A quick thought about ABC’s Castle and a plot device

Castle remains the only detective show I’ve watched from day one. But every now and then the writers bug me by throwing in a plot device I hate. This week it was the collectible doll.

In the story Castle buys a storage locker filled with junk while searching for a clue to a murder. The chief instantly recognizes a collectible doll, and Castle gives it to her to complete her set. The Chief who has hated Castle from day one, suddenly becomes his biggest fan. Anyone who’s ever seen any sort of mystery knows what’s going to happen.

That’s right. The missing evidence is in the doll. Castle smashes it. The Chief can once more return to hating him

I’m perfectly fine with the idea. The Chief is a good antagonist for Castle and seeing that flipped around for an episode was somewhat amusing. However, the doll device is trite, and it doesn’t hold up to logic.

Let’s start with the obvious. The murder victim hid the evidence in the doll. That means some sort of hole was made in it. The stuff was put inside it. And all of that happened within the few weeks from when he found the evidence to when he was murdered.

Clearly there had to be a way to remove the evidence without destroying the doll. If Castle had simply taken a few moments and examined the doll, he might have been able to do that.

The show is certainly not the first do this. Consider True Lies. Terrorists hide bomb parts in ancient statues then smash them. Why not simply remove them through the same process they inserted them? It’s not like they had a time machine and had the statue maker’s build around the parts.

I get it. Smashing things is dramatic. But recognizing and altering existing cliches is much more entertaining and a good way to keep an audience.

It could have played so much better …

First, Castle initially smashed the wrong doll. That alone is enough to restore Status Quo. So why not simply have the Chief stop him from smashing the second one and remove the evidence herself without breaking the doll? That gives her all the more reason to hate Castle while also having fun with an existing mystery cliche.

Oh well, it’s not like they’re great detectives. They know evidence is hidden in the stuff from the storage locker, but rather than catalog it and examine piece by piece, they dump it in an office and rummage through it with little regard.

And while I’m thinking of it … why say GSW instead of gunshot wound? Yes, it’s an abbreviation, but it takes more syllables to say, thus negating the entire purpose of an abbreviation.

Oh well, maybe next week it will all be different.

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