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Hawaii Five-0 - A'ohe Mea 'Imi a Ka Maka - Review - Meddling Kids

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A'ohe Mea 'Imi a Ka Maka is mostly a standalone episode that has no bearing or connection on the greater show or past revelations of character backstory and motivations. The crimes investigated are secondary to creating an entertaining, creepy tone. The episode might not have the most original set of mysteries, but it is fun.

Buckle up for a spooky ride that starts, as half of all scary stories do, at summer camp. In 1982, young Jerry and four of his friends were breaking curfew to roast marshmallows, and Jerry regaled his pals with a tale of an ax murderer in those very woods. Clearly, the aforementioned murderer was hermit Bo Bradley who lived nearby. Jerry’s pals Crystal, Eric (recurring guest star Andrew Lawrence), and Ano are bored by his story, which he insists is true. Apparently young Jerry is a little dishonest.
That means that no one believes Jerry when he actually witnesses a man cleaning a bloodied ax in the woods later that night. Thirty-something years later, Jerry and his friends gather back at their old camp. It’s become a yearly tradition for them to come back to look for the body. Young Jerry was convinced the victim was a missing teenager named Susanna Tumuro who disappeared right at that time. He apparently went to great lengths to search for her but never found a trace. The old camp and surrounding woods are marked for development, so this is their last chance. That’s something weighing significantly more on Jerry than anyone else.

Noelani joins them with some specialized equipment to help the search. They uncover a bone, but it is revealed to be canine. Jerry doesn’t want to give up, remarking on how some killers have been known to bury dogs on above their victims to ward off discovery. His friends bail, though, as it starts to rain. Noelani has to get the equipment out of the storm. But Jerry remains behind, frantically continuing to dig through the storm. The others return to their cabin and soon discover their keys and phones are missing. (No way I would have left those articles behind!) Noelani confidently tells them she puts her under her pillow. They are gone too. Everyone is annoyed with Jerry, as they assume he trapped them there. Jerry then appears himself, with a cinematic backdrop of furious rain and lightning. He has a different bone…..this one is human! Oh, but he didn’t take their things.

On that note, a man appears in the doorway with a mask brandishing an ax. It’s a suitable jump scare. Just as you realize it’s a bit too cheesy, the mask comes off, and it’s their fourth friend Gordon. He was late to the get-together and couldn’t resist pranking his pals. Their keys and wallets are in his car. Gordon goes to get them. Everyone is clearly still on edge. They are irritated when Gordon comes staggering back, clutching his throat, with blood all over him. Noelani quickly realizes it’s not a prank. The real murderer has returned. Up to that point, I was completely expecting the murderer wouldn’t put in an appearance but they would just reveal him later on a screen or something. They quickly barricade themselves in, but the murderer decides to burn them out. Jerry tells his friends to escape out the window, while he creates a diversion out front. He runs out to face the murderer, only to lose the upper hand. Thankfully, a shotgun blast from the real Bo Bradley saves the day. Jerry and company unmask their villain and see their old camp counselor. (Much like a classic Scooby-Doo episode, he was identified early on in the episode when he mocked young Jerry to a police officer for his “imagination getting the best of him.)

While Jerry and Friends got their “meddling kid” groove on, McGarrett along with Tani and Junior worked a disturbing mystery of their own. (Danny was presumably spending Halloween with his kids, but that also means we didn’t get a single McDanno moment.) The case of the week is naturally murder. But the twist is that a little girl apparently drew the crime scene and the body before it was found. She tells them she didn’t draw the pictures though. Her friend Molly, whom her parents think is imaginary, did. Of course, Molly isn’t imaginary, rather the unwilling accomplice and daughter of the killer who turns out to be targeting women who look like his ex-wife. (“What if this kid knows so much about the murder because she was there?” Steve theorizes after they learn Molly is real. I groaned because that was so obvious.) They are able to rescue Molly, and I did get a lump in my throat when Tani picked up the poor child and hugged her. Molly’s mom came to pick her up, and hopefully she can afford therapy.

Just when it seemed like this episode would be a complete one-off, Tani gets the call. The gun she found does match the weapon used to kill Noriko Noshimuri. As we knew it would, but this does make Adam look a wee bit guiltier. It seems unlikely it was planted so obviously to frame him, but it also seems unlikely he would have left it in such an accessible place. There’s more to the story...hopefully. For now, what will Tani do next? To be determined….

I think that, especially with Danny being gone, this episode missed a chance to focus more on the bond between Tani and McGarrett. That would have helped make that ending note more somber, since now she will have to tell him what she found. It could still play out with a solid emotional backbone, but they could have reinforced her internal conflict a bit more.

Also, that Sadness/Velma confusion bit was clever, even if it's strange that Jerry would think Sadness first over Velma. He's totally a kid who grew up watching Scooby-Doo!

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