It’s four in the morning and fatigue is slowly gaining control of your eyelids. It’s a subtle move, like grasping the string on your grandmother’s window shades, slowly pulling them down. The Sandman’s gentle action is so gracefully executed that, well, you hardly notice it.
Thinking about your family asleep in their warm beds, you turn onto a side street and then into a narrow alleyway, trying to find a place to pull over. Five minutes. That’s all you need. Shouldn’t have spent those three hours today playing with the kids when you could’ve been sleeping. Still, that’s the only time you get to see them awake. And, someone had to mow the lawn this afternoon, right?
Oh yeah, tomorrow is the day you’re supposed to go to your third-grader’s class to tell them about police officers. How long could it take? One or two hours at the most, right? Well, there is the lunch afterward. Another hour. After all, you promised. Besides, it’s impossible to say no to those sweet brown eyes.
Sleep. You need sleep.
Your headlights wash over the back of the alley as feral dogs and cats scramble out of the dumpster that sits behind a bakery like an old and tired dinosaur waiting for extinction. The knot of animals scatter loaves of two-day-old bread in their haste to escape the human intruder who dared meddle with their nocturnal feeding. A speckled mutt with three legs hobbled behind a rusty air conditioning unit, dragging a long, dirty bag filled with crumbled bagels.
You move on, shining your spotlight at the rear doors of a five and dime, an auto parts store, a barber shop, and the real estate office you used when buying your house. Only twenty more years to financial freedom and the joy of seeing the first AARP invitation-to-join letter in the mail.
The night air is damp with fog, dew, and city sweat that reeks of gasoline and garbage. Tendrils of steam rise slowly from storm drains—ghostly, sinewy figures melting in the black sky. Mannequins stare into infinity from tombs of storefront glass, waiting for daylight to take away the flashing neon lights that reflect from their plaster skin.
Desperate to close your own eyes, just for a minute or two, you park at the rear of the next alley, alongside a stack of flattened cardboard boxes. Their labels reflect someone’s life for the week—chicken, baby food, lettuce, disposable diapers, cigarettes, and two-dollar wine.
Four more hours. If you can only make it for four more hours…
Suddenly, a voice spews from the speaker behind your head, “Shots fired. Respond to 1313 Mockingbird Lane. Back up is en route.”
“10-4. I’m 10-8.”
And so it goes. Night, after night, after night…
It’s believed by some that the graveyard shift (not this blog) got it name from people who accidentally buried their loved ones while they were still alive. Believing the “dearly departed” had gone on to their reward, these folks fitted an unconscious or comatose Uncle Bill or Grandma with a new outfit and a spiffy pine box. Then they buried them in the local cemetery where night workers claimed to hear the dead screaming for help from below the ground. When they dug up the coffins, they sometimes found scrape marks on the casket lids, indicating the person inside had tried to claw their way out before finally succumbing to a lack of oxygen.
To remedy the situation, caskets were fitted with a long string that reached from inside the buried coffin to a bell up on the surface. This enabled the “dead” person to ring the bell should he awaken after his burial. Workers could then quickly rescue the living dead.
It’s debatable as to the validity of this tale, but it makes for an interesting story, especially for police officers who have cemeteries to patrol in their precincts. This bell-ringing story may have also been the inspiration for early tales of zombie activity.
There’s no doubt in my mind that Melanie and I will have opposing opinions about this episode. So let’s dive right in. Melanie, please do step up to the podium. The microphone is on, the coffee’s hot, and your fans await.
Loved this episode. So dark and intense. Better than last week’s show, and scary. I knew Beckett would survive, of course, but I still bought into the suspense and danger and loved the big project feel of the parts with her inside the mansion and in the woods. I thought Stana did a fabulous job. Getting her head dunked underwater couldn’t have been fun, even though it was all for show.
Nathan did a great job portraying Rick’s angst as well. He had to have been terrified, but they didn’t dwell on it. Just kept it real with his frustration at not being able to help, his palpable fear, and his lingering looks at her empty chair.
I don’t care what anybody says. Andrew Marlowe, the show’s creator and co-writer of this episode with David Amann, and Rob Bowman, the director, are one of the best teams in television today.
I was startled by the kidnapping, and then again when Lazarus—or rather, the fake Lazarus—turned out to be Vulcan Simmons, the drug lord Beckett went all badass on in Sucker Punch in season two. In that episode, she also shot Dick Coonan, the man who killed her mother at Bracken’s direction, to save Rick’s life. So Simmons and Bracken were connected. Interesting.
My favorite part of tonight’s episode happened not long before minion #1 hauled Kate off to assassinate the unsuspecting man: Her penning the goodbye letter to Rick. So sad, and yet so sweet and romantic. We never did learn if CSU found it, or if Kate told Rick she had written it. If I were her, I’d want it out of that creepy house, because those words are only meant for him.
I still haven’t figured out how the man she supposedly murdered fit into the plot, unless he had somehow wronged Bracken and the senator used Kate to even the score. Or maybe killing him really was just a hurdle thought up by minion #2 to test her loyalty. Guess we’ll never know.
I wasn’t surprised to learn Bracken fills his political coffers with drug money. Bet that happens more often than we know in real life. Bracken is evil personified, and now that he’s evened the score with Kate by having the real Elena save her life, who knows what he might try next? He’s had more than one chance to kill Kate, and I can’t understand why he doesn’t just do it. If he’d let minion #1 put a bullet in her head, no one would have a clue Simmons or Bracken were involved in the kidnapping scheme. Kate was the one who gave them the clue about the super PAC. Yes, Rick and Kate need a nemesis, but Bracken sparing Kate over and over really makes no sense, unless the senator simply enjoys toying with her. It’s possible.
I expect Bracken and/or his minions will pop up again later this season, probably just in time to ruin Rick and Kate’s wedding. I hope they can find a way to pull it off.
Love this show. Now we have to wait two weeks for the next episode. Rick making out with a geisha, then getting attacked by ninjas? Bring it on! We can use some lighthearted fun after the darkness In the Belly of the Beast.
Well, I was right. Melanie loved it and I did not. I believe my dislike for this episode began early on in anticipation of one of three scenarios.
1) 3XK was going to show up.
2) Beckett was going to tell Castle she couldn’t marry him.
3) The show would wind up being another “he killed my mama” episode.
As for the police procedure. Basically there was none, other than Beckett’s spur of the moment undercover assignment with basically no briefing or time to do any research into the world she was to step into. Yeah, yeah, I know, she was the only female detective who spoke Russian. However, this was a federal case and I’m darn near 150% sure the feds have scores of folks on the payroll who speak a variety of languages. They’d also know a bit more about the assignment than what Beckett learned during her 2 minute briefing session with Agent I. M. Clueless.
You know, if Lazarus’ operation was so perfect and well-run, why didn’t they know what Elena looked like? And, trusting all those money counters in the basement of the villain’s lair (Sorry, it reminded me of something you’d see in a Batman or Superman comic book, or maybe even an episode of Scooby Doo).
Of course, this was one of the “dark episodes,” so if we pull out our copy of the DARK boilerplate script we’d see that Beckett was to be kidnapped and/or lose her gun. Kidnapped was the option selected this time.
Beckett has the opportunity to come out of the situation smelling like a rose, if…she kills some guy who has absolutely nothing to do with the story.
Let’s examine that scenario. Beckett, in a matter of seconds, convinces some strange man to let her pour beet juice (who has beet juice in the house?) and ketchup all over his head and expensive carpeting. And let’s not forget that huge blob of ketchup/beet goop smeared on the wall. Then the guy positions himself on the floor, holds his breath for five minutes, and waits for the crazy lady to come back inside to show her playmate her artistic handiwork. Oh yeah, the victim/random guy also lets his brand new wacko lady-friend shoot a couple of holes through his expensive glass doors.
Nothing at all wrong with that scenario, right?
Back up a second to the blood stain pattern on the wall. Was it applied with a paint roller?
Apparently, the set designer used to work on chainsaw murder films, because that’s definitely not what you’d see in the real world. Well, unless a victim’s head was filled to the brim like a beet juice and ketchup donut, and the shooter used a bazooka or a charge of C-4 send the mixture flying toward a wall.
To even remotely come close to what we saw in this scene the victim would have to have been standing against, or very near the wall (it’s still too much).
We know, however, that he couldn’t have been standing against the wall, though, because his “dead” body was too far away from it. And I’m not so sure the victim would land in a perfectly straight prone position with his face turned to the side, as we see in the image below.
Anyway, this entire scene was totally unbelievable. Remember, the key to successful fiction is to write believable make-believe. Otherwise, the story can come across as silly. Definition of silly – see above scenario.
I think I’ll let the characters do the rest of this review. It’s pretty straightforward, so they should do well. Here goes…