Castle: Always – A Recap and Review

Castle: Always


Well, it happened. They’re together. And if what we saw last night was any indication of the intensity…well, they’re probably still together as you read this review (and I don’t mean they’re together having coffee either).

But, how it all plays out now remains to be seen, because it’s just not cool, or safe, to have your romantic partner at your side while you’re serving a high-risk search warrant (I know, Beckett and crew never bother with obtaining search warrants) or shooting it out with evil villains. Still, I’m thinking…no, I know, there are thousands of fans all over the country who are extremely happy this morning. And Melanie is one of those giggling, gushing shippers. So take it away, Mel, before you explode…

Melanie Atkins 

The episode title says it all. The Beckett-Castle catch word. Always. Never mind the angst, the pain, Beckett’s fruitless fight for justice. Marlowe and company promised satisfaction for us shippers, and they finally delivered. Did they ever!

For starters, Rick invited Kate for a movie date to help him survive the sadness/joy of Alexis’ graduation night — and she said yes. Was he shocked? Yes! Shocked… and breathless. Then she took his hand after the case broke, and he told her she wouldn’t fight alone this time. I loved that scene. So sweet, so heartfelt. So Kate and Rick. Then more came out about the murder, and who had done it, and they grew positive it was connected to Kate’s shooting/her mother’s case.

Rick tried to talk Kate down, tried to get her to step away. Nathan rocked that scene. Wow. I had tears in my eyes, too. Rick’s desperate I love yous broke my heart, because Kate, feeling betrayed by his secret and still so fixated on her mother’s case, refused to heed his warnings. Refused to back down, even though he begged her to choose him. To choose life.

So he walked away. That had to be the hardest thing he’d ever done, but he just couldn’t take it anymore… and I don’t blame him. At that point, I wanted to walk away, too. What an idiot Kate was to face that guy on that rooftop alone. Even with Esposito’s help, she was no match for that well trained assassin. If not for Ryan defying Kate and Esposito’s wishes and going to Gates, she would have died.

Gates was right to suspend them. I knew Kate was going to resign, because I’d seen the sneak peeks, but it still hit me in the gut. Didn’t seem like a Beckett thing to do. Then I saw the scene in Castle’s loft, against the door, and it all made sense. Will she try to get her job back next season? I’m betting on it. Still, the symbolism in that scene, with her staring at her badge but ultimately choosing Rick over the job, was so powerful.

I loved the juxtaposition of Alexis’ graduation speech about endings with Kate and Esposito leaving the precinct and Rick and Martha in the audience at her ceremony. Then came the swings. The same swings where Kate and Rick talked in Rise, the first episode of this season. The swings where Kate promised Rick she was going to get better. Kudos for Andrew Marlowe for having her return there… even though the rain was pouring down and sadness reigned. The symbolism here? She’d come full circle, and made an important choice.

She chose Rick. The next to last scene, when she showed up at the loft, blew me away. Talk about intensity and heat and chemistry… Nathan and Stana brought it in spades. Wow. Kisses, apologies, gentle touches… “What happened?” Rick asked after Kate apologized. “He got away, and I didn’t care,” she said. “I almost died… and all I could think about was you. I just want you.” Holy moly! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched that part already, because I’ve lost count. You can laugh at me, but I’ve been craving that for four long years. Finally! Kate and Rick are together… and I love it.

I did not expect the last scene, however, and the looming threat still hanging over Kate’s head. Yet I choose to believe Rick will protect her and things will work out in the end. They have to, because Marlowe declared long ago that his plan was for Castle to be “a great romance”… and all true romances end in happily ever after.

Thank you, Andrew and Terri (Andrew’s wife, Terri Edda Miller, who co-wrote the episode with him) for a stellar finale despite Beckett’s stubbornness. I already can’t wait for season five, and we have over four months to wait. Aarrgghh!

Okay, you know what’s coming. But I have no choice…the show opens with Lanie. Before I start in on her nonsensical babble, though, I want to thank those of you who sent all the absolutely marvelous hate mail last week. After reading some of those messages, well, you’d think I’m the person who writes Lanie’s crappy lines. But I’m not! So don’t blame me for the ridiculous garbage we hear spilling from her lips. However, I, too, wonder why they write this stuff for Lanie but not for the others who play similar parts.

Anyway, it was Lanie and her X-ray specs and crystal ball that we were forced to endure this week. Starting with…

“He was hit in the shoulder with what looks like a .357, but the kill shot was point blank, execution style with a 9mm.”

Well, you know, you can’t tell the caliber of bullet merely by looking at an entrance or exit wound. And that’s especially true when the shot is fired from a distance and/or from an angle. Even the close contact wound to the forehead would be difficult to narrow down to a specific round (9mm’s and .38’s are pretty close to the same size). For example, what size (caliber) rounds (bullets) made the holes in the door of the LAPD police car in the photo below? How many different weapons were fired? What calibers?

LAPD Museum image

Give up? The holes were all produced by the same weapon and same rounds. So you can see how difficult it is to make a determination by sight alone. And, at times, it can be a bit more difficult when the holes are in human flesh because flesh is pliant and can close in around the wound. Or, the flesh can tear, making the wound much larger than the object that penetrated it (like the metal around the bullet holes in the car door above).

Unfortunately, Lanie didn’t stop there. “Grooves in the shoulder indicate that he was carrying something heavy…” Okay, I’ll go along with that, but she couldn’t leave well enough alone. “…I’d say at least 30 lbs.” Why not 20lbs.? Or 70, or 43, or…?

Anyway, after all her psychic predictions she finally said, “But I’ll know a lot more when I get him back to the morgue.” Bravo, Lanie. That’s what you should’ve said in the first place.

Actually, the conversation should’ve been more like, “Well, the cause of death was more than likely the gunshot wound to the forehead. But I won’t know know for sure until I get him back to the morgue. After all, he could’ve bled out from the shoulder wound. It looks pretty nasty…probably a large caliber weapon. Maybe a .357 or .44.”

Okay, enough of Lanie. Now for the entry into the gang guy’s apartment. First of all, homicide detectives aren’t the officers who normally suit up in SWAT-type gear and then use explosives… Hey, wait a minute. Why did they use explosives to take out half the wall? Why not a battering ram? After all, the charge was so large that it certainly would have harmed the officers who were standing beside the door. Definitely overkill for dramatic TV. No, it’s not like that in real life. However, explosive charges are sometimes (rarely) used when entry absolutely cannot be made any other way, such as when attempting to breach fortified buildings. But not for thin wooden apartment doors, and especially not when there are other people living in close proximity.

– Did anyone else notice the words used by the super-tough gang leader during his interview with Beckett? Sounded like something straight from Guy Noir. ...”caught a glimpse before the night swallowed him whole.” What gang leader hood/thug talks like that? The night swallowed him whole…puhleeze.

– Castle trying to stop Beckett’s harsh interview tactics was a little off for me, unless he was playing the part of the good cop. Oh, wait a minute…HE’S NOT A COP! But now neither is Beckett, for the summer anyway.

You know, I’m not going to get into the relationship aspect of the episode. I think Melanie has that covered nicely (and boy are the two of us butting heads over this stuff!). I will say, though, that I’ve grown a little weary of Alexis acting like a 12-year-old. You’re going to college. Get over it. Grow up. And stop whining!

I almost forgot…what was up with the evil villain guy? He’s on a relentless mission to kill Kate Beckett, a single woman who lives alone in an apartment. She goes to work everyday, in the same place during the same hours. Her only partner riding in the car with her is an unarmed, goofy writer. How difficult would it be to take her out? Instead, this pitiful excuse for a hit man employs tactics like another famous villain…Wile E. Coyote. Yep, the similarities are uncanny. As simple as the task at hand should be, Wile E. orders weapon after weapon from ACME—non-exploding bombs, fake holes in mountainside, uphill-rolling boulders. And our super villain is no different. He had his own roadrunner (Beckett) hanging from a ledge by the tips of three or four fingers, when the ACME ledge-falling device backfires and Kate survives, and I think I know how she did it.

See you next season…




51 replies
  1. subz
    subz says:

    Did anyone notice that Meredith, Mother of Alexis and Castle’s 1st Wife was absent in the Graduation ceremony? It might have been fun, if she had been in this episode and was at Castle’s place for a ‘Deep Fried Twinkie’ when Beckett showed up to see Castle.

  2. sup
    sup says:

    @Tesla, Even I was wondering what happened to the ‘Super’ part of Kate Beckett. (For me, she is Super Kate Beckett and Beckett the Great.) But I read in an interview today with Stana Katic, that was their intention, she is very small compared to the Dragon.
    But what I felt was, she was heart broken at that moment (broken trust and broken relationship with Castle), so she was not in a top form.

    I felt they made a real dummy of her character in the episodes Pandora and Linchpin. It was as if she wasn’t using neither her brain nor her strength.

  3. sup
    sup says:

    Lee, I just found out about this blog and I liked it. I am going to stop by more often.
    Even I hate the super villain concept… I don’t know why the writers are so crazy about those super villains… including Arthur Conan Doyle. It bugged me ever since I read Sherlock Holmes series when I was in 8th grade.

    I used to watch Castle for the mystery part… so I used to skip some episodes. But since season4, I purely watch it for comedy and Caskett relationship.

    So, I liked ‘Always’ though I felt they could have rewritten the mystery part differently and removed the church pastor scene and a few other scenes and added some more of final Caskett scene.

    Even I wondered why they blasted the doors to just get into an apartment. And I too thought he was being poetic… but you know there is a poet in all humans 🙂

  4. Tesla
    Tesla says:

    All the other inconsistencies aside, what most drove me nuts about this episode was the fight scene on the roof! In one of the earlier episodes, don’t we see/hear about Kate kicking major @$$ in hand to hand training? And what was that this time, not even enough force in the blows to inconvenience, plus that high kick that easily could have been exploited? Grr.

  5. Ryss
    Ryss says:

    @Uf & @David
    Yeah, story-wise this season’s finale was totally in the “meh” category.

    Personally I am not worried about where to go from there. Castle and Beckett are so different from one another, so it will cause sparks (both good and bad) where ever you put the two of them together.

    I agree with your interpretation but it was still a stupid move and a plot hole. If Beckett were to die, then nothing would stop Smith from releasing the damaging information and the mysterious-big-bad-evil would be, well, damaged…

    At that moment Maddox obviously didn’t know who Smith was (or he knew but did’t have the chance to get to him yet) so killing Beckett or letting her die wasn’t an option. Because at the end of the episode he says to Smith that after he has Montgomery’s files he is going to kill Beckett.

    Doesn’t make sense at all.

    BTW in all this criticism I forgot to praise the only thing good about this episode: the acting was stellar!

  6. Pat Marinelli
    Pat Marinelli says:

    A friend and I watched this episode again today and I had a ‘ah’ moment. That guy didn’t kill Beckett becasue that wasn’t his assignment. He was sent to find the files that Smith has. He hired a thief to break in to Montgomery’s house but the files weren’t in the stuff stollen, but Smith’s picture was in the wedding album. Beckett was just in his way and he left her to die on the roof. Just my take on this.

  7. Uf
    Uf says:

    Even though I’m all “squeeeee”…

    @Ryss, I totally feel the same way.
    Agree with David too, last season’s finale was a masterpiece! And this one was just… meh.

  8. David
    David says:

    Except for

    1. Castle’s declaration of love, and

    2. Castle and Beckett finally kissing and getting together at the end…

    … did anyone else feel this episode was a bit of a letdown? I’m glad that Castle and Beckett are together, but this episode doesn’t hold a candle to the near masterpiece that was last season’s finale “Knockout.”

    But, where are the writers going to go from here? How can Castle and Beckett, as a couple, possibly work together on cases?

  9. Raphael Salgado
    Raphael Salgado says:

    I’m still giddy over the last 3 minutes of the show. Made up for all the little holes that Lee and the rest of you pointed out.

    Thanks everyone and see you in a few months! Can we start speculating who the hell this puppeteer is over Kate’s mom’s murder? I think it’s Castle’s CIA dad, wouldn’t that be a trip. Or maybe James Patterson – you think he’s just a writer and having those poker nights when he was pulling all the strings all along…

  10. Ryss
    Ryss says:

    I am glad that Castle and Beckett’s relationship progressed in the way we shippers wanted all along but having said that, I must also state that I am not really happy about how we got here and this is why: If this was the plan all along this season then the writers could have (and should have) make things play out in a gradual fashion with the big payoff in the end. But what we have instead is a whole season filled with psychotic, silly, immature and stupid back-and-forths and a sudden 180 degrees turn just in the last two episodes. This is nowhere near as satisfying as it could have been, in my opinion.

    I believe that the creative team didn’t really intend to get them together in this season at all. But this season’s shoddy writing turned the “will they won’t they” suspense, which in fact had started to get tiring and frustrating anyway, into unrealistically immature behavior of the characters and this made the fan base extremely unhappy and vocal about their unhappiness. It was the potential backlash that forced the hand of the creative team and they had to make it happen, somehow. This is how it turned out.

    Don’t get me started on the plot holes.

    Still, this is my favorite show and I hope that it gets better in season 5.

  11. Janet B.
    Janet B. says:

    I’m just hopin’ that at the outset of season 5, Gates will be exposed as a crooked cop — part of the vast conspiracy that hired the inept hitman. Then Gates will vanish, along with her annoying hair and her barking and scowling. (They missed an opportunity in the dog-show episode to nickname the foul-tempered, yappy little dog “Gates.”)

    Thanks again to our tireless blogging duo!

  12. IPJ
    IPJ says:

    But if you absolutely must leave someone alive to prevent the big secret from being revealed, why leave them dangling by their fingertips from a roof?

  13. Maryann Mercer
    Maryann Mercer says:

    I just enjoyed the whole thing…although Lainie now just makes me shake my head in wonder. There’s at least one more season needed :o) And I for one want to see what happens with Ryan and Esposito.

  14. webknight18
    webknight18 says:

    @Lee, i think the assassin did not kill Beckett since Mr Smith(the old guy in the last scene) had made a deal with them. If he had killed Beckett then Mr Smith would leak all the info about the assassins employer. I think this has been stresses several times. If he had wanted to kill Beckett he could obviously have done it before.

  15. IPJ
    IPJ says:

    Lee, it’s not fair to criticize Alexis: she and her problems now exist solely to comment upon poor damaged Beckett and whether Castle should wait some more for her. It’s not like Alexis has any agency beyond a directive to mouth subtextual commentary on C/B. Pity, as she and her relationship with C were a nice thing about the show.

    And no, you were not the only one to groan aloud at the line about the perp being swallowed by the night.

    Something I haven’t seen mentioned: Beckett knows that any victim shot dead in an alley obvs was an evildoer who had it coming. And her mother was shot dead in an alley. Ergo…

  16. Liberty Speidel
    Liberty Speidel says:

    I’m not a huge fan of Gates, either. But, she does bring in some necessary conflict since the 4 mains don’t get along with her (except Kevin, apparently, since he tattled).

    Not sure I’d go for the long sleep business… didn’t they do that on “Dallas” way back in the day (like before I was self-aware to even know what “Dallas” was?)

  17. Lee Lofland
    Lee Lofland says:

    I agree, Liberty. I just don’t like Gates. Actually, I keep hoping Montgomery isn’t really dead (just a cover up so they can trap the killers) and that’s how they’ll all get around the fact that Beckett and crew are covering up a huge felony. Either that, or Beckett needs to wake up from a long sleep (resulting from the gunshot wound) and the entire season was a dream.

  18. Liberty Speidel
    Liberty Speidel says:

    Putting Beckett into the Captain’s chair would make for a very dull show, Lee… Nora Roberts has resisted doing it in her own mystery series, the “In Death” series, for this very reason.

  19. Lee Lofland
    Lee Lofland says:

    I wish we could get rid of Gates and then move Beckett into her position. And for goodness sake, let’s send Castle to the police academy and get that guy a badge.

    And the invitation is open Castle actors and writers…you guys are invited to attend the Writers’ Police Academy.

  20. Liberty Speidel
    Liberty Speidel says:


    If you watch Bones at all, they had a similar ending to their last season, with Bones telling Booth she was pregnant, and he was the father (when you weren’t even certain they’d slept together before that point). So far, I think they’ve fared pretty well into their 7th season. But, it’s a different show, different setup, different writers.


    I’m with you on the reinstatement. Gates looked a bit shocked, so she may be willing to write it off as heat-of-the-moment. Other than the fact Beckett cleaned out her desk, there was no formal resignation letter (not that I saw at least.)

  21. Pat Marinelli
    Pat Marinelli says:

    What an episode! What reviews, both Melanie and Lee! What a finale! Now the waiting…4 long months of waiting.

    I’m inclined to think Beckett will be reinstated as a cop. Not sure why, but I will bet the mayor will have something to do with it via Castle…or not.

    Oh, and I will definitely watch this episode again.

  22. Sally Carpenter
    Sally Carpenter says:

    Best part of the show was Castle finally blurting out his feelings to Kate and calling her down. Wow! Loved Nathan’s acting!
    Who’s going to walk in on Rick and Kate the next morning, Martha or Alexis?
    Kate says she’s ready to face this killer and she goes in without even a bulletproof vest. I like my heroes brave, not stupid. And a professional killer just walks away from her hanging on the ledge? He didn’t stomp on her fingers to make her fall? I didn’t buy it.
    My fear is that with so many changes going on in the characters’ lives, the show will loose the appeal that drew viewers in season one. Stay tuned!
    It’s great that our lovers got together at the end, but with all the dark closeups and fast edits I couldn’t see what was going on. I’ll have to imagine the scene.
    In trying to top last season’s finale cliffhanger, the writers have jammed themselves into a corner. What’s Kate supposed to do if she’s off the force? Chase the killer without a gun? She and Rick could start the Moonlighting Detective Agency. Better yet, she could become a masked vigilante. That’s pretty much what she did this season.
    I feel the whole Kate’s mother murder story line could be put to bed. The “who’s in charge” mystery isn’t interesting anymore. As Alexis said, we should “say goodbye” and move on to fresher story lines.

  23. Wendy Dingwall
    Wendy Dingwall says:

    I was so into the serious review by Melanie and Lee that when I got to the Wily E. Coyote resemblance, I burst out laughing. I could see it clearly, but on a serious note, I loved that they finally got together and the passion was right where it should be on the dial tone. I might actually watch this one again!

  24. Marni Graff
    Marni Graff says:

    The scene between Beckett and Castle was so long in coming but acted perfectly. For a second with Castle’s hesitation I was afraid he was going to back off and I was ready to hit him and the writers upside the head! But all worked out … maybe.
    Alexis is a pretty gal but for someone so very bright, they give her the same old insecurity over and over again. Grow her character, please!
    But I’ll be back~

  25. Katarzyna
    Katarzyna says:

    @Liberty Speidel: ABC has not renewed ANYTHING yet, they’re waiting with official announcements about renewals till upfronts later this month. ABC’s one is scheduled for May 15th, so I think we should hear official announcement about Castle season 5 renewal (and after yesterday’s ratings is even more than A SURE THING – almost 12,6 millions viewers and 2,5 in 18-49 demo – Castle WON its hour yesterday 🙂 a day or 2 days before this date. Or maybe even earlier , fingers crossed 🙂

  26. Lee Lofland
    Lee Lofland says:

    Larry, we’re well aware of the purpose of Lanie’s horrendous info dumps. But there are much better ways to introduce the information, such as in a way that’s believable. Also, I’m thinking you missed the meaning behind the sentence you quoted. The writers have no problem crafting believable info dump lines for the other M.E.’s who’ve appeared on the show, but not Lanie. So, is it the actor or the writers?

    By the way, I’m not bashing Lanie for being stupid. Instead, I’m pointing out the inaccuracies in the information she offers. This site is in place for writers who want to know of what they see on this show (and others) is reality. Unfortunately, Lanie’s information is often incorrect.

  27. Katarzyna
    Katarzyna says:

    Beautifully written, Melanie 🙂 But technically it’s THREE YEARS, not four, “Castle” started as mid-season replacement with short just 10 eps season in March 2009, so we had one full (although very short) season and a half of the second season during one year period of time (March – May 2009 and September – December 2009).

  28. Larry Marshall
    Larry Marshall says:

    ” I, too, wonder why they write this stuff for Lanie but not for the others who play similar parts.”

    You don’t? Come on, Lee. I thought you were an investigator. Lanie’s pronouncements are the start point of each Castle investigation. Her dialog seeds the case with info. It’s TV. There’s no time to let the principles hang around waiting for facts upon which to work. And it’s NOT IMPORTANT enough for them to develop these things further. And so, every week, you bash Lanie for stupid when, in fact, she’s just the info dump source.

    Cheers — Larry

  29. mars
    mars says:

    If they’re going back to a fun Season 1 feel next year, which is what Marlowe has stated, Perlmutter is a better fit as ME. He’s a good foil for Castle and comes across more believable than Lanie. I’d make Perlmutter the ME, and use Lanie as a girlfriend/sounding board for Beckett.

  30. Liberty Speidel
    Liberty Speidel says:

    Liked everything, except what Lee mentioned. I was happy that my theory of the timing of the teaser scene was wrong (I’d thought it may be the end scene where Rick tells Kate he loves her) but I hadn’t seen any of the other teasers. 🙂

    Does anyone know if they’ve been renewed yet for a 5th season? Last I heard, that’s not a sure thing yet…

    Definitely will be rewatching this one (and the last couple) through the summer…

  31. Paula Petty
    Paula Petty says:

    I questioned the exploding door. It seems to me that they would have identified themselves first or made enough noise in setting up the exposives to alert the bad guy. He acted suprised and didn’t try to run until they barged into the apartment.

  32. Elizabeth
    Elizabeth says:

    I, too, was bothered by the exploding door. Whaaa? It’s interesting to contrast Lanie with Pearlmutter–is their intention that he’s the obnoxious one for refusing to dial the psychic forensic hotline? I agree about the line coming from the ganger, but as a writer I thought it was a nice image. I guess we writers always have to fight our enchantment with our words versus realism and character.

    Leave Alexis alone. At eighteen, she’s no grown up. Trust me. Her behavior was probably the most normal of the whole damn group!

    After the history of the mother-killer storyline I was somewhat surprise by Espositio ready to go balls to the wall. I was even a little suspicious?

  33. MigalouchUD
    MigalouchUD says:

    Lee great review, it was a better episode in terms of content then what is normally seen but still had some definite issues.

    Ryan appeared to be the only cop this episode acting like, well like a cop. Going in without backup, putting her life and Esposito’s life completely in danger, ya Beckett should have went splat if Ryan didn’t go against their wishes. What was his reward? A cold shoulder like he did something wrong when he was the only reason she was alive.

    I just started laughing at Lanie’s briefing of the body, I mean seriously even the shoulder strap thing how could she ever on the good lord’s green earth feel comfortable declaring he was carrying it while he died? What if he was carrying something very heavy the day before? Voodoo and X-Ray specs is right!

    I’m still waiting to see how this will all unfold, especially with the entire fact that Beckett and the boys are still keeping Montgomery’s past of being a murderer and letting a man sit in jail for a crime he didn’t commit. Still don’t see how the writers are going to get the gang out of that one.

    I will say though that I am interested in seeing how they will approach the beginning of next season. My only hope is by episode 2 of sesaon 5 they aren’t 100% back to normal but instead they actually try and do a real story with the show instead of just filler after filler.

  34. Barbara Sheridan
    Barbara Sheridan says:

    I love the romantic part of it all and have since the beginning but after the total fun times that were the past two episodes this was was a big letdown in the non-relationship department.

    As smexy as Esposito looks in SWAT gear that whole thing told me there would be issues pulling me out of the fictional world. Also had lots of face-palming at the roof hanging scene.

    On the upside, I’ll be back for another season. I’m having visions of Kate as PI with lots of “fun” cases popping up. And I did like the Ryan fearfulness. Is he going to be a father and not wanting to jeopardize the job/himself for something unofficial?

  35. Pat
    Pat says:

    The difference between a 9mm and a 357 is 0.003, with the 9mm being smaller. There is no way to tell the difference without recovering a bullet; a visual won’t do. You probably coudln’t tell the difference if a .40 cal was used either.

  36. Erica
    Erica says:

    It’s gotten to the point that half the fun of watching the episode is guessing what you’re going to say the next day, Lee.

    One thing you didn’t mention was Gates and the suspension. I’m an untrained observer, but to me it seemed that part was actally handled correctly.

    And yes, for the shipper side, this is going to be a long 4 months.

  37. Rebecca Swope
    Rebecca Swope says:

    I’m still waiting for the return of the poker game…sigh…I really miss Steven….

  38. Janis Patterson
    Janis Patterson says:

    As happy as the romantic part of me is to see Castle and Beckett finally liplocking with feeling (sigh! double sigh!) the writer part of me is incensed that they would drag in the tired old Moriarty trope yet again. Master villains. Unknown motives. Evil geniuses with their own motives hiding behind the scenes. Yuch!

    The Mentalist’s Red John is another Moriarty trope. It seems now too many screenwriters drag in the unknown villain, hauling him from script to script, in preference to creating unique situations and villains. A cheap shortcut to not-very-much tension. I’m not talking about two, perhaps three episode storylines that are in order and eventually wind up satisfactorily, though I’m not too fond of them, either. I’m talking about the eminence gris that hovers in the background season after season and is routinely trotted out when the writers’ brains get tired.

    One of the glories of episodic TV (and there aren’t many!) is that, unlike life, stories are resolved. Justice is triumphant. Evil is punished. We feel good when it’s over. Using the Moriarty trope isn’t just lazy writing, it’s a blending into the uncertainties of real life. If I wanted to watch real life, I would. I watch TV for fantasy – good fantasy, resolved fantasy, and it’s getting harder and harder to find.

  39. Melanie Atkins
    Melanie Atkins says:

    Yep, Lee and I have had to agree to disagree about this one. I, too, caught the Lanie stuff and the ninja, hanging off the roof stuff, but I was too excited by what I knew was coming to delve into it too deeply. Besides, that’s Lee’s job, not mine. So I didn’t mention it.

  40. Jonathan Quist
    Jonathan Quist says:

    Are you suggesting Beckett defied the law of gravity because she did not study law?

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