Archive for the ‘Castle Reviews’ Category

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

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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…

PostHeaderIcon 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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