It was only a matter of time before Castle, a show that taken off just about every other genre one can think of, did a horror film homage. Maybe I was still riding the high from the previous two episodes or maybe it’s because I hate horror films, but this episode fell flat and I was bored through most of it.
Normally in an episode that involves the supernatural, the battle lines are drawn between Castle/Ryan and Beckett/Esposito. This time around, however, Esposito was more willing to believe that something otherworldly was going on, leaving Beckett as the sole voice of reason. One of my biggest problems with this episode was that, throughout, I knew she would end up being right and I became impatient to get through all the tropes to get to the end.
Unfortunately, that’s what this episode was. A long list of horror movie tropes that began to feel as though the writers had that long list and were just checking things off. Rather than bore you with writing about them, I have simply listed them all below. I’m sure I missed some, so please comment to fill in whatever is missing.
The case was ridiculous. A simple scan through any reputable search engine would have discovered what the connection between the three victims was. No one in either of the first two victim’s friends and family recognized the other. Where were all these people during the trial?
Wouldn’t the detectives have done just a small bit of follow-up on the roommate? Surely, someone with such a mental health challenge would have been flagged relatively quickly. The victims were killed by a taser; how did Perlmutter miss the burn marks that would have been on the victims? Why were Beckett and Castle told not to hand anything or take anything from Leopold when there was a thick pane of glass between them?
Another thing that really bothered me was Esposito trying to determine if he is in Castle’s will. For a guy who is usually so upstanding, it felt grasping and materialistic. Ryan is absolutely right, it is “uncool” and “bad karma.”
Finally, there is the Wes Craven cameo in which he mentions Stephen King. Not only was it forced into the episode, but Craven’s comment about the story being “derivative” not only shone a light on the problem with this episode, another author, Stephen Cannell, made an almost identical comment to Castle back in the pilot.
There were a couple of things that I liked. I am always pleased when Perlmutter turns up. His snark and his complete disdain for “Defective Castle” always make me smile. The Caskett moment at the end was great. I liked the fact that Beckett was number one on Castle’s bucket list and the look on her face when she read that was sweet. The ice cubes are a direct callback to “Poof! You’re Dead” from the third season, one of the funniest scenes this show has ever done.
Overall, however, this episode bored me. One (OK, one and half because of the final minute) out of four creepy nurses in the fog.
-- Horror movie tropes that were too obvious to miss:
- the haunted DVD (which, although I have never seen it, I understand is a direct steal from The Ring)
- the lights go out
- the creepy inn
- the insane asylum
- cell phones lose reception
- the cabin in the woods
- a body dug up from its grave
- two of the main characters split up
-- Movies that were referenced:
- The Ring
- The Shining
- Child’s Play
- Silence of the Lambs
- Friday the 13th (the first victim’s name is Jason)
- A Cabin in the Woods (you just knew Fillion would get that in!)
-- Castle’s weapons:
- in the Philippines, palaspas are palm leaves, blessed by a priest on Palm Sunday, said to ward off evil spirits
- a bagua mirror, used in feng shui, is hung outdoors to ward off bad outside energies
- do I really need to go into holy water?
-- In case you didn’t recognize the reference, here is Edvard Munch’s The Scream.
-- Meeting William Shatner is on Castle’s bucket list. While I do not know if Nathan Fillion has ever met William Shatner, there was a lovely Twitter exchange between the two of them a couple of weeks ago: @NathanFillion Who is your favorite Canadian? @WilliamShatner. Hands down.
-- Speaking of Twitter, there is a @bedazzlecats39.
Castle: “These are things used to ward off evil spirits. Like Perlmutter.”
Perlmutter: “I heard that.”
Castle: “You wanna hold my hand?”
Beckett: “Castle, I’m not scared.”
Castle: “I wasn’t asking for you…”
Ryan: “An affair would’ve been…“
Ryan: “I was going to say, ‘unlikely’.”
Castle: “You’re a cop! I’m a cop… helper.”
Castle: “I don’t think I need to tell you what kind of chances the comic relief guy has.”
Beckett: "Evil spirits don't kill. People do."