Home Is Where The Heart Stops is the title of this week’s episode of Castle. The medical examiner, Lanie Parrish played by Tamala Jones, was back this week, unfortunately. Back, and in rare form again. In the opening scene she holds up a bloody piece of gauze and says, “The blood spatter indicates GSR at close range.” Excuse me, but what does one have to do with the other. Sure you could find GSR (gunshot residue) in blood, maybe. But blood spatter doesn’t indicate its presence. What blood spatter patterns do tell you is where the killer and victim were standing when the fatal blow/shot was delivered. This character makes me want to scream at my beloved flat screen television! She’s awful, and she’s very distracting. She serves no positive purpose on this show.
Detective Kate Beckett wasted no time joining the awful information train. Her opening line was, “I can still smell the cordite.” This is also a line I read in a lot of books. NO, NO, and NO! Unless your story is set during World War I, in World War II England, or, if your killer used a tank to do his killing, you can’t use cordite in your writings. Cordite was used by the British Navy as a low explosive because of its slow burning capability. Sure, the U.S. brought some over many moons ago, but it’s no longer manufactured. Hasn’t been for decades.
Cordite production ceased in Britain at the end of the 20th century.
Okay, enough of my ramblings. Let’s list the good and bad.
– Beckett states the killer must have used a revolver because there were no spent casings on the floor. This is good information. Revolvers do not eject spent casings. If you attended the Writers Police Academy last weekend you heard this several times from the instructors.
– One of the detectives used the phrase “did a nickle” to describe a con’s time in jail. Good stuff! Doing a nickle means the guy served five years.
– I loved it when one of the detectives chastised Castle for using a writer’s favorite nickname for bad guys – Perp. I believe he asked, “Why do writers always say perp. Cops don’t.” Then he and his partner reeled off a long list of bad guy nicknames used by cops. They did miss two – Scrote and Asshole.
Beckett joined in ( if you’ve ever attended my workshops you’ve heard me say this a thousand times) and added, “We call them suspects.” YES! That’s what cops call crooks in most areas. Suspects. Remember that, please. Oh, even the lieutenant said he calls them dirtbags, not perps.
– Beckett has a pattern going when questioning suspects (notice I said suspect). They ask for attorneys, but she continues her questioning. No. Officers must stop questioning when the suspect asks for an attorney.
– Beckett said she had no legal reason to hold the initial suspect. Not true. He was a convicted felon who, when arrested, was in possession of a firearm. That’s a felony. Convicted felons may not possess a firearm of any type unless they’ve had their rights restored by the court, or received a pardon from the governor or from the president of the U.S.
– Castle and Beckett did a little practicing at the firing range. Castle fired a round at the target using the detective’s weapon, and supposedly a spent casing ejected from the pistol striking Beckett on her right cheek. Unless Beckett’s gun is a specially-made left-handed firearm, this couldn’t have happened. She stood to Castle’s left. Casings eject to the right.
– Castle took a known jewel thief to the crime scene, contaminating it. Had this guy been the actual crook he could then have easily explained why his fingerprints and DNA were present.
– Beckett made the statement, “They (writers) never get it write in books and movies.” What about TV writers!!! Guys, please let me send you a copy of my book. Then pick up a copy of Doug Lyle’s book on forensics. Shoot, just email either of us with your questions. We’ll save you!
– A suspect described the killer to Castle who in turn relayed the description to a forensic artist, who then drew a sketch based on Castle’s second-hand knowledge. Robin Burcell, what’s the possibility of this scenario having positive results?
– Castle and Beckett observe a guy at a party taking photos of women wearing expensive jewelry. They know the guy has a criminal background, so Beckett then holds up her badge and informs the guy that he’s under arrest for murder. No way. She’d need something other than snapping photos and a criminal past to make this sort of drastic move. Something like probable cause that actually linked him to the crime would have been nice. Besides, I can’t imagine making this particular arrest without a warrant in hand, which she didn’t have.
_ In the closing scene Beckett and Castle arrive to collar the crook. Beckett is seen fumbling with her weapon (What the heck was she doing anyway?). Then we heard her pull and release the slide on the pistol. NO! Cops always, always, always keep a round in the chamber. Their weapons are ready to fire, always. Did I make that clear enough – ALWAYS! In Beckett’s case she’d have ejected a live round into the car beside Castle. That would have left her one round short, which is how I’m feeling about the writers of this show – One round short of a full magazine.
Oh, Beckett returned a piece of evidence to the crime victim. Cops aren’t allowed to do that. Once evidence has been collected and recorded it can only be released with a court order or with the permission of the prosecutor.
Still, the chemistry between Castle and Beckett is great. Believe it or not, I really do like this show.