Historically, Castle winds up its season with a five episode arc that ends with the season finale cliffhanger. This year, however, it is going out with a series of standalone episodes that are proving to be hit or miss. Last week was a hit. This week? A real miss.
This episode should have been much more than it was. The world of extreme sports, while not something I am overly involved in, is interesting and could have proven to be an ideal backdrop for a murder. Instead, we got a by-the-numbers procedural that held no surprises, no twists, no interesting characters and no fun. What the writers were hoping would be the twists were so absurd as to be laughable. Albanians? Really?
What saved this episode from being completely forgettable were the competitions that occurred between the characters we know and love. Beckett kept beating Castle at Scrabble (quixotic, indeed!) which annoyed him no end. Until the final scene when they forgo Scrabble for a game of strip poker. Perhaps it was because I was already bored, but the fact that Castle was fully clothed (at least as far as we could see) while Beckett sat there in her underwear irked the feminist in me.
The humor this week, as usual, came from Ryan and Esposito vying to see who would be Castle’s best man. Although I knew from the beginning whom Castle would pick, it was fun to watch these two try to one-up the other, go to Lanie for her decision, make the decision for their friend, and then try to shrug it all off at the end.
I was tempted to rate this with a one, but I will give it a two for the best man stuff. Two out of four pens and recipes that didn’t work.
— In a show about sports and competition, it is interesting that we peel back another layer of the Castle onion. He is extremely competitive.
— I had to look up Death Race 2000. Turns out it is a cult action film, made in 1975, in which a road race is run and the winner is the driver who kills the most pedestrians. Yeah, I’m not going to bother with that one. Rollerball, another movie about extreme sports issued in 1975, was also mentioned.
Castle: “‘Richard Castle. One word short.’ I cannot allow this to be my epitaph.” Beckett and Alexis bump fists. “I saw that.”
Beckett: “Well, I mean, I think catching killers is pretty extreme. And, then there’s marrying you.”
Castle: “Ah, yes. I admit I am extreme. Extremely handsome.”
Beckett: “Yep. With a high degree of difficulty.”
Beckett: “Castle, aren’t there more important things than winning?”
Castle: “Oh, that’s a notion created to comfort those who lose.”
Esposito: “I can’t believe we just got beat by a girl.”
Ryan: “Let’s never speak of this again.”
ChrisB is a freelance writer who spends more time than she ought in front of a television screen or with a book in her hand.