ABCs Castle New Season
We’re Castle fans. Like the show, like the storyline, enjoy the investigations and we’re even surprised by some of the outcomes. But Beckett needs to go back to New York, because it’s SO obvious that Hollywood does not understand DC!
The Season 6 opener Valkyrie and Dreamworld, have so many problems in their storyline that are glaringly obvious to anyone who even remotely understands the Government. Which obviously the writers of Castle do not.
There were a few errors in episode 1, Valkyrie. But then came episode 2. When you find yourself heckling one of your favorite shows while it’s in progress, it’s a bad sign for the quality of the show. I think ABC needs new writers, or at the very least better DC consultants.
There’s almost too many examples to sight, but here are a few. And a few in one scene which tells you how much Hollywood doesn’t get it.
Episode 2 Dreamworld:
The new Special Agent Kate Beckett and her mentoring partner Agent Rachel McCord (Lisa Edelstein) find themselves investigating a secret military base located in the Middle East. Their investigation takes them to the Pentagon to interview Defense Secretary Michael Reed (Glenn Morshower).
Here’s the scene:
The Secretary walks into his outer office where the double doors are open. His admin, a Marine, jumps up from his seat behind a desk and opens the double doors to the Secretary’s inner office where Beckett and McCord are waiting. In the scene the two Agents are standing off to one side of the office and both wheel around to face the Secretary as he begins to talk down to them concerning their influence to demand his time at a moments notice. The scene continues as the two Agents ask questions about the secret base, a particular person who worked at the base, a newspaper article and some other innocuous information. At one point the Secretary turns his back on the Agents and seemingly contemplates how he’s going to respond to a question. In the background the camera view shows his desk, with an open laptop on his desk and the two agents standing on the opposite side. Ok..that should be enough of a description to start this off.
Here’s the problems with that one little scene.
- The Marine jumps up to open the doors to the inner office.
Even in the Pentagon the Secretary of Defense will most likely have at least one security guard, yes probably a Marine. And that Marine, not an admin, will be the one who opens the doors for the Secretary. Admins have stuff to do. They don’t have to jump up and open doors every time someone walks into the office.
- There is no way in hell anyone would be inside the inner office of any person at the Pentagon alone! Doesn’t matter who they are or what credentials they have. Baring the President, no one else would be allowed in an inner office at the Pentagon if the owner of that office weren’t there too.
- There’s no way in hell anyone would be in that inner office WITH the doors Closed!! What?! So not only did they get in the office, but they were in there alone? With the doors closed? For any extended period of a minute or more? Did you not notice the chairs in the outer office when the Defense Secretary walked in? Ok, good set design but terrible implementation of the scene itself.
- The Attorney Generals Office are not some radically low-level department of the Government. It wouldn’t be that difficult for them to acquire time with a Secretary in the middle of an investigation that deals with National Security. There is a strict change of command in DC. Agents wouldn’t go to the Defense Secretary without the Attorney General himself okaying the deed. Then it would merely take the Attorney General to say “Hey Micheal, I’m sending two investigators over to see you”. Done. That entire dialog was pointless and stupid.
- Of course the AGs office wouldn’t be investigating a terror threat in the first place, but let’s not put any form of reality into a fictional show, right? I mean in this episode there’s not one mention of Homeland Security or the CIA.
- Now the Agents are in his office and the Secretary is thinking up an answer. You see his laptop sitting on his desk. The laptop is open and on the screen you see what looks like some kind of report. A table graphic or a spreadsheet, something like that. There are a few issues with that one image:
- Well the laptop being there only exacerbates the idea that two people are in the inner office with probably sensitive information. A locked PC or not, anyone with a decent knowledge of technology would be able to hack a locked laptop if they had physical access to it.
- What moron would leave a laptop on their desk without a screen saver? It’s part of any pc configuration. And it would be a requirement, for any pc that has secure information on it, or access to such information to have not only a screen saver, but a locked password to regain access.
- Even if this guy was a moron and left his laptop unattended, with data displayed on the screen; when he returned to the office, do you really think he’d leave it there?
I worked in a Fortune 50 company and I can tell you that even with our access to seemingly benign access to information that certainly wasn’t on the level of a Secretary of Defense, our computers locked down after 4 minutes of non-use. Not 3, not 5; but 4 minutes. And they all required a password to get back in.
- Next, the Secretary caves to the questions being asked and divulges National Security secrets to two AG Agents who probably do not have the necessary security clearance for what he’s telling them. Even if it’s meant to be off the record or hypothetically. That entire conversation would never have happened! Period, nothing else to say.
- And that brings us to, would this entire scene have taken place at all? No. If there were questions to be asked of the national Defense Secretary, the Attorney General would a) done it himself or b) been there with his agents and asked their questions personally. The Agents probably would not be allowed to ask the Defense Secretary anything. But even if they were, there’s no way Beckett would have gone at the Secretary like a common person of interest in an investigation. So the entire scene was completely flawed. Bad form Hollywood.
There were so many liberties taken in this episode from the manner in which security was provided to the Secretary of Defense in his home, to how people were vetted to gain access to high level officials and their families, not to mention the interview of a reporter at a diner? What?
If the AGs office sent agents to find you, they wouldn’t conduct an interview in a diner! Come on! That’s not that far of a stretch is it? You have someone who is a potential valuable source of information and you’re not doing to record the interview in a secure location? Add that a reporter being questioned isn’t going to have a zillion questions of their own while being interviewed? Even if a reporter was willing to cooperate, they would still be a reporter trying to get a story. Especially if they knew it had something to do with a story they wrote that had been squashed.
If this is the quality of writing going forward on Castle, the show is going to go downhill fast. I know it’s a show of fiction. But there’s fantasy and then there’s fictional reality. I hope they send Beckett back to NYC soon. Because if they continue down this path, they’re going to ruin the show beyond repair and soon to follow will be cancellation.