Castle: Need to Know – A Good Cop/Bad Cop Review

Castle: Need to know


What do you get when you have five law enforcement officers pointing their weapons at another law enforcement official who’s pointing a gun at them? Answer—a somewhat lame episode of Castle. However, at least Beckett didn’t lose her gun this week. That’s a big point in her favor. But did she score any points in the “love department?” Let’s see what Melanie thought about that aspect of this episode. Melanie…

Melanie Atkins

The latest episode of Castle was more fun, because they were back in NYC… even though Kate is still working for the AG’s office when the show opens. Pi was just as annoying, and I thought the case was lame, but I did love the opening scene. They fooled me at first, making me think Rick and Kate were enjoying a little pillow talk in the same bed, while in reality they were in separate cities enjoying a little romantic face-time. Bummer. It was a sweet scene, though.

I was glad to see more of Ryan and Esposito, and even for Castle to knock heads with Gates. Made it feel more like a Castle episode of old. Then in waltzed the feds, in the form of Kate and her partner Rachel McCord, and I got kind of irritated… even though I was delighted to have Kate back at the precinct. McCord grates on my nerves almost as much as Pi does, and I don’t like Kate as a fed. She’s obviously not happy having to come in and take over, and she doesn’t like the way federal agents have to cave and go with half-truths in order to appease the powers-that-be above them. So why does she stay?

Having Kate and Rick back together at the precinct was good, but they didn’t really interact that much, and that bothered me. They also didn’t kiss or hug. Really? After being apart so much? Then Rick asked Kate to go the loft with him for the night, and she turned him down to hang out with McCord? That seemed way out of character after the show’s intimate first scene. I mean, come on. The two of them obviously miss each other. She should have jumped at the chance.

Of course, I really don’t think she wants to stay in DC anymore, as evidence by her handing Rick a memory stick with evidence that effectively leaked CIA intel so the NYPD could solve their murder case. Who does that? Even with her desire to bring closure to victims’ families (and to choose black and white over gray) she surprised me with that little stunt. Then she leaked even more info to the press as an “anonymous source” that compromised yet another facet of the CIA’s operation.

Even with that, I loved the scene at the end with her and Rick snuggling on the couch, and then talking about how their long distance relationship wasn’t working. Rick was so sweet to get them a place in DC so they could be together. My question is: Why didn’t he move there with her when she first went? That really didn’t make any sense to me. Now, of course, it’s a moot point, because McCord crashed their party and fired Kate. (Does she even have the authority to do that? Kate’s firing did seem logical after all she’d done, but isn’t McCord an agent, too?)

Heck, I almost believe Kate wanted to get fired… and I’m surprised she didn’t get into even more trouble, whether McCord had the authority to let her go or not. Finally, after all this time, Kate is moving back to New York. I didn’t really like the way the writers handled the situation, but I’m glad she’s coming home. Maybe now things on Castle will get back to normal and we’ll get to see a little more lovey-dovey interaction.

Lee Lofland

Before I dive into my part of the review, I want to once again explain why I pick apart the police and forensics aspect of Castle, so here goes (this is mainly for the diehard Castle fans who frequent forums, posting messages that clearly show a misunderstanding of the purpose of these blog posts). Anyway, it was near the beginning of season one when group of writers contacted me and asked if I’d watch this really cool show about a mystery writer who tagged along with a police detective. They said the show was definitely a winner, however, the writers were a bit skeptical about the police procedure featured on the show. They were concerned that what they’d seen wouldn’t happen in real life and they feared making the same mistakes in their books (TV viewers, for some reason, are far more forgiving than readers for extreme stretching of reality).

So, this review of the police procedure was born. Melanie joined a couple of seasons later to offer her take of the Castle/Beckett relationship aspect. To answer the question I see quite often…yes, I do enjoy the show (most of the time). So there you have it, loyal and dedicated fans of the show. Now for the dissection.

The episode was a bit scattered. but it did have some fun old-school Castle moments (Fillion could make an undertaker smile in mid-funeral). The opening crime scene was also Castle-ish and well done. It would be a perfect fit for the show “1,000 Ways To Die.”

Perlmutter was back again last night and, as always, he’s a perfect fit for the show. He’s funny and he’s believable, even when delivering the same sort of lame lines written for both he and Lanie.

The case, involving a spoof of Saved By The Bell, was not well thought out by the writers, nor was it a particularly good case. It had the potential of becoming a great show, but fell short. Still, it served its purpose of reuniting Beckett with her former crew, including Castle. Speaking of Beckett and Castle…you’d never know she and Castle were romantically involved if you were seeing this show for the first time. Actually, Beckett could easily win the title “Ice Princess” for her standoffish attitude toward Castle.

– Gates was back to set up the appearance of Beckett and her “fed” partner, a character that’s totally unbelievable and belongs in this show about as much as that irritating papaya and mango munching Pi kid. Oh, and the new detective, the one who eats all the time and tosses garbage all over the place…he’s got to go. What’s wrong with the writers of this show? Have they not seen old rerun episodes of shows like Bewitched and All In The Family, where all of a sudden a new kid is introduced and was almost immediately followed by a big fat series cancellation notice?

– The feds ride into town and take over the murder investigation. How unbelievably cliche and totally boring. Besides, that’s not how it works in real life, folks. You’ve all heard this time and time again, so I won’t go into detail. You all know better, right? The feds have no authority over local detectives/officers, meaning they can’t boss them around.

– Perlmutter was doing a fantastic job until he told Esposito and Ryan that he ran a painstaking analysis of the chicken poo found in the shoe treads of the murder victim. For starters, why would anyone run an analysis of the poo, knowing that city rooftops are covered in pigeon droppings? A medical examiner or coroner would need to have a reason for wanting the analysis conducted and, at the time Perlmutter had none. By the way, a test of this nature would be conducted by a laboratory scientist.

– The crew learned that the chicken droppings actually came from a poultry processing plant in New York city. Well, I don’t know how many of you have ever been inside a processing plant of this type (I have), but the animals aren’t loose and running around the place. In fact, normally they come to facilities already deceased, without feathers and ready to be divided into various ready-to-cook portions.

Hey, speaking of chicken processing…did you see news stories this week about Chicken Nuggets and the fact that they’re actually made from yummy chicken parts such as organ meat, ground blood vessels, bones, fat, cartilage, and nerves? Sounds tasty, huh?

– Okay, so Beckett didn’t lose her gun this week. That was a plus. However, while the major law enforcement cast of the show was in the chicken factory, another federal agent (my DVR skipped a few seconds during this scene so I wasn’t able to determine which of the three-letter agencies this guy represented) got “the drop” on them, pointing a fancy, probably automatic, pistol in their direction. I wonder, though, why he, knowing the others were police officers, held them at gunpoint? I know, it added a bit of tension to a show that sorely lacked tension in any form. This scene came across as forced and silly, much like the Russian gun-running scheme involving a Screech (Saved By The Bell character) wannabe as a spy for the CIA.

– Then came the reason the writers chose as the excuse to get Beckett back to New York…her federal agent partner stopped by to fire her. Well, I hope you guys don’t for one minute think that’s how federal agents are dismissed from their duty. First comes a suspension, followed by official hearings and appeals processes, etc.

Besides, when Beckett tipped off the press, totally ruining a CIA case involving foreign spies and gun sales, well, needless to say, in the real world she’d probably be facing criminal charges. And, all of this seemed to be a total rush job to get the show back on track. One other thing. The CIA, as a rule, does not conduct criminal investigations. That’s for the FBI and the other law enforcement branches of the government. The CIA is all about spying on people and collecting information, not handcuffing and making arrests.

You know, I have a few ideas. Why not have the Castle crew stop trying to save the world and go back to solving homicides in New York City? I even have the first case for them to solve. Have the new, sloppy and always-eating detective, a guy who better fits into a Three Stooges episode, kill that nerve-plucking Pi by bludgeoning him to death with an over-sized Jackfruit. The burger-munching investigator could then devour the murder weapon, destroying all evidence of his crime. Or, they could send Pi over to the Homeland set where he could hook up with Dana and they could make annoying faces at each other until they both die from irritating dorkiness.

Hey, that’s no sillier than some of the things the writers have subjected us to over the years (the Scared To Death episode, the zombies, and let’s not forget the man eating tiger that almost made a nice lunch out of Beckett and Esposito).

Ah, the good old days, when Castle was fun to watch. Will we ever see them again?


5 replies
  1. Sally Carpenter
    Sally Carpenter says:

    The only thing I liked about this episode was when McCord said, “You’re fired” and I thought good, we’re rid of her and the whole DC arc. I also liked Rick (finally) getting the DC apartment and the ME’s line “Mr. Castle’s back and not by popular demand.
    The idea of B-actor spying on the Russians was so cheesey and unbelievable. And please, please bring back the poker games! Maybe the real-life writers can dream up some better scripts.
    I had issues with Rick having to beg to get on the case as well as he and the guys working separate from Kate. It seemed to none of the old crew wanted to work together anymore. Esposito and Ryan never had an problem before with Rick hanging around.
    The health department would close any processing plant that had chicken poop laying around on the floor for people to step in.
    I would have much prefered Kate quitting on her own rather than getting fired, which makes her look like a victim. How many times has she been “fired” by Montgomery and Gates?
    I do wish Rick would get some backbone and tell Pi to take a hike. I disagree with Martha–it’s Rick’s home and he’s the one who determines who lives there. If Alexis doesn’t like it, she can move back into her dorm or get her own apartment. She must have dropped out of college because she never studies or talks about her classes.
    The DC job was just another “let’s separate the lovebirds” ploy. Please, just let Rick and Kate get together and be done with it. There’s plenty of stories they can do as a couple. But if/when they marry, what happens to Alexis and Martha? I can’t imagine Kate would want Rick’s family living with them.

  2. Anita
    Anita says:

    I think Kate has only referred to Castle as “Rick” when she’s mad or annoyed at him (e.g. Dial M for Mayor). More recently it’s under stress like in “Still” when she was about to get blown up and then in the previous episode when he collapsed dying. Otherwise, he’s always Castle. I think in part because it’s a more unique name than “Rick”, and in part just out of habit.

  3. Pat Marinelli
    Pat Marinelli says:

    Oh, and Lee, thanks for setting us straight on the firing of Beckett. I did wonder if that was right. And, isn’t true that the CIA only works out of the country, while the FBI works–primarily–in country?

  4. Pat Marinelli
    Pat Marinelli says:

    The emotional me loved this episode, the intelligent me had the same questions and comments you all made, plus some. Just glad Beckett will be back in NYC. Why isn’t Alexis in school? What is Castle going to do with an apartment in DC? Will Beckett get her old job back? What will happen to Detective Sullivan? Not that I care as I don’t like him. How do we get rid of Pi?

    I must say I was happy that the writers cleared up what happened to the Nikki Heat movie. When the way of Janet Evanovich’s One for the Money movie…it bombed. But that leaves another question, does that cut into Castle finances?

    I did love the opening and closing of this episode. Can’t wait until next week.

  5. mars
    mars says:

    Ratings took a hit this week so it appears people are really tired of the d.c. arc. I also wonder why Alexis is at the loft so much. She moved into a dorm in one episode and then it was right back at the loft every week, only now with her annoying boyfriend. I have no idea why Castle hasn’t kicked Pi out and sent Alexis back to college to focus on her studies.

Comments are closed.