Castle: Heroes And Villains – A Review

Castle: Heroes and Villains


Heroes and Villains is the title of this week’s episode. I think, however, that someone must have grabbed the wrong reel from the film archives. I say this because I’m almost certain that what we witnessed last night was not an episode of Castle. Please, somebody tell me I’m right because I’m pretty sure what I saw was a repeat of Dumb And Dumber. Anyway, I’ll hold my tongue while Melanie discusses the mushy stuff.

Melanie, are you out there? Or, are you still exhausted from attending last weekend’s Writers’ Police Academy?

Melanie Atkins

This episode was much lighter than last week’s tense season premier. Much lighter, and kind of weird. I caught several procedural uh-ohs I expect Lee to jump on, so I won’t mention them here. And yes, the case was kind of convoluted — but the episode as a whole was rich with relationship subtext even if the plot was thin.

Huh? I can just hear Lee now. Rick was all broken up about Alexis’ plans to graduate high school early and join Ashley (her boyfriend) at Stanford in California in January, and he talks to Kate about it. Her words to him mirror their relationship — or at least what it’s been in the past: “You two are not on the same page” and “If you hold her too tight, you’ll drive her away.”

Then, as they pursue the masked crusader suspected of cutting a man in half in that alley (is that even possible?), Kate mentions that she likes Electra… and Rick picks up on the fact that the character is a woman who buries her emotions — just like Kate. And later, he mentions that their suspect and the comic book character share a symbiotic relationship. Yin and yang… one can’t live without the other. More relationship symbolism, anyone?

Suspects fall like flies, one after the other, until they zero in on Officer Hastings, a uniformed cop who was at the crime scene. Her situation mirrors Kate’s — she’d lost her father to murder — and she craves vengeance. Her words to Kate, “Nothing I do will ever be enough”, seemed to strike her, too. Did she see herself in the other woman?

I hope so… and I pray she takes to heart her words to Hastings after the real killer was finally caught and the officer is released from custody. Hastings looks at her boyfriend, and Kate says, “You’re a good cop. You’ve got somebody who cares for you. Don’t be so driven by the past that you throw away your future.”

Rick gets it. He looks at Kate as they prepare to leave and says, “A writer and his muse. Just like us.” Uh huh. Then they witness a kiss between the comic book writer and his muse as the elevator doors close, and I know Caskett fans everywhere were hoping for a kiss. I was, too, but didn’t figure we’d get it this early in the season. And I was right. Marlowe was just taunting us, making us want more.

I didn’t care too much for this episode, except for the conflict between Rick and Alexis and the tiny Rick-Kate moment at the very end. Too much silly case and not enough give and take between our two leads. A filler episode, if you will. I’ve come to love the drama… and the whacky episodes that work. To me, this one did not. Hope next week will be much better.

Okay, my turn… Better, Melanie? Really? The next episode HAS to be better because down isn’t an option when you’re sitting at the bottom of the septic tank. And that’s exactly where this WTF episode belongs. Where do I start? Let’s see.. How about cutting a man in half with a freakin’ sword…

Even The Three Stooges wouldn’t insult their audiences with this garbage. Sure, I think the writers were going for a bit of humor, something they manage to pull off once in a while, but it definitely fell flat this time around. It would take someone with superhuman strength to pull off something like cutting a man in half with a single blow from a sword. The problem with this scenario is that the bad guy of the week was a weasel, not someone with comic book strength. Not even close.

Lanie’s blood spatter (bloodstain pattern, by the way) comment could be right. If the guy had been hacked in two, first, then the wrist and hand would not exhibit any spray from the arteries. Cast off, probably. So not too bad. Not so sure about the sword tip in the body, though.

How about the “ice-princess-assault-victim? I mean, just how cool is she, to be able to stand there and calmly drink a cup of morning Joe while discussing her near rape/death experience while watching some guy in tights hack up her attacker like he’s slicing a pork chop off the hog? And why did they make her stay there for hours with the victim’s blood all over her? And, by the way, what’s wrong with Beckett?

Someone needs to feed that poor child. She’s practically skin and bones this season. My guess is that she was allowed to see all the scripts for the upcoming episodes and now she’s so worried about the show getting cancelled that she can’t eat. Somebody please toss the lady a doughnut.

I absolutely can’t stand the new captain and the way Beckett is so passive around her. That’s not the Beckett of the first few seasons. And that’s the Beckett the audience likes.

Beckett was sporting some pretty tall heels last night, so I’d like to ask all the women who attended last weekend’s Writers’ Police Academy…what did the female detectives say about wearing heels while at work? All together now…”NO!”

Beckett tells one of this week’s suspects, “I will keep you safe and get you placed in segregated housing.” Just an FYI, folks. Cops have no say over where an inmate is housed once they’re assigned to a prison. Even judges don’t have that authority. It’s strictly up to the prison officials as to where they place their inmates.

Capt. Iron Pants asked Beckett, “Any reason you’re not pressing any charges?” A cop would probably use the terminology “issuing warrants,” not pressing charges.

Okay, I’m tired of being negative. Unfortunately, that’s how I feel about this episode. In my book, it was horrible. And, I think I see something coming toward us from the horizon… Yes… It’s getting closer… It’s…






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21 replies
  1. Lee Lofland
    Lee Lofland says:

    Steve. Huge difference. I’ve seen guys on survey parties cutting some pretty thick trees with bush axes (I’ve done it myself). And, they cut them on an angle (diagonally) because it’s the path of least resistance. Nowhere near the same thing as splitting a human down the middle, vertically. Not even close.

    Rina – I’m not sure, but she looks a little sickly.

    Castle Fan – I started to write something about it but gave her the benefit of the doubt because it is quite possible to see a print on an item such as the button. But in the dark, I’d think even finding the button would be a real feat.

  2. Castle Fan
    Castle Fan says:

    Lee, What about Beckett seeing a print on the button in the dark alley… I thought for sure that would be mentioned here! Not only voodoo MEs, but detectives with superhero eyesight!

  3. Rina
    Rina says:

    Is it possible Stana is doing some method acting and lost weight to actually look like she came off a major injury and rehab? 3 months later, though, wouldn’t she have filled back out?

  4. Elaine Charton
    Elaine Charton says:

    I think they need to get a new captain. I so do not like this character and the effect she has on the others.

    They need to bring back the Kate from last season, the Kate from last episode, anything but the Kate from last night. She may be getting thin but Castle looks like he was working out between seasons.

    Hopefully next week will be better.

  5. Christine Fairchild
    Christine Fairchild says:

    To me this was a relationship building and character development chapter. The new boss is in town, so we are seeing Kate and Castle reteam tighter in defense of the new ice-queen. And the blundering of catching one suspect after another was just fodder for pissing off the boss and making the team bond more.

    Of coure, the ice queen melted a little at the end, so we can see she has some human DNA.

    Again, this was a character episode. Not plot intensive.

  6. Sally Carpenter
    Sally Carpenter says:

    Like the others, I doubt a head-to-tail sword cut is possible. Not only would the killer have to slice through hard bone, but the crime scene would have sliced organs scattered everywhere, not just blood spatters.
    What was the point of cutting off the vic’s hand before killing him? Could the coronor actually determine that the hand was sliced first before the fatal blow? How would this be determinded?
    I think the episode was contrived just to promote the new Derek Storm comic. I laughed out loud when I saw the comic in the store.
    I also liked how the line from the Spider-Man movies “with great power comes great responsibility” was worked into the dialogue, although I hardly think selecting college classes counts as “great power.”
    How soon can we ship Alexis off to college? Can we make it sooner? We never saw Ashley enough to make a connection to that character and the Ashley-Alexis romance isn’t interesting.
    Lots of fun in this episode, but unfortunately, the writers are still in the same pattern of the killer showing up early in the show while the cops chase a bunch of red herrings (you know they won’t arrest the right person only 20 minutes into the show).
    I loved Castle’s “white board” with the superhero costumes laid out. He’s really thinking like a cop!
    The Lone Avenger idea was terrific until more and more costumed persons kept popping up at the end.
    Overall, a fun episode until the last few minutes when the writers were in a rush to wrap things up with an unsatisfying ending. During the episode one was tempted to root for the vigilante for saving a woman from rape and possible death, but turned out the Lone Avenger wasn’t out to protect the woman at all.

  7. Maryann Mercer
    Maryann Mercer says:

    I’d like to defend this episode, but I can’t. It just seemed flat for some reason, and I really despise the effect the new captain has on everyone…not just Beckett. Ryan, Esposito, even Lanie all seem too subdued. Kate maybe more than most, but I think that may come out in the sessions with her shrink. Montgomery used to let her buck the system (and we know why to some extent) and Gates wants everything By The Book. We had a manager like that once…no flexibility. Ever. He’s not there anymore. Hopefully Gates will leave soon as well. As it was, I think we got a bit too much of comments mirroring the Castle-Beckett relationship and not enough police work. Don’t get me wrong. I still think this show is more about the relationship, but last night I don’t think it covered either of the bases. Let’s hope it was a one time aberration. And BTW, Lee…thanks again for putting together such a fantastic WPA. Everyone was great :o)

  8. Melanie Atkins
    Melanie Atkins says:

    I guess one reason I didn’t really care for this episode and didn’t get some of the humor is because I’m not a comic book fan. That would make a difference.

    Next week’s episode looks like one that’s more my style. I’m ready to see Kate visit her psychiatrist again. That’s supposed to be an ongoing thread for a while to give us more insight into her character. We didn’t get any of that this week… just surface stuff.

  9. Lee Lofland
    Lee Lofland says:

    I’m basing my conclusions on what I’ve actually seen with my own two eyes, not something I’ve read about. So I’m sticking to my original comments. Splitting this victim in half, as presented as it was on the show, would not happen.

  10. Stressfactor
    Stressfactor says:

    Longtime lurker, decided to decloak here and comment.

    Historically speaking there *are* stories of guys getting split down the middle in European battle *but* we’re generally talking guys weilding battle axes or claymores (the Scottish sword not the land mine). And if you’ve ever seen an authentic claymore or battle axe in a museum you know it took some serious muscle to heft one of those suckers.

    Also, the cleving usually didn’t start with the head. The person doing the cleaving aimed the blow at the point where the neck met the shoulder — soft tissue and a clavicle is really no defense (less than five pounds of pressure to break a collarbone or a floating rib. Which is why in martial arts if you want to hurt someone you aim your axe kick for the collarbone and your roundhouse kick low on the ribcage to hit the floating ribs).

    But the scrawny suspect with a Samurai style sword *and* cutting through the heavy duty bone of a skull? I don’t think so.

    Although, I have to say, I’m a 5′ 4″ female weighing in at 119 lbs and I used to break boards when I was doing Tae Kwon Do and Judo. Technique can allow one to do some things that should seem impossible. But I think the weak point would end up being the blade and/or the hilt in this situation. I could have believed this one better if the guy had been cut in half from the neck/shoulder area rather than the skull.

  11. Jonathan Quist
    Jonathan Quist says:

    Lee, check if your local hardware store carries blocks of salt for water softeners. Then you’ll have the grain you need to swallow along with this episode.

    But it’s easier to set aside worries, if you recognize it for what it was: A rather involved infomercial for the new Rick Castle graphic novels.

    I confess. I enjoyed it. But I also enjoy Adam West as Batman.

    As Michael points out, they got the genre elements right. It’s just not the genre we’ve come to expect in the series. But the references to the comic culture, and in my mind the many visual nods to the past 30 years of comic and graphic novel film adaptations, allowed me to accept this episode as a fun, if frivolous, frolic. Kind of like the episode of Moonlighting during the 1988 WGA strike, where they ran out of script, and filled out the last three and a half minutes with Herbert Viola (Booger from “Revenge of the Nerds”) lip-syncing for his life to “Wooly Bully.”

    Of course, Moonlighting had the excuse that the writers were on strike…

  12. Lee Lofland
    Lee Lofland says:

    Steve – I’m sorry but I just don’t agree that a slicing and dicing whack from head to tailbone is possible, especially by someone who’s not trained to use the weapon. Only through the soft tissue of the midsections, maybe so.

    I’ve actually seen the results of murders committed with axes and, believe it or not, a sword. Neither of blows made it all the way through the skull, much less continuing throughout the entire body in one clean slice. Most simply shattered a portion of the skull. Still killed the victims, though. Well, some of them, anyway. But not all. I have, though, seen a victim’s hand chopped off. The attacker also used the same ax to hit the poor woman on the top of head with a really hard blow. She survived.

  13. Pat Marinelli
    Pat Marinelli says:

    Well, thank you all for clearing up what I thought was a totally weird episode.

    I hope next week’s episode is better because I want my old Castle and Beckett back. No liking the new captain either.

  14. Steve Perry
    Steve Perry says:

    Um, that sword cut is marginally possible. Back in the day, samurai sword makers used to test their blades on condemned criminals (sometimes on corpses). Lie one down on his back, stack another on top of him, another on top of them, and so on. The number of bodies a sword could cut through were tallied and usually inscribed on the sword’s tang. There were reportedly four-body swords …

  15. Michael A. Burstein
    Michael A. Burstein says:

    The way you phrase it, it does seem to make sense. But it seems to me that there’s a substantial difference between asking for a list of car owners and asking for a list of people who are reading a particular comic. I would think you’d be up against the same issue when wanting to get a list of people who had checked out a particular book from a public library.

    Although I guess in the case of Lone Vengeance, it makes more sense than asking a store to provide a list of all its customers reading Batman. 🙂 That would be much more of a fishing expedition.

  16. Lee Lofland
    Lee Lofland says:

    Michael – Sure, Beckett could get that warrant, if there was a reasonable assumption that she could find the information she needed. It’s really no different than police officers running a list of everyone who drives a certain make and model car. For example, a witness saw a killer leave the scene of the crime driving a green Volkswagon Beetle. So Officer I. Needa Know calls dispatch and ask them to run and print a copy of every single Beetle registered to people in the area. He gets the list and starts knocking on doors.

    You have to be able to start somewhere to stop killers. But judges don’t simply sign warrants because an officers asks for it. No, they’ve got to know that it’s not a fishing expedition.

    Make sense?

  17. Michael A. Burstein
    Michael A. Burstein says:

    I’m a long-time comic book reader, and I did like the way they got certain parts of that subculture correct in the episode. So even if not all the police procedure was accurate (although when Lanie mentioned the blood spatter and the hand, I said to myself that you would tag that as correct, and I’m glad I did), I liked the stuff they did get right. Having the comic book shop clerk recognize the picture of the superhero and not the suspect was a nice touch.

    One aspect of police procedure did bother me, though, and I wanted to ask you about it. When they decide that the killer is a fan of Lone Vengeance, a comic book that is only available via downloading from the web, Beckett says she will get a list of everyone who downloaded the comic to find their suspect. Isn’t this something of a civil rights violation? If a criminal in my neighborhood dresses as an obscure comic book superhero, would the police be allowed to go to my local comic book shop and get a list of all the customers who are signed up to buy that comic? It seems to me that this is too broad a class to define, and it infringes a bit on privacy rights. Would a judge really grant a warrant for this list?

  18. Lee Lofland
    Lee Lofland says:

    I got it, but this is not meant to be a supernatural-type show. And people have asked me to point out what’s not real. And that definitely could not happen in real life.

  19. Jeanne
    Jeanne says:

    I wondered about the “guy sliced in half”– not about it being physically possible, but if it was kind of an in-joke because that’s how Nathan Fillion’s character in Buffy the Vampire Slayer met his demise. Of course Buffy was a Slayer and wielding a magical axe…. The jokes were similar, with Angel (I think it was) saying that the guy “had to split.”

  20. Dori Cocuz
    Dori Cocuz says:

    Just one quick thought – I thought the person split in half was a nod to the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode where Buffy kills Nathan Fillion’s character by splitting him in half with a sword.

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