Castle: Fidelis Ad Mortem – A Good Cop/Bad Cop Review


“This is not going to be the last time you lose one of your coworkers. That is a reality of the job.” ~ Beckett to police academy recruits.

Melanie Atkins

All I can say about last night’s episode of Castle is that I liked parts of it, but not all of it. Not by a long shot. The idea of Kate and the boys investigating a murder connected to the police academy intrigued me, and yet the reality of the place came off as stark, sterile, and weird, as if it were Star Fleet Academy or something. And all the shots were so dark. What’s up with that? Can they not afford light bulbs?

Kate apparently holds all the records recruits can hold, and all of the current recruits look up to her. I enjoyed seeing her revisit that part of her past, but a little of that goes a long way. I have to admit that they got me this time, because I didn’t choose the right killer. I really expected it to be the female recruit who was so like Kate. Her being a mobster’s daughter took me by surprise.

Even so, the case didn’t really grab me, but the glimpses of Rick and Kate together did. I’m sick and tired of their fake break-up, and the first scene of them together in the loft with Kate avoiding Martha made me shake my head. Such a ridiculous storyline — but alas, all of that craziness is apparently about to come to an end. Because as we learned in the show’s final scene, the two of them are finally on the same page about fighting their enemies together rather than separately, which they should’ve been doing all season instead of living apart. Duh.

I’m ready to forget the last 15 episodes even exist and move on, except that they have yet to defeat LokSat. Another tired, contrived storyline. After last week’s show, however, they’ve at least connected LokSat to Rick’s missing time, so hopefully once they catch that particular boogie man (or woman), they’ll put both stories to rest for good. They can’t do it fast enough for me. I’m so tired of dreading to do this blog.

I’m also ready for Kate and Rick to live together again, to laugh, and fight normal crimes. Like they used to do on Castle, before the new showrunners decided to ruin my favorite show. I miss those days so much that I’m rewatching the entire series to get my fix. I’ll skip season 8, of course, because the entire LokSat fiasco has been such a disappointment.

Let’s move on from here and get back to the old Castle. Please.


Lee Lofland

I didn’t particularly care for the episode, but, as you know, my main job is to discuss the rights and wrongs of the police procedure and forensics, so let’s begin with good ‘ol Lividity Lanie…

Beckett to Lanie. “Got a time of death?”

Okay, wait for it….wait for it…wait for it…and, GO!

“Between nine and midnight,” said Lanie.

Did I hear that right? Did Lanie actually utter those words? Why yes, I believe she did.

So, Castle writers…how difficult was it to have have poor, sweet Tamala Jones say something that was absolutely and incredibly believable? That’s right, there was no dumb, “based on lividity,” gobbledygook. No consultation with a crystal ball. No voodooery. No fortune telling or tea leaf reading. Merely a simple, “Between nine and midnight.” The line was clean, concise, and…I’m so happy that, well…


And then there is Hayley. Grrrrr. Enough said.

Beckett plays police academy instructor to give her a means to question potential murder suspects. There’s a fine line here that defense attorneys might say she crossed when interrogating those potential suspects without first advising them of their rights. Technically, I suppose the argument in favor of the tactic would be that they were not in custody at the time of the pretend very real questioning. However, did the recruits feel they were able to leave?

Beckett’s trick of placing an item (a bag) on the table during questioning is a very real and very old tactic that often works quite well. For example, I once arrested a killer based on decent evidence, but wasn’t able to locate the murder weapon, a gun.  Therefore I decided to try a trick of my own. I entered the interview room that day and took a seat across from the accused. I advised him of his rights and started in making small talk, mindless chatter merely to give me time to establish some sort of connection before putting my real plan into motion.

Earlier, I’d asked my partner to deliver to me a large, sealed paper evidence envelope in which I’d placed a snack for later in the day. The snack consisted of a lone banana.

A few minutes into the interview there was a knock at the door. My plan was officially underway.

The bad guy sat watching as my partner delivered the package to me and leaned over to whisper something in my ear. We spoke for a minute and then I looked the killer in the eye and smiled while gently tapping the bulge in the envelope. I have to admit, it did appear to be a gun, but I never once said it was, nor did I even offer a hint what it was or what was inside. In fact, I didn’t mention the package.

During the interrogation, I watched the accused shooter begin to squirm in his seat. I actually saw beads of perspiration sprouting on his face and shaved head. A few minutes into the interview, without me having to say anything at all about the banana, he confessed.

The trick worked. The guy thought I’d found the murder weapon. Of course, prior to taking him to jail I opened the bag to retrieve my snack, and while peeling the banana I offered him a piece.

Hey, I’m a smart ass, but I’m not rude.

Sorry, I sort of drifted off topic there for a moment. Back to Castle…

Beckett was in the midst of interrogating a police academy recruit when he asked for a lawyer, a couple of times. She ignored his request and continued asking questions. When a person requests an attorney officers are required to cease questioning at once. Zip it. Nip it. It’s done. The fork has been stuck, and, well, you get the idea. When they ask for an attorney you must stop the interrogation.

I did pick the correct killer, but for a minute considered the academy sergeant. However, the writers were trying far too hard to make us believe he was the suspect, so my focus returned to the head of the academy. After all, he fit nicely into the vacant spot in the boilerplate script.

I never once thought the female recruit did it. However, the moment she pulled a gun on the mob guy/her father, she should have been discharged from the academy and the NYPD. She became a criminal at the point. And, Beckett and crew should have shot her while she stood there pointing a gun at a citizen, threatening to shoot him.

By the way, how in the heck did the three seasoned detectives miss finding a gun on the recruit before sending her in, wired, to trick her father into confessing to a crime? After all, a gun missing from the academy was the murder weapon. She (Decker) was a bit of a loose cannon. Add two and two in that situation and, well, you at least pat her down before sending her inside.

It was a nice touch to have Beckett mention a “panic phrase” (or word). When people, such as informants or undercover officers, are sent into potentially dangerous situations, while wired, they’re typically told to say the panic phrase when serious trouble pops up so the handlers/officers on the outside/backup will know to rush in and save the day.

Finally, LokSat…GO AWAY! We’ve seen the movie Groundhog Day, and it was wonderful, but to mimic the premise of that film by repeating the same old tired thing week after week after week has truly gotten old and stale. Please move on.