Castle: After Hours – A Good Cop/Bad Cop Review

Castle: After Hours


After Hours was just one of those episodes. You know what I mean. There’s no middle ground. Either you absolutely loved it, or you hated it from the depths of your soul. And I hated it. And I hated almost every second of it. From start to finish. Backward or forward. It was extremely disjointed…all over the place. So much so, that I could not, for the life of me, seem to find a storyline anywhere in all that running and hiding and hiding and running.

However, there were plenty of romance moments for the shippers, so I’m sure I already know how Melanie feels about this mess. Melanie…

Melanie Atkins

Oh, wow! I absolutely loved tonight’s episode. It was funny and sweet, and chock full of Caskett moments. The show started with Rick and Kate hosting a disastrous “meet the parents” dinner with Martha and Jim at the loft that turned into Martha vs. Jim. She apparently found him boring and showed true disdain for his conservative lifestyle and love of baseball. Talk about uncomfortable! I was squirming, and I wasn’t even in the room with them. Rick and Kate were appalled and scrambled out of the loft at the first opportunity — when she received a call that a body had dropped. Turned out to be a priest.

Our dynamic duo sniped at each other about Martha and Jim while on the way to pick up a witness to the murder… bringing an edge to the old banter they’ve always shared. The edge came from this argument really meaning something. They wanted their parents to get along, and when they didn’t, it rattled them.

Mobsters accosted them at the door to the man’s apartment and took their phones, their wallets, and Kate’s gun and badge—Yes, Lee. Again. I know that made you cringe. Teehee!—and then they were forced to go on the run with the witness (an annoying little man) in the Bronx in the middle of the night after discovering someone had also stolen Kate’s departmental ride. Oops! So hilarious.

Esposito called the loft looking for Kate and Rick when they didn’t answer their phones, and Martha and Jim, who surprisingly was still at the loft, became alarmed and rushed to the precinct, where they holed up in the break room to wait for word about Kate and Rick.

While they were hiding with the annoying witness, he picked up on their sniping and the fact that Rick had said he and Kate came from different worlds—and then he played therapist, advising them their problem didn’t lie with their parents, but with the two of them. The look they shared after that comment was priceless. Kate later asked, “We’re in this relationship that makes absolutely no sense on paper. So… are we just kidding ourselves? What if this bubble bursts? What are we then?” Rick countered with, “Kate, we’re not our parents. And when I said ‘two different worlds’, I meant…” And then he was cut off. Of course.

After that, they’re torn apart without being able to talk further when Rick is elected to go for help after an argument about who should go, and Kate kisses him before he leaves. I loved that. Finally, some PDA!

Next, we got another quick glimpse of Martha and Jim at the precinct, and I was surprised by how well they were getting along… apparently bonding through their love for their children and bolstered by the idea that even though Rick and Kate were missing, they were still together somewhere, watching each other’s backs.

Except they weren’t. Rick had gone for help, and Kate had stayed with the witness. After Rick left, they guy talked to Kate about Rick and their relationship—after eavesdropping on their conversation—and he tells her, “Trust me. Living your life for now makes a lot more sense than worrying about the future”—a prophetic statement if there ever was one, seeing as he later turned out to the bad guy.

Rick is kidnapped by Mickey Dolan, the mobster the cops want for killing the priest, before he can summon help. Dolan gets info from Rick just by reading his facial expressions—using Rick’s non-existent bluffing skills—and then sends one of his guys after the witness… and Kate. This scares Rick. He’s afraid the guy will kill Kate.

Kate, however, fights off Dolan’s man with the help of the witness, who then turns on Kate and holds her at gunpoint. He binds her hands (in front, I might add) and forces her out of the basement. His plan is to find Dolan and kill him so he can’t turn state’s evidence against a rival mob family.

Dolan convinces Rick that he doesn’t want to hurt Kate or the witness. He wants to find out who killed the priest, too, because they guy was his best friend. So they sit tight and wait for the phone to ring… and when it does, it’s Kate. Rick is so relieved to learn she’s still alive. She won’t agree to help Dolan unless he gives her proof that Rick’s okay, so Dolan puts him on the phone. She tells him they need to do something fun soon, like take their parents to a baseball game. That was clearly a message of some kind, because Martha had just shown her disdain for the sport at dinner.

The witness takes Kate to meet Dolan, Rick, and the others at gunpoint and shoots up their car, terrifying Kate—only, they weren’t in the car, because Rick had picked up on Kate’s signal that trouble was brewing.

When he and Dolan show up moments later, relief fills Kate’s face. The witness is out of bullets, so Dolan starts to kill him, until Rick talks him down. Then the cops show up. Really? What took them so long?

Kate runs to Rick, leaps at him, and throws her bound hands over his head in a giant hug, saying, “I thought I’d lost you.” He grinned and said, “Never, never, never.” Wow! My heart melted. What a great scene. Beautiful!

He gives her back her badge and gun, courtesy of Dolan, and they take a cab back to the station — only to have Gates tell them Jim and Martha are there. Before Rick and Kate go talk to them, though, Rick tells her, “But you know what? Who cares if they don’t get along? They aren’t us. And… so what if we don’t make sense on paper? We don’t live our lives on paper. And if we did, we’d never be astounded… or surprised.”

And then they’re surprised to find Jim and Martha getting along. Amazing!

Such a hilarious, fun episode that was also filled with wonderful Kate-Rick moments. Squee! I’ll replay this one many, many times, I’m sure. Next week’s Christmas episode looks just as good, too. A dead Santa, Kate with possible cold feet, and more relationship talk. Yes! I can’t wait.

Lee Lofland

See, I told you. Even Melanie and I are on total opposites of this scorecard. She loved the show and I hated it. But what about the police procedure? How’d that measure up?

Well, the show opens with the murder of a priest. Next up…Lanie.

Beckett asks for the time of death. Lanie responds. “Between 7 and 10 last night. The likely cause of death was three (gunshot wounds) to the chest.”

And that was it. Short. Sweet. And to the point. Nothing stupid. Nothing bad. And no witch-doctory. And she was believable. So a big hooray for Lanie. Finally.

Unfortunately, that’s where my praise for the episode comes to an immediate halt. It was all downhill for me from this point forward.

For starters, did any of you catch Beckett’s instant hairstyle change? No? Well, it’s time for a replay, then. When she and Castle pulled up to the alley and got out of her police car, Beckett’s hair was pulled up into a short ponytail-like do. She takes two or three steps and suddenly her hair is down. Check it out.

A little less than eight minutes into the show, Beckett loses her gun to a couple of bad guys. And, of course, she also loses her police car. So now she and Castle go into hiding from the thugs. Oh yeah, tagging along is a little worm-like guy who’s is supposed to be a witness to the priest’s murder (Witness? Sure. He’s a witness, all right. Doesn’t every single wimpy, creepy guy on this show turn out to be a killer?).

So Castle leaves Beckett and mousey-man behind so he can save the day by using the phone at a nearby Chinese restaurant. Well, guess what? On a totally deserted city street, late at night, Castle doesn’t hear an approaching car. Yep, here come the bad guys, and they totally sneak up on Castle…while driving a vehicle! Now I ask you, have you ever been out at night, walking along lonely and quiet streets? Sure, you have. And you can hear cars at great distances, right? Maybe Castle is simply hard of hearing. Deaf, even.

So now Castle is kidnapped/abducted.

Then Beckett is abducted by mousey-man, who shoots a bunch of rounds at an empty car he thinks is occupied by the mobsters. Then, boss mobster appears from his hiding place (Castle tipped him off that mousey-man was the killer). So Mousey points his pistol at boss mobster guy, who promptly says, “We both know you emptied your clip into that car.” So mousey gives up. But…the gun couldn’t be empty because the slide wasn’t locked in the back position, which is what happens when a semi-auto is out of rounds—the slide automatically moves to the rear and locks open.

Okay, that’s about it for the police stuff, what little there was (thank goodness there wasn’t any more).

I’m curious. How many of you are on my side, and how many of you are with Melanie and absolutely loved this one?

Oh, and again…Hooray for Lanie!

*One more thing. Every time someone mentioned the mobster’s name, Micky Dolan, I couldn’t stop myself from picturing the drummer from The Monkeys (Micky Dolnez).

*ABC photo


27 replies
  1. mouse
    mouse says:

    Couldn’t stand this episode from the beginning. I know they were assumed to have been kidnapped and not actually kidnapped for 90% of it, but as soon as we saw Kate ambushed at the beginning I thought “Oh no, not again!” It’s like now instead of murder of the week, we get Castle and Beckett held hostage of the week. Or am I crazy and it’s totally normal for that to happen so frequently (with or without Beckett’s obvious need for her gun to be attached to her like a small child’s mittens)?

  2. Lee Lofland
    Lee Lofland says:

    LJ – I forgot to mention Esposito searching the apartment, alone. Not a very bright thing to do. And, it wasn’t necessary to advance this story.

    Actually, I’m not seeing a lot of advancement on this show. Mostly, it’s heading backward, a long, long way from where it started, with Castle, a mystery writer, at the poker table. Have they forgotten how good the show was back then?

  3. ljsellers
    ljsellers says:

    I’m with you, Lee. There was too much running and hiding and not enough story! And I found it almost laughable that the boss would send another detective ALONE to an apartment where two other law enforcement people had disappeared from. I’m starting to not like this show, but I know I’ll keep watching for a while. I hated most of the last two seasons of HOUSE, but I still watched them. Sigh.

  4. just watching
    just watching says:

    Well, this was an episode when I felt the writing made the Castle and Beckett look unprepared and stupid. And I did not like the directing. Beckett looked like a scared child, not like a police officer. The romance part was OK, but the storyline? I will memorize the name of the writer(s) and make a deliberate effort to avoid their future works.:)

  5. Pat Marinelli
    Pat Marinelli says:

    I’m in the middle on the episode. I agree with both of you. I loved the romance part, thought the parents were a little over the top, knew the witness was the bad guy, and got lost in the plot. But I learned a lot here thanks to the show. I didn’t know about the phone, didn’t know about the empty gun thing, and I agree about where was Beckett’s backup weapon.

    I’ll continue to watch the show because I love the characters and I’ll be there every time for the report so I can learn more.

  6. Gwise
    Gwise says:

    Ha; no, not what I meant. I’m just saying, guns are the one thing that I have yet to see used in an accurate manner in any kind of TV series. Usually even any “pro” characters will walk around with no trigger discipline, sticking a weapon down the front of their pants, dual-wielding, firing from the hip, ‘gangsta’ style shooting, etc. I’m actually not sure why; but it just happens as the norm in media. I’ve learned to block out any gun mistakes in Film/TV or I’ll be restricted to sitcoms, soaps and Desperate Housewives.

  7. Fitch
    Fitch says:

    Lee, I was surprised you didn’t mention the bad guy that carries a 1911 with the hammer down on a loaded chamber. Cocked and locked, condition 1, is the most common way to carry a 1911. All that’s required is clicking off the safety.

    The guy going after Beckett and the witness pulls it out and cocks the hammer. Nobody carries a 1911 with the hammer down on a loaded chamber if they have any sense at all. He should have either racked the slide to put a round in the chamber which automatically cockes it, or clicked off the safety, but cock the hammer? Never.

    If they want a click or a bit of business, have the guy click the safety off. They did the same dumb thing on Longmire (or what ever that awful show was called).

  8. Lee Lofland
    Lee Lofland says:

    Gwise. Is it possible that you don’t know the purpose of my comments? After all this time? All these years?

    I do this at the request of writers who want to know if what they see on this show is accurate. If not, they’ve asked that I point out the mistakes. So, sorry, no, I can’t let the flaws go.

  9. Gwise
    Gwise says:

    I’m with Melanie on this one – it was enjoyable, despite its flaws. There was that hilarious scene where Castle figures out that the passcode is the cat’s name, and he doesn’t even have to explain it fully – Kate can already read his mind, they’re that much in sync. I’m surprised Melanie didn’t mention that.

    As a poker player myself, I also liked the one where Castle and the mob guy play the bluffing game. You realize that in answer to the first question, Castle tried to misdirect the guy by telling him the TRUTH? He was ‘bluffing by not bluffing’, and the mobster called him on it. Great scene.

    I do agree we could’ve done without that lame twist at the end, though. Why does EVERY episode have to have a twist? I remember a line by Beckett from season one – don’t recall the exact quote, but it went something like this: “In the real world, if someone looks guilty, they usually are.” Whatever happened to that?

    About the gun thing – you can’t expect any better from TV. I mean, I’m no cop, but even I know that was a Beretta, so it had at least fifteen rounds, and the assassin fired less than ten, so it couldn’t have been empty. And that’s not even going into the fact that this so called ‘pro shooter’ who put a tight grouping in a victim’s chest suddenly decided to shoot one-handedly WITHOUT EVEN LOOKING DOWN THE SIGHTS… you just gotta let some of this stuff go, Lee. In any kind of media (except maybe Micheal Mann movies) chances are pretty good that guns won’t be portrayed with any semblance of accuracy.

  10. t
    t says:

    If the parents marry, Kate and Rick can still marry. It’s only biological siblings that can’t marry. But I’m hoping the fact that, “yes, Martha brought him coffee,” but “no, it wasn’t his exact favorite kind” is a sign, that yes, they’ll have a relationship, a very, very healthy *friend*ship.

    One thing I’m surprised that Lee didn’t mention that their bickering made them less aware of their surroundings and was instrumental in their getting ambushed in the hallway. It also could have resulted in subsequent ambushing. I think this goes to why “NYPD has a strict policy on coworkers…um…DATING,” to use Beckett’s terms.

    The show was mediocre for me, didn’t love, didn’t hate it. And as someone else pointed out, the season hasn’t been nearly as good as I expected with the couple getting together. The Beckett and Castle characters and relationships are written in a shallow enough manner that it almost feels wierd that they’re together. If the show fails, the execs will blame the “Moonlighting curse.” For me, that isn’t the problem at all.

    I’m shopping for other shows to watch.

  11. Sally Carpenter
    Sally Carpenter says:

    I agree with Lee–hated this show. It was so predictable. “We can leave the car here”–yep, it was stolen. “I’ll go for help”–yep, Castle gets nabbed. Bad guys show up–yep, Kate loses her gun and badge. Rick finds some pieces of a radio–yep, he gets it working (I couldn’t suspend my disbelief on that one). When a show is nothing but an endless, boring chase scene, I lose interest. Apparently our heroes stayed in an area of just a few blocks and the bad guys still couldn’t find them? And why didn’t they just hop on the subway and ride out? Subway tunnels also have pay phones, right? Like Lee, every time I heard “Mickey Dolen” I thought of Micky Dolenz! He would have certainly perked up the show (can the producers get him for a guest shot?). I also hate the “mean nun” stereotype and the rosary, which had nothing to do with the story, didn’t look real (most rosaries have a crucifix, not a plain cross, and this one didn’t have a centerpiece). Also, if the Caskett parents get a romance going, where does that leave Kate and Rick? If their parents marry that makes them brother and sister, and siblings can’t wed.

  12. Liberty Speidel
    Liberty Speidel says:

    I happened to enjoy it despite the fact I couldn’t believe a lot of it. The gun had me rolling her eyes, and like others, my thought was along the lines of, “Oh, Lee is going to *love* this!” The phone thing was dumb, too, but without it, they didn’t have a show. Would’ve been more believable if the battery was dead!! And, they’re in a bad part of town. Who leaves their phone VISIBLE in the car?? They’re asking to be broken into! And, why didn’t they circle around after they left the apartment? Surely a neighbor or super could’ve called it in.

  13. Kate Wyland
    Kate Wyland says:

    I’m with you Lee. It just got stupider and stupider until we finally turned it off. What is happening with the writing? Are they trying to turn it into a comedy series?

  14. Elizabeth
    Elizabeth says:

    Along with the iPhone emergency issue (in fairness pointed out to me by my 13 year old daughter), I thought the parent thing was telegraphed a mile away. In fact, when the two were first called to the murder scene, I expected the episode to end with Caskett finding them in bed when it was all over.

  15. Ryss
    Ryss says:

    I totally second Raphael Salgado! I chuckled, too, when Kate lost her gun again. And I knew Lee would be satisfied with Lanie this time.

    Reading these reviews/comments the day after makes my day just the same.

    As for the episode, I didn’t hate it or love it. I was just “meh”. Loved the Caskett moments though. But this season is not as much fun as I expected.

  16. Raphael Salgado
    Raphael Salgado says:

    It’s funny, but the moment that Kate lost her gun, I chuckled and thought, “Oh, Lee is going to love this part.”

    I don’t know you guys from a whole in the wall or where you are, but for a complete chance encounter of this website after randomly searching for fun Castle reviews, it’s great to know I found you guys and it allows me to relive each episode the next morning through your perspectives.

    I’ll be blunt and say I didn’t like this episode too much as it veered away from the original style of the show, how easily they got into a mess, how bad and desolate they seem to make the Bronx (I’ve driven around many parts of NYC, can it really be like THAT?!), but I did enjoy the chemistry of Caskett.

    Sucks that the next episode is two weeks away, but as long as they’re not canceled like Last Resort or 666 Park Avenue (shockers, IMO), we’ll be okay.

  17. Karen Ranney
    Karen Ranney says:

    If the story isn’t believable, the romance isn’t for me, either. I just can’t separate the two.

    Unfortunately, my viewing of Castle is verging on the “chore” side, rather than as entertainment.

  18. thumper
    thumper says:

    i am beginning to agree with lee… they should attach her gun on a cord like these do with uniformed officers in hong kong do.

  19. Pat
    Pat says:

    Lee, not all semi-automatics lock back their slides when their clips are empty; not many though. Why doesn’t Kate carry a backup gun like most police do?

  20. Nancy D.
    Nancy D. says:

    When Lanie said the priest’s killer was careful and cleaned up all his casings, I kept hoping the murder weapon would turn out to be a revolver. Wrong again.

  21. Gail R. Delaney
    Gail R. Delaney says:

    What got me was his face when Kate was talking about him, and how she’s just a cop, and he’s… well… HIM… and it’s two different worlds.

    There was this mix of “Oh, how wrong you are. You’re not ‘just’ anything” and maybe panic at the idea she might be trying to end it. Nathan did a good job of portraying that in his facial expressions.

  22. Janis Patterson
    Janis Patterson says:

    As in so many things, I am of two minds about this and thoroughly agree with both of you. I groaned when Beckett lost her gun and was abducted yet again. The police ‘work’ and Castle’s deduction from Beckett’s baseball clue seemed almost magical and much too much deus ex machina.

    That said, however, on an emotional note – sigh. That embrace when Beckett leapt into Castle’s arms and threw her bound arms around his neck and he held her so tightly…! Oh, be still my beating heart!

    I agree on Lanie. Finally! It won’t stay that way, though. Maybe her crystal ball was out for repairs?

    Sometimes the procedural idiocies are so egregious that it’s hard to remember this is fiction. Repeat after me – TV is fiction, TV is fiction… I do, however, fear that the writers might plumb the depths of ultimate cheesiness and have Jim and Martha fall in love and get married, thus creating more problems for Castle and Beckett.

  23. Melanie Atkins
    Melanie Atkins says:

    One thing I didn’t mention, even though I still loved the ep, is that you can still make an emergency call (to 911) on an iPhone even if it’s locked. So… I had to really suspend my disbelief during that part — especially since Nathan had to know that. He did a great job of ignoring that. lol. And yes, the case was extremely screwy, but I did enjoy the Kate/Rick part. Very much (as if you couldn’t tell.) ; )

  24. Kristin
    Kristin says:

    I agree with you that so much about the “case” in this episode was farfetched that it distracted me… first of which being that you can ALWAYS call 911 from a locked phone. Yes, I enjoyed the Casketty fun, but so much in this episode was unbelievable that it made it very hard to enjoy.

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