Castle: Last Action Hero

“My hero was a liar... and a goat herder.”

It’s always fun when Castle takes a genre and plays with it. I was mildly alarmed at the beginning of this episode as the writers spoofed Westerns just two episodes ago and missed the mark a bit. This time out, however, the satire was much better realized.

The case involves an action movie star from the 1980s who is murdered. As our friends from the 12th investigate the murder, the show allows itself to playfully spoof many aspects of those films. From Ryan’s catchphrase to Kathleen York as a buxom archaeologist, I spent a great deal of time with a huge grin on my face.

Until that final scene where Castle gets to live out his boyhood fantasy and be an action hero when my grin turned into laughter. Damn, but this show does parody well. The scene where the five “Indestructibles” are walking toward camera with the explosion in the background had me laughing out loud. When, however, Castle in his sleeveless t-shirt and headband ducked, I howled. One of the funniest things this show has done, ever.

It just got better. The action movie scene was parody as it should be done. The overworked plan with the voiceover, the code names, the fact that they were going to steal a car, I just loved. I was also pleasantly surprised by the resolution to the murder. Yes, the guilty party was the person with the least screen time as usual, but the motive was well thought out, well telegraphed, and, unlike the movies, all too heartbreaking. We’ll just pass by the fact that DeLorca could take out four huge guys and was brought down by… well, not a big guy.

Less well done was the B-plot about Beckett giving up her apartment. I thought she had moved out months ago, so I wasn’t even remotely emotionally affected. In fact, I’m kind of with Castle. His memories of the place aren’t as good. It is, don’t forget, the place where Caskett have had the worst fights of their relationship.

Having said that, we don’t see enough of Beckett and Lanie doing the BFF thing. The scene in Beckett’s apartment with the wine was one of their better ones. I didn’t care about the apartment, but I do care about these two women and liked what Lanie had to say.

This was fun. I laughed out loud a lot, but I’m going to knock it down a rating because of the silly apartment plot. Three out of four B-movie festivals.


— There were many action heroes during the 1980s, several of whom were referenced in this episode. Here are the ones I caught, but please comment on the ones I missed:
“This man was a lethal weapon.”

Rescuing a buxom woman from Cartagena.

The Indestructibles = The Expendables, the fourth of which is rumored to be in pre-production.

And, of course, the ultimate 80s action hero.

— Ryan and the catchphrase? Hilarious:
  • Time to mete out justice.
  • Time for prison time.
  • Time to pay the bill for doing the kill.
  • You know what time it is? It’s Ryan time.
  • My name’s Ryan and I hate lyin’.
  • Well you got trouble… Ryan trouble.

— When Beckett was carving her initials, did anyone else flash to Shawshank?


Esposito: “Yeah, I was never a fan.”
Ryan: “Me, neither. What’s he done lately, anyway?”
Esposito: “Yeah, right?”
Castle: “Beat leukemia.”

Castle: “I was raised by a single mother. Hard Kill was how I got my bro time.”
Ryan: “That explains so much.”

Ryan: “Man, she is really…”
Esposito: “Hot?”
Ryan: “… holding up well.”

Beckett: “I know bad acting when I see it.”

Beckett: “Castle, you really think I could stand between you and your boyhood dream?”
Castle: “You are my boyhood dream.”

Castle: “Guys, my wife is a cop. If I do this, she’ll kill me.”

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.

1 comment:

percysowner said...

Ah Beckett's apartment. Either the one where she almost died when the nutcase Scott Dunn blew it up, or the one she moved into AFTER the nutcase blew her first apartment up. In either case, I have some trouble with her attachment to the place, but maybe I'm odd that way.