Esposito: “I know.”
A change of pace this week. Rather than spend the hour with Caskett’s new relationship or with one of them, we got a very Espo-centric episode. I liked it, but thought it could have been better.
Honestly, I struggled to write this review because there just isn’t anything interesting to say about this episode. Castle, unfortunately, has more than its fair share of filler episodes every year and this one felt like filler to me. A shame, because I love Esposito and think that his backstory could have been really interesting and fun to watch.
Instead, this plot line, the older, wiser cop takes a good kid who is heading for trouble under his wing, has been done to death. In fact, almost every show that features a cop has an episode like this at some point. And, we get yet another homage to a sister ABC show. The whole plot of an aging pop star being supplanted by the latest young up and comer is the main component of and “I’ve been a huge fan ever since I was in grade school” is almost a direct quote from the pilot of Nashville.
I did like the scenes with Esposito and Joey, but they felt like retreads, not something that I would want to watch again. Even the comedy this week seemed off to me. The whole character beat of Ryan running his hands though his hair when he is about to meet someone famous is an example. This is the 92nd episode of this show; have we ever seen Ryan do that? Additionally, in the morgue, Lanie seemed to be really annoyed with Castle. Why?
I liked learning about Esposito’s back story, especially the fact that he has a record. I would love to have seen more about this and more about the teacher who turned him around. This is a character who has an interesting past, one that is worthy of a better story than this.
The title of the episode is an allusion to the influences that affect kids and help to mold them into what they become. We see the social worker talking about “the least bad option,” Castle saying ”you have to let them find their own way” and Esposito trying to pay it forward. But, Joey is loyal to the man who has had the greatest influence on him to date until Esposito shows him, literally, what Shane really thinks of him. The Wire did this story line much, much better.
This episode was just blah. Two out of four throw away guns.
-- Like Beckett, I liked Valentine’s Day. Well, maybe not liked, but it’s not bad enough to lose your turn.
-- I love the way the writers portray Ryan. On the one hand, he is a rabid fanboy, not above getting an autograph for ‘Jenny and Kev.' On the other hand, he can make a joke about Oliver Twist and he made the connection to The French Connection for those Castle fans who haven’t seen that movie. Not to mention Seamus Deaver’s intensely electric blue eyes. Fantastic!
-- There’s a fair amount of stepping over bodies this week. Beckett steps over a passed out party girl and Esposito steps over the bodyguard he has just taken out.
-- Rumor has it that the “lighting guy” M.C. Thug brings with him to the precinct is a Castle crew member.
-- No Gates, Martha or Alexis this week. Did everyone but Huertas and Deaver basically get the week off?
Castle: “In a relationship, if you choose a movie and you choose very, very poorly, do you lose your turn?”
Esposito: “How poorly?”
Becket: “Valentine’s Day.”
Esposito: “You should lose two turns.” The men bump fists.
Esposito: “Aw, dude! You remember that music video where she was dressed up as a sexy little girl scout?” Castle grins, knowing where this is going. “I don’t care what those cookies cost.” Lanie glares at him. “I would sell my left…”
M.C. Thug: “I know you ain’t a cop with that fancy shirt and poufy hair.” Castle checks himself out in the mirror.
M.C. Thug: "Or else is usually enough."
Castle: “A Fagin to Joey’s Oliver Twist.”
Ryan: “And, if Holly’s involved, that makes her the Artful Dodger. Or the artful deejay.”
Castle: “Ooh, nicely played.”
Esposito: "Dude, nobody says ‘bling’ anymore. Try ‘shine.’”