Castle: Cuffed – A Review

Castle: Cuffed


This was an episode that, for me, was the return of the show that its fans fell in love with way back in season one. It was extremely good, well-written, and the actors were at the top of their games. Even Lanie was good. Her handlers finally, finally, finally gave her something to work with…real forensics-speak. Anyway, more on morgue-talk a little later. For now, let’s enjoy recapping a fantastic show. Melanie…

Melanie Atkins

Once again, we had to wait two long weeks between episodes… but to me, the wait to watch Cuffed was totally worth it. So much physical proximity — with Rick skimming his hand along Kate’s bare midriff after finding the needle mark on her back, their suggestive positions while trying to move the freezer (tee hee!), and her climbing on top of him in an attempt to escape the creepy basement room. Then there were Rick’s attempts to protect Kate, their terrifying battle with the tiger (a beautiful, scary animal), and the episode’s incredibly hot ending, when Rick substituted the word “hitched” for “cuffed”… and Kate said there would be a next time with the cuffs, only without the tiger. All of that played into my enjoyment.

What’s not to like? I mean, really! The episode moved quickly, starting with the two of them waking up on a mattress in the basement room handcuffed together with no idea how they got there. I loved the way they pieced together the story with flashbacks. Such great banter. And the way they talked about Esplanie’s (Esposito and Lanie’s) relationship… priceless. “They both want to be together, but neither of them will admit to it.” Familiar, much?

Once they figured out what had happened, the storyline moved rapidly back and forth between Kate and Rick in the basement and Ryan, Esposito, Lanie, and Gates trying to find them. Throw in the DEA, a creepy old woman, and exotic animals… and I was riveted. Of course, my main interest was Kate and Rick and their power struggle in that basement as they attempted to escape. Being cuffed, they were limited as to what they could do, but they did seem to work together pretty well most of the time — once they decided who was going to lead. And they were so close to each other all the time. That made my night, I tell you.

I wanted more, of course. A hug, a kiss, anything to help propel their relationship forward… but I’ll take cuffed to each other in the dark — with the two of them comfortable with their forced proximity. I love this show! Mystery, suspense, humor, romance… and a tiger = perfection.

The next episode, Till Death Do Us Part, won’t air until January, but it will feature Ryan and Jenny’s wedding. I don’t have any details yet, but rumor has it that Kate and Rick and Lanie and Esposito will all react to the nuptials in a positive way. Sounds very interesting. Too bad we have to wait until the new year to see it.

Lee Lofland

This show was all over the place. So much so, it made me wonder if the two writers had experienced a 60’s moment while jointly putting pen to paper. Don’t wrinkle those brows. You know exactly what I’m talking about. However, it was all over the place in an extremely good way, beginning with…

I didn’t think it was possible, but this show has come up with a new nickname for…well, you know…that “special” mommy and daddy time. Yep, and from this moment forward, thanks to this episode, that amorous act should be referred to as “Pushin’ The Freezer.” If beads of sweat didn’t pop out on your forehead during that scene, well, you’re just not human. Whew!

On the other hand, how were they able to stand that extremely heavy freezer on end when the two of them together couldn’t budge it even an inch when attempting to slide it across the floor? Hmm…

It was a bit difficult to focus on the police and forensics side of this show, since the main focus was on Beckett and Castle who, while locked away in a basement, had to avoid becoming a snack for a very large tiger. But, I’ll briefly mention Lanie and her, for the first time ever, believable depiction of a medical examiner. She was actually quite good, and her comments and science were also pretty good.

And, she still had time to be playful in scenes with Espo. Why can’t the writers do this in every episode? Hopefully, they’ve seen the light and won’t backslide. We’ll see. But, this time, Lanie actually added to the show. Great job.

What about the creepy, old hillbilly lady in the cage? Viewers will have nightmares for a month after witnessing that sight. But still very cool. The old lady’s sons were equally as creepy. I’m not sure, but I think I’ve arrested each of them in the past…many, many times throughout the years. Those three are the typical Friday night arrests for officers all across the country. A little drinkin’. A little fightin’. A little shootin’. Then it’s time to call the law. Yep, every single Friday night.

– The fingerprint match-up on the screen. You know, where an image of a driver’s license popped up after Ryan finished unscrambling the board (anyone remember the Soul Train Scramble Board?) This was a dumb scene, but it works for this show.

Gates is still Gates—obnoxious. Still, she played a better part this week. Funny thing, I saw the former captain (Montgomery) playing the part of a bad guy in another show last week. He was killed there, too. Not a good year for that guy.

Enough of the police stuff. Let’s have a look at my favorite lines from the show.

1. “Okay, you can put my shirt down.”  Beckett to Castle after he’d examined the needle mark on her lower back.

2. “Let me get him back to the morgue.” Lanie, speaking about the dead body. Who knew medical examiners offered their findings post autopsy, not before the slicing and dicing? A novel concept for this show, and I like it.

3. “They both want to be together but neither will admit to it. Why do they do that to themselves?” Beckett on Espo and Lanie. Pot calling the kettle black?

4. “Are you willing to cut off your own hand?”  Beckett thinking Castle had offered a solution to removing the handcuffs.

5. “Whoa, mine! No, I was talking about yours.” Castle in response to Beckett’s “hand” question?

6. “Drop the hardware, boys, or I’ll blow you both away.” Creepy granny to Espo and Ryan, who, by the way, should’ve sent granny to hillbilly heaven the second she brandished the shotgun. Instead, they stood there until the situation grew far worse.

7. “I still have a bad taste in my mouth.” Castle referring to the “sleepy drug” granny and the boys used to send Castle and Beckett into la-la land.

Finally…“Next time?” Castle’s response to Beckett’s sly promise that there’d be more playtime while in handcuffs.

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14 replies
  1. Sally Carpenter
    Sally Carpenter says:

    Lots of fun in this one but one question: if the bad guys wanted the get rid of the truck driver, wouldn’t it be easier to feed him to the tiger instead of leaving the body where someone would find it? I guess we wouldn’t have a show then.

  2. Elise M Stone
    Elise M Stone says:

    Melanie said:
    And just for the record, the show’s creator, Andrew Marlowe, and his wife, Terri Miller, wrote this episode.

    And that’s the key difference. It’s all about the writing. I’ve been paying close attention to who wrote all those terrible episodes this season and it wasn’t Andrew Marlowe. Glad to see he’s back to scriptwriting and bringing us back the show we love to watch.

  3. Nancy Sweetland
    Nancy Sweetland says:

    I love these reviews! No matter how closely I watch I miss some of the good stuff! Thanks, Lee and Melanie!

  4. Danielle Monroy
    Danielle Monroy says:

    I loved that Lanie is finally acting like she cares about the details of her work. She was sticking to her guns and not letting them push her, which was more accurate than what we’ve seen. I do miss the days when you had to suit up to enter her morgue (S 1) though. We just watched Bringing up Baby the other night and I think so much of this show comes from the old classics! I would love to see a Maltese Falcon type episode someday. I loved the line Beckett made when she told Castle that she goes first because she is the cop, with the gun!

  5. Pat Marinelli
    Pat Marinelli says:

    I was yelling to Esposito and Ryan to shoot the old lady, then said, “Lee isn’t going to like this.”

    Great show this week. Loved all the lines mentioned above. And I agree that tiger looked to cute to eat them. He just wanted someone to play with. The kitty was lonely.

  6. Melanie Atkins
    Melanie Atkins says:

    One more thing I forgot to mention, in regards to what Lee said in his comment about opening the cuffs with a bobby pin — I think they put that line in there about the 1940s because they have a noir episode set in the 40s planned for the spring.

  7. Leslie Budewitz
    Leslie Budewitz says:

    Lee, glad you mentioned that failure to shoot granny. I know, shooting her would have changed the tenor of the show, but it did seem like a phoo-paw to me.

    Loved the episode, though, for all the reasons you two mentioned!

  8. Edie Ramer
    Edie Ramer says:

    I found out the way to make sure a Castle show is good. I have to not watch it! There shows were so bad at the beginning of the season, I haven’t watched the last two episodes. And now they’re good. Darn. I’ll have to watch these on reruns.

  9. Raphael Salgado
    Raphael Salgado says:

    Enjoyed another episode, enjoyed another review yet again.

    I did have an issue with the big metal chest. Earlier, when they opened up the chest, I saw them briefly pulling the chains and contents out, which could have made some sense for when they turned it on its side, but they tried to push the chest immediately before it, and they acted like it was full again. That’s my only obvious gripe.

    I really enjoyed the banter between Ryan and Esposito. Funny moment when they were making coffee and Esposito wiped the stirrer with his mouth, then handed it to Ryan who uncomfortably used it.

  10. Melanie Atkins
    Melanie Atkins says:

    One of my favorite lines was what Castle said to Beckett while he was trying to unlock the freezer: “You’d make a terrible conjoined twin.” lol! Priceless.

    And just for the record, the show’s creator, Andrew Marlowe, and his wife, Terri Miller, wrote this episode. Terri tweeted that they cuffed themselves together and acted out the scenes as they went. Too funny! Those two are gems.

  11. Ole Mo
    Ole Mo says:

    Fun episode, specially the tiger, was a beatutiful speciment. Wasn’t very scary though, it had this kinda playfull look about it, but I don’t think those scenes were really meant to be that scary anyway…

    Best Line?

    Ryan: “Oh God, it ate ’em…”

    – specially fun as there’s no gore anywhere, and the tiger still kinda looking like a huge kitten…

  12. Lee Lofland
    Lee Lofland says:

    You’re right. I forgot to mention that it is possible, with a lot of practice, to open a pair of handcuffs with a paperclip, etc., even when the restraints are dbl-locked. But it’s not easy.

    You know, maybe it was due to having seen so many bad episodes that this one appealed to me. Who knows? But it was a welcome change.

  13. MigalouchUD
    MigalouchUD says:

    Question about one part regardint he handcuffs. Beckett said that these where police cuffs and that a bobby pin would never open them. I was under the impression, and have seen, Peerless and Smith and Wessen cuffs opened with bobby pins including the double locking meachanism ones.

    Do cops now have newer cuffs, or do the NYPD have newer cuffs, that make bobby pins incapable of opening them? Or was that just a moment that the writers included without doing sufficient homework?

    Great review and while I wasn’t as high on this episode as you I always am waiting Tuesday morning to check out your procedural review so I can learn more!

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