Castle: Murder, He Wrote – A Good Cop/Bad Cop Review

Castle: Murder He Wrote

A romantic weekend in the Hamptons. Well, that was the plan. But the idea was quickly overshadowed by a murder that Castle was determined to solve.

In addition to the murder, though, the newly formed “Caskett” was forced to work extra hard to keep their relationship a secret. However, add a bungling, goofball police chief and two clueless detectives (Ryan and Espo) and, well, the romance was forced to take a backseat to yet another loosely-woven crime plot.

This one was a tiny bit odd for me, making me curious what my review partner, Melanie Atkins, thought of the episode. Were the candles, kissing, and lovey-dovey moments enough to satisfy a true shipper’s needs? Or, did this much-anticipated episode fail to deliver.

Melanie, were you happy with what you saw last night?

Melanie Atkins

A romantic weekend in the Hamptons. Blue skies, perfect weather, a gorgeous house… what could go wrong? Nothing, right? Yeah. Uh-huh. This is Caskett we’re talking about (yes, they came up with that name during this episode — a funny moment, because that’s the name Castle fans came up with ages ago).

When the story opens, Kate and Rick are still trying to keep their relationship a secret to everyone at the precinct. I’m already a bit tired of this storyline, but I understand why they’re doing it. At this point, Ryan and Esposito are intrigued that Kate’s admitted she’s going away with her new boyfriend for the weekend, and Castle claims he’s going to the Hamptons to write. Why the boys don’t put two and two together right then, I don’t know. I mean, come on! They’re detectives… and they both know how Rick feels about Kate, and that she likes him, too. Doesn’t take a genius to guess they’re together now. Still, Ryan and Esposito are dense and don’t get it.

Kate and Rick arrive at Rick’s huge Hampton’s house, and Kate is in awe. No, make that overwhelmed. Overwhelmed by the sheer size of the place, and concerned about the other women Rick has brought there in the past. She asks him about it, instead of running and hiding like she would have done in the past, and that made me smile. He reassures her by saying, “I’m not gonna deny that I’ve brought other women up here, but… none of them were you.” A nice, touching scene, but I would’ve liked a kiss. Please! They’re off on a romantic weekend. Give us more!

That evening, they head to the pool, and Kate drops her robe to reveal she left her swimsuit behind — a fun, sexy scene ruined when a man with a bullet wound staggers out of the shadows and splashes into the water.

That pretty much set the tone for this episode. A lot of near misses in the romance department, and a crazy case run by an incompetent local cop. Once he learns Kate works homicide for NYPD, both she and Rick are sucked into the mystery, and Rick won’t rest until he gets answers. This really bothered me, because he’s in love with Kate, and I wanted him to concentrate on her instead of the case. Sure, he’s a mystery writer who loves a good puzzle, but he’s also a man away for the weekend with a beautiful woman. ‘Nuff said.

While all of this is going on, Ryan and Esposito are busy interrogating Kate’s old boyfriends to try and find out who she’s gone away with for the weekend. They check out Josh first, then Demming and Sorenson. That goes all the way back to season one. And they still can’t put two and two together and get four? I wouldn’t want them investigating a case for me.

Kate and Rick finally manage to solve the Hamptons case, with a little help from NYPD, after being arrested and homing in on several suspects who turned out be not guilty, including a meth addict, a mobster, and a man who runs the local marina. I didn’t concentrate on the case too much, however, and I didn’t really care who killed that guy. I spent all my time trying to keep up with the numerous almost-moments between Kate and Rick. Sure, they kissed a few times the first night while Rick was obsessing about the man in the pool, but nothing really substantial happened on the romance front until the very end of the show. Rick was just too captivated by the case. Once it was done, Kate had finally had enough of being pushed aside by the mystery, and she pressed the issue. I loved the fireplace, the candles, and that gorgeous bedroom… very romantic. Still, I expected more from Rick. I mean, he loves her, right? So drop the case obsession and focus on the relationship. Please!

Ryan, ever the detective, finally learns the truth about Kate and Rick while interrogating a guy the two of them had already talked to in the Hamptons. To his credit, however, he hides the truth from Esposito. Nice. So now three people know about them: Alexis, Martha, and Ryan. I believe that Lanie might know, too, but she’s not talking. Esposito remains in the dark.

The next show, in two weeks, looks as if it might strain the Caskett relationship. Rick is arrested for murder, and in the promo Kate is crying. Yikes! Marlowe has said he won’t break them up, though, so I have a feeling all will work out during the show. Might be touch and go for a little while, though. That might be good, if it deepens their relationship. Come on, writers. Give us more romance!

Lee Lofland

I totally agree with Melanie. I’ve already grown weary of the “hide the relationship” storyline. I hope the writers don’t plan to drill that into our skulls for a couple of seasons like they did with the “junior-high-styled longing from afar thing Castle and Becket did for four years. If so, I don’t think I can take it. And why, please tell me why, Ryan, Espo, and Lanie have had such a difficult time figuring this out. After all, Lanie has a crystal ball, right? Wouldn’t some sort of hazy, smoky image of Caskett pop up from time to time?

Was it just me, or did anyone else feel that Beckett was way out of character in this episode? She was timid, almost mousey. Not the usual take charge, strong female detective we’ve seen for so long. A good example was during the meal with the mobster. Castle did all the talking while Beckett sat there, looking down or away most of the time. Just an observation.

Anyway, on to the cop stuff.

How did Castle immediately know the responding officer was the local police chief? Easy answer.

The four stars on his collar designated his rank as chief of police (any series of stars indicates the rank of police chief). A police chief may also opt to wear a colonel’s eagle, another insignia indicating the rank of police chief.

– The police chief was firmly convinced that the meth user on the beach was the murderer, simply because the victim’s wallet was found in his possession. Therefore, the top cop opted to skip any further investigation, such as checking for bloodstain patterns, etc. Unfortunately, this sort of thing does sometimes occur in really small departments in jurisdictions where murder is a rare occurrence. In those instances, it is slightly possible that not every single case is fully-investigated, which means no fancy CSI gadgets, no DNA testing, and no fingerprinting. However, in most of those areas, the local officers know everyone and the criminal suspects are usually the same handful of people who commit crimes over and over again. Therefore, it’s quite possible to  solve some crimes without collecting a single piece of physical evidence.

– Castle and Beckett were arrested for interfering with the police investigation. Really? For asking a simple question. Would not happen. But, if the arrest did occur, they (male and female) certainly would not be placed in the same holding cell/cage.

– The Hampton’s police officers found the original murder suspect passed out on the beach. A man they claimed was wacked out on meth. Well, I’ve never seen anyone who was still high on meth remotely doing anything that resembled sleeping or taking a nap. Instead, they’re normally extremely hyper, won’t shut up, and haven’t slept for many hours, or even a couple of days.

– We saw an attorney sitting in while his client was being intensely interrogated by Detective Ryan. No way on earth a defense attorney would allow that sort of thing. No way. Normally, they advise their clients to remain silent, to say absolutely nothing. And they certainly wouldn’t sit there like a knot on a log while the detective yelled and screamed and accused their client of of everything imaginable. This scene was totally unrealistic. However, it was funny when Ryan realized the suspect had seen Beckett and Castle together at the Hamptons.

– Did anyone “knot” know that Castle tripping over the pile of rope on the dock would be instrumental in his solving the case? Sure you did, right? After all, there may as well have been a flashing red neon sign floating above the tangle of rope.

Of course, Castle solved the crime and everyone lived happily ever after. And that brings me to one important point to note—this episode was light and funny, and it reminded me of the the earlier episodes when the show was fun to watch. No dark “save the world from destruction” plot. That—the characters doing what they do best, the light, cute, and funny—and the romantic spark, is what keeps viewers on the hook wanting more.

Anyway, overall it was a fun episode. Don’t you agree?

*Remember, we skip a week before the next episode airs. Until then…cheers.

 *ABC photos

25 replies
  1. t
    t says:

    Thanks for this down to earth review. Most of the Castle Fan sites limit their coverage and discussions to “Castle: Excellent or Merely Fantastic” to the point where I suspect “astroturfing” is going on (look up the term if you don’t know what I mean). Any real criticism is chased away. I like how you take it down a level to reality. Maybe the actual writers/producers will come out here to seek the truth. Living in a CastleTV bubble would be disasterous.

    I loved the first two seasons with a passion, liked the 3rd, but now I find that the show is only merely sort of entertaining. Makes me sad. The relationship is the only interesting point, and the lack of development there is getting out of hand. For me, the show is not about great plot lines; the continuity of character development is just plain bad (e.g. Ryan/Espo in this ep and Castle’s lack of passion for Beckett); and the relationship post-consumation is getting more irritating than fun for many of us. I think people who find more in the show are doing so via the fan fiction and books. The show itself is really not portraying that level of depth, certainly not this year. I hope the writers shape up. Because they aren’t winning in the 18-49 demo, and if they don’t shape up, they’ll most definitely ship out.

    And I think next week’s premise is a huge disappointment on the “Caskett” front, to the point that I probably won’t watch. It’s one thing to make sub-characters miserable, but I don’t find watching misery in the main characters entertaining. It harkens back to season 4, the only season that I don’t rewatch (except the last episode, of course, LOL, and only the last 2 minutes ;-). It will be interesting to see the ratings next week, and I’m not surprised that they aren’t putting that epi on during sweeps. It’s filler, probably.

  2. KanDrew
    KanDrew says:

    Please, please, please stop calling him ‘Espo’. It’s annoying enough when the show does it.

    Laughed at your ‘just an observation’ tagged on after your comment that DIDN’T say Beckett was the awesomest ever! You are still hated on with frightening venom on the Beckett/Katic sites.

  3. lv2bnsb
    lv2bnsb says:

    So glad to read this review. I loved everything about this show and the season is fantastic so far. Sure some of the little details bug me (where’s the scar? the red dress was low enough) but my enjoyment cast those details aside. And compared to the errors on some of the other shows I watched (Bones, Chuck, CSI) this show is fine, just fine. So many things to love, and I’m surprised no one mentioned how funny that the mobster was most upset that they accused him of a botched murder (body walked away), not an actual murder. And for the person who wondered about the ferrari, if you’ve ever drive in one, they are not that comfy. VERY low to the ground and the hampton’s house had an uneven gravel driveway. The mercedes sedan was a much more comfortable ride.

  4. Val
    Val says:

    I love the Good Cop/Bad Cop reviews. You guys rock. I couldn’t stop laughing. My cousin is a retired New York police detective and rips all of these police procedurals. I’m a big fan of Castle in spite of the bad writing and lack of continuity. I’m there for the love story.

  5. ljsellers
    ljsellers says:

    It was fun and I enjoyed it. But when they include stuff like getting blood analysis and matching it to a suspect within an hour, it makes me laugh…and not in a good way.

  6. Nancy J. Cohen
    Nancy J. Cohen says:

    I enjoyed this review, thanks. I prefer the light and funny episodes and the relationship stuff. You answered some of the problems I was having, like why does Kate not call him Rick in private. As for the mansion, it would be nice if all of us writers were so successful.

  7. Paul
    Paul says:

    What I liked best about Ryan discovering the secret is that, last episode, Beckett was paranoid that Alexis knowing would ultimately lead to Ryan (via Lanie and Esposito). Ryan, she feared, would let everyone know.

    Instead, we learned that Ryan can be trusted with the secret.

  8. Tom
    Tom says:

    Probably because he doesn’t carry a sign saying “I’ve got two grand cash in my pocket, mug me.”

  9. Sally Carpenter
    Sally Carpenter says:

    Melanie, thanks for the update on “Frozen Heat.” Usually the new Nikki Heat book is promoted like crazy on the show. So far this season Rick’s signed a couple of books but I only caught a glimpse of the cover and no mention of the title (unless I missed it). But when will Rick have time to write if he’s with Kate?
    A leftover thought from last week’s episode–how does Rick manage to walk around NYC with two grand cash in his pockets and not get mugged?

  10. Melanie Atkins
    Melanie Atkins says:

    Lee, I think some of my disappointment as far as the romance goes comes from reading fan fiction. That has plenty of juicy moments… and that makes me expect to see them in the show, too. Then when they don’t deliver, I want more.

    And ditto, Katarzyna. I saw that tweet, too. I think “Castle” has become a term of endearment for Kate.

  11. Katarzyna
    Katarzyna says:

    @Elaine: Terri Miller (@TerriEdda on Twitter), Andrew Marlowe’s wife has said recently that after TWENTY YEARS she still calls AWM “Marlowe”. Enough said.

  12. Liberty Speidel
    Liberty Speidel says:

    Personally, I loved the episode. It was funny, and to me had just the right amount of sexy in it. I did find it hilarious that Espo & Ryan were trying to figure out who Kate’s boyfriend is… and I wonder why Ryan chose to not clue in Espo when he found out?? Also, the phone call between Ryan and Castle where he’s hinting he knows… I think that was well played, even though I wish he’d have come out and just said it.

    But, then again, maybe he’s hoping to blackmail Rick into another week with the Ferrari or something. 🙂

  13. mars
    mars says:

    I agree with Melanie about the lack of passion. When they were lying in bed together in the beginning, I couldn’t believe Castle wasn’t all over Beckett but was instead thinking about the case. It just didn’t make any sense. Here’s the woman he’s waited for for years, fantasized about being with in his books, and yet when she’s right there next to him, he seems oblivious. Having said that, I am enjoying this year better than last year, but they really have to step up the heat a little bit (okay – a lot!).

  14. Elaine Abramson
    Elaine Abramson says:

    I can understand Kate calling Rick “Castle” at the precinct, but when they are alone in a romantic setting why does she use his last name? It takes the romantic element down several notches, even cools it off. Last week Alexis was off to college. This week it is as if she never left home. And if the two flunkies at the precinct have nothing better to do than spend all their time trying to find out who Kate is dating it shows that NYC needs a new police force, one that can concentrate on getting rid of the bad guys.

  15. Melanie Atkins
    Melanie Atkins says:

    Exactly what I was thinking, Elizabeth — although I don’t believe they’ll end up as best friends. I think they’ll eventually marry, but we need more heat in each episode if they’re going to get there in another couple of seasons. Just sayin’.

    Also… Sally, Frozen Heat is the latest Richard Castle book. It came out around September 20. I just finished it, and IMHO, it’s the best one yet.

  16. Elizabeth
    Elizabeth says:

    Melanie–I have a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach that Castle and Beckett will end up as best friends. Where’s the heat? We, as viewers, got sick of the never-ending tease, but it seems like they did too. The episode would have been more satisfying-and funnier-if they couldn’t keep their hands off each other, but kept being interrupted by the locals needing their help. After last year’s finale and even last week’s handshake I was expecting A LOT more passion.

  17. Pat Marinelli
    Pat Marinelli says:

    Thank you for your review on the LEO stuff, Lee. I got so wrapped up in the fun part of this episode that I couldn’t tell you if anything was wrong with the police procedures. My bad.

    I loved Kate being overwhelmed with how rich Castle is. We tend to forget that and need to be reminded once in awhile. I did notice Castle has two cars. I was very surprised he didn’t take the Ferrari to the Hamptons, but then the Ferrari is probably permanently on loan to Ryan and Espo. hee hee.

    I love Rick’s comments on Patterson. He’s made a few others in the past. Like when Patterson would be half an hour late for the poker game. Rich said Patterson would probably write another book in that half hour. I remember he poked fun at Nicholas Sparks also.

    I loved that we are back to the Caskett we know and love, and I think it’s hilarious that they are hiding the relationship. I gasped when Ryan discovered Beckett was with Castle in the Hamptons and gave him a huge ‘thumbs up’ when he didn’t tell Espo.

    Just loved, loved this show last night. I DVR’d it so I can watch it again.

  18. Sally Carpenter
    Sally Carpenter says:

    A fun episode and nice change of pace from the dark, dirty city streets. Who wants to live in NYC with such a great house in the country? And who planned the James Patterson plug? First Rick mentions him, “I’m not James Patterson-rich,” and then Patterson himself shows up during the first commercial break to plug his book! Maybe the network will let struggling authors promote their books on the show for a small fee. Anyway, where’s the new Nikki Heat book that usually appears at the start of each new TV season? Do they plan to call it “Hampton Heat”?

  19. Calliopenjo
    Calliopenjo says:

    I don’t watch Castle. I watch The Mentalist. To me Castle looks like a show they wanted to match The Mentalist with and came up with something silly.

    If you like Castle, I apologize, it’s just my opinion.

    Seeing this though, maybe there is a chance it might be worth something.

  20. Melanie Atkins
    Melanie Atkins says:

    That last sentence above should read: If that does happen, I will be relieved. Sorry for the typo.

    Also, Kate’s trying to stay on the down-low. I think that’s why she’s mousy. She doesn’t want anyone outing their relationship.

  21. Melanie Atkins
    Melanie Atkins says:

    The episode was fun overall, but I wanted more. I thought of something else after I sent you that blog, though, Lee. I think the next episode will out them. Beckett may very well be Rick’s alibi… and that jewelry found on him might be something he bought for her. He can’t say anything, because if he does he’ll reveal their relationship. It’s a classic catch-22. What do you think? If that does happy, I will be relieved.

  22. Maryann Mercer
    Maryann Mercer says:

    Definitely fun to watch, even if Castle was the one who wouldn’t let go of the case. He IS a bestselling writer after all, and after four years with Ms. Beckett, it’s second nature. As for Kate being a bit mousy…remember her roots. She didn’t expect a Hamptons Mansion..or that vista (wow) or to be anything other than a woman in love with her man. She fought her cop instincts to dive in and solve the case…this was supposed to be a romantic weekend,right? Still, once she embraced the idea that Rick was not quitting, she jumped in to try and wrap things up as quickly as she could. And she wisely stayed quiet during the mobster visit…the guy has ties in The City and could easily hold a grudge if he knew for sure she wasn’t ‘just’ a girlfriend. And Lainie hit the nail on the head about Espo…get a life, bro! But Ryan choosing to keep the secret? Nice move, but I agree. Let’s wrap this up…or at least just keep it a secret from Gates. Next week should be interesting…we know it’s a frame…but who would do such a thing?

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