PostHeaderIcon Castle: That ’70s Show – A Good Cop/Bad Cop Review


This week Castle borrowed Mr. Peabody’s Wayback Machine and used it to take us on a trip to the 1970′s, when shoes were tall and halter tops were short. The 70′s arrived on the heels of the assassinations of King and Kennedy. It was a time was of festering and changing social issues, Reddy’s song “I Am Woman,” and demonstrations protesting the war in Vietnam. Castle writers, however, chose to take us to the lighter side of the era.

Aside from the episode’s somewhat iffy murder case, the rest of the show was, well, if you were a child of the 70′s you already know that segment of history was, in some respects, almost magical. And that feeling of “goodness” was what flowed from the TV set this week. Well, that was my take. Let’s see what Melanie has to say.

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Melanie Atkins

The long spring hiatus is finally over, but I must say I was a bit disappointed in this episode. I wasn’t happy with the writing or the story line. After all the hype, I expected a better plot. I liked the show okay up until the strange turn in the case involving Harold Leone, the man who was stuck in the ’70s, and his boss—the victim—Vince Bianchi. That was one weird twist out of the blue I did not see coming. Seemed more sensational than possible. Just sayin’.

Not that any of the rest of the show was normal, except for the body-discovery scene at the beginning. Harold believing it was still 1978? Martha providing ’70s set dressing for the precinct? Everyone wearing period dress? All of it was odd, but I was able to suspend my disbelief to go along with most of it… especially the funny parts.

I thought Esposito, Ryan, and Lanie had the best outfits and all of the best lines. I didn’t even recognize Seamus Dever (Ryan) at first. He looked totally different. And Esposito sliding off the hood of the Starsky & Hutch-style car? Priceless.

Martha’s strange, gung-ho ideas about Rick and Kate’s wedding were off-the-wall as well, but believable (for her). I do hope they keep her far away from everything related to their nuptials, or I’m sure they’ll live to regret it.

I really don’t have much else to say about this episode, except that once the big twist took us down the yellow brick road, the whole thing went downhill. The final scene at the disco with Harold dancing alone and paying homage to Vince made me shake my head. Seriously?

If I recall correctly, I panned the last episode written by David Amann as well. Maybe Andrew Marlowe should rethink some of these odd stories. We only have three more episodes left to watch this season. I certainly hope Amann didn’t write any more of them.


Lee Lofland

As many of you know I’m still homeless, living in a hotel until our new house deal is all said and done. And, as a result, I’m without a DVR (the horror of it all), so please forgive the brevity of my portion of these reviews. Hopefully, I’ll see “normal” in a few weeks. Until then I’ll leave it to Melanie to do all the heavy lifting.

As for this episode—the 70′s Show thing—I thought it was fun. And, for me, it was a refreshing change from the usual routine boilerplate scripts. The scene in the precinct was “groovy and hip,” and it took me back to the “good old days” of 8-track tape players and record albums filled with the music of Led Zeppelin, The Carpenters, Carole King, James Taylor, and The Temptations. Then there was Pink Floyd’s mega hit album “Dark Side of the Moon”. It was also the time when we lost Jimi, Janis, Jim, and, of course, Elvis.

Television in the 70′s introduced us to Fred Sanford, Kid Dyn-O-Mite “JJ” Evans, Mary Tyler Moore and Rhoda, and The Bionic Woman. Then the curtain went down, slowly, bringing an end, a sad end I might add, to The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour and The Carol Burnette Show.

Anyway, back to Castle. The case of the week was just that…weak. But the rest of the show, well, I enjoyed the hour of memories. As an episode of Castle…not so much.

I almost forgot…Lanie and the rubber mold of the murder victim…puhleeze.

Lastly, as Carol Burnett said so many times,

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“I’m so glad we had this time together

Just to have a laugh or sing a song

Seems we just get started and before you know it

Comes the time we have to say, ‘So long.’”


PostHeaderIcon Cops: What’s Up With That Look?

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Predatory animals watch and stalk their prey before moving in for the kill. They’re extremely patient, waiting for the right target—the weakest animal in the pack—because the battle is easier.

Criminals often exhibit similar behavior when interacting with law enforcement.  The cop who looks and acts weak—the meekest of the herd—often finds himself the target of all sorts of grief, from verbal abuse all the way to physical assault.

So what do cops do as a front line defense against all that unnecessary heartache? Well, for starters, they’re taught to have and demonstrate what’s known as Command Presence.

An officer who looks sharp, acts sharp, and is sharp, has an advantage over the officer who dresses sloppily and isn’t all that confident about their work. The latter are the officers who most often find themselves having the most difficulties on the street.

Command presence is all about being at the top of the game. Taking a few minutes to be sure your shoes, badge, and brass are polished goes a long way toward projecting a positive image. So does wearing a clean and neatly pressed uniform. And let’s don’t forget regular trips to the folks who cut hair for a living. The combination of these things help to make an officer look confident. Think about it…who would you trust more, the officer with the dirty, wrinkled clothing and shaggy hair, or the officer who looks fresh and sharp, and projects a solid air of authority?

Crooks size up officers the same way you do. They just have other things in mind when they do. They watch, looking for the weak ones, and those are the officers who’ll most likely be dealing with escape attempts, lies, and other criminal tricks.

Tips for developing a better command presence.

- Be professional at all times. And that includes updated training. A cop who knows his job inside out projects more confidence. The same is true with physical training. Stay in shape and know, trust, and practice your defensive tactics.

- Good posture is important. The officer who stands straight and tall has an advantage over the officer who slouches. Poor posture often comes across as a weakness, especially when confronting an aggressive suspect.

- Always make and maintain eye contact when speaking to someone.

- Honesty and consistency are important traits. Bad guys will quickly learn that what you say is what you mean, each and every time.

- Always treat everyone fairly and with dignity.

- First impressions only come around once, so make it your best effort. If a suspect’s first impression of you is that you’re meek and weak, well, you can expect to have a rough day.

- Size up everyone. Always be aware of who and what you’re dealing with, and stay one step ahead of the person in front of you. Remember, that person may want to kill you, so be prepared to do what it takes to survive. Do this each and every time you come into contact with someone. No exceptions! You never know which person is the one who plans to do you harm.

Most importantly, believe in yourself. Have confidence in what you do and who you are. All the shoe-shining and training in the world will not help you if you’re playing make believe. The bad guys will see through that in a heartbeat.

Remember, command presence is only the first step in the “stay safe” equation. Others include:

1. Be aware of your surroundings. What can the bad guy use as a weapon? Does he have a friend lurking in the shadows? Do YOU have an escape route, if needed?.

2. Officers must be prepared, without hesitation, to do what it takes to control a situation. Many times, all that’s needed to gain and maintain control is verbal instruction, and it would be wonderful if a handful of nouns and verbs were the ultimate “fix-all” tools. However, we don’t live in an always-happy world filled only with glitter, delicious chocolate, and smile factories. So, unfortunately, use of force will come into play during an officer’s career…many times.

3. Never, ever, be in the position where you’re forced to react after-the-fact to a situation you weren’t prepared to handle. If the situation is one where you absolutely must place your hands on a suspect, then be prepared to see the arrest through until the suspect is in restraints and tucked safely away in the rear compartment of your patrol car.

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4. When encountering a violent suspect, think ahead and be prepared to increase the level of force used to effectively make the arrest. The idea is not to injure anyone. Instead, the goal is to engage, arrest, and restrain without unnecessary harm to anyone. If the suspect chooses to fight until there only one person left standing, then be certain that person is you.

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5. Effective command presence leaves no doubt as to who’s in charge of the situation, even without speaking a single word.

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So wear the badge proudly, stand tall, and do what it takes to come home at night.

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