Like many other avid viewers, I tune in to ABC every Monday night to watch the latest episode of Castle. For those who aren’t familiar with the show, it’s a crime-solving storyline that focuses on the relationship between an NYPD detective (Kate Becket) and a top-selling author (Richard Castle) as they solve their cases. The show that premiered on March 26, titled “47 Seconds”, caught my attention. There is a “Take Over Wall Street” rally going on in Boylan Plaza, and just as a news reporter appears on the scene, a bomb goes off and 5 individuals are killed in the explosion. Becket investigates, Castle speculates, and together they unfold the mystery. The explosive was planted by the leader of TOWS in order to gain media support for his cause. Unfortunately, the bomb was stolen by a pickpocket, and was placed in the middle of the rally instead of behind a dumpster where it was intended to explode. The TOWS member had coordinated with the camera crew of a local media station to make sure they would arrive just in time to capture the incident on film and broadcast it to all of New York.
Of course, I drew a parallel directly to the Occupy Wall Street movement going on now. It had me wondering what types of violence involve with the movement may have been planned in order to receive more media coverage. How far are supporters of a movement willing to go to have their views made known, and how would this episode of Castle affect viewers who may not watch the news and aren’t already familiar with the OWS movement? Some TV critics who have reviewed the episode believe that the purpose of the episode is not to send a political message to Castle viewers (Wetzel). Even so, the way that the main characters act towards the incident says a lot about the networks view on the OWS movement (Wetzel). While interviewing possible suspects, different stereotypes are introduced to the audience. Several of the witnesses are passersby that are opposed to the TOWS movement. Throughout the whole investigation, there is no sympathy shown towards the protestors or their movement, only to the victims of the bombing. This in itself is a statement about the network’s or even the producer’s outlook on the OWS movement (Wetzel). One possibility is that they think OWS doesn’t deserve sympathy or attention, but another possibility is that since it is such a hot topic, the writers decided to stray from imbedding a political message into the episode. Other prime time shows, such as Law and Order SVU, have tried to use the movement as part of the plot for their show. Protesters were offended that the network would use this “very real…economic injustice” as a storyline for a show (Zakarin). Given this negative attitude, the Castle writers tread lightly when creating “47 Seconds”.
Either way, a Castle viewer who is ignorant of what is truly going on with OWS may walk away from this episode with an indifferent or possibly a negative attitude towards the movement.