Castle: 47 Minutes – A "Good Cop/Bad Cop" Review and Recap

Castle: 47 Minutes

Another episode has come and gone, and guess who’re still exchanges goofy glances and innuendos…and nothing more. Yep, our dynamic duds. Honestly, I’ve gotten so desperate to see something happen—hell, anything—that I’ve resorted to watching old Moonlighting reruns. Seriously, what normal adults behave like these two characters? Yep…priests, nuns, monks, and dead folks.

As far as the police stuff and Lanie go, well, grrr… And to make matters even worse for me, I pegged the killer in the first few minutes of the show.

Oh, and that crazy red-dot-moving-cell phone-user-map? Well, we brought in the big gun, Lt. Josh Moulin, to address that issue. Lt. Moulin is a nationally recognized expert in cyber crime and digital forensics, who just happens to be assigned full-time to the FBI as the commander of the Southern Oregon High-Tech Crimes Task Force / FBI Cyber Crimes Task Force. Many of you will remember him as an instructor at the 2011 Writers’ Police Academy. We’ll see what Lt. Moulin has to say about the “red dots” in a minute.

First, let’s get Melanie’s take on the show.

Melanie Atkins

Episode 19, or rather, 47 Seconds, began with a bombing at a protest rally, a seemingly senseless event that killed at least five and left many others injured. Random victims who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Their whole lives changed in a brilliant flash.

The fallout had a big impact on our dynamic duo. Kate tells Rick, “Makes you think of all the things you don’t want to put off anymore.” And the way she looks at him… as if she wants to tell him how she feels. Before she can, however, they’re interrupted.

Alexis, who is still interning in the morgue with Lanie, is also greatly affected by the carnage. She has to take a break while cataloging the victims’ personal effects. Rick takes her home and ends up talking about the bombing with Martha.

“Nobody’s tomorrow is guaranteed,” he says. Martha urges him to tell Kate how he feels before it’s too late. Why is he still waiting? Rick, however, is worried she’s not ready, yet finally decides to take Martha’s advice.

The next day, he approaches Kate with their customary coffee (coffee = love to our Caskett duo) and tries to tell Kate that he loves her — remember that at this point, he thinks she doesn’t remember him saying that after she was shot — only, they’re interrupted again. Of course! Grrr…

The case gets in the way, and they don’t get to talk again before they finally run down a prime suspect the next day. Rick drops off another coffee on Kate’s desk, then enters the observation room just in time to see her question the guy, who claims he doesn’t remember what happened because he was traumatized by the bombing — yet she refused to allow him to use that excuse. “I was shot in the chest, and I remember every second of it,” Kate says. “And so do you.”

So… she remembers the shooting and Rick’s I-Love-You, and yet she’s denied it for ten long months. Rick is devastated. He feels like a fool. A school boy hanging around the pretty girl at school who merely tolerates him. He has to get some air, so he leaves and goes to see him mom. Martha is sympathetic.

He goes back to the precinct in spite of his mother’s protests, trying to do some good, and walls of his feelings for Kate. He snarks at her, throwing out little comments that she just doesn’t get. She’s puzzled by what he’s saying and how he’s pulling away. The case, of course, requires her attention, so she can’t question him about it.

Finally, they get the man and his newswoman accomplice actually responsible for planting the bomb. At one point during the interrogation, Rick uses the term “sinning by silence” to describe the accomplice’s role in the bombing. He says, “It’s not smart. It’s not brave. It’s just cowardly.” And he looks at Kate. She’s obviously confused… yet surely those words have hit home in some way. I mean, really. She doesn’t get it, though.

Kate invites Rick and the boys out for a drink to celebrate solving the case. Ryan and Esposito decline because they’re really tired. Once they leave, Kate tells Rick, “I guess it’s just us. You know, now that the case is done, what did you want to talk about?” And he says, “Nothing. Nothing important, anyway.” No way will he reveal his feelings now.

She’s puzzled, to say the least. My heart broke for both of them. So much miscommunication — or rather, a lack of communication. Next week, the countdown is on to the finale… only four more episodes to go. And all of them are supposed to highly emotional, with Kate and Rick’s relationship taking center stage. Tonight, of course, a major secret came to light. A secret that crushed Rick’s heart and caused him to back away from Kate.

Will we get that much needed resolution in The Limey? I can’t wait to find out!

Lee Lofland

I’m not going to beat around the bush. I didn’t like this episode. Not at all. First of all, the investigation and police procedure were silly and unrealistic. More importantly, though, the relationship (or, lack of) between Castle and Beckett is downright dumb. Dumb, I say. No living and breathing species on earth acts this way…not for four or five years. Sure, a giggly mating ritual at the onset, but this? Come on. And now…well, I’ll leave it alone. Because it’s dumb, dumb, dumb.

Okay, the cop stuff (and Lanie).

– Gates. She’s horrible in this role and I cringe every time she marches on screen. I say we resurrect Montgomery. Please, please, please let him be alive, working in some undercover capacity. Perfect way to bring him back. Then he could shoot Gates and put us out of our misery (“Here’s a bullet just for you, ‘Sir.’).

– I did like it when they questioned the homeless guy, which is always a good thing to do since they’re out there, in the background, and see everything. However, why bring him to the office? They drove all the way down there, picked him up and brought him in, just to hear him say three or four sentences? Those interviews are normally conducted in the street, or inside a police car. BUT, cops tend to avoid placing unwashed street people inside their cars. It takes a long, long time to get rid of the odor. Seriously.

– Lanie. Any other time, Lanie can’t stop herself from spewing all sorts of nonsensical information. Not last night, though. She’d recovered bits of explosive-coated canvas from one of the victims, A HUGE PIECE OF INFORMATION, yet, didn’t bother to call anyone. Of course, in the real world, it would have been the folks in the lab who’d discovered the explosives, and they would have have kept the material in the lab, nicely packaged and sealed.

By the way, did you guys happen to notice all the dead bodies simply hanging out in Lanie’s little shop of horrors? They’d been there for hours too. Doesn’t she have a cooler? I ask, because that’s where they’re kept until autopsy time, not on gurneys placed willy-nilly throughout the morgue (in the corners, the middle of the room, etc.).

I guess Alexis, now a college dropout, I guess, will bypass medical school altogether and begin conducting autopsies and magically discovering and testifying to causes of death.

Mother Castle to Boy Castle – “Did you ever wonder why I never visited you at the precinct the first year you were there?” Why would she visit someone who was also visiting? He doesn’t work there. Never has, and he’s still a visitor. He’s a writer, not a cop. No training, remember? And that brings up another point. Gates handed Castle a pile of official documents/folders—witness statements—and told him to go through them. So what does he do? Yep, he takes them home. Think a defense attorney wouldn’t be all over that? “Your honor, the “writer” took the files home and did who knows what to them. We all know he’s in love with the lead detective, right. And he’d do anything to help her “solve” this case. He does write fiction, you know.”

– So Castle decides to be a big boy and tell Beckett how he feels about her, but Ryan walks up and interrupts. Now how boilerplate-scricpt-predictable was that? Just like the red herring suspects. I yawned through those interviews because you know it’s never #1 or #2. Besides, I picked the bomber within the first few seconds of the show.

Okay, let’s bring in Lt. Josh Moulin (the cyber crime/computer/cell phone expert) to talk about the red dot map.

Lt. Josh Moulin at the 2011 Writers’ Police Academy

“While it is possible for us to do what we call a “tower dump” and find out every cell phone that communicated with a specific tower in a given time, we can’t show movement of cell phones like they showed in this episode.  Also, with the amount of towers around these days, we would have to send a search warrant for a tower dump for every cell phone provider that owns a tower which would cover the geographic location of the crime scene.

There are no maps available that show red dots where each phone is in proximity to another phone, especially showing just a foot or less difference.  How nice would that be, especially replaying movements as little as a few feet!  We can show movements of cell phones as they move in large movements and between cell towers, but not that close.”
Lt. Moulin also brought up a couple of other great points about the show. Remember when Beckett and crew surrounded Bobby the backpack guy? Well, the detectives each had their weapons pointed at the guy which placed them in a crossfire situation. If Bobby’d ducked at the moment they started firing he’d have been the only person left alive, because the four cops would’ve filled each other full of NYPD-ammunition-induced holes. And what about the civilians in the background?

Also, Ryan grabbed the backpack and ripped open the top. Had it been a bomb it could’ve gone BOOM!. Step away from the suspected bombs, people.

– Beckett tells the news reporter/bomber that she found the garage remote detonator and it had her prints all over it. How’d she know they were her prints? Had the reporter ever been arrested? If not, why were her prints in the system?

And that brings me to the point where I tell Castle to grow up. Ask Beckett out a date. Have her over to play Monopoly. Something. Just do something.

Hell, even Niles Crane finally stopped smelling Daphne’s hair and married her. And to say that Niles Crane “manned-up” quicker than Rick Castle…well, that’s just plain sad.

That’s right, Alexis. Scare some sense into your Dad. Someone needs to.

*By the way, what’s up with the shiny thing on Alexis’ ring finger?

16 replies
  1. ray king
    ray king says:

    One always needs to be careful ascribing cause to an effect. A lot of shows have died when relationships progressed (I believe Lois and Clark and Scarecrow and Mrs. King both ended the same year their respective title characters got married) but did the marriage end the show or was it just time for the shows to die and marriage was a last gasp to save it?

    I’m part of the herd that is tired of all the ridiculous timing nonsense that takes place in Castle. It either interrupts Castle and Beckett advancing their relationship (this episode), advancing her mothers murder (a bullet through a window and a lawyer popping through the questioning room door come to mind), or advancing the solution to a crime (the dock shooting in Pandora), all by a tiniest split second . Using Lee’s scale, I’d give this episode a 3.5. When Ryan (I knew it would be someone but didn’t guess who)interrupted Castle, I mentally shut down and did web work while listening half-heartedly. This show used to be better than that.

  2. NW Biker
    NW Biker says:

    Just one thing about their relationship: if the writers are smart, they’ll remember what happened to “Frasier” when the Niles/Daphne relationship progressed. The show collapsed and died. Over time, that show had turned its focus away from Frasier and toward Niles and Daphne, and when that focus was gone, when the suspense ended, so did the show. (And besides, watching Niles suffer the pangs of unrequited love was some darn funny stuff.)

    Given that Castle is far more relationship focused than Frasier was ever intended to be, I think they’re walking a very fine line. If they ever do acknowledge their feelings, there’s going to have to be something that keeps them apart, or what’s left?

    Weird science, faulty procedure, and the occasionally clunker of an episode aside, I love this show, and I’ll miss it when it’s gone. Well, except for the new captain. Someone shoot her. Please, I beg you. 🙂

  3. Lee Lofland
    Lee Lofland says:

    Always the good cop, aren’t you, Melanie? 🙂

    I still say, though, that loyal people keep tuning in, hoping and praying, but the show never delivers anything more than a few glances.

  4. Melanie Atkins
    Melanie Atkins says:

    Actually, Lee, the ratings Monday night were the best ever. They won the 10 pm time slot in both most viewers and the precious age dynamic. Plus, on Twitter, #Castle and #47Seconds trended worldwide.

  5. Lizzie
    Lizzie says:

    Here is how I cheer myself up. Given that, by any reasonable standards, they should have gotten together sometime back in S3, this ridiculousness has been played out for upwards of 30 episodes. That means that each additional episode only makes it 1/30th, or 3.33%, worse. See, not that bad at all. 😛 And, yes, I am a math nerd.

    Facetious numerology aside, I actually didn’t hate this episode as much as I thought i would. It was stupid and jerked us around, but it was a jerking that we all knew we were going to get since September. What else did we think they were going to do with the two secrets if not use one (Kate’s) to eventually get them together after subjecting us to unnecessary angst, and then the other (Rick’s) to break them up again. I assume that second half will be the season finale cliffhanger. I would have been much happier if they had done the first bit mid-season, and I can’t say that I like the blatant manipulativeness of either part, but we knew it was coming.

    Also, one logistical question that another friend pointed out to me: If the organizer dude was making a call, why did his ringtone go off? Or am I mistaken and the reporter was calling him?

  6. ~Tim
    ~Tim says:

    It seems pretty clear that the producers have told the writers not to develop the relationship between Beckett and Castle but to throw up every conceivable roadblock no matter how preposterous to drag this out as long as possible. Given that, I have to award this episode one point at least. I never understood Rick’s whole “Kate isn’t ready yet for me to tell her I love her” excuse. But now he believes she heard it and for months has not responded to or even acknowledged it. While some of his reaction was a bit childish, I’d withdraw too under those circumstances. He finally has what I think is a realistic reason for not saying anything even though it came about in a [now typically, for this show] contrived manner.

  7. Janet Brigham
    Janet Brigham says:

    The one redemption for this unsatisfying episode was Castle’s rejoinder when Martha asked if he knew why she’d never visited the precinct in the first year. Castle: “I thought it was because of the harsh lighting.” (Martha: “Well, that was a consideration…”)

    Thanks so much for sharing Josh’s expertise! It’s good to know that Fillion is still doing sci-fi, intentionally or not.

  8. Jonathan Quist
    Jonathan Quist says:

    Comparing Castle with Miles? That’s just cold!

    There was one thing I liked about this episode, even if the police procedure was wrong. They have a great example of “show, don’t tell” and also the economy of screenplay vs. novel in the witness interviews.

    Each witness began with a statement, which was expanded in a video flashback from the witness’ point of view, and concluded with a followup question from Castle or Beckett. That technique easily cut 15 tedious minutes of interview time from the final episode as broadcast, but also played fair with the viewer by presenting lots of key details buried in context rather than on a silver platter.

    The GPS display was unrealistic (as anyone who has used a sports tracking app can attest), and could have been portrayed in a more real-world manner, but at the expense of time to explain the limitations. I’m willing to forgive this one as a necessary production decision. But it would have been better if it had provided time for Castle or Beckett to do some soul baring…

  9. Janis Patterson
    Janis Patterson says:

    I agree this was a (insert derogatory adjective of choice) episode, but do wonder about one thing. When Kate was interrogating whoever it was (already flushed out of the synapses)and said “I remember every second” do we really know she was telling the truth or was she just putting the screws to the suspect? Sometimes TV cops have been known to embroider in an interrogation. Just because she says she remembers doesn’t mean that she really and truly does…

  10. Maryann Mercer
    Maryann Mercer says:

    I was hoping for more…anything…but Gates got in the way first thing. I’m with you on Montgomery, except that his reappearance would send Kate spinning back into some parallel universe and we’d have to wait for someone to haul her back out again.(And in my heart I want Stephen Cannell back as well. His input is sorely missed) I give Kate credit for using her own experience in an interrogation but I have to assume she lost her “sense of Castle” at the moment. I mean it isn’t only Castle who didn’t know…Ryan, Espositon, half the squad room…in essense she lied to everyone. And poor Alexis…I know she’s important to the show (father-daughter hijinks and hearttohearts) but couldn’t she be going to NYU or something? Lots of holes this time, and although I knew what was going to happen…Rick shuts down, and according to next week reverts to his “playboy” image to cover his ego and heart being shattered…I was hoping, as I said, for more. And thanks Josh for the insight into cell phone/GPS tracking. It seemed all too good to be true.

  11. MigalouchUD
    MigalouchUD says:

    Lee once again a great review and definitely some stuff I didn’t notice. The bomb part I was completely banging my head at, Ryan just opens a backpack that has potential explosives in it? I have zero police training and even I know the bomb squad should be rolling up as I hold the backpack in my hands and wait for them to come. I wouldn’t even put the thing down out of fear it would go BOOM!

    I liked the case better than the regular ones because it wasn’t just “Oh dead body talk to family get suspect etc etc etc” instead they kinda knew where to look the entire time but they had to narrow it down. Albeit similar steps but different feel to it.

    Relationship wise its so horrible its almost hilarious. At this point the two seem to hurt each other more than anything else, so its like would they really be good together? Some one else on another board put it best, they are supposed to be these great friends, practically in a relationship if you listen to Andrew Marlowe, yet whenever they run into big serious problems they run to someone else. Beckett either goes to Lanie or Esposito while Castle goes to his mother, or in the past the writer poker games which are sorely missed. Either way not a great indication of a relationship.

  12. Pam
    Pam says:

    The opening up of the backpack really stuck out to me and I usually don’t care how unrealistic the show is as far as procedure.
    As for the fingerprints, when I got my license in California in the 80’s, I had to give them a thumprint. I suppose the writers are drawing on their own experiences. As a long time New Yorker, where we don’t provide a print, the stuff they get wrong about NYC makes me cringe. That’s why I like the novels. They appear to be written by someone who has actually been to NY.

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