Castle: Boom – A Review of the Police Procedure

My goodness, where do we start? I know you’re always supposed to begin with something nice before dropping the bomb (pun intended), like Paula Abdul used to do on American Idol. Before telling some caterwauling off-key crooner they’d be better off cleaning sewers with a toothbrush than trying to sing for a living, Paula would offer a few kind words, like “Your one big ear looks exceptionally lovely tonight,” or “The color of your house is really nice.” So, I guess I should do the same, because this wasn’t pretty.

I could begin by saying, “At least Lainie Parrish wasn’t on the show.” But I’m thinking that might not have been a bad thing. In fact, an appearance by the M.E. would have been a huge improvement over the horrible condescending FBI character played by Dana Delaney. What a totally unbelievable person! Hers was the worst character to have ever appeared on this series. I simply could not get into the show at all knowing that every single word out of her mouth was going to be irritating, or something totally false about police work. And that’s a shame, because I normally enjoy the banter between Beckett and Castle. I also like the heat that’s generated between those two. But not in these two episodes. I simply could not get past this totally unrealistic FBI person.

Oh, I’d better say this again before my email box fills with threats and nasty notes. This review is strictly about the POLICE PROCEDURE used on the show. Yes, I do know the show is fiction. No, I’m not trying to get the show canceled. No, I do not hate any of the actors or writing staff. We do this review because people asked us to write them. They wanted to know if what they see on this show is true, or not. They wanted to know if cops really do the things they see on Castle? Well, our job was very easy this week and last, because basically nothing you saw in either episode was realistic. Horrible is the word that comes to mind.

Anyway, let’s have a look.

– I think everyone predicted that Beckett had weathered out the explosion by taking cover in her bathtub, which is exactly what happened. I suppose that could work. Why not? In the first season someone drowned in a bathtub filled with motor oil.

– Not-So-Special Agent Shaw tells Beckett, “My rules. You do what I say, when I say it, and how I say it.” Puleeze…The FBI has absolutely no authority over local law enforcement officers. None. Take a hike, woman. And take that magic board with you, too.

– Agent Shaw (rolling my eyes) pokes around the mounds of burned-beyond-recognition debris in Beckett’s apartment and comes up with a pea-size piece of evidence—the thing that caused the explosion. What exactly is this so-called agent’s job? Is she a profiler or an arson expert? What led her to the spot where she found the evidence? You don’t just dig through ash at random. There are specific clues—telltale signs— that lead investigators to the hot spots.

– I actually laughed out loud when I saw the bullet clinging to the brick wall in a huge circle of bright red blood that looked as if someone had spray-painted it there. The tip of the round was barely damaged and didn’t even chip the soft brick. It was just…well, stuck there. The crime scenes in Who Framed Roger Rabbit were more believable. And that blood…give me a break. Why are they suddenly dumbing down this show? Is there a No Viewer Left Behind program we didn’t know about?

– Beckett and Castle go into a bar (nope, not the opening of a joke) and see a huge banner advertising the serial killer. Beckett tells the barkeep she has to take it down because the case is still ongoing. What? The police don’t have that authority. Not yet, anyway.

– The goofy FBI surveillance team surrounds the killer’s apartment. Sure, they’re all in undercover garb, dressed as restaurant customers, letter carriers, etc., but they each have those wacky earpieces hanging from their heads, and their actions are as obvious as sore thumbs. And it got worse when Beckett announces that she’s seen the guy on the roof. The UC’s (undercover) immediately begin reaching for their weapons and talking into hidden microphones. Well, the killer is no dummy. He picked up on those not-so-subtle movements right away and flees.

– Agent Shaw tells Beckett she’s off the case. Beckett’s captain even backs the FBI agent’s order. Again, she has no authority over Beckett. In fact, the case should have been Beckett’s to work, not the FBI’s.

– The captain tells Beckett she’s too close to the case to be involved. This much was true. She shouldn’t have been involved in the investigation once it was known that she was the target.

– Well, it looks like Beckett borrowed Lainie Parrish’s crystal ball. Somehow, she magically knew, from looking at a couple of blood drops on the ceiling of Agent Shaw’s SUV, that the agent had elbowed her kidnapper, giving him a bloody nose. The attacker then recoiled from the pain, which caused blood from his nose to spurt onto the ceiling of the car. Then, Beckett tracked huge blood puddles to a couple of tires tracks on the pavement. Beckett then said, “He had a gun on her and forced her to a waiting car.” How did she know he had a gun? Why not a knife? Or a slingshot? Or nothing?

– What can I say about the FBI’s magic board that was able to locate the killer’s hideout using a blurry image of a bridge tower outside a window. Perhaps someone should type in Bin Laden’s name. I’m sure Agent Shaw would have him in custody in a matter of minutes. Seriously, the thing that bothered me most about this can-do-everything board was that it was a cheating tool for the writers. They didn’t have to put forth any effort to solve the crime. When they reached a point where they wanted to be lazy they merely had the agent consult the magic mirror for answers. We were cheated.

– Who didn’t see the totally predictable ending coming our way—the agent getting rescued by Castle and Beckett with Castle shooting the suspect? Castle shooting the gun out of the guy’s hand was silly, but it wasn’t as ridiculous as the rest of the show.

By the way, Castle said he was aiming for the guy’s head when he shot the gun out of the guy’s hand, right? If that was the case, chances are he’d have missed entirely because guns tend to rise when fired, especially when they’re fired by someone who’s not used to shooting.

I really feel bad that I had nothing good to say about these last two episodes. I’m sure there was something in all the hogwash that was worth watching, but I couldn’t seem to see around the FBI agent. Besides, she really made Beckett seem submissive, which should have never happened.

And, the agent’s duties were all wrong, her equipment was silly, and she was overboard obnoxious and condescending. To me, the killer was much nicer. I’d rather endure two root canals than watch another show featuring her character. I certainly hope we never see her again.

I know, let’s ask the guys what they thought about these two episodes…

That’s what I thought.

17 replies
  1. Geoff
    Geoff says:

    I feel the need to point out that Castle’s line about aiming for his head was a reference to Firefly. It was more fan service than anything else.

  2. Brendan
    Brendan says:

    Again, loved reading this review!

    Is there some rule against using radios…ever in important situations? I can think of no fewer than 3 times in BOOM when it would have been supremely useful to have someone radio someone else.

  3. Glenna Fairbanks
    Glenna Fairbanks says:

    I agree with your review completely. Watched the first episode – thought the FBI character was obnoxious. Tuned in for Part II and shut the set off before the ending. Once I knew Beckett had not really died in the fire (couldn’t believe she would have – where would the series have gone?) I tuned out. None of the procedures I’d watched in the first Episode rang true and I REALLY was turned off by the FBI character. Delaney has such a pleasant side. Too bad she didn’t use more of it. Would have gone a long way toward creating some credibility.

  4. Pat Marinelli
    Pat Marinelli says:

    Great review, Lee.

    I wondered about how the perp got on police property and in FBI van also. But I didn’t know it was a spin off. I’m not watching it, that’s for sure.

    And I laughed at Beckett jumping out of a van and running in the heeled boots. I also wondered where she got the clothes. Although one of her sidekicks did say her closet was okay, but how did she get them from an ATFE crime scene and why didn’t they smell of smoke and have water damage? I guess the writer has never been in a house fire.

    Was she still living with Castle at the end? He came home alone and she has not place to go except maybe her Dad’s place.

    And did anyone see the Castle add during Dance with the Star? It was a fantasy thing with Castle having a very sexy daydream with Beckett playing pool in a red dress when she was really wearing a red jacket and looking over a dead body on the pool table. Guess she did some shopping.

  5. Melanie Atkins
    Melanie Atkins says:

    I agree about the Dana Delaney FBI character and Beckett’s uncharacteristic subservience, but I still love the Beckett/Castle moments. Can’t help it. The procedure sucked, but I still love the show. I’m a sucker for romance, even though the writer’s are stringing it out as long as they can.

    Note: Dana Delaney IS going to be the main character in a new ABC series about the FBI called Body of Evidence. They sent her Desperate Housewives character to Paris to give the new pilot a chance. If it’s a hit, she won’t return to that role. But if it tanks, then can bring her back from France. Ugh. That’s one I won’t be watching. DH is more believable than her FBI character on Castle.

    More news: Castle has just been renewed for a third season. Wahoo! New promo:

  6. Lisa Haselton
    Lisa Haselton says:

    I agree with everyone, quite a let down. I’ve heard/read the same about Delaney getting her own spin-off show .

    Both times when Beckett and Castle were left in the van, I kept wondering why the bad guy didn’t open the door and say “Surprise!” – especially in the final scene. He has the bomb in the building as a setup, he knows all the Feebs will be rushing up there (he does have his thumb on the trigger after all), yet he doesn’t eyeball the van at all? He’d rather keep eyes on the building?

    When Castle was spewing how he’d write the final scene, I had hope, but, alas, no, he and Beckett had to go into the other building. (with Beckett in her high-heeled boots)

    Somehow these 2 episodes keyed off one guy talking to another guy in a bar about his dog dying…interesting! 🙂

  7. Lee Lofland
    Lee Lofland says:

    Castle’s ratings/viewers were pretty high last night, but that was due to people tuning in to see part two of last week’s episode. What a let down.

  8. Lee Lofland
    Lee Lofland says:

    By the way, folks. Here’s who to blame for this disaster:

    Written by:

    * Elizabeth Davis

    Directed by:

    * John Terlesky


    * Rob Bowman – Executive Producer
    * René Echevarria – Executive Producer
    * Andrew W. Marlowe – Executive Producer
    * Laurie Zaks – Executive Producer

    By the way, I’ve scouted many of the reviews today and most were in line with mine, for the same reasons. Everyone thought the show fell way below the mark.

  9. Lee Lofland
    Lee Lofland says:

    Dave – Maybe Castle accidentally shot the technical adviser, if there ever was one. If not, firing him/her would be a good option.

    MNR – Sure, LEO is often used when speaking of a law enforcement officer.

    Rhonda – The only thing missing was the ricochet sound that we heard so often on old westerns. Sad, sad excuse for a show.

    Sarah – I wasn’t sure if anyone would remember those guys. Glad you found them as humorous as I did.

    Karen – If I could find you I’d wash your mouth out with soap! Don’t put that idea into their heads. What a horrible thought! Unfortunately, you may be right. Why else would they waste two entire episodes on that crap?

    Maryann – Yep, I prefer the male M.E. He’s so much more realistic.

    Pat – Bummer is a great description.

    Joyce – Spin her off the show, that’s what she needs. Her along with the person who dreamed up this nightmare.

  10. Pat Browning
    Pat Browning says:

    I know actors work with a script but I can’t believe Dana Delaney could read her lines with a straight face. I did love the scene with Castle’s mother and daughter, but otherwise — what a bummer!

  11. Maryann Mercer
    Maryann Mercer says:

    Glad to know I’m not the only one who found the FBI agent irritating…and who in their right (or wrong) mind WOULDN’T notice twenty people all dropping their lattes and heading for the street? I’ll bet there were FBI people cringing in their seats at the image we got of their prowess. I love the magic board, but I agree. Too easy to do a rip off of NCIS LA or CSI Miami rather than let the cops do their jobs. And since Shaw and Beckett didn’t like each other to begin with, why would Shaw even mention that “(Castle) cares for you” to Kate. An attempt to remind us she’s human?
    And I for one would rather have our male medical examiner back. He at least doesn’t roll his eyes at the daring duo :o)

  12. Karen D
    Karen D says:

    I am so afraid that this two-parter episode served only one particular horrific purpose… I’m afraid it was meant as a ‘pilot episode’ for an FBI series starring Dana Delaney.

  13. Sarah Grimm
    Sarah Grimm says:

    Lee- As always, very entertaining. I had to laugh at your ‘Men on Film’ photo. Just the other day I was on Youtube with my 16yo son and showed him clips of that. I couldn’t stop laughing, especially over the look on my sons face as he watched. I’ve been saying ‘hated it’ at least once a day since.

  14. RhondaL
    RhondaL says:

    So much fun to be had from this episode … i’m thinking it’s a shame the ME missed out. Except her absence saved you from some extra agita, Lee. 🙂

    Loved Castle’s accidental Jed Clampett-worthy shooting with a hand gun. (I get that he’s a big guy, but he’d still feel some recoil.) And doncha know that Castle’s glad he took advantage of his MWA or SinC group’s trip to the gun range. 😉 Although, as an alumnus of such a program, I’d aim for center mass instead trying for a head shot. I’m just sayin’.

    Re: Beckett and those tell-tale drops of blood? Perhaps she’s from one of those Caribbean religious sects that reads fortunes from blood shed from live chickens?

  15. Marie-Nicole Ryan
    Marie-Nicole Ryan says:

    I had a similar reaction to the portrayal of the FBI agent. Since the FBI comes in at the request of the local authorities and isn’t sent from “the marble halls” on high to take over the case and ride roughshod over the local LEOs.

    BTW, is LEO a real term or is it another TV-writer-dreamed-up one?

    Also heard APB again from the federal agent’s mouth instead of BOLO. I also hope her character returns to the marble halls and gets lost. Is it even feasible that the suspect could enter a police vehicle lot and enter the agent’s vehicle?

    I kept waiting for someone to say, “She does know we don’t work for her, doesn’t she?” But no one ever did. I did hear that line on a Criminal Minds episode when a young FBI field office agent was ordering around the BAU team.

  16. Dave Swords
    Dave Swords says:

    Hi, Lee.

    It’s a shame the police procedure has gotten so bad, considering it was never good to start with.

    Maybe after seeing the GYS, the writer’s thought, “Aw, what the heck, let’s fire the technical advisor and just shoot from the hip.”

    That would explain a few things.

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