Member Article: HUNT: Reality Check

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“Writers, we’re really good at altering reality to fit the narrative,” Rick informs Trapper John in season four’s “Cops and Robbers,” explaining how infamous bank robber Willie Sutton never said: “That’s where the money is,” a reporter did. Rick bravely adds: “And the story I see you guys spinning here is really not about stealing money.”

Rick is correct. It isn’t about money. “Something is going on here; ...something weird is going on here, and we need to figure out what it is,” Rick tells his mother, both of them and others hostages in an apparent bank robbery. In “Cops and Robbers” we see the template for “Target.”

Again, misdirection and reality altering shake us up, the police, the FBI, Kate and Rick…at first. Our perception of reality is dead wrong. “Target,” the first of two parts is not about kidnapping a student for ransom, Sara el Marsi, daughter of a millionaire of dubious, foreign political complications and of her friend Alexis Castle, caught up innocently in the intrigue. Alexis is not the girl in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Alexis is the target.

Hunt 1

How many times has Rick said blithely or otherwise seriously: “And I know what to do!” In “Cops and Robbers,” Rick, making a foray to the bathroom to survey the situation reassures his mother, “Don’t worry, mother, I saw this work on ‘Die Hard.’”

Is Rick “going Liam Neeson on us,” Ryan alludes, suggesting the scenario in “Taken,” being duplicated by Rick: A distraught father, ex Special Forces, Intelligence, crosses France on a wild and violent mission, goes rogue to save his kidnapped daughter, freeing both of them from the horror and the nightmare.

Rick has money and some connections. We collectively hold our breaths for a week of horrifying suspense, waiting, worrying about all of the ramifications for Alexis’ life, for Rick and Kate as a couple, the outcome, the twists, the hints of Rick’s father on the scene. We have been set up; now the reality awaits: “Hunt.”

“I don’t look, I hunt, and trust me you don’t want that,” Kate threatens Trapper John as the “Cops and Robbers” scenario unfolds. Rick begins “Cops and Robbers” looking to get involved with a case, anything to get away from his mother’s loan application fiasco. Throwing Kate a bit out of sync, Rick quizzes Kate: “Tell me you need me.

As the robbery unfolds, Kate searches for the reality of the narrative and explains to the Captain in charge: “Something is going on here; we’re just not asking the right questions.”

On the inside Rick takes charge and promises his fellow hostages: “I’m going to figure how to get us out of here.” And he does. The apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree, this ingenuity: Morse code; lock picking; caring calm in face of dread, family traits as evidenced by Rick and Alexis, perhaps inherited from a father, a grandfather whom we will meet… soon.

Undercover, risking her life, in the bank, Kate reassures Rick: “I want you to know there are people out there who care about you. I promise you I’ll get you out of here.” And well she could be talking about their relationship, any time, and especially now in “Target.” And “Hunt.” Each would do anything for the loved one.

“If you pull that trigger, I will walk through those doors and personally put a bullet through your skull.” Kate warns the mercenary leader. Enough said.

Later, in terror for Rick’s life, Kate stands stricken as C4 explodes; then in a scene of love’s pure expression, relief, floods Kate’s face, no guards or walls evident. Finally she watches, longingly, the family reuniting, Rick, the loving father and son embracing his family, encircling them in his protective arms. Kate’s eyes reveal; speak: Kate wants to be a part of him, of them, of this love.

“Even as a hostage,” Rick proclaims, “I help you solve murders. Beckett, I think you have the perfect partner.”

Kate concludes: “Cops and Robbers” plays out like a spy novel, for “Ron Brandt orchestrated the whole thing.” His wife faked her own death and her son’s and disappeared to escape her violent husband; “she walked away from everything she knew.” With his military contacts, her husband hires mercenaries to rob a bank, to alter reality, all to locate a safety, security box: “a cold war drop box.” And then he ruthlessly kills the mercenaries, not the hostages.

Understanding the complexity of the plot, the scheme, Rick mentions another author: John le Carre. Indeed, Derrick Storm is Rick’s spy child born from his fertile imagination. However, Le Carre, perhaps, is best known for his cold war novel: “The Spy Who Came in from the Cold,” a bleak tale set 50 years ago. Nothing is incidental or accidental in “Castle,” or so it would seem.

And we prepare to meet Rick’s father. Just who is he? Why has he been gone so long?

“The Spy Who came in from the Cold,” depicts “a complicated act of deadly triple-bluff perpetrated by the British Secret Service against its enemies,” and according to William Boyd, writing in “The Guardian,” July 2010, the novel in its “cynicism is resolutely de nos jours.” Indeed, the Berlin Wall separated a world, a nation, families, individuals: lovers.

In the end, the spy, Leamas is betrayed and tricked, now only desiring to get the girl he is with back to the West. He does not care what happens to him. The title has several meanings, but Boyd reveals one explanation which heartens, which elevates the emotions and leaves us thinking about “Hunt.”

“Coming in from the cold also means displaying a fundamental human empathy, of living with sympathy for others. It means the very opposite of being hard. The paradox at the end …is that Leamas, in refusing to come in from the cold as a spy, does in fact come in from the cold as a person. His destruction is coincidental with his attainment. In his deliberate orchestration of his death he shows that he is a human being.”

Into a heightened reality, Rick hunts, to save his daughter. Perhaps he has excluded others from his circle of love, but not Kate who participates, listens, counsels and helps Rick understand a woman’s point of view on raising Alexis. Any other wall Rick has erected is understandable, for he has no model for this kind of love and fear.

Rick often claims he never cared about a man he never knew existed. How to father, the fatherless child learns alone; he channels his love to be the nanny, the playmate, the friend, the confidant, all a single father can be to his only child. Rick’s money, his writing gives him time to be with his child; he cherishes this privilege.

In “Hunt” Rick comes running to Alexis…alone to save her and finds another father, guarding and protecting, his own father. Rick leaves for France without telling Kate or his mother, to meet his contact Gaston, a man who works as an assistant to the Minister of Defense. Rick appeals to Gaston, father to father, to help him locate a man, “a man the French government would hire when they could not afford to take official action.”

With the words: “Vengeance is mine says the Lord; I will repay,” the shadowy man approaches Rick in a church. Where does Rick start to find Alexis, with the entire city of Paris within the parameters of the cell phone intelligence? They move stealthy on to “a friend,” a unique man, blind, who can hear Rick’s heart beating, he is that sensitive to sound and Rick’s heart pounding that heavily.

Hunt 2

He analyzes Rick’s last recorded conversation with Alexis, amazingly hears a chopper and other sounds and pin points the part of town where Alexis is being held. And on Rick marches, heart racing, to locate Alexis’ holding cell, praying she is alive. The agony grieves Rick. Every move hits him harder; the chance of Alexis’ survival grows dimmer, with every lost minute and hour, but a father will not quit, and he will take risks, too, for love.

The breathless roller coaster ride builds tension, anxiety, we are numb with expectation. Next we see Kate working the case at home. Kate doesn’t look; she “hunts” and she and her team track down Roger Henson’s girlfriend, hoping for more information, and another avenue to find Alexis. Save Alexis.

Kate knows Rick must search as a father and she must search as a cop. Henson’s girlfriend snarls at Kate: “Listen Bitch, I don’t talk to cops.” Violently, without pause, Kate kicks the chair right o

ut from under her. No doubt Kate is not messing around and the rattled woman knows it.

Kate’s partner’s daughter is missing, and Kate informs the girlfriend: “You’re in my way and I’m not a cop today, honey.” Oh bad- ass Kate takes over; she doesn’t care, and she is coming down hard, ready to do anything to bring Alexis home to Rick, to Martha and to her.

They ultimately find Henson’s trashed apartment and computer and are able to salvage some data: pictures of Alexis, surveillance photos, proof she was stalked.

Alexis is the target. Kate calls Rick.

Racing, Rick continues the hunt for Alexis. They locate the girls’ holding rooms, and in a moving scene Rick finds a strand of Alexis’ red hair. Heartbreak! She was there. Now Alexis is gone.

The room is bugged and Rick and Henri inform the kidnappers through the wire that they will negotiate anew for Alexis. Henri’s words “tradecraft” grabs Rick, and sends the search to another level of danger and operations. The bugs are the work of Intelligence, spies and way beyond ordinary tracking tactics.


Meeting the men in the woods, prepared to make a three million dollar exchange for Alexis, Rick suspects something is wrong and it is. Henri, now joined by the other men, turns on Rick. No Alexis. Henri tells Rick he changed sides, when he discovers “Who your daughter really is.” She is nobody Rick cries out. What do they want from him? What is really going on?

Hunt 4

Who is Alexis? Rick cannot fathom an answer. A hail of bullets shatter the scene, killing the conspirators and saving Rick, who remains kneeling, preparing to die, in shock at first. Who is this sniper, this grizzled, older man, who demands with a touch of humor and irony that Rick gets into his car?

Rick doesn’t know where to turn now, bodies strewn all over the scene. But with a degree of humor returned, Rick claims he is not getting in the car and is angry when the guy shoots Rick’s expensive two hundred dollar phone, oh, Rick and your phones. Of course Rick needs to be reminded to grab the three million dollars and forget the phone’s expense.

The man calls himself Hunt.

All over Hunt’s home walls, pictures of Alexis hang…as a child, graduating, with family, with Kate, in all stages of her life. Rick needs answers: Who are you?”

When Rick’s phone rings, a clone, Rick speaks to the men holding Alexis, although Hunt thinks it might be Beckett, for he knows all about Rick. They want to talk to Hunt. “A life for a life,” is the demand. “If you show, I’ll spare her; if you don’t I will put a bullet in her brain.” Hunt knows everyone will be killed no matter what. But they know Hunt will come for Alexis.

Why would this man want to help Rick and Alexis? Why would he put his life on the line? “Why would you come for her?” Rick asks, but he seems to know already.

Hunt 5

“She is my granddaughter. Richard, I’m your father.” The words sink in. Rick has wondered all his life, telling Alexis that not knowing who his father is makes it possible for him to be anyone, even someone great.

But, oh, Rick is happy and oddly proud when he says: “My dad is a spy!” The man entranced with CIA, FBI, police and crime detection, and life threatening adventure is his father’s son after all.

“My dad is a spy.”

His hobbies, his brilliant mind, his survival skills, and plotting, his love of electronic equipment, of disguises, Rick comes by it naturally, and his words of encouragement to Kate, “And I’m not so bad myself scream the truth,” when he encourages her a while ago to pursue Smith’s identity.

What a moment of earth-shattering and personal discovery? My dad! Of course, Rick is thrilled.

But reality sets in. “You’ve known about me, about us all these years, and you never once let us know you were there?” How could a father do this? It hurts very much. A child tends to think maybe it is his fault or merely his presence that keeps a parent away; he is not wanted; he isn’t worthy of his father’s love. Hunt (we never get his name) sees the hurt in his son’s eyes.

“I’ve been around; we have met before.” His father followed them once to the library, his ten year old son, and his mother and gave his boy a copy of “Casino Royale.” Searching his memory, Rick recalls the man and reveals to his father: “That book made me want to become a writer.”

His father also “greased some wheels at the CIA” when Rick began his writing career. (Sophia Turner, the turncoat, was speaking the truth more or less when she plotted to reveal Rick’s parentage while planning to kill him.) “It made me feel like a father. I’ve been checking on you, your mom and Alexis your whole lives.”

He has followed his son and read all of his books. Rick’s face reveals how hard it is to find him, his father, suddenly, only to lose him. Yes, his father knows all about his son, but Rick is denied the chance to know him, to receive his love and to give love.

“What do you say, kid? You’ve been playing cop for years. Ready to play spy?” Oh, yes, to be sure. His dad knows him.

They plan an elaborate scheme to get Alexis out of captivity and run through the tunnels to the US Embassy. But first Rick sets a detonator for a 30 seconds diversion. Captured, Rick immediately runs to Alexis and they comfort each other, father and daughter looking through the wire cage, telling each other they are sorry.

Hunt 6As part of his job, Rick’s dad, twelve years earlier, arrested the KGB’s most feared operator, killing his wife. The Russian knows he can draw Hunt out if he has his granddaughter captive. Her grandfather will take care of his own. Hunt informs his enemy that he will be dead in a few seconds, for a bomb is placed in the receiver. And it explodes.

Rick uses a watch device a gadget, to explode the lock keeping Alexis caged, and away they run, together, father and daughter bull dozing their way through any obstacles.

Flashing back to their few minutes of planning, Rick recalls the conversation with his father. The child in him speaks: “We just met. I’ve got a lot of questions. We need more time.” We know it may never be, although his father holds out hope.

“That’s the job; that’s my life.” Such a lonely life it is, and we hope he makes it and gets away. He has provided for his son and for his granddaughter; he has saved them, perhaps he has paid the ultimate sacrifice. Briefly Rick’s father, the spy, has come in out of the cold.

Earlier Rick’s father tells his son: “I’ve always been proud of you…always.”

Always faithful to the ones he loves, Rick brings his daughter home to her family, to Martha and Kate waiting to celebrate Life, and rejoice in simply being together. As Martha says in “Cops and Robbers,” “Facing death demands celebrating life.” Now Alexis worries if her grandfather made it out, echoing Rick’s unanswered words to his father: “How will I know if you make it?” Rick answers Alexis: “I wish I knew.”

Alexis thanks her dad for being there for her and risking his life to save her from the monsters. Rick responds and pledges with keen awareness to his daughter: “That’s what fathers do.”

Hunt 7

After holding and kissing Kate, Rick promises to Kate not to do such a thing alone again; she must be with him. Then Rick opens a package delivered to his home, and in it finds a copy of “Casino Real.” The faithful son informs his mother that he has a story to tell her.


  1. scottish castle fan says

    Thanks Peggy. A lovely thought provoking review as “always”!
    I need to have another watch of “Hunt” before I reread it, but thats coming right up!

  2. says

    querida PEGGY le da la sensacion se que CASTLE …esta perdido en su relacion y que es KATE quien tira de esa relacion……si sois una pareja apoyate en ella ..eres PADRE y haces lo que sea .pero …….no se desde aqui se ve ..como el fin de una relacion……besos muy fuertes

  3. Morrison says

    Mr. Marlowe’s message is constant. It isn’t about riches, fame or power (for isn’t crime almost always about power?). It’s about love and family. Always.

    • says

      me encanta como ustedes ven la serie aqui somos mas duros y apasionados .vemos todo tan diferente un placer leerles a ustedes

      • Eagledriver says

        Mari, por cuatro años vimos como Rick fue pelando las capas de la cebolla de Beckett, era el quien tiraba de la relación tratando que ella botara sus murallas y se abriera con el. Ahora que son pareja es ella quien debe pelar las capas de la cebolla de Castle, los papeles se invirtieron, es ella la que debe tirar de la relación y hacer que el se abra con ella.
        No te preocupes, todo está bien. Confía en A. Marlow y su equipo.

        Peggy, awesome article as usual. This one will keep us busy analysing it a long time.

          • Ali Sr says

            Mari-confia en Peggy que tiene un conocimiento profundo de Castle por cariño a la serie y por ser profesora de literatura inglesa toda una vida.

            Al igual que tu yo me desespero montones de veces. Entonces respiro profundo y leo los articulos de Peggy. Me calmo a la americana y pacifico lo que tengo de gallega y vasca.

            Me da tranquilidad el reencuentro de Rick y Kate pues me sentia atormentada al igual que tu. Creo es buen augurio el que no solo se abrazaron sino que se dieron un beso que contenía la promesa de una continuación mas apasionada en privado. No te pareció?

            Dios lo quiera hija mia pues les he tomado un cariño a estos dos muchachos como si fueran hijos míos – que tontadas mías 😉 Bueno Mari – saludos a ESPAñA desde EUA

  4. says

    I loved it when Beckett went bad-ass all over Henson’s girlfriend. That was priceless, and unlike when she exploded at that reality show guy, this was not an act.

  5. Kathy1948 says

    Thank you Peggy for this wonderful article. I got home from my rehearsal after midnight and although one voice inside was telling me to go to bed and get some much needed rest, I could not go to bed without watching Castle. I was breathless the whole episode. Nathan Fillion knocked it out of the ballpark. I am so pressed for time these days as I am in production week for Grand Rapids Civic Theatre’s production for “Fiddler on the Roof” (I am playing Golde for the 3rd time) which opens on Friday and I have 18 performances through March 24th. On top of that my husband had a fall on the ice and ruptured his quadriceps tendon. He had surgery on Thursday and is facing a recovery period of a year or more. Top that off with having a respiratory virus for over two weeks with all of these demands on my energy and there is no time for me to get my work done or to luxuriate in multiple viewings of Castle. But I have come home on Monday nights from rehearsals looking forward to watching the latest episode and reading your article the next morning. When the show is over I will definitely be viewing most of Season 5 again. Andrew Marlowe pulled out all the stops on this two-parter and it makes me giddy in anticipation for the 100th episode which he is writing with his wife.

  6. Netsrik says

    Wow, Peggy. Just…wow. I love how you tie everything together. Whether it’s an episode this season that relates, or any other season aired. I only wish I could ever be as eloquent. :)

  7. George says

    I found it interesting that Castle always calls Martha “Mother” but when turns to tell her a story he called her “Mom”.

    • Jim says

      That was a great catch of “Mom.” I missed it the first time I watched this super episode. “Mom” was absolutely the correct word to use. Castle was, at that moment, the little boy, the son. He was not then in his usual role of grownup dealing with his childish mother. “Mom” was the perfect word for the ten year old about to tell his mother that he had just met his father at the library and his father had given him a book called Casino Royale.
      Thank you for pointing that out. The richness of Castle quality shines through again.

  8. Trueheart says

    A Father’s Love
    Forgive me for feeling or sounding like the teacher I was for 35 years, in my article, perhaps engendering discussion, throwing out ideas to her class. And waiting for the class to dig in, to take off and find its own way. This is our story.

    Can you reconcile the years of not knowing your father, of being alone, and different, with no name or picture of the man who sired you. He has his reasons. Yes. Are they good enough for the pain you have suffered silently these many years? Did you suffer at all?

    How did the rejection impact your mother and her decisions, her reality, her life-style, her narrative, her sending you off to boarding school, an elite one at that, a child alone as Rick was, with only his fantasies and imaginary playmates? Would this rejection, or scenario make you a different person, a stronger one? Do you delude yourself?

    Or just get over it, Ms H., teach, it is a fact of modern families and of today. It is what it is. It is our reality.

    I wonder if Rick has altered the reality to fit the narrative, the dream, the story of a son in search of a father, and his love. Does this man deserve his son and his son’s love? Define father.

    Can I, personally, or Martha, a single parent for all of my child’s formative years, a mother, forgive this man for his absence, for the love he has denied our child? Oh yes, he watches from afar his child grow. His conscience is assuaged. Is that good enough?

    I use an epithet I cannot write, well, just once in a while, now. I think of what ifs still, but I am over it. Is an adult child ever over it? And when he runs to this absent father, can I control my emotions, or perhaps my latent jealousy, or childish behavior. I did say I was over it.

    Can Hunt’s reasons, his service in this case, excuse him his absence? He has chosen a life alone, without family and friends; he is the loser here, denying himself the love of his child and the joy such love brings. Does the story, the narrative we all want to believe in, especially Rick, excuse the reality, Hunt’s actions.

    We all knew the direction this story was heading: a kind man, a loving man meets his father for the first time. I wrestled long with my WWID feelings, choosing to hold them at bay, somewhat. Well. I believe in forgiveness. Does Hunt redeem himself in his son’s eyes?

    “Castle” is about family and redemption, reconciliation and love, a mature love that sometimes comes slowly, is shared with a look, a touch, a gentle kiss, compassion, connection and understanding.

    Passion is reserved for those private moments we sometimes glimpse. Still I thought all week long that if ever there were a time to tell a man how much you love him, this would be the time. But Kate’s actions ring louder than any words: she cares; she wants only him; she needs him; she loves him.

    We only have so much time here, in an outtake, Jim Beckett advises Rick; make the most of it. And sometimes love comes slowly, burns quietly, forgiveness too: that’s a good thing.

    Peggy…I think I shall watch my favorite show again. and then take a nap.

  9. southerngirl says

    After watching last night, I couldn’t wait to read your take Peggy (wished I could have talked with you right then). Your insights are nothing short of amazing. Contrasting this episode with Cops and Robbers was genius. That may be my all-time favorite episode mainly b/c of Rick’s smarts and bravery and Kate’s absolute commitment to him permeating every scene and line of dialogue – just like in Hunt last night. But until you pointed out the similarities, I had not made the connection between the episodes. You open our minds to a greater understanding of the intrinsic appeal of Marlowe’s story. You show us that the characters’ reactions and feelings towards their experiences (and the experiences themselves) form the fabric that defines them. Marlowe crafts each of his characters growth throughout the series. Not one of them is stagnant; instead, each evolves and changes. Everyone’s path remains fresh and often unexpected. Thus, the seductive charm -of this show! Thank you Peggy, always – Shannon

  10. jaciris says

    Merci Peggy de si bien résumer les épisodes de Castle.

    I am from Quebec, Canada. My language is french, I don’t understand very well english.
    In Quebec, we can see Castle in french on TV channel but also in english on monday night.
    I find writers very talented and without you and your resumes I don’t understand all references with others episodes or other films.
    You put the accents on subiltys of their language and that help me.
    Please continue

  11. says

    I liked that Kate the cop worked in tandem with Rick the father… no conflict here! She didn’t need to do Paris to support her man. Very intelligent thinking on her part! Peggy, you romanced it again! Thanks!!

  12. Ali Sr says

    Dear Peggy: Once again, thank you for your insights. Seldom do I blindly follow, in your case I make an exception. You are like the “bone marrow” of our beloved Castle & have been bestowed an understanding few, if any of us, have.
    I choose not to “over think” as long as you write. End of “subtext” issues.
    Here are some of my impressions because I know you care. For Rick meeting his father has been Mana from Heaven. Even though condensed, his life now has a beginning and an end. Neither his Mother or Father freely chose not to be together. Both loved him deeply. Both did above & beyond what they could to provide for Rick’s every need – unbeknown to him – loving unselfishly & sometimes enduring criticism for things completely out of their control. He should come out a better man all around for now the writer has a story from beginning to end.
    I thought all the women in his life proved their love – lucky Rick 😉 – Martha a rock: Where do you want me? Alexis regretful for seeing her Dad risk his life even though through no fault of her own. And my beloved Kate – the epitome of unconditional love. I questioned Rick’s attitude much like Mari from Spain. Cold towards Kate? The end of this relationship? After all, so much stress & emotions will cause havoc all around. But no, they came home to Martha & Kate and we saw what we expected: a hug between Rick & Kate but oh, to my surprise, they kissed like two lovers with the promise of ensuing passion. 😉 Oh yes, the future predictions I leave to Peggy TrueHeart – she is amazing. But I really needed to see, at least for NOW, a clear indication that passion will ensue this kiss…Thank you Lord…there is a God & He has a sense of humor ALWAYS !!! :) :) :) :)

  13. CarlagUK says

    Excellent article. Loved it!
    My one hope here is that Castle tells Beckett what really happened out there, baring in mind that it is supposedly top secret and as Alexis said, they can’t talk about it. If he holds anything back from her now, could it fuel the tiny flame planted by Meredith in ‘Significant Others’ ? Might be interesting to see what happens there. Personally I feel that he is in a safe enough place with her to reveal this and also think that if not shown on screen, Kate will have been made brought up to speed. Another reassurance of his comittment and love.

    • Wendy says

      My take on the end is that Rick is going to tell his mother what really happened. Kate is there, and Rick will share that story with her as well.
      The scene with Kate and the girlfriend also flashed me back to Kate and Trapper John. I am recently unemployed, and I have watched all the episodes of Castle over again in order a couple of times. A pleasant distraction from my current reality. Seeing the shows in order one after the other has given me new insights into the series. As I watch, I see hints of things to come that I know about only because I’ve already seen the ‘future’. I’ve noticed nuances in the script that I had missed before. I sometimes watch a scene focusing on the periphery, so I can catch little things that really mean a lot. I didn’t notice Kate hooking arms with Alexis and giving her a side hug until I watched ‘Hunt” for the third time. It was as if we were seeing a family reuniting, and Kate was a true part of that family.

  14. the turtle says

    Thanks again Lady TrueHeart. As always, you remain true to the Heart in all things. Your writings are always on my list of favorite things to experience. I’m once again drawn into a world that I just left, yet seeing it for the first time through another’s eyes. I enjoy my CasKett journey and experience, then I get to enjoy it again as I watch it with and through you. Thanks again.
    Your biggest fan, The Turtle

  15. catluver aka Donna says

    Peggy, I am stealing another person’s lines here but feel they fit. I had seen this episode 4 times before reading your review. I watched it as I read and feel like ” a blind person” who now can see. It’s like seeing it for the first time with all you explanations and insights. Thank you, as “Always”

  16. femmefan1946 says

    While I enjoyed the summary and commentary, I have to say that I thought the second part of the story was weak.
    If anyone has ever dipped into the wiki, you may have found the trope Fridge Logic. ( ) which basically is about how a story seems fine when you are reading it, but falls apart ten minutes later when you actually think about it.
    I thought the first weakness was casting James Brolin. Specifically, his voice is weak. He sounds older than he is which makes him less likely as an action hero.
    I also found him unconvincing as the bio-parent of NF. Too small. NF is a very large man and was even when he was playing Captain Mal. Brolin is actually a few centimetres taller, but he is quite slim. Add that to the thin Susan Sullivan and … no it just doesn’t work.
    And who gives Casino Royale to a ten year old? Had any of the writers even read the book? Most of it would be incomprehensible– a lot of esoteric stuff about gambling and set in the distant past to boot (circa 1950).

    Plus we are being asked to believe that the Big Bad, 12 years after the death of his wife, some of which was spent in a Chechen jail (which would make an Iranian captivity seem like a pleasant vacation) manages to identify the secret agent who put him there, learn about a love child from a one night stand 40 years earlier, and learn enough about his son and his grandchild to set up a very elaborate and expensive plot to kidnap her. Okay, the ransom for Sara might have helped with the budget, but still that’s a lot of front money.
    How much does it cost to rent a mansion in downtown Paris these days? Piff!

    That being said, the core cast was wonderful. I loved that Molly Quinn was allowed to be smart and resourceful and not some wimpy sniveller waiting for rescue. SK found new ways to show how her tough cop persona is affected by her discovery of her deep love for Castle and for his family. And yeah, the table tossing was great!
    And Nathan. Well. All the rom-com stuff he handles so brilliantly, and he is an astounding comic actor. Check him out waiting for his lover in this clip when he was about 24 ( ). The premise is kinda icky, the dialogue worse, but his nervousness is both funny and touching.
    But when he has to be serious, even dangerous, he is totally believable. The “torture” of the kidnapper (and SKs reaction to it) was solid. There is a scene in Firefly where he does much the same, walking into the cargo bay where a girl is being held at gunpoint and taking the bad guy out without breaking stride, character, or the viewer’s belief.

    BTW, tvtropes has a hilarious article on Castle itself. Be warned that many of the contributors appear to be young men.