Castle: Hunt – A Good Cop/Bad Cop Review

Castle: Hunt


Believable make-believe. That’s the cornerstone of a good work of fiction. Think about it for a minute. Do we honestly believe that a person exists on this planet who could do all the things that Jack Reacher (Lee Child’s fictional hero) is capable of pulling off? How about Stephen King’s characters? Or, Dean Koontz’s Odd Thomas? Of course we don’t actually believe they could do the things they do. However, our imaginations combined with a love of adventure and fantasy allows us to “believe” the make believe worlds that we read about, or that we see on TV and in movies.

Perhaps, somewhere in the far corners of our minds we secretly long to be like our fictional heroes, the Jack Reachers and Richard Castles of TV, books, and/or film. Whatever our reasons, we love a well-crafted story. And, that’s exactly what we saw in last night’s episode of Castle. In fact, I’m even going as far as to say that “Hunt” was one of the best episodes of Castle to date, if not the best.

The Hunt episode was a success in many ways. First of all, it was definitely believable make-believe. Even though I knew that much of what we saw last night was total phooey, I still “believed” what I saw unfold during the show. You all know that I watch for the inconsistencies in their police procedure and forensics, but the police stuff took a back seat last night. Instead, I found myself totally engrossed in the characters, especially Castle and his father, Jackson Hunt, a name that sounds made up, and was, according to Mr. “Hunt.”

We all know that the FBI couldn’t take control of video cams in Paris, especially as quickly as they did. We also know the likelihood of those cameras being in just the right spot to record the transfer of money for the hostage was, well, sort of wacky. How about Castle’s “hired gun” leading him to the one building in Paris where Alexis had been held hostage? Remember, he found it because some guy, a mole-like blind guy in an underground high-tech audio-visual lab, was able to pinpoint the building by zeroing in on everyday sounds he heard on a recording. Again, that’s pretty goofy.

Sure, it’s possible to separate sounds and then use something that’s unique to a particular location to help pinpoint a specific area—a train whistle, or something else distinct, like a man yelling, “Welcome to Disneyland.” Still, the characters in last night’s show delivered nearly every single scene in a very realistic fashion, even Mr. Mole’s “20,000 Steps Beneath The City” lab.

Did anyone else wonder why the bad guy’s computer hard drive was merely sitting inside the stripped-down device? Couldn’t they at least have had Ryan unplug it, or something? That was a bit of lazy writing and direction. By the way, it is possible to retrieve some information from a badly damaged hard drive, including one that’s smashed, or one with holes drilled through it.

Yes, I know the scene where Beckett used her foot to shove the woman to the floor wasn’t really a proper police tactic, and neither was saying, “I’m not a cop today, honey.” But she looked great while doing those things. Oh, and the scene where she kicked open a locked door with a high-heel-clad foot…wouldn’t happen. However, they were going for “Tough-As-Nails-Beckett,” which was a refreshing change from the “Mousey-Beckett character we’ve seen lately.

Okay, since this episode was largely based on characters who were not law enforcement, there was very little police work to pick apart. Therefore, I’m going to turn it over to Melanie who I’m sure was absolutely squealing with delight at every shed tear, touch of a hand, and let’s not forget the hugs…and there were plenty of those to go around.

Melanie, has the pitter-patter of your shipper’s heart calmed down enough yet to write something for us?

Melanie Atkins

Tonight’s episode was the second half of a two-parter that began last week with Target. To catch you up, Alexis, Rick Castle’s daughter, was kidnapped, and now Castle, Beckett, and crew are on the hunt to find her. This one centered around Rick sneaking off to Paris in search of Alexis.

I loved how invested Kate was in the case and how she held Rick’s hand and supported him while he waited to hear if the kidnappers had released the girls. My heart broke for him when Sara’s family paid the ransom and got their daughter back, but Alexis wasn’t with her. Kate never stopped fighting, even then, trying to solve the case so she could find Rick’s child.

Then after Rick left the station, she went to the loft to check on him. How great was that? Her reaction when she found out he had flown to Paris was right on target, IMHO. Closing her eyes and looking so desolate, so scared… perfection. Her kickass interrogation scene when she went after that woman for information was priceless, too. What she did might not have been legal, but it definitely struck a chord with viewers. I read countless tweets praising her kickass-ness. “I’m not a cop today, honey.” Boo-ya, Beckett!

Later in the episode, I adored the scene when Rick learned “Jackson” was his dad. Yes, it echoed the classic, “Luke, I am your father”, but I can live with that. I thought they looked kind of alike, too. And Nathan’s acting… just amazing. He killed it in that scene.

I felt like they crammed too much into one hour and would have liked to have seen more action leading up to and during Alexis’ escape, but I know they were strapped for both time and funds. This is network TV, after all. Did you know that only Molly (Alexis), Nathan’s stunt double, and a couple of crew members went to Paris? Nathan was never really there. Amazing. They did a fabulous job making it all look real.

The last scene was the best one of all, though, if you ask me. A homecoming with Martha and Kate waiting for Rick and Alexis in the loft. How perfect was that? Kate’s relief, her warning, Rick’s promise, their kiss, and the way Kate hugged Alexis — just… wow. I won’t tell you how many times I’ve watched that little vignette already. Best. Scene. Ever!

I loved these two episodes. They were so much better than the two-parters in previous years that tried to go too big, with crazy plots about blowing up the world and such. This one was much more personal, more real (even with the spy plot), and brought out so much more emotion. Kudos to the entire cast and crew. I just hate they all didn’t get to go to Paris!

The next episode, in three weeks (thanks to basketball), should be a funny one. Rick thinks he’s cursed. Oh, really? Hahaha. We need to laugh a bit after all this drama.


*     *     *

World-renowned forensic anthropologist Dr. Elizabeth Murray is a special guest today over at Terry Odell’s blog. Dr. Murray was a featured special guest speaker at the 2012 Writers’ Police Academy. Her topic today is “The Forensic Buffer Zone.”

Dr. Murray was also one of the key players in my true crime tale Murder On Minor Avenue.

Please click over to to Terry’s blog to read the article. And please do tell Dr. Murray I said hi.


23 replies
  1. Nancy J. Cohen
    Nancy J. Cohen says:

    I love the personal moments in this show, and this two-parter had plenty. It shows how Kate is integrating into Rick’s family. It also makes me curious about Martha’s background with the spy who is Alexis’s grandfather. As you say, it’s all a fantasy, but who cares? I live for happy ever after endings.

  2. lv2bnsb
    lv2bnsb says:

    Thank you for your review! I am interested in your comment about the computer hard rive and when they recovered the pics of Alexis. Several fans over on the Castletv forum had an issue with this saying that it wouldn’t have been possible to retrieve those pics. I’m glad to hear from someone in the biz that it is possible.

    I hear everyone saying it felt rushed, but I actually LOVED the last few minutes when you realized the whole plan as Rick rushes Alexis out and Jackson narrates the plan. It felt VERY Mission Impossible. And did anyone else feel reminded of 12 Monkeys in the scene with La Taupe, aka The Mole? Very futuristic and creepy. In a fun and geeky way.

    The only thing I regret we’ll never see is Martha and Beckett’s reactions to hearing Rick reveal the information about his father. That happened off screen, and that’s a bell that can’t be unrung. I would have loved to see that conversation.

  3. Carole Shmurak
    Carole Shmurak says:

    Did we ever find out WHY Alexis was the real target? Who kidnapped her and what was their motive? Thus didn’t make sense to me at all. When it was the Egyptian girl who was the target, there was plenty of motive, but Alexis? Did someone – who? – just want millions from Castle?

  4. Kathy
    Kathy says:

    I’ve never watched this show, no cable, no dvr, ano satellite either. My TV picks up the CBS channel the best and I tend to leave it there. Besides most of what I like is on the show. I ignore a lot of the “not happening in real life” things and enjoy anyway.

  5. t
    t says:

    I liked this episode too. And I’m very hard to please compared to most other fans who post on blogs and message boards. It was good enough that it had me forgetting how awkward and maddening the “Caskett” situation is…

    Molly Quinn is a very good actress, especially for her age. I especially liked her in the cage scene with her dad. I wish the wardrobe powers that be wouldn’t dress the women in those ridiculous heels, but I guess it was about making her look sexy in the shot? The sillhouette of her in the cage was dramatic, but it made no sense that she would attend a nerdy seminar in those shoes. I didn’t love Nathan Fillion as concerned father. He does childish playboy and silly guy characters very well. “Serious” really isn’t his forte for me. However, I think the writing was decent this time and it balanced out the wierd (for me) acting.

    There was no suspense for me. In fact I chuckled and vocalized dramatic “oh noooo’s” sometimes at the writers suggestion of suspense. No way would Alexis be killed. Kidnapped daughters of lead character plots are better left for movies. The friend here should have remained captured so viewers could at least wonder about her. And the Castle’s Father twist would have been about a million times better if we hadn’t known it was coming. Oh well. I was entertained. I especially liked the last ~10 minutes, with the perfect plan genre reminiscent of something from the Ocean’s 11 movies. Why not? This show is pretty much sci fi anyway. And I loved James Brolin. Still beautiful after all these years.

    The VERY ending was typical. Another chaste kiss. Shouldn’t all that pent up fear and angst have resulted in a meeting later and a passionate scene? But the story was good enough that it distracted me for the most part from the irritating, part brother/sister, part Ma/Pa Kettle of the “Caskett” relationship.

    Still not the satisfying meal that Castle used to be for me, but all in all a good story for the new direction Marlowe has taken starting in about Season 3.5. I think they’ve done the best they’ll do for the season.

  6. Moses
    Moses says:

    One think I don’t understand, why would they kill Castle in the woods instead of taking him alive and”double the wealth”

  7. Paisley Kirkpatrick
    Paisley Kirkpatrick says:

    I am so glad this was popular with everyone. I cried at the end. I also thought this is the best Castle I’ve seen. In fact, it’s one of the best shows I’ve seen on television for a very long time. I have a friend in Lousiana who ‘OMG’ me on Yahoo Messenger through the show so I knew it would keep me on the edge of my seat.

    PS: I love your review of Castle every week.

  8. Melanie Atkins
    Melanie Atkins says:

    Another thing I learned after reading Andrew Marlowe’s tweets from last night this morning (he live tweeted during the West Coast Feed — those tweets were too late for me to stay up for since I’m in Central Time — while Molly (Alexis) did the same with the East Coast Feed)was that the explosions when they rescued Alexis were all digital. So cool! I need to go back and run through that part in slow motion to see if I can tell.

    I agree that the one scene when Rick first got to Paris was pretty bad, but I think they handled the rest of them pretty well. Nathan shot all of his scenes on the Paris streets in front of a screen. The other Paris shots, such as the ones in the tunnels and all the buildings, were shot at Raleigh Studios in LA. The scene it the woods was shot in Cali as well. I find all of that so interesting.

  9. Pat Marinelli
    Pat Marinelli says:

    Loved, loved, loved this two-parter (Eek is that a word?). I’m going back to check out all the scenery comments and Castle’s double. Gee, I was so wrapped up in the story and the characters, I missed it all. Well, I did notice that the Eiffel Tower changed size a lot. Loved the twist ending where I thought Castle was captured by the kidnappers. I knew that package was the book.

  10. Louisa Bacio
    Louisa Bacio says:

    What a fantastic show! We were on the edges of our couch, too, as it got close to the end. I grew afraid it was going to be a three-parter! My only distraction, is what Raphael mentioned — the cutout scenery of Paris in the background when Rick got there. It didn’t look real at all.

  11. Raphael Salgado
    Raphael Salgado says:

    I love how the two-parter had a twist I never saw coming – that Alexis was the real target. Unfortunately, I bumped into a spoiler on a Facebook feed that James Brolin was appearing in the episode as Castle’s dad, so it was easy to put together once the details trickled in on the episode.

    When Castle arrived in Paris, he looked like a cutout, and his stunt double was much thinner than he was. I figured if they fake the whole show to be in NYC while filming in LA, I quickly assumed he was never in France to begin with (nice to hear that Alexis was actually there, though).

    For a top-secret spy, he sure got pictured and sketched by a lot of eyewitnesses. Am I the only one who loves that word “tradecraft?” Also, another nice twist on what we thought was a botched assault on the compound.

    Overall, it was definitely a fantastic episode. Sucks that we have to wait A WHOPPING THREE WEEKS for the next new Castle episode, though.

  12. thumper
    thumper says:

    beckett kicking down doors never gets old, and i can’t help but notice she’s been doing a lot of that lately… do they make steel-toed pumps?

  13. Kimberly
    Kimberly says:

    Hands down the best episode to date. Loved it. Yes, I noted the stuff that wasn’t accurate, but I found myself not caring, or rolling my eyes like usual.

  14. Joy
    Joy says:

    This would have been a thrilling movie. In other words, it was great but I wish they had more time and budget to work with. It just all happened so fast!

    All the main characters did a great job, but I have to say that Nathan Fillion doesn’t get enough credit as an actor. For the first time in a long time I ‘forgot’ I was watching an actor playing a part and thought I was looking at a real person’s life. Nathan can say so much without saying a word.

    My favorite scene was the one where his dad broke the news to him that they may or may not see each other again. Nathan looked for all the world like a heartbroken little boy. All those quips we saw in earlier episodes about him not being bothered by the fact that he didn’t know who his father was came crashing down. He did want to know. It was important to him.

    I also loved the last scene where he gets the book and is looking at Martha and says, “Mom, there’s something I want to tell you.” How often does he call her mom? Not very. Real affection shows through there.) The look on his face is one of … completeness. He has settled down from his playboy years, is in a relationship with a remarkable woman who loves him, his daughter is safe, his mother nearby, and he knows his dad.

  15. Liberty Speidel
    Liberty Speidel says:

    Definitely one of the best episodes of the series–I agree with you, Lee! 🙂 I was completely mesmerized by the whole episode, engrossed in the story, the characters, even if I did think it wasn’t totally believable.

    I am so excited that they may finally be taking the series in a different direction!

  16. Jenna Harte
    Jenna Harte says:

    I felt it was a little rushed at the end, but pretty much agree with what was said here. I loved Beckett kicking the chair even if it wouldn’t happen in real life. I like it when Martha called him on the phone and he said he was with Beckett and she called him on it “Don’t lie to me!” Alexis’ panic when the bad guy was counting down and her and Castle running to the embassy…my heart was racing. The idea that a lone-wolf CIA guy would follow Castle and his grand-daughter through life after a two-night stand, though a little far fetched was sweet. And now we know where Castle’s love of Bond comes from. And there was a little of the Castle humor when he gets upset that Hunt shoots his phone, but then has to remind him about the $3 million in the brief case. My only beef is that I’m still waiting for Beckett to say those three little words and I would have thought this would have been the two eps to do it.

  17. Paul
    Paul says:

    At the end, I was thinking to myself, “How would I write it, to let Castle know that his father made it out?” I thought, “I would have him send a copy of Casino Royale in the mail.” So when there was a package for Rick sitting on the counter I turned and said to my wife, “It’s a copy of Casino Royale.”

    Nailed it.

  18. Terry Odell
    Terry Odell says:

    Thanks so much for giving your readers the heads up to Dr. Murray’s blog post. I’m not commenting on Castle, because I record the shows and haven’t watched it yet. Note that when I do, I’ve got the laptop open to your review!

    Terry’s Place

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