‘Castle’ Season 3 Finale Review & Discussion

Published 4 years ago by , Updated May 17th, 2011 at 9:38 am,

castle season 3 finale Castle Season 3 Finale Review & Discussion

Castle has come a long way in three seasons. Back in 2009, it was just a mid-season replacement with “that guy from Firefly.” It’s since developed into a Monday night staple with a host of fun characters that viewers have come to love.

Does the third season finale deliver on the stories and relationships that have been building for so long?

“Knockout” is the latest Castle story to focus on the series-long arc of the murder of Beckett’s mother. Beckett is still making regular trips to the incarcerated hitman Hal Lockwood (Max Martini) who has knowledge of her mother’s unsolved case. When he kills an inmate who also knows about the crime, he enlists the help of some shadowy figures to escape. As a result, Castle, Beckett and the homicide squad must track down Lockwood before he murders Beckett.

Before we turn a critical eye to Castle‘s final episode of the season, let’s take a look at what it is and is not. Castle is a personality-driven show: the performances of Nathan Fillion (Richard Castle) and Stana Katic (Detective Kate Beckett) and the chemistry between these characters move the dialogue, if not the stories, forward.

Without the light-hearted and even flirty back-and-forth, there’s not a whole lot to distinguish Castle from any mystery made in the last twenty years – and in fact, there’s not much about it that stands out either. If you were to put Castle in a field with the likes of The Shield or The Chicago Code, it would undoubtedly be the “fun” show in the bunch. Castle is in line with Psych, Monk and Bones on the lighter side of murder mystery.

Until tonight, that is. With “Knockout,” Castle takes a radical shift in storytelling and atmosphere. Gone are the puns, the jabs, and the good-natured sexual tension between Castle and Beckett. The finale strives to be pure hard-boiled Manhattan police drama, filled to the brim with professional killers, dirty cops and heavy-handed dialogue.

castle finale stana katic Max Martini Castle Season 3 Finale Review & Discussion

The shift is jarring to say the least. While Castle has had serious episodes in the past (almost all of which are in the same storyline), it’s never gone as dark or as moody as the finale. For example, last week’s episodes had the intrepid detectives and writer-sidekick catching the killer of a beauty pageant contestant – complete with a toupee-sporting Donald Trump stand-in. Earlier this year an entire show was devoted to the underground steam-punk aesthetic, with a Back to the Future DeLorean prop for good measure.

One of these things is not like the other.

A little dark flavor added to Castle‘s goofy veneer isn’t necessarily a bad thing – in fact I was hoping for as much during the alien abduction episode a few months ago – but pouring this much drama into the last episode was a bad fit to say the least. I like just about all the characters on the show, from Beckett’s bromancing fellow detectives to Castle’s soundboard mother and daughter, but they simply haven’t earned the moments that they were reaching for in the finale.

Nowhere is this more true than with Captain Montgomery (Ruben Santiago-Hudson). The third act sets up a huge dramatic revelation that does not sit well on the character’s easy-going shoulders. The drama and performances feel forced to fit within the meandering story of Beckett’s mother’s murder, and Montgomery finishes the episode with a few action-packed seconds that feel totally out of place.

castle finale Ruben Santiago Hudson Castle Season 3 Finale Review & Discussion

There’s a moment where the homicide detectives and Castle are all investigating a crime scene, decked out in their “POLICE” and “WRITER” body armor, respectively. I couldn’t help but think, “What is Castle doing here?” – which effectively sums up the feeling of the finale as a whole. Castle‘s Season 3 tagline was “solving murder has never been so much fun.” Tonight, no murders were solved, and there was barely any fun to be had.

It isn’t all bad. As convoluted as the primary plot is, it allows the viewer a believable motivation behind Beckett’s tough-as-nails attitude. Those hoping for a romantic windfall for the two leads will be somewhat satisfied, though there’s hardly time within the episode proper to explore their feelings. It sets up for a good reveal in the fall, and the blossoming romance between Castle and Beckett finally has the reason and the room to move forward.

Overall, “Knockout” feels like someone tried to rip Castle‘s characters out of their customary setting and drop them into an old episode of NYPD Blue. While the show has been circling its fun and witty stomping grounds for years and could do with a little shaking up, this much change, this quickly, is a poor move – and will feel even more strange when Castle inevitably returns to its comfort zone in the fall.

Follow Michael on Twitter: @ MichaelCrider

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  1. sorry …weak

  2. Completely disagree with everything you said. The episode was fantastic, easily the best of the series, and all the drama has been well earned with this storyline (along with the 3xk storyline, the storyline where a bomber tries to blow up Kate, and the storyline with a nuclear dirty bomb in NYC). To ignore all the dramatic shifts because “it’s not fun” is just stupid. You are wrong.

    • I totally agree, the episode was fantastic!!!

      To those who are baffled by kate’s being carried off by castle, its very simple. She knew that she had to leave, the cap made his choice, and it was letting him go. That why she collapsed into castle’s arms outside. Of course if she really was angry and set on breaking free, she could do it.

      The capt angle was fantastic. Everyone has skeletons in the closet. And he was a much liked character. That made it all the more dramatic.

      Cant wait for next season.

    • I think “the kiss” episode was a game-changer and it has been fun watching Kate and Richard spar and parry.

  3. I totally agree with Tommy…wicked show!

  4. I guess no one remembers the look Montgomery and Espo gave each other in an earlier episode when they were all in Montgomery’s office talking about the case. When the camera showed them looking at each other I figured they knew more about the murder than they wanted to reveal. Wasn’t Espo was in the drug unit earlier? I love the interaction of Espo and Ryan and hope to see that next year. I think Kate should recovery at Castle’s house, with Martha and Alexis looking after her.

    • Great idea! Let the love relationship develop!

  5. what is next?? seasons would start on which date?

  6. Soooo loved this finale. I was speechless for quite a while – Had to rewind it not believing what just happened. OK – she’s not dead. Somethings up with Dad, though. He was introduced at a key time. We’ll see. I never wished a summer away but can’t wait till season 4!

  7. I’m with Nancy. I can hardly wait until fall. Beckett better be back. I’ll quit watching if not. What’s up with her dad. Why didn’t we see more of him.

  8. Anyone elso think Becketts dad is behind it all?

  9. The most surprising episode of the entire series, awesome. I have rewound and watched the last 3rd like 6 times! Can’t wait till the fall,

  10. Great Show. Nathan is at his best when he is serious and intense. Hope we get a few more intense episodes in the future.

  11. SandraE wants a female replacement for Montgomery – - she’s describing
    Jerri Ryan – - wouldn’t THAT be all the more reason to tune in! !

  12. Totally disagree with this article. This had to be the best episode thus far. One of the few shows on network TV that I actually make sure I watch. Of course she lives, but I am betting she will say she never heard Castle utter those three words, but in truth she did. Loved the character development, will be sorry to see Montgomery go, I was really starting to like him.

  13. Couldn’t disagree more with this review.

    I didn’t see the conclusion of Cpt Montgomery until he told Ryan & Esposito to take Lockwood out if possible which made me pause and go…huh? Then there is the building of tension, shock revelation dealt superbly by all the cast, fantastic climatic scene.

    I’d gone to watch Castle after being blown away by the NCIS season 8 finale. I thought Castle would be light-hearted and fun. I’m never been so glad to be wrong. This finale actually outgunned NCIS.

    Favourite moments –
    - Castle telling Beckett he didn’t know what they were – ‘because we don’t talk about it’.
    - The denoument between Montgomery & Lockwood.
    - The confrontation between Ryan & Esposito in the alley behind the bar.
    - The ‘nobody needs to know beyond this family’ moment and Ryan’s tear.

    Oh deeply fantastic episode.

    Not to put the cat amongst the pigeons but could Det Beckett be in ghost form next season? Static might be contracted for the season but there is no guarantee that Beckett lives…

    • Me too! I thought Castle would be good to watch to take my mind off NCIS, it worked, but not the way I had hoped. I thought the NCIS finale was great, but this one blew me away

  14. Well let’s make this 3 of 3 then for complete disagreement with the review. I get that not every person is the same and opions will always find opposing forces but branding this episode as something that doesn’t fit into the Castle mold is just being short sighted and kinda dumb. Castle is all about fun for sure, but how is fun actually made without the boiling of distress as it’s counterpart? This episode was all about the slow boil. I loved it. To label going outside it’s conventional modus operandi as some sort of mistake is just selling everyone involved with the show short. Nathan Fillion has been a favorite of mine for 2 reasons. His comedic wit and his ability as an actor to do 180 degree turns on that lighthearted beat and express deep conviction and emotion that belies the character’s 2 dimensional orbits. This is the strength of Nathan and it shows in this episode. Was I 100% satisfied with the episode? Of course not. You can always find something to nitpick. But was I 100% happy? At the end of the day, yes I was. Kudos to Castle’s crew for this episode because playing it safe would have been the wrong thing to do and I think they definitely treaded in dangerous water here and brought us all out the other side wanting more.

  15. Well, folks. Try this on for size. Yep, there’s blood on her hand. Bullet fragments struck her hand from the impact of the bullet on the kevlar vest she was wearing. She’ll be back and madder than hell.

    • According to the show runner / creator (interviewed on vacation in Hawaii) she was not wearing a vest, but she survives.

  16. Yeah! The “no one needs to know beyond this family” moment was telling about the attempted assasination of Becket. I think it was a set-up to bring out the people behind it. Further, they may make Kate go underground and later be promoted to Captain.

    • mm den is it like kate is dead??? or does she liv.. i have been waitn 4 da season 4… but noting on it … i mean reallyy is der a season 4?? i feel dis is da end of CASTLE!!!… man i loved dis i was soo addicted 2 dis…

      ohh n btw does ny1 no wens the nxt season cumn up???

  17. Gee. I didn’t know a kevlar vest could stop a high-powered rifle bullet. I think the whole thing was staged. A good FX team could easily fake an assasination. I think the good cops wanted to take some of the heat off her, and help flush out some of the bad cops. Guess we’ll find out for sure in next season’s premier episode.

    • Correct on limitations of kevlar vests. Might stop an intermediate 5.56 round (M16) depending on class of vest. Most sniper rounds are much higher powered. With the ceramic plates in, would stop some of these rounds, but not all. And vests become very bulky with the plates, restrict movement and probably wouldn’t fit under uniform jacket, at least not without being pretty obvious. Also, kevlar vests trap rounds, they don’t shatter them, so no fragments to hit hand. I believe it is the ceramic that can crack within kevlar matrix. Sure that the vest experts out there could comment better. As to episode, really liked it, though shame about Montgomery. The show is usually light and funny, that’s great. But murder is not funny, nor is being frozen alive in previous episodes. Some of that needs to come forward at times, this episode did it in spades. I enjoyed Moonlighting, but please, not another one of those.

  18. Could not disagree anymore. The third series ending effectively concludes part of the who killed Beckett’s mom storyline. Dragging it into season 4 as was would have seriously drained this how of any creativity.

    Next the Castle-Beckett relationship needs to evolve albeit in a coherent manner, avoiding the disastrous Moonlighting debacle. Beckett’s shooting and Castle’s statement that he loves her effectively propels this show forward into season four. as for Captain Montgomery, basically this character had effectively served its purpose In fact having him as the third officer at the time Beckett’s mother was murdered was a logical and intelligent plot development.

    Moreover it makes enormous sense to bring in a more combative and/or controlling supervisor- a woman captain perhaps. Captain Montgomery was, in the main, a tad too fatherly. Ergo the smart decision to eliminate this character by Castle’s producers.

    All in your comments less than credible.

  19. Castle won’t be worth watching w/out the sexual tension and banner of BOTH BECKETT and CASTLE; and w/out the relationship between them and among the detectives, Castle and Beckett! I love this show and would be very sad if any of the four main actors this year did not return. I am a senior citizen. This show makes me use the remaining “grey” matter I have, lets me laugh and cry which is good for the soul, and have something to look forward to on Monday night TV that is totally enjoyable. I dislike “brainless” sitcoms and refuse to watch them! Besides, I have something to talk about with my friends, instead of ailments! This is my first ever “tweet!” (something new is good)

    • Please excuse spelling error. Make that “banter” instead of “banner” in my tweet above.

    • She survives.

  20. Michael Crider, you are my hero! You are the *only* blogger who has examined this finale from a critical viewpoint. Bravo!

    I’ve been an avid viewer of this show since the first episode, so it completely pains me to say this, but you know how Kate’s eyes rolled back into her head when she “died?” That’s pretty much what my eyes were doing throughout the entire episode. This season featured several warning signs, but the finale confirmed it: “Castle” has officially turned into exactly the kind of show it used to so charmingly make light of. The writers relied on every single cliché in the book to get a reaction out of the audience – and I’m happy that it seemed to work for some of you, but I couldn’t get over how hard they were trying to stir the pot, and how clumsily they were doing so. (Hell, I wish Castle had been able to hear Lockwood’s “Don’t worry, they’re not on the menu. (But if you make a mistake), I’ll have to order off the menu” line. He would’ve mocked it to no end – but, unfortunately, this was supposed to be a serious scene. It just made me cringe.)

    And the saddest thing of all is – now that it’s doing so well in the ratings (especially for a 10 PM show) – the important people involved with it aren’t going to think there’s anything wrong with it. And perhaps the ratings indicate that this is the kind of show the masses want to watch – one that so heavy-handedly manipulates your emotions — but this certainly isn’t the show that I signed up for – one that was refreshingly (and genuinely) sweet, and kind, and fun, and benevolent, and full of heart, even if it was about murder.

    I know that conflict is necessary to the story – but this episode simply rewrote the entire series as we know it for the sake of shock-value. These drastic changes weren’t earned at all – or even you were one of the few who thought there was something more to the Captain pulling her off her Mom’s case (than concern for her well being), you have to admit they’re turning Kate into a tragic heroine that would put Shakespeare’s famous ladies to shame. (Seriously, what was the point of killing off her training officer two episodes ago, if they were going to A) reveal the Captain’s betrayal, B) kill off the Captain, and C) shoot Beckett herself – all in one episode?) Everything Bad Happens to Kate – and I’m afraid they’re going to turn her into this ridiculously psychologically damaged soul, who repeatedly rebuffs Castle because, you know, she’s so damaged. And that’s going to be the major obstacle for next year. (If this is the case –as much as it pains me to say this – bring back one of his ex-wives (again!), and the doctor boyfriend – or, wait, is he still around?)

    And if she is a psychologically damaged soul beyond-repair next year, you know the show is going to paint Castle as Beckett’s Only Savior, with the most obvious brushstrokes possible – and that’s something that bothered me to no end in this finale. It was scene, after scene, after scene of, “You’re the only one who can bring her back from the edge, Castle!” Thank goodness for his mother, who was the only character to remind him that she’s a grown woman and it’s her job and her life. (I’d hug Martha if I could.) And if he was supposed to be the one to “save” her, he failed miserably. Season Three Castle would rather call her 23 times – (Major eye-rolling moment for me: the phone display that said “23 missed calls”) – than attempt to talk to her in person, even if she’d just kick him out of the precinct. Season 2 Castle showed up at her apartment (even with a serial killer on the loose) to make sure she was okay, and later ran into a burning building to make sure she was okay. Which version of Castle do I prefer? Hmmm…. (Okay, props for attempting to take the bullet for her, but unfortunately, as soon as they split them up early on in the episode, you just knew that whatever it is he wanted to say, he was going to say too late. And the way they handled that ending – oh, boy. The cheesy, clichéd way they had him say “I love you” aside – I was more PO’d that a sniper would attempt to shoot anyone (let alone a cop) at a funeral with about 100 cops present.

    I’ll give this show another chance. I’m too invested in it to give up on it. It is, after all, the little show that could — and I’ve been singing its praises to anyone who’ll listen. But by shaking up so much of what we’ve come to appreciate about the show in the first place, they’re making it really difficult for it to return to the loveable screwball/romantic comedy it once was. (And yes, Marlowe and team can tell me all he wants that “Castle” is a show that straddles comedy and drama, but one of my greatest problems with this season is that, while it used to be a show that so brilliantly balanced drama and comedy within each and every episode (even the darker episodes like “Sucker Punch” and “Tick, Tick, Tick…” had many laugh-out-loud moments), this season has jarringly erred from almost-obnoxiously campy episodes to episodes so plot-twisty and dark, they’re just like any other cop show on TV. So there’s a distinct difference between Season 3’s ability to handle comedy and drama and Season 1 and 2’s ability to do so — and I wish the writers would rewatch seasons 1 and 2 to understand this very important difference.)

  21. Hello – what show were you watching? I totally disagree with your review. Castle was excellent and I think the writers and actors both proved they could do serious drama. If you were expecting Shakespeare, you are in the wrong place. The double twist at the end – Montgomery confessing and taking a stand for Beckett, and Beckett getting shot were shockers and a great setup for next season.

  22. I say let the fans be the critics. And I think the review has been nearly unanimous. I am pretty much a fan of anything Nathan Fillion touches, particularly Firefly. The guy is just entertaining. I have always liked Castle, but it wasn’t until this season and particularly this episode that I felt I was watching something with a caliber of content and chemistry as what I had seen in Firefly. For a fan like me, that is saying a lot. This show continues to win me over nearly every episode, and this season finale left me with no regrets.

  23. Don’t worry. This was an old fashioned serial episode ending. Expect Montgomery to recover and be in a “witness protection” type program and Becket to have worn a bullet proof vest. See them all next season.

  24. Frankly this episode pissed me off. I don’t know why but when it ended, i was just: this isn’t Castle.

    They tried to keep some Castle aspects in the beginning then the tone changes when Kate is at the prison > Then the story goes into a hyper lets get a reaction out of the audience by SHOCK SHOCK SHOCK > doesn’t work because we’ve seen it all before.

    IMO this Finale ends with nothing but an expectation of Season 4 to justify this finale. If it doesn’t, i’ll be the first to throw a pie at the screen and possibly eat it afterwards.

    • I would agree with your feeling that this wasn’t what we have come to expect from the show. But I think it is good that they mix it up, and this was a season finale. If the show kept on going with this tone, I would have to admit also that I would be disappointed. But I think the tone was appropriate for the occasion, and that the show will return to being its self again. This isn’t the first time the show has done this, even this season, and it has always come back. It’s also not the only series of it’s kind to do this. Bones, on more than a few occasions has gone from funny to serious, and then back again.

  25. I agree completely with this review. I really enjoy Castle and will keep watching but it seemed like a completely different show. Montgomery’s treachery was not believable at all. Thinking back, previous season-enders managed to create tension and suspense without losing the good-natured tone of the show. It’s hard to see how that tone can be recovered after this, but I hope the writers can manage it.

  26. I agree w/this review – CASTLE is a light-hearted romantic adventure, not a searing cop drama. To be blunt, when the CASTLE writers try to “get serious”, they often end up with wild leaps outside the realm of logic, common sense, three years of character development or any discernible police or investigative procedure. It’s like they’re so thrilled to be “going dark” that they have their generally highly-intelligent and capable leads back into a lockable walk-in freezer and nearly die, discover they may have radiation poisoning by a never-before-referenced and never-again seen belt radiation detector, and stop a nuclear holocaust by yanking out all the wires in the bomb at once with one second to go! (And for a show that prides itself on its geek wit – not a single crack about GALAXY QUEST’s bombs always stopping with One Second To Go?)

    Sorry, I’m a huge fan of both Fillion and Katic, and of the sizzling sexual chemistry they have – but this episode, despite superficially being the best written “dark” episode so far, just felt afterwards like it came from the No Cliché Left Unturned School of Writing.

    • My nephew is the writer of this episode (always working at the direction of with the show creator, I assume, who works on every episode as the “guiding hand”). He’s been with the show since the beginning and, over the 3 years of the series, he seems to have come to write most of the episodes dealing with major advancements in their relationship and with her mom’s murder. This episode was “Knockout,” and the earlier episode this season, “Knockdown,” (their first kiss) was also his. He also is one of their regular story editors and he served as their police procedure consultant because he spent 15 years on the LAPD in South Central, 10 years of it on the gang and drug task force.

      He got criticism similar to yours from a book reviewer in a major newspaper over things in his first book, LA Rex, because they were “over the top” and “unbelievable.” Unfortunately they were only barely fictionalized versions of real incidents.

      This was also his last episode as a regular on Castle. He’s leaving because he has too much work on feature films over the next couple of years to do anything else. His novel is being made into a movie (his screenplay) by producer Scott Rudin. He was hired by Warner Brothers to turn a series of articles in the LA Times into a screenplay that starts shooting in the fall with Sean Penne as mobster Mickey Cohen and Josh Brolin as the head of The Gangster Squad. He’s been hired to rewrite the script for the remake of Logan’s Run. He’s also been given the green light to write a reboot of Lethal Weapon.

      He hasn’t told me this but I assume everything he’s done on Castle has been based on the overall story arc the show creator has in mind. If you have issues with the show’s direction ask him. But don’t question the believability of the police aspects of the shows my nephew wrote unless you have the same time he has on the job.

      • Nikki – I’m with you on this one. While I was originally pleased it didn’t have any mind-roastingly horrible plot devices like a lot of CASTLE’s “Serious” shows often have, it was melodramatic twist piled on top of cliché piled on top of a horror of letting Rick’s and Kate’s relationship naturally progress without tossing more monkey wrenches into it than were used in Chaplain’s MODERN TIMES.

        And, while I’m sure Mr. Bell’s uncle will rant at me some more – that scene where Rick picked Kate up bodily, carried her outside, then covered her mouth when she tried to protest? To me, it was a a *complete* betrayal of three years of these two characters’ development – and far from being “romantic” like some people allege, I found it appalling and am amazed Beckett didn’t kick his balls into his throat for it…which is what my wife would have done to me had I tried a stunt like that!

        • Sorry – “Beall”.

  27. Regarding Joshua Beall’s comment –

    A critic can reasonably criticize any aspect of a script’s “believability” he or she wants to if the script smacks of being unbelievable. That’s the business. Many scripts are rendered that are not far from being “literally” true. This doesn’t eliminate the need for the writer to craft the script, and the showrunner to craft the arc of the series in a way that renders it believable and logical (in and of themselves) for the audience.

    Given that your nephew is an obviously accomplished and sought-after writer, I’m sure can take the criticism. Writers have no choice but to develop a thick skin. Critics are, after all, part and parcel of what gives your nephew’s craft meaning. That, and the money. Anyone who works in the arts, especially film and T.V., knows that.

    Count me among those who didn’t care for your nephew’s script or the direction the series is taking.

    • Not liking the direction of the series is a matter of personal preference. No problem. Not buying the reality of something based on personal ignorance of actual reality is not. Complaining that they didn’t do enough to convince the ignorant is valid, but it’s not sufficient reason for me to avoid criticism of those ignorant people.

      I drove ambulances in the NY city area for several years. I always had problems with the way first responders were portrayed because they were wildly unrealistic. Of course the “great unwashed” public bought those portrayals as “totally believable.” Ask Steve Buscemi about that. Before his acting career he was on the FDNY. He was visiting his mom on 9/11 in the city and still had his gear at her house. He grabbed his stuff and went down to ground zero and spent at least that day, if not more, working the site. He’s one actor I always know gets it.

      Ignorance of reality is not an excuse for being wrong. Nor is it a defense against criticism based on that ignorance. Critics must be willing to submit to others criticism, especially if it is informed by actual reality, not simple ignorance. In my case it’s only partly about knowing Will Beall’s situation and history. I was also “on the job” as a first responder and I resent people who don’t know what they’re talking about (regarding reality, not a TV show) who choose to criticize something as “unrealistic.”

      “Smacks of being unrealistic” isn’t the same as being unrealistic. I get your distinction. I don’t accept the general statement that it is unrealistic because you and others don’t “buy it.” My intent was to educate and inform. Read LA Rex and get back in touch. I’ll take questions to him about the sources for incidents in there and the reality they’re based on. I make no guarantees about his willingness to respond, but I will ask.

      • I need to add a caveat to my last post. You, or the poster I was responding to, may have the life experience to justify your position as to what is believable. I should have added qualifiers to allow for that and I apologize for that. More importantly I need to emphasize that my intent is to inform, not criticize. Please understand that.

        • Mr. Beall – no, I am not a cop nor an ex-cop, though I have an uncle who’s a retired US Marshal. However, I have been a dramatic radio and television writer, and am married to a former story editor and current novelist, so I’ve had some experience with stories that strain credulity where the writer says “But everything actually *happened*!”

          The thing is, Mr. Beall, I’m sure most of the incidents your nephew put into his stories *did* happen in some form or another at some point – but it was having them happen, in the order he had them happening in, and absent the context in which they happened, that makes them hard to swallow. Take a small one that I was critical of – Beckett’s Amazing Portable Radiation Detector that happens to show up, one time only in the *entire* three year series your nephew has worked on, to propel the plot forward.

          No arguing Kate has to have *some* way of knowing there’s radiation afoot, and I’m also sure police forces have devices like this for occasions like this. The thing is, *why* is she wearing this device now when there’s been no prior establishing that there’s some form of nuclear threat to NYC, or prior establishing that she’s *always* worn this device?

          It wouldn’t have taken more than a line or two at the start of the episode to clear this up – Beckett’s team all complaining about “some new Homeland Security Directive” that requires them to carry portable radiation detectors because…well, it’s Homeland Security, and they don’t share their reasons why with the peons in the NYPD, do they? It might even be worth a short humorous scene shortly after were Kate forgets she’s wearing it as she walks through a security scanner and the detector goes off – and Rick gets nervous about the scanner emitting radiation since they walk through it every day!

          As is, it’s like Rick Castle suddenly pulled a gun out of his jacket and shot a bad guy to save Kate’s life, when the show has made it clear he as a civilian is not allowed to be armed unless *she* as a cop arms him. If the episode establishes beforehand he considers this to be a dangerous situation, and smuggles in a gun anyway, you can get around that and in fact it adds drama – but the gun appearing with no foreshadowing doesn’t really work.

          Mr. Beall, I’m sincerely glad your nephew Will is doing well professionally, and my congratulations to him for moving up in Hollywood. As it happens, my specific comments which initially aroused your ire relate to two shows he isn’t in the credits as having written. However, in this case I am speaking as a viewer rather than a writer myself – though as one, I know how often the writer and Story Editor take it on the chin for direction or editing or last-minute rewrites that coarsen the original story’s intention, certainly!