"Castle" season 4 begins tonight

Discussion in 'TV & Media' started by Neroon, Sep 19, 2011.

  1. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Yeah, that really bugged me. The human body isn't made of gelatin. There are bones and tendons and other hard or fibrous stuff that's hard to cut through. Maybe a sharp enough sword swung by a strong and skilled enough wielder could cut someone in half through the waist, or decapitate with one stroke, because there's only one bone to get through. But vertically? Through all those bones? In one easy stroke? That's just stupid.


    Otherwise, an okay episode, although I didn't remember those characters who showed up for 20 seconds at the crime scene and then turned out to be suspects much later in the episode, so there was a structural problem there. (Though the fact that I watched in on DVR and took a break halfway through to make dinner might've been a factor.) Plus they were a little too self-conscious about "Oh, look how the guest characters reflect the relationship of the main characters!" And the whole thing was a bit too much of a cross-promotion for Marvel Comics, including the new "Derrick Storm" comic. At least the fact that ABC and Marvel are under the same ownership meant they could actually refer to real Marvel characters and give it some verisimilitude. (As for the Distinguished Competition, it's interesting that they could get away with mentioning the name Bruce Wayne or Clark Kent, but not Batman or Superman.)

    Speaking of comic-book analogies for characters in the episode, when it turned out the bearded reporter guy wasn't the "superhero" but the civilian sidekick, I tried to think of a good comic-book analogy for that. Maybe Rick Jones, but he's not a reporter as far as I know.
     
  2. David cgc

    David cgc Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The mentions of Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne elevated the episode (slightly) for me. Honestly, conspicuously mentioning only one company in a field takes me out of the story just as much as using a fictional equivalent. I think the writers were a little giddy that they could use all the (Marvel) comics they wanted.
     
  3. Admiral_Young

    Admiral_Young Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Beckett and Castle were greeted by Officer Hastings at the start of the episode, she's the one who removed the police line for them and briefed them. In fact she was framed right in the middle of the scene before moving to our left and out of the frame. You couldn't miss her. We were supposed to be distracted by all the other stuff and forget about her (which we did) but she was clearly there. Like Castle though I did not see the twist coming that she was the superhero.

    As for the sword, didn't they mention that Lone Vengeance broke his blade when he attempted to slice the body? They also mentioned at the crime scene that he was sliced from the head on down to the crotch area, I assume while implausible that with a sharp enough blade and a skilled enough person who had experience cutting cartridge and bones (remember the killer turned out to be the butcher) that this would be possible.

    I had no problem with the in episode plugging of the graphic novel, since it was first introduced last season. It's not like it hurt the overall plot and as pointed out it served to push forward the "Caskett" parallel in a fun way.

    As mentioned earlier, I do like the fact that we find out that Beckett is a comic book fan and she geeked out at Castle's "Avengers #1".
     
  4. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Lois Lane?
     
  5. Admiral_Young

    Admiral_Young Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ^ That'd be who I was thinking of too.
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Yes, I'm sure she was there, but the point is, if the intent was to have Beckett react to the revelation with such shocked recognition, as though Hastings were someone familiar and known to her, it doesn't work to have her be just an obscure bit player for 20 seconds in the teaser and then have her vanish for half an hour. They were going for a "Gasp!" reaction at the revelation, but all they got was a "Who?" reaction.


    I think someone that experienced with cutting meat would know how stupid it would be to try to cut through that many bones at once with a single stroke. He'd go for a more efficient stroke like decapitation, or bisection along the waist. Or gutting the body without trying to cut through the back of the rib cage or the spine. There are a ton of ways an experienced butcher could brutally murder someone that make more practical sense than this. Having great skill in a certain craft doesn't mean you can do any random thing with ease; it means you know the difference between a good way to do something and a bad way to do it. And what was shown here was hardly the best way to use butchery skills to commit a brutal homicide. (I would imagine.)

    Besides, a katana is a rather light blade. It wouldn't have a lot of momentum. It might cut through the first few bones if it were really well-made and ultra-sharp and wielded with significant force, but cumulatively it would probably get slowed to a stop or broken or blunted long before it reached the hips. Hell, if we're supposed to assume the head was bisected with the rest, then probably the katana would've gotten lodged in the skull before that happened.


    Yeah, I guess that could work if it's the later-on Lois who knows Clark is Superman. I guess I was looking more for sidekick-type characters. Maybe Chloe Sullivan from Smallville, but that's not comics. (I know she's been in a few comics, but it's a different incarnation without the inside knowledge of Clark Kent's double life.)
     
  7. Scout101

    Scout101 Admiral Admiral

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    April O'Neil from TMNT, maybe? There's a civilian reporter sidekick to a superhero, anyway (or a group)
     
  8. Admiral_Young

    Admiral_Young Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Actually I think they were going for more a gag reaction honestly Christopher considering the reaction we got from Castle. Also Beckett is the one who acknowledged Officer Hastings at the start as well. "Officer Hastings. What do we have?" or some such. It was set up from the start and paid off later on in the episode and the pay off wasn't Beckett's reaction, it was Castle's.
     
  9. Scout101

    Scout101 Admiral Admiral

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    I agree that it wasn't well set up. I had no idea who they were talking about either. If they wanted a payoff, I don't think they got it...
     
  10. Savage Dragon

    Savage Dragon Savage Mod Moderator

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    Being a long-time comic fan I really enjoyed that episode. Beckett's reaction to Castle owning Avengers #1 was very cool!

    I noticed the reporter at the crime scene right away because he the actor was on Jericho but I didn't pay much attention to the police woman letting Beckett and Castle into the crime scene.

    I would also say that the guy getting split down the middle was a little over the top for me too but it didn't do anything to lessen my enjoyment of the episode. I was happy that they got back to their more light hearted formula of the show. Looing forward to next week's episode!
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Well, the '80s cartoon and movie version, I guess. In the original comics (and the '00s animated series), April was a scientist.
     
  12. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    I said out, dammit!
    A katana in the hands of a skilled martial artist can easily whack off a head or a limb. The few instances I've heard of body blows - say, a vertical whack down between neck and shoulder - the blade usually stops after maybe a foot of travel thru all those bones. I'm not sure if I've heard of torsos being whacked laterally apart, but I wouldn't be TOO surprised. Straight down on the head? I'm guessing it'd stop before it got as far as the sternum.

    But I'm not convinced a butcher is a skilled martial artist. There are very specific ways to use a katana, and it ain't like a cleaver.
     
  13. Vendikarr

    Vendikarr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    If they wanted a reaction from the audience this should have been episode 7. Before then, we see this cop at a couple of crime scenes, maybe drop something off by Beckett's desk in another. After three appearances people will be talking about her, wondering what her significance is.

    Get the audience used to seeing her, and then you get a better payoff when she is introduced as the super-hero.
     
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Yes, exactly. A setup/payoff structure doesn't work if the setup is so cursory and barely noticeable. At the very least, they should've given Officer Hastings a bigger scene, or more scenes, before the reveal -- although it would've been tricky to do that without making it obvious that this suddenly prominent one-time guest star was being set up for a big reveal.
     
  15. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Yeah, that can be tricky. I remember an episode of MONK where Stottlemeyer's previously anonymous secretary got enough screen time in the opening scenes that you just knew that she was going to end up being the killer somehow.

    That being said, I admit my first response was "Hastings? Who the heck is Hastings?"

    If you're going to pull that trick, you need a character that will at least make some impression early, so viewers won't be scratching their heads at the big reveal.
     
  16. David cgc

    David cgc Vice Admiral Admiral

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    You see, this is why you set up a big stock of recurring day-players, so you always have someone vaguely familiar to use for surprising revelations or to kill off when the situation gets serious. It worked great for the new Battlestar Galactica.
     
  17. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^And somewhat surprisingly for a show noted for lack of continuity, Star Trek: Voyager did a good job in its first couple of seasons with introducing recurring characters so there'd be some weight to it when they were killed off or turned traitor or whatever.
     
  18. Admiral_Young

    Admiral_Young Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    An okay science fiction attempt this episode. I did like the Marlow Prep reference! A school named after the series creator. Alexis struggling to deal with her rejection was a nice surprise. Molly Quinn does a wonderful job with the character. It seems like they are continue teasing "Casket" fans like myself for a while longer. This is reminding of X-Files to a degree and has a Mulder and Scully feel about it. I'm wondering if Marlowe and the rest of the writing team are worried that the show will jump the shark if he does bring Kate and Rick together. I hope not. I'm really cheering for them to get together, the shipper in me is one of the reasons why I love this show so much.
     
  19. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Interesting how they were able to get what was essentially a science fiction story in terms of the characters' motivations and goals, but in a non-SF context because cryonics facilities like this actually do exist. It just underlines how much we're already living in the science fiction future, even if we don't have flying cars and moon cities yet.

    I've found Alexis unrecognizably emotional and quick-tempered this season, but maybe this episode explains it; maybe she's been stressed out because of her anticipation of getting into Stanford. I hope so. I hope she goes back to being the level-headed Alexis we know and love instead of the drama queen she's been so far this season.

    And I'd bet that her rejection from Stanford is a way to set up having her attend college in NYC so she stays part of the show.
     
  20. Admiral_Young

    Admiral_Young Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Well Alexis has kind of been distracted lately with trying to balance her ambition and scholastic desires with her relationship with her boyfriend. It's out of character for her because she hasn't had this much drama in her life before. She's growing up and finally realizing how difficult things are. Castle himself has pointed out the differences with Alexis over the last little while. I wouldn't go so far as calling her a drama queen, she's just having an difficult time with things right now.