Castle: Season 3, Episode 18

One Life to Lose (21 Mar. 2011)

TV Episode  |  TV-14  |   |  Comedy, Crime, Drama
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A writer of a popular soap opera is found dead. Castle and Beckett come across cheating husbands, mistresses, backstabbers and a con artist to find the killer.


(as David M. Barrett)


(created by), (as Elizabeth Davis)
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Title: One Life to Lose (21 Mar 2011)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Captain Roy Montgomery (credit only)
Alexis Castle (as Molly Quinn)
Lance Hastings
Mandy Bronson
Vince Powers
Reese Harmon
Peter Connelly
Lauren Goldberg
Carrie Edwards


Martha's connections in soap operas prove dangerous as well as practical and sexy when the chief script writer on "Temptation Lane," which once made Martha's career, is axe-murdered. After wading through theories based on actor career opportunism and private infidelity plus some far-fetched ones, Castle sets a scripted trap. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Crime | Drama | Mystery


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Release Date:

21 March 2011 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs


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Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


The soap opera set for Temptation Lane was actually the set for All My Children (1970). Two actors from that show, Rebecca Budig and Cameron Mathison, guest star here as soap actors. See more »


Richard Castle: [after interviewing a suspect] I just don't see that girl swinging an ax. Let alone leaving her house.
Kate Beckett: What's the matter, homicidal fan not soapy enough for you?
Richard Castle: You know, when you say "soapy", I conjure up images...
Kate Beckett: [interrupting him] Castle, focus.
Richard Castle: [still fantasizing] I am.
Kate Beckett: On our suspect.
Richard Castle: Oh.
See more »


References A Few Good Men (1992) See more »


Castle Theme
Written by Robert Duncan
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User Reviews

Weakest "Castle" segment so far (out of 52)
22 March 2011 | by (New York, New York) – See all my reviews

Lame writing and poor casting sink "One Life to Lose", a soap-opera themed episode of one of my favorite TV shows, "Castle". I was flabbergasted at the poor quality that managed to make it not only through script approval but all the way to broadcast.


I guessed the killer of the soap writer within the first 10 minutes, during the introduction of the dramatis personae for the week. It was the meek little writer's assistant, quickly passed over as potential suspect by our intrepid detectives & Richard Castle. Way too obvious, right down to motive and the inversion of "least guilty looking" from the old Butler Did It school of mystery writing.

Casting is a major problem here; two stars (Jane Seymour, a bona fide superstar, and to a lesser extent Corbin Bernsen) stuck out as obvious red herrings among the guest talent for the segment. I thought of "Burke's Law", the great '60s Gene Barry show that pioneered in having a star-studded roster of guest celebrities week in, week out, making it impossible to decide whether Sammy Davis Jr., or Zsa Zsa Gabor, or Tammy Grimes, or June Allyson was the guilty party. Mixing actors as prominent as Seymour into the suspect list just doesn't work.

Other examples of mistakes here began when Castle's mom, Susan Sullivan, suddenly appears and mixes with the soap cast & crew, volunteering (without objection by Castle or Beckett) to essentially go undercover on the case. I said to myself "Uh-oh", as it was ridiculous to have her put in danger, rubbing shoulders with the unknown killer, yet it took Richard Castle about three more reels to feel the same way -very poor scripting.

It's nice when the writers are a step ahead of the audience, with a possible frisson when everything falls into place and makes sense. But Elizabeth Davis, writer of this segment and story editor for the series, was so predictable in her contribution I really couldn't believe it. At one point Bernsen, as star of the soap, recounts his alibi and says "I exited", pausing, and I literally lip synched with him the next line right out of a Snagglepuss cartoon": "Stage left".

Pop cultural references were pitiful, with two, count 'em, two Matt Damon references in less than two minutes, as Bernsen mentions he's up for a big movie role to play Damon's dad in a new Coen Brothers project, and in the next scene Castle's daughter reprimands her dad for going "Jason Bourne" on ma Sullivan when he caught her and Bernsen in a too realistic violent scene read-through.

Climax of the show was preposterous: instead of playing the soap segment written by killer Tina Majorino, we watch with Beckett & Castle from the control booth as the cast enacts a scene written by Castle, laying out the incriminating facts against Majorino, in order to get her to (Perry Mason-like) confess her guilt. This gimmicky vignette really stunk.

Even the usually witty banter between Castle & Beckett with its quota of double entendres was infantile this time around. And the supporting regulars at the station house had little to do, other than ogle attractive Rebecca Budig, veteran of over 500 episodes of "All My Children" plus a stint on "Guiding Light". Perhaps a guest cast made up entirely of soap stars would have helped this clunker.

7 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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