Castle: Slice Of Death – A Review

Castle: Slice Of Death


Was it just me, or were you, too, salivating for a good slice of pizza after watching this episode? Yeah, well, I also found myself salivating for something more from the show—something new! I’m bored. Each week, Castle, Beckett, and the rest of the crew do the same things…over and over and over and over again. There’s a body, a few witty one-liners, Ryan and Esposito trot on camera to deliver a very handy clue at just the right moment, and Lanie, well, she’s Lanie…consistently and monotonously goofy.

I’m pretty certain there’s a boilerplate script floating among the writers who take turns filling in the blanks each week. The boilerplate theory becomes apparent when I look back over my notes for the past three seasons.

In the beginning, I often took five or six pages of notes, scribbling furiously to keep up with the actors. As time passed, the note-taking became easier and easier. Why? Because I learned the pattern. Yep, the show has a consistent pattern (this happens, followed by that, and then this, and BINGO, there’s your killer). Last night’s note-taking—only a half page.

Sure, I still like the show, mainly because Fillion’s fun to watch. Stana Katic has some pretty good moments as well. I also like the Ryan and Esposito characters, but I’d like to see more from them. Simply popping in the room like Jack-in-the Boxes to deliver a bit of news to Beckett is really getting old. And speaking of getting old…how about the constant alluding-to-Josh thing? Just write him out of the show and get on with it. It’s no longer working as a teaser. Instead, it’s become an irritant, kind of like Dana Delany as the FBI agent. Well, maybe it’s not that bad, but close. (I won’t mention her new show and how horrible it is).

Anyway, we have a dead guy in a pizza oven…

I could just post this picture and be done with it, because you know what’s coming, right?

Lanie – “Based on the oven setting and the body’s core temperature, I’d say he went in no sooner than 2am. The stab wound in his chest says he was dead when he went in.”

Well, that all sounds so nice, but there’s no way she could tell, in the restaurant, that the stab wound is what killed the crispy little guy. And I won’t even discuss the temperature stuff other than to say…ARGHHH!!!!!!

Besides, there was all sorts of talk of cremation associated with the pizza oven. No way. A pizza oven doesn’t get hot enough for cremation. I believe pizzas are cooked at temps somewhere around 500 degrees F. Bodies are cremated at temps between 1,700 – 1,900 degrees (I think). So, at 500 degrees for three hours (which is approximately how long the body had been in the oven when it was first discovered) the body would be getting close to medium well to well done, right? I know, I’m being a little silly, but the body certainly would not reach cremation temperatures in a pizza oven.

– Beckett and crew track the dead guy’s movements on the night he was murdered by following his credit card usage. The one transaction that led them to him was the very one that couldn’t have helped find him. The victim inserted his card into the machine but didn’t complete the transaction (he was killed) so the device swallowed his card, which is a built-in security-type thing so the next person in line can’t grab your card if you forget it. So…this meant that Beckett would not have had the card in hand to track it’s usage, at least not as quickly as they did. Good idea, but it would take quite a while to get the necessary paperwork that would allow snooping into the bank records. And zooming in on the handwriting from a very grainy ATM video…yeah, right. Again, good idea, and I’ve tried it in the past, and crimes have been solved using those videos, but…

And the crook of the week? She was the obvious choice the moment we first saw her.

Alexis, Alexis, Alexis…I like the father/daughter moments because I can relate to them. But…for me, these are too juvenile for someone as bright as Alexis.

And why can’t the police be smart enough to solve a case for once? I know, if they were as smart as the writer the show would be called Beckett, instead of Castle.

Oh well, that’s it for me. Again, it was a solid, fun show, but I knew it would be. After all, they’re all they same, aren’t they?

Melanie? Are you there?

What a fun episode! I really liked this one, except for the lack of any genuine Beckett-Castle moments. Rick did ask Kate for advice when Alexis faced a “friend” crisis, but other than that, the show pretty much centered on the case. Normally that bugs me, but tonight the writing flowed so well I decided to forgive that little bump in the road. At least we had no mention of Josh… and Kate and Rick continued their awesome theory building.

Can’t wait for next week, when the romantic storyline — and the poker game with Castle’s author buddies — return. Woot!


*     *     *

Have you reserved your spot for the 2011 Writers’ Police Academy?

Ride-a-longs with sheriff’s deputies, jail tours, firearms and driver training are only a part of the fun!

Train with the pros.

Sign up now at:


background: #bd081c no-repeat scroll 3px 50% / 14px 14px; position: absolute; opacity: 1; z-index: 8675309; display: none; cursor: pointer; top: 516px; left: 20px;”>Save

6 replies
  1. melanie atkins
    melanie atkins says:

    Thanks, TheJZB. I love reviewing the show. Can’t wait for next week. According to what I’ve read on the fansites, we’re in for a little Castle jealousy. Can’t say I’ll mind. Tee hee!

  2. PatMarin
    PatMarin says:

    Thanks, TheJZB,,I remember that episode now that you mentioned it. Can’t wait to refresh twin sister’s mind.

    I also just got word from Team Cannell about the poker game on Tuesday night. Can’t wait to see what they do.

  3. TheJZB
    TheJZB says:

    Hey, I can answer Pat Marin’s question — think back to when Castle told Beckett at the end of “He’s Dead, She’s Dead,” he says that before he changed his name to Richard Edgar Castle, his name was Richard Alexander Rodgers. So he grew up with Martha’s surname.

    One thought about the writing and the subtext. Perhaps the writers are fine with having the show skim the surface of reality, particularly with some of the harder-to-fathom storylines and situations, because the real story is the taming of Castle and Beckett. (Kind of like Candide, but fun.)

    My faves are the moments of revulsion, like Castle’s revulsion at the thought of spending Thanksgivings with Sheila, and at Martha making out with Corbin Bernsen.

    Love your blog, guys! I come to it every Tuesday after a new episode, and it’s as fun as Monday was!

  4. PatMarin
    PatMarin says:

    Oh and the poker game. I wonder if they will mention the late Stephen J. Cannell?

    And, yes, I am waiting for the next Richard Castle novel to be released.

  5. PatMarin
    PatMarin says:

    I agree with all of the above. My first thought when Lanie gave her spiel was “Oh, Lee is going to love this one.”

    My sister brought up something the other day. If Martha has never been married, does not know who Castle’s father is, why is her name Rodgers and his name is Castle? Anyone have a clue? Or did she and I miss something.

  6. Sally C.
    Sally C. says:

    You’re right about the show getting predictable. Run the financials, watch the security camera tape, track the GPS each week. Whatever happened to good old fashioned clues that are different in each case? And the killer’s always the first or second person who’s interviewed by the cops.
    I’d like to see Castle team up with Ryan or Esposito occassionally instead of always hanging out with Beckett (but that’s why we watch the show, right?).
    I liked the use of the character names from noir films. Added a nice literary touch to a show about a writer.
    The show had a great kicker opening–pizza wars between the chefs–but then turned into a boring, run-of-the-mill drug mule story. I wish the story would have stayed with the four pizza stores and do an “Agatha Christie” ending with all the suspects sharing a pizza dinner together and Castle/Beckett naming the killer (sorry, can’t help writing my own show).
    And the show’s used the red herring before of the killer beating him/herself up and pretending he/she was assaulted.
    BTW, Castle hasn’t done any writing or promotion on his books lately. That used to be a big part of the show. Guess he’s gliding along on his royalties :).
    Always fun to watch the show but, yes, maybe the writers can “freshen” it up over the summer hiatus.

Comments are closed.