Season 4 Episode 9

Kill Shot

Aired Monday 10:00 PM Nov 21, 2011 on ABC

Episode Fan Reviews (10)

out of 10
299 votes
  • PTSD


    If you would look up PTSD, the symptoms are accurately written by the writers and skillfully portrayed by Beckett. If anyone says that Kate is too much of a strong character to show any weakness, well...they're simply wrong. Especially since Kate admits at the end that her weakness started with her mother's death, YEARS before she was faced with death of her own. So when those yet unsurfaced issues were triggered by this sniper case, it was more than reasonable to see her at such an emotional state.

    Well Done Stana!

  • Awesome!!!


    The episode will go down as one of the favorites in the entire series. The way the writers handled the PTSD is so accurate that many people who suffered the same relate to what Det. Beckett is going through. We saw how Beckett's layers melted away bit by bit until she broke down in that intense scene in the employees room. Stana Katic is one amazing actress that she made the viewers felt the pains and vulnerability of her character. Hands down to her brilliant performance.

    Esposito is the man in this episode. He walk us through everything we need to know about the snipers, weapons, shooting. I almost cry when he handed the riffle to Beckett in that amazing scene in the evidence room and I fell in love with him when I saw that it was him who save Beckett this time.

    Overall, fantastic episode. It will rank up their with the Knockdon and knockout.

    Who's with me that Stana deserves an EMMY for her portrayal here???

  • Superb, thank God for Stana Katic!!


    I have to say this was probably the best episode of Castle to date. I don't know what the person who scored this a 4 was watching but each to their own. And the other viewer of Castle who missed 'Castle' in this episode. It is a character driven show and the main characters are Castle AND Beckett and this was yes, far more Beckett centered and it was refreshing in my eyes to see the superb support cast assist in the acting here, I'm not a huge Nathan Fillion fan so its hard for me to stay unbiased on this subject but it was a serious matter ep and Nathan in my opinion cannot do serious well.His comic timing and banter is his strong point so this episode was better to leave him aside a little and let Esposito fill in the void. Castle did however take part it wasn't as if he was completely useless as the person suggests. He does spot the connection between the victims, finds the doll and then what they mean, the coffee cups and give pointers at the original crime. So not all to waste, it is unrealistic to think he would be more clued up on the snipersubject than military based Esposito.

    Also Stana Katic deserves another big nod for this and more recognition again than she ever gets. I'm not sure what else this woman can do to get some critical acclaim because in my eyes she is by far the best drama actress on US TV at the moment.

    Really hope the next episode lives up to the hype its getting from fans and the writers and co, when its written by the creator and lead writer its got to be superb, which means 3 out of 4 of the last episodes for me are fantastic so hope this is the case and they don't start plopping in filler episodes like the diar Heartbreak Hotel a couple of weeks back.

    Great to love this show and be so hyped again about it. Long may it continue...

  • Brilliant episode. I'm not even going to bother reviewing it. I would just be saying the same thing everyone else is! Well written, gorgeously acted.


    Also, tomnementh01, I think it was starkly clear throughout the episode that there wasn't much Castle could do. Cuddle her, comfort her, whatever..but it wasn't actually going to help her deal with it. But Esposito could, and he reached to her through him.Sometimes it is just about taking a back seat. Castle recognized that, and he did it. It's as simple as that! There is nothing inconceivable about it. He was just trying to give her some space!

    Also, there is grief and then there is PTSD. If you actually do some research on the topic, you'll see that Castlehas actually done it pretty well. This is for everyone who is having issues about the PTSD thing. According to people who have been in her shoes, ( her reactions were actually realistic. Also, no one's trying to make you laugh. PTSD isn't something to laugh about.

    'she's in the wrong job.' The girl is suffering from a disorder! A very serious one at that. She was in pieces. Give her a break!

  • Beckett must re-learn that guns have no minds; they are only weapons – and anything, whether used properly or misused utterly, can become a weapon.


    "Kill Shot" reigns as one of the strongest, best-written episodes of the entire Castle series, with exquisite acting, careful plotting, satisfying if painful character development, and marvelous attention to such details as the lighting of sniper hides, a psychiatrist's office, and the evidence room; the boisterous noisiness of a bus full of adolescents; and the careful, almost painful, close-ups, especially of Beckett and Esposito.] In perhaps Stana Katic's most exquisite acting of the Castle series to date, Beckett denies, succumbs temporarily to, admits, and then confronts the PTSD resulting from her near-fatal wounding by a sniper at the end of Season 3. In this character-driven episode, several male characters provide anchors for, and contrasts to, Beckett's turmoil. Michael Dorn [of Star Trek: the Next Generation fame] as psychiatrist Carter Burke projects depth: depth of calm, depth of comprehension, depth of compassion. Without pushing, he quietly tells her some uncomfortable truths which she needs to accept in order to truly begin the healing process; his non-judgmental affirmation, both of her need for healing and of the fact that she may not yet be ready for further work, allows her the freedom to choose her next steps, the freedom to admit, finally, that her psychic wounds predate by many years her being shot a few months ago.

    In a similar fashion, Esposito shares his truths with her, even when she does not, at first, want to hear them: he is the only one of the team besides Beckett to have endured the same sort of PTSD. When Castle, discussing that fact with Esposito, asks, "What helped you?", Esposito's eyes tell us that he knows how to get through to Beckett – and he does. Alone in the evidence room with Beckett, Esposito shows her the weapon used to shoot her – and it is Esposito who then reminds her that a sniper's rifle is only a weapon, without personality or will of its own. When Esposito adds that murderers are "damaged goods," Beckett admits that she, too, is damaged goods. Instead of giving her a "No, of course you're not" pep talk, Esposito agrees with her – and then tells her, "Now use it." [As Katic outdoes herself in this episode, so does Jon Huertas; we have seldom seen such depth and fine detail of Esposito's character.]

    Somewhat less calm than Burke, somewhat less firm than Esposito, Castle reins back his badinage completely, but stands up to Beckett's refusal to admit her PTSD. Sensing that she needs emotional space as much as she needs help, he keeps most of his concerns for private conversations with Ryan and Esposito. In a reverse of his usual go-where-Beckett-goes M.O., Castle points out, as she is leaving for more investigation, that he can be of more use at headquarters helping to sort out the rapidly-accumulating clues – and he reassures her that she's doing just fine. [Further evidence of Chief Gates' gradual acceptance of Castle's usefulness to the team, introduced last week, is shown as she genuinely interacts with him, eschewing her usual sarcasm, just as he eschews his usual wisecracks.]

    Without dealing as directly with Beckett as do Esposito, Castle, and Burke, Ryan offers his quiet and competent support and reassurance, working steadily in the knowledge that catching this sniper is the best thing he can do for Beckett just now. As often before, Ryan and Esposito join ranks to support and protect Beckett if she needs it – and they do so without any suggestion that she might be incapable of acting on her own. All members of Beckett's team remain equal, no matter whose life manifests the most tension and stress in a particular episode. And Gates is beginning to emerge as an actual character with actual thoughts rather than as merely a monumental pain in the fundament, capable only of knee-jerk sarcasm.

    Although this episode lacks the usual detailed subplot, Alexis and Martha once again provide both moral and practical support for Castle; Alexis discovers the key to the cipher of what those paper dolls mean. Instead of a subplot per se, this episode compares and contrasts Beckett's PTSD with the trauma which powers the sniper; in their confrontation, the differences spring into bold relief.

    As mentioned above, even the lighting of this episode, particularly the deliberate half-illumination of Beckett's and Burke's faces as the two of them confront the "darkness" and "light" characteristic of Beckett's life, further enhances the overall excellence of this episode. The settings are dark; the crimes are dark; the emotions are dark. . . yet the episode leaves the viewer certain of "lighter" days to come in the lives of Beckett and her team.

  • 409


    "Kill Shot" was a very powerful episode of Castle, and it was a good show, but I feel like it "insisted upon itselfa little bit," to borrow a Peter Griffin expression. Stana Katic is fine at what she does, but she is not capable of pulling over one of these ultra-emotional storylines and her battle with Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome was actually a little hackneyed at times.

    Still, a strong ending, and a strong beginning and middle as well. This is what Castle can do when it has those more serious episodes.

  • Castle cannot do serious, please stop trying.


    Second "serious" episode in the season after the season opener and it was almost as bad (I gave that one a 2).

    This series is supposed to be a bit more tongue in cheek and the episodes with these properties are always a joy to watch.

    Unfortunately for some inexplicable reason they need to have episodes where one of the characters has a serious dilemma and needs to be helped to overcome it. In all these episodes the character of Castle takes a back seat and is sorely missed. Most viewers seem to see these very bad dramatic episode as very good (mostly citing "good character development" as excuse), but this is not the case here. Come on admit it, these are sleep evoking at best.

    Dear producers of this show: you are not capable of making any dramatic episodes so please stick to what you are good at: episodes with some funny elements and where Castle takes centre stage.

    I am already looking forward to the many "disagree" I will get, proving my point really.

  • I want CASTLE back. This entire season has been one downer episode after another. Please go back to what made this show stand out from the others.....the light-hearted fun I've come to love.


    I want CASTLE back. This entire season has been one downer episode after another. Please go back to what made this show stand out from the others.....the light-hearted fun I've come to love.

    While I appreciate Stana's talent and she did an admirable job in this episode, I am exhausted watching Beckett this season. And I'm even more tired of seeing her horrible treatment of Castle week after week. Just wrap up this now absurd storyline about her mom's murder and MOVE ON!!

    I also whole-heartedly agree with whoever asked where the hell Castle was this episode. But I'll go one further...where has he been ALL SEASON?? The show is still called CASTLE, right?

  • Interesting Episode.


    I agree with the other reviewers as I too prefer the lighthearted episodes and Castle/Beckett banter. This episode didn't have much of that, but a sniper is a very serious matter, as is PTSD, which people do struggle with. I disagree that someone with Kate's personality wouldn't get it. That's not true. Mental health issues are far more prevalent in our culture than most realize and they can happen to anyone. It's sad that in our society, there is still a stigma attached to it any a lot of people suffer in silence.

    I've never been shot or had anything worse than a minor car accident happen in my life, but I would think that any major life event can cause depression, anxiety disorder, PTSD or any number of other diseases that are just as real as any physical ailment.

    I think this episode was well done. The first one of Season 4 (Rise) was all about the post-shooting Beckett and her relationship with Castle as well as an adjustment to the new Captain (I miss Capt. Montgomery more with each episode). In this show, the case was central to the backstory and in fact the cause of it.

    Castle giving her the space she needs was undoubtedly very, very hard but it's what she needed. It was also nice to see Alexis and the role she played in identifying a key piece of evidence central to solving the case. I love the Rick/Alexis relationship as much as any in the show.

    For me, there's no such thing as a bad Castle episode. This one wasn't the best of the season, but it was an enjoyable one.

  • What was the Writer Smoking

    Look, as far as I'm concerned, there is no such thing as a bad episode of "Castle". However, there is a discrepency in the episode "Kill Shot" that bears mentioning. It isn't noticed until Castle is explaining to the team the meaning of the paper dolls. When he holds up the one called "The Persecution of Kings', the captain says "Henry Wyatt was killed on King Street." HOWEVER. The first place that they found that the shooter shot from was the place from which Henry Wyatt was shot from. The second "hide" they found, Esposito found the moleskin, and the lighter colored paper doll was the place from which Sarah Vasquez was shot. In order for the dolls to be correct, the Persecution of Kings paper doll had to be in the room where Sara was shot from, not where Henry was shot from. Since the first"hide"they found was where Henry was shot from, they should have found the Fall from Grace(yellow) paper doll.

    I've probably confused you with this,..sorry. If you go to the link below, you'll understand. It is the subtitles for the hearing impaired for this episode.
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