Castle: The Lives Of Others – A Good Cop/Bad Cop Review

Castle: The lives of others


Well, better late than never. I had eye surgery this morning so my portion was dictated to my most helpful wife. First up, Melanie.

Melanie Atkins, the good cop

Tonight’s offering was Castle’s 100th episode. Mega congrats to the cast and crew for five years of excellent comedy, drama, mystery, police procedure, and romance. Andrew Marlowe and his wife, Teri Edda Miller, wrote this one… and they outdid themselves.

Talk about classic Castle… IMHO, the show deserves an A+ all the way around. Such great comedy, an unusual case involving an IRS agent, another clever mystery ala “Rear Window” courtesy of Castle, and so many great Caskett moments I couldn’t keep up. Lots of Easter Eggs for fans, too, including Rick’s model helicopter and the magnifying glass. So funny!

I loved that Kate was staying with Rick and taking care of him after he broke his knee cap in a skiing accident. Leave it to him to show off and hurt himself in spectacular fashion. So now he’s stuck at the loft, unable to work cases with Kate and the boys and too loopy from pain meds to write, and he’s extremely bored. Alexis bought him some binoculars as a joke, and after he breaks his helicopter, he picks them up and scopes out the building across the street.

Did you catch the Andrew Marlowe/Terri Edda Miller cameo? Terri is sitting in front of a typewriter in one of the apartments, and Andrew is standing beside her. Castle studies them and says, “Huh. Must be writers.” Priceless!

Rick sees a “murder” happen, but no one believes him. Not even Kate. Sure, she follows up on his claim, but then one of the boys talks to the supposed victim. Everything checks out, and apparently no crime has been committed. The woman is still very much alive.

Rick, of course, doesn’t believe Kate, especially after he sees the buy dragging a rolled up rug out of his apartment at three a.m. Was that how the guy disposed of the body? Rick soon involves Alexis in the mystery and gets her to help him break into the apartment in search of evidence — while he’s on crutches, no less. Not the smartest thing Rick Castle has ever done, but it is a very “Castle” thing to do, right? He spots paint, bleach, and blood spatter inside the other apartment, and then falls and has to hide under the bed to keep from getting caught. So funny. He was like a turtle caught on its shell.

Finally, Rick gets out of there without the apartment’s owner being the wiser and returns to the loft with bags from the guy’s shredder. A wrinkled invoice gives him the name of a storage facility, and he convinces Kate to go with him to look for the body. It has to be there, along with bags the murderer took out of his place, right?


No body, no bloody clothes, no bleach soaked rags. And to top it off, a security officer catches them inside the storage unit and calls Captain Gates. She’s furious. She reams out both of them and sends Castle packing. Esposito spouted off my favorite line: “Hey, Castle. Is it hard to balance on those crutches when you’ve just had your ass chewed off?”

They weave Castle’s case with the IRS case, and then give us a fabulous Caskett scene. Rick apologizes, and then Kate says, “You know what, Castle? It’s okay. Your overactive imagination has actually brought a lot of people to justice. In fact, it’s one of the things that I love about you.” Not quite an ILY, but it was oh, so close. Squee!

They’re about to go out for dinner for his birthday when she asks him if he’d like a drink from the ‘frig first… and that sets him off again. He remembers seeing refrigerator trays in the closet in the other apartment where he found the bleach and paint. Kate gets angry and storms across the strett to check it out and shut him up so they can go celebrate. Only… bam, said the lady. She tangles with the supposed murderer… and the lights go out. That really scares Rick. He thinks Kate is truly in danger, and he calls for help, then rushes over there to help her.

Only… surprise!

The whole thing is staged. The murder, the missing body, everything. Alexis, Gates, Esposito, and Ryan knew. Even Martha is in on it; she provided actors from her acting school. What an amazing twist! I never saw it coming. Kate couldn’t have given Rick a better gift than a mystery for him to unravel. He’s so good at building theory, she had to know he’d stick with it until he solved it. And for a minute or two after Rick got over there and they all yelled, “Surprise!”, I thought he was really, really angry with her.

Except… he loved it. And we got another spectacular Caskett moment complete with a couple of delightful kisses. One of Rick’s comments even helped Kate solve the case involving the murdered IRS agent, too. So classic.

Then we get yet another wonderful moment between Rick and Kate… and he rolls her off to the bedroom via his wheelchair. I loved this episode. I’m sure I’ll rewatch it many, many times. Thank you, cast and crew, for my new favorite of all time.

And next week, we get a crime involving Bigfoot. Really? Hahaha! Rick Castle in camouflage. That one looks funny, too. Can’t wait!

The bad cop

Well, here I am fresh out of eye surgery that began at 6:15 this morning. My vision is not so hot right now (I have this page blown up to a size where there’s practically only one or two words on the screen), so my portion of this review will be extremely brief, starting, of course, with Lanie, who slipped a bit back into her old ways.

The scene where she described the dead woman’s injuries was only at a level of “so-so,” but I was thinking I could live with it until she said, “The ‘pattering’ indicated that the victim was struck with that bat.” Now, I don’t know about you, but I don’t have a clue what pattering is. I even rewound over and over to listen to her words time and time again to be sure I heard her correctly. Anyway, I’ll file this one in the “G” drawer along with the rest of her goofy folders.

– The crew showed up at the IRS office and demanded to see the past year’s audit files…all of them. And they took them back to their office. No way the IRS is handing anything over to a couple of cops who show up without a warrant in hand.

– Beckett instructed Esposito and Ryan to hit the streets and “pick up” a suspect (the husband of the victim). In the event detectives show up at your door and say, “My boss says to bring you in,” please remember that they cannot force you to go anywhere without a warrant. You don’t even have to let them inside your charming little abode. On the other hand, if they produce the proper papers, well, it’s time to say goodbye to your cat and hope your neighbor will feed the fish for five to ten years.

– Castle convinced Beckett to allow him to break into a storage building. She reminded him that to do so would be illegal. He then said to her, “When you do it (break in) it’s an illegal search. When I do it it’s just illegal.” Not so. Castle is acting as an agent of the police, therefore, it’s still an illegal search and would not stand up in court. It’s also a criminal act.

– Is it just me, or does Gates remind anyone else of the Grinch?

– Once again, the killer was predictable—someone we saw briefly at the beginning of the show.

– If everyone at the police department was involved in the birthday surprise, why, then, were all references made as if Ryan and Esposito were not aware of the plan.

Finally, my favorite line from the show was delivered by Castle. “Someone’s got some ‘splainin’ to do.”

20 replies
  1. Margaret
    Margaret says:

    My husband isn’t a fan of Castle, but he saw part of this one. He is a retired cop, so he asked, “Why does the security guard at the storage unit have a glock that has a hammer cocking sound?” I missed it, but then I wouldn’t catch stuff like that anyway. Don’t know if he was right, but that was his take on it.

    I enjoyed the birthday surprise!

  2. Janet
    Janet says:

    The De Maurier “Rebecca” allusion occurred to me this morning too — the death of Rebecca, the original first Mrs. DeWinter, wasn’t what it appeared to be, either. I liked how the writers kept tossing in film and literary references, like grabbing random vegetables to make chicken soup.

    Best lines of the episode:
    “Where *is* Captain Gates?”
    “She couldn’t make it.”

  3. Nancy Sweetland
    Nancy Sweetland says:

    Great reviews for a really entertaining show that made me laugh out loud more than once!

  4. Laurel
    Laurel says:

    Did anyone else notice that the IRS agent was named Mrs. DeWinter? I was thinking it was a reference to DuMaurier’s Rebecca–but maybe that’s too many allusions! Fun episode. Thanks, lee for typing near blind. Hope you feel better soon

  5. Pat Marinelli
    Pat Marinelli says:

    Great reviews. Than you Mrs. Willobee for doing the typing.

    I watched the episode twice and on the second time you can see that they are all in on it. I loved that.

    My question is where does Beckett get the money to rent the apartment in NYC (first and last months rent plus security needed) and she have to pay for the storage unit at least by the month. I also think the security guard at the unit was in on the joke with Beckett.

    A fun episode. I was sitting on the end of my sofa and then laughed so hard I cried.

  6. Maryann Mercer
    Maryann Mercer says:

    “If everyone at the police department was involved in the birthday surprise, why, then, were all references made as if Ryan and Esposito were not aware of the plan.”
    Thanks Lee, for bringing this up…it means the writers wanted to prank us as well, and it didn’t sit well with me for a bit. You could tell Kate was momentarily rethinking the whole thing while Castle vented (a little acting of his own as a “get back” perhaps). Frankly, I would have liked being included in the joke…it wouldn’t have taken away from the episode for me OR made Castle seem as deluded. There have been times lately when the poor man is played for an absolute fool, or made to look like one. But then, that’s just me. I’m no fan of practical jokes at all.

  7. Sally Carpenter
    Sally Carpenter says:

    Regarding the break-in at the storage unit: Kate and Rich had apparently forgotten from their previous case involving a storage unit that all such facilities are stocked with video cameras or else Kate wanted them to get caught. The facility employees sitting at the front counter could easily see the monitors and watch the two snap off the lock. Also, the storage facilities where I live don’t have armed security guards. Maybe that’s an NYC thing.

  8. a
    a says:

    I thought the plot was cute. Nice going there. It kept me entertained, even tho I guessed ahead of time that the scenario was a fake. I didn’t realize that the goal was a surprise party, more an April Fools joke. But I’m definitely glad it was fake. The notion that he’d be laid up at home at the perfect time to witness a murder across the street would be a bit of a stretch, even for Castle.

    Regarding the silliness about the law: Maybe if they were breaking into storage that they hadn’t rented themselves, Beckett would have explained to Castle the Lee Lofland truth about the law. I will hope.

    I still don’t get any chemistry vibe from the couple. Stana does everything but run laps around the room to show that Beckett is a good girlfriend. Nathan/Castle barely looks at her. Even when they were in bed, he grasped her like she was too hot to touch, just like he did last week when they kissed. It’s weird. I’m going to speculate again that Nathan doesn’t like Stana and doesn’t want to play couple-ey with her. I don’t know why. One place that was reasonably okay was after the party surprise kiss. He gave her that look we saw in the doorway when he brought her flowers in one of the prior seasons. That’s a love look. The rest was just kind of cold for me. I don’t always need a love look, but convincing appreciative looks are good. Maybe it’s just that Nathan doesn’t like playing lovey-dovey stuff. I wouldn’t be surprised. He comes across online via Twitter, etc. as kind of a man-child.

    I hope they break them up and force one of them to woo the other back. Then, they can move to what we desperately missed from their coupling — the courtship. I think if I’d seen a courtship I’d feel more convinced of these two as a couple. I know they’ve been together for years, but I would think some of the pent up will they/won’t they angst would have transferred to pent up desire to romance the other person. Apparently not. So many opportunities missed.

  9. Melanie Atkins
    Melanie Atkins says:

    Mouse, supposedly the only one out of the loop about their relationship now is Gates, although I suspect she knows, too, but she acts as if she doesn’t. So it’s not really a secret anymore.

  10. Lellel
    Lellel says:

    Just a point about Espo and Ryan not knowing. If you rewatch the episode, then everything they say and do concerning Castle takes on a whole new meaning and you can see how it all fits together.

  11. mouse
    mouse says:

    What bugged me most was they were really relying on Rick only ever calling THEM when he saw the goings-on in the other building. What if he’d actually called 911? And did I miss something that their relationship doesn’t have to be a secret anymore? Otherwise it seemed like a LOT of people had to be in on the surprise (and I thought was implied were also at the party) while Kate and Castle were kissing each other and being all coupley. I mean, they act coupley all the time so even if they denied it, no one would believe them. But it still took me totally out of the moment.

  12. Elizabeth
    Elizabeth says:

    I loved this episode! I never caught on to the gag, even when Kate wore the exact same LBD as Grace Kelly, and I think with even the same hairdo!

    Lee, I realized Ryan and Esposito helped with the set-up because they got Castle interested in what was going on in the apartments across the way–the hot girl, remember? Plus, they were the ones who initially claimed they talked to the girlfriend.

  13. Melanie Atkins
    Melanie Atkins says:

    You’re right, Katarzyna! I got so excited by the show that I didn’t pay attention to the announced date of the next show. Oh, well. I can wait two weeks after this. I’ve already watched this one about five times, and I’m sure I’ll see it many more times before the next new episode airs.

    I have to say that I really didn’t pay much attention to the real case in this one. I was too interested in the “Rear Window” part and Rick and Kate’s interaction. lol

  14. Katarzyna
    Katarzyna says:

    Unfortunately the next new episode is in 2 weeks (like even ABC said in the promo right after the delightful 100th), not next week…

  15. Raphael Salgado
    Raphael Salgado says:

    Had it not been aired on April Fools’ Day, I wouldn’t have told myself, “nawwww… couldn’t be!” and kinda figured it out during the commercial break after Beckett was grabbed by the “killer.”

    It was a great episode nevertheless, though that was one hell of an elaborate hoax to pull off. The “killer” actor pretty much had to be on the “set” there 24 hours a day for Castle to witness his actions at any given moment.

    Yes, it was a classic Castle episode. Nice to see they’ve got their stride back. Is no one upset there’s no arcing backstories anymore?

  16. Janis Patterson
    Janis Patterson says:

    I’m with Melanie – this was an awesome episode! So glad to know who the couple at the typewriter were – will look at them more closely the next time I watch this episode. Yes, I spotted a few of Lee’s beloved clinkers, but some episodes arise above mundane reality. This was one. Sigh….

  17. Marni Graff
    Marni Graff says:

    A great 100th celebration, little details that Lee picked up notwithstanding, but wonderful Rear Window adaptation and that twist at the end was priceless! One to remember fondly amongst the clunkers. Thanks for pointing out that cameo, would not have known the writers. They got it spot on this time out!

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