Castle: Den Of Thieves – A Review Of The Police Procedure

Castle writers are forever coming up with creative and wacky new ways to murder—a bathtub filled with motor oil, a body inside a clothes dryer, bullets with messages written on the backs of the lead. And this week was no exception. The killer used a pair of handcuffs, jumper cables, and a car battery to electrocute his victim. Is this possible? Maybe, but unlikely. While a car battery does have enough juice to electrocute someone, it probably wouldn’t. The reason that it probably wouldn’t kill our victim is due to the skin’s resistance to the DC current. It takes about 48 volts to pass through dry skin and then get current flowing in the conductive juices inside the body. Normally, the voltage from a 12V car battery is far too low to get that current inside the body. And, by hooking the terminal to the steel handcuffs, more than likely the current would have passed between the cuffs, which would cause the metal to become very hot, burning the victim’s wrists. Still, there’s a slim possibility this scenario could have happened, but the probability would be highly unlikely. By the way, did anyone check the serial number on the handcuffs? They just might have been missing from the police department.

– Castle’s jealousy of the new detective was well deserved after his hot and steamy fling with the movie star. The shoe didn’t seem to feel very comfortable when it was placed on the other foot.

Was it just me, or did anyone else like this guy better than Beckett’s former FBI boyfriend?

– Beckett said, “You can learn a lot from a suspect’s denial.” How true. I’ve solved many cases based on the lies and denials I’ve heard in various interview rooms.

– M.E. Lanie Parrish decided to fume the victim’s body for fingerprints. Her basis for doing so was that the victim’s eyes had been closed when his body was discovered. So…she wanted to see if she could find a print on the eyelids. Well, I’ve seen many dead bodies in my day and some had their eyes open and some were closed. The fact that they were closed did not mean that the killer had closed them. However, fuming the body was a good idea. Although, I’ve never seen a fuming chamber like the one she used in this episode. Normally, the chambers are plastic, portable and tent-like. The body farm in Tennessee uses a Cyanoacrylate Blowing Contraption (CBC), a device created by Art Bohanan, a retired detective from the Knoxville Police Department. Art’s creation is portable, and consists of a heating chamber, a fan, and a long tube with a box at the end. The box is placed over the area to be fumed and then Superglue is placed in the heating chamber. The fan then blows the fumes through the tube to the box. After just a few seconds the box is removed from the body part and presto, the prints are revealed. By the way, the prints show up as white, not lime green like we saw in last night’s episode.

Lanie’s fuming chamber was impressive, but she really blew it when she ran the prints and came up with an instant match on her computer. First of all, the M.E. would not be running or comparing fingerprints. That’s the duty of a certified fingerprint examiner. And, print matches do not come back on the computer in a matter of seconds. The system sends back several possible matches and then it’s up to the examiner to compare, by hand and eye, the suspect print with the print that was lifted from the crime scene.

The Three Stooges, Castle, Esposito, and Ryan, were pretty doggone funny this week.

And Esposito played a good role of a cop standing by his partners. Sometimes, you feel that your partner is the only person you can trust. I think Ryan said it best when he expressed his sentiment to Esposito. “Partner, I’m with you until the wheels fall off.”

Lastly, the new guy, who, by the way, will be back in more episodes, said he dropped the charges against Esposito’s former partner and considered the case closed.

A police officer doesn’t have the authority to drop charges. That’s a decision that can only be made by the prosecutor.

So, what’s next for Beckett? Does she have a payback fling with Tom?

ABC photos


8 replies
  1. Lee Lofland
    Lee Lofland says:

    tudza – Yep, that’s exactly what Castle said and you’re correct. The jumper cables were hooked directly to the battery terminals, which, as you state, is an entirely different scenario.

  2. tudza
    tudza says:

    Well, Castle said they hooked the hand cuffs up to the ignition system didn’t he? I took this to mean that, rather than hooking to the battery they hooked to the ignition coil. That didn’t look like what they pictured, since the cables just went to the terminals of the car battery. The props people got this wrong setting up the set maybe?

    Now the ignition coil will get you lots of voltage but of course much less current. I haven’t found any solid reports of death by car ignition coil. All the manuals on servicing them say disconnect to avoid injury or death, but then that’s what they all say.

  3. Marie-Nicole Ryan
    Marie-Nicole Ryan says:

    Since my satellite went out two minutes into the show, I waited until yesterday to watch the episode on Overall I found it very enjoyable in spite of the above mentioned errors in police procedure. I liked the new detective and I liked that Castle was jealous. I loved how tough Becket was. The bad guy was predictable, but it was an entertaining episode. I especially loved the “You can watch” line when Castle asked what she wanted him to do.

  4. queenofmean
    queenofmean says:

    I agree that the Three Stooges were pretty funny this week. And the show was pretty good. Was it mentioned before that Beckett was a fighter? I mean, I suspected she had to be a pretty tough cookie to have made it where she was, but this fighting thing seemed out of the blue? Or did I miss mention of it before? Depending on what’s going on in my house, I don’t always get to pay as close attention as I’d like.
    Castle’s reactions to this new guy should be pretty funny in the weeks to come. I’m looking forward to that.
    The ending was disappointing. I felt like the writers ran out of ideas & just slapped it down. ‘Okay, here’s your happy ending. Everybody hug, kiss & smile. Good night.’

  5. Sarah
    Sarah says:

    another great review 🙂 police procedure and outcomes were a bit predictable but I still like it. Oh and I hope Beckett doesn’t go with Tom. Even though Tom is so much better than Will (Kate’s former boyfriend), I still didn’t LOVE him. Thanks for the review of the procedure- they’ve got good characters, now they just need to fix the police procedure and I hope the writers are reading your reviews so they can fix their mistakes. Thanks again

  6. Susan
    Susan says:

    I love reading your analysis of the show, which I just happen to love watching. I, too, got a kick out of the Three Stooges, and the new detective was HOT. His disarming sexiness almost trumped Castle’s charm, so I can’t wait to see where this goes. As for me, I will remain a sucker for Castle, but a fling with Mr. Handsome would certainly HEAT up Nikki Heat. Again, Lee, you’d make a great technical advisor!

  7. Melanie Atkins
    Melanie Atkins says:

    I don’t know if it’s payback or if she just thinks Castle doesn’t care. But she and Tom do have a fling of sorts…until much happens in the finale. I won’t say anymore, but if you want more info, read the forums at The show’s creator, Andrew Marlow, has written that one, and sounds like it will be a doozy with a relationship cliffhanger. I can’t wait.

    I thought Jon Huertas did a fabulous job tonight with Esposito. Very intense.

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