Castle: Kick The Ballistics – A Review

Castle: Kick The Ballistics

I had the perfect setting for watching last night’s episode—torrential downpours and winds topping 40mph. Nice ambiance for the return of 3XK, right? Well, the serial killer was a no-show, but the gun he swiped from Ryan did a couple of walk-ons. Actually, did you notice the Glock was almost a character in the show? It had a name (Glock 17) and everyone was talking about it as if it were a person—“Glock 17 killed that girl.” “Where is Glock 17?” And poor Ryan talked about the weapon as if it were a lover that had left him standing at the altar (remember me telling you that a cop’s weapon seems like a part of them?).

Anyway, I’ll have my turn in a minute. First, let’s see what Melanie has to say about this mess.

Well, Lee… I didn’t have any mushy stuff to blog about this week — except at the very beginning, when Castle asks Kate again if she remembers anything about when he was shot (and, of course, the I love you), and she denies it again (I think he knows she’s lying) — so this will be short and sweet. This episode seemed like more of a regular cop drama rather than the usual Castle “dramedy” fare. I liked it, but I did miss the usual Rick-Kate banter and the humor. All that aside, I think Seamus Dever knocked it out of the park. This was Ryan-centric episode, an emotional one, that focused on the gun stolen from him by the serial killer who took him and Rick hostage last year in “3XK”, and he nailed it.

Still, I had to question a few things related to the police procedure, such as: How could Lanie tell the victim had been shot and do an ID that fast when the body was covered in cement? Did I miss something? Also, how did they know the bullets that killed the victim were fired by Ryan’s gun when they didn’t have the gun to shoot so they could compare the rounds? Had it been tested before and the information was already in the system? Seems like there was more, but it escapes me now. Can’t wait to see what you say about this.

I love the continuity — that they didn’t just let Ryan’s missing gun just disappear and never resurface, but I would have liked to see more Rick-Kate interaction. What can I say? I’m addicted to Castle’s romance thread. Looks like next week will bring it on in spades, however, if the preview is any indication. I’m looking forward to that one. I’m ready for more excitement on the relationship front.

See, Melanie. The Writers’ Police Academy is rubbing off on you! I, too, was trying to remember if they’d test-fired Ryan’s weapon in an earlier episode. But I don’t believe they did. More magic forensics, I guess. And the concrete…or, perhaps we should we call it paper mache, because whatever it was covering the victim was definitely not concrete. The stuff coming down the chute of the concrete truck was off, too. And, here’s an FYI. Concrete used in buildings, pavements, and walkways contains an aggregate…gravel of some type. The stuff oozing down the chute did not.

Okay, on to the police stuff. First of all, Lanie was okay again this week. Nothing too goofy, other than the things Melanie mentioned. Still, her character is much better this year. I hope they keep it up.

Castle commented that he’d come to the realization that he’d been “play acting” as a cop. Well, duh. Did it take the writers including that line for anyone to pick up on that startling piece of news? You know, Castle has been around long enough now that he should be sworn in as a reserve officer, or something. Anything that would make the things he does a little more believable…and legal.

– The bartender told Beckett that her suspect had been in the bar earlier and was “strapped.” In case you didn’t know, that meant he was carrying a weapon.

– Seth, the undercover cop, was a little odd, yes, but I still wondered why they interviewed him just like they’d interview a real suspect (Beckett watching from behind the mirror). I’m sure they brought him in the room to continue his UC identity, but the rest wasn’t necessary. He knows the procedure, right?

– Castle fades out of the scene to begin pouring through mountains of Rikers Island prison records. You know, of course, that Castle would not have access to those records, right? Besides, those records would be kept where? That’s right, at the prison. Not the police station. Besides, isn’t Rikers Island a jail, not a prison? And WHY would Rikers Island officials allow a civilian to do that, anyway? Hey, I have an idea. Why don’t you drive up to the front gates of a prison and ask to see all the records they have on one of their inmates. And you want them immediately. And they’ll hop right to it because you’re a mystery writer. Yeah, right.

– I liked how Castle is now calling the shots on how Beckett investigates a case, telling her that she couldn’t work the 3XK case the way she wanted. Yeah, that could happen.

Finally, the U.S. Marshal comes in the PD with Ben at his side, and someone says, “The Marshal is escorting Ben to his new home in L.A.” Well, wouldn’t that sort of defeat the purpose of the witness protection program, telling people where the witness is going?

I didn’t see what happened between Ben and his brother the killer, because our local news decided to cut in at that moment with the nightly teaser about the 11:00pm news. Great timing, huh. And when the show came back on the scene was over. But, I’m thinking I didn’t miss much, especially if that scene followed suit with the rest of the show. Sure, it was much better than the last two episodes, but so are hemorrhoids.


27 replies
  1. Fitch
    Fitch says:

    I enjoyed the heck out of this episode. I really enjoyed Seamus Deaver’s work, and how the theme was them taking care of each other. And Beckett’s “grip” when she closed the door to the Captain’s office – pretty close to the significant digit IMO.

    I’m definitely looking forward to next week. Beckett has been acting like she had nothing to lose. I suspect that assumption is about to be challenged …

    On ballistics from Ryan’s gun, I’d be astonished if they didn’t fire and retain a couple of bullets and brass cases from every issued gun. So the bullet would be in that database before Ryan left the station with the piece. There might be some old service weapons someplace that don’t have an archived bullet, but they wouldn’t be as new as a G17 (or G19, or G26).

    First thought on the records: Assuming, for the moment, the records are still paper and ever left the jail, Beckett or some other officer would have requested them through channels. The Riker’s folks wouldn’t have known a civillian was going to look at them.

    Second thought: I can’t imagine the records aren’t computerized by now. Most or probably all of this case happened since y2K so I can’t imagine why they would all be paper records. Records aren’t stored as forms, they are stored as database entries with each box on the form as a field in the database. Databases can be cross referenced remarkably quickly from any terminal that has access.

    I realize the writers were looking for a way to put Castle to work on something significant with the records search, but I have more trouble with them not being computerized and the activity taking no more than an hour or two than his having access to the records.

    I agree, no one associated with Witness Protection would ever tell people who didn’t have a demonstrated need to know what state a witness would be in, never mind the city. That was a bit of a bump in the road.

    Bottom line: So, there were a couple of bumps in the road. Didn’t matter. Enjoyed the episode anyway, looking forward to more.

  2. APearbuckle
    APearbuckle says:

    I just kinda hoped they deliberately said LA out loud out of leak paranoia and then took the guy to Colorado or something.

  3. Barbara Sheridan
    Barbara Sheridan says:

    I’m pretty willing to suspend disbelief of most things with this show because I love the characters, but even I was yelling back at the TV when Beckett had to clue Castle in on Chinese tongs.

    Seriously, scriptwriters did you have a total brain blank with that one?

    If he knew about the Russian mob how can he not have a clue about the Chinese mob?

    The thing that is really driving me nuts this time around is gates wanting to be called “Sir”. Okay I can get that she’s against being called “Ma’am” but “Sir”? Why not go with rank alone if a gender defining word is so distasteful?

  4. Sally Carpenter
    Sally Carpenter says:

    One more thing about Alexis. She puts in an application to one of the most competitive colleges, she’s turned down (along with hundreds of other qualified students) and now she feels she can’t get into ANY college at all. No doubt a dozen of second tier colleges would snap her up. I know Alexis wants Stanford because her boyfriend’s there, but for a character who’s always been intelligent and perceptive, she’s acting terribly irrational–or maybe she’s finally behaving like a real teenager.

  5. Janet
    Janet says:

    Alexis was becoming a little snot until Stanford turned her down. Between her snippiness, Gates’ rudeness, and Beckett’s moroseness, it was getting unpleasant to watch the show. So I was relieved to see Alexis’ comeuppance. (Plus, I already get an overdose of Stanfurd, which is just down the road.)

    If the writers were to put Gates’ verbiage in the mouth of a male, he might be in hot water for threatening his employees and creating a hostile work environment. But the writers seem to think officiousness and overt threats like “I’ll bury you!” are OK coming from a woman. The stereotyping is as unpleasant as watching her overact.

    I’ve not spent much time in police stations, so I don’t know if that level of discourse actually is common there.

    Thanks again to Lee and Mel for their observations, and to others for their insights and comments.

  6. Maryann Mercer
    Maryann Mercer says:

    I was glad to see Seamus Dever get some quality time as Ryan…and I agree with Melanie. He knocked it out of the park. That said, I wondered the same thing as everyone else about Lanie’s on-scene call and the other issues. I did enjoy Rick’s admission to his mom that he wanted to be Beckett’s partner but deep down he knew he was just play-acting. Kind of a nice bit, unnecessary but nice since we got to see Susan Sullivan act like a mom :o) Things seemed almost back to normal…and then the Fderal Marshal (although we don’t know that, I’m just assuming) told the whole world that Ben was going to LA. Assuming he was needed for testimony at some point, I doubt we’d have even ever seen him again except that the writers needed us to know Glock 17 hadn’t killed one more innocent person, thereby saddling Ryan with more guilt. One last thing. For me, it was great to see Esposito and Ryan as true partners, not just the light-hearted banter we get sometimes.

  7. thumper
    thumper says:

    texanne: the body was buried in the sand at the bottom of the shallow pit/formwork. i guess if it hadn’t been buried the cement crew would have seen the body right away and not poured? it wasn’t until one of the workers was using the rod to make sure the concrete was getting to the bottom and snagged an arm before they realized what it was and he reached in to pull the body out?

    this is just speculation on my part. i know nothing about mixing/pouring concrete. however, if they had tried to wash the mix off the body after recovering it, would it have meant a loss of any evidence that may still be on the body, or is that a moot point?

  8. Texanne
    Texanne says:

    Someone should ask if concrete will set up with blood in it. Concrete is made of cement, sand, water, and often, gravel. Cement is the “glue” that sticks it together; concrete is the finished product. Like flour and cake. Some substances, added to concrete, will keep it from curing properly, or possibly even keep it from setting up.

    I don’t have a TV but I do have a cement mixer. :)TX

  9. Angi
    Angi says:

    Did anyone notice that the body which had been removed from drying “cement” didn’t have ANY abrasions from the cement being removed? Is there a special solvent that magically removes cement without sticking to the skin? And, where did all the fresh bright red blood come from on the body and in the dirt (which had been full of cement).

    I actually had to pause the opening scene and tell my husband, I hope it gets better than this. The construction worked “pulled up” the body…but they say it had been buried in the sand. Huh? How did that happen?

    I normally overlook all their ‘goofs’ just because I enjoy the banter between Castle & Beckett.

  10. Sally Carpenter
    Sally Carpenter says:

    Enjoyable episode. Nice change from the usual pattern. Interesting turnaround that this time it’s Ryan, not Beckett, who’s told to “go home and cool off” and “you’re getting too emotional.”
    Loved at the end when Castle told Beckett while he didn’t want the DA to cut a deal with the killer in exchange for possibly false information. Does this mean the serial killer will become a recurrent theme like Beckett’s mother’s death?
    I can’t stand TV lawyers and their “my client will sue the department if you harass him!” Oh, please. The police are allowed to talk to anybody they want if there’s a reasonable reason to do so, right?
    Funny when Alexis was complaining about her friends complaining about school. But does she think adding one more activity to her plate will get her into Stamford? Maybe she should work on her grades?
    Gates is so unappealing. At least Montgomery had likability even when he called down his detectives, but Gates is just shrill.

  11. thumper
    thumper says:

    sorry for the billion questions lee… although ryan’s gun has been recovered, his stolen badge/police id has not. how much trouble will there be for ryan with this?

  12. Pat Marinelli
    Pat Marinelli says:

    Better show than the first two, that’s for sure.

    I totally missed the witness to LA thing. Duh, that was kind of stupid of the writers.

    I liked Ryan in this episode. His worry and emotions helped me as a writer with a senario I wouldn’t have thought to write about.

    All in all, I’ll keep watching this season.

  13. Ellie
    Ellie says:

    I jumped off the sofa last night when they announced out loud that the U S Marshalls were placing Ben in the witness protection program & relocating him to LA! What a horrible blooper. I don’t think a mystery writer would get away with that line in a book. That was as bad as Ryan saying years ago he shouted out to Lou that Alysia (the informant) was on the phone. Don’t they learn from their mistakes?

  14. thumper
    thumper says:

    hi lee. about your question as to whether there is an nypd reserve force… there is one:

    i remember this from a 9/11 documentary that mentioned there were many reserve officers that had responded that day who had been lost along with everyone else =(

    i only looked at it briefly and it seems to be limited to basic uniform patrol duties, and dosen’t cover anything castle is doing now (but then again how many police forces have their own novelist and cappucino maker?), and it clearly states no reserve officer carries a firearm, but that dosen’t necessarily mean they cannot use one if called upon to do so?

  15. Lee Lofland
    Lee Lofland says:

    Thumper – Yes, those records are kept. The physical evidence is stored as well.

    Good point about the 3XK past investigation. You’re right, they’d have those files if they copied them during the initial investigation. Still, a real-life civilian wouldn’t have access to them, especially by himself…and to take them home…No way.

  16. thumper
    thumper says:

    thanks for answering back lee.

    on a side note, are ballistics records kept from officer involved shootings? not sure if i am saying that right… in other shows they seem to always collect the weapon’s firearm for investigation?

    i was also wondering is it possible that that the precinct may have copies of everything pertaining to the 3xk investigation from before after his escape? which would mean that they already have the prison records on file. but like you clearly pointed out, castle walked out of precinct with an entire box!?! gates would have had a field day with that.

  17. D. Swords
    D. Swords says:

    I don’t watch this show, but in my characteristically male channel surfing I often land on it and take a moment or two to watch, since I look forward to Lee’s analysis. So, I happened to see the part where Beckett tells the officer that it was his gun (I believe his old service weapon) that killed the woman. It didn’t bother me for two reasons. One, because many departments take ballistic samples of weapons they issue to officers as a matter of routine, and secondly, because it’s such a bad show that I really don’t care. 🙂

  18. Lee Lofland
    Lee Lofland says:

    Well, I’m not sure if NYC even has a reserve program. But to join, candidates apply, go through the same background check as potential officers, and then attend the academy (could be a mini-academy that’s not as in-depth). They’re volunteers, though. Not paid, which would be fine with Castle.

    Different departments have different requirements and policies, but that’s probably the norm.

Comments are closed.