Credit: ABC Television Group © 2010 Disney/Spoiler TV Photo: Castle, Beckett, and Kevin Examine the Suspects in Episode 3.9, "Close Encounters of the Murderous Kind"
Aliens didn’t take over as we thought they might in this episode, so let’s look at how the power was divided amongst the NYPD earthlings. Here are the Power Rankings for Episode 3.9.

Det. Beckett — Funny Power

Sometimes, Beckett seems like the girl who got cheated out of college housing and ended up living in a nearby frat house. Her strategy during the Case of Explosive Decompression was to reinforce her role as the one who has to insist there are no aliens, guys. She was effective in wielding her power, but given the unusual nature of Marie Subbarao’s case, some of her demands/questions/assertions sounded a little ridiculous, especially out of context. Some of our favorites:

“Check other altitude chambers!”

“I AM AN NYPD DETECTIVE!”

“Where are you with the vacuum packers?”

At this point, the frat guys would have sealed her door completely shut with duct tape.

Det. Ryan — The Second Power Supply

OK, how crazy amazing was it seeing Ryan and Esposito in the interrogation room? They were like play understudies who finally got their big break when the two leads got sick. And Ryan really studied his lines. The detective is coming into his own this season. He questioned Marie’s ex-boyfriend, Ted Kantor, with the casual authority of a seasoned vet. And then, during the confrontation of the spy and his Chinese agent at episode’s end, Ryan tackled the agent before he shot Beckett. But because Beckett gave him the signal that prompted this saving, he comes in second place.

Det. Esposito — Power Purgatory

Esposito really had an up and down episode, huh? He shined in interrogation room, bringing the intimidation factor while Ryan did most of the talking. But after that, he was the person at whom Beckett directed most of her frustration. When Esposito said the altitude chamber from the science center came back clean — thus eliminating it as the murder weapon — Beckett seemed genuinely angry with him, and poor Esposito looked like a long-suffering boyfriend who gets yelled at five times before noon. When he later mentioned that industrial vacuum packers have the same effect as altitude chambers, Beckett said, “Check into every single one in town. We need to locate that crime scene.” Thank goodness there are only five boroughs! Esposito, hanging on by a thread, said, “Castle, just prove E.T. did this, bro, please. I hunt people, not machines.” Since this was Esposito’s second E.T. reference (the first being when he picked up the cigarette at the crime scene), we could tell he was growing weary.