Halloween is the one time of year that you can dress up, pretend to be someone else, and the world will not look at you as crazy. It is no surprise that this holiday is Castle’s favorite. He spends his life within a persona he has created.
Because he does, Castle is able to understand and to empathize with others who do the same. As odd as the whole vampire/werewolf thing is, Castle doesn’t judge. Nor does he judge Beckett. I love the scene where he points out to her that childhood trauma can lead to adult choices. Not only is he on point with her, it is very subtle foreshadowing to the solution of the mystery.
As Caskett’s friendship evolves, they offer glimpses of the people they truly are to each other. Twice in this episode we are shown what a genuinely caring person Beckett is. She admits how hard it is to tell a family about a death and she takes care of Feggin for Castle. He is impressed.
Which is why the story he tells her is so revealing of the man he is. Beckett wants to know why Castle become so involved in the macabre that he makes his living writing about it. For a brief moment, she and we believe that we are getting some real information. Of course, it turns out that he spinning a tale, but by doing so he has shown us quite a bit. Whatever it is that originally inspired him was something profound to him. He is not ready to be that open with Beckett yet.
In addition to the obvious relationship with Beckett, the other evolving friendship that is fun to watch is Castle with Esposito and Ryan. As time passes, the relationship becomes fraternal, filled with teasing and jokes, but love and respect. I love that the writers chose to illustrate the change this week with Esposito using words to snark Ryan. Castle, the writer, is rubbing off on all of them. And, those two boys are certainly having fun with their friends’ sexual tension.
The one person to whom Castle shows his true self is Alexis. Since the pilot, she has been the more centered, the more mature of the two. Here, however, we finally see Castle acting like a dad. He does the right thing against his daughter’s wishes and then reassures her that he will always love her, even if she does get an F on her science project. These quick glimpses we get of the adult in Castle are always a welcome relief.
The case itself was fairly well done. Full of twists and turns, the guilty party did not come out of left field, but did take a while to show up. The final scene, where the family must confront their true history is well done and heartbreaking.
This is an exceptional episode. A good case, good character development, and so many allusions we should develop some kind of drinking game. Four out of four stakes through the heart.
This was an episode filled with allusions. I’m sure I’ve missed some, so please comment if you caught one I did not.
— At the Halloween party, Seamus Dever is a doctor, a role he played on both General Hospital and Army Wives. Jon Huertas is a soldier, a role he played on Generation Kill.
— Of course, the most obvious costume is the space cowboy. The outfit Castle is wearing at the beginning of the show is essentially the one he wore throughout Firefly. The writers carried this joke through. Alexis says, “there are no cows in space” which is a direct reference to “Safe.” She continues by saying, “didn’t you wear that like five years ago?” At the time this episode aired, Firefly had been off the air about five years.
— As Castle walks out of his office dressed as Malcolm Reynolds, look to the lower left of his hip. You can see the catalyzer Mal had to replace in “Out of Gas” on one of the shelves.
— Any episode about vampires will have the obligatory Buffy reference, which I have used as the pull quote. The body was found in the cemetery, which we all know is where Buffy spends an inordinate amount of time. For those of you who have forgotten, Nathan Fillion played Caleb in the final season.
— Daemon and Lockerby, “an original,” references a more recent show about vampires.
— Dark Horse Books publishes the Buffy, Angel, and Serenity comics.
— Rosie Freeman is wearing a Hayley Blue t-shirt. Hayley will turn up next week.
— The plot of this episode is eerily reminiscent of an episode of Bones called “The Superhero in the Alley” in which a graphic novel featuring an idealized woman has exactly the same significance. I can’t believe it was an accident that we learn Jonas was studying forensic anthropology at the same time that Castle says, “then that explains the bones.”
— Feggin is an Oliver Twist reference (Fagin).
— Alexis is reading The Pit and the Pendulum, “the original Saw.” Castle is Poe at the party.
— “Father won’t be quite himself” is Psycho, sort of. The ensuing laugh is right out of Dr. Horrible.
— The puppet that pops out at Castle at the end is from Alien.
Castle: “You have to go with me. You are my candy beard.”
Alma: “The vampire thing was a little weird. But, my first husband was a civil war re-enactor. So, you tell me, which is weirder?”
Castle: “It reminds me of early Frank Miller.”
Beckett: “Which Frank? Early comic or Dark Horse years?”
Castle: “Oh my God. That is the sexiest thing I ever heard you say.”
Castle: “You smell like cherries.”
Ryan: “Hey, we got a hit on the…”
Esposito: “Are we interrupting something?”
Beckett, simultaneously, “No.”
Castle: “You want to bite me? You buy me dinner.”
Castle: “Careful. That is a potion of my own concoction. Drink it, and who knows who or what you might become. Also, you might wonder what happened to your pants.”
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.