Castle: Secret’s Safe with Me – A Good Cop/Bad Cop Review

Castle: Secret's Safe With Me


Let’s just say this episode was a little weird. Odd, even. But the Beckett/Castle relationship is going well, and that’s the main thing, right? So before I dig into the police procedure and equally bizarre forensics, let’s see what Melanie thought of this “eye” opening show. Melanie, are you there?

Melanie Atkins

This episode seemed kind of odd and convoluted, but most of it was about “stuff”. Alexis’ stuff, Kate’s stuff (hers had a whole different meaning to Rick, if you know what I mean), and the stuff inside the storage unit he bought. Even Gates got into the act by liking those creepy little dolls. And apparently, people with stuff have secrets. Rick and Kate have a secret, too. Their relationship. So far, no one else knows… or so they think.

When the show opens, Alexis is boxing up everything she owns in preparation for moving into her dorm room at Columbia University. Who takes all that stuff to college? No one I know, but then again, this is TV. While Martha and Rick are helping Alexis pack, Martha lets Rick know she knows about him and Kate, and she urges him to tell Alexis. How did Martha find out? She says, “A mother always knows”, but my guess is that she saw Kate in the closet that day when she came home unexpectedly. Rick does tell Alexis, and she is less than pleased. Or is she?

Rick truly believes his daughter doesn’t like Kate — that Alexis believes Kate might replace her  in her father’s heart– and he tells Kate. She offers to talk to Alexis, but he says no. Turns out that was a good idea, because later in the show we learn Alexis wasn’t upset about their relationship after all. No, she was more worried about leaving home, because her dad wouldn’t be there if she needed him. I can see that happening, I guess, but when I went to college I couldn’t wait to move into the dorm. Alexis’ father is Rick Castle, however. He’s not only been her dad, but also her playmate and her best friend. They’ve played laser tag, built forts, and practiced fencing together since she was little. So now, she’s having trouble dealing. She even got him to look under her bed to check for monsters one last time, and I thought that was sweet.

Back to the stuff. Rick finds a funny little stick man in Kate’s desk, and she doesn’t want to talk about it — even when he surmises that it’s the victim of a murder at a stickman convention. That made me laugh out loud! Later, though, Kate tells him how she got the stick man… a very sweet story involving her dad and a trip to Coney Island after her mother’s funeral. In my opinion, her sharing this story with him was another milestone in their relationship. Kate is opening up more and more.

Then they shake hands. A very sensual handshake in lieu of kissing in the precinct. A handshake that in my opinion should have drawn more attention than any kiss. Wow. Talk about sparks… That was nice, but I wanted another actual kiss like we got last week — not all of the almost kisses we got because they were always together at the precinct and never at home. They’re still together, though, and appear to be going strong. So I’m happy.

The promo for next week’s episode made me smile as well. Rick and Kate go to the Hamptons for a romantic weekend that, of course, is cut short thanks to a murder — but maybe we’ll at least get a few kisses.

Lee Lofland

Okay, before I start I want to remind everyone why I do the review of the police procedure and forensics. So please read this disclaimer before sending the scores of hate mail I normally receive after these reviews are posted. Of course, I do find many of them as entertaining as the show, such as this charmer from last week, “You’re an idiot and don’t know what you’re talking about. Instead of relying on guesses and information you’re surely reaching to outer space for, you really should buy a book on police procedure and READ IT before writing another one of your misinformed reviews.”

Really? Did you really and truly go there? Read a book on police procedure? Me? Why, I think that’s a great idea. In fact, I’ll just reach right over to my bookshelf and…hmm…let’s see…which book should I pick? Yes, here’s one on police procedure. Who’s the author? Oh yeah…ME!

Anyway, I like the show and I think the characters are fun, for the most part, especially the core four—Beckett, Castle, Ryan, and Espo. But I write the reviews on police procedure because a group of mystery writers (also fans of the show) asked me to point out the incorrect police procedure and forensics so they wouldn’t make the same mistakes in their work. So that’s how and why this review came to be. I know the show is fiction, and to the Lanie worshipers who write me regularly, yes, I know Lanie does not practice voodoo in real life (and you do realize Lanie is a fictional character, right?).

Okay, enough of that. On with this episode…

Lanie – “Victim died from a single gunshot wound to the chest.” Well, there’s no way to determine that until autopsy. Although, it would be a great guess given the bullet wound and amount of blood at the scene, but still impossible to determine for sure at that point. And, it’s darn near impossible to determine the caliber of the round at that point.

– Lanie holds up an evidence bag containing an intact round, casing and bullet. Now, I don’t mean to be picky, but normally (ALWAYS) a bullet separates from the brass when the round is fired. The bullet travels away from the weapon, leaving the brass behind. So, unless the killer manually inserted this bullet into the body of his/her victim…Well, you get the idea. Besides, where did Lanie get the bullet? Did she dig into the victim’s chest to retrieve it on scene? Silly. Just plain silly.

– Bloodstain patterns/spatter on the victim’s face and neck were not consistent with the gunshot wound. Well, unless she’d been standing on her head when the bullet struck the flesh, that is.

– Lanie is a one-stop-shop for all things forensic. I realize the writers use her as an information dump to dish out clues, but why don’t they do it in a way that’s believable? Make her a scientist or a lab rat, or any other character who’d have the skills and knowledge to determine and report findings such as fingerprints and DNA. M.E.’s are NOT fingerprint examiners. Nor do they conduct DNA testing. Sure, they’ll collect samples, but those samples are sent to labs for testing—labs with scientists who are trained to run the appropriate tests.

For Lanie to say she found a partial print on a shell casing is ridiculous. The casing would have been collected at the scene by CSI’s or detectives and then sent to a fingerprint expert at the lab. Then, the expert would submit results/findings back to the investigator. What would work just fine for this show, though, would be to have Lanie simply say something like, “Billy Bob in the lab says he found a print on the casing, and it’s not a match to anything they have on file.”

– Just for fun… Why did Castle need to break open the doll to retrieve the contents from inside? How’d the bad guy get those things in there in the first place? The doll wasn’t broken then, I wouldn’t think? Just a thought.

Okay, the glass eye thing was just plain stupid. Didn’t make sense. Didn’t fit the story. And, well, think about it… A man is driving along and rear-ends the car in front, killing the two occupants. He gets out to see what he’s done, when suddenly his glass eye pops out and rolls away. So he leaves the scene of the crime, with one eye open and the other closed. Then, years later, out of nowhere, someone breaks into the house where the hit-and-running, one-eyed-guy works as a butler. And what does the thief steal? Yep, the butler’s spare eye. So the butler a-s-s-u-m-e-s the theft is related to the accident and then kills everyone related to the past crime, hoping to retrieve the evidence (the lost eyeball) linking him to the deaths.

And, of course, super-voodoo Lanie has found DNA on the original glass eye (the one lost at the accident scene) and matched it to the butler’s DNA. Well, where did she get the butler’s DNA to use for comparison to the DNA she (which is ridiculous for a M.E. to do to start with) says she found on the lost, but now found, glass eye? And, what about…

Okay, that’s enough. I quit. No more. This one gave me a headache.

*By the way, there was a bonus in this episode for Writers’ Police Academy attendees, and that was a funny line delivered by Beckett when she and her team found one of their “red-herring” suspects in the back of a van, using a grinder to open a stolen safe.

Beckett – “Take your hand off your tool, Marco.”

WPA recruits will get it…right, guys?

11 replies
  1. MigalouchUD
    MigalouchUD says:

    One thing I thought was a bit odd, and I’m not up on my safe cracking so could someone verify if this is true or not, is when they cut open the safe with a blowtorch. Would this 100% not be the way to do it since that has the possibility of setting any flammable potential evidence on fire inside the safe?

    Great review Lee as always.

  2. Giuseppe Scarpino
    Giuseppe Scarpino says:

    First time I read one of your reviews and, alltough Castle is one of my favorite shows, I’m happy to see that I’m not the one who’s bothered by Lanie…

    One thing I found beyond ridiculous: they really want us to believe that a diyng woman could write a clue upside down?

  3. Marni Graff
    Marni Graff says:

    The handshake was the best part of this episode. The forensics, breaking of the doll, auctioning the brother’s ‘stuff’ too quickly–all in error, BUT made up for by the humor, those Nathan smiles and that very powerful handshake!!

  4. Valerie Hansen
    Valerie Hansen says:

    Okay, so I’m not the only one who wondered why Castle was smashing dolls. Whew. I was starting to think it was my fault the plot had so many holes in it. And he never offered to buy the Capt. a replacement. The guy is rich. He could have tracked one down somehow.

    Ah, but that handshake! I wish I had recorded the show so I could play that scene over and over. There was far more sexual tension in that non-sex scene than in their real kisses, if you ask me. And, once again, Nathan nailed it. Be still my heart!!!


  5. Melanie Atkins
    Melanie Atkins says:

    Lee, that eyeball storyline was their most bizarre one yet. And to be clear… prosthetic eyes are NOT ball-shaped. They’re a curved piece of ceramic that fits over a piece of muscle fashioned to hold it when the real eye is removed. I know this because my mother has a false eye, and I have to take it out for her to clean it from time to time. That’s done with a tiny little suction cup. So not only did they have a screwy plot-line, but they didn’t research the false eye thing at all.

  6. Pat Marinelli
    Pat Marinelli says:

    Oh, Lee, that complainer’s comment was priceless. I laughed myself silly over it.

    Loved Castle this week but it was a bit confussing so I’ll watch it again later.

    I’m with Elaine on the storage unit. No way could they auction it off six weeks after a death. And they would have contacted the sister first, which I guess they did and that was why she was killed. But it would have taken about 6 months of paperwork before it could be acutioned off. I also cracked up when Lanie held up the bullet in the PLASTIC bag, dang don’t the writers or prop people know it should be paper?

    Okay, I don’t with my rant. Good job from both of you. Couldn’t wait to get here today.

  7. Elaine Abramson
    Elaine Abramson says:

    The writers should have checked with a fine and decorative arts appraiser before writing this episode. If Gates doll was an antique and as rare as she claimed, the doll would not have been tossed from person to person. Gates would have locked up such a valuable object. As for Rick smashing it, most ceramic dolls were made with openings in the back. He should have searched for the opening, and once he found it he could have pulled out the glass eye. New York has an art theft squad. Since the doll was supposed to have been so rare, in most instances they would have been called in to examine it and make a determination as to whether they should take possession of it or it should remain where it was. Regarding the storage unit, most storage companies have renters pay the rent in advance. Therefore the contents of the unit would not be up for bidding on a couple of days after the person is deceased. Usually rental companies try to contact the renter when the rent is delenquent. It usually takes several months before the storage company is legally able to put the contents up for bid. If the storage company puts the contents of the unit up for bid prior to the time they are legally able to do so and there is an heir or other claimant to the contents then they can be held liable for payment for the sold items. Finally, wouldn’t the contents of the storage locker be placed in the evidence room instead of left in the squad room? As for the high society matron hiding her diamond bracelet and claiming it was stolen, most insurance investigators are on to that trick. A thorough investigation would have been made of her finances, etc. before they paid out. If she was clever enough to hide her debts and she paid off major debts immediately after receiving payment, they would be very suspicious and reinvestigate her. In most cases the insurance company would reclaim the payment plus interest. If restitution is made, insurance companies rarely press charges.

  8. Maryann
    Maryann says:

    Visiting my daughter in Portland meant missing this week’s episode…and though I will be watching it (mainly because I like the Rick/Alexis scene descriptions…thanks, Melanie), I’m somehow comforted to know I didn’t miss any major developments :o) I really miss the other ME…can we at least have him in occasionally to bring some snappy banter with Castle to the fore? Arye Gross is fantasticly cranky as the character..Dortmunder? Thanks guys for the heads up on what I missed. And I believe Espo knows…he’s just not sayin’

  9. Elizabeth
    Elizabeth says:

    The episode was fun, but, Lee, the comment you received last week made me laugh more! The doll thing was just crazy–a long way to go for a “joke” with Gates. In terms of the mystery, it was a plot United Van Lines could drive their entire fleet through.

    I agree with you Melanie about the sweet Kate story. After holding back so much, she’s letting Castle in. More intimate than a kiss, really.

  10. Lee Lofland
    Lee Lofland says:

    I, too, thought the jewelry was in the doll, William. I also agree that this season is a little slow. If Castle and Beckett weren’t together adding a new twist to the story, where would the show be right now?

    I truly fear that hiding the relationship from Gates (an already annoying character) will soon grow as old as the never-ending scenes where they longed for one another from afar.

  11. William Simon
    William Simon says:

    The moment Castle handed Gates the doll, I thought, “The necklace is in the doll.” Okay, I was half-right. There was something in it, just not what I thought.

    A man with a glass eye *does not notice* it has popped out of his skull and leaves it behind?

    Ummmmm…. okay, a false eyeball is not a large object, but it is sizable compared to the doll. A USB drive, too? Maybe I did not see it properly, but the doll looked too small to hold both items. Plus, as Lee points out, they were inserted into the doll (somehow) but the only way to get them out was to break the doll? Or was that just an easy way to piss Gates off so she would dislike Castle still?

    “Take your hands off your tool!” A little juvenile for Beckett. Castle would have said it, and snickered along with Javier and Ryan, but Beckett? Cannot really buy that coming out of her mouth.

    Have to be honest…. this season is not doing it for me. Not sure if the concept has worn thin or what, but so far, I am not impressed this year.

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