Castle: Undead Again

“But then who’s going to play with me?”

When I saw that this week’s case was going to be about zombies, I’m afraid that I spotted a fin breaking the waves on the distant horizon. I couldn’t have been more wrong. This case reminded me of the early ones – silly, but ever so much fun to watch.

This was a classic case of Beckett/Esposito playing the Scully role and Castle/Ryan playing the Mulder role. Of course, we all know that there are no zombies and that a perfectly rational explanation was going to emerge for what had happened, but what fun it was to watch it all unfold. The glee in Castle’s face when the CCTV showed us our killer for the first time was laugh out loud funny. And the random high five was just icing on the cake.

The case progressed well, with some good red herrings, some good twists and, of course, the dead coming back to life. The reactions from Castle, Beckett and Perlmutter were worth the price of admission alone and the line of the show was “Is there a police code for zombie on the loose?”

The end of the case was the best we have seen in a while. It’s always great to see Castle dress up (few people get such joy from costumes), and I was glad to see such an unpleasant person get the comeuppance he so richly deserved. We will put aside, however, the fact that he had a solid alibi at the same time he was committing the murder…

The awesomeness of the case aside, this episode was all about Castle interacting with the three most important women in his life.

Firstly, Castle’s little girl is all grown up. Struggling to decide where to go to college, Alexis wants to get away from her dad, or at least she thinks she does. The look on Castle’s face when she tells him that it is time to put away the laser tag was heartbreaking.

But, like so many kids her age, Alexis is not ready to put away all the aspects of her childhood. The on-going laser tag game was great fun to watch and I’m glad, but not surprised, that she decided on Columbia. The show would lose an important element if it lost Alexis. Should we start a pool now on how soon it will take before her father begins to drive her mad in her new life? I did like the way Castle promised to try to stay away, not promise to actually stay away. On a personal note, I went to the university where my father was a professor – he tried, but he didn’t always succeed.

Secondly, Martha is once again the voice of rational thought and reason. I love her conversations with Castle and this one was no different. She manages to get right to the heart of the matter (“If you want to punish Beckett, at least let her know why.”) and forces Castle to make a decision, which is that he is going to stop working with Beckett. Aside from the fact that we know this will never happen as long as series renewal is in the air, Martha was a tad sceptical as well. She knows her son very, very well.

But, most importantly, Caskett came roaring back this week, and about damn time. It all started as it has been going for the past month or so. Castle being cryptic; Beckett trying to figure out what is going on; Castle looking after her longingly. Ho hum. But, as the case progressed, so did their relationship. Even Ryan commented that it was good to see them getting along again (I know, it’s bad when Daddy and Mommy fight.).

We got two uninterrupted conversations. The first was in the hospital – a double entendre laden brief exchange about remembering and wanting to remember. The looks our two shared were so full of meaning, the point was made. Interestingly, it is Beckett that stops the conversation. She had revealed enough at that point and no longer felt safe.

The second was what a lot of us have been waiting for since the beginning of this season. Beckett finally tells Castle that she has been seeing a therapist and that she is almost at the point where she can openly ‘remember’ what he said to her. The openness in her face and the hope in his was wonderfully done. My shipper heart was exploding and I had a huge smile on my face throughout. But what makes this show one of my favorites was that this long-awaited, brilliantly written and acted conversation happened with Castle in zombie make-up. Very well done.

Four out of four dead men walking.

Tidbits:

-- What a great photo of Castle and Alexis that was shown at the beginning and again at the end.

-- I lived in New York for eleven years and no one I knew owned a car until we moved out of Manhattan. In this world, everyone does.

-- I’m ashamed to admit it, but the zombies closing in on Castle and Beckett reminded me so much of Thriller that I haven’t been able to get that song out of my head.

-- Perlmutter in the morgue. I love him and the way he interacts with Castle, but this now makes two weeks in a row without our beloved Lanie. I’m a bit worried about next season.

-- I did an internet search for scopolamine. There are a lot of urban legends out there, but it does seem to have some really nasty effects on people. Ick.

-- No Gates, again. I’m surprised that the producers are keeping Penny as one of the cast regulars as she so rarely shows up anymore.

Soundbites:

Martha: “She’s growing up.”
Castle: “Well, she doesn’t have to. Look at me.”

Martha: “Quite honestly, the two of you cannot go on like this.” [Week three of the writers using a character to express fan thoughts.]

Castle: “I was writing a book, a comedy about the Civil War. Turns out… not so funny.”
Perlmutter: “You don’t say.”

Castle: “I have one word for you, Mother. Zombie.”
Martha: “Too much makeup?”

Ryan: “I mean, he does look like a real zombie.”
Esposito: “A real zombie? I’m embarrassed for you, Bro.”

Castle: “But, what’s the appeal of being a zombie? Being a vampire – that I understand. That’s the romantic route to immortality. The, uh, gentlemen’s monster, as it were.”

Ryan: “You know, Castle, do you really believe in all this zombie stuff, because I… I would swear on my nana’s grave that Kyle Jennings was dead.”
Castle: “No. You know what I do believe in? Driving Beckett crazy.”

Beckett: “You think he remembers?”
Castle: “When a life-altering moment occurs, people remember.”

Beckett: “And, um, that wall that I was telling you about? I think it’s finally coming down.”
Castle: “Well, I’d like to be there when it does.”
Beckett: “Yeah, I’d like you to be there, too.”

Beckett: “Tomorrow?”
Castle: “Tomorrow.”

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.

3 comments:

CrazyCris said...

A brilliant episode! So great finally seeing light shine through the cracks in Beckett's wall! :o)

Can we get Castle in a crazy costume every week? ;o)

And I agree that the show would be radically different without Alexis... Castle's relationships with his three women are the heart and soul of this show and are what keep me coming back, not the crazy case of the week (fun as those might be)

Great review Chris!

Mark Greig said...

I was enjoying this episode right up until the detectives tricked the bad guy into confessing. Usually they come up with something a lot smart than dressing Castle up as a zombie and have him threaten the guy. There is no way in hell that would ever hold up in a court of law. I know this isn't a true reflection of how crime solving really works, but it seemed out of character for someone like Beckett to go along with such a lazy scheme.

Matthew L said...

After the steady erosion in the Castle/Beckett relationship since 47 Seconds, it was great to have a return to the fun of Castle before the finale.

My favorite two bits: 1) Castle yelling out "It's a zombie!Zombie!" and high-fiving a random cop as he's walking out of the room where they've all been watching the surviellance video of the "zombie" and especially 2) when the "zombie" gets up in the morgue and Castle asks Perlmutter "Is there a police code for zombie on the loose?".

Those two scenes cracked me up. :)