PostHeaderIcon Castle: XX – A Good Cop/Bad Cop Review


“Just shut up and kiss me.” ~ Beckett

New Picture (10)

Melanie Atkins

I don’t really know how to start today’s blog, because I’m still reeling from last night’s episode. I couldn’t go to sleep after screaming so hard at the TV. My first thought was WTF? Followed closely by the idea that the writers have lost their minds. Completely. Lost. Their. Minds.

The entire plot seemed so contrived, so ill-conceived, that I just lay in bed in shock. Then this morning I read an article that partially restored my faith. Partially, I say, because I’m still not happy with the route they’ve taken with the characters I love so much.

I would not have written it this way. Aarrggh!

The entire episode was a thrill ride, with so many ups and downs and twists and turns, I couldn’t keep up. I won’t go through the particulars about the “case” here, about Loksat and what it might mean, but I do know that I simply didn’t buy the manufactured danger. Bracken is dead, but now someone even bigger and badder that that slimeball hunting Kate? Ho-hum. Here we go again.

Then Rick’s stepmother pops up — his freaking stepmother, Rita, who has apparently been married to Jackson Hunt for ten years, a woman we knew nothing about, who just conjures herself up out of thin air even after Hunt lectured Rick about having no attachments. WTF? I thought he was a solitary soul, a ghost who never put down roots, but he got married? Unh-uh. Doesn’t fit. Then Rita has the gall to give Kate advice. Advice she stupidly takes. I’m sorry. I still believe Rick will be a heck of a lot safer with her than without her.

At this point in the show, my head was spinning. And unfortunately, that was just the beginning of the surprises the powers-that-be had in store for us. I’m keeping my part of the blog short today because all I want to do is rant about Kate leaving Rick. The article I read gave me hope that all will be well in the end, but I’m still angry at the path — or should I say the separate paths? Grr! — that they’ve sent Kate and Rick down.

This is supposedly a 6-7 episode arc, so it will last for a while. Lovely. The showrunners have promised, however, that they are committed to the Caskett relationship — i.e. Caskett happiness — and that at the end of the arc, their relationship will again evolve. That’s the word they used: evolve. Sigh. Maybe it’s the romance writer in me, but I want Caskett love.

Lee Lofland

This is one time when Good Cop and Bad Cop agree… WTF! I mean, what were and are the writers thinking? Do they have absolutely no imagination or a single new idea between them? Actually, this one was so bad that I’d prefer an entire show featuring a drunk, batsnot-crazy Lanie over the garbage I saw this week.

In addition to psycho Beckett leaving Castle to go off and singlehandedly save the world, we were introduced to Super Rita, Castle’s stepmom. Rita is, of course, the baddest and most secretest agent on the planet, and she has the uncanny ability to show up at just the right moment to save the day, no matter when or where that may be. Yeah, right. I guess the magic runs in the family because Castle has become the only human in the world who can solve a crime. Even the feds have to call on him to solve their cases. Soon, writers, you’ll not need to worry over new character development because everyone will be forced to use the same hero, the one and only Richard Castle. So long Jack Reacher and Kinsey Millhone.

Beckett showed us a new skill last night…cowboy surgery. Yep, they went there and I’m still shaking my head over it. Beckett took a big swig of straight vodka, right out of the bottle (winos everyone now have a new hero), and then used a needle and thread to sew up a huge, gaping gunshot wound on her side/abdomen (apparently the bullet grazed her flesh, carving a path as it went) Then she bravely forged on to do more stupid stuff.

Speaking of stupid stuff.

– Remember the bad guys who were shooting at Beckett as she ran away down a narrow hallway?  They all missed her. For goodness sake, she was running in a straight line through a narrow space. A blind wildebeest with a slingshot could’ve done better. Yet, a gaggle of professional hitmen couldn’t get the job done?

– Why in the world would hotel security permit Alexis and Hayley to watch security cam footage?

– Alexis is now the show’s new computer genius. Don’t you just love her magic software? I heard, and this is between you and me, she buys it at the same shop that sells Lanie all her voodoo forensics supplies.

– The assassin at the airport. After he was shot and killed, Hayley pointed to a weapon on the floor. She said, “This guy had his gun cocked and ready to fire.”


The gun (pictured above) was a revolver. Revolvers do not need cocking to be ready to fire. And, since revolvers do not have safeties, all a shooter has to do is pull the trigger and…BOOM!

– Beckett lost her gun again. Actually, she lost it twice in this one episode. The first time occurred when she left it on the bathroom sink, knowing people who wanted to kill her were looking for her. The second time was when a bad guy got “the drop” on her. He told Beckett to drop her gun and she complied by slowly placing it on the floor beside her.

– Ryan and Esposito also “dropped” their guns when ordered to do so.

Let me say this…Cops do not, not ever, give up their weapons. Doing so greatly decreases the odds of survival.

– The AG shot herself in the head. So what’s the first thing Esposito does when he sees the body? He removed the gun from her hand and examined it visually, right? Had this been a real crime scene their first step, before removing the weapon from the hand of the deceased, would probably be to call in the crime scene unit to take photos, use a 3D scanner to record the scene, etc. Then they’d remove the weapon from the hand. Besides, when cops handle weapons they always make them safe by emptying the chamber and removing the magazine, if so equipped. Then they begin their examination or processing.

* I goofed. Esposito grabbed the victim’s cellphone, not the weapon. Still, the above information is worth remembering, writers.

– Castle killed another guy last night. Had to. All the cops had surrendered their weapons to the bad guys. How many has he, a civilian writer, taken out so far? Anyone running a tally?


– If the goal of the bad guys was to kill Beckett and the guy hanging out with her, then why, why, why did they not immediately pull the trigger when they had her standing before them? She was unarmed because she’d already handed over her gun. So why not shoot? Please, if this situation comes up again, just shoot her and put this tired and crappy “he killed my mama” theme out of our misery.

– Bracken was murdered. HOORAY!!! Unfortunately, we now know there is an even bigger villain who’s job it will be to further push viewers and fans away. That’s who this storyline is murdering…US! The folks who used to enjoy this show.

Beckett is leaving Castle so she can ride off into the sunset to wipe out the new super-duper villain. Well, it’s clear now as to where the trouble lies with this show. It’s not the writers. Nope, it’s Beckett. Get rid of her and all the nonsense will disappear. So please, do us all a favor and have Bracken’s boss kill Beckett (calm down, she’s just a fictional TV character). Without her around Castle can go back to being the fun and funny character he once was. Kate Beckett, my friends, is nothing but trouble.

There, I said it and I’m not taking it back.


PostHeaderIcon Serving a Search Warrant: It’s Raining Roaches


Contrary to the belief of some, and to the image that’s often portrayed on television, police officers cannot enter a private residence without a warrant or permission to do so. Of course there are exceptions to every rule, but the exceptions to this one are few and far between and must be utilized only in dire emergencies. FYI – the entries and searches we see each week on Castle are, well, totally unrealistic.

A search warrant is issued pursuant to an affidavit, a document stating each and every fact that establishes the probable cause to legally search for certain people and items. Simply put, the officer seeking a search warrant must apply for it by filling out a form, a sort of application. This “application” is the affidavit. An affidavit must clearly explain every single reason why the officer wants/needs to go inside someone’s house without the owner’s permission, by breaking down the front door, if necessary.

Affidavit for search warrant, written by Detective David Collins, Hamilton Ohio Police Department.


Normally, the officer must swear to (under oath) the facts listed in the affidavit.

Details to include in an affidavit:

– The description of the place to be searched must be in vivid detail, almost down to the size and color of the doorknob. (I’m exaggerating—not much—, but you get the idea).

If a judge or magistrate approves the warrant, he/she signs it and hands it over to investigators for service. (Keep in mind that some courts allow electronic submissions).

Signed search warrant


– Search warrants must be served promptly. Normally, there is a three or four day rule. If officers wait longer than that time frame the search may be ruled invalid.

– In most cases, officers are required to knock and announce their presence. (Knock, knock, knock. “This is the police. I have a warrant to search this house. If you don’t open the door I’m going to huff, and puff, and—“ Well, you get the idea).

The exceptions to the knock and announce rule (“no-knock” warrants) occur when/if the officer has good reason to believe that:

1) There is a clear and present danger to himself and anyone else present, including people inside the house.

2) The delay of entry would cause irreparable harm to the investigation (evidence would/could be destroyed).

The easiest way to serve a search warrant, of course, is to knock on the door and wait for someone to answer. Not only is the knocking method the easiest, it’s by far the safest means of serving a search warrant. After all, bad guys rarely play by the rules, so safety is a top concern.

Typically, search warrants are to be served in the daytime unless specified differently within the body of the warrant, such as in the warrant pictured above.

If no one answers the door within a reasonable amount of time police officers are legally permitted to damage property, if that’s what is required, to gain entry. What’s a reasonable amount of time? Courts have ruled that a few seconds is considered reasonable—15 seconds or so. This all depends upon the circumstances at the scene, though. For example, when the officers announce their presence and then hear sounds—people running, overturning furniture, toilets flushing, glass breaking, etc.—that would lead a reasonable person to believe that evidence is being destroyed, they may enter immediately.

Once inside, however, officers may only search for the item(s) listed on the warrant, and they may only search in areas where those items could be found. For example, if searching for a stolen refrigerator, investigators may not open and paw through underwear and sock drawers. If the item they’re seeking is small (a piece of jewelry or drugs), then they may search from chimney top to basement floor and everywhere and everything between. That’s when they sift through the unmentionables.

When the search is complete, officers must finalize a detailed inventory of all items seized. A copy of the inventory is left with someone at the location, or at the home/business.

Search warrant inventory


Copies of all paperwork are filed with the court.

Search warrant service is not for the faint of heart. It’s dangerous, and not knowing what’s waiting on the other side of the door is nothing short of nerve-wracking. But that’s no secret. However, there’s a side of search warrant service that most people on the outside of law enforcement never hear of, and this tidbit of information could a fantastic detail to insert into a story. Think about it for a moment…entry teams show up  unannounced.  This means residents do not have time to tidy up, clean up, dress up, wash dishes, and hide things they prefer that others do not see. And that means cops “see it all,” and they, unfortunately, must sometimes handle things they wish they could erase from their memories (yuck).

Believe me, sometimes you want to double-glove your hands before touching some of the things people keep tucked away in drawers, between mattresses, under the bed, and beneath pillows. Even then, a gallon of disinfectant never seems to be enough to clean your hands after a particularly distressing search. So feel free to think the worst and then multiply that times 1000. Remember, some items use batteries, and those batteries are kept inside battery compartments. Those chambers must be searched for contraband (no stone unturned, right?). So…whatever sort of device that’s discovered in a nightstand, or between mattresses, must be physically examined by officers. This means actually holding the item in one hand while opening the battery compartment with the other. I know…yuck.

I should also mention the roaches—roaches on the ceilings and walls, on the stove, on dishes, in the dresser drawers, on the beds, on the sheets, in the crib, and on the BABY! Thousands of roaches scurrying throughout the house. Roaches that fall from above like summer raindrops when you shine a flashlight in the bedroom closets. You’re inside the house for less than a minute when you find roaches crawling on your pant legs and across the tops of your shoes. Roaches. Roaches. And more R.O.A.C.H.E.S. It’s skin-crawlingly disgusting.

And…here’s a lesson learned the hard way – When in the midst of a search and you see half-empty roll of toilet tissue on the floor beside a dish-towel-covered five-gallon bucket that’s sitting all by itself in a far corner…well, just never, ever lift the towel. I’m sure your imaginations will once again come in handy and help figure out this scenario.

*Fun fact – When serving search warrants it’s best to try the door before wasting precious time and energy. I once saw an officer, a guy who claimed to be a top martial artist, kick, and kick, and kick a heavy steel door, trying to gain access to a drug dealer’s home. In fact, the door-kicking cop wailed away at the barrier so many times that his face turned beet red, he was sucking wind like a marathon runner, and he stated that his legs were so tired they felt like worn-out rubber bands. He finally sat down in the grass and waited his legs to rejoin the party. That’s when someone decided to try turning the doorknob…it was unlocked.

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