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Castle: Swan Song

“These cameras, they’re not going anywhere. They’re going to see something. I just want them to see what I see.”

This week, we move from a sci-fi convention to a dead rock star; only this time, our team is being followed by a group of cameras making a movie about the band. What made this episode so good was watching these characters we know so well react to the cameras and to each other in front of the cameras. It made for some hilarious television as well as some character development. And, like last week, it had several references to bands that, I’m afraid to say, show those of us who get the references to be of a certain age.

Not surprisingly, Castle is the most comfortable in front of the cameras; probably because he has spent his adult life in the media spotlight. He does, however, put on a persona for them. It is almost the Castle of old, a bit smarmy and a bit condescending, but charming as hell.

Beckett is, by far, the most uncomfortable. She doesn’t want anything to do with the cameras and, like Castle, we see a bit of the Beckett of old, reserved to the point of rudeness. I found it very interesting that Castle goes out of his way to help her become more likable in front of the cameras, throwing her cues to talk, telling the camera men about how wonderful she really is and allowing her to interrogate Keith on her own so that she can shine.

Esposito becomes Dirty Harry-like. The tough, no nonsense cop who tracks down the suspects, swears and takes no prisoners (“I’m definitely the physical one. I stay in sick shape.”). Ryan, on the other hand, comes across as the more cerebral of the two and it is important to him that he be seen as an important part of the partnership and the team (“I’m kinda like the nerve center of the team.”).

Lanie made me smile, all flirty and provocative, showing off her assets. Gates becomes the captain she believes the world expects, not what she really is. Smiling, welcoming, coming out to “where the action is,” we see someone almost unrecognizable from the woman we see every week. I was really intrigued by this and, on the second viewing, it occurred to me that this is probably how someone who is so disliked by the people of her precinct can keep getting promoted -- she puts on different personalities depending on the person with whom she is interacting. Wouldn’t it be nice if we got to see the real Gates one day?

Of course, the show wouldn’t be complete without Caskett getting busted. A very tender moment between the two of them is caught on camera and the mad scramble begins to have it deleted before Gates can see it. As far as we know, it has. But, I think it would be fun if, in fact, Gates has seen it and we learn later that she lets it go.

What was exceptionally well done was how everyone’s initial reactions tempered and mellowed as they all got used to the cameras. Once James’s connection to the cult was discovered and the team realized they were dealing with a pretty awful guy, their true personalities kicked in as they went after both the cult leader and the killer.

I realized watching the end again how much more I like the “new” Castle and Beckett. He is much more grounded, worried more about his partner and his team than himself; she is much less reserved, much more open and playful. They really have been a good influence on each other.

Another terrific episode, making three in a row. Three out of four cameras that don’t blink.


-- The 27 Club is something concocted by the media; but, when I looked it up, I was astonished at how many musicians have died at that age.

-- Monday morning crossword. This is the second time in a week that I’ve heard this expression and I love it. In a weekly newspaper, such as the New York Times, the Monday crossword is the easiest of the week.

-- The musician adding score to Esposito and Castle’s discovery about James taking the band in another direction made me laugh out loud. Not to mention, Castle saying “hard fade to black” not once, but twice. I’ve said it before, but this show hits meta out of the park.

-- The whole scene with the sex tape (“Tommy Lee’s got nothing on this guy.”) was beautifully done, filled with double entendres. The best? Gates saying, “keep it up.” I was glad that Castle saved Esposito from himself, but I did giggle.

-- It is said that you know you’ve made it when you become a verb. Pete Best, the fired Beatles drummer, might not agree. “We’re finally about to make it big and he wants to Pete Best me.” Stu Sutcliffe was a bassist for the Beatles, why Castle remarks to camera that he would be a better comparison to Zeke.

-- I did a search looking for any bands that have members called James, Keith and Zeke. I couldn’t find one, so if anyone knows if there is a tribute I am missing, please comment below.


Esposito: “We’ve got you now, you son of a bitch. I’m sorry, can I even say son of a…” Cut to commercial.

Esposito: “I’m usually the first through the door.”
Ryan: “Well, yeah, but somebody’s gotta know which door to go through.”

Castle: “You, know, Detective Beckett is not an unfriendly person. She’s just got walls. Let’s… let’s call them layers. Layers upon layers of uh, well, walls. But, once you scale those walls, the effort is worth it.” Ah, the Beckett onion resurfaces.

Castle: “He wasn’t about to stay and they weren’t about to let him play George Michael to their Andrew Ridgeley.”
Esposito: “Andrew who?”
Castle: “Exactly. So, they pick up a guitar… and wham!”

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. Yet again, the killer turns out to be that guy. The guy who was in the back of that one scene. Didn't you see him? Lol.

    Although I'm typically not a fan of the oh-look-a-documentary-crew-is-here trope, this episode did a great job with it. Loved everyone's interactions with the cameras, the showcasing of insecurities, the displays of talents and Lanie's...ahem, assets.

    I particularly enjoyed Espo and Ryan this ep. I loved the argument over who was the better cop and the subsequent opposite 'No you're the better cop' argument.

  2. One of my favorite parts of the episode was when Castle sang the show's standard guitar part as they faded to black--meta indeed.

    Great review as always, ChrisB! I hope that your timely review means that things are back to close to normal for you.

  3. I like how Ryan's comment was paid off later, when Esposito (with Castle) kept going to the wrong doors.

  4. LMAO

    After last week's episode that ignited my geekness to the max, this one was a real stunt. This show, right in the (almost) middle of its 5th season, is extremely enjoyable to watch and also a very clever one (the other show that I could say about just the same is Leverage, which I strongly recommend BTW).

    I really loved your review Chris. Holy crap, so MANY who died at 27. Eerie.

    Castle, just like Fringe, is destined, at least for some of us, to become a Cult TV series one day.

    So far, Fall 2012 is very good on TV.


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