One of the things that “Hawaii Five-O” does better than any other series is to pay homage to its past with a reverent nod, yet still have fun in the remembrance. This week's April 12 Episode 21 for Season 9, "He kama na ka pueo" (Offspring of an Owl), is the perfect example of such a feat.

Hawaii Five-O” faithful followers will remember one of the most beloved episodes in series history from Season 5, “Kuka’awale” (Stakeout).

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The favorite episode was directed by none other than Daniel Dae Kim and put Danny and Steve in the apartment of a notorious “cat lady” who flees from a diamond robber.

Not only was this week's episode filled with the best “bromance” moments with Alex O'Loughlin and Scott Caan as McDanno, it also featured some of the best character actors on any screen, particularly the delightful Cloris Leachman as a concerned neighbor with a fern plant.

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Another of those character actors was Charlie Saxton as Ricky Schiff, a kooky, animal-loving drug dealer who tries to make a sale to the top dogs in “Five-O.” Schiff is back again in this one, in a major, fun-loving way.

In between feline matters, “Hawaii Five-O” has to deal with the horrific case of the cremation performed on a victim while alive, a robbery, and a killer who has a distorted motive for clinging to a daughter who is not his own. This is a marvelous way to spend an hour on Friday night, or any other, for that matter.

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Not the expected inheritance

Danny is getting his hopes up when he and Steve are summoned to the reading of the will for Agnes Miller, the now-departed cat lady. He already cautions that he is “out of here” if perchance his share is “north of $250,000.” Steve's expectations are much more realistic and on-point. The partners meet up with Ricky right before the reading. He tells them that he has “changed my ways,” thanks to their influence.

He describes that he has been rehabilitated, but later revelations uncover that he is still in rehab, not done with it.

Mrs. Miller bequeaths $850,000 to the local chapter of the Humane Society and specifies that her collection of glass cat miniatures go to the partners. She leaves her beloved Mr. Pickles to Ricky, but only after he has a satisfactory and stable living situation. Danny and Steve are left to find him a home in the interim.

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One of the prime exchanges comes when Steve takes a photo of his partner, just to have the remembrance “of the moment when all your dreams crashed down around you.”

Meanwhile, an unsuspecting victim meets one of the most gruesome fates ever. He is stalked, injured, and dragged from his home to a crematorium, where he is burned alive. Adam (Ian Anthony Dale) and Captain Grover (Chi McBride) are having a heart-to-heart over a coffee and shrimp breakfast, relating the power of “ohana” in “Hawaii Five-O” when the team is called in on the case.

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In pursuit of a daughter

The identity of the victim, Dale Sampson (Victor Quintero), is disclosed from the serial number on his pacemaker, left in his ashes. He was, formerly, kicked off the police force and made his living by hiring himself out as an independent, private investigator, accepting cases turned down by more legitimate PI’s.

Danny and Steve began their banter as a characteristic “cargument” (the kind so loved by “Hawaii Five-O” fans), determining that despite his aversion to this pet, Danny completely fits with the traits of a cat. It is sweet to see the in-charge Lt. Commander McGarrett caressing Mr. Pickles in exactly the same way he did back in Season 5. The boss is a teddy bear beneath all that combat gear.

When the team investigates the scene at Sampson’s home, they suspect a robbery turned into murder, with the place ransacked, and some items taken. They intercept a crook, Michael Menoa (Thomas Blake Jr.) who said he hired Sampson to spy on his wife, who he suspected of cheating. Ironically, he has had a girlfriend the whole time and she ends up confirming his alibi. The situation makes for a humorous interrogation but provides no firm leads on a suspect.

When Adam brings in a lead on a long-running child abduction case, the identity of the kidnapper, Wade Henderson (David Lee Smith) comes to light. He has had other aliases, and the girl’s father, Daniel Nettles (David Shatraw) has never stopped his heart-wrenching appeals or efforts to find his daughter, who now is known as Emily Henderson (Rachel Chambers). She was taken at just 18-months old, so Henderson is the only father she knows. He committed the crime as a way of coping with the loss of his own wife and daughter. Sampson’s work was leading him towards Henderson's path, so Henderson plotted the murder. Henderson then set up a phony meeting between “Mr. Sampson” and the father, before beating him nearly to death.

As “Hawaii Five-O” calls in a SWAT team in the final standoff, Emily Henderson is called to the scene, incredulous that the man she loves as a father is now a vicious felon. Tani (Meaghan Rath) tries to help her come to terms with the truth while still assuring her that the team desperately needs her help in this apprehension. Despite Emily telling her “father” that he needs to surrender and that they can “work it out,” he fatally shoots himself. She sees the man who is really her father face-to-face for the first time in so many years, and a slight, genuine smile comes to her face.

On a side note, Tani asks Junior (Beulah Koale) to be her date as a friend” for a wedding. Time will tell how that goes.

Steve takes Mr. Pickles home, as anyone could predict, and for a while, Steve and Danny observe remarkable calm between Eddie, the canine, and the cat. Danny declares that Steve does have the smart, loyal, and “dirty” traits of a dog before mayhem breaks out between cat and dog, as the credits roll.

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