PostHeaderIcon Castle: Linchpin – A Review And Recap

Take a good look at the photo above. Notice Castle’s WTF expression? Someone must’ve snapped this shot at the precise moment he first saw the script for this two-parter nonsense called Linchpin.

As always, I know the reviews will be mixed. Die-hard shippers will be swooning and loving every bit of eye contact and remotely romantic conversations between Beckett and Castle, while others, especially newer viewers, will be wondering how this show remains at the top of the ratings. For that matter, some are actually wondering if Castle should see another season. I know, I know. But I’m simply repeating what I’m reading and hearing, from a whole lot of people.

Wait, I think I hear those people outside. Hold on, let me take a quick look down the street…

See… And every single person out there used to love this show!

Anyway, for me, this two-part episode was the worst episode to date. Sure, the acting was good, but the story???? You know, good acting and great characters can only hold up bad stories and weak writing for so long.

Personally, I think the folks at Castle are taking us for granted. They know they’ve captured a large core group of fans and no longer seem to care enough about them to feed them a decent meal. And they’re not even so much as dangling a bone in front of potential new viewers.

Anyway, I was pretty disappointed with this episode. In fact, for the first time, I wanted to turn the dial. Had it not been for having to watch in order to complete this review and recap, I would have done just that. I’m sure Cupcake Wars, a documentary about earthworms, or an old episode of Leave It To Beaver was on somewhere. Anything would have been better than sitting through this one.

I certainly hope they deliver next week.

Melanie, it’s all yours.

Melanie Atkins

Last week, I wasn’t too pleased with Pandora, the first segment of this two part “event”, and ever since, I’ve been worried if Linchpin would bother me as much. The sneak peeks made me think not, but who knows for sure until the show airs? Sometimes, the sneak peeks show the best parts of the show, and the rest of it doesn’t live up to the hype. This time, however… it did, to a degree. I thought as a whole the show was much better. Andrew Marlowe, the show’s creator wrote this one, and it held together much better for me, even if the concept was a bit farfetched.

If you saw Pandora, you know it ended with a cliffhanger: Kate and Rick inside her car as it is pushed off the dock into the Hudson River. Their struggle to free themselves had me on the edge of my seat, even though I’d seen the previews and knew they survived. We didn’t actually see them escape, but flashes of light inside the car told us Rick had found the gun and shot through Kate’s seatbelt and the window, allowing them to get out. Implausible? Certainly. But with all the insane stuff that went on last week, this was mild… and I bought it.

Sophia, the CIA agent in charge of the case and Rick’s former muse, throws them off the case once they’re on dry land and back at CIA headquarters, and they head back to the precinct.

Kate is still extremely jealous of Sophia, and we soon learn that Rick did indeed sleep with the CIA agent way back when. Kate doesn’t take that information well. And to top it off, Alexis hears part of Kate and Rick’s conversation while interning in the morgue. Oops! Later, of course, she confronts her father. I loved one of her lines: “And I thought the dead bodies were going to be the grossest part.”

Sophia sneaks into Rick’s office and surprises him. Despite what she said to Kate and Rick after they were fished out of the river, she wants them on the case… and she gives him information. She also finds Rick’s murder board, complete with info on Kate’s mom’s case and Kate’s shooting, and she asks Rick, “Does she know?” (referring to Kate, of course). He doesn’t answer. Instead, he turns off the display. She smiles and says, “You always did like to play with dynamite. Just be careful it doesn’t blow up in your face.” Yeah, right. That secret is explosive, and one day…

Yet I digress. Back to the story. Sophia gives Rick Blakeny’s bank account numbers, a key piece of evidence the man killed at the pier last week was after when he was shot in front of Kate and Rick right before they went into the water. (Deep breath).

Kate’s green eyed monster rears its ugly head again, but she still jumps at the chance to dive back into the investigation. They find Blakeny’s hidey-hole and learn he has predicted WWIII thanks to a linchpin — a ten-year-old girl, the daughter of a Chinese finance minister — that will ruin our country’s economy and send us spiraling into chaos. (I know, right?)

Gage, the man the CIA targeted last week, kidnaps Kate and Rick at Blakeny’s place, then Sophia and her goons grab them all. Holy cluster of stars, Batman. It’s wild, but still more cohesive than last week… I swear!

Then Gage is found dead in an interrogation room — meaning a mole has to be in Sophia’s CIA unit. They narrow it down to Martin Danberg, her right hand guy, but he escapes.

Rick soon comes up with a way to find out who the linchpin — the little girl — is, and Sophia says, “You’re a genius!” and kisses his cheek. The pained look on Kate’s face spells heartbreak, but she doesn’t say a word. Rick wanders off to get coffee while they wait on the computer to work, and Kate and Sophia have a heart to heart.

“You like him,” Kate says… a statement, not a question.

Sophia looks at her. “I did. Once.”

Then Kate asks what happened… and Sophia says she and Rick had a flash fire of passion after a slow build up — with no real foundation for a relationship — then nothing. She wishes they’d never slept together, that they’d just kept that longing… then maybe what they had wouldn’t have burned itself out. Kate looks thoughtful, but doesn’t say anything.

Not long after Rick returns, they learn who the girl is and locate her in New York, with her father at a trade conference, and they go after her. Only, Sophia turns on them and holds them hostage.

Danberg isn’t the mole; she is. And she’s Russian. Hmm…

Just as she prepares to shoot Rick and Kate, she gives Rick a hint about the father he never knew — was he a CIA agent? — by saying, “Your father would be very proud.” But before she can elaborate, another agent takes her out. Rick is too stunned by her revelation to move. Kate and the CIA agent save the girl… the country, and the world. No WWIII, at least not today.

I don’t know about you, but I’m exhausted!

The CIA apparently pulled Kate’s car out of the river, and the agent who brings her the keys tells her it’s “better than new”. Yeah, right. Not if it’s been in the Hudson. Maybe they replaced it, but otherwise, I sure as heck wouldn’t want to drive it. Would you?

Rick asks Kate, “Do you think she (Sophia) was telling the truth about my father? I mean, that would explain why he completely disappeared.”

“I think that Sophia told a lot of lies,” Kate replies. “Must be tough finding out she’s a traitor after you based Clara Strike on her and all.”

“Well, Clara started off as Sophia, but she ended up being more like you. Smart, fierce, kind. I think that’s why I was drawn to you… as a muse.”

Aw… finally a little Caskett goodness. I’m not as turned off this week as I was last Monday, but I still wanted more in the romance department. The show as a whole was much more compelling, however, and it held my attention. Last week I couldn’t stop yawning.

Next week’s episode, Once Upon a Crime, looks like a funny one. I love those.

Lee Lofland

Where do I begin? Let’s see… Well, you already know how I feel about the episode as a whole, so I think I’ll just go straight for the throat.

I’ve started a sort of running joke on my Facebook page about Beckett getting kidnapped as often as she does. And not only does she get abducted at the drop of a hat, she also loses her gun to a crook at least as often as kids take their Flintstone vitamins—once a day. This scenario has become a part of the Castle-boilerplate-script, and it’s not only getting old, it’s absolutely ridiculous. How many cops would still be on the job if they allowed themselves to be kidnapped once a week? Furthermore, how many times will viewers watch Beckett get kidnapped before saying enough is enough? At least we know why the mayor allows Castle to tag along with Beckett…to protect her hind parts from impending doom and certain destruction. She’s a walking disaster, which, by the way, is a far cry from the Beckett we saw in earlier seasons. And I miss that Beckett. Please bring her back and get rid of the horror-movie-Beckett we have now. You know, the teenage girl who flees from the cabin in the woods, falls down, and is ALWAYS caught by the bad guy serial killer.

The whole car floating aimlessly to the center of the earth (exactly how deep is the Hudson at the spot beside the docks, anyway—two or three hundred miles?), and then have Castle shoot Beckett’s PREDICTABLY stuck seatbelt…was just plain stupid. What part did he shoot, anyway? Certainly not the buckle that was against her flesh. Who knows and who cares at this point. And what about that bright muzzle flash? Underwater? I know a road flare will burn underwater, but it’s nowhere near as bright as the flashes we saw last night.

And then Beckett drowns (lungs fill with water and she’s unconscious) so Castle shoots out the car window, hauls her limp, lifeless body from the depths of the deepest, darkest ocean to the surface, where the two of them calmly and merrily enjoy a nice cup of coffee and happily discuss the details of the case. No hospital visit. No doctor. No paleness from the lack of oxygen to her body and brain. Nothing but smiles, perfect makeup, and a cup of coffee. I’m sure everyone who’s just emptied the equivalent of a bathtub full of water from their lungs would immediately go for dumping more liquid into their body. That’d certainly be my first choice.

Of course, as always, Beckett storms into a private apartment without a search warrant. In real life, people, cops must obtain either a search warrant or permission from the home/business owner/renter to enter a dwelling or business. The exception to that rule is when someone’s life or evidence of a crime is immediate danger. A landlord may not give permission to search the home of his/her tenant. Neither of these apply to many of Beckett’s searches.

Sure, an officer could go in without the proper paperwork, but all evidence seized would be deemed inadmissible in court. And certainly, since this search involved saving the world from total destruction, an officer would probably want to use whatever evidence she found. Wouldn’t it be a shame to have to let the “Destroyer Of The World” go free because Beckett couldn’t use “the bomb” she found because she entered the guy’s apartment illegally. Oops…

- The CIA guy (possibly the end-of-the-world guy) grabs a hostage in front of a dozen armed cops and agents. He’s clearly standing where the officers could easily hit him with approximately 7,000 rounds of hollowpoint ammunition, but no one fired a shot and he gets away. What do you think would have happened in real life? CIA and cops on one hand. Guy who’s going to end the world on other hand. And all that stands in the way is one civilian. Hmm…

- Okay, how many of you did not know that Sophia was going to be the “bad guy?” Again, we called it early on, during the first episode.  Another yawner for me.

- Wasn’t that an impressive search of the terrain that helped locate the little girl/Linchpin? But, for this show that far out stuff sort of worked. So I didn’t mind it so much.

- The Chinese official and family arrived and entered the building unescorted by bodyguards. This guy was a world financial leader. A VID (very important dude). The fictional NYPD must’ve missed the A&E special about the Secret Service that aired not too long ago. Foreign officials are often assigned a team of Secret Service agents who’s duty is to protect the VID’s against men who openly take their time and point guns at little girls in public buildings.

- I loved how CIA officials allow Castle to tag along during a mission that could mean the “end of the earth as we know it.” No vest, no gun, and no believability.

- I think this is the point where Beckett and Castle are abducted once again.

- Why did Sophia stand there talking to Castle and Beckett for such a long period of time? You’d think someone who was trying to end the world would have just popped off a couple of quick rounds and moved on. But noooo…..

Okay, there wasn’t a lot of good in this episode, and not wanting to be all negative I’ll say this…Alexis was nice and cute and sweet. And, thankfully, we didn’t hear much from Lanie. I say they fast forward and make Alexis the M.E. Why not? Everything else seems to be coming from LaLa Land.

Sorry, Shippers. I did not like this episode at all. I’m still a fan, but I’m very, very concerned. In fact, I’m losing interest. Bored. Watching with one eye open and one eye closed. Please, Castle writers…please bring back the good old days!

41 Responses to “Castle: Linchpin – A Review And Recap”

  • lauw says:

    Ooowh you guys make my day after a Castle episode. Lee, I agree with you on…well basically everything and you are hysterical esp. this: “I’m sure everyone who’s just emptied the equivalent of a bathtub full of water from their lungs would immediately go for dumping more liquid into their body. That’d certainly be my first choice.” LOL. Anyway that whole car sinking scene was a load of bollocks, wouldn’t that car float for like a minute or so? why were the headlights still on? if that works than the electrical windows will also work! and indeed the Hudson at that point is apparently as deep as the Marian trench. I think the writers have stopped doing research altogether to make their stories believable, hell, they’ve been picked up for another season might as well be telling fairytales (see promo next week). I just keep watching for the acting and the actors, plus I admit I am a major shipper, but this two-parter was just the worst. I can’t believe Jennifer Beals said yes to this part, she is so much better than this.

  • Maryann Mercer says:

    If you look at what’s happened lately in the Middle East and thereabouts( or even the history of WWI…you know, Archduke Ferdinand’s assassination making an already unstable European situation downright volatile), the killing of the right person at the right time could conceivably start a chain of events that leads to catastrophe…but it is a bit much to take in, even with a two-parter. I DID love the Pandora Room…I kept thinking “String Theory” and how events can truly be dominoes, but then that’s just me :o) I too am tired of Beckett’s loss of intelligence that leads her to kidnapping and gun loss. And I’d like to see her just a bit more impatient with Rick these days. After all, these two have been partnered for four years, and he still manages to say annoying things in the middle of an investigation :o) And you know, I have one of those little gadgets that can slice your jammed seatbelt and shatter your window should you ever find yourself upside down or in the water…it fits on my visor and cost me $20.00. You’d think someone might consider those for cop cars, no? :o) Not my favorite episode, but not the worst one either. Let’s leave espionage to the CIA and catch the criminals in the Big Apple (and not freeze out the rest of the team. Ryan and Espo took it much too well in the end).

  • Lee Lofland says:

    Lots of cops carry seat belt cutters and center punches. Remember, they’re often placed in positions to rescue people who’re trapped inside crashed vehicles.

  • Lynn says:

    Lee, I always look forward to your Castle reviews, even when I totally disagree with them. Sadly, I agree completely with this one. In fact, I think the entire season has been showing the strain as they try to find artificial excuses to keep Castle involved with Beckett and the NYPD, while also trying to keep the two protagonists out of each other’s arms. I miss the frequent references to Castle’s celebrity author lifestyle – the cocktail parties, the book signings, the card games with fellow mystery writers in which he kicked around plot ideas, and all the other little things that indicated he had some other life besides mooning after Beckett and pretending to be a cop.

    I like the “Linchpin Theory” idea, but it felt way out of place in the context of Castle. I also liked the little teases about Castle’s father, but we didn’t need a worldwide Armageddon plot to work those into the story.

    Between the Captain’s death and Beckett’s own shooting, this show blew some excellent opportunities to up the tension between Castle and Beckett, resolve the romance, and then maybe move the story in some bold new direction. Instead, it feels like everyone involved is just marking time and getting really bored. Even Nathan Fillion doesn’t seem to be having as much fun this season.

  • Maka says:

    Maryann

    No, sorry, but not at all. The assassination of Archduke Ferdinand kicked off World War I because World War I was going to start sometime anyways. There simply were too many interconnecting military alliances, and most of the European powers were already raring for a fight. Gotta love jingoism. If it wasn’t Ferdinand, there would have been some other

    On the other hand, China can’t AFFORD a war with the United States. We’re simply too interdependent. We need Chinese imports for our economy to function. They NEED us to buy their exports. The US accounted for over 30% of all Chinese exports in 2010. If we stop buying from them, the Chinese economy collapses. There simply isn’t another buyer standing by to pick up the kind of volume we buy.

    @Lee
    Wouldn’t Castle firing that gun in close quarters destroy hearing for both of them? Especially since the car was submerged and all. And how do you shoot out a window with a single bullet? Windshields don’t exactly shatter, after all.

    I miss competent Beckett. Where’d she go?

  • Maka says:

    Some other casus belli, if anyone was wondering.

  • Su says:

    Hey, Avon sold those seat belt cutter tools a while back. As well as a tool to break windows. They came in a kit, if I remember right. Probably not the quality cops carry, but come on. If you can buy one from Avon…

  • I honestly have to agree with both of you and disagree as well. I did think this part was better than the first part, but I also thought there was much that was unbelievable too. However, I tend to read a lot of suspense and political thrillers, so the overall premise of a domino effect was not unbelievable to me. Beckett and Castle solving it? Yeah, a little out there. But, what else do you expect from a work of fiction?

    Anyone know how one would go about trying to get a script into the producers of this (or any other) show? I’ve never thought about it, but a couple writer friends suggested it recently… Maybe if us writers made a concerted effort, we can get this show back on track!

  • Yep, clunker all the way around. About the coffee: Rick brings Kate coffee regularly — after splurging on an expensive coffee / espresso maker for the office. I think the writers use the coffee as a space filler, a gesture to give the characters some physical action –what screenwriters call “business” — while they talk. But they’re not thinking about whether it makes sense in the context of the scene — a good reminder for all of us who write.

  • Lee Lofland says:

    You know, Liberty, I do have contact with someone on the show. I’ll make the suggestion and see what kind of eye-rolling response I get, if any. Of course, they may not be speaking to me after this review.

    Maka. I agree, I’d think the underwater blast/shock wave would be devastating to the hearing. I blast like that is often used to stun fish, right?

  • Lee Lofland says:

    Lynn, how dare you not agree with everything I say… :)

    Seriously, I agree with you. Even the actors seem bored these days. There’s very little spark and excitement like we used to see. And I, too, miss the mystery writer aspect of the old days. That was the charm of the show. Now, Castle may as well be just another everyday, run-of-the-mill TV cop. After all, that’s the part he’s now playing.

    You can’t fix stupid and you certainly shouldn’t break “smart.” But you shouldn’t monkey with success. Unfortunately, a monkey has found its way into the room.

  • I’ll have to go back and watch Seasons 1 & 2… I only started watching the show at the beginning of season 3.

    (Won’t my husband love that? He’s already tired of the interminable amount of time we spend watching old episodes of Stargate: SG1 on DVD… maybe Castle will be more tolerable?)

  • I’ve noticed before, but it really struck me last night: Kate rarely bothers to clear a space when she enters it. No wonder she gets kidnapped and loses her gun so often — she starts tossing the desk, or lets Castle open a door, without checking for the bad guy in the closet!

  • Maka says:

    @Liberty
    Seasons 1 and 2 are the best Castle has to offer. Starting with 3, the show turned steadily downhill. Not coincidentally, this also coincides with when Beckett started turning into Supermodel Cop.

    Also, what political thrillers are you talking about? I know books like Clancy (which began with technothrillers and evolved/devolved into author tracts) are highly unrealistic. They’re basically excuses to set up ideological, baby eating strawmen (of Muslims, including an incredibly improbable Iran-Iraq alliance no less, Chinese, Russians, and Liberals, of course) to be knocked down in detail by True Americans who represent Truth and Justice and Apple Pie.

    Political thriller authors tend to forget that the domino effect is largely bullshite. Sweeping societal or geopolitical change usually occurs slowly in increments, not through a single massive event.

  • mars says:

    I didn’t like it either, although I did like Pandora. I didn’t like the way they filmed the first scene when they were trying to get out of the car. I couldn’t tell what was going on at times and they should have shown him actually rescuing her and bringing her to the surface. The rest of it was just kind of confusing and boring. Beckett is coming off as as an idiot – one mistake after another. This show really needs to change directions, get them together as a couple and get back to the banter, comedy and plausible plots of Seasons 1 and 2.

  • I can’t read Clancy anymore. His over dependence on the F-word made his tombs unbearable.

    Typically, I like Vince Flynn, but have been meaning to pick up Brad Thor. I haven’t picked up Flynn’s last 3 or 4 mostly because of time (I’ve been reading less than I’d prefer since I’ve got two kids under the age of 3). But, I really enjoyed his first book, “Term Limits” probably more than the rest of the books he’s done since then.

    I’ve got Castle’s first and second season in my queue at my library, but I’m trying to finish up my sci-fi addiction (2 1/2 more seasons to get through!) Looking forward to it. :)

  • Jonathan Quist says:

    Lee mentioned: “The Chinese official and family arrived and entered the building unescorted by bodyguards.”

    Not only that, but the first door that opened when the limo pulled up was the driver’s door! The driver is the only person able to get the VIP out of there if the brown stuff hits the fan, and the last person who would leave the vehicle.

    Maka said: “And how do you shoot out a window with a single bullet? Windshields don’t exactly shatter, after all.”

    That detail, except possibly for the results of firing an automatic pistol underwater (would the slide even operate to allow the rapid fire?) was essentially correct. Castle shot out the rear window, not the windshield. Auto windshields are laminated safety glass, with a sheet of clear flexible plastic between two layers of glass, to provide support should a large (or small, rapidly moving) object crack the glass. Side and rear windows are tempered glass, designed to shatter into small bits instead of dangerous, sharp shards. The rear window could conceivably be destroyed with a single shot, though the underwater aspect probably changes the dynamics. Anyone got a hotline to The Mythbusters?

    jeq

  • Pat Brown says:

    I watched the entire show with my jaw on the floor. Kate is fast becoming one of those weak victims who always needs rescuing. I had the same problem with the sinking car. I seriously do not understand how a seat belt could be without injuring the wearer. The whole jealousy thing with Kate and Sophia was so juvenile. I mean seriously, does Becket think Castle’s a virgin? If she was going to pull that crap every time she meets one of Castle’s old flames — and I’m sure the city is full of them. I don’t know about anyone else, but I find that kind of jealousy very unattractive.

    And really, the CIA? That’s a suspension of disbelief I can’t make. I’d rather see Castle and Beckett go back to solving crimes in New York and leave the world-saving to someone more qualified.

    The plot? While I can see such a small thing as the assassination of a powerful person’s child might have seriously ramifications, but to be able to map it out that perfectly? I don’t buy it.

    I want the Kate and Castle I fell in love with in the first couple of seasons.

  • Jonathan Quist says:

    Interesting.

    Someone actually _has_ fired an automatic underwater:

    http://www.geek.com/articles/geek-cetera/what-happens-when-you-fire-a-pistol-underwater-20110820/

  • Sally Carpenter says:

    I totally agree with Lee–nothing in this episode made sence. Looked like the writer kept writing himself into a corner and then pulled a rabbit out of the hat. Cage is now the good guy? Sophia’s the mole? Arrghh! Play fair with the viewer!
    The directing of the underwater scenes was dreadful. I couldn’t see a thing that was going on. All I saw were facial closeups and muddled shots of the water. Definately cheated that I didn’t see the actual rescue and the guys swimming away. Or maybe a mermaid rescued them. On this episode, that would sound logical.
    I couldn’t believe Sophia bawled out Rick, called him a jackass, and Kate just stood there silent. C’mon, we know she doesn’t take guff from nobody. Stand up for your partner, Beckett!
    Anyone keeping count on how many times Kate has been thrown off a case?
    A school website wouldn’t have photos of the students.
    Of course Castle had the idea of looking up the mountains on the girl’s photo. The CIA experts never thought of that?
    The “voodoo” CIA computer technology was more incredible than the Star Trek transporter machine.
    When did Sophia step inside the “tank” and shoot Gage? She was outside the tank in view of everyone else except for the one time when she questioned Gage and the TV audience didn’t see her shoot him then. Oh yeah, there was the “voodoo” magic on the video feed.
    A high ranking China official would have bodyguards as well as a police escort. And why would he bring along his little girl? Was she going to sit in the corner and color a picture while he did business?
    This episode was a good warmup for next week’s fairy tale murders, as “Lynchpin” was out there in la-la land.

  • Steve says:

    I just read a glaring review of this episode with lots and lots of positive comments about it, and thought “Am I that mistaken?”
    Then I found this site, and now I am reassured that it wasn’t just me who disliked the episode.

    I’m normally not one to comment on TV Shows, but I feel this episode was a true “Jumping the shark”.
    What else is there to do now for Castle and Beckett? They already saved New York, and now they stopped World War 3. The only thing left now is an alien conspiracy.

    I liked the many plot twists in this one, but that was about it. The episode felt kinda off, totally un-Castle-like. One moment Kate is drowning, the next shot shows her standing on the dock?
    (I won’t talk about realism here, people wrote enough about that already).

    But the worst thing for me was the suggestion that Castle’s father might be/have been involved with the CIA. Beckett’s back story I find believable, it drove her to be a cop. But now Castle has his own family conspiracy, and I think this runs against the series original intention: Cocky writer joins tough cop.

    I really hope they stop Castle after this season, as hard as it is for me to say that.

  • Lee Lofland says:

    Excellent video, Jonathan. Thanks. And it also reinforced my assumption. No bright flash of light underwater. More Castle goofiness.

  • BookBitch says:

    Do you think Stephen Cannell’s death had anything to do with the new direction the show has taken, i.e. Kate as incompetent supermodel, plots that really strain credulity, etc.

  • Lee Lofland says:

    I’m not sure, BB. But things are definitely swirling the drain. I know I’m missing the mystery writer aspect of the show. That and the poker games.

  • Elizabeth says:

    To me, this is about wisdom and grace. By that I mean that just as every life has a story, every story has a life. Last season’s final episode was a perfect set-up to make this the final season of Castle, or, alternatively, take the show is a different direction (with Castle and Beckett together). No question it’s a hard decision-but there’s Brett Favre vs Walter Payton. Charlaine Harris has brought several series to an end, Stephanie Evanovich is writing the same novel time after time. I know it is all driven by money, but it’s still sad to to see them drag Castle out until it is cancelled by ratings.

  • Lee, I agree with a lot of what you said and I tried to suspend my disbelief so I could enjoy the show. But… Beckett doesn’t have a seatbelt cutter? Come on. I was under the impression it was part of a LEO’s gear.

    Re: the coffee. Anyone notice Castle brings Beckett coffee all the time and he doesn’t drink it himself? Do we know any writers who don’t live on caffeine?

    As a former lifeguard, I had huge issues with the whole car scene besides all the losing the gun issue. If Castle had already ‘drowned,’ how did he get a ‘drowned’ Beckett out of the car and to the surface? Who did mouth-to-mouth on them?

    I’m with Melanie that this episode was better than last week, but I knew from the get-go that Sophia was the bad guy.

    I’m trying to enjoy a show I love, but I admit I’m getting tired of this too-stupid-to-live Beckett that the writers are creating. Glad I’m watching season 1 and 2 on DVD but, wow, do I see the difference.

  • David Fuchs says:

    I actually didn’t call Sophia being the baddy–I thought it was either her or her right-hand man, and knew they would be one fake-out (the poor Asian guy), but to get a second twist caught me off-guard. That’s about the highlight of the episode for me.

    The terrain-matching thing was goofy with what we saw on screen, but that was actually pretty believable. Google has the capacity to match photos–it wouldn’t be too incredible for the CIA to have a better version that could match the region to a similar photo of the mountain, and then get coordinates for it.

  • Mar says:

    Also fun: Xiang being so Very Important and well-known to Sophia that she… couldn’t pronounce his name.

  • Maka says:

    @David
    I actually called it, and then immediately dismissed the possibility because it was so cliched and hackneyed that Andrew Marlowe couldn’t POSSIBLY something like that. It’s like expecting your idiot brother to at least be able to hit the toilet bowl, but it turns out he’s somehow managed to piss on the wall and crap on the floor.

  • Joaquin says:

    I hear you Lee. The series has become a bit ridiculous, and I will stop watching when the season ends. Now, Southland on the otherhand, is freakingly good …

  • Alex says:

    I am a total die hard shipper and I remain completely faithful to Castle and AWM, and usually I let all the stupid stuff slide, but this episode. Good grief. To be honest, I actually spent a lot of my viewing laughing, especially during the scenes that were meant to be ultra serious. And when I wasn’t laughing, I was face palming.
    Technical stuff aside, it was also super obvious that Sophia’s right hand man would be blamed (I also agree with your thoughts on him getting away – I was screaming at the screen “THE WORLD IS AT STAKE JUST SHOOT HIM”) and then spent the remainder of the episode praying to the TV gods that Sophia wouldn’t end up being the real bad guy.
    Overall, I did actually like the episode, because there were still excellent moments (although they couldn’t make up for the cringe-worthy moments), it was excellent acting, as always, and the news about Castle’s dad was totally unexpected for me, so it kind of allowed me to forget about all the ridiculousness that I had just witnessed.
    Kind of.

  • John says:

    I couldn’t believe my eyes when I looked over a bunch of reviews on other sites of this two-parter. Without exception they seemed to be glowing, saying stuff like “the show’s back on the right track”. Uh… excuse me, but did we just watch the same episodes?!

    It was a relief to find this site and see a bit of common sense. I’m a huge fan of the series, but this two-parter was just insulting. I found myself constantly gritting my teeth at the horrible writing and exclaiming “why… WHY?!” Seriously, I don’t understand why the weakest writing I’ve ever seen in Castle to date was not only passed as an episode, but padded out to a two-parter. What were they THINKING?

    This was nothing like the Castle from earlier seasons and episodes. Words that describe what used to appeal about Castle: fresh, intelligent, witty, fun. Words that describe this latest two-parter installment: cliched, disrespectful, lame, boring.

    Seriously, have the writers become so lazy that they no longer bother to even make a token attempt at allowing the viewers to suspend disbelief? I couldn’t believe the sheer frequency with which pathetic cliches and sheer stupidity was flashing past my screen. It’s as if I was watching a completely different program… some standard, run-of-the-mill, lame police drama – not the Castle I’ve come to know and love.

    As a huge fan of the series, I really hope the writers wake up to the fact that these episodes were a HUGE step in the wrong direction. Because if this kind of ridiculous spoon-fed bollocks we can expect in the future, then I don’t know if I’ll continue watching for much longer.

  • Shaya says:

    Very sad to say, but I agree with the comments about the general degraded quality of many of this season’s episodes. As many have pointed out, neither Rick nor Kate seem like themselves any more–the characters that we all fell in love with at first. Rick isn’t often writing, playing poker with his buddies, or promoting his books. Kate has been turned into an unrecognizable caricature, ridiculously helpless and incompetent. To the degree that lately, I often wonder how hard poor Stana Katic has to grit her teeth to utter her lines. Dropped gun and jammed seat belt? Really? I truly hope the writers are chipping in for her dental insurance, since her molars are probably turning to powder by now.

    As a career woman myself, Kate’s capability and competence drew me to her character in seasons 1 and 2. But the direction they’ve sent her character this season–aside from the PTSD epsiode(s)–is depressing at best. Maybe the writers think they need to reassure male viewers’ egos by turning Rick into Protecting Rescuer Alpha Male (a.k.a. the most annoying and two-dimensional males on the planet, at least to me personally), and Kate into Helpless Female. Newsflash, writers and advertisers: I can almost guarantee that will drive away what’s probably the biggest demographic that this show appeals to. I.e., viewers who were drawn to the delightful yet sadly rare pairing of Competent Alpha Female with Charming Beta Male. What, have all the writers been watching Donna Reed reruns? Yeesh.

    And on the subject of details such as Beckett not getting warrants and not clearing rooms (never mind the seat belt cutter and window hammer–even I carry those in my car–and constantly being kidnapped and losing her gun): how many times this season have she and Castle walked into a potential crime scene or suspect’s living quarters and proceeded to touch anything and everything without gloves on? That’s really jarring, when the writers used to be so careful about it before. The small details of Beckett’s attention to doing her job well and by the book were another part of what drew me to her character.

    Bottom line, very sadly, is two words I never thought I’d say about a show I once loved: bored now.

  • Lois Winston says:

    I’ve been following The Graveyard Shift for awhile, but this is the first time I’m popping in to comment. What struck me most about the 2-parter was how obvious it was that Sophia would turn out to be a double-agent. Haven’t we seen that puppy prancing around for decades in TV, movies, and books to the point where it’s become a hackneyed plot device? Whether it’s CIA, FBI, or local law enforcement, the “good” cop turns out to be the “bad” cop. Had this one pegged the moment Rick and Kate were taken to the CIA underground compound in Part 1.

  • Sally Carpenter says:

    One more thought. Another thing that annoyed me about the two-parter is that Kate/Rick didn’t do much detecting. They were too busy running from bad guys, getting kidnapped and discussing “old times” with Sophia to actually solve the crime. The CIA computer did most of the work. They even needed someone else to rescued them from Sophia (didn’t police academy teach Kate how to wrestle a gun away?). The shows are moving away from the crime solving to…I don’t know what, but it’s irritating.

  • Ha! Lee, you and Melanie and everyone who comments on these “Castle” reviews make watching the wretched episodes worth it. When a real stinker is unraveling before me, I turn to my husband and say, “Oh yeah. I’m dying to see what Lee Lofland has to say about THIS.” Too bad “Castle” can’t get the writers they use on “Blue Bloods.” Some of the stories have been a bit maudlin, but all in all, it’s pretty darn good writing.

  • Jay Santos says:

    I’ve been a lurker since Season 2. I agree with your comments Lee, it feels like the well of creative juices had dried up. Please bring back vintage Castle!

  • Steph says:

    This is turning into S&M and we’re the maschistics for trying to make sense of it. Terrible example, but we’re just making fun of the retarded kid now. Scooby-Doo was probably a better procedural.

    See you on the Southland side

  • Nora says:

    The cases wouldn’t be SO hard to swallow if the cast chemistry was still present but it’s gone like a wayward wind. I really don’t understand where it went. Is it the writing? Or does the cast just not like each other anymore? They all look as though they’re phoning in their scenes now – like they’d much rather be somewhere else than trying to act out this drivel that Marlowe keeps trying to sell. Can’t say I totally blame them on that, though…

  • Carlos says:

    Well, hey, i liked it, not that anyone cares.

  • Castle Fan says:

    Nora: I agree. Everyone looks bored… where is the fun, light-hearted Castle who can see the joke in everything, or the cool detail for another novel? All close-ups have sad, puppy dog eyes, serious shots… where’s the laughing, carefree cast that made this fun to watch? It’s becoming more effort than it’s worth… I even waited over a week to get to watching this — no longer on my immediate to-do list!

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