And here I was thinking the Doctor Who series finale had already happened. This episode of Castle is fighting pretty hard for the Most Totally Bonkers and Crazily Surreal (Not In a Good Way) Episode of Castle Ever Award. The only thing that keeps me from giving it 30 seconds on a stage to weep about being just a show from a trailer park with a dream? It had so very much of that typical Castle camp that it was still palatable.
The Good Bits
-Castle dispensing very sage advice and acting like a good dad. “Rejection isn’t failure. Failure is giving up.” Preach! It was, of course, that 30 weekly seconds that would fit easily into a 1980s After School Special, and I did want to kill Alexis a little (see below) but whatever. Call me a softie but I do like hearing that message pronounced on television.
The Bad Bits
-Oh, GOD, ALEXIS. SHUT UP. You didn’t get into Stanford. Yeah, yeah, teenagers are mopey and emo and say ridiculous things like, “My whole LIFE was about getting into whatever college I wanted…” with the same frequency as “My whole LIFE was about getting to see that episode of American Idol,” but tell me I am not the only one who thinks that this Poor Little Rich Girl routine grated? Yes, we get it, you’re perfect, this is your first disappointment ever and-
Wait. It’s your FIRST DISAPPOINTMENT EVER. We’re supposed to feel bad about this? She has a boyfriend, clear skin, and fabulous hair. Her dad is a rich writer. She lives in a Manhattan loft that makes my Brooklyn apartment look like a shoebox. She gets top grades. And for all this she is remarkably well adjusted, dispensing wisdom like an underage and undersized Buddha. So while it does make sense we see some disappointment roll off her the sheer amount of time we had to spend rolling around IN it this episode just bothered me. Most teenagers are lucky if they are reading at their age level and their parents can afford state college. Can we get a little perspective? Aw, will she have to choose an Ivy League school now? The pain, the horror, the disappointment. I don’t know how she does it.
The What the F- Bits
-Oh, this entire plot. Seriously: a cryogenics company, eternal life, a porn mogul, and a lab scene so Doctor Whoey I thought a Silence monster was going to peer out of one of those bitty windows. But Castle does this to you, makes you roll your eyes, and then rolls its own eyes so you don’t have to. To wit:
“Does anyone else have a sudden urge to run through the streets screaming, ‘They’re here?’”
Or, when Beckett makes one of her typical cheesy puns, and Gates (Bates? I forget the new one’s name all the time) shuts her down (the way we all sort of do in our heads by now):
“Sounds like something in that briefcase was worth killing for.” [And instead of a dramatic closeup, determined look, and cut to commercial, we get:]
“Then find out what, Detective!”
Still, the episode was blah. I kept getting distracted by this, which may actually be the best marketing scheme in existence today.
The “Only on Castle” Bits
Jump into Dumpster, shouting “I’ll get the head! I’ll get the head!” Grab head encased in metal. Shake head. Announce the head seems OK.
A cyanide pill hidden in a ring. Really? Isn’t that a little Clue?
-By the way, if any of you have also played “LA Noire” on PS3, you’ll also have been able to tell Porn Guy was lying about the pigeons. Classic shifty eyes. I would have hit “Doubt” on my console and gone to my evidence book. And when I chased a guy down a fire escape in that game, it looked just as good as the fire escape scene in this episode. Very gripping stuff: step down, step down, step down; show other guy stepping down, stepping down stepping down. There’s a reason there aren’t many fire escape chase scenes, and this is it. But I suppose there was that whole, head in a jar thing to keep it interesting.
And that’s why I keep watching this show. Because it’s totally ridiculous but it lets me laugh about it.
The Best Lines
“Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, when you catch a guy with someone’s head, he killed the guy.”
“I don’t know what the mayor sees in you but I know how you’re alike. He’s term-limited.” [beat]
“Maybe if I sent her flowe-”
“Someone needs to get these girls clothes made of actual fabric.”
ALSO: Did you notice that the fancy “biometric” meters or whatever were actually BodyBuggs?
Nothing life-shaking here: murder, murder got solved. No progress on the ever ongoing drama of Beckett and Castle, and where Alexis is concerned I really just do not care. (I don’t hate Alexis as a character. I just don’t see much to really like about her either. Are we supposed to admire her perfectness and now because she didn’t get into Stanford of all places we can see her as more human? No. She’s just perfect and now whiny. I like real people! Thanks. OK, I will stop whining about Alexis. I promise. Next week. Maybe.)