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Thread: "One Big Happy Family" review

  1. #1
    Just watched "One Big Happy Family" again.

    It's a very bizarre but excellent episode which held up well over time.

    The memorable villains are the Ferguson family, which includes matriarch Sadie (Barbara Baxley), her husband Sam (Slim Pickens), their son Jeb (Bo Hopkins), Bo's wife Rosalie (Robyn Millan), and their almost mute daughter Monica (Lynette Kim).

    The family traveled around the country, getting odd jobs, and then murdering everyone at the job after a few days and taking their money.

    The murders were directed by Sadie, who would signal it was time by calling a family meeting, but the actual killing was done by the two males of the family, Sam and Bo. Monica is portrayed as slow and quiet, and it's unclear if she even realizes what the family has been doing.

    Sadie is clearly the boss of the family, though it's unclear if the crime spree was originally her idea. However, the entire family seems content with their spree, aside from Rosalie, who seems to be desperate to come up with $1000 to have enough to get away from the family. However, Rosalie shows an evil and opportunistic side of her own, and seems to want out of the family only due to personal reasons, not because of the murders.

    Rosalie is shown on two occasions betraying the family and attempting to come up with money, once by agreeing to be a hooker, and once by blackmailing a married man who tried to sleep with her. However, both times she was interrupted by Jeb, who kills both men involved and steals their money.

    Monica steals a phone book cover from the Royal Hawaiian when they check out, which turns out to be the family's undoing, as it's found in her luggage during a security check at the airport. It's unclear how the luggage screener at the airport knew enough about the case to know about the stolen phone book cover, yet not enough to recognize Jeb and Rosalie, whose fairly accurate composites were distributed to them!

    The members of the family display different levels of sociopathic behavior. Sadie seems to be the sickest of the bunch, believing that the murders "don't count" if the victims "wasn't kin". Sam does not appear to feel any guilt about the murders he commits, but seems to act a bit more human at times, including attempting to give a nice tip to the bellman of the hotel (which Sadie then takes away and replaces with a few quarters). Jeb also seems on board for the murders, but more because it was what his parents had taught him. He does seem to enjoy the violence, but also seems to be more aware than Sam and Sadie about the seriousness of the crimes he's committing. Rosalie is an outside who was brought into the family by marriage, and at one point Sadie mentioned that they "took her in", implying that they rescued her from some sort of turmoil. She is too selfish and narcissistic to feel bad about the murders, but also doesn't seem to enjoy that they're happening, and she makes repeated attempts to get money and leave. Monica comes off as innocent and possibly mentally retarded.

    The entire family does not have any fingerprints in any system across the country, something that astounds McGarrett. For that reason, the team has a hard time identifying the family for awhile, despite their willingness to leave their prints everywhere.

    Sam grabs Rosalie and forces a kiss upon her, once the two are alone together. Rosalie protests, but at the same time, doesn't seem especially bothered by it. Sadie catches them but doesn't seem to care, other than to warn that Jeb would get really angry if he knew.

    The score is interesting, in what seems to be a combination of banjo music (in reference to the family's southern white trash roots) and more typical Five-O suspense music.

    The family committed more than 150 murders, though it was across 24 states and several years, making it more understandable how they got away with it for so long.

    Four Star episode, and definitely in my top 10. This aired just two weeks after my favorite episode, "Draw Me a Killer".

  2. #2
    That's one sick episode. I love it. I'm laughing just thinking about. I like how they don't even attempt to be low-key. They just barrel through with volume. Oh no, that wouldn't draw attention, ha ha. Bo Hopkins in a Five-O episode is enough to sell me right there!!

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