Castle: Knockdown – A Review

Castle: Knockdown

Thank you, Will Beall. Thank you for doing your part to reduce America’s dependence on fossil fuels. Yep, in a single stroke of your pen, sir, you heated millions of households across this great land of ours. And I’m not talking just a little warm air drifting across our living rooms. Nope. “The Kiss” generated enough raw heat to…WAIT A MINUTE! Al Gore, were you watching Castle tonight? There’s your global warming!

Seriously, the joining of lips between Castle and Beckett has die-hard Castle fans squealing with delight. And it’s about time something happened between these two. After all, they’re only human. Besides, how much longer could they have lasted with that much sexual tension between them? Teenage boys have exploded under far less pressure.

I do, however, wonder where this will lead us. There’s no doubt that the relationship between Castle and Beckett has entered a place from where they can never return. Sure, people say they can remain as “just friends” after joining taste buds, but the friendship can never be the same as it once was. And, of course, there’s the difficulty that comes with a pair of lip-locking law enforcement folks. Personal emotions are very hard to keep in check when some slimeball is spitting in your loved-one’s pretty little face (in this case I’m sure everyone would agree that the “pretty little face” phrase could apply to both Fillion and Stana Katic). And this stuck out like a sore thumb throughout this episode. Castle definitely played the protective lover role several times during interviews of bad guys. And that’s exactly the sort of thing that could make for some pretty fun future episodes. We’ll see.

Some other noteworthy, non-police-related scenes:

1. Beckett called Castle by his first name, Rick. And she was all goo-goo-eyed when she did.

2. Castle’s “Always” comment when Beckett was tenderly bandaging his hand.

3. Castle’s “Plucky Little Sidekick” comment.

4. Castle saying that he’s Beckett’s partner. Was there a hidden meaning there? What kind of partner did he mean? Hmm…

5. Castle’s reference to his chocolate badge. The goofy stuff, I like. It adds to Castle’s personality.

6. Castle’s hilarious, but very realistic reaction to the kiss.

Okay, enough of the fun stuff. Let’s get on with what’s realistic, or not, with the police procedure used in the show. Please remember that I do know the show is fiction and is not intended to be a study guide for a police department hiring exam. I merely point out this stuff so you, the reader/viewer/writer/fan will know right from wrong. And the first right thing I want to point out is that there was no appearance by the M.E. in this episode. Good move. The distractions brought on by that character was not needed and would have taken away from what turned out to be a very nice show.

– The shot fired by the sniper. Nope. Couldn’t have happened the way it was shown in this episode. Sure, the writers chose the perfect weapon, a .338 magnum, which is capable of firing a dead-on straight, laser-like shot at over 1,000 yards. Certainly, a skilled marksman could have easily shot the hair off a fly’s butt from that 4th story window. But, they overlooked a simple detail—the trajectory. As I said, the shot could have been fairly easy (it’s possible)—a big man-size target shot with a powerful rifle—but you first have to be able to see that target. And, in this case, that would have been impossible because the shooter was on the 4th floor looking down toward the window in the restaurant. The sun was shining brightly. Good so far. But, the blinds were open with the slats clearly and perfectly horizontal (parallel to the floor). Therefore, the shooter would not have been able to see inside the building through the window.

Instead, he would have seen a solid wall of blinds. In order to see through the window from his angle the blinds would have to have been tilted upward, not horizontally.

– Obviously, Beckett would not have been permitted to work a homicide case where her own mother was the victim. And, Castle (Nancy Drew according to the captain) would never be allowed to become involved in the actual investigation—any investigation, actually. I’ve allowed reporters and even some civilians to tag along with me during an investigation or two. But I’d never permit them to question suspects, etc. But this show is all about Castle doing just that. And that’s what makes it fun and funny.

– Castle’s mother played a good part in this episode, and her comment, “You can’t charm your way out of a bullet,” was a good one. All too often, even real cops forget just how dangerous their jobs really are. And it sometimes takes a “bullet” to bring them back to reality.

A good example of just how dangerous the job has become is the recent increase in the number of shootings of police officers. For example:

Two Washington officers were shot last weekend.

Yesterday, four Detroit police officers were shot inside their own police department.

An Indianapolis police officer was shot in the face last Sunday morning.

Two Florida police officers were shot and killed yesterday.

A U.S. Marshal was shot yesterday.

And it’s only Tuesday.

– Fuming a live person’s skin for prints. HmmEven if it worked…well, they use Superglue, you know.

But the worst part of the whole fingerprint thing was that they instantly received a copy of the guy’s driver’s license, his address, credit card information, shoe size, his favorite breakfast cereal, and the date he lost his virginity. Sure, some information would be available, but ONLY if the suspect’s information had been entered into the system. And why is a suspect’s information entered into the fingerprint database? Because they’d committed a crime at some point in their life. In this case, detectives said the guy had a spotless record, not even a traffic ticket. Therefore, his information would not have been on file. Even if it had, the system doesn’t work like we saw  in this episode. Not even close. Good for TV, but bad for reality.

– Beckett is a good detective (at least she’s supposed to be), and she’s been going over the details of her mother’s murder every day for years. She’s examined the evidence over and over and over and over again. So why hadn’t she looked at the negatives? Why did it take Castle, a non-police person, to figure out that negatives just might be a clue… duh! Same problem with Castle finding information and files within the police department. What, does the NYPD just leave all their files laying around the floors, in hallways, on windowsills, in the break room, etc.? Of course not! There are actual people who maintain those records, the files, and the COMPUTERS where the information is stored. Castle would have to go through a ton of people to get to the paperwork.

Esposito watches Ryan take an ice water bath courtesy of a mob killer. This was an entertaining scene that was a little out of place. I really didn’t see it’s purpose. But even more importantly, I didn’t understand how the bad guy got “the drop” on the two detectives. I mean, all he did was drop a distraction device down an open stairway. Both officers have probably seen and heard dozens of those things go off in their day. So no big surprise, right?

So what was the big deal, and why did the little boom render both of them helpless to the point where they lost their cell phones and weapons. Hell, I’ve tossed those things into houses where the people barely stopped watching Married With Children long enough to see what had just happened.

– Beckett and Castle interview an ex-cop with mob ties. Probably an extremely high-profile, difficult case. Sure, I’d want my non-cop, top mystery writer conducting that interview. Same problem when Beckett arrives to take down the mob-connected professional hit man. Her back up? An unarmed, untrained, mystery writer. Now that’s realistic. Funny, yes, but please don’t think it’s like that in real life. Surprisingly, police officers tend to be a little more cautious when it comes to protecting their own rear ends!

– So, we’re supposed to believe that a professional hit man would hesitate before popping a hole in Beckett’s head? Nah, even a gansta-wanna-be would have dropped her. And, oh my goodness…the scene where Castle beats the mobster senseless…sure, that was possible, right?

And now we’re back to “The Kiss.” Castle said it was amazing. I, too, think it was an amazing moment for the show.

So where do we go from here? Oh, I know…to the Writers’ Police Academy so we can learn how this stuff is really done!

Registration for the 2011 WPA opens today. So please visit our all new website and reserve your spot today. It’s Disneyland for writers!

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Don’t forget to watch Southland tonight!

8 replies
  1. Zemolina
    Zemolina says:

    Parker, some scanners have negative scanner plates and software, and you can also get stand-alone machines that scan negatives to your computer, Iassume that’s how they got the photos on to the computer.

  2. PatMarin
    PatMarin says:

    Thanks, Lee, for you usual reveiw of what we need to know as writers.

    I actually got so caught up in the show that I forgot to pay attention to the proceedures. I didn’t even think about the blinds, but I did wonder about the first bullet going thru a window and hitting the target. Wouldn’t the window deflect the bullet from the target if he could see thru the blinds?

    I get the stats from the National Law Enforcement Memorial site, and find it horrifying how many LEOs have lost there lives lately. I so appreciate your Friday blog honoring them.

    Pat Marinelli

  3. _parker_
    _parker_ says:

    I could maybe buy Beckett not seeing those last four pictures from the negatives, since sometimes I miss things staring me right in the face, but what I didn’t understand was how they got the negatives to show up on the computer screen. They didn’t have digital cameras back then.

    I thought the episode was a lot of fun. Suspenseful and well-acted. I would like for them to pay a teensy bit more attention toward some things that are painfully obvious, such as sitting directly in front of windows when they’re being sniped.

  4. melanie atkins
    melanie atkins says:

    I loved this episode for so many non-police reasons. The kiss, of course, but also the flowers, the plucky sidekick comment, the big question Rick skated around with Kate when she used his first name… I could go on and on. I’m watching the show for the third time right now. lol Yes, I’m addicted.

  5. Lee Lofland
    Lee Lofland says:

    Michael – Yes, the captain was right in putting those two on the case. And thanks for the NYC detail. I didn’t know.

    Pat – Thanks for letting us know about the Toronto officer. We don’t receive those details.

    Barbara – A rifle scope is plenty powerful, probably more so than binoculars, but he still wouldn’t be able to see through the blinds due to their angle (based on the laser trajectory shot they showed last night). Try this. Open your blinds at home, then stand on a ladder looking down at them, trying to see outside. It’ll appear as if the blinds are closed.

  6. BarbaraSheridan
    BarbaraSheridan says:

    Seriously, the joining of lips between Castle and Beckett has die-hard Castle fans squealing with delight.

    Squealing outloud with delight here. ^_^

    Therefore, the shooter would not have been able to see inside the building through the window.

    I defer to you as the expert but I assumed the guy being such an uber hitman lined up the shot after zooming in on his target with binoculars or something. (obviously crime writing is not my specialty).

    So, we’re supposed to believe that a professional hit man would hesitate before popping a hole in Beckett’s head? Nah, even a gansta-wanna-be would have dropped her. And, oh my goodness…the scene where Castle beats the mobster senseless…sure, that was possible, right?

    Agree on the hitman taking too long but I can chalk it up to necessary plot device. I’ll even go so far as to liken it to it being Castle’s perception, time stood still for him at the thought of losing Beckett forever.

    I’ll give them Castle beating the crud out of the guy. He was enraged and it struck me as the adrenalin rush/superhuman strength burst that enables petite moms to lift a car off their kid.

  7. pabrown
    pabrown says:

    You forgot to mention the Toronto cop who was killed by a guy on a stolen snowplow. That was just last week.

    I missed Castle last night because it sounded like a repeat. Now I have to wait for reruns. Wah. I love it when Will Beall writes those shows. I’ve already bugged him about writing his sequel to L.A. REX, which he says he will, some day.

  8. Michael A. Burstein
    Michael A. Burstein says:

    I did like the way Montgomery took Beckett off the case and assigned it to Ryan and Esposito. I’m not in a position to know, but their initial reaction of declining to take the case without Beckett, and Montgomery’s blunt response about being in charge, felt realistic to me.

    The one thing that did bother me was being told that the coffee shop was on 4th and Main. I’m a native New Yorker, and as far as I know the only 4th and Main in the whole city is in the Bronx.

    One other thing I also liked: maybe it’s not realistic for Castle to have beaten up the mobster, but afterwards his hand was injured and had to be taped up. Too often on TV shows people punch other people out and walk away without injuries to their hands. It’s like seeing pistols fired without recoil (except when the recoil is necessary to the plot).

    On a more somber note, I saw the news stories about the recent deaths of police officers, and I appreciate your posts every Friday about them.

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