Seek the truth and thou shalt be in light ~ the book of Castle

Due to a series of recent hacking attempts into this site, we installed new high-tech security enhancements. Part of those heightened protections include some pretty fancy cameras strategically placed throughout The Graveyard Shift office compound.

Well, last night the cameras caught an intruder who left a note tacked to the bulletin board hanging on the wall next to my desk. Yes, it was Melanie. But she slipped out and back into hiding before we were able to speak with her.

So, if anyone knows where we can find Melanie please do contact us before something bad happens to her. She needs an intervention and she needs it now, before it’s too late. Perhaps a heartfelt message from Nathan Fillion, or Seamus Dever, would bring her to her senses. Whatever you do, though, keep the showrunners away from the interior of her books because I’m quite certain they’d quickly meet their demise within those pages.

Anyway, here’s the note she left last night. We’re examining it for possible clues.

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Should you decide to hit the streets as part of your search for Melanie, here’s a flyer for you to pass around and to attach to telephone poles and sign posts.

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To broaden our own search efforts, we’ve been in touch with major milk companies who’ve agreed to start a nationwide “Have You Seen Melanie” campaign. Starting today they’ll be distributing new cartons like this one.

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In the meantime, the show must go on.

Where do I begin? With Hayley and Alexis doing their best to annoy viewers with their larger than life abilities to do what NYPD detectives cannot, even though the NYPD is one of the top investigative agencies in the world? How about Hayely handling a piece of vital crime scene evidence, an ax, while police CSU team members go about their business doing other things? Of course, I was disappointed when ax-weilding escapee Gabriel Shaw didn’t end our misery by hacking Hayley and Alexis off the show and out of our lives, but…they live on to ruin another episode.

Speaking of the ax… Why was it so bloody if Shaw hadn’t used it to kill anyone? And, someone (a member of the CSU unit, I suppose) packaged it in clear plastic. That’s a big no-no. Wet evidence is always packaged in paper containers—bags, cardboard boxes, etc. The reason for the paper packaging is because plastic is a breeding ground/incubator for bacteria, and bacteria can destroy or degrade DNA evidence. A good rule of thumb – Wet evidence (things containing blood, semen, saliva, etc.) = paper packaging. Dry evidence (narcotics, soil, etc.) = plastic packaging.

Evidence packaging – Paper or Plastic.

Lanie said the victim bled to death due to a wound on his left side, and that whatever he was stabbed with most likely punctured his subclavian artery. Once the artery was cut the victim lived for thirty minutes to one hour, tops.

Time for a quick anatomy lesson.

There are two subclavian arteries,. The left subclavian artery, the one Lanie mentioned, extends from the arch of the aorta to the left side of the upper body. The right subclavian artery extends from the brachiocephalic artery (an artery that carries blood to the head) to the right side of the upper body. Subclavian arteries extend across the anterior (front) surface of the upper lining that encloses the lungs. This lining is called the pleura. At the outer border of the first rib, each subclavian artery becomes an axillary artery. The axillary artery supplies blood to the upper arm and chest.

Subclavian Artery Branches are arteries that branch from the subclavian arteries include the vertebral arteries, internal thoracic artery, thyrocervical artery, costocervical artery, and dorsal scapular artery.

In the image below you’ll see the aortic arch, which is just above the heart. It is there, at the arch, where the two subclavian aorta originate.


From this point at the aortic arch, the subclavian arteries extend to the arms. These are the two main arteries that supply blood to the arms.

The image below shows the path of the subclavian artery. The point I’m making, and this is basically for writers, is that at no time does the subclavian pass along the left “side” as Lanie suggested.

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Even if the subclavian was located in the victim’s left side, there’s no way Lanie could’ve seen the damage to it because the victim was fully clothed, including a shirt and a coat. And he was on the floor, face down.

Next, Voodoo Lanie tells us the fatal wound had been inflicted by “some sort of talon, or claw.” Puhleeze. How the H. E. double hockey sticks would she know that merely by looking at the puncture. She went on to say she’d found a strange substance (sulphur) inside the wound. This conclusion was made while the victim was still on the autopsy table. Toxicology/lab tests are not that quick. Not even close.

Lets go back to Hayley and Alexis, who continued to annoy throughout the show, by the way. These two clowns were shown pawing through Castle’s secret vault (so stupid) and cataloging the items there. This place contained evidence of a serious crime and should’ve been under police control. Police investigators should’ve been the people there doing the investigating, not those two who’re playing Nancy Drew dress-up games.

Why is Vikram at the precinct? What’s his purpose? Does the NYPD need an unknown outsider’s assistance to “clean up” photos? Is the entire precinct so inept that the only people who can solve murders are Vikram, a total stranger who has access to the entire NYPD surveillance stuff and other inner-workings of a major police agency? Then there’s Alexis, the instant computer genius who’s the offspring of Castle, another civilian who runs the entire NYPD. Finally, we have Hayley jammed down our throats. She’s a character who constantly breaks the law, yet she’s allowed inside crime scenes, carries a firearm into the precinct, shoots people, etc.

It seems that the two main detectives—Ryan and Esposito—have taken a backseat to Alexis and Hayley, and this is not a good thing. Besides, it’s dumb to have the NYPD criminal cases run by outsiders instead of the police. Dumb, dumb, and dumb.

But, this fiasco is almost over. One more episode before, well, you know…

Oh, was it just me or are you, too, getting a strange feeling about Alexis and Hayley? They’re sure beginning to act like a couple. Now wouldn’t that be a twist. Hmm…

Anyway, this episode fell a bit flat. It seemed empty and cold, and part of that is because Caskett is already dead. There’s no spark between the two leads in spite of all the mentions (and there were several—too many) of playing naked Twister.

Yep, the fork is in and the food-involved woman has begun to sing.



“It was a Hollywood promise. Not worth a damn.” ~ Castle

Melanie didn’t show up for work again today, the second Tuesday in a row. I heard through the grapevine that’s she’s gone into hiding since the show took such a drastic turn for the worse. However, she still has a key to the office which explains the note I found attached to my bulletin board this morning. I think it’s intended for you guys…

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So, out of concern for her wellbeing, I’ve decided to search for Melanie and I’d appreciate your help. I have a few places to check, her usual haunts (writers conferences, the Writers’ Police Academy, etc.). In the meantime, would you please head over to another of her hangouts. Click the link below for directions.

Where’s Melanie?

Here’s a photo for you take with you. You might want to print a few copies to pass around.


Now, before we all head out on our “Where’s Melanie” search and rescue mission, let’s quickly discuss the police procedure and forensics in last night’s episode. To kick off the discussion here’s a little fellow who caught every single detail.


That’s right, you just heard the sound of crickets chirping, and that’s because there’s basically nothing to discuss. What little procedure we did see was minuscule. But there are a couple of things to point out.

First, did you notice the absence of Lividity Lanie? In fact, the only mention of that usual aspect of the show came from Esposito when he said, “M.E. places the time of death between 8 and 11 p.m.”

I know, Tamala Jones has a large fan base, but this is what I’ve been saying for several years…her character, as they’ve written her, is a total and unnecessary distraction. A waste of our time and the network’s budget. Lanie Parrish M.E. added nothing to the show. As a friend, girlfriend, etc., sure. but even that role is not needed.

The entire “based on lividity” crapfest we’ve seen each week was far better handled by Espo’s simple line above. We don’t need to hear horribly incorrect science to move the story along when those cringeworthy scenes could be replaced by a simple line or two. So yes, “M.E. places the time of death between 8 and 11 p.m,” said a lot using very few words. Sorry Tamala, but I call it as I see it, and I suppose that’s why I’m the bad cop.

Esposito and Ryan threatened a suspect by saying they could have a federal prisoner shipped to either a location that’s favorable/close for family visits, or to a facility so far away from family that it would make visitation nearly impossible. This is a very real “thing” that happens in the federal prison system. The BOP (Bureau of Prisons) has the authority and the means to transfer prisoners to a facility of their choosing, and they do so for a variety of reasons—security issues, safety of the inmate, staff, and/or the community, and disciplinary reasons (they might say they don’t transfer as a form of punishment, but…). Inmates may also request transfers to move closer to their family, future work, special schools or training not available at their current location, pre-release drug rehab classes, etc.

Keep in mind, though, that local police, and even the courts, have absolutely no control over what goes on within the federal prison system, and this includes inmate transfers.

So, speaking of Ryan and Esposito… We saw more of them this week and that’s always a good thing. The chemistry between them this week was over the top good. Will we see more of them as this dreadful season nears its end? Are we seeing a preview of future possibilities? Hmm…

Finally, and this was fantastic in my book…no Alexis and no Hayley! Two, count ’em, two home runs! In their absence, we saw Juliana Dever, the wife of Seamus Dever (Ryan) who showed up at the precinct with the couple’s daughter. A cute scene that should’ve happened more frequently over the years. Again, something for the future?  #Jennyisback

Here are a few lines from the show that caught my attention.

  • Stop! Step away from the laptop!
  • Do I look like a man who kills cute?
  • I tripped a drug lord.
  • Typy, typy, typy.
  • For now, crime scene casual. (Beckett said this in response to Castle asking what he should wear).

By the way, did anyone else sense a connection to this storyline and the recent fiasco of Sean Penn interviewing escaped Mexican drug lord El Chapo?

Oh yeah…Castle was kidnapped, again. I think it was his turn to fill the spot in the tiresome boilerplate script.

Overall, not a bad episode, but it was a bit weird.






Why the hell won’t you die?” ~ Crook of the week, Gwen, to intended victim du jour.

Important announcement!

The skies are a bit dark around here today. The halls in The Graveyard Shift are quiet. There’s only one coffee mug on the conference table, and one of the only two chairs in the boardroom is empty. We call out her name, but she doesn’t answer.

Yes, the Good Cop has left the building. When I arrived at work this morning I found this note thumbtacked to the door.  I blame the writers of season 9 for this tragedy.

Dear loyal fans and friends.

For the first time since Castle first aired on March 9, 2009, I did not watch the show live. I recorded it on my DVR but cannot stomach watching it yet, so I cannot critique it this morning. I’ll wait until the season ends, then possibly binge watch from this episode to the end — except for the finale. If I find out Kate dies, I will never watch that. I simply can’t do it.

The show began with the premise of a writer and his muse solving crimes: Rick Castle and Kate Beckett started out as adversaries but soon became friends, then fell in love. The show’s creators, Andrew Marlowe and Terri Edda Miller, have said many times that they set out to write “a great love story”, and they did a fabulous job of it. Rick and Kate fell in love and got married. Such a beautiful, heartfelt tale. A tale that captured the hearts of fans.

Castle fans want a happy ending. For Rick and Kate to remain happy, despite the many obstacles in their way, and have a family and then sail off into the sunset together. Always.

We now know this will never happen, and fans are heartbroken. Shame on ABC and whoever else may be responsible (some people claim Nathan Fillion is to blame, but who knows?) The show is broken beyond repair now that the powers-that-be have refused to renew Stana Katic’s contract and made clear their plan to move Rick, Alexis, Hayley, and Rick’s P.I. business to L.A. six months after Kate’s demise for season nine — complete with a new love interest for Rick. Really? No. Freaking. Way. He wouldn’t get over Kate that quickly, if ever.

I’d rather shove bamboo shoots under my fingernails than to watch this travesty. The show I have loved for eight seasons is gone, and I can’t watch it limp along to the end. I’d much rather ABC just cancel Castle and end the misery. Rebooting with a story so far from the premise is a slap in the face to fans. So I will not blog about this show anymore, although I might send Lee a note to include in weeks to come. We shall see.

Thank you so much for reading our blog all these years! We hope to find another show to critique soon, so stay tuned.

Melanie, the Good but Sad Cop

Now, this is between us. I’ve heard a rumor circulating around the “inner circle” that a group of Castle bad guys ambushed and kidnapped Melanie after overpowering her and taking away her gun. You know, like what happens to Beckett every five or six episodes. So we’re sending out a team of highly-skilled pros to try to find her and bring her back. We hope there’s been no foul play. In the meantime…

Have You Seen This Person?


Melanie Atkins

Okay, we’re all professionals here, so the show must go on. starting with…Lanie.

As usual we see her checking out the dead body of the week (or so she thinks). Nothing unusual since the writers use her as an info dump to set the stage for the case. This week, instead of her typical “based on lividity” crapola, she said, “All signs point to poison—dilated pupils, bluish discoloration around the lips—that’s a giveaway. But I’ll know for sure after the autopsy.”

Well, that sounded pretty cool, right? Not so fast, Lanie.

Pupils fixed and dilated and bluish discoloration around the lips are also possible signs that someone is in serious need of medical attention, because they are in the process of dying, or they’re suffering from a serious medical issue, such as paralysis of the sphincter papillae muscle in the eye, a reaction to certain drugs, a severe blow to the head, or even a medical condition. The blueness around the lips is a sign of lack of oxygen in the blood that could be caused by pneumonia, a blood clot in the lungs, etc.

In other words, these symptoms are NOT exclusive to poisoning.

Okay, yes TTX (Tetrodotoxin) is a poison that’s found in some fish, and it is deadly, with an onset of symptoms that occur quite rapidly. But not instantly as we saw in last night’s episode. The stuff had barely touched “Safety Man’s” lips when he began tossing his cookies and falling into a brief stage of unconsciousness.

TTX symptoms typically begin within a few minutes, ten or so, after ingesting the toxin (it’s found in the liver and sex organs of some fish, such as puffer fish, toadfish, and some octopus and shellfish). However, the onset could begin 3-6 hours after consuming the poison.

The first stage of TTX poisoning is a tingling sensation in the lips and tongue, followed by facial and extremity numbness, headache, sensations of lightness or floating, profuse sweating, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, difficulty moving, weakness, and speech difficulties.

And then comes the dilated pupils, coma, difficulty breathing, seizures, and death (death can occur anywhere from 20 minutes to 8 hours after consumption of the toxin).

So please, writers, do NOT use Lanie’s “poisonous information” in your next book!

*By the way, if you’d like to read more about TTX or other poisons, you might want to pick up a copy of Book of Poisons, A Guide for Writers. It, along with my book on police procedure and Doug Lyle’s Forensics book, are in the Writer’s Digest Howdunit series.

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Next, Lividity Lanie has a conversation with the ER doctor who’s quick to point out Lanie’s Voodooish mistakes when pronouncing a man dead who was, in fact, very much alive. The doctor asked if lividity and/or rigor were present. Lanie responded with, “No rigor or lividity because he’d been dead less than an hour.” Well, wasn’t it Lanie who, for eight long years and time after time after time (incorrectly) used lividity as the sole determining factor for time of death? Yet, she she finds none this one time? This time she was right, but…GRRR….

Let’s move on to Beckett, a police captain who used to be as tough as thirty-year-old shoe leather and as clever as a combination of Holmes and Einstein. However, she’s now a bumbling idiot who can barely function as a police officer. Actually, she barely comes across as a wife, lover, and friend to her husband. The writers have stripped this character of all of her, well, character. Anyway, a thuggish attorney threatens Beckett’s life, in her office at the police precinct, and she let’s him walk out. Yeah, right. In real life he’d have been in handcuffs faster than Castle could say something stupid, which in this episode occurred with nearly every breath he took.

And then there was the request to search a private business. The judge denied that request based on the fact that probable cause did not exist, which was a first for this show. Yet they searched the place anyway by having the “Groundhog Day” dead guy pretend to be there in his official capacity as safety inspector. Wrong, wrong, and doubly wrong. That might’ve been an illegal search, one that I doubt the city would be pleased to learn that was led by one of their inspectors. At the very least, I certainly wouldn’t want to be in their shoes (Beckett and the other members of the search team) if the case went before the judge who denied the warrant.

Finally…the Loksat BS was back stinking up the place.

What an absolute mess the writers and ABC have created. Even Fillion’s scenes this week were waaaaay over the top silly. What are trying to prove? That they know how to ruin what was once a fabulous show enjoyed by fans worldwide? That they can write horrible storylines and dialog? That they do not care one speck about the fans? That they do not respect the viewers?

I know I’ll be glad when this mess is over and done for good.

And, they turned Melanie from Good Cop to Sad Cop, and that’s downright unforgivable.


Lee Lofland


“Safety first.” ~ Castle, as he slips on a helmet before joining Beckett in bed.


Melanie Atkins

What a perfect title for last night’s show (which I hated, BTW), because ABC has just stabbed Castle fans in the back with their refusal to re-up Stana Katic’s and Tamala Jones’ contracts for season 9 to make a different version of the show. Stana did not deserve this.

I’ve never liked Hayley (no offense to the actress who plays her), and I despise what Terrance Paul Winter and Alexi Hawley have done to my former favorite show. And NO, I will not watch Castle in its new form. I simply can’t, because Castle just isn’t the same without the Caskett romance. I’ve hated season eight for that reason. Fans are up in arms and have taken to social media in a big way to protest this fiasco. I hope ABC loses tons of money on this stupid idea and decides to cancel the show instead of mutilating it more than they already have. Just remembering the trash they’ve given us this season makes me sick to my stomach.

I had trouble watching this episode, because watching what they’ve done to this show simply hurt way too much. I’ve loved Castle since day one because of the romance between Kate and Rick. The two characters had so much chemistry. The writing was excellent (in the first six or so seasons, anyway), and the writers gave us plenty of laughs. They hooked me right away, and I couldn’t stop watching. I’ve bought all the DVDs and the Rick Castle books and read tons of fanfiction over the years. Sure, I’ve occasionally not liked an episode or two and I absolutely hated Kate’s stint in DC, the end of season six, with the aborted wedding, and the stupid reason they came up with for Rick’s disappearance, but I still love the characters and wish the show could go on in its original incarnation with the great writing it had in its early years.

I may not blog again after this because I’m not sure I can. And I doubt I’ll watch the season eight finale, because I simply cannot watch Kate Beckett die. No way, no how. The Rick Castle that I know could not go on without her, and he certainly wouldn’t be yukking it up with Alexis and Hayley as Castle P.I. after her death. That’s just wrong on so many levels.

I’m extremely hurt and disappointed in ABC and the current showrunners. How could they do such a wonderful show? WHY did they do this? <sob>

I’ve enjoyed blogging with Lee to critique this show. It’s been a fun ride. We plan to find a new show to critique eventually, so stay tuned to see what happens next. I just know I can’t do this anymore. My thanks to the cast and crew for a fabulous show (before the current people ruined it). I appreciate all your hard work and the time you committed to this project.

So goodbye, Castle, because the show just won’t be the say without the Caskett romance. My love to Rick and Kate.



Lee Lofland

Before I begin with my portion of the review I feel that I should address the recent news regarding the non-return of Stana Katic and Tamala Parish in season 9, if there is a season 9, that is. If the show is renewed, and I think it will be, I believe we could ultimately see the “Castle, Alexis, and Hayley PI Show” in the slot next year. (Alexis told Hayley just last night that she’ll never have to face anything alone again).

Unfortunately, Castle has become a total and complete train wreck that has driven many viewers nearly to the point of leaping off cliffs, self-mutilation, and sheer madness. Therefore, booting Beckett from the lineup was not a surprise. Nothing that happens on this show surprises me, actually.

However, I wouldn’t bank on the news that Katic was fired. I’m pretty sure it was a mutual split, one that was one announced this early as a means to entice viewers to watch her final episodes, and to stir enough fire that’ll make viewers want return to see what happens next year.

Jones, well, the Lanie character was nothing more than a distraction. She could’ve been a great asset to the show, but the writers chose to make her more of a babbling voodooish witch doctor than she was a medical examiner. I do sincerely wish Tamala all the best in future roles. She’s certainly an actor who deserves far more than she was given in this series, and I look forward to seeing her in roles that showcase her talent instead of the ineptness of clunky writing. And that brings us to the usual crappy stuff they wrote for her this week. Starting with Lanie saying…

“Victim took his right between his T4 and T5 vertebrae. Severed his spinal cord. Died instantly.”

Okay, you all saw the dead guy on the floor, right? If you didn’t happen to notice because you were too busy sticking a finger down your throat hoping to purge this garbage from your system, he was the actor with the knife jammed into his back, a knife that penetrated the guy’s leather jacket and shirt beneath. This guy…


I know you guys aren’t trained medical examiners, or detectives, but I think it’s fairly safe to assume that most of you have spinal cords and vertebrae. So, you tell me (based on looking at the dead guy in the above photo) exactly where in the back is the knife lodged? Do you, like Lanie, possess the unbelievable ability of X-ray vision and can see through leather? Are you somehow magically able see his spine? Is the expression on his face one that tells you he died instantly?

Let’s take a closer look.

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Now, compare the two images and tell me how in the heck would/could anyone, especially a woman of science, be able to tell the knife was precisely embedded between between the thoracic vertebrae T4 and T5.

The victim is fully clothed. You can’t even see his skin. For all we, and Lanie, know, the knife could be fake, or the blade is curved and didn’t so much as cause a scratch. The man could’ve been shot, had a cardiac event, or even died as a result of being hit with a copy of Stephen King’s book, Under the Dome (have you seen the size of that book?). There is no freakin’ way to positively determine anything from looking at this fully-clothed body. Well, other than the fact that he is indeed dead. By the way, for a dead guy who’s been there for several hours, his skin tone looks pretty darn good.

Oh yeah, the above goes for the killer, too. How could he have shoved a knife into the guy’s back at the precise point between T4 and T5. Yep, this one pops the top on the bulls**t scale.

And then there’s Hayley. The writers must’ve copied and pasted some stuff from an old script that featured Beckett saying she had to leave/disappear because her presence might be putting everyone in danger. Again with the worldwide gloom and doom scenarios. Are these the only plot lines Castle writers know how to scribble these days?

Hayley, a person with a shady past who’s been known to lie and do “things,” roughed up a suspect/witness in the precinct bathroom, an act that caused the guy to spill some beans. In other words, she, who’s sort of an agent of the police (which is totally unbelievable, by the way), tortured a man until he told her what she wanted to hear. And then the police used that information to help their case. Illegal and immoral. Cops aren’t allowed to do that to people. And they certainly can’t condone the tactic when used by people who’re acting as their agent(s).

Throughout this episode, Hayely, a murder suspect, is allowed to assist the police in the investigation into her involvement, and she’s allowed to do so while ARMED. She was also permitted to handle evidence. The tiniest insect crawling across my backyard would probably know this concept was STUPID. Cops do not allow murder suspects to accompany them and assist, while armed, as they investigate the crime in which they believe her to be involved.

The FBI, one the best law enforcement agencies in the world, one with all the resources one could imagine, was searching for Hayley. They had an active arrest warrant. A warrant for a crime of terrorism. Yet we never saw them and they couldn’t find Hayley, who was everywhere in this episode. And, Beckett and crew offered to help conceal her whereabouts instead of arresting her. That, my friends is obstruction of justice which is punishable by several years in federal prison.

Beckett said, “…tricked by a woman named Carla into gaining access to a building and a secured server, most likely to help Marcus (the dead guy) rob the place. I’ve said this many times on this blog, and i’ll say it again for the benefit of newcomers to this site. A place cannot be robbed.

But don’t feel bad because many people confuse the terms robbery and burglary. I see the misuse of those two terms everywhere, including in books written by some of my favorite authors. I also hear the terms interchanged on TV and radio news. They are not the same, not even close.

Robbery occurs when a crook uses physical force, threat, or intimidation to steal someone’s property. If the robber uses a weapon the crime becomes armed robbery, or aggravated robbery, depending on local law. There is always a victim present during a robbery.

For example, you are walking down the street and a guy brandishes a handgun and demands your money. That’s robbery.

Burglary is an unlawful entry into any building with the intent to commit a crime. Normally, there is no one inside the building when a burglary occurs. No physical breaking and entering is required to commit a burglary. A simple trespass through an open door or window, and the theft of an item or items, is all that’s necessary to meet the requirements to be charged with burglary.

For example, you are out for the night and someone breaks into your home and steals your television. That’s a burglary. Even if you are at home asleep in your bed when the same crime occurs, it’s a burglary because you weren’t actually threatened by anyone.

The only robbery that occurred in this episode was committed by the show’s writers who robbed us of an hour of our lives that we can never get back. Boom! Mic drop…




“You don’t give your stories away for free, and neither do I.” Dr. Marion Baker, this week’s killer du jour.


Melanie Atkins

I loved last night’s episode of Castle. Best episode so far this season. Heck, maybe in the last couple of seasons. I haven’t laughed out loud like that while watching the show in ages. This one was more like one of the earlier episodes. Funny, endearing, and clever. What’s even more amazing is that it was written by Stephanie Hicks, a brand new writer on the show who has to be a fan. Unlike most of the episodes this year, this one is proof that she actually watches Castle and knows what we want to see. If only the other writers would get the same memo!

The show started out with a hilarious scene at the loft between Kate, Rick, and Martha. Leave it to Rick’s mom to burst in and ruin the mood. So funny, now that I’ve finally seen all of it. I had to rewatch online because our ABC affiliate cut off the beginning of the show with a weather update, and am I glad I did. They had omitted the funniest part! I’m still laughing.

Rick’s supposition about a genie roaming around after being trapped outside of her lamp is way over the top, of course, but it was still funny. The entire show was funny. I totally cracked up when Ryan and Espo gave Rick the file with the picture of the genie. Hahaha! Oh, wow.

So many great lines, I can’t remember them all. They also gave us a lot of precious Caskett moments, complete with kissing, and even a touch of angst at the end with Jenny having problems during labor. To my great relief, the angst was short-lived, and we quickly learned that both mother and baby were fine. I love that Ryan and Jenny named the boy Nicholas Javier. Such a fabulous last scene, with so much hugging and happiness.

I didn’t guess who the killer was because I was too busy laughing to worry about it. Such a fabulous episode. This is the way the show is supposed to be.


Lee Lofland

I agree with Melanie. This was the best episode of the season, and it was much closer to the original Castle than we’ve seen in a long, long time.

When I’m asked to set aside reality I need reasons to do so, and to help with the process the story needs to remain consistent within its own rules to prevent me from switching the channel or closing the covers of a book. The writer should provide a set-up that establishes the faux reality as truth in a fictional setting. Then, as the story progresses, the reader or viewer has a logical reason for accepting “pretend” as what’s real in that particular fictional world. In other words, a writer of fiction should deliver believable make-believe. And that’s what, for eight long years, I’ve been saying about poor Lanie’s lines.

Rarely is Lanie given the opportunity to sound like a person of science and medicine, even in a fictional world. There’s no set-up to ask us to believe she has voodooish, mystical powers that allows her to magically know how someone died prior to exam and autopsy, which is often what we see week after week after week. Therefore, we’re led to believe she’s a real medical examiner who should follow the rules of the real world. This is why we have trouble with Lanie’s believability.

The same is true for the other characters and their actions. To add to the troubles, Castle writers are not consistent with the rules they set for their characters. Either Castle is a brilliant crime-solver or he’s a bumbling idiot who can’t figure out how to come in out of the rain, but he can’t be both without proper set-up. Sure, he can be a sleuth who’s both goofy and brilliant, but that’s not how the character was offered to us in earlier episodes. Instead, we were, in those days, shown a brilliant man who utilized his exceptional crime-solving skills while also displaying a playful and boyish charm, silliness, and innocence. But he was not a fool. Therefore, unless Richard Castle experienced some sort of traumatic brain injury that flares up between seasons or episodes, he’s simply not a consistent character with consistent actions and mannerisms. The same is true for the others. Ryan, a fine upstanding man who suddenly, out of the blue, does things that are completely shady? Expo, a character who spends holidays alone because he has no family…until last week where we saw enough family members to staff a battleship??? These are glaring inconsistencies.

Those, among many other out-of-step discords are not the fault of the actors, though. Instead, the blame falls squarely onto the shoulders of the writers. Murder She Wrote is a great example of character and story consistency. Jessica Fletcher was the same brilliant and tough but slightly quirky crime-solving woman throughout. There was no flip-flopping in that TV series (Great job, Tom Sawyer!). By the way, Ron Masak, the actor who played Sheriff Mort Metzger on Murder She Wrote penned an article for this blog a few years ago. You might find it interesting. I know I did.

Okay, on with the review…

Last night’s episode was well-written, especially if compared to the others in this season. No comparison, actually. And the goodness started with Lanie’s corpse-side time-of-death information dump (the set-up). Hooray! Jones was actually given lines that made sense. Well, with the exception of instantly processing fingerprints on the sword while still at the crime scene (fingerprinting of evidence is not the duty of a pathologist, nor are smaller items printed at the scene). And, the bloody sword was packaged in clear plastic.

Show of hands, please. What sort of packaging is used for wet (blood, semen, saliva, etc.) evidence? You can check your answer here.

Speaking of fingerprints. Alexis dusted her dad’s desk for prints and then had Hayley check them for possible matches.  I’ll just say this. Puhleeze…

Someone, maybe Ryan, said that female DNA was discovered on the dead guy they found rolled-up inside a rug. Therefore, based on the discovery of this DNA, they determined his killer was female. Two points. One – sure, it’s possible to determine sex from DNA evidence. Two – it is not possible for DNA evidence alone to prove the person who left it behind is without a doubt the killer. There must be other evidence as well.

For example, in the situation above a female customer (this includes individuals who’ve transitioned from female to male because they still have female DNA), could have handled the rug thereby leaving their DNA behind. That same DNA could’ve transferred to the body when it contacted the carpet material. This is called tertiary transfer of evidence.

Here’s what I wrote about tertiary evidence transfer (page 170 – 171 of Police Procedure and Investigation).


“It’s actually quite easy to transfer DNA evidence. When evidence is transferred from a person to an item, it’s called a primary transfer of evidence. When evidence is transferred from one item to another, it’s called secondary transfer. Tertiary transfer occurs when the DNA that’s been transferred to a second item is again transferred to a third item….

…DNA can also be transferred to people who then use that item, such as a towel that’s been used by someone else. DNA can even be transferred from one article of clothing to another in a washing machine.

Evidence that’s been cross-contaminated will exhibit false results and could be used to convict the innocent and allow the guilty to go free.”

So, there you have the major procedural errors, which were few. Overall, the show was fun and a bit on the wacky (in a good way) side. I think Esposito was thinking the same when he said to Castle, “I’m going to have to get you off the crazy train.”

I think Ozzy agrees.


Our thief/killer repelled… ~ Lanie. 


Melanie Atkins

One good thing about last night’s episode of Castle? Kate has finally moved back into the loft and all is well on the home front. Yay. One bad thing? The writing. Lord have mercy. Many of the scenes seemed forced, and a couple of them actually made my teeth hurt. I felt bad for the cast, because they were trying so hard to make something out of nothing. Thus the forced scenes.

I enjoyed the first part of the show, until the writers went off the rails and had Kate agree to let Espo take Sonia, his former fiancee and a convicted thief, back to prison alone. Really? So unrealistic, I groaned in disbelief. Then they had him stop off at his mother’s house so the woman could have a home-cooked meal. Holy cow! Why don’t the idiot writers go to the Writers’ Police Academy so they can get this stuff right? Aarrggh.

Of course, they needed the woman to escape and make Espo look like even more of an idiot, and that was exactly what happened. By that time, I wanted to turn off the TV—and probably would have if I hadn’t had to write this blog. Then we got those weird scenes between Kate and Lucy, then Rick and Linus. Not. Funny. At least not to me.

The new showrunners have totally ruined this show.

I can’t go on, except to comment on Kate giving Espo a week’s suspension without pay for letting the woman escape. A week’s suspension. That’s all, when he should probably have lost his job. Like I said, the episode was so unrealistic I wanted to scream. I’m sure Lee will tear it to shreds, so I’ll let him have at it. I just can’t write anymore.


Lee Lofland

Lanie certainly summed up this episode in a single word—repel—when she used it to describe how the killer du jour gained easy entry into a super-secure area. The correct word, however, for using a rope to descend a vertical surface, is rappel, not repel which, by the way, means repulsive or distasteful.

Lanie’s accidental intentional use of repel in this instance may have been the actor’s discreet warning to us about what we’d see if we continued watching. So thanks for the warning, Lanie. I just wished I’d listened to you because this episode was so, so horrible and dumb in many ways.

First of all, a detective should never be allowed to work solo with an ex-con/former fiancee. The reasons, and there are a few, are obvious. But the scenario did allow us to see Espo execute a sort of decent long gun disarming tactic when the first bad guy got a little too close him. Yep, it happened twice in single episode. I guess Espo has never heard the old saying, Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice doing the exact same thing and I deserve whatever’s coming my way.

Here a good rule of thumb, writers. Your heroes can take a gun away from someone when it’s within an arm’s length. Any further away and it’s time to come up with another plan, such as having the protagonist retreat as fast as his or her feet will carry them, if possible.

Ryan and Espo set out on their own to recapture an escaped convict (Sonia). Nope. In the real world everyone under the sun would have been alerted to the escape. Sure, a stupid officer may have tried for a little while to find the fleeing felon, but the reality of that situation—possibly being charged with aiding the escapee—would soon take over.

Sonia communicated, by phone, with a robber/thief/killer while in prison using a prison telephone. No way. Those calls are monitored. Sure, sometimes calls are monitored randomly, but the chances of intercepting Sonia’s conversations would be likely. Besides, the plan Espo and Ryan “discovered,” where Sonia plotted the entire thing as a ruse to have them let her out of prison to help them find a killer—total BS. The chance of that happening are about as good as me coming out with a hit rap song and video (In case you’re wondering, I despise rap music, can’t rap, don’t want to rap, wouldn’t rap if I could).

Beckett suspended Espo for one week without pay. Actually, an officer would more than likely be suspended until a hearing where he’d probably lose his job or, at the very least, be demoted back to walking a beat in wino country (not to be confused with walking a beat in wine country, which would not be a bad gig).

Anyway, I agree with Lanie. The actor who played the role of the killer was probably “repelled” the moment he learned he was to drop into this episode.

Okay, now for a quick lesson on weapon disarming. This are two of the basic tactics I taught to academy recruits. I’m confident they’re also used by Jack Reacher…hourly.



“This is not going to be the last time you lose one of your coworkers. That is a reality of the job.” ~ Beckett to police academy recruits.

Melanie Atkins

All I can say about last night’s episode of Castle is that I liked parts of it, but not all of it. Not by a long shot. The idea of Kate and the boys investigating a murder connected to the police academy intrigued me, and yet the reality of the place came off as stark, sterile, and weird, as if it were Star Fleet Academy or something. And all the shots were so dark. What’s up with that? Can they not afford light bulbs?

Kate apparently holds all the records recruits can hold, and all of the current recruits look up to her. I enjoyed seeing her revisit that part of her past, but a little of that goes a long way. I have to admit that they got me this time, because I didn’t choose the right killer. I really expected it to be the female recruit who was so like Kate. Her being a mobster’s daughter took me by surprise.

Even so, the case didn’t really grab me, but the glimpses of Rick and Kate together did. I’m sick and tired of their fake break-up, and the first scene of them together in the loft with Kate avoiding Martha made me shake my head. Such a ridiculous storyline — but alas, all of that craziness is apparently about to come to an end. Because as we learned in the show’s final scene, the two of them are finally on the same page about fighting their enemies together rather than separately, which they should’ve been doing all season instead of living apart. Duh.

I’m ready to forget the last 15 episodes even exist and move on, except that they have yet to defeat LokSat. Another tired, contrived storyline. After last week’s show, however, they’ve at least connected LokSat to Rick’s missing time, so hopefully once they catch that particular boogie man (or woman), they’ll put both stories to rest for good. They can’t do it fast enough for me. I’m so tired of dreading to do this blog.

I’m also ready for Kate and Rick to live together again, to laugh, and fight normal crimes. Like they used to do on Castle, before the new showrunners decided to ruin my favorite show. I miss those days so much that I’m rewatching the entire series to get my fix. I’ll skip season 8, of course, because the entire LokSat fiasco has been such a disappointment.

Let’s move on from here and get back to the old Castle. Please.


Lee Lofland

I didn’t particularly care for the episode, but, as you know, my main job is to discuss the rights and wrongs of the police procedure and forensics, so let’s begin with good ‘ol Lividity Lanie…

Beckett to Lanie. “Got a time of death?”

Okay, wait for it….wait for it…wait for it…and, GO!

“Between nine and midnight,” said Lanie.

Did I hear that right? Did Lanie actually utter those words? Why yes, I believe she did.

So, Castle writers…how difficult was it to have have poor, sweet Tamala Jones say something that was absolutely and incredibly believable? That’s right, there was no dumb, “based on lividity,” gobbledygook. No consultation with a crystal ball. No voodooery. No fortune telling or tea leaf reading. Merely a simple, “Between nine and midnight.” The line was clean, concise, and…I’m so happy that, well…


And then there is Hayley. Grrrrr. Enough said.

Beckett plays police academy instructor to give her a means to question potential murder suspects. There’s a fine line here that defense attorneys might say she crossed when interrogating those potential suspects without first advising them of their rights. Technically, I suppose the argument in favor of the tactic would be that they were not in custody at the time of the pretend very real questioning. However, did the recruits feel they were able to leave?

Beckett’s trick of placing an item (a bag) on the table during questioning is a very real and very old tactic that often works quite well. For example, I once arrested a killer based on decent evidence, but wasn’t able to locate the murder weapon, a gun.  Therefore I decided to try a trick of my own. I entered the interview room that day and took a seat across from the accused. I advised him of his rights and started in making small talk, mindless chatter merely to give me time to establish some sort of connection before putting my real plan into motion.

Earlier, I’d asked my partner to deliver to me a large, sealed paper evidence envelope in which I’d placed a snack for later in the day. The snack consisted of a lone banana.

A few minutes into the interview there was a knock at the door. My plan was officially underway.

The bad guy sat watching as my partner delivered the package to me and leaned over to whisper something in my ear. We spoke for a minute and then I looked the killer in the eye and smiled while gently tapping the bulge in the envelope. I have to admit, it did appear to be a gun, but I never once said it was, nor did I even offer a hint what it was or what was inside. In fact, I didn’t mention the package.

During the interrogation, I watched the accused shooter begin to squirm in his seat. I actually saw beads of perspiration sprouting on his face and shaved head. A few minutes into the interview, without me having to say anything at all about the banana, he confessed.

The trick worked. The guy thought I’d found the murder weapon. Of course, prior to taking him to jail I opened the bag to retrieve my snack, and while peeling the banana I offered him a piece.

Hey, I’m a smart ass, but I’m not rude.

Sorry, I sort of drifted off topic there for a moment. Back to Castle…

Beckett was in the midst of interrogating a police academy recruit when he asked for a lawyer, a couple of times. She ignored his request and continued asking questions. When a person requests an attorney officers are required to cease questioning at once. Zip it. Nip it. It’s done. The fork has been stuck, and, well, you get the idea. When they ask for an attorney you must stop the interrogation.

I did pick the correct killer, but for a minute considered the academy sergeant. However, the writers were trying far too hard to make us believe he was the suspect, so my focus returned to the head of the academy. After all, he fit nicely into the vacant spot in the boilerplate script.

I never once thought the female recruit did it. However, the moment she pulled a gun on the mob guy/her father, she should have been discharged from the academy and the NYPD. She became a criminal at the point. And, Beckett and crew should have shot her while she stood there pointing a gun at a citizen, threatening to shoot him.

By the way, how in the heck did the three seasoned detectives miss finding a gun on the recruit before sending her in, wired, to trick her father into confessing to a crime? After all, a gun missing from the academy was the murder weapon. She (Decker) was a bit of a loose cannon. Add two and two in that situation and, well, you at least pat her down before sending her inside.

It was a nice touch to have Beckett mention a “panic phrase” (or word). When people, such as informants or undercover officers, are sent into potentially dangerous situations, while wired, they’re typically told to say the panic phrase when serious trouble pops up so the handlers/officers on the outside/backup will know to rush in and save the day.

Finally, LokSat…GO AWAY! We’ve seen the movie Groundhog Day, and it was wonderful, but to mimic the premise of that film by repeating the same old tired thing week after week after week has truly gotten old and stale. Please move on.



“I knew I should never have partnered with a screenwriter.” ~ Murderer Du Jour

Melanie Atkins

The latest episode of Castle disappointed me yet again. I’m getting tired of this. Lee asked me to blog with him back when the Castle-Beckett relationship first began to heat up because I write romance, and he wanted someone to cover that aspect of the show while he tackled the police procedure. He did not need my services last night. No Beckett equals no Caskett, equals no romance. Not that we’ve gotten much of it this season, but Rick, Alexis, and Hayley, whom I still cannot accept as part of the show, in L.A., with no explanation of Kate’s absence? Pu-leeze.

To top it off, we had to endure the silly back and forth between Ryan, Esposito, and Lanie that ended with her going after the boys with a fire extinguisher. How juvenile is that? Where is the show we know and love? Because it certainly wasn’t on last night.

My friend Donna, who watches Castle every week almost as religiously as I do, texted me after the episode saying: …they’ve completely forgotten the style and charm that set this show apart to begin with. Unfortunately, she is correct. Another fan said on Twitter: …the show I fell in love with was abt a writer and his muse solving crimes. Not Castle PI w/Hayley and Alexis. She’s right, too, and I retweeted her. Sigh.

The preview of next week’s show (episode 15) shows Kate telling Rick know she “can’t do this anymore”, and I believe she means she’s had enough of living apart and their stupid fake break up. All of that ridiculousness, plus LokSat and the storyline involving Rick’s missing time, is supposed to end by episode 16. So maybe, just maybe, the show is about to get back to normal.

I certainly hope so.

The higher ups at ABC haven’t renewed Castle yet, probably because of sinking ratings, and I hope they wait to see if Rick and Kate getting back together for good helps before they give the show the ax. I’d like for them to give us at least a short season next year to tie everything up, and maybe even give us a Caskett baby. Only time will tell.

Lee Lofland

Give me a minute to stop shaking my head. For now, though, I’m hoping the rapid side-to-side movement will erase all memory of what I just watched.

Why, Castle? Why’d you do it??? Why’d you go there? Haven’t you seen enough TV shows to know that leaving your hometown, with your entourage in tow, as an effort to generate interest in your show is an action that often induces the final blips on the heart monitor before flatlining? Do you not recall Fonzie’s shark-jumping, the Bradys in Hawaii, and the Clampetts in England. I’m sort of expecting to see some strange little kid showing up as Castle’s cousin, a youngster who suddenly moves in to assist with further tanking the declining ratings (Cousin Oliver on the Brady Bunch, homeless kid Luke on Growing Pains, and Stephanie on All in the Family).

Okay, enough of that. Let’s move on to the meat of my review, the police and forensics (this will be easy).

1. Lividity Lanie – Stupid stuff as always, and even more so this week.

Lane, bless her heart*, was able to determine the exact make, model, size, color, and chemical composition of a murder weapon—a hunting knife—merely by looking at photos of dead people. WHAT. THE. *&%!.

2. Police officers running a background check for any purpose other than a police-related issue is taboo. I’m not saying it hasn’t been done before, because it has. However, the act has resulted in disciplinary actions, including the loss of jobs.

3. Strange people wandering in and out of crime scenes does not happen, especially in well-organized departments.

4. Remember the screenplay Castle saw where the killer wrote “THIS IS STUPID” in the margin?


Well, that was pretty darn ironic because while taking notes earlier during the episode, this (below) is what I scribbled about the scene where Hayley (why is she in this show??) told her far-fetched story of being Castle’s secret guardian.


Hmm… I guess Lanie’s Voodooish psychic powers are contagious.

Therefore, based on lividity, I believe that’s all I have to say…


Bless your heart – a Southern phrase used as a polite means to deliver an insult. Transforms a positive comment into a negative. “Her baby is really cute, bless her heart.” In the region of the South where I lived and worked for many years, this typically means the little one is basically stomp-down, butt-ugly.”

Therefore, if you’ve queried an agent who resides below “the line,” and their response to your manuscript submission was, “Your writing is wonderful, bless your heart,” well, it might be a good idea to re-think your career choice.



Castle used to be about a bestselling mystery writer who played poker with Michael Connelly, and he tagged along with a tough-as-nails female detective as she and her team solved murders. Could someone please tell which channel and time THAT show is on because I’d love to watch it again. ~ LL


Melanie Atkins

Last week’s episode of Castle surprised me by being one of the best this season, with great writing and directing in true classic Castle form. This week, not so much because the crazy case bounced from here to there and back again. What happened to the stellar writing? I did not peg the ESL teacher as the murderer, probably because the show had so many characters that I got confused early on and stayed that way.

So many parts of the case were unrealistic, and I just couldn’t get past it. Rick going undercover as an ESL student? Please. Parts of the scenario humored me, to be sure, but weren’t ha-ha-laugh-out-loud funny. And now he’s having flashbacks from the time he went missing way back when? Are we really going to have to revisit that craziness again? Ack! Of course, the explanation of what happened during that time left a lot to be desired, but I’d rather they simply dropped it and forgot it ever happened.

And LokSat. No one mentioned that elephant in the room, but Kate and Rick are supposedly still “separated”, even though they worked the case together and are together in private. Ho-hum. I’m so ready for this aspect of the show to disappear. Seriously. It’s silly and nobody believes it. How could they, with them together all the time?

On a whole, I did not like this episode. I hope next week’s will be better, but I won’t be totally satisfied until the entire LokSat and missing time plotlines are put to rest in episode 16. That can’t happen fast enough for me.


Lee Lofland

Unfortunately, I was not able to watch the episode, the first time since I started this review back in season one. Therefore, I have nothing to say. However, based on Melanie’s portion of the post, I don’t believe I missed much. So I guess I’ll sit in here in the corner and listen to your comments about the police procedure, forensics, etc. Could someone help us out by sharing your thoughts? What did you see that was right, or wrong? Anything?



“The guy’s abducted like what, twice a year? I think that’s a tad above the national average.” ~ Alexis, speaking about Castle.

New Picture (10)

Melanie Atkins

Well, last night’s Castle episode surprised me. Parts of it were silly and unrealistic, yes, and both Rick and Kate got kidnapped (yet again), but I loved it. The way the writers jumped right into the middle of things, set a fast pace, and gave the show more of a classic Castle feel, even though this one was heavier on the drama and light on comedy. No LokSat, no idiotic fake breakup, and no unnecessary slaps or slapstick. Just good, solid drama and Rick and Kate at their best. Didn’t matter that I pegged the killer right away. I still loved the intrigue and the intensity.

Sure, Rick and Kate were apart for most of the episode, but the writers still gave us glimpses of their relationship via video and their worry for one another. Then near the end, when they didn’t know if they would live or die if they helped the others escape and then stayed inside that room, they each refused to leave the other’s side. Beautiful… and further proof that they have not broken up. This is the dynamic duo we know and love.

The writers also found a logical way to use Esposito, Ryan, Alexis, and Hayley by putting them to work searching for Rick and Kate. I still don’t see the point of Hayley’s character, but as a friend of mine suggested, they needed someone else in the PI office to interact with Alexis. Yes, she needs to get a real job, so I agree with Lee on that front, but I guess for now this is it. She seems to be doing okay.

Of course, Rick and Kate saved the day in their respective rooms, and we learned Kate knows how to make a bomb. Kind of silly, but also clever in a badass sort of way. I liked it. And the scene at the end back at the loft? Caskett perfection.

This episode is proof that the old formula still works, and the writers should learn a lesson from this: that they need to keep the rest of the episodes in this vein. I predict that if they do, viewers will return. Everyone loves classic Castle. The stupidity of the LokSat arc, not so much.

We. Are. Sick. Of. It!

Please, writers, give us more of the show we know and love.

Lee Lofland

Well, for once I don’t have a lot to say since there was very little police procedure in this episode. Sure, Lividity Lanie once again relied on knowledge she obtained while attending medical school at VMU (Voodoo Medicine University) and spouted off her usual, “Based on lividity…” nonsense.

I say nonsense, because in order to base anything on lividity you’d have to actually see it.

Gravity pulls blood downward causing it to pool at the lowest points of a body (a dead body lying face up would display lividity, well, on the back, not the front of the body). Therefore, it would be impossible to see lividity on a fully-clothed dead body that’s positioned on her back, as was the case in this episode.

Clothing would need to be removed to see most lividity. Although, it looks as if they may have tried to show some at the jawline of this week’s victim du jour. And, if that’s the case, this could be an indication that the body had been moved at some point.

When the heart stops beating, gravity pulls blood to the lowest point in the body. Blood pooling in those low areas stain the surrounding tissue giving the appearance of bruising. This staining of tissue is called livor mortis, or lividity. For example, a victim lying flat on his back when he dies exhibits lividity on his back, buttocks, and the back of his legs. The same is true on the front of the body, if the victim is found lying face down.

The staining of tissue caused by lividity normally begins within the first two hours after death. The process reaches it’s full peak in eight to twelve hours.

If the victim is moved during the first six hours after death the purplish discoloration can shift, causing the new, lowest portion of the body to exhibit lividity.

After a period of six to eight hours after death, lividity becomes totally fixed. Moving the body after eight hours will not change the patterns of discoloration. Therefore, investigators know a body found lying face down with lividity on the back, has been moved.

Rookie officers have often confused lividity with bruising caused by fighting.

Remember, ambient air temperature is always a factor in determining the TOD (time of death). A hot climate can accelerate lividity, while a colder air temperature can slow it down considerably.

In fairness to Lanie, it is possible that she removed the victim’s clothing at the scene, examined her, and then re-dressed her before placing her remains into a body bag. Yeah, that happens all the time…not.

Oh, by the way, blood that’s several hours old is never bright red.


The victim du jour. Lividity is present at the LOWEST parts of the body, not on top.

Back to the episode. If we bypass a few things, such as Lividity Lanie, the presence of Hayley (why the *bleep* is she on this show??), the fastest acting poison and antidote in the universe, an exploding gun that fired a bullet in reverse, Beckett making a McGyver-ish bomb powerful enough to blow apart steel locks and a door, the faux minister character/bad guy was smart enough to know that Castle and Beckett are still together, yet super-villain Lokstat can’t figure it out, and, well there were a few more, BUT, all of this aside, I actually enjoyed the show.

I thought the case was clever. Best in a long time. Well, not necessarily the murder, but the two locked-room puzzles. I did think we were cheated a bit at the end when out of the blue the solution to the mystery was simply handed to us out of the blue. Still, as Melanie pointed out to me this morning, they had a lot to pack into the episode in a very short time.

So…good job. this was an episode reminiscent of days long ago. The good times when Castle was smart, instead of the clownish buffoon we’ve seen lately.

Other points I found interesting:

– the mention of the scent of Playdough. Good memories there.

– Alexis…GET. A. JOB. And a life.

– No Lokstat. HOORAY!

– Even though the plot this week was filled with tension, the show didn’t have the recent feel of evil darkness and gloom and doom hanging over it. I think they may have finally paid the electric bill and used a bit of lighting, for a change.

– Not enough Ryan and Esposito. Speaking of those two, though, the scene where they and Hayley, and finally Alexis, rushed into the room where Castle and Beckett awaited rescue…well, it was a very cheesy scene. It was like watching an old black and white episode of the Lone Ranger or Superman, where the hero showed up at the last minute to clumsily save the weekly damsel in distress.

I know my portion of the review didn’t sound like it, but I enjoyed this episode. I hope they keep it up, but…

*     *     *

Final Logo

Thanks to the hundreds of people who signed up last weekend to attend the Writers’ Police Academy! The event this year is nothing short of spectacular, exciting, thrilling, and heart-pounding, and that’s why we say it is THE event of the year.  We deeply appreciate your support.

By the way, after the huge rush of Writers’ Police Academy registrations, we still have a couple of available spots (we have more space this year). We’ll keep those open for a while longer in case someone does not want to miss THE event of the year.

Finally, I’d like to remind you to please reserve your hotel rooms asap. The hotel sales staff told me last week they were pleased at quickly they’re going, even before registration opened.


*Remember, Sisters in Crime, a major sponsor of the WPA, offers a huge discount to their members attending for the first time. Not a member? No problem. simply join SinC prior to registering and you’ll receive the $150 discount!