Castle: When the Bough Breaks – A Review

Castle: When The Bough Breaks

When the screen went dark and the credits began to roll on episode five, When The Bough Breaks, I wanted to dance. I wanted to kiss babies, pet a puppy, and plant a tree. I even had the wild urge to climb on my rooftop and shout to the world. I wanted everyone to know that the show was, as far as police procedure and forensics go, pretty darn good! Actually, the entire show was fun in it’s own silly little way.

Writer/producer Rene’ Echevarria’ single-handedly pulled off what I thought was lost cause. He found the missing magic, the mojo, the secret formula that made this show so appealing in the beginning. And best of all, there were no stupid, goofy, ridiculous, hard to believe, ramblings from unbelievable characters.

After watching this episode, the root of the show’s past problems became glaringly obvious. First, we’ve seen a different medical examiner, M.E. Perlmutter played by Ayre Gross (although in his last appearance he was a coroner), in two episodes.

Both of those shows were really good. His character is so, so believable. He’d even make Tamala Jones’s foolish ramblings seem plausible.

Second, the Castle writers have been trying too hard to add unnecessary, way cool elements of CSI, but it hasn’t worked. Not at all. In past episodes the CSI bells and whistles have seemed awkward, and forced. They stand out from the rest of the show like throbbing sore thumbs. And that’s what this blog is all about, educating writers so they won’t make those same mistake in their books. There’s nothing worse than reading an out of place phrase that takes the reader out of the story. Thankfully, Rene’ Echevarrio’ put a great big band aid on a chronically aching thumb. This episode flowed nicely.

Now, on with the police stuff.

– Beckett arrived at the scene of a homicide, got out of her car, and left her lights flashing. That’s totally unnecessary when you’re not in traffic, or in an emergency situation. BUT…nearly all cops do that. It’s habit. Almost all crime scenes look like disco dance floors because of all the winking, blinking, flashing, and flickering red and blue lights. Besides, it looks cool. Good scene.

– The new M.E. was totally believable. I could work with this guy. Even his morgue scene was realistic. He’s a natural. Watch out Quincy!

– Beckett and crew chase a suspect through a restaurant kitchen. One of Beckett’s partners, in a wrestling ring-type move, takes him down. By the way, not every police takedown is a by-the-book technique. Things don’t always happen to allow that sort of thing. I’ve seen many weird take-downs, like the one we saw on this show, or worse. This was a good scene. Anyway, Beckett slaps on a cuff and immediately tells the guy he’s under arrest. What for? It’s not against the law to run from the police. Now, he is suspect in a murder, so they could legally cuff him for their safety (and they should), especially since he did run, but technically he didn’t break any laws.

– Beckett and Castle enter an interview room. Becketts says, “You’ve been advised of your rights…” Suspects should always be advised of Miranda each time a new officer takes over the interview. Even if the interviewing officers take a lengthy break (overnight), they should repeat the process before re-starting the interview. Beckett’s interview of the victim’s husband was good.

– The composite drawing looked like a portrait drawn during a sitting. I’ve never seen one look this good. Robin Burcell? Thoughts?

– I still want to hear if NYPD cops use the term “vic” as much as these guys do. Remember, this is not used universally among police officers. In most areas, cops say victim, not vic.

– Beckett’s interview of the doctor (the murderer) was good. Although, I was a bit disappointed that she fell for his story. Her character is much too tough for that.

I’m sure we could all appreciate the irony in Castle’s agent complaining that he wouldn’t return her calls. Yeah, right. Somehow I think the shoe was on the wrong foot. You guys have that problem, right? Agents call you every day, right?

The chemistry between Castle and Beckett was fantastic, and the show had a real ending this week. Great job Mr. Echerarrio’

ABC photos

15 replies
  1. JT Ellison
    JT Ellison says:

    I loved it when the ME actually barked at them to let him get the body to the morgue before rendering an opinion on her state. You’re right, Lee, they recaptured the magic last night. I actually think this was one of their best episodes – they balanced decent police work with real character conflict. A winner, definitely.

  2. Lisa Haselton
    Lisa Haselton says:

    I make sure not to read your review before I see the episode. 🙂 The chase through the kitchen ending with “you’re under arrest” had me asking “what for?”, also. I definitely liked this ME better than the woman. And I’m enjoying the chemistry between Castle and Beckett – I can’t believe they’d start dating while working together, so I was thinking he might actually go off on the other book deal, but that would change the show entirely.

    Loved the ending of this episode.

  3. Michael A. Burstein
    Michael A. Burstein says:

    There was one part of the episode that threw me out of the story a bit. One of the police officers referred to another precinct as “the seventy-fourth.” It’s my understanding that NYPD officers refer to precinct by their digits, so she should have called it “the seven-four.”

  4. D. Swords
    D. Swords says:

    Mary, if I may address your question concerning running from the police. Just running if you see a police car is not resisting arrest because you aren’t under arrest.

    Of course, the police may chase you to find out why you’re running, or to find out who you are, but the act of running is not, in and of itself, an illegal act. If you’re caught and it is found that you are not wanted and are committing no known crime, you should be let go.

  5. Pat Marinelli
    Pat Marinelli says:

    I too was thinking of you Lee as I watched this episode. Knew you’d like it.

    Having met a “real” composite artists (and a really good one I might add), I too thought that drawing was too good. Can’t wait to hear Robin’s opinion on that.

    Loved Castle’s writing dilemma.

  6. Melanie Atkins
    Melanie Atkins says:

    Love your assessment of this episode, Lee. I agree!! Loved it. And yes, I like this ME much better. But I saw in the previews that Lanie will be back next week. Eek! Guess we can’t have everything. lol Oh, and I love the new female detective. She works well with everyone.

  7. Steven T.
    Steven T. says:

    My sister-in-law has about ten years in with the NYPD, and she uses “vic” and “perp”. And “skel.” Then her language degenerates into potty mouth territory, and it’s time to talk about something other than work…

  8. Patrick Murray
    Patrick Murray says:

    They do use a good number of Eastern Europeans on the show – including the lead. Stana Katic, being of that ethnicity, speaks Italian, French, Croatian, Serbian, Bosnian, and Montenegrin.

    By the way, I am sure you noticed the “British secret agent” bits. Wonder if they could not use the character name for legal reasons. That and the fact that Katic can be classified as a Bond Girl after her role in Quantum of Solace.

  9. Bill Crider
    Bill Crider says:

    I have to say that while I was watching the show last night, I said to myself, “Hey, this is better than usual. They must have been reading Lee Lofland’s blog.”

  10. msmstry
    msmstry says:

    This is one of my favorite TV shows right now. I think the writing is crisp and the interaction between Castle and Beckett reminds me of that in the old Moonlighting series. It’s fun to see some of the big names in mystery playing poker with Castle. I agree that the male ME is much more believable than the gorgeous, meticulously well-groomed female.

    Thanks for your insight!

  11. Susan
    Susan says:

    Pat – my thoughts, exactly. I remember thinking Lee would like that Lanie wasn’t there, and that this ME seemed much more realistic.

    Not as many red herrings in this episode – much easier to figure out before they did.

    Has anyone other than me noticed they use a lot of Eastern European people in this show?


  12. Mary
    Mary says:

    “It’s not against the law to run from the police.”

    Isn’t that resisting arrest? Then again, I assume that everything from COPS is real 😛

    Good post, Lee!

  13. Marie-Nicole
    Marie-Nicole says:

    I really was engrossed in this episode. There was internal conflict over whether or not he would continue with Niki Heat (and Beckett) or pen the famous British spy series. But there could only be one answer. That pleased this romance writer very much.

    The ME was great and matter of fact and struck the right note. I suspected one of the family was involved, but enjoyed the back and forth and there was a tear in my eye when the boy’s biological father saw him for the first time. So touching that they didn’t rip the kid from the only mother he’d ever known–that would’ve taken a two hour show, I guess.

    All in all, for this not particularly critical viewer, a solid show with emotion. chemistry and a great resolution.

  14. Pat Brown
    Pat Brown says:

    I remember when I was watching this show thinking you’d like it, Lee. Now if they could all be this good, or better. It brought me back to why I loved this show from the first episode I saw.

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