Castle: To Live And Die In L.A. – A Review

Castle: To Live And Die In L.A.

Was it worth the wait? Was this episode all the network promised? Did the magic of California bring Castle and Beckett together (you know what I mean)? Well, let’s see what Melanie has to say about the lovey-dovey stuff before I get into the legality of cops shooting unarmed people in the back. Take it away, Melanie…

With the long wait between original episodes, this one was hyped to within an inch of its life. Fans have been going crazy with speculation, especially after sneak peeks were released last week. I have to admit that I was anticipating more closeness between Beckett and Castle… nothing exactly earth shaking, but more than the rushed parts they gave us.

I know Lee wasn’t pleased with Beckett’s actions out of her own jurisdiction, and that part of the show didn’t thrill me either. I was more into the relationship aspects, though.

The major points that jumped out at me were:

• Rick was concerned about Kate’s reaction to Royce’s death.

• He booked a seat on the same flight with her to L.A. when she decided to go rogue, upgraded her to first class, and convinced her to stay in the suite he’d booked downtown.

• He provided her with a cover story, i.e. the Nikki Heat movie.

• The scene in the suite when the two of them had eye sex right there on the couch, and then Kate jumped and ran. That sneak peek killed me, because it stopped when Kate opened the door. So much speculation — then Rick wasn’t there when she came back out. Grrr! Still, she did make open the door. Amazing.

• Kate donned a swimsuit to lure their prey, a man named Ganz, to her side at his hotel pool, and ended up knocking Rick for a loop, too. The look on his face when she came out of the pool was priceless. I wanted to hand him a napkin to wipe off the drool.

• Kate poked him because he’d put himself in Ganz’s line of sight and caused her to rush her story… but then told him “I want to kiss you” when she found out he’d taken a picture of the list of Ganz’s recent calls. Rick looked as if he were ready to take her up on it.

• Royce’s letter to Kate. To me, this was the best part — when her mentor speaks from the grave, telling her: “And now for the hard part, kid. It’s clear that you and Castle have something real, and you’re fighting it. But trust me… putting the job ahead of your heart is a mistake. Risking our hearts is why we’re alive. The last thing you want is to look back on your life and wonder if only…” And then she turned her gaze on Rick as he slept.

Their relationship is moving forward, one baby step at a time. I liked that part, although I was kind of disappointed in the episode as a whole. Too much case, not enough great moments like the one on the couch with Rick and Kate. Just sayin’. Bring on the romance, please!

Okay, my turn. And I’ll be brief.

And I can be brief since most of this was filmed in LA., or should I say La-La Land, which is apparently where Lanie thought she was during the filming of the show. Yep, there was plenty of great Lanie nonsense (Lanie pictured above in her full M.E. attire) floating around the TV screen last night.

My favorite Lanie line of the week – “He was shot in the leg. Judging from the blood trail it must’ve broken the bone.” Gee, Lanie, I wish I’d known that broken leg bone blood was different than blood in other parts of the body, and in non-broken legs. Give me a “break!”

The whole “cop going rogue” thing is something you see in a lot of books, and now Beckett has done the same. Well, in reality (I know, this show is fiction) that sort of thing doesn’t happen. BUT, cops go to other jurisdictions all the time, and they do so as part of their investigations. They can visit with people, ask them questions, etc., just like they do back in their own territory. What they can’t do is legally arrest someone, because their police powers don’t travel with them, unless they’re federal officers. Officers normally check in with the locals to let them know they’re in town working on a case. And, the locals normally tag along because they know the area, the people, and for safety. Besides, it’s cop courtesy to let the local department know you’re out there poking around.

Of course, Beckett carried things to the extreme when she broke into someone’s house (she travels with lock picks?) and refused to play nice with the LAPD detective. In L.A., Beckett was merely a private citizen who could have been arrested for the B&E. But, that’s where more cop courtesy came into play. And, yes, the LA detective had every right and reason to call Beckett’s boss.

The only other tiny item I’m going to point out (Melanie covered everything nicely) is the thing about shooting a fleeing felon. The question comes up all the time, so here goes.

Can a police officer shoot a fleeing felon, even if he’s unarmed? And that’s what happened on the show last night. Beckett shot an unarmed suspect in the back as he ran away. Well, I am going to leave out the part about her being outside her jurisdiction when she shot the guy.

So, the answer to the question is a normal “law-type” answer…Yes and No.

Calibre Press summed up the two answers nicely in this article:

You cannot lawfully shoot a fleeing felon. True or False?

Surprise! The answer to this question is both true and false. You may lawfully shoot a

fleeing felon if certain conditions are met: Do you have probable cause to believe that a

felony has been committed and that the fleeing person did it? Is it a felony that involves

violence or the threat of violence? Does the suspect present a danger of violence or the

threat of violence to the public and/or other officers if not stopped? Was a warning given,

if practical? Did the suspect ignore or refuse to follow direction from you, if it was

practical to attempt verbal compliance? See Tennessee v. Garner, 471 U.S. 1 (1985).


Where the circumstances do not fit these conditions, you may not use deadly force to stop

a fleeing felon. The involvement of violence, threatened or actual, is key.


Calibre Press Street Survival Newsline

February 28, 2008 – Number 867

Now, were each of those conditions met last night? Maybe so, maybe no.

Could Beckett legally shoot the guy in the back as he ran away from her? Test your knowledge.

1. Did the suspect have to obey her order to stop (did she give the command to stop)? She’s not a police officer in L.A., right? Remember, she was NOT there, officially. Or was she acting as an officer since she was with the LAPD officers (even though she did NOT have permission to be there on behalf of the NYPD)?

2. Did she have actual probable cause to believe the suspect had committed a felony? If so, what was the PC?

3. Was there a continuing and actual threat of real danger to the public if she didn’t shoot him?

Finally, why wasn’t there some sort of investigation into Beckett shooting the suspect? Imagine what an LAPD officer would have to go through if they simply discharged a weapon, not to mention actually shooting someone. But, Beckett and crew were all smiles afterward as if it were simply another sunny California day.

And, for fun…

The movie version of Ryan and Esposito. Not even close…



17 replies
  1. jessicalynn83
    jessicalynn83 says:

    Mr. Lofland,

    I realize this a long and heavy question for a blog reply, but would you be willing to explain would *should* have happened to Beckett in real life?

    Would she be suspended until she could be investigated by Internal Affairs, or is “going rogue” immediate grounds for a pink slip? Would the precinct be under investigation, at all, because of her actions? And would there be any hope of salvaging her career after something like this?

    I ask because I’m working on a short story using the above scenario, and I’d like to get my facts as correct as possible. And I’m not sure this type of situation is covered in your book.

    Thank you very much,

  2. pabrown
    pabrown says:

    I don’t know much about the NYPD, but I have to believe they have strict protocols whenever a weapon is used. They most certainly would if a civilian was killed. And I can’t believe cop courtesy would go so far as to cover a fatal shooting. Becket would be in jail and since California doesn’t give bail on a murder charge so guess where her and Castle would be? I am assuming that because he’s with her — and has been all along — he’d be considered an accomplice.

    I enjoy the show, like you, but I love watching it then reading your little digs the next day. That’s nearly as much fun as the show is.

  3. Sally C.
    Sally C. says:

    This episode was more fun, mainly because it got our heroes out of the office and doing something exciting besides running financials. And I didn’t miss Alexis and Martha at all.

    But we only saw the swanky, tourist spots of LA whereas in NYC we’re in the dark back alleys. The first shot of Castle & Becket in the car was in Beverly Hills and the “carnival” at the end was, I supposed, the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica. Why not put our heroes on Skid Row or South LA?

    That hotel room was so wacky, no wonder Castle & Becket didn’t know what to do.

    I loved the “Heat” movie subplot and that hyped up movie director. Who loves ya, baby?

    Can we see a show of hands from everyone tired of hearing the chief say, “You’re off the case, Beckett, go home” (and of course she doesn’t). That plot line has been way overused this season.

  4. ChrisP
    ChrisP says:

    Great reviews. I agree that the blood-trail/bone thing was the funniest line. I’m beginning to suspect that I have to watch the show several times to pick up on all the things the rest of you point out. Either that, or I get so caught up in the show, I miss things. I enjoy reading the comments almost as much as the reviews; I learn a lot from them. Thanks.

  5. PatMarin
    PatMarin says:

    Okaaay, I just watched Castle again. Lesson learned, never ever have the laptop in front of you when Castle is on. I missed the whole eye sex scene on the sofa becasue I was only listening, not looking. Wow, if only Beckett had opened the door faster or Castle had stayed in the living room a tad longer.

  6. melanie atkins
    melanie atkins says:

    TV Fanatic, I didn’t think about the letter when I mentioned the eye sex. Wow. That does put it into a different perspective. I’ve watched the scene many times now, thanks to the sneak peek and then the show, and IMHO, they cut something out (or either did some crappy editing) when Kate gets up, b/c Rick isn’t in the same position when they show him again, and only seconds have passed. Like maybe he reached for her or something.

    I’m already stressing about the finale. So much speculation, and it’s killing me. I’m trying to focus on my own characters and not think about Castle. lol

  7. PatMarin
    PatMarin says:

    Beckett got the gun from the back waistband of her jeans.

    That ugly bathing suit was picked as play on the James Bond movie Dr. No where Ursula Andress comes out of the sea wearing a bikini and a knife.

    I missed the glove thing with Lanie also. But I also have to go back and look at the eye sex on the sofa. I must be getting senile if I can’t remember that. I couldn’t believe Castle sleeping on the plane. Geez, he was with Beckett for crying out loud!

    Great job both of you. Ya, gotta love these reviews.

  8. KinaWolf24
    KinaWolf24 says:

    When I saw the previews for this one, I thought “Oh dear… Lee isn’t going to like this one. Going against orders, lying to a superior officer… B&E, how much trouble can you get in, Kate?” I wasn’t too surprised when she didn’t get in a lot of trouble for her actions (and Castle for his), because it is a TV show, and there’s only one more episode until the season finale. They can’t just kill her career right before the finale, can they? Besides, Beckett has beauty queens to arrest next Monday.

    I still loved the episode, despite its blunders, voodoo magic, and policy straining. The chemistry was great *mumbles about Castle’s stupidity*, and I think the duo are well on their way to a relationship changer.

    Your review was as helpful and entertaining as always 🙂 Thank you Lee for keeping up the reviews, dispite the angry fans. I am a self-proclaimed Castle addict, and I still find your reviews interesting. ^_^ Have an awesome week!

  9. Lee Lofland
    Lee Lofland says:

    Yeah, the whole bullet-in-a-petri dish thing was stupid, but I was trying not to do as much Lanie-bashing this week. But she makes it so darn easy.

    Actually, I thought the bathing suit was an awful choice for Beckett, especially the color.

    I forgot to mention the pistol at the end. Yes, where DID she get it. After all, she had to borrow a prop gun at the movie studio.

  10. Valerie Hansen
    Valerie Hansen says:

    TV Fanatic is right. I’d forgotten that part. She’s wearing those pink gloves and then puts her arms around Esposito! Ugh. Good thing she wasn’t removing a liver when he showed up.

  11. Valerie Hansen
    Valerie Hansen says:

    I have one other question. Maybe I was half asleep but I didn’t see where Beckett got the automatic for the final shooting scene.

    I, too, was disappointed in the closing doors in the Castle suite at the hotel but if they had gone much farther the ploy of unspoken yearning would have been spoiled.

    I did approve of Kate’s CA clothing, although that bathing suit was the most gosh-awful shade of brown. I guess you guys weren’t too worried about the color, huh? 🙂

    My husband gets the biggest kick out of my moans and eye-rolling over the ME and the police actions. He watches me as much as he watches the show!

  12. TVFanatic
    TVFanatic says:

    Agreed, I would imagine it would be both illegal and almost impossible. I think it would have been poetic justice, but still, oh so wrong.

    And what about Lanie touching the petry dishes after touching Esposito with gloved hands? I almost cringed for you when I saw that?

  13. Lee Lofland
    Lee Lofland says:

    Rahael – You must mean the illegal abduction of the security guard, because that’s what it was.

    Dave – She never fails to amaze.

    TV – I didn’t actually mean she shot him in the back, physically. That’s the expression used when someone shoots another person as they’re running away, facing away from the shooter. Still doesn’t change the fact that she shot an unarmed man as he fled.

    And, if it was supposed to be an intentional shot to the leg… Well, to actually hit someone in the leg while they’re running, and from the that distance…that would be an incredible shot. Besides, it would have definitely been wrong for her to shoot for the leg. Cops are not trained to do so. Never. Well, unless that’s the only target they can see at the time. In this case, no.

  14. TVFanatic
    TVFanatic says:

    I agree with pretty much everything in this review except for one thing. I thin she shot Gantz in the leg, just like he did Royce before killing him. Beckett was going to put Gantz down the same way.

    By the way, last night Alexi Hawley answered some questions via twitter and he said that we should not assume that Beckett hadn’t already read the entire letter previous to the plane ride home. That really changes the eye sex scene, huh Melanie? And, he told me he could not comment on whether or not we would see Josh again. Ugh!

  15. D. Swords
    D. Swords says:

    My favorite Lanie line of the week – “He was shot in the leg. Judging from the blood trail it must’ve broken the bone.”

    Now THAT was funny!! 🙂

  16. Raphael Salgado
    Raphael Salgado says:

    Great Castle reviews and perspectives as always. I prayed the writers weren’t going to go too off the path of a good cop, and as an admirer of your input after each show, I thought you’d be facepalming this episode.

    What was your take on grabbing that security guy in a fake cop car with the actors and bringing him onto the set of the Nikki Heat movie to get information out of him? Also, how realistic (and potentially dangerous) would dissolving bullets be?

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