Episode Title: 'Popilikia ('Misfortune')
Writer: Stephanie Sengupta
Director: Christine Moore
Previously on "Hawaii Five-0":
A young couple goes to see a psychic named Esmerelda (Bai Ling), who gives the girl a scare when she tells her that "death is closing in." The next day at polo practice, the boy is killed when his decapitated by a garrot strung up between the goal posts.
At home, McGarrett (Alex O'Loughlin) awakens to find his mother, Doris (Christine Lahti) making breakfast in the kitchen. She tells her son she's tired of running and plans to stay, regardless of the fact that Wo Fat is still at large
5-0 is called to the polo field where the victim is identified as Billy Keats. Billy's girlfriend, Nicole (Arielle Kebbel) tells Kono (Grace Park) about her encounter with the psychic. Danny (Scott Caan) and Kono pay Esmerelda a visit. When asked how she knew Billy would die, she says he became nervous after getting a phone call from someone named "Al." While his girlfriend waited outside, Billy asked Esmerelda if "he knows."
McGarrett learns that Billy was being paid "hush money" by his former coach, Al Reingold who was doping his horses. However, Reingold says Billy was happy to take the money and his alibi about being at an auction checks out.
Kono learns that a bootprint found near the goal posts belongs to a pair custom made for the team. While questioning the owner of the team, Spencer Madsen (Jere Burns), his son Jake (Guy Wilson) emerges and tells Kono that he switched practice times with Billy. He believes the garrot was strung up for him.
5-0 learns that Jake Madsen was kidnapped ten years earlier and the kidnappers sent his parents one of Jake's fingers as proof of life. Jake managed to escape before his parents could pay the ransom and his testimony put the men behind bars. 5-0 then discover that one of the kidnappers, who was recently released, just went AWOL from the half-way house he was living in.
Kono races back to the Madsen home, but she's too late, as the family's SUV explodes just as Spencer's wife Amanda (Sarah Finley) was about to get in. 5-0 finds the fugitive kidnapper hiding out in a motel. When he's questioned about the explosion, the man says that he planted the bomb for fifty grand but does not know who for, as the entire operation was arranged online.
Based on a computer reenactment of the explosion, it becomes clear that Amanda was the intended target. When her "burner" cellphone is retrieved from the scene, the team learns that Amanda was having an affair with Billy Keats. McGarrett and Danny rush to the hospital but find Amanda dead after someone suffocated her.
When they examine the security camera footage, the team sees Jake go into his mother's room and then leave quickly. At the Madsen home, McGarrett and Danny tell Spencer they believe Jake killed his mother, but Spencer says it's his fault. When Jake was kidnapped, Amanda didn't want to pay the ransom, thus the kidnappers cut off his one of his fingers. When Jake found out about Billy's affair with his mother, he confronted his father, who again did nothing which upset Jake.
McGarrett and Danny find Jake on the polo field and arrest him for the murder of Billy and Amanda. Later that day, McGarrett asks his mother why she let Wo Fat get away. She claims Wo Fat overpowered her and she misfired her gun. McGarrett seems content with her explanation, but afterwards he tells Danny that he doesn't believe her.
Bai Ling and a decapitation all before the opening credits? You just knew this was going to be a great episode of "Hawaii Five-0."
First up, "Popilikia" gets high marks for all the great action sequences including an SUV explosion, McGarrett jumping through a broken window in a chase that ended with the 5-0 commander tackling the perp over the side off a bridge and into a sewage ridden canal and of course, the aforementioned polo field decapitation scene.
This week's case was also one of the most creative we've seen in some time as it involved a psychic, polo, a kidnapping, an adulterous affair, a little C4 and a decapitation. There were also some cool twists and turns. Pretty clever of young Jake to use one of his kidnappers to kill his mother and her lover and then try to set him up to take the fall by saying the goal post garrot was meant for him.
A few more observations of 'Popilikia:'
- This episode gave us what I believe was our first ever Danny vs. Kono "cargument." And Danny's belief in psychics was a worthy topic.
- The decapitated head Max was lugging around looked very fake, which made the whole scenario even more laughable. Though it took a while to get used to him, Max's scenes are both informative and ridiculous at the same time.
- "I told you it was safer upstairs." McGarrett' to Catherine after finding his mother making herself at home in the kitchen.
- McGarrett dropping trou to give himself a tetanus shot while Danny acts like "a little girl." A scene that will undoubtedly inspire countless slashfic.
- Chin's failed attempt at babysitting Mamma McGarrett. They warned her about the ole' "cocopuff diversionary tactic" in the CIA.
"Popilikia" was another fantastic episode that delivered on all ends: a great case, tons of action, a fun guest star, a few laughs and some interesting developments in the Wo Fat/Momma Garrett storyline. Not even Esmerelda could have predicted "Popilikia" would be this good.