I haven’t watched any Castle episodes, but when I heard there was an episode based on the Elisa Lam case, I wanted to check it out. I didn’t know much about Castle, aside from the fact that it starred Nathan Fillion who I really enjoyed from the Firefly series. The premise, gathered from Wikipedia, is that Richard Castle (NF) is a mystery writer who gets writers block and works with the police to solve mystery. The officer that he is shadowing, Kate Beckett, is initially annoyed but the two develop a relationship as they solve a string of mysteries. That’s all I knew going into the episode. As for the episode itself, it’s the season finale and is called “Watershed.” (just FYI that there will be some spoilers though I’ll try to limit myself) In the opening scene, a woman is taking a shower in a hotel (called Cedric, similar to the Cecil) when blood starts pouring out. A janitor goes up to the watershed and finds a body of a young woman. While initially, neighbors in the hotel think she’s a prostitute, it turns out she’s a Harvard student studying computer science masquerading as a prostitute. Her name is Erika Albrook and the similarities to Elisa Lam are pretty obvious, although she’s not Asian. (Thank you becklebee9nfsk3 who posted YouTube clips from which I got this image)
There’s even camera footage from the elevator where Erika pokes her head out, making sure no one is around. This is where the similarities end to the Elisa Lam case. The episode branches out into a conspiracy involving a political figure and a law firm, all the while focusing on the relationship between Castle and Beckett. That actually becomes the main focus and I enjoyed seeing the tension between the two, Beckett torn between love and ambition, and Castle also confused about what he wants. The Elisa Lam case may have inspired the opening, but from there, the writers took it in a completely different direction. They also succeeded in getting a new fan as I really enjoyed the episode and probably never would have watched it had I not heard about the similarities. At one point, Castle does make a joke about the state of their case being “dead in the water,” and another police men does not laugh in response, making him ask, “Too soon?” It’s an excellent question and brings up a point, when is it too soon to base a story off a real-life event? As the Elisa Lam case has not been solved, I know how it might indeed come across as being ‘too soon.’ I wasn’t bothered by the episode personally, though I can understand why others might be.
Some additional updates
First off, thanks to everyone who’s PM’d me, tweeted me, and just reached out to me about the case with various info. I had gotten a tweet mentioning that the toxicology results would be out last week. I still have not heard anything yet so like others, am curious what is going on. I will update if I hear anything, though by the time I hear anything, I’m sure it will be all over the internet.
An interesting but chilling fact: There is a test for Tuberculosis that is called Lam Elisa. Here is some info from this link:
The development of new diagnostic methods for the detection of active-TB, particularly for populations in which HIV/TB co-infection is high, has proved challenging. However, new commercially available Lipoarabinomannan (LAM) antigen tests, such as Clearview TB ELISA (Inverness Medical Inc.), have proved very useful as diagnostic tools for the detection of TB in those co-infected with HIV. With the availability of ELISA-based LAM antigen detection assays, researchers have sought to establish the effectiveness of the diagnostic test in people suspected of having TB. Increasingly, studies have revealed that when used as a general screening tool, the LAM-ELISA test sensitivity is significantly lower in subjects who are HIV- when compared to HIV+ subjects. (click the link below for more info)
There’s been some links and tweets about an energy weapon and some conspiracy theories related to Elisa Lam. From all the people who asked about it, I’ve found it’s just spam completely unrelated to the case. (if I’m wrong though, please feel free to ping me or message with contrary information)
Who is Elisa Lam?
I’ve read more and more from Elisa Lam’s blog called Ether Fields and I thought Emerald’s Eyes did a really insightful blog post on her thoughts about her blog which you can view here. I’ve also been heard about a ‘morbid crush’ and some stranger she was meeting up with, though I have been unable to find anything on her tumblr or blog to corroborate that.
Hopefully, there will be more results from the case soon. I’ll leave off with some words from her blog which were tragic and haunting:
Why don’t I simply do the things that I know will make me feel better?It isn’t rocket science. It isn’t that difficult. Get out of bed. Eat. See people. Talk to people. Exercise. Write. Read.If you want to do something with your life, well ok just go ahead and do something.Ugh it’s too much work and I don’t even know where to start. I don’t know how to do anything and it’ll never work. I’ll be judged. I can’t do it. I can’t do it alone. I don’t know anybody It will be a complete utter disaster and no one will care about it and of course the point of doing everything is to get attention and praise from other people. Yeah I need to get the most followers and the most views. And by doing that I have to promote myself and become a phony and pander like hell. Good job you’re really following all the ideals you hold so dearly.