Hawaii Five-0: Season 10 – Episode 5 REVIEW

Hawaiian Halloween ends up not being the scariest experience in the world.

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When it comes to Halloween episodes, Hawaii Five-0 usually has some pretty gory ones. They’re not afraid to make the “horror” out of horrifying every time the spooky holiday comes around. However, “He ‘oi’o Kuhihewa; He Kaka ola i ‘ike ‘ia e ka Makaula” takes a different approach to the scare factor.

Cultured Vultures spoilers

Like last week’s episode, the bad guys have terrible luck. They enter the house, kill Edith the homeowner, and break into a vault that holds not treasure but an unidentified monster. Perhaps this is Five-0’s latest recurring theme-criminals that get busted by their victims before the law gets to them. It’s an interesting thought, anyway. Overuse could quickly stale the idea, however.

While Tani, Lou, Adam and Quinn are tasked with finding the so-called basement ‘monster’, Steve and Junior are busy tracking down a missing body. I honestly didn’t care much for the latter’s storyline; it seemed stereotypical for a body to go missing Halloween night.

However, I could feel for Medical Examiner Noelani (Kimee Balmilero), who takes personal responsibility for the missing body of a teenage girl. She’s obviously tortured over it, and I respected how much she cared, especially for the girl’s parents. It was impressive the way Steve managed to calm her down-Steve has a special power when it comes to that.

Though, come on. The last thing you do when a room suddenly goes dark is leave, especially without some kind of weapon. Has Noelani never seen a horror movie? Plus, it gave the thief the perfect opportunity to take the body.

Meanwhile, the case of the basement ‘monster’ was far more intriguing to follow. You never see his face completely until the episode is nearly over. I understood why people were frightened, but even more importantly, I understood why he was so scared. He suffers from certain deformities, so his adoptive mother, Edith, hid him from the outside world to avoid ridicule and cruelty.

That said, he just lost his mother and was facing the outside world on his own for the first time. I understood that Kimo (Derek Mears) was running scared. The most touching moment of the episode was Max’s (yes, Max made a special appearance this episode) adoptive son Tunde (Jonny Berryman) treating Kimo with kindness, not screaming and running away.

He offers a lollipop to the guy, the gesture reminiscent of Chunk and Sloth’s relationship from The Goonies – all it takes is one person to make a difference. The true monsters aren’t obvious in this world, so those that people are quick to judge usually deserve a chance, or at least the benefit of the doubt.

The episode was short on strong storylines or traditional Halloween elements. It’s hard to miss that fact. There’s only one time a year for Halloween episodes, and Five-0 came in a few shades under the expectation. It may have had decorations, it may have had body snatching, murder and a mysterious man from a basement, but add it all together and the Halloween theme was minor. It was too expected, and when it comes to a Halloween episode, it’s fair to say audiences should receive the unexpected.

The episode did feature several sweet moments. Eddie’s costume, Steve’s failed attempt at scaring trick-or-treaters, Tunde and Kimo’s moment of understanding, etcetera. They were strong examples of carrying a lighthearted tone in a sort of subplot. In non-Halloween episodes, this would be totally fine. However, when it comes to what should be a horrifying plot, there were too many of these sweet moments. Frankly, it interrupted and threw off any attempt at horror. Too much humor and the show’s just not frightening any longer.

Max, the awkward but adorable former Medical Examiner, made a special appearance on this week’s episode, his first since leaving for Africa a few seasons back. He brings his adopted son along, and Max even winds up assisting in the investigation.

Max proves very helpful, as his words are the ones to get Kimo’s biological mother to do the right thing and help her son. Max’s yearly tradition of dressing as a Keanu Reeves character does not fail to disappoint, and actually added a nostalgic feeling for seasons past. With Jerry and Danno missing this episode, I needed to see a familiar face and was glad to see Max.

While Max is helping, however, his son ends up staying with Kamekona and his family. Kamekona’s cousin takes Max’s son trick-or-treating but loses him. I found it odd that that tidbit was never mentioned, and that Max just happens to find his son later on talking to Kimo. He’s not shocked to see him there, nor does he scold him for wandering off. Does Max have a tracking device on Tunde or something?

Halloween shenanigans were devilishly persistent outside of the week’s crime-fighting. Quinn dressing up as Maverick from Top Gun was a little too obvious – it’s clear that she’s supposed to be some kind of copy of Steve. It’s starting to get a little freaky the way it’s frequently insinuated she and Steve could be the same person.

Edith’s home was intentionally creepy. Cross above the bed, exorcism books, nun outfit. The vault. The remains of the thief taken by surprise thanks to Kimo, plus Edith dead in the foyer for trick-or-treaters to see. It appears like an attempt at a haunted house in brutal crime scene form.

Meanwhile, the case of the teenage girl’s missing body has an interesting aspect to it: the three boys accused of killing her begin dying one by one. Turns out, the girl’s sister is the one killing them. Of course it’s understandable that a death like that in the family would be incredibly hard to live with, but could something like that actually drive a person to kill?

Her sister ruined her own life by killing to avenge her sister’s death. Hard as it may be, you have to let the reins go sometimes and leave it to the professionals. Like Steve told her, they would’ve caught the bad guys. You just have to have faith. Though, I will give her props on her methods-leaving her sister’s initials in blood at each crime scene was a compelling artistic statement of sorts. Not to mention she probably scarred the third boy for life-he thought he was being murdered by her dead sister in his moment of terror.

With all that said and done, Quinn finally brought up the Tani and Junior thing. Namely, she asks Tani where Junior is and Tani instantly goes on the defensive. Why would she know where he is? Obviously she’s paranoid about people drawing conclusions. It’s a little ridiculous. She and Junior need to address and make up their minds about what they are. If they don’t know, they need to clarify instead of dragging it out. If new girl Quinn can pick up on their relationship, it’s already too palpable.

Gang of Youths’ cover of David Bowie’s song Heroes was a nice touch to end the episode’s ending montage. It was suitable given the circumstances. Righting wrongs in the name of justice, deciphering the scare factors and helping others is an everyday task for the Five-0 team, but somehow horrors on Halloween night emphasize the meaning of heroes in a new light.

While “He ‘oi’o Kuhihewa; He Kaka ola i ‘ike ‘ia e ka Makaula” held some sweet moments and a special reappearance from Max, it wasn’t a strong episode. Not for Halloween, and not in Season 10 thus far. As far as Halloween horrors go, fellow Hawaiian show, Magnum P.I., also developed by Peter Lenkov, held a stronger plot than this week’s Hawaii Five-0. For one, it had a serial killer attacking two of the main characters inside a “haunted” house. Nothing says ‘terrifying’ like being attacked by a killer on the spookiest night of the year.

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hawaii five-0
Hawaii Five-0 did not deliver its typical episode of horrors. What saves it from being completely written off is the message it contains about treating people the same, even if they are different. It's not a scary episode - in fact, it was more about compassion and being heroic, which aren’t necessarily the favored themes for Halloween.