Castle: Law and Boarder – A Good Cop/Bad Cop Review


Melanie here. Sorry for the delay in posting our blog. Yesterday’s storms knocked out my power and caused a lot of damage in the area. I watched Castle, but couldn’t focus on the show enough to critique it. So I re-watched it this afternoon, eager to send my part of the blog to Lee before the next round of bad weather arrives. Storms are building to our west again, and we’re already under another tornado watch. Lovely. Such is springtime in the Deep South.

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Melanie Atkins

The plot of this episode centers around the murder of a skateboarder by an unidentified motorcyclist. I wasn’t as interested in the case as I was the by-play between Rick and Kate over a game of Scrabble and Ryan and Esposito’s battle over whom Rick might choose as his best man. Early on, we learn Kate has already asked Lanie to be her maid of honor, and that Lanie loves the dress Kate picked out for her. The boys overhear and go into full-on competition mode, showering Rick with gifts and doing everything they can to ingratiate themselves to him. Instead of figuring out why they’re acting so strangely, he is totally oblivious. So silly, but fun.

The case had plenty of twists, wrong turns, and red herrings. Rick’s crazy theory about a Rollerball-type game conspiracy soon gave way to worries about the Albanian mob and a man named Enver, whom the victim helped send to prison years ago. They had indeed made contact, but Enver swore he didn’t kill Logan. Instead, he gave the kid money. Confused, much? I sure was.

Back to Scrabble, a game that is more my speed. Still reeling over Kate beating him at his favorite game the night before, Rick challenges her to a rematch once they get home… and she wins again. This time, to top it off, she trounces him with the word Quixotic for a huge score. Classic Castle… and so funny. I adored this scene. Rick does not take defeat well.

On Twitter, I learned the Scrabble board held all sorts of Castle “Easter Eggs”, especially in the scene portraying the first game, so I checked it out. Sure enough, most of the words referred to characters in Rick’s books, names of Castle episodes, and the like. I love these little tidbits they add just for fun.

The team searches for a missing duffel bag connected to the case the day after Kate crushes Rick for the second time, and finally locates it at a gym frequented by the victim. From the bag’s contents, they learn the dead skateboarder was apparently also a thief. In addition, he had recently bought a ten-year-old camcorder. This added another odd twist to the puzzle, but no one they spoke with was willing to provide any real answers.

Rick still doesn’t get Ryan and Esposito’s game to get him to pick one of them as best man. He instead believes they are playing up to him because Kate beat him at Scrabble, and they just want him to feel better. He couldn’t be more wrong. Ryan and Esposito try to convince Lanie to ask Rick to pick one of them to stand up with him, but she refuses. They’re at a loss as to how to proceed.

The ancient camcorder turns up with a bullet hole in it. I don’t see how that would help after all this time, because they don’t know when the hole was made. Still, they jump on the clue and manage to dig a piece of old tape out of the device. Tape from a cassette that Tori, the 12th’s resident computer whiz, somehow blows up and enhances so they can use it to help unearth the real killer. They finally nail him and put the case to bed, but I have to admit I didn’t really care.

I savored Ryan and Esposito’s confrontation with Rick about the best man gig so much more. Turns out he’s already asked Alexis to act in that capacity, even though she’s a girl. Like Rick said, next to Kate, his daughter is the most important person in his life. He does, however, ask Ryan and Esposito to be his groomsmen. They grudgingly agree. Too funny. My question now is… who will stand up with Kate besides Lanie? Anyone? Or will the two of them go it alone? Guess we’ll have to wait and see.

The case has now been solved, and Ryan and Esposito’s burning question has been put to rest. Rick sets up the Scrabble board as soon as they get home, and Kate agrees to a rematch… after learning Alexis and Martha are gone for the evening. Instead of settling in to play Scrabble, however, she scrapes the tiles out of the way and pulls out a deck of cards. “New game,” she says with an evil look. “Poker.” “You want to play poker with me?” Rick asks. Kate smiles and says, “Strip poker.” Rick is all too happy to comply. “This is so much better than Scrabble,” he says later, just before diving in for a kiss.


Loved the ending… and Rick’s brick red shirt. Nice. I wasn’t thrilled with Kate’s hair throughout the episode, however. The strange pony tail pulled back so tight made her look too severe.


I liked the suit, but kept expecting to see her sporting a crop and wearing breeches and riding boots. All in all, though, even with the odd outfit, I enjoyed this fun episode. Next week’s show looks to be much more serious. Should be a nail biter. Can’t wait!


Lee Lofland

First of all, I think I speak for the entire writing community when I say we’re all glad Melanie made it through the storms unscathed. We’re also deeply saddened by the devastation caused by the tornadoes that ripped through the southern states. Our thoughts are with everyone there as they work toward rebuilding their lives and their struggle to find peace in a time when grief overshadows all.

I, too, missed this episode of Castle, but not due to bad weather. Instead, Denene and I opted to watch The Blacklist. Normally, we’d record it and watch Castle. However, we’re without a DVR so recording wasn’t an option. So…I watched Castle last night by taking advantage of my Amazon Prime membership. And I didn’t have to fast-forward through commercials because there weren’t any. Hooray!

Anyway, there’s really not a lot to say about the case since the episode focused heavily on Ryan, Esposito, and Castle. Well, there was that thing with Beckett’s odd outfit and hairdo. I’m not a fan of either, but I doubt Stana Katic has me in mind when she selects her “look” of the day.

Lanie had one line regarding the dead body, and, of course, the writers blew that one for her. There’s no way she could have known, at the scene, that the victim was killed by three 9mm hollow-point rounds.


That’s all I’m saying about Lanie this time. The issue is, after all, one extremely well-beaten dead horse.

We were exposed to a gaggle of possible suspects this week. However, in true boilerplate script fashion, the killer was indeed the one person who appeared on camera for mere seconds, while a red neon arrow flashed and pointed directly at him. Why, oh why, can’t they stray from this pattern, just once? As soon as the rich kid appeared on screen Denene looked at me and said, “He’s the killer.” My reply to her was, “I know.” And we moved on.

Fortunately, the cop-clueless writers didn’t allow the case to overshadow the fun aspects—the banter between Ryan and Espo was that of the good old days of Castle, when the show was a light-hearted comedy with a bit of cop stuff thrown in to add a bit of tension.

Sure, Beckett needed a search warrant to search the locker and duffle bag. But the peek at a well-stocked bag of burglary tools was a nice touch, including the set of lock picks. Of course, in real-life I’ve never seen that many super nice, new, and well-cared for tools in a burglar’s bag. Normally, there’s a dinged-up crowbar, a dollar store screwdriver, and a tired, old hammer with splotches of paint on the handle. And duct tape. They all have duct tape, but I believe that’s in the kit in case a radiator hose in their old ’57 Ford Fairlane springs a leak.

Duct tape is, of course, a staple in every tool kit and kitchen tool drawer. In addition to fixing radiator hoses, it also works well to remove lint from clothing (sticky side out), hair removal (ouch!), repair leaky shoes, in courtrooms to silence unruly defendants (hmm…I wonder if they’ve considered using it on annoying attorneys – sorry Alafair and Dusty), and, of course to make a really nice hat for your cat.

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See you next week. Until then, we’re back on the house-hunting mission. We’d made an offer on one but the deal fell through at the last minute, during the home inspection. We withdrew our offer.

Just one nice, decent house. That’s all we’re asking. Just one…

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Castle: Get A Clue – A Good Cop/Bad Cop Review

Before we start this review, I have one tiny thing I’d like to get off my chest, and here it is. I. CAN’T. STAND. PI.

Okay, now that that’s out of the way let’s knock on Melanie’s door and see what she thought about this week’s episode. Melanie…

Melanie Atkins

This week’s episode of Castle had a definite Da Vinci Code vibe. Mysteries, intriguing history, and a puzzling murder… all are right up Rick Castle’s alley, and this case fit right in. I enjoyed it, but was much more interested in the drama playing out between Rick and Alexis.

The show began with Martha and Rick visiting Alexis in her new digs with Pi, the fruitarian hippie, for dinner. The night is a disaster thanks to Rick’s blatant disapproval of his daughter’s new living situation, and I can’t say I blame him. I don’t like Pi, either. The fruit loop needs to go, and soon. I don’t know how long they plan to keep him around on the show, but I’ll definitely cheer when he’s gone. I am enjoying the conflict between Alexis and her father, however, and maybe that sounds hypocritical. She’s always been the perfect, precocious child, and now to Rick she’s a stranger. A headstrong young woman sowing her oats and demanding to go her own way.

Rick vents to Kate about the situation and she tries to help, but the case gets in the way. I wanted more interaction between them… heck, just more Rick-Kate time in general. A few hugs and kisses and a little more reassurance, not just a promise from Kate to Rick to “come by later and try to cheer you up.” Come on, folks! Case heavy episodes just aren’t as much fun to us shippers.

Still, I appreciated the banter and the way the case played out with Rick and Kate working together, even though I pegged the murderer fairly early in the show. The episode contained lots of great lines and funny moments. Classic Castle, without the lovey-dovey moments I crave.

The last heartfelt scene between Alexis and Rick got right to the meat of their conflict: her disappointment in his not telling her he planned to ask Kate to marry him before the fact. She found out over the phone while she was in Costa Rica, and that upset her. Of course, Rick and Kate’s engagement did happen pretty fast, as Rick pointed out, and Alexis was already out of the country by then. IMHO, she needs to get over it — she is nineteen and in college, after all — even though she does have a point about acceptance. She has accepted Rick and Kate’s engagement, and she simply wants the same acceptance from her father about her own relationship with Pi. Fine, but she still comes off as an angry young woman using Pi to get back at her dad. Maybe Alexis isn’t so grown up after all.

Next week’s episode again focuses on Rick and Alexis as they work to prove a man on death row is innocent, and I’m wondering if it will bring them back together or push them further apart. Is Pi involved? Is Kate? What do you think?

Bring it on, and we’ll all find out together.

Lee Lofland

Let’s see a show of hands. How many of you knew the identity of the killer long before Beckett and crew figured it out? Easy to spot, huh? Yes, the boilerplate script was pulled from the shelf and dusted off for this episode, and the writers sort of missed their mark when filling in the blanks.

The show wasn’t bad, nor was it one of the better efforts, thanks to a disconnect between the case, Castle’s funny and boyish enthusiasm, and Beckett and crew. It almost seemed as if the show was filmed in three separate segments and then pieced together at the end of the week.

Actually, there was a fourth segment—Lanie.

Bless her little heart. I often feel sorry for Tamala Jones because of the horrible lines she’s given. I know she has no choice, and for the kind of money she receives to deliver those lines, well, I’d be more than happy to say them too. But it doesn’t have to be this way. It would be just as easy to write believable fiction as it is to write the nonsensical babble we consistently hear from Lanie. They don’t write it for Perlmutter, so why do it for Lanie? Anyway, the writers once again pushed Lanie under the largest bus they could find. And they’d been doing really well…until this week.

Lanie started out okay, when she said the victim had probably been killed in another location but moved to where the body was discovered. She based her opinion on the obvious lack of blood at the crime scene (Remember, a crime scene and the scene of the crime aren’t always the same. A crime scene is any location where evidence of a crime is found. The scene of the crime is where the actual crime—murder, robbery, etc.—took place).

So the point about the murder taking place at a different location was a good one. Later, though, she tells Esposito that, “Based on the curvature of the wound and injuries to the neck, I’d say she was stabbed with a sword. And it went in to the hilt because it left a crenulated (an irregularly wavy or serrate outline) bruising pattern, like this…” And she showed Esposito a picture of a sword.

Okay, this one stopped me in my tracks. I rewound and played it again just to be sure I’d heard what I thought I’d heard. I hoped I was wrong, but no, I’d heard correctly. So, my first thought was WTH (what the heck) is she talking about? A sword? Really? A sword? Because the wound was “curved?” Okay, that alone was stupid, but first let’s address the curved blade. Are there other items with non-straight blades? Let’s see…

Why not one of these curved-beak guys? Looks like a mad, psychotic killer to me.

Actually, the chances of a suicide-diving ibis flying directly into a victim’s neck with enough force to cause a through-and-through wound are about as good as Lanie looking at the wound in the victim’s neck, determining it was caused by a sword with a curved blade. It is, however, possible for a weapon or other object to leave an identifiable imprint in the skin.

Then there was the “ink on the hand thing” where Lanie detected ink residue in a gaping, palm-covering wound on the victim’s hand. And, presto-magico, and with a poof of pixie and fairy dust, Lanie determined the ink was used to draw a very distinctive pattern on the dead woman’s palm. But there was no pam left! It had been gouged out and away. It was gone. Not there. Nothing. In the past, the writers of this show have pushed the boundaries of realism out to the extreme, but this ink-crap was one of the worst stretches ever. Dumb, dumb, and double dumb.

– Of course, there were the fictional moments where Ryan and Esposito did their part to uncover all the minor details that tie up all the loose ends. However, those two almost always come across as believable, even when doing the unbelievable. In Lanie’s defense, she could probably pull off the unbelievable, too, if she were handed lines that made some sort of sense.

– The case was a minor detail this week, so there isn’t much to pick apart for those of you wanting to know what’s right and what’s wrong as far as the police investigation goes.

– I did find it ironic that a local TV news break popped onscreen during a commercial break, and it showed a close up of police cars and crime scene tape—another shooting in Savannah (The umpteenth shooting this year). Then a woman appeared who was obviously responding to a reporter’s questions about the deadly event. Her only words were, “I ducked down because I don’t do bullets.” Now, doesn’t that sound like something Castle would say?

– Castle was definitely entertaining this week. He delivered some pretty good lines and even dazzled us with his sword-fighting skills. Although, I did think that scene went on a bit too long. So long, in fact, I began to picture Stana Katic off screen impatiently looking at a clock on the wall wondering if or when they’d ever finish. By the way, it was a huge plus this week that Beckett managed to keep her gun AND, she wasn’t taken hostage or knocked out. Not even once!

– As I stated earlier, we all knew the cousin was the killer from the first moment we laid eyes on him. So no excitement there. And, his confession was a typical (yawn) Castle-ish confession—two or three questions and the killers give the typical “look down and a heavy sigh” before pouring out their heart and soul to Beckett.

Alexis… Her moving in with (I don’t even want to say his name, so I’ll call him “that guy”) that guy is SO out of character for her. For six years or so, we’ve seen Alexis as the strong one…the smart daughter who’s sort of raising her child-dad and keeping a watchful eye over him so he doesn’t do anything that’s too stupid. She was grounded, smart, and extremely loving and supportive of all things Castle. And she’s seen the relationship between her dad and Beckett grow and grow and grow to the point where the next step was inevitable. Yet she’s hurt and angry that her dad proposed while she off was playing Jane to “That Guy’s” Tarzan, a banana-picking, bee-counting fruitcake…I mean, fruitarian.

By the way, an article in the “No Meat Athlete” reported—A practicing fruitarian for over three years, Michael Arnstein eats nothing but lots of fruit and the occasional raw vegetable. Arnstein said he devours 30 pounds of fruit a day—as many as 30 oranges, five cantaloupes, a watermelon, and a salad with five pounds of tomatoes. Consuming 40 to 50 bananas a day is a common occurrence for him. He also claims that 10 to 15 Valencia oranges is the perfect post run snack.

Actor Ashton Kutcher, who, for a movie where he plays Apple founder Steve Jobs, adopted Jobs’s fruitarian diet for one month. “I ended up in the hospital two days before we started shooting the movie,” Kutcher told reporters at the Sundance Film Festival. “I was doubled over in pain, and my pancreas levels were completely out of whack, which was terrifying, considering everything.” Jobs died in October 2011, after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. (U.S. News – Health).

Anyway, this episode was just so-so for me. It definitely wasn’t memorable, but it was, however, wonderfully absent of bombs, tigers, doomsday scenarios. Still, I long for more realistic scenarios. You know, the ones with Zombies. And I definitely miss the mystery-writing Castle who likes to relax while playing poker with his writer-buddies, such as Michael Connelly.

Sigh… Those were the good old days when Castle actually wrote books and we at least saw some sort of romantic spark between Castle and Beckett…

Finally, Pi has got to go!

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Castle: Dreamworld – A Good Cop/Bad Cop Review

She lost her freakin’ gun AGAIN! And that’s all I’m saying for now. Take it away, Melanie, before I say something that’s not suitable for the young eyes and ears that often visit this site. I’ll be back. First, though, I’ve got to cool off. This gun-losing garbage has gone far beyond ridiculous…

Melanie Atkins 

Yes, the plot was far-fetched, but I still loved this episode of Castle. Kate’s frantic race to save Rick’s life had me on the edge of my seat, especially at the end. I love how much she loves him. Even faced with seemingly insurmountable odds, she fought for him, battling higher ups in the federal government — even the Secretary of Defense — without caring if she lost her job.

Rick was worried about Kate, too. His concern when he asked Rachel McCord, her partner, how she was doing in her new position, made my heart melt. McCord said Kate was doing fine and had a lot of potential, and he asked, “So she’ll be okay?” He wanted to make sure she’d be all right even if they didn’t find the antidote in time and he didn’t make it.

Martha’s and Alexis’ concern got to Kate as well. I know she wanted to tell them more, but she hung back because Rick told her not to say anything. Later, I think she didn’t tell them because of time constraints. She refused to let anything stop her from finding Parker and saving Rick.

Thank goodness they found the antidote in time. The last scene in the hospital room made me smile. The whole family, plus Pi, who is starting to get on my nerves, had Rick surrounded as he recovered from the toxin. Kate is part of that family now.

Even so, Kate and Rick are still struggling with her being in DC while he spends most of the time in New York. Kate gave voice to the problem, and Rick said, “Sometimes the hardest things in life are the things most worth doing. Just because we haven’t figured it out yet, doesn’t mean we won’t.” I believe they will make it… as long as Kate can learn to accept that everything, especially in that hotbed of politics, isn’t always black and white.

I’m not so sure she ever will. And truly, I hope she doesn’t, so she can return home to Rick and go back to the work for NYPD giving closure to families who need it. Go Kate!

Bring on next week’s episode. I can use a little light-hearted fun after this week’s race against time.

Lee Lofland

I’ll get to the “losing of the gun” BS in a moment. First, I’d like to ask if anyone else paid attention to Beckett’s demeanor throughout the entire episode? Didn’t you find it a bit bizarre that she totally lacked emotion, knowing that Castle had a mere hours left to live? Think about it. How would you react if doctors told you that, before sunrise, your significant other would cease to exist. You’d never, ever see them again. Dead. Gone. Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust. Castle no more.

Beckett never shed a tear. Not even a moist eyeball. And, to top it off, she continued to work on the case instead of spending what could’ve been her last 720 minutes, or so, with the love of her life.

I know. She’s supposed to be as tough as a handful of rusty nails. But even MMA fighters feel pain and show emotions from time to time.

– Is there any need for me to go into the foolishness of the agents having a lone computer nerd who has access to every single camera in D.C., and that he’s able to, within a snap of the fingers, locate one person out of the thousands who travel the sidewalks in our nation’s capital?

– Did anyone else immediately know that the Parker guy was going to be the villain of this two-part episode? If not, then you haven’t kept up with the “Castle Boiler Plate Script” formula, because Parker couldn’t have been any more obvious if he’d worn an “I Have The Deadly Gas” t-shirt. Same thing for the Secretary of Defense. It was soooo obvious that he wasn’t the bad guy. Well, he was a bad guy, all right. Just not the main bad guy in this show.

– Okay, so Beckett kicks in Parker’s front door, which is totally goofy, but it adds a bit of action and tension (aren’t we all supposed to add a little tension here and there in our writings?).

But I have a better scenario in mind. To save us all from the suspense of wondering at exactly which point in each episode will Beckett lose her weapon, why not have her kick in the door (with the appropriate amount of wood splinters flying throughout) and then toss in her pistol ahead of the entry team? Yep, a nice, big ‘ol heave-ho right to the middle of the room. Or, she could hide it in a city park frequented by bad guys, and each of the henchmen could enjoy an afternoon of frolicking and playing a cheerful game of “Find Beckett’s Gun.”

Puhleeze, Castle writers, we’ve had enough of the gun-losing-kidnapping scenes. At this point in the game, even losing her gun once per season is too much to bear.

– A deadly toxin has already killed one man and Castle is soon to be number two. Yet, when Beckett and “new crew” raid the apartment where the toxin is probably stored, they wear no protective gear. Not even a pair of gloves.

Well, as much as I hate it, we’re now at the actual point where Parker takes Beckett’s pistol. He points it at her and, like all silly TV bad guys, doesn’t shoot right away. First, he has to talk to her, which, as we all know, gives another good guy time to show up to save the day. In this case the other good guy was Beckett’s partner, Agent Somethingorother (I can’t seem to warm up to this character enough to remember her name).

Anyway, the agent sees the guy pointing a gun at Beckett (a use of deadly force situation if ever there was one), yet she chooses to say something to the killer instead of poking his brain with 5 or 6 rounds from her own pistol.

Honestly, this whole D.C./secret agent thing is just not working for me. The show has absolutely lost what made it so appealing in the early years. Sure, the Castle/Beckett relationship was inevitable. However, to reach so far to grab only what we’ve seen in the past two episodes is, well, let’s just say that the good is not outweighing the bad. And, obviously, something’s got to give soon to bring in Ryan, Esposito, and Lanie (groan).

You know, I sure miss the days when Castle was the bumbling tag-a-long author who shadowed Beckett and crew. I miss the poker games. And I definitely miss what this show was once centered around—a famous mystery writer who hung out with a NYPD detective as research for his novels. And the fun. I definitely miss the fun.

*By the way, I can’t stand the Pi character. He adds nothing to the show other than to have a character who’s even more irritating than both Gates and Lanie.


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Castle: Watershed – A Good Cop/Bad Cop Review

So, have all you die-hard shippers come down to earth yet? I ask because when the “swing set” scene played out last night I heard Melanie squealing from my house and we’re several states apart. I’m anxious to hear what she has to say about this episode, since it leaned heavily on the relationship side with less focus on the investigation of the dead body of the week.

It was interesting to see Castle writers take a case straight from the news and weave it into their fictional world. Some of you may remember the story of the young Canadian woman, Elisa Lam, whose decomposing body was found in a rooftop water tank at the Hotel Cecil in L.A.

The discovery of Lam’s body was pretty gruesome. But the horror didn’t stop there, no sir. Hotel guests at the Cecil were sickened and appalled to learn that the water they’d been using to brush their teeth, shower, and drink, was the very water in which the corpse was found floating.

Of course, the scene last night (bloody water coming from the shower head) was preposterous because there’s not enough blood in the human body to color that amount of water any shade of red, especially the deep crimson we saw pouring over the woman in the shower. Still, it was nice to see this storyline instead of some sort of conspiracy that involved Beckett’s mother, Castle’s dad, Montgomery, or Ryan’s ties to the Irish mob complete with a past love interest. So, as gruesome as it was in real life, the story was a refreshing change of pace for Castle.

But, enough of that for now. Let’s turn to Melanie who’s chomping at the bit to talk about the gushy aspect of this episode. Melanie…

Melanie Atkins

I’m still peeling myself off the ceiling after this “Watershed” season finale. If you haven’t watched this episode, leave this page now because my post contains #majorspoilers. That scene at the swings at the end… can you say SQUEE?!

When the show first opens, Kate is given the professional opportunity of a lifetime—a chance at a federal job in DC — but she also loves Rick. She claims not to know where their relationship is going, however, and that worries her. She and Rick haven’t talked about it, or about anything concerning their future. They keep putting off the conversation, probably because they’re both scared. And why wouldn’t they be? Rick has two failed marriages under his belt and isn’t ready to commit; Kate has never dated anyone this long before and isn’t sure about getting in any deeper with Rick than she already is. What’s a girl to do?

What Kate does is lie by omission. She doesn’t tell Rick about the interview in DC or anything about the job at all. Not smart, but not totally unexpected. Kate isn’t one to open up easily, even after Rick supposedly tore down her walls. She likes to keep things close to the vest.

She does, however, accept professional advice from Captain Gates, who turns out to be her biggest cheerleader, and then she goes to see Lanie, who helps her on a more personal level. Well, basically, Kate and Lanie discuss Kate’s relationship with Rick, and we learn that Kate is torn… and scared to death of having “the talk” with Rick about their relationship, whether or not she gets the job.

Then Rick goes to her place for dinner and finds her boarding pass for her trip to DC, and she has to come clean with him. He’s hurt and angry that she lied to him—who wouldn’t have seen that coming?—and that she failed to include him in such a life-changing decision. He feels as if he’s being left behind. How can they stay together if she moves to another city? If she keeps lying to him? And why didn’t she feel as if she could confide him in? They argue, and Rick leaves. I don’t blame him.

At work the next day, Espo and Ryan pick up on the bad vibes when Rick doesn’t come to the precinct. Kate is short with everyone, and they keep their distance. They know Kate and Rick are fighting, but can’t do anything about it.

Rick confides in Martha, his mother, and she gives him some sage advice: “I know you. You do not hold back… except in this thing with Katherine,” she says. And later, “So is it possible that the reason you have held back is that deep down inside, you don’t really think this is gonna work.” I truly believe this is a light bulb moment for Rick. Aha!

Kate is offered the job, for real, and she turns to her dad, Jim Beckett, for advice. Jim says, “Sounds like a great offer. Your mom would be proud. Heck, I’m proud of you.” Then he asks her what she wants to do, and Kate says she believes she’s standing between two possible futures: the job, or Rick. She’s afraid their relationship will fail, and she’ll be left twisting in the wind without him or the job. “We’ve been doing this dance for the past five years, and what happens when the music stops?” she says, and her dad replies, “You know, in your whole life, you’ve never had a relationship go this far.” And, “Look, Katie, I know you. When you get scared, you hide in your work.” So true! Then he says, “I just want you to be sure that whatever decision you make, it’s not because you’re afraid.” Kate tells him she wants the job. That she’s sure.

Then she’s summoned back to the precinct, where she tries to put a slam dunk on what just might turn out to be her last case. She shoves her record in the guy’s face and tells him “this room has been my life… my home. And I will not let you sit here and lie to me in my own home.” I believe that deep inside, she knows she belongs at the 12th. That she really doesn’t want to leave, no matter what she says. Or maybe not. When she leaves the interrogation room, she looks around as if she won’t ever see the place again. At that point, I really didn’t know what she wanted.

The boys stop her and ask what’s going on, and she says she has something to tell them, but that she has to tell someone else first. It’s Rick, of course. Is she going to tell him she’s taking the job, or that she plans to turn it down? We really don’t know.

She calls Rick and tells him they need to talk, and he agrees. They meet at the swings… a pivotal place for them. The summer after she was shot, it’s where they reconnected after the book signing, and then last year, it’s where she went to think after almost falling off the roof and dying before she showed up wet and dripping at his door. I’d seen promo pics and knew this scene had to be a big deal, and after hearing the last scene was missing from the one sent to the screeners (the ones who watched it early so they could review it), I knew it had to be really big.

Boy, did I hit the nail on the head. Kate apologizes, and Rick tells her he wants more. That they both deserve more… and she agrees. Then he says, “Whatever happens, whatever you decide…” He gets up, and then drops to one knee with a ring in his hand. “Katherine Houghton Beckett, will you marry me?”

Did you hear all the squees from the Castle fandom? They’re still echoing in my ears. The hashtag #CastleSeasonFinale had already been trending worldwide (partially because Molly Quinn, who plays Alexis, and Penny Johnson Jerald, who is Gates, were live tweeting), and after the proposal, Twitter really went nuts. People kept most of the spoilers on the down-low, even still, so as not to spoil the west coast feed, and that was nice. Now that everyone’s seen it, however, we can shout it from the rooftops. Rick proposed!!!

Will Kate still take the job? Will she accept his proposal? This is the “gentle” cliffhanger we get to live with over the summer hiatus. I don’t care. I can deal. He proposed!!

Can you squee me now???

When the job offer comes, she doesn’t say yes right away.

Lee Lofland

Before I dive in I’d like to remind everyone, especially the hate-mailers, that we write this review and recap at the request of several writers who wanted to know if the police procedure and investigation (sounds like the title of a good book, huh?) on Castle was an accurate portrayal of the techniques and tactics used by real life experts. We realize the show is fictional and is not intended to be used as a police training film. Really, we understand. We know it is for entertainment purposes. Still, the writers want to know what’s accurate and what’s not so they won’t include any of the “wrong” in their books. So, that why we do what we do.

Okay, let’s start with Lanie.

What can I say…she nailed the opening scene. “There’s evidence of blunt force trauma but I won’t know the cause of death until I get her back to the morgue.” Yep, nailed it. No street corner witch-doctory at all.

Actually, the only thing she said that was off the mark was about the time of death. Lanie narrowed it down to between midnight and 1 am. Unless someone saw the murder take place, there’s no way she could have pinpointed the TOD in this case to within a one-hour time frame.

– The “crew” along with a few uniformed officers were seen questioning potential witnesses inside the hotel. This was a good scene as well, because after the crime scene that’s where an investigation normally begins…talking to people.

– Of course, we knew the guy who was so insistent that the victim was not a prostitute was not the killer. But we did know he would soon be involved in pointing Beckett and team on the right path toward the real suspect, or that he’d be a key piece of the puzzle (verifying that the suspect was on her computer most of the time and was not a prostitute).

– Beckett was offered the job in D.C. about four months too soon. No way someone would be hired for a federal law enforcement job that quickly. The background investigation alone would take several weeks, if not months.

– We saw Beckett and entourage ready to kick in the door to Blalock’s apartment. Well, that was all fine and dandy, with the exception that Beckett was standing directly in front of the wooden door. A gunman on the inside could have easily fired through the door (where he’d be expecting a person to stand while knocking). The proper positioning would have been to either side of the door.

– The part about the politician who was driving during the car crash that killed the murder victim’s friend was a hint of another true crime—the 1969 car crash in Chappaquiddick, Ma. with Ted Kennedy and Mary Jo Kopechne. Kennedy’s car landed upside down in a body of water, but he was able to swim back to shore. Kopechne was not and drowned. Her body was recovered the next day. Kennedy did not report the crash until several hours later. He plead guilty to a charge of leaving the scene of an accident and received a two month jail sentence (suspended).

– Beckett interviewed the murder suspect (the brother of the politician) and we saw the man suddenly lower his head. That’s the sign we all look for. When the suspect lowers his head and looks down toward the floor, he’s normally about to confess. Also, Beckett summed it up nicely when she said, “I didn’t need him to confess, I just needed to see his eyes.” Very true. Investigators often can tell when someone is truthful or not by merely watching their eyes. The eyes tell officers if they are on the correct path of questioning. It’s not science, but it’s two steps above the “gut feeling.”

Finally, the proposal surprised me, one of the few times the show wasn’t predictable. So this was a nice touch and a great cliffhanger. Of course, I don’t believe they’ll marry and more than I believe Beckett will go to DC. Besides, Castle wouldn’t be able to tag along on federal investigations. Then again, I didn’t think the IRS would be allowed to target specific groups of people, or that the feds could secretly spy on journalists by obtaining their phone records. Go figure.

You know, maybe we need Castle and Beckett in Washington. The place certainly needs some help. However, the two of them would have a hard time there, I think. After all, isn’t most of what happens there stranger than any fiction the Castle writers could ever hope to dream up? But, losing her gun in Washington wouldn’t be a problem. After all, what’s one more lost gun among the dozens lost during the Fast and Furious operation?

Anyway, see you next season when wedding bells will ring…or not.


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Castle: The Human Factor: A Good Cop/Bad Cop Review

Next to cameras, facial recognition, body scanners, TSA agents playing touchy-feely with Grandma, gun control, no gun control, banks too big to fail, North Korea, Iran, the Taliban, suicide bombers, assault weapons, no Miranda (the Personal Safety Exception), Martial Law, politicians, and terrorists, drones are the biggest threat to our freedom. Right? And, thanks to Castle and company we saw why they might be a problem. Of course, hacking into a drone’s controls is a pretty far-fetched idea…but didn’t Iran claim to do just that when they somehow managed to grab one of our unmanned surveillance aircraft? Hmm…

For now, though, let’s pretend what we saw last night was merely a work of fiction and that drone strikes and surveillance on U.S. soil by U.S. officials will never take place (and, in case you’re interested, I have nice bridge for sale in Death Valley).

So, before I switch over to the Brookstone website to order a remote control helicopter, let’s dive right in with our review and recap. Melanie, take it away (don’t forget to take a peek at Melanie’s latest release, Blood Bound. You can pick up a copy by clicking on the cover in the right sidebar of this page)…

Melanie Atkins

I enjoyed seeing Castle playing with his toys again in this episode that was an obvious setup for the finale. So funny. And I really loved the scene where Kate ambushed Rick with the tank and helicopter in bed. Hilarious. That just fits their relationship so well.

As for the rest of the show? I’m sure Lee has many comments about the off the wall case that delved into homeland security, but I will say that I pegged the kid as the killer early on — even though the way his dad died was pretty unorthodox. He just had that disgruntled teen thing going on, and he looked guilty. The idea that Warburg might’ve done it tripped me up for a minute, but that red herring faded fast.

Also, Castle with a gun, shooting down a drone? Seriously? Kate didn’t even seem surprised he was carrying. Heck, she probably gave him the gun. I’m sure Lee will rip that apart, because Rick is a civilian. Please.

The most important part of this episode was, of course, Stack approaching Kate with the offer of a job with the U.S. Attorney General’s Office in D.C. She’s obviously intrigued, and the promo showed us just how much. Will she choose D.C., or will she choose Rick? Ack!

Andrew Marlowe says that something “out of left field” will play into her decision, however, and that the finale will have a “gentle cliffhanger”. Gentle, really? Is the something out of left field the job offer, or something else? Something personal, perhaps, or maybe even something family related. I have no idea. Speculation is rampant, and I for one can’t wait to see what happens. This is going to be one long, long week… but I have a feeling the summer hiatus just might do me in.

Lee Lofland

You know, I don’t know how I feel about this episode. I mean, everyone showed up to play their parts, and they did a good job. There were funny and cute moments. Serious and somber were also on hand. But the episode overall was just okay for me. Well, other than the Homeland Security guy showing up to threaten a detective with arrest for doing her job.

By the way, if Homeland Security, or any of the three-letter agencies (FBI, ATF, DEA, etc.) has an interest in a case, especially one that involves big explosions and/or the possibility of mass casualties, well, as we saw in the recent Boston bombings, the feds would want and need the assistance of the local authorities. And they certainly wouldn’t threaten to arrest them for trying to solve a murder that took place within their jurisdiction. This sort of goofy TV crap (believe me, “crap” wasn’t my first choice of words) is why there’s so much horrible information floating around the internet and in books.

The red herrings this week were pretty darn obvious. It would’ve saved everyone a lot of time if they’d just lined them up in a row with a flashing red sign hanging over the son’s head. Certainly everyone out there in TV land had this kid pegged from the first second he appeared on camera. After all, he did everything but confess the first time he opened his mouth to speak. For me, knowing the identity of the killer so early on in the episode takes away the fun of helping Beckett and crew solve the case.

– One scene of particular interest was when Beckett was conducting her “walk and talk” interview of Omar, with the Homeland Security guy so obviously following behind (another flashing red arrow over this guy’s head). Anyway, it was basically a good scene, showing how a cop should be aware of their surroundings at all times, and normally, they truly are in a hyper-aware state during those kinds of situations. So good job there.

– The idea of hacking into military computers and drone software doesn’t sound possible, you say. Well, I suggest you Google the group “Anonymous.” I think you’ll soon change your opinion.

– I share Castle’s sentiment of savoring the aroma that greets you the moment you set foot in a bookstore, especially one that features antique books. But any bookstore will do for me. Somehow, smelling a gently used Kindle or Nook is just not the same.

– There was no problem with Beckett and Castle passing through the gate to pay a visit to Warburg. However, I’m still wondering why they didn’t drive to the house. Doing so would have saved them a lot of grief, and costly ammunition. Not to mention Warburg’s drone would have survived.

By the way, the pistol Castle used to help Beckett take out the machine-gunning drone was Beckett’s backup weapon. Castle yanked it from Beckett’s ankle holster when the drone made its return pass. I’m guessing that Beckett recently decided to start carrying the backup gun since she loses her service weapon to bad guys so often. It will also come in handy during future kidnappings (I believe we’re about due for Beckett to be kidnapped again. Hasn’t happened in three or four weeks now).

– Back to the son, the quite obvious villain of this story. Did you notice that Beckett dove in with questions and listened to the boy’s confession without letting the kid know he had the right to remain silent? Normally, she’s spouting off Miranda the second the bullet hits the bone.

– I was pleased to see a mention of Beckett using silence during her interview with one of the red herring suspects. That was a favorite tactic of mine. Filling a room with silence can sometimes be deafening to a criminal suspect.

– Another point in this episode that caught my attention was when Homeland Security dude, Stack, was making his case that Beckett should consider joining the feds. He said he liked that she was a an asymmetrical thinker, and that, my friends, is a fantastic quality for a successful investigator to possess. Why? Because asymmetrical thinkers not only look for a bad guy’s faults, they also closely examine their strengths, which often points a detective in their direction.

Asymmetrical thinking also pertains to creative writers. After all, symmetrical thinkers have all their ducks in a row. Their thoughts are focused in one direction (symmetrical), toward one goal. They are normally the well-balanced technical/IT folks. With fiction writers, though, creativity must be allowed to flow from all directions, coming together at an end that is often not thought of until, well, the end. Most often, it is the asymmetrical thinkers, those who allow their minds to venture off the structured path—the daydreamers—who create beautiful works of fiction, spectacular pieces of artwork, and intricate, flowing melodies and verse.

Anyway, thinking “out of the box” is an important trait for police investigators. After all, many, if not most criminals, are definitely asymmetrical thinkers. They’re schemers and planners, always thinking of ways to beat the system. So cops often need to “get inside the heads” of their adversaries, and what better key to the crime-solving puzzle than to know the bad guy’s next move. There’s nothing more satisfying than to be there waiting with handcuffs in hand when the crook strikes.

Okay, so much for my ramblings. The show this week, as I said, was just okay. I, too, believe it was a set up for the season finale, which by the way, is a storyline that’s been done to death. I hope the Castle writers have found a different spin for it, but after seeing this one, with the usual boilerplate, fill-in-the-blanks script, I doubt it.

*     *     *

One more thing…is anyone watching Bates Motel? How about Grimm? If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts about them.

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Castle: Still – A Good Cop/Bad Cop Review

Well, this is one time when it truly is a good thing to have two reviewers—the good and bad cop. Why is this a good thing? Because Melanie absolutely loved this episode, and I absolutely hated it. And, as far as I’m concerned, hated is not a strong enough term to describe my feelings about what I thought was a real snooze fest. A total yawner. But, I’m pretty sure I know why and how Melanie and I came to be at opposite ends of the spectrum on this one, with no common ground or element to share.

Melanie watches Castle for the romance and relationship. I watch for the comedy and the police procedure and forensics (or the lack of). This episode was all about the relationship, the love, and the goo-gooey-eyed moments that occurred over the history of the show. And we saw those moments via flashbacks. By the way, the flashbacks made this episode doubly painful for me because I despise “back-in-time” scenes. So, an entire episode of nothing but flashbacks of mushy stuff pretty much pushed me over the edge. But I can see how Melanie and a boat load of shippers would have spent their time last night squealing and drooling throughout the show.

Since there was no real police procedure (goodness knows what little we did see was goofy), I’ll first call on Melanie to share her giddiness with you. Melanie, have you returned to earth, or are you still floating among the clouds after seeing all the mushy stuff last night?

Melanie Atkins

I loved this episode. Absolutely LOVED it — even though I had to keep in mind that this episode should have aired before last week’s show. Consider that in terms of relationship continuity. Even so, after nearly a year of being together, Kate finally told Rick she loves him. Yes, she might have said the words under duress, under the threat of death, but Stana’s tears and the agony on her face told the tale. I was in tears, too. What about you?

The first scene with Rick bringing Kate breakfast in bed — he even made hearts in their coffee — and then her sitting on his lap set the tone for this one and told us the episode would focus on their relationship. Yes, Kate stepped on a bomb inside the suspect’s apartment and had to remain “still” to keep from setting it off, but the episode did revolve around her and Rick. He stayed inside the apartment to keep her company even though he could have fled at the beginning to save himself. He used humor to keep her distracted so she wouldn’t focus on her predicament, and it worked, at least for a while.

All of the flashbacks and fun from the pilot on brought back so many good memories and made me laugh out loud over and over again. They reminded me why I love this show so much. One day I’m going to gather all my DVDs and watch the show again from the beginning, just because I can. I love the evolution in Kate and Rick’s relationship and the way they’ve learned to trust and love one another. The way they’ve opened up, maybe not on every level even now, but so much more with each new episode. This show has hit all the right marks with me, and that says a lot because I write romance. Kudos to Andrew Marlowe and company for finally giving me the love story I’ve craved ever since I started watching television.

I adored the relationship part of this particular episode, and that of course made up most of it, but I did giggle at the Mission Impossible-like green lasers shooting up from down below to outline the edge of the bomb. Seriously, folks? I could hear Lee’s loud groan from here in Mississippi. If that’s really the way bomb disposal units do that, I’ll retract my statement… but seriously? And Rick coming up with the code at the last second… okay, I can live with that. He did save Kate after all… and the hug they shared once the bomb disengaged made me tear up all over again.

And of course, now we know Gates is aware Kate and Rick are in a relationship. Finally! Like Gates said in the show, she’s not an idiot. I knew she had to know, and I thought they handled her letting them in on it in a great way. So glad that silly story line is over, however. I thought they dragged it out way too long. Sorry, but I did. A little of that went a really long way.

Crazy green lasers and Gates aside, I thought the powers that be did a fabulous job of putting tonight’s show together so fast. Still was an extra episode ABC added after Marlowe, et al, had lined up the remainder of the episodes for the end of the season, so they had to decide what to do in a hurry. They shot the show in three days, versus eight, and then used the clips from previous seasons to fill in… giving us that delicious trip down memory lane. Yay for the wonderful editors who took on that monumental task. I thought the idea worked perfectly.

Tension, angst, drama, laughter, tears… it doesn’t get any better than this. I’m afraid the next two episodes might kill me, however, what with the… well, never mind. I don’t want to spoil too much. Stana did tweet that the finale is a tearjerker, but in a good way. Really?

Only two more episodes to go in season five.

Lee Lofland

I just have a couple of points to address this week.

First, the fully-suited entry team kicks in an apartment door. They’re ready to do battle, complete with Kevlar helmets atop their little actor heads. As they make their carefully executed entry, a pony-tailed Beckett steps into the line. I’m sure you guys are aware there’s a certain order and purpose of the entry team. Each person has an assignment and their position in the line dictates what each person is supposed to do. So Beckett jumping line is just not the proper thing to do. Besides, she wasn’t dressed appropriately for the task at hand. Not to mention how silly it is to have Castle parading around, unarmed, in a highly charged for-well-trained-cops-only situation.

And let’s not forget the crossfire situation surrounding the bomber (Fosse). Oh, and Ryan running through the alley holding his pistol in outstretched arms. If you have a moment, re-watch the scene and you’ll see his weapon waving side to side, wildly. An accidental trigger pull during that scene and who knows who’d have been the recipient of that round.

Yes, the bomb disposal unit was pretty goofy. In real life, the team commander absolutely would not have allowed Castle to remain in the room with Beckett. And, they most certainly would not allow him to wander around at will, going out for coffee, etc.

– Why on earth would Ryan and Esposito simply leave Beckett and Castle in a building where a bomb was set to go off? They warned her about it and then we saw the duo at the precinct talking to Gates. Odd.

Finally, I was a bit confused about the premise of the bomb, the bomber, and the guy the bomber was targeting. As I understood it, the bomber (Fosse) was trying to learn the identity of his kid, I think. But when Castle figured that out, he also correctly guessed that the password to deactivate the explosive was the mystery kid’s name, Billy. Well, if that were the case, then Fosse already knew the kid’s name. Somebody please clear this up for me. Not that it’s important, because it’s not. Besides, it fit perfectly into this week’s totally ridiculous case.

Well, as I said earlier, I didn’t like this episode at all. But I’m sure the true shippers are still swooning because they had the opportunity to see all the lip-locking and tear-jerking moments all in one episode. Good for the shippers, too, because this sort of thing is precisely why they love this show. And they are the target audience, not me.

There was one good aspect to this yawner…I had an extra hour to work on my current book, which, for the first time since the show first aired, is what I did while this episode slogged by.

By the way, who knew that Beckett had worn so many different hairstyles over the years? And I’d almost forgotten that Castle is a writer…

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