PostHeaderIcon Castle: Death Gone Crazy – A Good Cop/Bad Cop Review

For me, this episode of Castle backpedaled to days of the “fill-in-the-blanks-on-the-boilerplate-script.” There wasn’t even a hint of a relationship between Castle and Beckett. They are an item, right? Well, you certainly couldn’t tell by watching this episode. And, the case went through the predictable motions of tossing in a few red herrings before heading back to the real killer, someone who had the least amount of screen time. As usual, we had him pegged early in the episode.

By the way, it was nice to see Kelly Hu introduce a tough-as-rusty-nails female bodyguard character.

Kelly Hu/bodyguard Scarlett Jones

And that Esposito thought she was hot—even more so because she broke a guy’s nose—was a cool way to add more depth to his character.

But, enough of my ramblings. Let’s see what Melanie thought of this semi-yawner.

Melanie Atkins

This episode, like Under the Influence last week, was case-based, without any fun Kate-Rick relationship moments. To me, it seemed like more of a “filler” show, one that didn’t really mean anything, to get us through to February sweeps. I enjoyed it, as that type of show goes, but certainly won’t list it as one of my favorites. I prefer the ones that concentrate on the Caskett relationship.

We were, however, treated to some nice Rick-Alexis moments. I would have liked them more if they’d added Kate to the mix, because she and Rick are dating now. I mean, really! They pretty much ignored the progress made during the Christmas episode. I didn’t like that at all.

Kate and Rick did work well together, and yet their interactions came off as more like they were before the two of them got together. To be honest, I got a lot more enjoyment out of the Ryan-Esposito moments tonight than I did the Kate-Rick dynamic. Again, I say, “filler” show. One the producers could plug in anywhere and know it would fit. Can you say “boring”?

I look forward to February sweeps, because maybe then the show will get back on track as far as the Rick-Kate relationship goes. From what I’ve heard, we’re in for some drama and then some fun Valentine’s Day moments. Bring it on!

Lee Lofland

Where do I start? Perhaps a brief warning to Alexis about the very real dangers of posting personal information on blogs, Facebook, and/or video blogs/vlogs? Or, should I begin with Lanie’s semi-return to voodoo forensics?

First, let’s do make a brief mention about posting things online, such as where you’re going, what you’ll be wearing, who you’ll be with, or that you’re home alone and will be alone all weekend because your parents/spouse, guard dog, etc. are all away for a few days.

Remember, it’s fairly easy to track someone to their location by using the data that’s automatically embedded in photos and videos (EXIF – Exchangeable Image File Format). EXIF files contain information such as camera type, cell phone model, camera serial number, and, most importantly, if the geotagging feature of the phone is turned on, the location of the device (precise latitude and longitude) is instantly available. What does all of this gobbledygook mean? Simple…it provides the exact location where the video/photo was taken…YOUR HOUSE!

Now for Lanie.

Cause of death was strangulation. Bruises on the neck were made by the clasp on a bra found nearby. Really? You were able to make those positive determinations in the field? Really? No autopsy to detect the possibility of gunshot wounds, stab wounds, heart attack, stroke, liver or kidney failure, poisoning, head injury from falling to the floor while playing the hanging/choking game with a bra, and, well, you get the idea. Why, Lanie? Why do this when you were on such a good and solid path? And why are you, Lanie, conducting tests on evidence? With unemployment reaching such high numbers, you’d think it would be nice to allow the people in the labs to do their jobs. But, I guess cross-training M.E.’s and coroners to do it all is a good way for municipalities to save taxpayer money. Besides, I’m sure the M’E.’s in NYC have plenty of spare time to run a few lab tests…Yeah, right.

- I believe it was Ryan who said he’d called the hospital and learned that one of the red herrings had been treated for a broken nose and ribs. Hospitals/doctors, etc. are not allowed to freely provide that sort of information. Only with the proper paperwork, folks. You know, like a court order.

- Beckett and Castle arrive at a shady-looking warehouse hoping to locate the broken-nose guy. Beckett parked across the street, down from the doorway, and got out of her car with her gun already in her hand. I’m not sure she intended for the viewing audience (us) to see that, but we did. Why do that? If the situation were that dangerous why not bring along some backup instead of chatty-Castle who never shut up from the time he stepped from the car. No sneaking up on anyone in this scene. And she went in, gun first. Again, if she thought it was that dangerous she should have brought along the dynamic duo or a couple of patrol officers.

- As always, always, always, we watched the crew interview a few red herrings before taking us back to the beginning where we saw, for a few seconds, the real killer who is, always introduced early, extremely friendly and helpful, and has no other part in the show. Each week I hope for something different, but noooooo…

Anyway, Alexis…stop offering personal information online. And, Lanie, I’ve been bragging about you, lately. Please don’t take any more steps backward. Fight the urges to pull out the voodoo dolls and crystal ball. Be strong. You can do it!

Finally, the best line of the night goes to Esposito.

“She broke a guy’s nose. You know she’s gotta be freaky.”

18 Responses to “Castle: Death Gone Crazy – A Good Cop/Bad Cop Review”

  • Gwise says:

    I disagree. The best line of the night goes to Ryan:

    “Sorry we had to cop-block you, bro.”

    Kudos for using the word “gobbledygook” in the review, though :)

  • Lee Lofland says:

    I forgot about that line. Indeed, it was a good one too.

  • Sally Carpenter says:

    If Alexis is as “grown up” as she insists she is, why is she at daddy’s house all the time? (yeah, I know, it’s cheaper to use a standing set than to build a new location). Maybe she’s acting like a real teen, but it’s tiresome for her to constantly argue with Castle every time he shows concern–and the father/daughter spats are always followed by Martha standing up for Alexis. The daughter’s “we’re the digital generation” speech sounded canned. I think the family dynamics/relationships need a fresh approach for it to stay interesting. I too missed the Kate/Rick moments. Like Lee, I guessed the killer right away. With the “girls gone crazy” theme I expected plenty of jokes, but the writers lost their funny bone on this one. According to the previews, we’ll be back on the Kate’s mother’s murder threat yet again. Apparently that’s the writers’ fallback for when they run out of ideas.

  • Val says:

    Many of my friends,relatives and neighbors have stopped watching this show and I’m about to stop too. Lots of people have by the ratings. If this is the so called “honeymoon” period what would marriage look like? We’ve watched this show from the very first episode. It’s been badly written this year. Even the murders are boring and the killers are easily guessed within the first 15 minutes. ABC and AWM are obviously afraid of the “Moonlighting” curse and have done everything to keep Caskett apart. They’ve completely destroyed the wonderful chemistry and fun between Nathan and Stana and the cast.

  • t says:

    Agreed about Alexis. And I hated that Beckett, a cop, did not agree with Castle, but instead said, “all the kids are doing it,” or whatever teenage junk they tend to have her say a lot of these days. As a cop, she would know that Alexis was inviting predators with that behavior.

    I am really starting to dislike the show in general. Bring back the Season 2 writers, puh-lease. Else, buh-bye.

  • I still love the show, but I have been disappointed by the last two episodes. I want the banter, fun, and kisses back!

  • Lee Lofland says:

    I think the show needs a couple of fresh writers to bring back the “zing.” The recent episodes seem dreadfully tired and in need of something new (stop the boilerplate scripts). Even people in sunny-every-day California like to see a rain shower once in a while.

  • I will say while I didn’t catch on the killer when he was brought on screen, I had it figured out by about 3/4 of the way through (partially because of the boilerplate method!). Didn’t have the motive, but knew he was it.

    Yes, yes, they definitely need some new writers… After 2 weeks ago and the thing from Castle’s ex about him not sharing about himself, I’d really hoped they’d have some conflict about just that (although a line or two from Monday’s episode seemed to spin that in a bit of a new light–can’t remember which ones, would have to go back and watch the episode again.)

    Does anyone think that Castle’s father will ever be revealed? It seems to be an undercurrent that’s gone unnoticed for too long–and I think it could really crack that “do I really know who Rick is?” thing that’s spinning in Kate’s head.

  • IPJ says:

    Echoing on the writers. And that my interest has slipped to that “read the reviews, fail to muster energy in actually watching” level.

    I never watched for Caskett, which I found sub-middle school in its execution. (Single attracted grown-ups ask each other on a date to see if they have anything to talk about when there isn’t a case; 6th graders do that “I yeeeaaaarn for you, but I dare not speak of it;” “I yeeeaaaarn for you, but I dare not speak of it;” “I yeeeaaaarn for you, but I dare not speak of it,” except they get bored and move on rather than just repeating the same non-action for four years.) And even I find the coupleyness, which I vastly prefer to ust (ust should last at most one season, or I know you are not truly interested) to be weirdly executed.

    I agree on the writing. The cases lack any snap. And the family intimacy is completely screwed up, where that was an early charm.

  • IPJ says:

    Liberty, I think Castle’s father will be the new multi-season “who killed JB,” and we all remember how much viewers loved that zombie of a mystery.

    Back in S1 I really liked that they established these background unknowns for the characters and then left them there. Beckett could be motivated to find an answer to “why did this happen?” for other survivors because that was denied her. Castle could admit that a well-spun story is usually more satisfying than a small ugly truth, and knowingly choose the first.

    When Beckett shot the man who killed her mother, trading a chance at answers for someone’s life, I found that tremendously powerful. When they followed it up with the most laughably convoluted conspiracy EVER, it was clear the writing was in trouble. (First, we must break out of jail the only killer for hire in the entire tri-state area…)

    So I expect we will come back to Castle’s father, and rather than being a guy with whom Martha had a one-night-stand it will be A Vast Conspiracy, and his father Is A Good Guy who Watched Him From Afar but Dared Not Approach For Fear Of Evil Conspiracy Which Now Threatens Beckett.

  • Ryss says:

    I was gonna write something but why bother? Yawn. Except, I agree with everyone who commented above, which is a rare thing to find on the internet. Everybody agreeing on that the quality of writing has fallen way low? Not a happy moment.

  • Terry Odell says:

    I read the reviews as I watch my recording of the show the next day. I read your valid warning about collecting data from uploaded pictures– I frequently will upload a picture of a restaurant meal (seems to be my post popular FB status update category–I have no life, clearly). At any rate, when I upload a picture from my cell phone, the FB update says I’m in Erie, CO, which is nowhere near where I live or was at the time I took/uploaded the picture.

    Also — a lot of the base maps the GPS systems uses are out of date or just plain wrong. I could provide my home address and give you a GPS, and there’s an excellent chance you’d end up on a dead-end street miles from where I actually live.

  • Shaya says:

    Agreed about missing the good Caskett banter and interaction. I think the whole speech Rick gave to Alexis about revealing too much of herself online is foreshadowing for writing that will occur during sweeps. After all, “anyone” can see what Alexis is posting. Double foreshadowing: Castle’s line at the end, “a father would do anything for his daughter.”

    So, let’s see…who has a nasty axe to grind with Caskett, and already knows a ton about them all, including Alexis? Senator Bracken, certainly. But how about 3XK? I.e., the serial killer who has gotten away *twice* now, and was even more pissed off at Caskett the last time he popped up on the show. Hey, here’s a really lazy plot notion: 3XK shows up again, kidnaps Alexis, and turns out to be Bracken’s twisted kid. 3XK threatens to reveal his own identity as well as even greater Sins of Daddy, and Caskett and Bracken have to work together to rescue Alexis and nail 3XK to the wall.

    Anyway, aside from all the other issues with this episode…one huge, HUGE plot hole: the victim was killed in the night club, between 11:50 and 11:58 p.m. And the body was found in the ladies’ room, with no implication that the victim was killed elsewhere and the body was then left in the ladies’ room.

    Massive problem with that: no ladies room in a busy night club is every vacant when the club is hopping. Not ever! And with women heavily outnumbering men at that particular event (women, I might add, who are doing modeling, and thus checking their hair every 3 minutes), and one of the ladies confessing to having had anonymous “club sex” in that rest room, there was likely a steady stream of people walking through. Even if the room was vacant, it wouldn’t have been vacant for any amount of time long enough to actually strangle someone. Who likely would have been struggling and kicking and putting up a hell of a fuss. Anyone entering the rest room would have heard it and likely investigated. And women in night clubs rarely (if ever), go to the rest room alone–we always go in posses.

    So I found that aspect of the plot to be even less believable than Lanie’s voodoo forensics.

    Also, I don’t care how well-made the bra was…bra straps *stretch* (in fact, the best made ones are very firmly stretchy, unlike the cheap Vicky’s Secret stuff, which is either flimsy or doesn’t stretch at all). It would be challenging at best to strangle anyone with a bra strap. You’d stand a better chance by stripping out the underwire and stabbing them in the jugular with it. :-P

    Anyway, quick check…yep, writer was a guy. Jason Wilborn(From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Castle_episodes#Season_5_.282012.E2.80.9313.29). Word of advice to him: run this kind of stuff past female writers.

  • KarenM says:

    I was so bored after 15 minutes I went to bed and read. Only watched the final conclusion to see if it was as predictable as I thought. If I did not know better I would say it was a repeat. Very disappointed in this episode as are the rest of you.

  • Lee Lofland says:

    Terry, I think you’ve misunderstood the information about locating someone from a FB post/photo. It’s not where FB says you are. Those things, as you say, are quite often wrong. Instead, it’s the information embedded into the actual image from your phone or camera phone. EXIF data would include (if the geotagging feature is turned on, and most are) the exact longitude and latitude of where the photo was taken. Then, using easily obtainable software, the suspect could create a Google Earth map which would place a dot over your exact location, with or without a street address, and/or without showing a street on an outdated map.

  • NickG says:

    There are lots of programs available online to delete or edit EXIF data and it’s something I always do before posting an image online.

  • Terry Odell says:

    Thanks, Lee. I normally don’t include ‘location’ information (hence my surprise to see I was in Erie, CO, some three or four hours away), but I rarely post pictures taken at my own home. If people want to join me at McGinty’s pub, they’re welcome!

  • Tim Potter says:

    Stumbled on to this blog. I am so grateful I did just awesome. This for me just was not it. Lack the spark poor writing all in all

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