Law and boarder


Melanie here. Sorry for the delay in posting our blog. Yesterday’s storms knocked out my power and caused a lot of damage in the area. I watched Castle, but couldn’t focus on the show enough to critique it. So I re-watched it this afternoon, eager to send my part of the blog to Lee before the next round of bad weather arrives. Storms are building to our west again, and we’re already under another tornado watch. Lovely. Such is springtime in the Deep South.

New Picture (10)

Melanie Atkins

The plot of this episode centers around the murder of a skateboarder by an unidentified motorcyclist. I wasn’t as interested in the case as I was the by-play between Rick and Kate over a game of Scrabble and Ryan and Esposito’s battle over whom Rick might choose as his best man. Early on, we learn Kate has already asked Lanie to be her maid of honor, and that Lanie loves the dress Kate picked out for her. The boys overhear and go into full-on competition mode, showering Rick with gifts and doing everything they can to ingratiate themselves to him. Instead of figuring out why they’re acting so strangely, he is totally oblivious. So silly, but fun.

The case had plenty of twists, wrong turns, and red herrings. Rick’s crazy theory about a Rollerball-type game conspiracy soon gave way to worries about the Albanian mob and a man named Enver, whom the victim helped send to prison years ago. They had indeed made contact, but Enver swore he didn’t kill Logan. Instead, he gave the kid money. Confused, much? I sure was.

Back to Scrabble, a game that is more my speed. Still reeling over Kate beating him at his favorite game the night before, Rick challenges her to a rematch once they get home… and she wins again. This time, to top it off, she trounces him with the word Quixotic for a huge score. Classic Castle… and so funny. I adored this scene. Rick does not take defeat well.

On Twitter, I learned the Scrabble board held all sorts of Castle “Easter Eggs”, especially in the scene portraying the first game, so I checked it out. Sure enough, most of the words referred to characters in Rick’s books, names of Castle episodes, and the like. I love these little tidbits they add just for fun.

The team searches for a missing duffel bag connected to the case the day after Kate crushes Rick for the second time, and finally locates it at a gym frequented by the victim. From the bag’s contents, they learn the dead skateboarder was apparently also a thief. In addition, he had recently bought a ten-year-old camcorder. This added another odd twist to the puzzle, but no one they spoke with was willing to provide any real answers.

Rick still doesn’t get Ryan and Esposito’s game to get him to pick one of them as best man. He instead believes they are playing up to him because Kate beat him at Scrabble, and they just want him to feel better. He couldn’t be more wrong. Ryan and Esposito try to convince Lanie to ask Rick to pick one of them to stand up with him, but she refuses. They’re at a loss as to how to proceed.

The ancient camcorder turns up with a bullet hole in it. I don’t see how that would help after all this time, because they don’t know when the hole was made. Still, they jump on the clue and manage to dig a piece of old tape out of the device. Tape from a cassette that Tori, the 12th’s resident computer whiz, somehow blows up and enhances so they can use it to help unearth the real killer. They finally nail him and put the case to bed, but I have to admit I didn’t really care.

I savored Ryan and Esposito’s confrontation with Rick about the best man gig so much more. Turns out he’s already asked Alexis to act in that capacity, even though she’s a girl. Like Rick said, next to Kate, his daughter is the most important person in his life. He does, however, ask Ryan and Esposito to be his groomsmen. They grudgingly agree. Too funny. My question now is… who will stand up with Kate besides Lanie? Anyone? Or will the two of them go it alone? Guess we’ll have to wait and see.

The case has now been solved, and Ryan and Esposito’s burning question has been put to rest. Rick sets up the Scrabble board as soon as they get home, and Kate agrees to a rematch… after learning Alexis and Martha are gone for the evening. Instead of settling in to play Scrabble, however, she scrapes the tiles out of the way and pulls out a deck of cards. “New game,” she says with an evil look. “Poker.” “You want to play poker with me?” Rick asks. Kate smiles and says, “Strip poker.” Rick is all too happy to comply. “This is so much better than Scrabble,” he says later, just before diving in for a kiss.


Loved the ending… and Rick’s brick red shirt. Nice. I wasn’t thrilled with Kate’s hair throughout the episode, however. The strange pony tail pulled back so tight made her look too severe.


I liked the suit, but kept expecting to see her sporting a crop and wearing breeches and riding boots. All in all, though, even with the odd outfit, I enjoyed this fun episode. Next week’s show looks to be much more serious. Should be a nail biter. Can’t wait!


Lee Lofland

First of all, I think I speak for the entire writing community when I say we’re all glad Melanie made it through the storms unscathed. We’re also deeply saddened by the devastation caused by the tornadoes that ripped through the southern states. Our thoughts are with everyone there as they work toward rebuilding their lives and their struggle to find peace in a time when grief overshadows all.

I, too, missed this episode of Castle, but not due to bad weather. Instead, Denene and I opted to watch The Blacklist. Normally, we’d record it and watch Castle. However, we’re without a DVR so recording wasn’t an option. So…I watched Castle last night by taking advantage of my Amazon Prime membership. And I didn’t have to fast-forward through commercials because there weren’t any. Hooray!

Anyway, there’s really not a lot to say about the case since the episode focused heavily on Ryan, Esposito, and Castle. Well, there was that thing with Beckett’s odd outfit and hairdo. I’m not a fan of either, but I doubt Stana Katic has me in mind when she selects her “look” of the day.

Lanie had one line regarding the dead body, and, of course, the writers blew that one for her. There’s no way she could have known, at the scene, that the victim was killed by three 9mm hollow-point rounds.


That’s all I’m saying about Lanie this time. The issue is, after all, one extremely well-beaten dead horse.

We were exposed to a gaggle of possible suspects this week. However, in true boilerplate script fashion, the killer was indeed the one person who appeared on camera for mere seconds, while a red neon arrow flashed and pointed directly at him. Why, oh why, can’t they stray from this pattern, just once? As soon as the rich kid appeared on screen Denene looked at me and said, “He’s the killer.” My reply to her was, “I know.” And we moved on.

Fortunately, the cop-clueless writers didn’t allow the case to overshadow the fun aspects—the banter between Ryan and Espo was that of the good old days of Castle, when the show was a light-hearted comedy with a bit of cop stuff thrown in to add a bit of tension.

Sure, Beckett needed a search warrant to search the locker and duffle bag. But the peek at a well-stocked bag of burglary tools was a nice touch, including the set of lock picks. Of course, in real-life I’ve never seen that many super nice, new, and well-cared for tools in a burglar’s bag. Normally, there’s a dinged-up crowbar, a dollar store screwdriver, and a tired, old hammer with splotches of paint on the handle. And duct tape. They all have duct tape, but I believe that’s in the kit in case a radiator hose in their old ’57 Ford Fairlane springs a leak.

Duct tape is, of course, a staple in every tool kit and kitchen tool drawer. In addition to fixing radiator hoses, it also works well to remove lint from clothing (sticky side out), hair removal (ouch!), repair leaky shoes, in courtrooms to silence unruly defendants (hmm…I wonder if they’ve considered using it on annoying attorneys – sorry Alafair and Dusty), and, of course to make a really nice hat for your cat.

New Picture (4)

See you next week. Until then, we’re back on the house-hunting mission. We’d made an offer on one but the deal fell through at the last minute, during the home inspection. We withdrew our offer.

Just one nice, decent house. That’s all we’re asking. Just one…

Castle: Get a clue


Before we start this review, I have one tiny thing I’d like to get off my chest, and here it is. I. CAN’T. STAND. PI.

Okay, now that that’s out of the way let’s knock on Melanie’s door and see what she thought about this week’s episode. Melanie…

Melanie Atkins

This week’s episode of Castle had a definite Da Vinci Code vibe. Mysteries, intriguing history, and a puzzling murder… all are right up Rick Castle’s alley, and this case fit right in. I enjoyed it, but was much more interested in the drama playing out between Rick and Alexis.

The show began with Martha and Rick visiting Alexis in her new digs with Pi, the fruitarian hippie, for dinner. The night is a disaster thanks to Rick’s blatant disapproval of his daughter’s new living situation, and I can’t say I blame him. I don’t like Pi, either. The fruit loop needs to go, and soon. I don’t know how long they plan to keep him around on the show, but I’ll definitely cheer when he’s gone. I am enjoying the conflict between Alexis and her father, however, and maybe that sounds hypocritical. She’s always been the perfect, precocious child, and now to Rick she’s a stranger. A headstrong young woman sowing her oats and demanding to go her own way.

Rick vents to Kate about the situation and she tries to help, but the case gets in the way. I wanted more interaction between them… heck, just more Rick-Kate time in general. A few hugs and kisses and a little more reassurance, not just a promise from Kate to Rick to “come by later and try to cheer you up.” Come on, folks! Case heavy episodes just aren’t as much fun to us shippers.

Still, I appreciated the banter and the way the case played out with Rick and Kate working together, even though I pegged the murderer fairly early in the show. The episode contained lots of great lines and funny moments. Classic Castle, without the lovey-dovey moments I crave.

The last heartfelt scene between Alexis and Rick got right to the meat of their conflict: her disappointment in his not telling her he planned to ask Kate to marry him before the fact. She found out over the phone while she was in Costa Rica, and that upset her. Of course, Rick and Kate’s engagement did happen pretty fast, as Rick pointed out, and Alexis was already out of the country by then. IMHO, she needs to get over it — she is nineteen and in college, after all — even though she does have a point about acceptance. She has accepted Rick and Kate’s engagement, and she simply wants the same acceptance from her father about her own relationship with Pi. Fine, but she still comes off as an angry young woman using Pi to get back at her dad. Maybe Alexis isn’t so grown up after all.

Next week’s episode again focuses on Rick and Alexis as they work to prove a man on death row is innocent, and I’m wondering if it will bring them back together or push them further apart. Is Pi involved? Is Kate? What do you think?

Bring it on, and we’ll all find out together.

Lee Lofland

Let’s see a show of hands. How many of you knew the identity of the killer long before Beckett and crew figured it out? Easy to spot, huh? Yes, the boilerplate script was pulled from the shelf and dusted off for this episode, and the writers sort of missed their mark when filling in the blanks.

The show wasn’t bad, nor was it one of the better efforts, thanks to a disconnect between the case, Castle’s funny and boyish enthusiasm, and Beckett and crew. It almost seemed as if the show was filmed in three separate segments and then pieced together at the end of the week.

Actually, there was a fourth segment—Lanie.

Bless her little heart. I often feel sorry for Tamala Jones because of the horrible lines she’s given. I know she has no choice, and for the kind of money she receives to deliver those lines, well, I’d be more than happy to say them too. But it doesn’t have to be this way. It would be just as easy to write believable fiction as it is to write the nonsensical babble we consistently hear from Lanie. They don’t write it for Perlmutter, so why do it for Lanie? Anyway, the writers once again pushed Lanie under the largest bus they could find. And they’d been doing really well…until this week.

Lanie started out okay, when she said the victim had probably been killed in another location but moved to where the body was discovered. She based her opinion on the obvious lack of blood at the crime scene (Remember, a crime scene and the scene of the crime aren’t always the same. A crime scene is any location where evidence of a crime is found. The scene of the crime is where the actual crime—murder, robbery, etc.—took place).

So the point about the murder taking place at a different location was a good one. Later, though, she tells Esposito that, “Based on the curvature of the wound and injuries to the neck, I’d say she was stabbed with a sword. And it went in to the hilt because it left a crenulated (an irregularly wavy or serrate outline) bruising pattern, like this…” And she showed Esposito a picture of a sword.

Okay, this one stopped me in my tracks. I rewound and played it again just to be sure I’d heard what I thought I’d heard. I hoped I was wrong, but no, I’d heard correctly. So, my first thought was WTH (what the heck) is she talking about? A sword? Really? A sword? Because the wound was “curved?” Okay, that alone was stupid, but first let’s address the curved blade. Are there other items with non-straight blades? Let’s see…

Why not one of these curved-beak guys? Looks like a mad, psychotic killer to me.

Actually, the chances of a suicide-diving ibis flying directly into a victim’s neck with enough force to cause a through-and-through wound are about as good as Lanie looking at the wound in the victim’s neck, determining it was caused by a sword with a curved blade. It is, however, possible for a weapon or other object to leave an identifiable imprint in the skin.

Then there was the “ink on the hand thing” where Lanie detected ink residue in a gaping, palm-covering wound on the victim’s hand. And, presto-magico, and with a poof of pixie and fairy dust, Lanie determined the ink was used to draw a very distinctive pattern on the dead woman’s palm. But there was no pam left! It had been gouged out and away. It was gone. Not there. Nothing. In the past, the writers of this show have pushed the boundaries of realism out to the extreme, but this ink-crap was one of the worst stretches ever. Dumb, dumb, and double dumb.

– Of course, there were the fictional moments where Ryan and Esposito did their part to uncover all the minor details that tie up all the loose ends. However, those two almost always come across as believable, even when doing the unbelievable. In Lanie’s defense, she could probably pull off the unbelievable, too, if she were handed lines that made some sort of sense.

– The case was a minor detail this week, so there isn’t much to pick apart for those of you wanting to know what’s right and what’s wrong as far as the police investigation goes.

– I did find it ironic that a local TV news break popped onscreen during a commercial break, and it showed a close up of police cars and crime scene tape—another shooting in Savannah (The umpteenth shooting this year). Then a woman appeared who was obviously responding to a reporter’s questions about the deadly event. Her only words were, “I ducked down because I don’t do bullets.” Now, doesn’t that sound like something Castle would say?

– Castle was definitely entertaining this week. He delivered some pretty good lines and even dazzled us with his sword-fighting skills. Although, I did think that scene went on a bit too long. So long, in fact, I began to picture Stana Katic off screen impatiently looking at a clock on the wall wondering if or when they’d ever finish. By the way, it was a huge plus this week that Beckett managed to keep her gun AND, she wasn’t taken hostage or knocked out. Not even once!

– As I stated earlier, we all knew the cousin was the killer from the first moment we laid eyes on him. So no excitement there. And, his confession was a typical (yawn) Castle-ish confession—two or three questions and the killers give the typical “look down and a heavy sigh” before pouring out their heart and soul to Beckett.

Alexis… Her moving in with (I don’t even want to say his name, so I’ll call him “that guy”) that guy is SO out of character for her. For six years or so, we’ve seen Alexis as the strong one…the smart daughter who’s sort of raising her child-dad and keeping a watchful eye over him so he doesn’t do anything that’s too stupid. She was grounded, smart, and extremely loving and supportive of all things Castle. And she’s seen the relationship between her dad and Beckett grow and grow and grow to the point where the next step was inevitable. Yet she’s hurt and angry that her dad proposed while she off was playing Jane to “That Guy’s” Tarzan, a banana-picking, bee-counting fruitcake…I mean, fruitarian.

By the way, an article in the “No Meat Athlete” reported—A practicing fruitarian for over three years, Michael Arnstein eats nothing but lots of fruit and the occasional raw vegetable. Arnstein said he devours 30 pounds of fruit a day—as many as 30 oranges, five cantaloupes, a watermelon, and a salad with five pounds of tomatoes. Consuming 40 to 50 bananas a day is a common occurrence for him. He also claims that 10 to 15 Valencia oranges is the perfect post run snack.

Actor Ashton Kutcher, who, for a movie where he plays Apple founder Steve Jobs, adopted Jobs’s fruitarian diet for one month. “I ended up in the hospital two days before we started shooting the movie,” Kutcher told reporters at the Sundance Film Festival. “I was doubled over in pain, and my pancreas levels were completely out of whack, which was terrifying, considering everything.” Jobs died in October 2011, after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. (U.S. News – Health).

Anyway, this episode was just so-so for me. It definitely wasn’t memorable, but it was, however, wonderfully absent of bombs, tigers, doomsday scenarios. Still, I long for more realistic scenarios. You know, the ones with Zombies. And I definitely miss the mystery-writing Castle who likes to relax while playing poker with his writer-buddies, such as Michael Connelly.

Sigh… Those were the good old days when Castle actually wrote books and we at least saw some sort of romantic spark between Castle and Beckett…

Finally, Pi has got to go!

Castle: Dreamworld


She lost her freakin’ gun AGAIN! And that’s all I’m saying for now. Take it away, Melanie, before I say something that’s not suitable for the young eyes and ears that often visit this site. I’ll be back. First, though, I’ve got to cool off. This gun-losing garbage has gone far beyond ridiculous…

Melanie Atkins 

Yes, the plot was far-fetched, but I still loved this episode of Castle. Kate’s frantic race to save Rick’s life had me on the edge of my seat, especially at the end. I love how much she loves him. Even faced with seemingly insurmountable odds, she fought for him, battling higher ups in the federal government — even the Secretary of Defense — without caring if she lost her job.

Rick was worried about Kate, too. His concern when he asked Rachel McCord, her partner, how she was doing in her new position, made my heart melt. McCord said Kate was doing fine and had a lot of potential, and he asked, “So she’ll be okay?” He wanted to make sure she’d be all right even if they didn’t find the antidote in time and he didn’t make it.

Martha’s and Alexis’ concern got to Kate as well. I know she wanted to tell them more, but she hung back because Rick told her not to say anything. Later, I think she didn’t tell them because of time constraints. She refused to let anything stop her from finding Parker and saving Rick.

Thank goodness they found the antidote in time. The last scene in the hospital room made me smile. The whole family, plus Pi, who is starting to get on my nerves, had Rick surrounded as he recovered from the toxin. Kate is part of that family now.

Even so, Kate and Rick are still struggling with her being in DC while he spends most of the time in New York. Kate gave voice to the problem, and Rick said, “Sometimes the hardest things in life are the things most worth doing. Just because we haven’t figured it out yet, doesn’t mean we won’t.” I believe they will make it… as long as Kate can learn to accept that everything, especially in that hotbed of politics, isn’t always black and white.

I’m not so sure she ever will. And truly, I hope she doesn’t, so she can return home to Rick and go back to the work for NYPD giving closure to families who need it. Go Kate!

Bring on next week’s episode. I can use a little light-hearted fun after this week’s race against time.

Lee Lofland

I’ll get to the “losing of the gun” BS in a moment. First, I’d like to ask if anyone else paid attention to Beckett’s demeanor throughout the entire episode? Didn’t you find it a bit bizarre that she totally lacked emotion, knowing that Castle had a mere hours left to live? Think about it. How would you react if doctors told you that, before sunrise, your significant other would cease to exist. You’d never, ever see them again. Dead. Gone. Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust. Castle no more.

Beckett never shed a tear. Not even a moist eyeball. And, to top it off, she continued to work on the case instead of spending what could’ve been her last 720 minutes, or so, with the love of her life.

I know. She’s supposed to be as tough as a handful of rusty nails. But even MMA fighters feel pain and show emotions from time to time.

– Is there any need for me to go into the foolishness of the agents having a lone computer nerd who has access to every single camera in D.C., and that he’s able to, within a snap of the fingers, locate one person out of the thousands who travel the sidewalks in our nation’s capital?

– Did anyone else immediately know that the Parker guy was going to be the villain of this two-part episode? If not, then you haven’t kept up with the “Castle Boiler Plate Script” formula, because Parker couldn’t have been any more obvious if he’d worn an “I Have The Deadly Gas” t-shirt. Same thing for the Secretary of Defense. It was soooo obvious that he wasn’t the bad guy. Well, he was a bad guy, all right. Just not the main bad guy in this show.

– Okay, so Beckett kicks in Parker’s front door, which is totally goofy, but it adds a bit of action and tension (aren’t we all supposed to add a little tension here and there in our writings?).

But I have a better scenario in mind. To save us all from the suspense of wondering at exactly which point in each episode will Beckett lose her weapon, why not have her kick in the door (with the appropriate amount of wood splinters flying throughout) and then toss in her pistol ahead of the entry team? Yep, a nice, big ‘ol heave-ho right to the middle of the room. Or, she could hide it in a city park frequented by bad guys, and each of the henchmen could enjoy an afternoon of frolicking and playing a cheerful game of “Find Beckett’s Gun.”

Puhleeze, Castle writers, we’ve had enough of the gun-losing-kidnapping scenes. At this point in the game, even losing her gun once per season is too much to bear.

– A deadly toxin has already killed one man and Castle is soon to be number two. Yet, when Beckett and “new crew” raid the apartment where the toxin is probably stored, they wear no protective gear. Not even a pair of gloves.

Well, as much as I hate it, we’re now at the actual point where Parker takes Beckett’s pistol. He points it at her and, like all silly TV bad guys, doesn’t shoot right away. First, he has to talk to her, which, as we all know, gives another good guy time to show up to save the day. In this case the other good guy was Beckett’s partner, Agent Somethingorother (I can’t seem to warm up to this character enough to remember her name).

Anyway, the agent sees the guy pointing a gun at Beckett (a use of deadly force situation if ever there was one), yet she chooses to say something to the killer instead of poking his brain with 5 or 6 rounds from her own pistol.

Honestly, this whole D.C./secret agent thing is just not working for me. The show has absolutely lost what made it so appealing in the early years. Sure, the Castle/Beckett relationship was inevitable. However, to reach so far to grab only what we’ve seen in the past two episodes is, well, let’s just say that the good is not outweighing the bad. And, obviously, something’s got to give soon to bring in Ryan, Esposito, and Lanie (groan).

You know, I sure miss the days when Castle was the bumbling tag-a-long author who shadowed Beckett and crew. I miss the poker games. And I definitely miss what this show was once centered around—a famous mystery writer who hung out with a NYPD detective as research for his novels. And the fun. I definitely miss the fun.

*By the way, I can’t stand the Pi character. He adds nothing to the show other than to have a character who’s even more irritating than both Gates and Lanie.


Castle: Watershed


So, have all you die-hard shippers come down to earth yet? I ask because when the “swing set” scene played out last night I heard Melanie squealing from my house and we’re several states apart. I’m anxious to hear what she has to say about this episode, since it leaned heavily on the relationship side with less focus on the investigation of the dead body of the week.

It was interesting to see Castle writers take a case straight from the news and weave it into their fictional world. Some of you may remember the story of the young Canadian woman, Elisa Lam, whose decomposing body was found in a rooftop water tank at the Hotel Cecil in L.A.

The discovery of Lam’s body was pretty gruesome. But the horror didn’t stop there, no sir. Hotel guests at the Cecil were sickened and appalled to learn that the water they’d been using to brush their teeth, shower, and drink, was the very water in which the corpse was found floating.

Of course, the scene last night (bloody water coming from the shower head) was preposterous because there’s not enough blood in the human body to color that amount of water any shade of red, especially the deep crimson we saw pouring over the woman in the shower. Still, it was nice to see this storyline instead of some sort of conspiracy that involved Beckett’s mother, Castle’s dad, Montgomery, or Ryan’s ties to the Irish mob complete with a past love interest. So, as gruesome as it was in real life, the story was a refreshing change of pace for Castle.

But, enough of that for now. Let’s turn to Melanie who’s chomping at the bit to talk about the gushy aspect of this episode. Melanie…

Melanie Atkins

I’m still peeling myself off the ceiling after this “Watershed” season finale. If you haven’t watched this episode, leave this page now because my post contains #majorspoilers. That scene at the swings at the end… can you say SQUEE?!

When the show first opens, Kate is given the professional opportunity of a lifetime—a chance at a federal job in DC — but she also loves Rick. She claims not to know where their relationship is going, however, and that worries her. She and Rick haven’t talked about it, or about anything concerning their future. They keep putting off the conversation, probably because they’re both scared. And why wouldn’t they be? Rick has two failed marriages under his belt and isn’t ready to commit; Kate has never dated anyone this long before and isn’t sure about getting in any deeper with Rick than she already is. What’s a girl to do?

What Kate does is lie by omission. She doesn’t tell Rick about the interview in DC or anything about the job at all. Not smart, but not totally unexpected. Kate isn’t one to open up easily, even after Rick supposedly tore down her walls. She likes to keep things close to the vest.

She does, however, accept professional advice from Captain Gates, who turns out to be her biggest cheerleader, and then she goes to see Lanie, who helps her on a more personal level. Well, basically, Kate and Lanie discuss Kate’s relationship with Rick, and we learn that Kate is torn… and scared to death of having “the talk” with Rick about their relationship, whether or not she gets the job.

Then Rick goes to her place for dinner and finds her boarding pass for her trip to DC, and she has to come clean with him. He’s hurt and angry that she lied to him—who wouldn’t have seen that coming?—and that she failed to include him in such a life-changing decision. He feels as if he’s being left behind. How can they stay together if she moves to another city? If she keeps lying to him? And why didn’t she feel as if she could confide him in? They argue, and Rick leaves. I don’t blame him.

At work the next day, Espo and Ryan pick up on the bad vibes when Rick doesn’t come to the precinct. Kate is short with everyone, and they keep their distance. They know Kate and Rick are fighting, but can’t do anything about it.

Rick confides in Martha, his mother, and she gives him some sage advice: “I know you. You do not hold back… except in this thing with Katherine,” she says. And later, “So is it possible that the reason you have held back is that deep down inside, you don’t really think this is gonna work.” I truly believe this is a light bulb moment for Rick. Aha!

Kate is offered the job, for real, and she turns to her dad, Jim Beckett, for advice. Jim says, “Sounds like a great offer. Your mom would be proud. Heck, I’m proud of you.” Then he asks her what she wants to do, and Kate says she believes she’s standing between two possible futures: the job, or Rick. She’s afraid their relationship will fail, and she’ll be left twisting in the wind without him or the job. “We’ve been doing this dance for the past five years, and what happens when the music stops?” she says, and her dad replies, “You know, in your whole life, you’ve never had a relationship go this far.” And, “Look, Katie, I know you. When you get scared, you hide in your work.” So true! Then he says, “I just want you to be sure that whatever decision you make, it’s not because you’re afraid.” Kate tells him she wants the job. That she’s sure.

Then she’s summoned back to the precinct, where she tries to put a slam dunk on what just might turn out to be her last case. She shoves her record in the guy’s face and tells him “this room has been my life… my home. And I will not let you sit here and lie to me in my own home.” I believe that deep inside, she knows she belongs at the 12th. That she really doesn’t want to leave, no matter what she says. Or maybe not. When she leaves the interrogation room, she looks around as if she won’t ever see the place again. At that point, I really didn’t know what she wanted.

The boys stop her and ask what’s going on, and she says she has something to tell them, but that she has to tell someone else first. It’s Rick, of course. Is she going to tell him she’s taking the job, or that she plans to turn it down? We really don’t know.

She calls Rick and tells him they need to talk, and he agrees. They meet at the swings… a pivotal place for them. The summer after she was shot, it’s where they reconnected after the book signing, and then last year, it’s where she went to think after almost falling off the roof and dying before she showed up wet and dripping at his door. I’d seen promo pics and knew this scene had to be a big deal, and after hearing the last scene was missing from the one sent to the screeners (the ones who watched it early so they could review it), I knew it had to be really big.

Boy, did I hit the nail on the head. Kate apologizes, and Rick tells her he wants more. That they both deserve more… and she agrees. Then he says, “Whatever happens, whatever you decide…” He gets up, and then drops to one knee with a ring in his hand. “Katherine Houghton Beckett, will you marry me?”

Did you hear all the squees from the Castle fandom? They’re still echoing in my ears. The hashtag #CastleSeasonFinale had already been trending worldwide (partially because Molly Quinn, who plays Alexis, and Penny Johnson Jerald, who is Gates, were live tweeting), and after the proposal, Twitter really went nuts. People kept most of the spoilers on the down-low, even still, so as not to spoil the west coast feed, and that was nice. Now that everyone’s seen it, however, we can shout it from the rooftops. Rick proposed!!!

Will Kate still take the job? Will she accept his proposal? This is the “gentle” cliffhanger we get to live with over the summer hiatus. I don’t care. I can deal. He proposed!!

Can you squee me now???

When the job offer comes, she doesn’t say yes right away.

Lee Lofland

Before I dive in I’d like to remind everyone, especially the hate-mailers, that we write this review and recap at the request of several writers who wanted to know if the police procedure and investigation (sounds like the title of a good book, huh?) on Castle was an accurate portrayal of the techniques and tactics used by real life experts. We realize the show is fictional and is not intended to be used as a police training film. Really, we understand. We know it is for entertainment purposes. Still, the writers want to know what’s accurate and what’s not so they won’t include any of the “wrong” in their books. So, that why we do what we do.

Okay, let’s start with Lanie.

What can I say…she nailed the opening scene. “There’s evidence of blunt force trauma but I won’t know the cause of death until I get her back to the morgue.” Yep, nailed it. No street corner witch-doctory at all.

Actually, the only thing she said that was off the mark was about the time of death. Lanie narrowed it down to between midnight and 1 am. Unless someone saw the murder take place, there’s no way she could have pinpointed the TOD in this case to within a one-hour time frame.

– The “crew” along with a few uniformed officers were seen questioning potential witnesses inside the hotel. This was a good scene as well, because after the crime scene that’s where an investigation normally begins…talking to people.

– Of course, we knew the guy who was so insistent that the victim was not a prostitute was not the killer. But we did know he would soon be involved in pointing Beckett and team on the right path toward the real suspect, or that he’d be a key piece of the puzzle (verifying that the suspect was on her computer most of the time and was not a prostitute).

– Beckett was offered the job in D.C. about four months too soon. No way someone would be hired for a federal law enforcement job that quickly. The background investigation alone would take several weeks, if not months.

– We saw Beckett and entourage ready to kick in the door to Blalock’s apartment. Well, that was all fine and dandy, with the exception that Beckett was standing directly in front of the wooden door. A gunman on the inside could have easily fired through the door (where he’d be expecting a person to stand while knocking). The proper positioning would have been to either side of the door.

– The part about the politician who was driving during the car crash that killed the murder victim’s friend was a hint of another true crime—the 1969 car crash in Chappaquiddick, Ma. with Ted Kennedy and Mary Jo Kopechne. Kennedy’s car landed upside down in a body of water, but he was able to swim back to shore. Kopechne was not and drowned. Her body was recovered the next day. Kennedy did not report the crash until several hours later. He plead guilty to a charge of leaving the scene of an accident and received a two month jail sentence (suspended).

– Beckett interviewed the murder suspect (the brother of the politician) and we saw the man suddenly lower his head. That’s the sign we all look for. When the suspect lowers his head and looks down toward the floor, he’s normally about to confess. Also, Beckett summed it up nicely when she said, “I didn’t need him to confess, I just needed to see his eyes.” Very true. Investigators often can tell when someone is truthful or not by merely watching their eyes. The eyes tell officers if they are on the correct path of questioning. It’s not science, but it’s two steps above the “gut feeling.”

Finally, the proposal surprised me, one of the few times the show wasn’t predictable. So this was a nice touch and a great cliffhanger. Of course, I don’t believe they’ll marry and more than I believe Beckett will go to DC. Besides, Castle wouldn’t be able to tag along on federal investigations. Then again, I didn’t think the IRS would be allowed to target specific groups of people, or that the feds could secretly spy on journalists by obtaining their phone records. Go figure.

You know, maybe we need Castle and Beckett in Washington. The place certainly needs some help. However, the two of them would have a hard time there, I think. After all, isn’t most of what happens there stranger than any fiction the Castle writers could ever hope to dream up? But, losing her gun in Washington wouldn’t be a problem. After all, what’s one more lost gun among the dozens lost during the Fast and Furious operation?

Anyway, see you next season when wedding bells will ring…or not.


Castle: The human factor

Next to cameras, facial recognition, body scanners, TSA agents playing touchy-feely with Grandma, gun control, no gun control, banks too big to fail, North Korea, Iran, the Taliban, suicide bombers, assault weapons, no Miranda (the Personal Safety Exception), Martial Law, politicians, and terrorists, drones are the biggest threat to our freedom. Right? And, thanks to Castle and company we saw why they might be a problem. Of course, hacking into a drone’s controls is a pretty far-fetched idea…but didn’t Iran claim to do just that when they somehow managed to grab one of our unmanned surveillance aircraft? Hmm…

For now, though, let’s pretend what we saw last night was merely a work of fiction and that drone strikes and surveillance on U.S. soil by U.S. officials will never take place (and, in case you’re interested, I have nice bridge for sale in Death Valley).

So, before I switch over to the Brookstone website to order a remote control helicopter, let’s dive right in with our review and recap. Melanie, take it away (don’t forget to take a peek at Melanie’s latest release, Blood Bound. You can pick up a copy by clicking on the cover in the right sidebar of this page)…

Melanie Atkins

I enjoyed seeing Castle playing with his toys again in this episode that was an obvious setup for the finale. So funny. And I really loved the scene where Kate ambushed Rick with the tank and helicopter in bed. Hilarious. That just fits their relationship so well.

As for the rest of the show? I’m sure Lee has many comments about the off the wall case that delved into homeland security, but I will say that I pegged the kid as the killer early on — even though the way his dad died was pretty unorthodox. He just had that disgruntled teen thing going on, and he looked guilty. The idea that Warburg might’ve done it tripped me up for a minute, but that red herring faded fast.

Also, Castle with a gun, shooting down a drone? Seriously? Kate didn’t even seem surprised he was carrying. Heck, she probably gave him the gun. I’m sure Lee will rip that apart, because Rick is a civilian. Please.

The most important part of this episode was, of course, Stack approaching Kate with the offer of a job with the U.S. Attorney General’s Office in D.C. She’s obviously intrigued, and the promo showed us just how much. Will she choose D.C., or will she choose Rick? Ack!

Andrew Marlowe says that something “out of left field” will play into her decision, however, and that the finale will have a “gentle cliffhanger”. Gentle, really? Is the something out of left field the job offer, or something else? Something personal, perhaps, or maybe even something family related. I have no idea. Speculation is rampant, and I for one can’t wait to see what happens. This is going to be one long, long week… but I have a feeling the summer hiatus just might do me in.

Lee Lofland

You know, I don’t know how I feel about this episode. I mean, everyone showed up to play their parts, and they did a good job. There were funny and cute moments. Serious and somber were also on hand. But the episode overall was just okay for me. Well, other than the Homeland Security guy showing up to threaten a detective with arrest for doing her job.

By the way, if Homeland Security, or any of the three-letter agencies (FBI, ATF, DEA, etc.) has an interest in a case, especially one that involves big explosions and/or the possibility of mass casualties, well, as we saw in the recent Boston bombings, the feds would want and need the assistance of the local authorities. And they certainly wouldn’t threaten to arrest them for trying to solve a murder that took place within their jurisdiction. This sort of goofy TV crap (believe me, “crap” wasn’t my first choice of words) is why there’s so much horrible information floating around the internet and in books.

The red herrings this week were pretty darn obvious. It would’ve saved everyone a lot of time if they’d just lined them up in a row with a flashing red sign hanging over the son’s head. Certainly everyone out there in TV land had this kid pegged from the first second he appeared on camera. After all, he did everything but confess the first time he opened his mouth to speak. For me, knowing the identity of the killer so early on in the episode takes away the fun of helping Beckett and crew solve the case.

– One scene of particular interest was when Beckett was conducting her “walk and talk” interview of Omar, with the Homeland Security guy so obviously following behind (another flashing red arrow over this guy’s head). Anyway, it was basically a good scene, showing how a cop should be aware of their surroundings at all times, and normally, they truly are in a hyper-aware state during those kinds of situations. So good job there.

– The idea of hacking into military computers and drone software doesn’t sound possible, you say. Well, I suggest you Google the group “Anonymous.” I think you’ll soon change your opinion.

– I share Castle’s sentiment of savoring the aroma that greets you the moment you set foot in a bookstore, especially one that features antique books. But any bookstore will do for me. Somehow, smelling a gently used Kindle or Nook is just not the same.

– There was no problem with Beckett and Castle passing through the gate to pay a visit to Warburg. However, I’m still wondering why they didn’t drive to the house. Doing so would have saved them a lot of grief, and costly ammunition. Not to mention Warburg’s drone would have survived.

By the way, the pistol Castle used to help Beckett take out the machine-gunning drone was Beckett’s backup weapon. Castle yanked it from Beckett’s ankle holster when the drone made its return pass. I’m guessing that Beckett recently decided to start carrying the backup gun since she loses her service weapon to bad guys so often. It will also come in handy during future kidnappings (I believe we’re about due for Beckett to be kidnapped again. Hasn’t happened in three or four weeks now).

– Back to the son, the quite obvious villain of this story. Did you notice that Beckett dove in with questions and listened to the boy’s confession without letting the kid know he had the right to remain silent? Normally, she’s spouting off Miranda the second the bullet hits the bone.

– I was pleased to see a mention of Beckett using silence during her interview with one of the red herring suspects. That was a favorite tactic of mine. Filling a room with silence can sometimes be deafening to a criminal suspect.

– Another point in this episode that caught my attention was when Homeland Security dude, Stack, was making his case that Beckett should consider joining the feds. He said he liked that she was a an asymmetrical thinker, and that, my friends, is a fantastic quality for a successful investigator to possess. Why? Because asymmetrical thinkers not only look for a bad guy’s faults, they also closely examine their strengths, which often points a detective in their direction.

Asymmetrical thinking also pertains to creative writers. After all, symmetrical thinkers have all their ducks in a row. Their thoughts are focused in one direction (symmetrical), toward one goal. They are normally the well-balanced technical/IT folks. With fiction writers, though, creativity must be allowed to flow from all directions, coming together at an end that is often not thought of until, well, the end. Most often, it is the asymmetrical thinkers, those who allow their minds to venture off the structured path—the daydreamers—who create beautiful works of fiction, spectacular pieces of artwork, and intricate, flowing melodies and verse.

Anyway, thinking “out of the box” is an important trait for police investigators. After all, many, if not most criminals, are definitely asymmetrical thinkers. They’re schemers and planners, always thinking of ways to beat the system. So cops often need to “get inside the heads” of their adversaries, and what better key to the crime-solving puzzle than to know the bad guy’s next move. There’s nothing more satisfying than to be there waiting with handcuffs in hand when the crook strikes.

Okay, so much for my ramblings. The show this week, as I said, was just okay. I, too, believe it was a set up for the season finale, which by the way, is a storyline that’s been done to death. I hope the Castle writers have found a different spin for it, but after seeing this one, with the usual boilerplate, fill-in-the-blanks script, I doubt it.

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One more thing…is anyone watching Bates Motel? How about Grimm? If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts about them.

Castle: Still


Well, this is one time when it truly is a good thing to have two reviewers—the good and bad cop. Why is this a good thing? Because Melanie absolutely loved this episode, and I absolutely hated it. And, as far as I’m concerned, hated is not a strong enough term to describe my feelings about what I thought was a real snooze fest. A total yawner. But, I’m pretty sure I know why and how Melanie and I came to be at opposite ends of the spectrum on this one, with no common ground or element to share.

Melanie watches Castle for the romance and relationship. I watch for the comedy and the police procedure and forensics (or the lack of). This episode was all about the relationship, the love, and the goo-gooey-eyed moments that occurred over the history of the show. And we saw those moments via flashbacks. By the way, the flashbacks made this episode doubly painful for me because I despise “back-in-time” scenes. So, an entire episode of nothing but flashbacks of mushy stuff pretty much pushed me over the edge. But I can see how Melanie and a boat load of shippers would have spent their time last night squealing and drooling throughout the show.

Since there was no real police procedure (goodness knows what little we did see was goofy), I’ll first call on Melanie to share her giddiness with you. Melanie, have you returned to earth, or are you still floating among the clouds after seeing all the mushy stuff last night?

Melanie Atkins

I loved this episode. Absolutely LOVED it — even though I had to keep in mind that this episode should have aired before last week’s show. Consider that in terms of relationship continuity. Even so, after nearly a year of being together, Kate finally told Rick she loves him. Yes, she might have said the words under duress, under the threat of death, but Stana’s tears and the agony on her face told the tale. I was in tears, too. What about you?

The first scene with Rick bringing Kate breakfast in bed — he even made hearts in their coffee — and then her sitting on his lap set the tone for this one and told us the episode would focus on their relationship. Yes, Kate stepped on a bomb inside the suspect’s apartment and had to remain “still” to keep from setting it off, but the episode did revolve around her and Rick. He stayed inside the apartment to keep her company even though he could have fled at the beginning to save himself. He used humor to keep her distracted so she wouldn’t focus on her predicament, and it worked, at least for a while.

All of the flashbacks and fun from the pilot on brought back so many good memories and made me laugh out loud over and over again. They reminded me why I love this show so much. One day I’m going to gather all my DVDs and watch the show again from the beginning, just because I can. I love the evolution in Kate and Rick’s relationship and the way they’ve learned to trust and love one another. The way they’ve opened up, maybe not on every level even now, but so much more with each new episode. This show has hit all the right marks with me, and that says a lot because I write romance. Kudos to Andrew Marlowe and company for finally giving me the love story I’ve craved ever since I started watching television.

I adored the relationship part of this particular episode, and that of course made up most of it, but I did giggle at the Mission Impossible-like green lasers shooting up from down below to outline the edge of the bomb. Seriously, folks? I could hear Lee’s loud groan from here in Mississippi. If that’s really the way bomb disposal units do that, I’ll retract my statement… but seriously? And Rick coming up with the code at the last second… okay, I can live with that. He did save Kate after all… and the hug they shared once the bomb disengaged made me tear up all over again.

And of course, now we know Gates is aware Kate and Rick are in a relationship. Finally! Like Gates said in the show, she’s not an idiot. I knew she had to know, and I thought they handled her letting them in on it in a great way. So glad that silly story line is over, however. I thought they dragged it out way too long. Sorry, but I did. A little of that went a really long way.

Crazy green lasers and Gates aside, I thought the powers that be did a fabulous job of putting tonight’s show together so fast. Still was an extra episode ABC added after Marlowe, et al, had lined up the remainder of the episodes for the end of the season, so they had to decide what to do in a hurry. They shot the show in three days, versus eight, and then used the clips from previous seasons to fill in… giving us that delicious trip down memory lane. Yay for the wonderful editors who took on that monumental task. I thought the idea worked perfectly.

Tension, angst, drama, laughter, tears… it doesn’t get any better than this. I’m afraid the next two episodes might kill me, however, what with the… well, never mind. I don’t want to spoil too much. Stana did tweet that the finale is a tearjerker, but in a good way. Really?

Only two more episodes to go in season five.

Lee Lofland

I just have a couple of points to address this week.

First, the fully-suited entry team kicks in an apartment door. They’re ready to do battle, complete with Kevlar helmets atop their little actor heads. As they make their carefully executed entry, a pony-tailed Beckett steps into the line. I’m sure you guys are aware there’s a certain order and purpose of the entry team. Each person has an assignment and their position in the line dictates what each person is supposed to do. So Beckett jumping line is just not the proper thing to do. Besides, she wasn’t dressed appropriately for the task at hand. Not to mention how silly it is to have Castle parading around, unarmed, in a highly charged for-well-trained-cops-only situation.

And let’s not forget the crossfire situation surrounding the bomber (Fosse). Oh, and Ryan running through the alley holding his pistol in outstretched arms. If you have a moment, re-watch the scene and you’ll see his weapon waving side to side, wildly. An accidental trigger pull during that scene and who knows who’d have been the recipient of that round.

Yes, the bomb disposal unit was pretty goofy. In real life, the team commander absolutely would not have allowed Castle to remain in the room with Beckett. And, they most certainly would not allow him to wander around at will, going out for coffee, etc.

– Why on earth would Ryan and Esposito simply leave Beckett and Castle in a building where a bomb was set to go off? They warned her about it and then we saw the duo at the precinct talking to Gates. Odd.

Finally, I was a bit confused about the premise of the bomb, the bomber, and the guy the bomber was targeting. As I understood it, the bomber (Fosse) was trying to learn the identity of his kid, I think. But when Castle figured that out, he also correctly guessed that the password to deactivate the explosive was the mystery kid’s name, Billy. Well, if that were the case, then Fosse already knew the kid’s name. Somebody please clear this up for me. Not that it’s important, because it’s not. Besides, it fit perfectly into this week’s totally ridiculous case.

Well, as I said earlier, I didn’t like this episode at all. But I’m sure the true shippers are still swooning because they had the opportunity to see all the lip-locking and tear-jerking moments all in one episode. Good for the shippers, too, because this sort of thing is precisely why they love this show. And they are the target audience, not me.

There was one good aspect to this yawner…I had an extra hour to work on my current book, which, for the first time since the show first aired, is what I did while this episode slogged by.

By the way, who knew that Beckett had worn so many different hairstyles over the years? And I’d almost forgotten that Castle is a writer…

Castle: The squab and the quail


Remind me to never order quail, or was it the squab that caused near instantaneous death? Either way, I think I’ll stick to my personal favorites when dining out…duck or crab. Oh, and please hold the spritz of poison. It tends to ruin a perfectly good meal. It also makes TV medical examiners lose their freakin’ minds. But more about Lanie later. First, lets see if all the jealousy, swooning, and lip-locking held the attention of our good cop, Melanie.

By the way, if you let your eyes wander over to the right sidebar, beside the paragraph above, actually, you’ll see Melanie’s latest book, Blood Bound. Click on the book cover and you’ll magically be transported to the spot where you can purchase a copy of your very own.

Melanie Atkins

Is the honeymoon period over? Does Rick take Kate for granted? One would think so, the way Rick ignores Kate — who is dressed for seduction — while gaming. He acts more like a guy who’s been married for a while than someone who’s been dating his hot girlfriend for less than a year, and Kate notices. Of course she does. And it bugs her.

Then she meets handsome, suave, ultra-wealthy Eric Vaughn — who gave me hives, by the way, but that’s neither here nor there — and has to keep the man safe, at first in his home and then in the presidential suite at a ritzy hotel. Castle is incensed… and very, very jealous. He pushes Ryan and Esposito to solve the case in record time to get Kate away from Vaughn. Rick’s hi-jinks kept me laughing, but I also found his reaction a bit sad. He loves Kate, and yet he’s got no clue about what she wants. He’s never asked.

Vaughn attempts to ply Kate with champagne while in his home, and then later at the hotel, he questions her about her relationship with Rick. Are they together? Yes. Is it serious? Yes. Except… she hesitated a beat before answering that second question — maybe because she’s not sure where their relationship is going — and that gives Vaughn an opening. He tries to kiss her, and she obviously considers kissing him back before pushing him away. Then, of course, a shot rings out, narrowly missing Vaughn.

For a while the billionaire looks guilty of setting up the attempts on his own life to hide a fraudulent business scheme, but then our dynamic duo discovers one of his associates is to blame.

Even as Kate walks away and Vaughn leaves the precinct, he gives Rick a parting shot: “You know, that’s an extraordinary woman you’ve got there,” he says. And Rick answers, “I know.” Then as the elevator doors close, Vaughn asks, “Do you?”

His question seems to shake Rick up, because that night he symbolically “cuts the cord” on his gaming system, kisses Kate soundly, and invites her into the bedroom for a romantic full-body massage surrounded by roses and lit candles. The man is trying, sure, but he still doesn’t get it when Kate asks, “Rick, where are we goin’?” She’s talking about their relationship, but he says, “Into the bedroom.” Men! They can’t see the forest for the trees.

I enjoyed this episode a lot even though it toyed with my heart strings. I laughed and I almost cried. I’m a Caskett shipper all the way, and Kate’s confusion really bothered me. It’s natural, of course, so I’m going to hang tough and ride out this little ripple.

We all must remind ourselves that The Squab and the Quail (episode 22) was flip-flopped with Still (episode 21), the one revolving around a bomb theme, in deference to the bombing victims in Boston and the explosion in Texas last week, so the continuity is a bit off. Shouldn’t hurt continuity too much, however, from what I’ve gleaned online.

I can’t wait for more… and I trust Andrew Marlowe when he says he won’t break up Rick and Kate. All relationships have their ups and down, and he’s attempting to keep this one realistic. I can’t wait to see what happens during the finale airing May 13.

Lee Lofland

Okay, I’m diving right in. Lanie has fallen off the wagon and reverted back to Granny Clampett/voodoo/witchdoctor science. And she was relentless last night, never letting up, not even for a moment. Billows of roiling black smoke rose from Ouija Boards, crystal balls rolled down the hallways of the ABC studios, bowling over anyone who got in their way, voodoo dolls screamed for mercy, and an army of root doctors ground chicken bones, dried bat wings, and human toenails at a furious pace. But they just couldn’t keep up with Lanie’s nonsense. Not even close.

We all saw, with our own eyes, the man who took a bite of poison-tainted fowl, suddenly spew a bit of foamy spittle (I know, not pleasant) and then keeled over dead, and all within a few seconds. Right? Well, here’s where things began to go downhill. No, this was where Lanie dove off the cliff, screaming goofy stuff all the way down until she hit the bottom, beside a huge pile of ACME anvils, boulders, broken umbrellas, mis-fired rockets, and other debris left behind by Wile E. Coyote.

Lanie (paraphrasing) – “His pupils and excessive saliva suggests a foreign substance.”

How about epilepsy, Lanie. Or a tumor. Or Bell’s palsy. Maybe even an earlier trauma (a nasty bump on the head). Oh, I know, Lanie…a snake bite can cause foaming at the mouth and that’s just as likely as you diagnosing this one as poisoning, so quickly and based on so little.

Alas, she didn’t stop there. No, she crawled out even further on the nonsense limb. “Didn’t show up on the tox, but I can say for sure it was some sort of paralyzing agent.”

Well, if nothing showed up, how on earth do you know so quickly that it was a paralytic? Maybe you have that muscle stiffness confused with rigor?

And on she went… “The poison was chemically synthesized.” Now, how could she possibly know this? Remember, nothing showed up on the tox screen (basically, you have to have some idea what you’re searching for in order to have a comparison). So, I’m guessing that she (by the way, M.E.’s don’t do this testing and comparison) tested for every single possible natural chemical in the world, and found this one was indeed not one of them. Therefore, that’s how she came to the conclusion that the poison that killed this guy was chemically synthesized. Puhleeze… Do you have any idea how complicated and difficult it would be to do this without first having something to go on? It would be a total shot in the dark, and not one that would return a result as fast as our Voodoo doctor reported. Think about it, if you don’t know what you’re looking for, it’s a bit hard to find it.

Let’s step into the restaurant for a moment before continuing with Lanie’s silliness. This was a no-brainer for the detectives. We know the orders were mixed up and the intended victim did not receive the tainted bird. Therefore, the killer had to have known the menu items (which was squab and which was quail) merely by looking at the finished product. He also had to know which diner ordered which dish, in order to doctor to the correct meal. So, it was an inside job, for sure. We didn’t need to find the discarded jacket/vest to come to this conclusion, but it was definitely icing on the cake.

Okay, so Lanie somehow, within a mater of hours, learns that the poison is saxitoxin, which by the way is extremely deadly and it is a paralytic. Saxitoxin can be found in shellfish contaminated by “red tides” (certain algae blooms), or when the shellfish feed on other certain dinoflagellates (microscopic cellular beings). It’s toxic to humans by inhalation and ingestion (“shellfish poisoning”).

Symptoms of saxitoxin poisoning normal present in 5 to 30 minutes, starting as a faint tingling in the lips and extremities followed by difficulty breathing, a reduction of motor abilities, difficulty swallowing, nausea, vomiting, and possibly, convulsions. The next steps are complete paralysis, respiratory failure (minus assisted breathing) and then death.

Within 2-12 hours, there could be complete paralysis or death. If the victim survives past the 12 hour point, however, then he/she is on the road to recovery, no matter how severe the dose. Within a few days they’d return to normal with no lasting effects of the poison.

By the way, there is no antidote for saxitoxin poisoning, and, victims do not die instantly like we saw last night. Therefore, doctors would have more symptoms on which to base their diagnosis and treatment. Approximately 75% of severely infected people die within 12 hours of ingesting the poison, not 12 seconds.

– I’ll leave the mushy stuff to Melanie, but I would like to mention a couple of points regarding the police aspect of the episode. First, seeing a couple of feathers floating from beneath a doorway is not cause to kick in the door. Well, unless you’re there save the life of a very important chicken. Other than that, the police are little more careful about when it’s okay to kick in a door without a warrant.

– One of the two, Esposito or Ryan, called the bloody pillow a “poor man’s silencer. Nice touch, and believable.

– Some may scoff at the idea of Beckett assigned to protect Vaughn in his home. Unfortunately, I was once assigned to similar duty, to protect a woman whose husband had attempted to kill her and their children. I was inside the very modest home for two days while other detectives were assigned to surveillance on the outside. They spent their time trying to stay warm, drinking lots of coffee, and eating cold sandwiches. I watched TV in front of a gas fireplace, played video games with the kids, and enjoyed a couple of nice home-cooked meals. Tough duty to say the least. The woman and her children were finally taken to a safe house.

– A few weeks ago, Beckett finally started using BOLO (be on the lookout) in place of the outdated APD. I noticed she used APB again last night. Not a big deal, but we notice.

My favorite lines from the show:

Castle – “I can’t believe the department is letting her (Beckett) hang out with some womanizing rich guy.”

Ryan – “Unbelievable.”

Esposito – “Yeah, she’s never done that.

* This episode was just “okay” for me. And, I thought Beckett had gone a little Christina Aguilerish with the makeup. But that’s just my opinion, and we know just how important that is. Right, Lanie?

* Here’s one for the mystery writers out there. Bullets coated with saxitoxin have been tested and the poison survived the hot gases produced by the gunfire. A double blow to the victim. They might survive the gunshot wound only to find a strange tingling sensation on their lips and fingertips as it becomes more and more difficult to breathe.

Castle: The fast and the furriest


Before we begin our review of last night’s Castle episode, Melanie and I would like to take a moment to express our condolences to the families of those who lost loved ones in yesterday’s bombings in Boston.

Our thoughts and prayers are also with the injured. I know it’s a difficult and horrifying experience, but you are in extremely capable hands at each of the Boston hospitals. The medical staff there is second to none. The same is true for the Boston law enforcement, EMS, fire services, and other first responders.

I know the officials in the great city of Boston will not rest until they capture the animal(s) responsible for this senseless attack on innocent men, woman, and children. After all, to live in Boston is like being a part of a very large extended family. You mess with one, you’ll deal with all.


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Castle: The Fast and the Furriest – 5×20

Castle was good, light-hearted fun last night, and to see Castle attack the “Bigfoot scenario” as a playful adult/child was exactly what the doctor ordered after such a trying day yesterday. The funny thing about a Bigfoot sighting in the Big Apple is that no one would think twice if they did see the creature roaming the streets and lurking in alleyways. They’ve seen worse, believe me. And, actually, it’s not the first time a hairy giant has been seen in New York City. Or have you all forgotten the day that…

Anyway, let’s get down to business, the review. Melanie…

Melanie Atkins

Like classic Castle episodes that will make you smile? If so, this one’s for you. The plot moved quickly, starting when someone dumps the victim of a mauling at the entrance to a hospital emergency room. Our dynamic duo and the rest of the cast gives us lots of fun moments despite the gravity of the murder, complete with a sweet Caskett scene in Rick’s bed that is rudely interrupted, along with plenty of his silly theories about the killer.

After the opening scene at the hospital, we get a glimpse inside the loft right after Rick discovers food is missing from his refrigerator. We don’t hear any more about this until much later, however, because his fascination with Bigfoot — and his certainty the creature murdered the woman who is now lying on Perlmutter’s table — take center stage. Ridiculous? Yes. Ridiculous… and funny.

The victim worked at a center that studies primates, and at first the team wonders if one of the beasts there killed the woman and perhaps one of the workers brought her to the hospital for help. CSU finds no evidence of murder at the facility, however, so they aim their investigation in another direction. Bigfoot? Castle believes the creature is the culprit. I cracked up at some of his weird speculation, and especially when he slapped the picture of Bigfoot on the murder board.

They hit a dead end in the case, so they stop for the night and Kate goes home with Castle. The sweet Caskett scene happens as they’re climbing into his big bed together. Kate marvels at how Rick believes in everything: Bigfoot, zombies, ghosts, etc., and he questions what she believes in. Turns out she’s more thrilled with the mundane and the important moments in life — real life — and in good music and happy times. She also believes more in them, as a couple. Then they kiss… or rather, they start to kiss but jump apart when a loud bang echoes through the loft.

“Someone set off my trap!” Rick cries as he throws off the covers, leaps out of bed, and grabs a tennis racket to use was a weapon. Kate follows him into the kitchen — and together they startle Alexis, whose face is bright blue from a dye bomb rigged to the refrigerator. She flees before Rick can find out why she’s pilfering food to take back to the dorm.

The next day at the precinct, Kate and Rick discover the victim often frequented a wildlife preserve in a remote part of the state and decide she must have been murdered there and not in the city. So they go to the preserve to look for evidence. Rick and Kate alone in the woods? Rick’s outfit is enough to blind anybody. He dons a hunter orange shirt, camo overalls, and a camo hat — and he might as well have skipped the camouflage. Even that shirt doesn’t help, though. He and Kate still wind up in a pit.

Kate finally manages to climb out of the pit and can’t help but draw a comparison to Rick’s having trapped Alexis to his being stuck in the pit as she goes for help. He isn’t amused — and while she’s gone, Bigfoot appears at the edge of the pit. Kate returns and aims her gun at the beast, and he falls into the pit with Rick. A silly, but fun moment. Of course, the creature isn’t really Bigfoot. The guy in the furry suit is actually searching for the real Bigfoot, if there is such a thing — and he didn’t kill their victim. No, he was only another red herring in a long string of red herrings.

They finally locate the real killer and prove Bigfoot had nothing to do with the woman’s death. I found that moment rather anticlimactic, and frankly by that time I didn’t really care if they found the killer or not. I did, however, have fun getting to that point.

Once Rick and Kate solve the case, Rick confronts Alexis about the missing food and learns she had no money to buy any because gave away her allowance to what she believes is a worthy cause. He isn’t upset. No, he backs her play and asks why she didn’t say anything. What a sweet father-daughter moment. I would’ve liked for Kate to be there with them, but I still enjoyed this scene.

Next week’s show, Still, looks like a nerve wracking one, and it’s not even the finale. No, it’s actually an extra episode ABC added after Marlowe and company already had the season mapped out, so they had to write fast and wound up with a tense episode that focuses on the history of the Caskett relationship. Bring tissues to watch this one, folks.

Until next week…

Lee Lofland

Not much to pick apart in this investigation, so I’ll dive right in at the moment we see Perlmutter, who, by the way, looked as if he’d smeared on a bit of bright pink lipstick before appearing on camera. I found it to be a bit distracting and caught myself wondering if he was also wearing heels. And, if so, were they taller than Beckett’s?

The pink was far more vivid in HD

Anyway, as always, Perlmutter delivered his M.E. information in a believable fashion, with the exception of warning Beckett that viewing the victim’s body would not be for the faint of heart. That was a bit odd, especially to be warning a homicide detective who sees much worse on a regular basis.

I mean, be for real, this woman’s head was still attached, her insides weren’t hanging off the table, and each of her limbs were attached to their proper attaching points. So this body was a real peach compared to many that homicide detectives see.

For example, I once arrived at a murder scene where the killer decided that a head was not the proper storage container for a human brain, so he used a machete to hack and hack and hack at his victim’s skull until he was able to remove the brain in one piece. Then he plopped the organ on the floor next to him while de-boning the rest of the remains. Now that was one where a “faint of heart” disclaimer would’ve been extremely handy.

The victim of the week worked at a sort of retirement home for primates. As soon as I heard this and saw the facility, I immediately thought of author Sara Gruen (Water For Elephants and Ape House). If you have not read these two books, then please do yourself a favor and pick up a copy.

So…as I stated earlier, there wasn’t a lot of police procedure to point out this week, but I would like to point out the crime scene photography where the tech placed “scales” beside the footprints before snapping the images. This is done to show size. Without the scales the images would pretty much be meaningless as far as providing information about shoe size, etc.

Sirchie Fingerprint Laboratory image.

* Sirchie is a proud sponsor of the Writers’ Police Academy *

Perhaps you guys can help me with something this week. The scene where Beckett and Castle fell into the hole/Bigfoot trap was a bit puzzling. Is there a remote section of woods in the deepest, darkest boroughs of NYC that’s only accessible on foot, and that’s so dense you could only find your way around by using a GPS device? If not, then Beckett was way out of her jurisdiction. And, why would she go alone with only an unarmed mystery writer as backup?

I don’t know about you, but this is what came to mind the second I saw Castle on his deep woods quest to locate Bigfoot.

By the way, the sight of Bigfoot in handcuffs was priceless!

And, what’s with Alexis? She’s a grown, adult woman acting like a 12-year-old kid. It’s time the writers let her grow up. Remember this scene (below)? She’s not a little kid.

And enough of the whining!

Okay, since there wasn’t a lot for me to do this week, lets take a look back at a couple of my favorite lines from the episode.

Castle to Beckett when Bigfoot fell into the hole beside him – “Shoot it! What are you waiting for!”

Castle to Beckett – “It all adds up to one thing, she was killed by Bigfoot.”

Someone, I don’t remember who, said, “You’re saying someone framed Bigfoot?”

Diggins to Beckett, letting her know she had the wrong suspect – “You’re squattin’ in the wrong bush.”

One last thing…how many of you picked the killer the moment he appeared on screen? Yes, they make it far too easy.

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And, since this episode featured great apes…

Sara Gruen would really appreciate it if you’d take a moment to visit her friends at Lola Ya Bonobo—The Sanctuary.


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.”

Castle: The Wild Rover


Okay, who knew that straight-as-an-arrow Ryan had an edgy dark side? I, for one, was pleasantly surprised to see Seamus Dever take on the persona of the undercover cop as an Irish mob thug, and boy did he deliver a very nice performance. It was also nice to see Dever showcased instead of doing the instant “pop-in” thing whenever a bit of information is needed to move the story from one point to another.

Before I spill my entire review in this opening segment, though, let’s move along to Melanie’s take of the show. I know she had to be squealing like a hungry pig when Beckett and Castle finally locked lips near the end of the episode. I wonder if she’s back from her trip to Cloud 9? Melanie, would you please stop swooning long enough to share your thoughts on last night’s episode…

Melanie Atkins

Wow. I wasn’t sure if I’d like this episode or not, since it focused more on Ryan and less on Castle and Beckett, but I was pleasantly surprised. What a great episode! The writing was tight, the scenes moved quickly, and the show had enough humor and Caskett moments sprinkled in to keep me on my toes.

The episode started with Kate confronting Rick about saying the name “Jordan” over and over in his sleep. Was Jordan a woman? Someone he just met? Or maybe someone from his past? She kept bugging him about it throughout the entire episode, and nearly every time they made me laugh.

Ryan and Jenny are trying to have a baby, of course, and they go to have tests made to see why they hadn’t been able to conceive. Ryan leaves his lunch at home afterward, and Jenny brings it to him at the precinct — just in time to see some strange woman lay a kiss on him and call him “Fenton”. Can you say awkward?

The woman turned out to be someone from Ryan’s past when he was undercover with the Irish mob, and he hasn’t said a word to Jenny about it. The woman is tied to the murder of Jimmy the Baker, as are some guys Ryan ran with when he was undercover as Fenton O’Connell. He goes back under to catch them, and Jenny is not happy. I loved the undercover part of this show. The undercover scenes were suspenseful and scary, with enough twists to keep me riveted to the screen.

Kate finally talked Jenny down, and Ryan escaped with his life with the help of the team. The scene where they rescued him rocked, and Nathan was so funny. I cracked up when Ryan called Castle’s name, and he backed around the corner and shouted, “Seriously? I-I forgot my vest.” Too funny.

Once things settled down and everyone was safe again, Rick finally came clean to Kate about the name “Jordan”, the name of a defunct car company he wrote a paper about in boarding school — or rather, the company he paid someone to write about. That incident helped shape who he was, and he’s felt like a fraud ever since. IMHO, I believe Kate was thrilled he told her the truth and gave her more info about his past, especially after the seed of doubt Meredith, his ex-wife, planted in her head during her visit in the episode Significant Others back in January. Good for him! And that kiss… finally, we got one with a little passion! Whoa. I just watched it again. Can’t stop watching it, actually.

The last scene was between Ryan and Jenny… with him apologizing for going undercover and her telling him she needs him to be there for her. The reason? She’s pregnant! All of their worry about not conceiving was for nothing. How exciting! I can’t wait until the rest of the team finds out.

All in all, this was a solid, fun episode. Still, I can’t wait for the one next week, Castle’s 100th episode, written by the show’s creator, Andrew Marlowe, and his wife Terri Edda Miller. They write the best episodes ever. I predict they’ll treat us to classic Castle, and I cannot WAIT! It has a plot similar to Hitchcock’s Rear Window, with Rick stuck at home after tearing up his knee in a skiing accident when he and Kate go away for a weekend. Should be a blast!

Lee Lofland

Pardon me, while I take a moment to see if I can locate the problem with my computer. I know something has to be wrong, because no matter which keys I hit, the dang machine always types, “Lanie was great last night!” And we all know those words couldn’t coming from me, right?

Think about it. For years, I practically begged the folks writing the show to please give Lanie lines that were believable (remember, believable make-believe is the key to great fiction), but they stood their ground, making the woman spout off nonsensical forensic goop. However, this season has been a complete turnaround. For example, last night Lanie simply told Beckett that CSU would be running the tests on fibers discovered at the crime scene. Great comment. Perfect, actually.

In the past, the writers would’ve had Lanie saying something like, “I personally found these fibers clinging to the victim’s watchband. My preliminary finding is that the right-handed perpetrator stood on one foot and had his left eye closed while shooting our vic in the back with a Star Trek Phaser. As the money-laundering mob hitman pulled the trigger, the vic reached behind and managed to pull nineteen fibers from the shooter’s jacket, a garment made from pure Tibetan Yak hides. Now, those animals always stand on hillsides with slopes of precisely 45 degrees or more, therefore I conclude that our vic died between 11:00 p.m. and 11:07 p.m. Oh, yeah, the shooter’s name is George.”

Again, Lanie did a fine job last night. I kept waiting for the goofy-bomb to drop, but it never did.

– Beckett told the guys to run all ’68 Dodge Cargers through the system to see who in the immediate area owned one. Yes, that is possible, folks. Especially, when it’s a vehicle that’s not commonplace, such as the ’68 Charger. However, if officers attempted to run, say, all the 2010 Honda Civic’s, well, the list would go on forever.

– Sioban’s statement, “I want my phone call, now!” sounded all fine and dandy, but that “one phone call” is not one of our constitutional rights. So, you’ll get to make it when it’s convenient for the officers. And that might mean later in the day, or night, once you’ve been sweetly tucked into your cozy jail cell. At that time, an officer might roll a stand-up portable telephone to your cell, where you can reach through the slot in the steel door to punch in your number. Oh, the call would be a collect call made at a crazy-high rate that’s charged to your family.

– Ryan…where do I start? Well, I could begin by saying I liked his metamorphosis from cop to thug. Anyone who’s ever worked undercover will tell you that it’s a bit like an actor playing a role. However, the role must be so convincing that you’ll walk away at the end of the day, instead of someone discovering your lifeless body floating in the Hudson.

I think Ryan pulled it off nicely, starting with the haircut. And, actually, I thought he looked better than ever with the new “do.”

Ryan also played it nicely when he was around Siobahn. You could see it in his eyes that, at some point, he actually did care for her. And this is the reason why “handlers” absolutely must pay close attention to the officers who’re working deep cover. It’s so easy to fall into the lifestyle and to develop feelings—romantic or platonic friendships—for the very people they’re there to take down. Believe me, it happens. (Handlers are the officers assigned as contact/supervisor for the UC officers)

– Okay, as usual, my wife and I both named the killer very early in the episode, and we did so by following our simple formula…it’s someone who has a very brief role, but stands out just enough in their short time on camera. Still, the writers concealed this one much better than usual.

Well, that’s about it for the police procedure. But I do want to mention the “cheesy factor” going through the roof over Castle’s admission of wanting to write, and write, and write to prove that he was a great writer to…a bunch of kids he went to high school with… That was the corniest thing I think they’ve done on this show so far.

Overall, this was another good episode. The acting, of course, was good. Stellar acting, though, from Semus Dever. By the way, did you know that Semus Dever is a first cousin to a popular mystery writer? In fact, many of you know the cousin. Okay, I see the wheels turning, but I’m sworn to secrecy. But no one said I couldn’t tease.

By the way, every time someone said the name Siobahn last night, all I could picture was the powerhouse singer Siobahn Magnus who once was a contestant on American Idol. Remember her?