit lighter) but this one was good, too.

  9. KAD1228 says:

    Very good episode! My favorite so far. It had the right balance of bromance, procedural, family and fun. I really love Max and Sabrina – they’re just adorable! Hope Sabrina sticks around!! I liked the way the writers handled Catherine’s grief. Not so overboard as to make it not believable. I’m glad she’ll help look for Kono (who I missed terribly last night, Adam too). The bus ride was very cute and Danny’s statement of claustrophia was an eye-opener. Not because he is claustrophic but because of the convo between Steve and him. Steve said how come I didn’t know this before and Danny answered because you don’t pay a lot of attention to me. Interesting. Hmm, is Danny feeling unloved?? Seeing Gracie is always a treat. She has grown up right before our eyes! I was hoping the show would end w/her tp’ing Uncle Steve’s house but maybe next year! All-in-all, a strong episode!

  10. Diane says:

    Thanks Wendie for the review. I was not a big fan of the previous Halloween shows, I did not hate them, I just thought they could have done better. I liked this one, I liked that the story had something more than it being a Zombie eating people, it was a great way for Max and Sabrina to show how their relationship is growing. Was glad to see that Rumer Willis was put in the recurring characters list. Love them as a couple.

    Grace is growing up, but I was also looking forward to see what she was going to wear. As in life kids change, so they have to show Danny dealing with more mature problems. I hope this show stays around long enough for her to start dating. Would love to see Danny deal with that.

    I too, thought they should have shown Chin dealing with Malia’s death, a little more. I understand the character of Chin, keeps a lot to himself, dealing with issues without showing emotion. We did get a little of it, when he came back to the house after Malia died and saw what she was preparing, and also when he was telling Adam to take care of Kono. I think DDK does a great job when allowed to show his emotional side. Michelle does a great job also. I love that all these actors can do the character stuff so well. I thought Billy would be more of wedge between Steve and Cath, but they killed him off so soon. It did show how strong their relationship is, which I always thought was there. Having Catherine try to help Chin with Kono seems perfectly logical. I’m also glad that they showed it was just not Billy’s death, but the major change of not being part of Navy and how difficult of an adjustment that is for her. Enjoying this season, looking forward to the rest.

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