Castle Review - 4.09 - Kill Shot

A sniper on a killing spree is terrorizing New York City. With the clock ticking down to the next murder and nothing to go on except a killer with no apparent motive but to instill terror, this could prove the team's toughest case yet. The hunt is made even more complicated when Beckett begins to experience increasingly strong moments of PTSD - moments she tries hard to hide from Castle and the detectives.

I know, I know, we're changing things up here at Castle Inanity yet again. All I can say is, both Frea and I are pretty busy these days with things in real life (whatever that is) and so we're always looking for things that can make our maintenance of the blog more efficient. To that end, I'm going to be taking over Castle reviewing for the foreseeable future. Don't expect a detailed analysis like Alris provided. This will just be my quick thoughts on the episode. The detailed analysis I leave to you.

So what did I think of 4.09 - "Kill Shot"? Click the link to find out!

At first I was a little dubious of the whole Kate suffers from PTSD plot, because there'd been little evidence of it existing beyond the first episode. Usually, PTSD doesn't disappear and reappear when it's convenient for the plot (except for on TV, of course). But thanks to Stana Katic's great acting, I decided to just go with it and accept that all she needed was this sniper appearing in order for her PTSD to really kick in.

And you know what, there was a lot to like about this episode. I think near the top of my list was that I was so, so happy that the show didn't forget that Esposito used to be in the military. It was excellent to see him take on such a prominent role in the episode. And even better to see him be so knowledgeable and on top of things. Too often shows forget that kind of stuff about their secondary characters in order to make the primaries more important, so it was great to see Esposito essentially take the lead in the case.

Even better was the scene between Esposito and Kate in the evidence locker. Of course, there's no way they'd let her just take that rifle out of there and cart it around with her as she jaunts through the city. That kind of made me facepalm. Also, there's a serial sniper on the loose and Kate's traveling around with a rifle just nonchalantly slung over her shoulder? Yeah right. That aside, it was a really good moment for Esposito and Kate, as Esposito helped Kate realize that a tool has no power over her.

This episode was really about Kate facing the darkness and the guilt and the unbelievable expectations she has placed on herself. Seeing Kate increasingly break down was excellent. Psychological problems just don't disappear overnight, and all the hand shaking, jumping, hyperventilating, cautiousness, what have you, that Kate displayed in the episode was great and so was SK's acting. Though that scene in her apartment kind of made me laugh, and not in a good way, as it was too over the top. Other than that bit, I thought everything with Kate's breakdown was great.

It actually looked like Gates was warming up to Castle there at the end. They were even working together. Excellent. I hope that kind of grudging acceptance continues. Gates was starting to get annoying with her constant dismissal of Castle.

All too brief appearance by Alexis and Martha tonight, but what they had was great, and Alexis (conveniently) provided the big clue Castle needed to put everything together. I realize that they didn't really fit in this episode, but still, any amount of either of them is appreciated.

One of the things I didn't like was the stuff with Worf, her therapist. Don't get me wrong, I thought they were good scenes and I liked everything he said, but I thought this guy was a departmental shrink? Am I wrong in this? Because if he was, there was no way he should have/would have allowed Kate to work on the case. I realize it was necessary for the plot to work, but that felt contrived. I did like Kate admitting that she wanted to fix herself. Let's hope she can.

So that's all I've got off the top of my head. I'm sure I missed a lot. What did you think?


  1. Anonymous22.11.11

    My thoughts were that if the therapist works with the NYPD, wouldn't he have to disclose that her unstable-ness could be a potential hazard to the other officers she works with? That if she froze like she did in an earlier episode, that would put others at risk. She's been lucky so far that the criminals are not really that bad because in real life they wouldn't have hesitated to kill her.

  2. Anonymous - See, I thought he worked for the NYPD too. That was why, after her big breakdown in his office this episode, that I was like, "Wait a minute..."

    The whole point of places like police departments having shrinks and making their officers go through counseling is to prevent situations like what happened in this episode. I realize that this is TV, and in TV land, the main protagonist never has to listen to the shrink and never has to get taken off the case no matter how much trauma they might be under or how much there might be a conflict of interest.

    It bugged.

    Still a really strong episode, though.

  3. After last night's Castle, get giddy dreaming about writers/show runners from that show having done a season - say the third - for Chuck.

    Another episode where one of the leads is directly connected to the case. You picked the same nits I had Max but my emotional engagement allowed me to bypass them.

  4. mason1322.11.11

    i thought about the shrink thing, and kate seems to be the kind of person who would avoid a department shrink, knowing they could keep her from her job. going outside the department allows her to fully unpack her issues (as much as she will) without worrying about getting pulled. plus, we know she saw a shrink after her mom's murder, this guy could be from that.

  5. Anonymous22.11.11

    I like Castle a lot, but by episode count, Castle has reached Chuck vs. Seduction Impossible and still has UST. They've done the Prague thing three times. Half of Castle cases are dull or predictable. Four of the last ten episodes had little or no humor (next episode looks promising), and Caskett banter (the best part of the show) occasionally goes AWOL. Castle's writers are great at drama and do a great job with their show. However, I think they would have made S3 Chuck worse.

  6. There were a lot of convenient moments/aspects but I still liked the episode. SK was really good, and I liked Esposito here.

    I also liked how they showed the PTSD, I thought that was well done in terms of making us experience it with Beckett. (Although that scene in her apartment was really weird.) And the tension was pretty good.

    I think Castle works best when there's a real connection between the case and the characters. It makes convenience more tolerable and keeps the episode from dullness.

    Also, I don't know anything about surgery, but wasn't it weird that the only scar we saw was from the bullet?

  7. Anonymous22.11.11

    They didn't show the scar for the incision clearly, but she looked at a scar on her left side (which seemed a little low) before looking at the bullet entry wound.


  8. I thought they at least used rib spreaders on her during the opening of Rise. That should have left a pretty big scar.

    Speaking of which, can anybody explain what happened when Kate tried to climb that ladder? Was that supposed to show she was still hurt? A payoff for the physical therapist comment in the opening?

    Mason - You are right that Kate is the kind of person who would go to an outside shrink instead of a departmental one and that's what I thought Worf was too. But then I remembered Rise and didn't she have to pass a psych eval in order to go back on duty? That's why I thought the guy worked for the department.

  9. Anonymous22.11.11

    Kate tried to pull herself up with the arm she cut on glass the night before. Between that new injury, the scar pulling, and not being 100%, she didn't have the strength.

    Kate Beckett's scar location(warning make-up blood): http://twitter.com/#!/Stana_Katic/media/slideshow?url=http%3A%2F%2Fyfrog.com%2Fh7lygikj

    The therapist signed off on her for the department, but that doesn't mean he doesn't also have a private practice. She is going by choice now, so maybe he wouldn't have a mandate to report her. However, I think most of what he said in both sessions was wrong. The shrink was telling her she was weak, needs to quit, and has a screwed up set of core values. Castle and especially Esposito did a better job helping her by telling her how to use what she was feeling to be strong.

  10. So the scene where she walks into the police department and people are coming out of nowhere and it's so loud and discordant and confusing?

    I have it saved. And I will happily stuff it down the throat of anybody who says Fates Chuck is weak for pausing before he goes outside or deals with a lot of people. :)

    Thought the scene in the apartment was over the top, too, but SK freaking killed this week. Also, I adore that Castle didn't push her too hard. Liked that the episode allowed them to play to their strengths (each figured out some part of the killer's motive, Kate because she put herself in the killer's shoes and Castle because he noticed details like the brush strokes in the little paper cutout). Castle choosing to stay where he would be most helpful was actually a step up that will help him loads with the new Captain, I think.

    The scene with Epsosito and Beckett was astounding. The season seems a lot more hit and miss than most, but the hits are just phenomenal. As for the misses...I facepalmed at Kate wandering around the city with a huge sniper rifle (a friend of mine lived in Fredericksburg during the DC Sniper time, so I got a firsthand account of what it was like in that area, and there's no way that wouldn't have caused some panic). Didn't really get why she couldn't climb the ladder until I came here, either.

    I'm so glad people are more astute than I am. You all make me feel smarter by proxy.

  11. MadjeKnotts28.11.11

    I don't think her shrink works for NYPD because I think she wants to keep the fact she's in therapy underwraps. I think she decided on her own that she needed someone to talk to and decided to pay to visit him. That's what it seems like to me at least.


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