Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
Castle: After Hours (2012)
The Hunters Became The Hunted
LOTS OF SPOILERS. Do not read if you haven't seen it...
With all apologies to the Monty Python players, this episode of Castle was defined one chief thing: tension. Tension, and an overriding sense of doom. TWO things: tension, and an overriding sense of doom. And claustrophobia. Three! Three things....
I really enjoyed "After Hours," because it was a radical departure from the norm. Beckett and Castle, usually the hunters, became the hunted. As I've said before, yes, we all know they're going to get out of it. Still, I was on the edge of my seat. This entire episode reminded me a lot of the last five minutes of "3XK," when Castle realizes that he's alone in a motel room (Ryan having been knocked out) with the killer. And in both cases, a carefully worded phone conversation served as the SOS.
I'll admit to be taken completely by surprise when it was revealed that Leo was the killer, and a smart criminal to boot. If I may pat myself a little on the back, I did figure it out when FBI Agent Lucas said Dolan was not the bad guy, but rather a state witness; but that was about 30 seconds before Leo revealed himself.
Two bits of insight I will take credit for: when Castle said, "It's a Vatican conspiracy," I knew a Da Vinci Code reference was coming; likewise, when Castle started tinkering with the CB radio, I knew the word "MacGyver" would follow.
Along those lines, a few other noteworthy lines included:
Castle: "How about we dive into this dessert? Because honestly that death thing is sounding pretty good right now."
Castle: "I'm just saying there have been worse dinners." Beckett: "Like what?" Castle: "Well, the dining scene from Alien comes to mind."
Ryan: "Catholic school is like combat. Unless you've been there, you don't know." (I've heard a lot of people say that.)
Castle: "Dude. Where's your car?"
They even gave one to Leo: "I may be safer outside."
Above and beyond mere "looks" were scenes full of looks: the entire dinner party; Beckett's and Castle's bickering after the dinner party; and Ryan's body language from merely thinking about -- let alone being in the presence of -- a nun.
My only picky little complaint: Castle's speech to Dolan about not shooting Leo being what Father McMurtry would have wanted was nice and touchy-feely; a more direct disincentive would have been Beckett saying, "I'm a cop. If you shoot him in cold blood, I have to arrest you for murder."
All in all, though, I thought this was a great episode. Next week's looks to be a little lighter.
Castle: The Final Frontier (2012)
Funny Funny Funny Funny
By Michael Seese
Funny, funny, funny, funny, funny, funny, funny episode. Did I mention I thought it was funny?
"The Final Frontier" was just a wonderful show. I suspect that the direction of Jonathan Frakes had something to do with it. Though I've never met him, of course, I just get the impression that he has a great sense of humor. And it showed.
First, let's dispense with the formalities.
Murder? Check. Lots of suspects? Check. Motives? Not at first, but then...check. They solved it? Check. Nice bit of insight in to Beckett's soul? Check. (The scene where she explained why she liked Nebula 9.)
MINOR SPOILER IN THIS PARAGRAPH! One picky thing: at the end, when they were examining all the suspects' hands under the UV light, they seemed to pretty easily accept Winter's alibi that he bought a gun and shot it that morning.
OK, so let's talk about lines, looks, and references. For the sake of level-setting, normally when I take notes on Castle, I use ¾ of a sheet of paper. This one took 1 ½ pages.
Beckett: "What caused the wound?" Medical Examiner Perlmutter: (Pause) "No clue."
Perlmutter: "Detective Beckett. And non-detective Castle."
Beckett: "This coming from the man with a life-sized Bobba Fett in his bathroom." Castle: "Point taken."
Castle: (After seeing Alexis in her cleavage-baring costume): "How am I going to un-see that?"
Beckett: "I know about the threesome with the Lt. Chloes. How much worse can it be?"
Castle (channeling Jean-Luc Picard): "Let's make sure no one forgets the name Enterprise."
Stephanie: "Lt. Chloe bobbleheads!" (The delivery was everything.)
Ryan's quizzical, "The Nebula 9 Fan Club?" followed by Beckett's uncomfortable, "Yeah, I understand they have a loyal following."
Castle's amused blink-blink when he said, "Kate Beckett! You have a Nebula 9 outfit."
Castle's true shock / horror when Beckett appeared in the hot costume and the hideous mask.
And the entire scene where Ryan and Esposito were interviewing witnesses was precious. I especially loved Espo's face when the girl in the leaf costume pulled one off, wrote her number, and walked away. Then he added weakly, "You took my pen."
And I have to admit, I loved Stephanie's "death throes" as they were re-enacting the crime.
Of course, I'm sure I missed a few. And others were so obvious that I didn't even record them. But the most noteworthy:
"Star Trek. Battlestar. And that other show by Joss Whedon." The latter, of course, is "Firefly" starring you-know-who.
"Fracking amazing." "Frack" was the f-word equivalent in the original "Battlestar Galactica." It might have been used in new one as well; but since I only saw bits and pieces of several episodes, I can't say for sure.
The song played at the end was "Ideal Woman" from the William Shatner disk "Has Been." Incidentally, that is a great album; it definitely is one of the "Ten I'd Want On A Desert Island" disks.
Castle: Probable Cause (2012)
"Probable Cause" illustrates why Castle is a great show.
One word: intense.
I'll repeat a phrase I know I've used before. "Probable Cause" illustrates why Castle is a great show. You knew Castle wasn't guilty, even in the face of the video evidence. So the fun came from watching the events unfold and wondering exactly what was going on. And when exactly what was going on was revealed, it caught me completely by surprise. Also, I loved that the real culprit came forward halfway through, resulting in a tense cat-and-mouse game for the rest of the show.
And the villain is one horrifying cat. When I first watched "3XK," I said aloud that I hoped they'd bring him back; apparently the writers listened to me.
Though light on humor (I imagine "The Final Frontier" will remedy that), there were so many stellar moments.
The range of emotions portrayed on Beckett's and Castle's faces as she arrested him was spectacular acting. The scene at 2420 Nicholas -- 3XK's workshop -- was pure tension.
But the climax ...
When Beckett and Castle stopped to wait for the bridge, my wife said, "They're ..." Well, I won't repeat it. Suffice to say, the adjective she chose shares a lot of letters with "firetruck." The focused intensity on Beckett's face as she approached 3XK's car, firing, was amazing. So, too, was Castle's determination when he "manned up" and shot. (In sharp contrast to his milquetoast fight-esque in McCrawley's Bar in "Headhunters.")
The perfect coda came from one of the final exchanges.
Beckett: "He's dead." Castle: "For now."
My only gripe comes from that final scene. We know 3XK is brilliant. We know he's a consummate planner. So when Beckett marched toward his car, blasting away, I said, "He's wearing armor." In fact, I probably said it loud enough that Beckett should have heard me. Then when Castle picked up the gun, I thought, OK, you know Beckett shot him and he's still alive. He wearing Kevlar. Go for the head. Go for head! But of course, had they done that, he really would be dead, and not able to appear in any future episodes, which now we are guaranteed will happen. (Since I know the writers pay close attention to my ideas.)
Castle: Murder He Wrote (2012)
My least favorite episode of the young season
This was my least favorite episode of the young season. I can appreciate that the writers want to shake things up by putting the leads into new locales. But as I've said at least once before, I really consider New York City to be one of the characters. So if you take the show out of the city, it loses something. That's why "Murder He Wrote" left me lukewarm.
Still, there were many good elements worth mentioning.
SPOILERS IN THIS PARAGRAPH Four standout scenes come to mind. The first was the gang's inquisition of Beckett as they sought her boyfriend's identity; you just knew Castle couldn't resist lobbing a beach ball like, "A boyfriend, Beckett? Really?" Also noteworthy was Castle's and Beckett's back-and-forth as they realized that Franklin was the meth king of the Hamptons. Another was Ryan's interrogation of Aaron Lerner, especially the way he ratcheted up the intensity as he drew closer to cracking, not the case, but the Castle-Beckett romance. (Nit-pick: why wasn't Esposito on the other side of the one-way glass providing a second set of eyes and ears? They ALWAYS do that.) Finally, there was the speaker phone conversation between Castle (with Beckett listening in) and Ryan, where the two of them came to the dreadful realization that Ryan knew.
I also love how Castle's Ferrari has become the currency for favors from the boys, as in "Headhunters" last season.
SPOILER HERE The ending, likewise, was a nice surprise. As was the case with the episodes "Til Death Do Us Part" and "A Deadly Game," the killer was someone who was not even on the radar, but popped up at the last minute.
My two favorite lines were:
Castle: "Call 911." Beckett: "Really?"
"Suspects tend to hold back on stuff like that," said by Castle to Chief Brady, in reference to the affair between Franklin and Natalia Roosevelt.
There were very few "looks." The best was Esposito's quizzical eyebrow arch as Castle and Beckett went their separate ways after the "boyfriend" discussion.
Castle: Secret's Safe with Me (2012)
Overall Good Show, Though Some Iffy Plot Tricks
SPOILERS THROUGHOUT! Proceed at your own risk!
I could write this show! Midway through -- when Castle and Beckett went back to Anjelica's to confront her about the insurance fraud -- I said out loud, "The butler did it." And I was right! Castle was even gracious enough to use my exact words. Then, when they went to commercial I said, "Why commit the fraud? Just sell the $4 million bracelet for $4 million, and pay off your debts." And when they returned, what did Beckett ask Anjelica?
Overall, though, this was a mixed episode. There were a lot of good points. The homage to "Da Vinci Code" was a great way to start. In my writing, I enjoy throwing in pop culture references. (Did I mention I could have written this one?) I thought it was hilarious when Captain Gates turned into a giddy child when she saw the "Gemini" doll, and then became a fawning fan of Castle, the author. And I love the quirky characters they throw in. Last week, it was the makeup artists; this week, it was the you-store-it owner who looked at the victim's picture and said, really drolly, "She was a lot less bloody when I saw her."
My primary complaint was the plethora of plot implausibilities, some bordering on deux ex machina. Castle and Beckett wanted the contents of storage unit 317. A lot. Obviously, so did Felix. A lot. They didn't think to question him right then? Really? Wendell was able to take a photo of an artificial eye fragment and actually find the owner? Really? And then poor Wendell just happened to use the subway station which happened to have out-of-order cameras, allowing Kirby the butler to shove him in front of the train? Oh, and no one standing on the platform saw it? Really?
As always, much of the dialog had me in stitches.
Castle: "I learned so much," in reference to the time he and Alexis had "the talk."
Castle: "Mother used her Jedi mind tricks on me." (See pop culture reference comment above.)
Lanie: "Oh, you are in trouble." (After Beckett busted him rummaging through her desk.) Castle: "I'm not in trouble." (Hangs up.)
Castle: "I'm a best-selling author. Why wouldn't I have two grand in my pocket?"
Castle: "I think my hand's getting sweaty." Beckett: "I know. It's kind of gross."
And the capper, which was 50% a "look."
Beckett: "Take your hand off your tool." Ryan & Esposito: (snicker) Beckett: "Shut up."
My other favorite look was Castle's raised eyebrow when Beckett did not disavow her "kinky past."
Funny funny funny episode
Funny funny funny episode.
Funny scenes, funny lines, and funny looks.
I thought one of the best scenes took place in the medical examiner's room when Lanie bluntly said to Beckett, "You're having sex," and asked who it was. Castle, of course, demanded to know as well. And on the set of the news show, I loved Castle's attempt to play weatherman, which morphed into him channeling Superman and flying over the city. (I also appreciated the way this bit started, with Beckett in the foreground and an out-of-focus Castle in the background.) Finally, the two makeup artists were great; I would love it if they could find some way to have them in a future episode.
Oh, and I loved the upside-down camera shot when Beckett walked in on Castle and Kristina.
Beckett: "You just want me to take off my shirt again, don't you?" Castle: "What?"
Beckett: "Isn't that the reporter who shows up to cover stories in her bikini?" Castle: "I didn't... Is that..." Beckett: "You want to try that again, only make it more convincing? Castle: "No. I'm good." Beckett: "OK."
(When discussing the air quality monitor that Mandy took up in the chopper.) Castle: "The direct tox monitor. Of course." Beckett: "You have no idea what that is." Castle: "No. Not a clue."
Castle: "You didn't tell me he (Chip, the sportscaster) called." Beckett: "Really? You're going to play the jealousy card now?"
Castle (leaving for his date): "Call you later." (Pokes head back in.) "To check on the case."
Beckett: "Can we say we'll talk about needing other people, but we won't actually date other people?" Castle: "Yeah, I can do that." Beckett: "Good. Because I have a gun and you don't really have a choice."
And, naturally, the looks:
Castle's bewilderment when Esposito asked, "What? No coffee?"
Ryan's attempted explanation when Espo asked, "Are you wearing makeup?"
And THE look... Castle's smirk when Beckett said, "I keep seeing her boobs in your face." (Yes, I watched that one twice.)
Castle: After the Storm (2012)
A Great Episode...Still Hoping They Don't Jump The Shark
I'll admit that I had feared the season ending Castle-Beckett hookup would be a jump-the-shark moment. We'll have to wait and see. But I did enjoy "After The Storm."
I thought the opening five minutes were great television. It started with the awkward morning-after conversation. Then it moved to slapstick when Castle and Beckett literally fell off the bed. (And was that an elephant behind them? What is an elephant doing in Castle's bedroom?) Castle's discomfort was hilarious as he tried to shoo his mother out of the bedroom. Then, his dodge of the flying pillow was perfectly timed.
Down in the kitchen, I loved his hangover conversation, which rose and fell in volume as he tried to cover Beckett's escape sounds. Her panicked look for her brassiere had me in stitches. And it all ended with him nearly shouting, "Experience this in its fullness, untrammeled by relief from over-the-counter pain relievers." We watched that scene twice.
(SMALL SPOILER IN THIS PARAGRAPH) Plotwise, good and intense. The music which played as Beckett walked through the hall in her search for Bracken was perfect. And I thought the scene in the kitchen played out brilliantly. Perhaps I'm making a big assumption here, but it seems to me as though the writers wanted to put this story arc away -- rather than have Beckett always looking over her shoulder -- but leave it open enough to revisit.
One more kudo: visually, I thought the scene where Castle and Beckett were reflected in the television showing Bracken campaigning was a neat idea.
OK, one plot faux pas: why did Castle and Beckett have to search for Michael Smith? Why didn't they just take the photo to Mrs. Montgomery and ask, "Who is this?"
And finally, the "looks." The aforementioned first five minutes was one long exercise in looks, especially Beckett's glare from the closet. And the whole thing ended with Castle's happy realization as the elevator doors closed and Beckett said, "I'm pretty sure I'll think of something to do" during her suspension.
So, very good episode. But I'll keep looking for fins in the water.
Castle: Undead Again (2012)
You Knew It Wasn't Real; But It Was Fun
SPOILERS IN FIRST PARAGRAPH
This was a fun episode. Of course, like "Close Encounters of the Murderous Kind" and "Heroes And Villains" -- not to mention every episode of "Scooby-Doo" -- you knew it was not a real zombie. Castle even acknowledged as much when he answered Ryan, "No. You know what I do believe in? Driving Beckett crazy." But still, you want to go along for the ride to see how they're going to take a zombie killer caught on tape and turn it into a real murderer. If I may boast, I picked the killer right away. Tom just seemed like the obvious choice. (Actually, though, I have to admit that I noticed he had blue eyes, just like the still-image close up of the walking dead.) And finally there was a character -- Tom's fiancée Greta -- who actually had a New York accent.
MINOR SPOILERS IN THIS PARAGRAPH
The scene where Castle and Beckett first encounter the zombies was just superb. As I said above, you knew it wasn't real. But it didn't matter. (For the record, zombie walking is a true phenomenon; a Yahoo search yields 63,000,000 hits, the first of which is www.zombiewalk.com) Likewise, you just knew that "zombie Kyle" was going to come to life in the morgue. It was still great.
Plus, the running gag with Castle and Alexis playing laser tag -- especially the fact that she rappelled down into the living room -- was just a nice addition to the show. I hope they touch on it again at some point in the future, because it was a good father-daughter moment.
In short, "Undead Again" was another of the type of episodes which makes Castle a great show.
I think my two favorite lines were "pants-wetting terror" and (Castle, to his mother) "You will pay for your treachery." And, kudos for the cultural reference to World War Z.
Naturally, I must cite the looks:
- Castle's overall look as he listened to Charlie's frantic 911 call. - Castle's excitement when they first saw the face of zombie Kyle on the video, along with the disbelief on the part of Beckett, Esposito, and Ryan. (The random high five when Castle proclaimed, "Our killer's a zombie!" was precious.) - Beckett's confused recognition when Castle told the M.E. who is not Lanie (character name: Sidney Perlmutter) "I will treasure the special moments we've shared."
Castle: Once Upon a Crime (2012)
A Return To The Basics
This episode, to me, was very "satisfying" because it represented a return to the "basics." Shows like the two-parter "Pandora" and "Linchpin," as well as a previous "save New York from a nuclear device" episode just seem too...I don't know...BIG. Let's let Castle and Beckett solve tricky, quirky murders in New York City, and leave preventing World War III to James Bond.
So down from my soapbox...
There were two things about the "Who Done It" that I found particularly clever:
(Spoilers in the next two paragraphs)
1. This is the first time (which I can recall) that someone went from victim to suspect to guilty party. I thought the attempt at a switcheroo -- arresting the extortionist brother-in-law -- was a noble effort, but I didn't fall for it; I looked at the clock, read 10:45, and said, "Too early."
2. It was a visual clue which led to solving the case. Though I have no doubt that when we first saw "Sleeping Beauty" the bow was, in fact, vertical, I didn't catch it. But Castle did. Nice touch.
Otherwise, I registered a few noteworthy lines:
- "I'm going to erase that image from my mind with a bottle of scotch."
- "You're cute when you get angry. Not when you get angry at me."
Esposito in a suit? What the ... ?
And (yes) as always there were plenty of looks. But the best:
Castle: "There is a very avant garde subculture of fairy tale role playing."
Beckett: "And you know this how...?" (Good look.)
Castle, dreamily: "Bo Peep." (GREAT look.)
Castle: Headhunters (2012)
A Great Performance By Adam Baldwin Leads To A Great Episode
What an amazing episode of "Castle." (I was going to say, "awesome," but I'm a grown man.) The writers really worked a tightrope, teetering between dark and light. You had Slaughter's rough-housing of suspects and informants, balanced by Esposito and Ryan seeking favors from Castle in exchange for their help. The final scene, with Castle and Alexis racing for the ice cream, let us end on an up beat.
First of all, give a ton of credit to Adam Baldwin for his portrayal of Detective Ethan Slaughter. He was intense. (Though at the end, when she confronted Vales, Beckett showed that she could be intense, too.) As over-the-top as Slaughter was, the character easily could have been a caricature. Credit Baldwin for not letting that happen.
They gave him so many juicy lines:
- The aforementioned disparaging of "awesome."
- "I'm guessing 32s?" (Complemented by the camera panning up from the bullets to the medical examiner's...)
- "You got a skirt that says 'writer' on it, too?"
- "Real man land."
Two scenes stand out in my mind as being particularly engrossing and entertaining. First, Beckett's scene with "Counselor Worf" was great. Have you noticed that in her early therapy sessions, she sat and hugged herself, and now she paces and gestures? But the best was the entire scene in McCrawley's Bar when Castle:
1. Yells "NPYD" (yes, that's what he said) and then nearly get trampled.
2. Has his fight with Shea, all the while Slaughter is calmly holding Brian Reilly (the victim's father) at gunpoint and cracking peanuts.
3. Knocks out Shea with a beer bottle and, rather than make some sort of macho gesture, faints.
4. And (though it was not quite the same scene) struts into the precinct like he was a member of the Magnificent Seven.
Which leads us to "the looks." - Beckett's disbelieving stare at Castle's triumphant entrance.
- The medical examiner's panicked "no" nod when Castle asked to ride along with Slaughter.
- Slaughter's glare when Castle offered him a cappuccino.
Though Slaughter would be too much as a regular, I certainly hope they bring him back for at least one curtain call.