Castle: Probable Cause – A Good Cop/Bad Cop Review

Castle: Probable Cause


I was floored last night…stunned, actually, when I heard Lanie say some things that made sense. And then she said more. I turned to my wife in disbelief. Could this actually be happening? Had the writers finally trash-canned the crystal ball and Ouija Board? Well, as fate would have it, I wouldn’t see much more of the show because my service was interrupted numerous times during the hour. So much so, that I really never knew what was going on.

Since this was a rarity (Lanie speaking in a language that’s normally foreign to her, as a medical examiner), I was desperate to see more. So I hit the pause button and called technical support, where I was on hold for over 30 minutes before connecting with a very polite young man in Montana who claimed he’d have my issue corrected in a flash. Forty-five minutes later, though, he’d somehow managed to fix it so that I was unable to see anything at all, totally deleted my history and recorded shows, and he’d wiped clean my favorite channels list.

Now, I’m a man with the patience of a…well, let’s be honest, I have no patience, especially when it comes to my TV. I was livid. Therefore, taking matters into my own hands, I finally managed to return the service back to its original state of disrepair, but it was too late. The show was over and all I had to watch were bits and pieces of what looked like a pretty decent episode. So, I’ll give you my take on what little I did see, after Melanie has her say. So here goes…

Melanie Atkins

Wow! This episode wasn’t nearly as light and fun as the others so far this season. No, it contained much more angst. I was totally intrigued by the storyline, however, even if parts were hard to watch. I thought it was tightly written and well done… at least until the end, when the search for Tyson, better known as 3XK, a villain we first met in season three, was tied up just a little too quickly — except, of course, for the one major loose end of his missing body. If this had been a two hour episode, I’m sure they could have drawn it out more, but they didn’t have but about forty minutes to work with so I think they did a fabulous job.

The show starts with a little light banter between Kate and Rick, but soon morphs into a terrifying mystery that baffles Kate. Someone is framing Rick for murder… or are they? Is he really guilty? All of the evidence points to him, and at one point even she seems to doubt him. I think she was more frightened than anything, and she had to wonder how well she really knows him. Thank goodness she stood by him. But wait… I’m getting ahead of myself.

Tyson did an incredible job of framing Rick. For a while, I didn’t see how he’d get out of it — and I don’t think Kate did either, even though she so wanted to believe it. Those emails Rick supposedly exchanged with the dead woman threw her for a moment, and I ached for her. The scene between her and Lanie, when Kate cried, broke my heart. Then it hit me: Kate told Lanie about her and Rick, and Ryan told Esposito. So the only ones in the dark about their relationship now are Gates — if she truly doesn’t know, and I’m not convinced she doesn’t — and Kate’s dad, unless she’s told him off camera, of course. I’m so glad that secret keeping theme is over. Yay!

Back to the case. I found Tyson’s visit with Rick in jail to be so chilling, the hairs stood up on my arms. Such a creepy, creepy villain. He left Rick and Kate in quite a quandary. I was heartened when Kate believed Rick when he told her about Tyson’s visit, and I loved the way she fought for him, even against that hardnosed ADA. Stana did a great job portraying Kate’s fear, and I think Nathan’s dismay and fear were palpable as well.

Rick’s clever escape was classic Castle. I loved it! The scene with Kate and Rick in the library was so sweet, and so them. Kate didn’t want to lose what they had together, and she let him know she was in his corner… always.

I don’t believe Tyson is dead. No, the writers let him slip away so they can bring him back later to terrorize our dynamic duo again in the future. Just so he doesn’t succeed in killing either one of them or someone they love, that’s okay with me. He’s a worthy adversary.

Rick and Kate have something special between them. The fact that Rick’s alleged guilt couldn’t break them apart attests to that. Now that the boys and Lanie all know the truth, I think the show will get even better. Can’t wait for next week’s episode at the sci-fi convention. That should be another fun one. Bring it on!

Lee Lofland

Thanks to the poor TV reception, I began watching this episode when the murder victim was attached to the ceiling. For starters, I ask you to think about this scene for a moment. Okay, let’s say the woman weighed 110 pounds, and she’s dead. We all know that dead people are of no help whatsoever when it comes to moving them from place to place. Simply put, they’re dead weight…like a sack full of heavy, firm, Jello.

Well, the weight of this dead woman—this sack of uncooperative Jello—was equal to the weight of twenty-two very limp 5 lb. bags of sugar. Can you now imagine holding 22 bags of sugar over your head, with one hand, while using a coil of barbed wire and nails or staples to firmly attach them to the ceiling? Oh yeah, all of this must be accomplished using only your free hand to unwind the coil of wire, cut the wire, hammer/staple etc. Believable? Certainly not.

– Enter Lanie – She states that lividity and pooling (lividity is the postmortem gravity-induced pooling of blood in the lowest portions of the body) indicated the body was hung from the ceiling after she’d been killed. Well, aside from the fact that using both terms, lividity and pooling, was a bit redundant, she was absolutely correct. Had the victim been wired to the ceiling before lividity became fixed (permanently staining the flesh a purplish blue-black color at the lowest points of the body), the full front of the body would have presented with lividity. Lividity was not present, so good call, Lanie.

However, the whole bit about Lanie discovering the killer had worn gloves was totally wacky. Lanie said she’d discovered talcum powder on the victim’s body, the same kind of talc found on surgical gloves, or the gloves worn by CSI’s. Remember, everyone, medical examiners are not laboratory scientists/chemists who spend hours peering into microscopes comparing compounds and chemical compositions of dust and powder. That’s a job for the folks in the lab, not the medical examiner. Besides, discovering minute traces of glove powder on a body is a huge stretch of the imagination. And then to be able to determine the brand of glove from there…yeah, right.

– Gates made a pretty nice statement last night when she said, “…we’ll follow the evidence, no matter where it leads.” That’s how it’s done in real life. You take the evidence you have before you, and you follow it to its source. If that source just happens to be your favorite brother-in-law, so be it.

– I don’t think I need to say this, but I will just in case…no police officer would allow a murder suspect to investigate his own case. No exceptions.

– Unfortunately, I missed most of the Tyson/Castle part of the show, including Tyson’s jail visit with Castle, and Castle’s jail escape. But I did get a chance to see Beckett lose her gun to the bad guy, as usual. You know, I think Gates needs to start holding a pre-shift meeting each morning where she can safety-pin Beckett’s gun to her chest. You know, like when mothers pin mittens to their kids’ jackets so they won’t lose them. Honestly, this gun-losing schtick had grown old two seasons ago. At least Beckett and Castle weren’t kidnapped in this episode.

So, what did you think about Mr. Supernatural/Tyson taking 10-15 rounds to the torso and still manage to get away? Sure, they’re going to say he wore a vest. Still…

I almost forgot…I’m quite pleased now that the romance secret is out. I worried they’d jab that in our eye each week, like they did with the “I love you, do you love me,” thing that went on forever. After all, Beckett’s consistent gun-losing nonsense alone is enough to make cops all over the world say…”AARRRGGHHHHH!!!.

*ABC photo

18 replies
  1. Pat Marinelli
    Pat Marinelli says:

    I’m at a loss here. Sandy took out our power at 8 PM on Monday night and we just got it back at 6 PM tonight (Wednesday). After reading this, I have to find out how I an see this episode. I just checked ON Demand, but can’t figure out how it works. I’ll check Facebook. Sometimes you can watch it on the computer.

  2. ljsellers
    ljsellers says:

    I really didn’t like this show. Not only am I tired of serial killers, the frame-up was over the top. The bad guy broke into Castle’s highly secure home and spent enough time there to write part of a novel? I burst out laughing. But not in a good way.

  3. mouse
    mouse says:

    What bugged me the most was that Kate, experienced cop, is apparently a really crappy criminal. As soon as Castle told her his audition theory, she should’ve left him in the library, tracked down all the same stuff we saw her track down with him in the episode, but without him, pretending it was her idea and she’d figured it out on her own and never seen him; interviewed the look-alike by herself and gotten an official statement from the dude saying he was in the jewelry store. Etc. What the heck is this in a coffee shop with Castle right there tomfoolery. Was she just assuming all along they’d somehow proove Rick didn’t do it and there would be no consequences for his “escape” or her clearly helping him remain escaped? Even ignoring the constant gun-losing, shouldn’t Kate be fired by now?

  4. Lee Lofland
    Lee Lofland says:

    Police officers are trained to shoot center mass, meaning the center of whatever body part is visible, including the head if that’s the only available target. And, they’re trained to shoot until the threat has stopped, whether that takes two rounds or twenty. Remember, they’re not actually taking aim, looking down the sights. It’s mainly a point and shoot situation.

  5. halaci
    halaci says:

    Elizabeth: AFAIK you are right, police training concentrates on body shots. BUT. Both Beckett and Castle wanted to kill – otherwise you don’t shoot six rounds into someone’s chest, one after another when he isn’t shooting at you. They should be quite good marksman as they had already shot out two villains right from behind each other’s in 3×01, from a larger distance. (Castle showed his marksmanship in the training ground too, but put it aside as calm conditions are different then combat.)

    So they wanted to kill and they are good enough to deliver a headshot. I could wave Beckett’s shots away, that she was in kind of a trance. But Castle had already seen that her six bullets has no effect – yet he repeated the same thing. Lame writing. I don’t mind that we will see Jerry again, he is a really scary villain in Michael Mosley’s acting, but the way how it was achieved, it’s BS.

  6. Vijaya Schartz
    Vijaya Schartz says:

    Absolutely loved that episode, too, especially when Beckett realizes that Castle actually escaped. “A guy like that has connections in high places..” “Connection? Right.” The look on her face, then she was gone. Brilliant.

  7. Elizabeth
    Elizabeth says:

    I really got caught up in this episode. Like Liberty, I thought the story and characters were compelling enough to suspend my disbelief for the first time in a long time. The body on the ceiling–impossible as Lee points out, but cool. I liked that a way out for Castle seemed virtually impossible, and despite everything, Kate believed in him. She KNOWS this man.

    As for the shooting of 3XK, yeah- that was some vest!-BUT, and Lee this would be your area of expertise, my understanding is that studies have shown that in the moment police officers have a very high number of misses, which is why they are taught to aim for the midsection-the largest area of the body. Head shots are for snipers and SWAT. Is that right, Lee?

  8. t
    t says:

    The Mentalist called. They want their supervillain back. Rolls eyes ;-).

    With any luck, we won’t see 3xK again until Season 6…by that time, I’ll be enough disappointed with the show that I won’t see him again at all!

    I came to the show for the comedy. I stayed for the relationship tease that I figured for certain would eventually be well-developed. Googly eyes, near kisses and stages of her jumping his bones, I guess, for the sake of fantasies of the guys watching the show, are not going to be enough to keep me, I’m afraid.

    So my question. If I put 10 bullets into my television, will it really die? (or is it also a supervillain).

  9. Maryann Mercer
    Maryann Mercer says:

    Tyson chilled me to the bone last night…that actor knows how to channel pure evil as 3XK. Once I saw him I knew we were in for a bumpy ride. I too questioned letting Beckett and team investigate someone so close to all of them…Gates should have at least relieved Beckett from the case since Castle had been her “partner” for the past four years. But Lainie did surprise me as well by being a bit more professional. So good for the writers on that one. And I could swear I saw blood on Tyson’s forehead and thought perhaps Rick had scored a hit. Wrong. One more visit from 3XK to tie this story up…any more and it becomes (at least for me) a gimmick when the writers can’t think of another villain to frustrate Caskett!
    And Melanie, it was nice to see Kate admit her feelings to Lainie…and to tell Castle she never doubted him (even when we saw a bit of a flicker in those eyes earlier on). Good episode to take my mind off of Sandy…even when it occurred to me that what we were seeing bridgewise (dark and lonely) probably looked exactly like parts of NYC at that moment.

  10. Sally Carpenter
    Sally Carpenter says:

    Apparently there’s a store in NYC that sells NYPD uniforms that are so authentic looking that civilians can waltz into police headquarters and holding cells–twice!–and nobody notices. And how did Tyson jimmie the survellence camera by Castle’s cell so it wouldn’t work? And how did he spy on Castle for years and nobody noticed–and the police couldn’t find a hidden camera in Castle’s apartment? Surely Castle’s apartment building would have a doorman or a survellence camera at least–wouldn’t a camera record him entering his home and establish an alibi on the day of the murder? Or spotted Tyson at some point?
    Framing Rick for the murder was a great concept and for once the killer was truly a mystery for a while. The escape was terrific–who would look for a suspected murderer at a library? But the enormous plot holes I mentioned are too much to ignore.
    Also, Lee, would a district attorney be so quick to press charges? The DA sounded like she was bound and determined to nail someone for the murder, guilty or not. If the police are still investigating a case, wouldn’t the DA hold off if there was a chance the wrong person was in custody?

  11. Liberty Speidel
    Liberty Speidel says:

    Lee, here’s another plug: HULU! This episode is available there already. 🙂

    I loved this episode. I was so caught up in the HOW that I didn’t pay much mind to the voodoo, although I did groan when Kate lost her gun again. But, I was almost screaming at the TV last night when Rick picked up the gun. He would have seen by then that Kate had shot Tyson in the chest numerous times! Yeah, he may not be as good a shot as Kate, but surely he could’ve hit his head!?!

    That whole “being caught on the bridge” scene, though, I smelled a setup from the beginning. I’m surprised Kate wasn’t more suspicious. But, no, she and Rick were so glad to have him out from under suspicion they sat there jabbering until Tyson hit their car. Grrr! They need to write an episode that will surprise even the most savvy viewer!

  12. Pat
    Pat says:

    The shooting at the end was so ridicilous. Let’s suppose Tyson was wearing a vest. 9mm pistols are probably the standard issue for the NYPD though some may have .40 caliber pistols. In both instances Tyson is backed up from the impact of numerous shots (10-15?) by Kate and Castle. First of all that never happens in real life. Yes, you are likely to be staggered when you are shot, but that’s all. And possibly knocked over. But never driven back. Second you are going to be in a lot of pain and not getting up very soon as in Tyson getting shot in the car and then getting up in 5 seconds ready for action before getting shot again. I was taught in the military know that when there is a failure to stop using a pistol, you shoot two to the chest and one to the head. Of course Hollywood bends all the rules to exaggerate the action.

  13. Nick
    Nick says:

    I absolutely loved this episode of Castle! Yes, there were a few parts that were a little shaky, but I cannot express how much I liked seeing the 3XK come back to the show, after what was left unresolved last time. I am so happy that my coworker at DISH told me to start watching Castle a while back, and I told her as much this morning. With so much on TV on Monday nights, I’m glad that my Hopper recorded all four major networks with the PrimeTime Anytime feature, so I didn’t have to worry about missing this episode. I can’t wait for more and I really want to see where they can go from here, especially now that Espo and Ryan both know about Caskett!

  14. Janis Patterson
    Janis Patterson says:

    I agree with William that Beckett was pissed. I am appalled at her shooting. After so many body shots, why didn’t she go for a head shot, just to be sure? And wouldn’t she go to the other side of the car – and stay far enough away to avoid possible capture – to make sure he was dead? Illogical, no matter how angry she was. She is supposed to be a trained police officer, after all.

    I am so disappointed that the writers brought Tyson back. I positively loathe the ‘Moriarity’ villain – the one who seemingly can’t be killed and keeps coming back and back, and seemingly has superpowers. To me that’s evidence of lazy writing. I really am disappointed.

  15. Melanie Atkins
    Melanie Atkins says:

    I loved that, too, William! Kate is such a badass, and now that she and Rick are together, she’ll do anything to protect him — and he does the same for her. I love it.

  16. William Simon
    William Simon says:

    Sums it up nicely, Lee and Melaine! My favorite part (don’t know if you caught this one due to connect issues, Lee) is when Kate is coming at Tyson, blazing away… and blazing and blazing and blazing. The look on her face was perfect: she was PISSED, and was going to drive a stake through Tyson’s heart if she could. There was not a trace of mercy in Kate’s face; Tyson was going DOWN.

    Of course, then he kicked the door open and she lost her gun. She reminds me of Fox Mulder sometimes….

Comments are closed.