This week’s episode opened with a typical Castle quip, as he stares at a corpse covered in concrete: “I’m looking at concrete evidence here!” I truly thought this would lead to an episode of hilarity and fun for the whole family. Instead, I got onslaught of tension and emotion.
During the first interrogation, we see Beckett angry. We see Detective Ryan disappointed. This small scene at the very beginning is charged with negative emotion. I’ll admit that Beckett’s anger seemed manufactured, and possibly badly acted, but the atmosphere was captured well.
As the 3XK plotline was brought back into focus, a very sombre mood was set for us. This is a relatively new approach for Castle, because while it does have sad scenes and sombre settings, the mood is generally quite lighthearted. This week we see Detective Ryan, usually participating in a plethora of shenanigans with his partner, tense and angry, with the downbeat mood music to accentuate the whole setting.
This episode of Castle really focused on that sombre mood, and really grounded the show. Even Castle descended into a state pseudo depression, which is when we really know that the episode has taken a turn to the sombre side.
Even the laughs seem forced, and the smiles, even in the Castle household where we are used to wit and jokes, are cut short by reminders of the case at hand. The only genuine smile we see in the episode is right at the end, in the picture of the girl who has been murdered.
We face death, drugs, disappointment and more in this week’s installment of Castle, and for the first time, possibly ever, we’re not smiling through it. This reminded me that Castle, at it’s roots, is a homicide investigation show, and people being murdered is no laughing business. I’m not sure whether or not I wanted to learn that lesson from the usually humorous Monday night line up, but the mood lighting, setting and scripting definitely served it’s purpose: to remind us that even the nicest of people can’t smile all the time.