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Thread: Mother's Deadly Helper at 50

  1. #1
    Tonight 50 years ago, CBS aired S06E22 "Mother's Deadly Helper".

    The episode centers around Lester Smith (Anthony Zerbe) who has had it with the judicial system being soft on criminals. Smith takes things too far by gunning down one guy after he's released by the judge - outside the courthouse no less! He takes out another paroled convict by whacking the dude on the head and hanging him.

    Smith writes letters to McGarrett bragging about helping him and Five-O with these criminals. Five-O does everything possible to track down 'Mother's Helper', which is how Smith is signing the letters. McGarrett even makes the uncomfortable decision to go on TV and discuss the criminal judicial system with Freddie Dryden (Casey Kasem). There is a really good debate between the two.

    Smith sees the TV interaction where McGarrett baits Smith. Five-O nearly corners Smith at a cemetery but Smith gets away. The next move that Smith makes is to kidnap a judge. Judge Bergstrom (Frank Cady) had just released two youthful, first-time offenders. It pushes Smith over the edge and he gives Five-O a deadline.

    Fortunately, Five-O figures out where Smith is and surround the guy. They take him in but not before he throws a trash can at McGarrett's head and drawing blood. Smith vows revenge as he's being dragged away.

    Mr. Mike has much more detail in his review:

    This is a good episode and the first time I watched it on MeTV in 2017/2018, I was floored, but not for the reason you may think.

    There are a lot of familiar faces in this show including Kasem who is having something of a crazy hair day. Along with his guest appearances in Five-O (he also guested in S07E04 "Steal Now – Pay Later"), Kasem was a prolific voice actor. He did a lot with Hanna-Barbera in the 1970s along with voicing the team commander in my favorite series, Battle of the Planets (1978).

    Mr. Mike mentions Cady's appearances in Petticoat Junction, Green Acres, and The Beverly Hillbillies. (I knew his voice sounded familiar!)

    As well, Zerbe would continue his career and even have a major role in Star Trek: Insurrection. He played Admiral Dougherty who was trying to displace a race due to some unique rings around their planet. What he got was a blood feud. This was one of many roles Zerbe played throughout the years.

    One sequence I really like is between Dryden and McGarrett. They're polar opposites when it comes to the judicial system and I was in a Criminolgy class at the time. It was a very cool exchange.

    The only thing I would knock this episode on is the warp-speed postal service. I've not known any postal services that move that fast!

    Happy 50th, "Mother's Deadly Helper"!!!

  2. #2
    Season 6 Mother's Deadly Helper 3.75 Stars ⭐⭐⭐ Out Of 4 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐.

    Another excellent Season 6 Episode Mother's Deadly Helper. Lester Smith becomes Mother's Deadly Helper murdering criminals released due to lenient Hawaii courts and the liberal criminal justice system. He corresponds with McGarrett through the mail admitting to the crimes and admiring McG's law enforcement style. Many viewers might sympathize with Lester Smith as he is murdering killers and rapists and other low life criminals who deserve to languish in prison. Smith makes a mistake kidnapping a judge. Crossing the line killing criminals to an honorable judge. This makes the audience less sympathetic to Lester. Todd wrote something a few years ago that rings true. He talked about how the writers making Lester kidnap the judge...It makes Lester less sympathetic and more easier to dislike. I agree strongly. Had Smith continued to kill criminals, there would still be some people who would be on Smith's side. Kidnapping the judge for possible murder makes Smith no different than the criminals he's taking out. I would have liked a scene at the pier or warehouse where Smith & McGarrett talk man to man about the criminal justice system. How to improve it and strengthen it. Instead, Smith narrowly escapes capture at the cemetery and later is captured by the HFO team . I really enjoyed this episode. Zerbe is an outstanding actor. He makes you believe he is right as Lester Smith. Cleaning the streets and protecting the people as Mother's Deadly Helper. Murdering these awful rapists and killers. It's a great episode making one think about the criminal justice system. JC

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