Castle: Rise – A Good-Cop Bad-Cop Review

Castle: Rise

Well, Castle fans…they’re back! After a long summer break the show picked up where it left off. And, for me, it was exactly where it left off—two seasons ago. I just couldn’t see past a lot of the “same old, same old.” But more on that later. First, let’s bring Melanie to the soapbox because she thought this episode was wonderful (I could hear her squealing all the way out here on the island).

Melanie, I simply did not get into this first episode. In fact, I was a little disappointed with the story. What’s your take (as if I didn’t know) on the season opener?

Spoiler alert — Spoiler alert — Spoiler alert! If you haven’t seen the episode, this blog will ruin it for you. Just FYI. Okay, on with the show…

The season premier of season four of Castle did NOT disappoint. Wow. From Beckett flat-lining on the operating table, to Josh shoving Castle into the wall only to be called out by Jim Beckett, to Kate sending Castle away once he’s allowed to finally visit her in the hospital (after telling him she doesn’t remember anything about the shooting, including his “I love you”)… and then the time jump. All of the sudden Kate’s back at work, cleared for duty but clearly suffering from PTSD, battling with the new captain, Victoria “Iron” Gates, and drowning in her mother’s case — her case now, too, since the shooting. Rick’s angry that she didn’t contact him for three months, and IMHO, rightly so. She needed the time, though, apparently, to sort things out, to break up with Josh — yes, I said it! She broke up with Josh! Wahoooo! — to spend time reconnecting with her dad at his cabin, to heal.

Rick blames himself for reopening her mother’s case in the first place and has worked tirelessly with Ryan and Esposito the whole time Kate’s been away, the whole time she’s been “healing”. She shows up at his book signing without calling him — her three months away without contact mirroring last summer, when he spent three months in the Hamptons with Gina — and he’s quite upset. They leave the bookstore and talk on the swings at a park… and the news about her break up with Josh, her desire for him to come back to the precinct, and her talk about tearing down the wall inside her heart (a goal that can only be achieved once her mother’s case is solved), finally brings the sparkle back to Rick’s eyes. Her goal becomes his goal, because he gets the message loud and clear: in order for her to dive into a relationship with him, she must first close that chapter of her life.

Kate goes off the rails chasing a dead end in her mother’s case, a fate made worse because Gates has shut her down. This is her greatest fear: to have no leads at all, to not be able to work the case. She’s teetering on the edge of the rabbit hole, and Rick worries he can’t pull her back. Then he gets a cryptic phone call by someone with new information on the case, someone Roy trusted with files no one else has seen… and he becomes even more determined to slow her down and save her life.

Martha is perplexed and scared, but supportive. Alexis, on the other hand, is terrified Rick will be killed. Kate’s shooting traumatized her — even more so, because Rick was standing so close to Kate and dove toward her, trying to push her out of the way. He could’ve taken the bullet instead of her. Alexis wants him to back off, but she doesn’t say it outright. Later they talk, though, and she asks him if Kate makes him happy. He says yes, of course. He’s in love with her. And Alexis seems to understand.

Kate fights through her PTSD with Castle’s help to take down a guy on a raid with Ryan and Esposito. Scary, but effective. She realizes she needs more therapy and returns to see the psychiatrist she saw while she was on leave. There, she comes clean… and finally admits she lied. To him, to herself, and to Rick… about not remembering anything about the shooting. She remembers it all, including Rick’s “I love you”.

Beckett and Castle are back — and better than ever, as far as I’m concerned. They now have a clear goal: solve her mom’s case (and her case, as well), so they can be together. Squee! Finally, they’re on the same page. I’m sure we’re in for a major roller coaster ride, but I’m ready. How ’bout you? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this blockbuster season premiere!

I couldn’t disagree more. But I’m watching the show for different reasons. However, this episode was a little light on police procedure so I was able to watch as a viewer this time and, honestly, I really didn’t like much of what I saw.

Am I the only person who noticed the parallels between this show and the last season opener—three month separation, Castle on the outside looking in  (as ALWAYS) while Beckett and pretty-boy smooch it up, she breaks up with the doc because she “needs something more,” Castle wears the sad puppy dog face while Beckett brushes him to the curb…etc. Do something new, folks!

You’ll be surprise to know, though, that I liked Lanie last night. She wasn’t offensive at all, and she sort of acted like a doctor. Well, except for her ride on Beckett’s stretcher while performing CPR on her injured friend. First of all, I wondered why she was doing the procedure on a patient who had a heartbeat and was breathing. Beckett didn’t code until she was in surgery. I know, it was a cool action shot. And I thought the surgery scene was nice.

Lanie’s “It’s a poor man’s suppressor” comment about the pillow used to silence the sound of a gunshot was a nice touch, for a change. You know, instead of her old-style comment that would have been something like, “The shooter held the pillow in his left hand. I know this because seven of the chicken feathers match the print of his ring finger. And, an eighth feather clearly indicates the shooter wore a gold ring that was purchased with an AMEX card in a pawn shop in Parsippany, N.J. on December 9th by a one-eyed, lice-infested sailor from Cincinnati.”

Yep, the poor man’s suppressor definitely works best. It’s less voodooey.

But, it’s time for the cop stuff…

Ryan and Espo examine a murder weapon, a sniper rifle. The weapon was supposed to be undergoing forensics testing, right? So why wasn’t it still in the lab, or in evidence under lock and key? Instead, they chose to contaminate it by having it on display on a desk in their office. By the way, if you’re attending the Writers’ Police Academy this week you’ll see some actual sniper rifles like the one used on this episode.

There’s a new captain in town, Victoria Gates, and I already don’t like the character. BUT, she said something that impressed me. And that was, “It’ll be a cold day in hell before I let a cop investigate her own shooting. My precinct is no place for vendetta.” Bravo! At least there’s one TV writer out there in goofy land who knows how it’s supposed to go in the real world.

Remember the scene when Beckett got her pistol back and she was walking side-by-side with Castle? Did you happen to notice she had it pointed directly at Castle when she was preparing to load it? And, did you see it when she slammed the magazine in place? Yep, the barrel was pointed at Castle’s head. BANG! Safety first, Kate!

Of course, just as the crew is heading inside a dangerous situation, Beckett racks the slide on her weapon. No! Cops always carry a round in the chamber.

How about the buttwipe who drew his weapon on Kate? Should she have shot him? He was pointing a weapon at her, wasn’t he? It’s a threat to her life, right? You bet she she should have shot him. And I can’t wait to see how the WPA recruits react to scenarios such as this during their FATS training. By the way, you could clearly see the hollowpoint rounds in the cylinder of the man’s revolver. Anyone notice that?

I don’t know what sort of blood-engorged folks live in NYC (human ticks, I suppose) but there’s no way a person would bleed completely through a thick queen-size mattress and onto the floor below, like the scene we saw last night. The human body doesn’t contain hundreds of gallons of the red stuff.

And the guy with the shotgun. Would you have shot him? Believe me, I wanted somebody to shoot somebody, anybody, just to end the show.

For me, this episode was just okay. And if it was a sign of what’s to come, well, it’s going to be a long season for me.

So what’s your reaction to this episode? Are you a good cop, or a bad cop?

36 replies
  1. Rina
    Rina says:

    “Castle might have a connection there someplace that he could use as a way to get access to the FBI files on Armand’s death.”

    Or Kate could call her ex=boyfriend. LOL

  2. Fitch
    Fitch says:

    I realize some folks are getting tired of the long arc of Joanne’s murder, but since it is part of the story I can’t resist speculating about how it might credibly proceed. I had four thoughts on that, in no particular order:

    The fireman appears (on screen for about a second) on the desk in the files sent to Smith, as does a document with FDNY on it in block letters, which might be the report before it was falsified. So Beckett is right, “he’s lying”. The call from Smith to Castle may have been precipitated by Beckett making a bit of a specticle at the fire station. If the Dragon (for lack of a better name) decides to murder him to keep him quiet, investigating his murder would give them a lead. Gates wouldn’t know it was anything but another murder.

    Bob Armand was FBI. Castle might have a connection there someplace that he could use as a way to get access to the FBI files on Armand’s death. Nobody has mentioned that yet, but it’s out there.

    Joe Pulgati (sp?) is still alive and in prison. He may not know much, but he might know “something”. The trick would be to talk to him with out alerting the Dragon which seems unlikely.

    Finally, Castle might be able to study the Captain’s career and find out who might owe his life to Montgomery, and go see Mr. Smith.

  3. Rina
    Rina says:

    Using real books — or blank journals — for the ones that actually showed open on screen wouldn’t have been a big deal and they could have printed titles pages or left them blank and avoided closeups. Some folks suggest maybe it was supposed to show that Castle was just going through the motions — if I’d been in that line and seen him doing that to the people ahead of me, I’d hand him the book open to the right page! LOL.

    The only explanation I have for them dragging out the rifle was that, in three months, forensics should have been completed. Would it still be sealed away in that case, Lee?

  4. Janet
    Janet says:

    I apologize for posting overly much, but I’m wondering if anyone noticed that the “Smith” who got Montgomery’s envelope looks a lot like the “doctor” who walked behind Castle while he was preening outside Beckett’s hospital room. Or did everyone else notice this except me? Or is it just two actors with similar noses, eyebrows, ears, hair, necks, expressions, and build? (A Castle version of Where’s Waldo?)

  5. Sally Carpenter
    Sally Carpenter says:

    My guess as to why Castle signed the book jackets instead of an inside page (as an author, I noticed that right away) is that the prop department mostly likely used a “dummy” book for the scene–not the real “Heat Rises” book–and slapped the cover on it. Otherwise, the show would need to provide a clean, unmarked book each time Castle signed it and why pay for more books when making a copy of a book cover is cheaper?
    When you see a row of books in a movie set bookcase, chances are they are not real books, only fake spines. The studio won’t pay for books or take the time to arrange them on a shelf if the actor doesn’t use them.

  6. Janet
    Janet says:

    Lee, PLEASE keep setting the record straight! We enjoy it and learn a lot from it–no need to feel defensive. You don’t need to shift to book reviews, unless you want to review “Heat Rising.”

  7. Annette Mahon
    Annette Mahon says:

    I too am tired of the whole thing about Kate’s mother. End it already! And I agree that there’s no reason for the bad guys to let Kate live if she stops investigating. Absolutely makes no sense. Her mother’s murder was so long ago, why the heck is everyone so worked up about it, enough to kill all these people now?

    And, Lee, I’m with you on The Closer. While many of the stories are interesting, I can barely stand to listen to that lead actress with the fake accent. Like fingernails on a chalkboard.

  8. Lee Lofland
    Lee Lofland says:

    I noticed that, too, but thought perhaps the person in charge of Lanie’s lines and blood spatter had made the decision to have him sign the dust jacket, something that’s not a part of the actual book.

  9. Melanie Atkins
    Melanie Atkins says:

    You’re probably right about them trying to get the cover out there, Michael. I wondered about it, too… and in fact said the same thing you just did while I was watching. I’ve never seen an author do that.

  10. Michael A. Burstein
    Michael A. Burstein says:

    Amidst all this discussion, there was one bit that really bothered me. When Castle is doing his book signing, he signs the dust jackets of all the hardcover books being presented to him. I have never seen a writer do that, or readers on a line even wanting the dust jacket signed. I’m also puzzled because I’m sure the creators of the show and Fillion himself know better.

    I can only assume this was a directive from above to make the cover as visible as possible to encourage sales.

  11. Lee Lofland
    Lee Lofland says:

    This is a tough room to play. Writers ask me to point out the incorrect police procedures on Castle and then complain when I do…go figure. Hmmm….maybe I should start reviewing books on this site.

  12. Jess
    Jess says:

    Loved this post and all the comments. I’ve been waiting to see what would transpire between Beckett and Castle, and have to say I was a little disappointed. I think there could have been more conflict and angst if she’d just admitted to him that she heard his love declaration. And I hate it when there are long time gaps without a TWO MONTHS LATER sign informing me. However, I love the characters–especially Castle and the two little detectives, and that’s the only reason I watch. Certainly not for police procedure. I thought we writers have been taught NOT to watch TV for police procedure? Anyway, I watched this episode with hubby and that’s NOT fun. He has way too much commentary and sounds a lot like Lee!

  13. NancyM
    NancyM says:

    I’m so glad Castle is back on tV! Primarlily so I can check in with Lee the next day to hear about all the procedural blunders. Welcome back, guys!

  14. Mar
    Mar says:

    I rather liked the episode, actually. The characterization fit the characters, and Kate’s hollow-eyed obsession with her mother’s murder added some dark undertones and callbacks to earlier seasons where she’d warned Castle not to bring her back into that case. When Castle took it secretly onto his own shoulders, he, too, seemed to inherit that sleepless, obsessive air.

    The characters acted according to their development, but that doesn’t mean their actions didn’t bug me. Hiding important information from the new Captain, then expecting her to want them to follow up on the case. Getting pissy and irritated with her whenever she wanted them to actually follow procedure or act reasonably.

    The new Captain didn’t bug me, actually, because apart from “call me sir,” I pretty much agreed with everything she said. She’s like a sane person stepping in when the madmen have already taken over the asylum.

    I’m just going to assume that mattress was mysteriously hollow, with no padding and barely enough springs to keep it in place. That’d explain everything.

  15. Pat Marinelli
    Pat Marinelli says:

    Great show! Better comments.

    Lee, glad you pointed out the hollow points in the revolver because I looked, and thought what I was was an empty cylander. I saved the DVR so I can go back and look to see what you saw that I didn’t.


    Melanie, I pretty much agree with everything you said. I almost squeeled, just don’t tell Lee.

  16. Valerie Hansen
    Valerie Hansen says:

    By the way, I should also have mentioned that even blank cartriges have a wad that can hurt – or worse – if fired at close range. Just sayin’ so I don’t sound paranoid.

  17. Melanie Atkins
    Melanie Atkins says:

    I would’ve loved to have seen a scene between Kate and her dad, too. I’m thinking they might have done it if they’d had more time. They squeezed an awful lot into 42 minutes, as Larry pointed out in an earlier comment. I wish they’d done a two hour season premiere with this show instead of Grey’s Anatomy. I quit watching that soap years ago.

    The time jump was abrupt, even though I knew about it and was expecting it. I didn’t notice the forensic stuff b/c I was so keyed in to the interaction between Kate and Rick.

    Marlowe seems to know where he’s going, and he said in a recent interview that he knows he can’t please everyone. I’m happy with the show, and can’t wait to see more.

  18. Sally Carpenter
    Sally Carpenter says:

    Anyone notice the heavy makeup on Kate’s face when she was in the hospital bed? Blue eye shadow, thick eyebrow pencil–is there a makeup artist working with the nurses? And Kate made the world’s fastest recovery, from flatlining to back on her feet in three months. She’s superwoman!
    Three years ago show started out cute and funny and now Kate is still so bogged down in her mother’s case that the sparkle’s gone. Kate and Castle can’t keep up their avoidance dance forever. Get together or forget it.
    How much longer will the producers keep milking Kate’s mother’s death? Enough already. Solve the case and move on–or will the series end when that happens?
    The show’s trying to juggle ultra serious drama with the lighthearted comedy and it’s not working for me.
    Josh saves Kate’s life in ER and then they break up. Huh? Too much, too fast.
    Needed a scene with Kate and her father. That would be sweet.
    Yeah! Michael Dorn! Let’s see more of him!
    Don’t like the new commander. I know the producers wanted someone different from Montgomery, but it’s the old strong-woman-boss cliche. I hope the caption develops into more than a one-note character.
    Next week’s episode looks fun, so the new season may get better.

  19. TheJZB
    TheJZB says:

    Missed you guys! I have been looking forward to the return of the blog as much as the return of the show.

    Plotwise, I was already weary of the whodunit search for the wizard behind the curtain. After three years of buildup, the final revelation is destined to be anticlimactic. I mean, how big can he be? The mayor? The governor? A drug overlord? The President? Billy Graham? An intergalactic power? (Good thing we have Worf!)

    It makes little sense that the wizard and his minions will let Beckett live as long as she doesn’t delve into the case. Since when did they become benevolent? And since when did they want her alive?

    I was relieved, at the end of this episode, to see that Castle had put the case on his own electronic murder board — I thought, hallelujah, maybe someone can put this story line to bed.

    Bring on the action heroes…

  20. Valerie Hansen
    Valerie Hansen says:

    Okay. I watched it. And as it was progressing I was rewriting it in my mind! I think the most jarring part was the 3-month skip. That and the way they’re dressing Kate again. I swear, I want to grab that woman and take her shopping. Even Wallyworld has prettier clothes than those. Still, if she was supposed to look dismal and tortured they succeeded.

    I, too, wondered about the copious blood under the bed. And the guy who left the “print” getting himself out of there without dripping all the way to the door if he was that saturated. I really hope Castle doesn’t start relying on gore the way “Bones” does. I can hardly watch that anymore – and no, Lee, I don’t want to visit the Body Farm. 🙂

    Loading the automatic and pointing it willy-nilly got my attention, too. Reminds me of the time my husband and I were in the front row at a theater-in-the-round performance of “Annie Get Your Gun” and the actress cocked the rifle three times, only firing twice. We looked at each other, then at the rifle, and were about to hit the floor when the male lead took the gun away from her. She looked surprised but carried on with the performance. Gotta love actors who don’t have a clue.

    Anyway, thanks for the input. I’m glad to see that Lanie didn’t bother you as much this time, either. I was afraid I’d missed something!

  21. Barbara L
    Barbara L says:

    I was jarred by the scene where he takes her flowers in the hospital. Kate is sitting up in bed, perky and with good color. The last time I got cut up by doctors and lost a lot of blood (due to medical causes, not violence) I was pale and flat in bed. With IV and other people’s blood going into my arms.

    Ditto some of the cop stuff.

    What I liked is their relationship has evolved. Castle was coming on to her early in the relationship, now he is looking for more. There’s more tenderness between them.

  22. Lee Lofland
    Lee Lofland says:

    Jonathan – Good point about the weapon. Yes, officers are required to qualify with the weapon they carry. And no, it would not have been in the captain’s desk.

    Fitch – I’m aware that procedure and forensics on other shows are not accurate. But no one has asked me to point out those errors. And I really don’t care one way or another about what’s right or wrong with Castle. I’m simply pointing out these issues because someone asked me to do so about this specific show only. This review is meant to be for fun and as a learning tool for writers.

  23. Fitch
    Fitch says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed the episode. I realize the parallels but I don’t care because I think we are set up for a fun season and entertainment is what I’m looking for from this show.

    I’m hoping the hostage situation that’s rumored to be coming in an episode before the winter break prompts Beckett to allow some feeling for Castle to show.

    Lee, this TV show is no different than most others when it comes to police procedure issues. Sweeping each other, racking slides to put a round in the chamber (writers want to do something …), officers standing there not shooting with the suspect pointing a gun at them which, as you point out, is extremely unlikely, and other things (Criminal Minds has less of those errors as I recall). What bothered me most technically was how Beckett could have survived a direct chest hit from a .308 shooting a full velocity expanding hunting bullet (not FMJ like the military uses)? The rifle had a small silencer but we heard it shoot, so it wasn’t a subsonic round (which would have been much more survivable). And the shooter didn’t use an anti glare matrix on the objective lens? But it’s entertainment, so I write it off to artistic license and enjoy the real show which is the interaction between the characters with the main emphasis on Castle and Beckett.

    Speaking of the real show, I think the characters reactions to what happened are at least credible and true to their characters as developed to date. Good on Beckett for going back to get some help. I like the fact that both Beckett and Castle are keeping a secret from the other. I suspect that balanced situation will have a part in saving their relationship some time in the future because the forgiveness will have to be two sided.

    There was some outstanding acting, especially on Static’s part. She hit it out of the park several times.

    I’m glad Josh is gone. What I’m hoping is that Castle is grown up enough to focus on Beckett and avoid frivilous dalliances that will undermine her belief that he was sincere when he said he loved her. She may be waiting for the wall to go down, but she’s also looking for signs that he’s ready to be a one woman man.

    At this point I’m looking forward to next week but not wearing my skin out from the inside worrying about it. I was concerned when Will Beal left the writing team, but Marlow put those concerns to rest with Rise.

  24. Jonathan Quist
    Jonathan Quist says:

    Re: the CPR… I think there was a snatch of dialogue later in the show that suggested Kate’s heart stopped in the ambulance during transport. But yeah, once it was beating, cease the compressions. For those of us who’d have to think about those details, it did add a bit of frenzy to the scene.

    Re: Kate getting her pistol back. It’s been done in many a cop show, including the ultimate police procedural series, Barney Miller, but it struck me as off that the gun would have been in Captain “Call me ‘Sir'” Gates’ desk, particularly after a change of commanding officer, three months elapsed, and an early return to duty. Wouldn’t the weapon be in the station armory, and wouldn’t Kate use that pistol at the range to requalify, rather than having the chief reluctantly (and symbolically) pull it out of her desk and hand it over?

    Re: Shotgun incident. In the earlier freeze-up, Kate was defending for one. In this case, Castle was in the line of fire for the shotgun, directly over her shoulder. With a civilian, and one she cares about, in harm’s way, she probably should have pulled the trigger.

    I was glad to see Michael Dorn in a new series role. The concept of a Klingon psychologist, on the other hand…

    The man to whom Montgomery sent the envelope looked very familiar. Have we seen him before?

    Yes, in ways this did feel like a rerun. Let’s hope things progress from here.

  25. Lee Lofland
    Lee Lofland says:

    You have the makings of a fine politician, Larry. Side with both of us… 🙂

    The Closer. I cannot get past the star’s horrible attempt at a southern accent. The only thing worse would be to have Dana Delany play the part.

  26. Larry Marshall
    Larry Marshall says:

    I side with Melanie on this one, though I also agree with Lee. What I saw was an attempt, in one show to:

    1) Return Beckett to the living
    2) Get Castle and Beckett working again
    3) Introduce a hard-ass, edgy leader
    4) Slam the door, at least partially, on the whole ‘chase the sinister bad guy who killed mom obsession’ thing
    5) Eliminate the old boy friend
    6) And tease us with the ‘I don’t remember anything’…oops…’I remember everything’ thing

    That’s a lot to accomplish in a single episode, maybe too much. But in many ways it’s a deck-clearing episode and they pulled it off better than most. Of course I’m biased by watching season 6 of The Closer which is absolutely atrocious. I’m ready for more Castle 🙂

    Cheers — Larry

  27. John
    John says:

    I have a question about the police procedure, especially related to the blood under the bed. Wouldn’t the crime scene people have moved the bed to look under it?

  28. Elizabeth Bryant
    Elizabeth Bryant says:

    I have to say I was irritated by this episode. I’ve seen similar “conflicts” in the less successful romance novels. Why is love contingent upon solving her mother’s murder? That just doesn’t seem real to me, doesn’t ring true. BTW did the psychologist’s profile and voice match Castle’s informant?

    Also, had I been the back-up boys, I would have been pretty upset with Beckett’s PTSD moment. She could have gotten herself and others killed. Would they really have allowed her and themselves to get put in that position again a day or so later. I know, I know, it’s TV. 🙂

  29. Lee Lofland
    Lee Lofland says:

    By the way, folks. I DO know the show is not about police procedure. I was asked to write the review of the procedure by a group of writers who wanted to know if what they were seeing was accurate, or not.

  30. Maryann Mercer
    Maryann Mercer says:

    Loved the episode for all the right reasons…Castle and Beckett, Castle and his mom, Ryan and Esposito’s always perfect comedic touch (especially when talking about “Iron Gates”…who by the way gets under my skin and that’s the way it should be. I miss Montgomery), Castle & Alexis and even Lanie. Not sure about Josh’s “She’s my girlfriend, this is an obvious conflict of interests, but I’m not letting anyone else save her life” posturing and his instant assumption that Castle almost got her killed rather than saving her life (maybe he was more threatened than we thought…hmmm). However, I did take note of the rifle on the desk, and Kate’s mistakes with the gun. Maybe I’m more observant these days? Still, the the story has always been more about Castle and Beckett than police procedural (like Scarecrow & Mrs King was never really about espionage), and I’m glad they’re back.

  31. Sharon Sullivan-Craver
    Sharon Sullivan-Craver says:

    I also watched the season premier of the show and I was thinking it was a repeat. I watched it through and realized that they used the same old same old with a little twist. However I am glad Josh is out of the way. They really need to get something new going here. And I was wondering why they were performiong CPR on a person with a heartbeat ( that’s what I get for being in the medical field for over 40 years). I found a lot to be desired. And the new commander…she isn’t as tough sounding as she’d like to be. and the blood was way too much. Guess they had to do that to make it interesting.and I don’t know what I would have done with a gun pointed at me, but I was dissapointed in the scene where the guys comes out behind Kate and points the gun at her and she talks him down. Come was a dull scene. But I will be tuned in for the next episode.I do like the show.

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