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Castle: Kill The Messenger

“Never let the job get in the way of the job.”

Castle is a show that works when it concentrates on the relationships among the various characters or when it spoofs a specific genre, show, or film. When it tries to be more of straight procedural, it tends to lose its way.

A bike messenger is killed in a hit-and-run to prevent him from delivering a package. Turns out that the package held proof that could free a wrongfully convicted man from prison. Captain Montgomery worked on the case years ago and, as the story unfolds, everything leads back to a prominent New York family with secrets.

This episode fell down because it tried to do too much. Instead of concentrating on one murder, there were three. Along the way, we meet a veritable sea of red herrings, none of whom we stay with long enough to care about.

At first, I thought we might get some Captain Montgomery character development. The writers tried, but we didn’t really learn anything we couldn’t have figured out for ourselves. Of course he would be upset that he sent the wrong man to prison. And, of course, he’s badass. I did enjoy the scene where he takes on the head of the Wellesley clan.

The writers also overthought themselves with Martha’s story this week. Chet’s posting her old photo on MyFace was meant to echo the idea that everyone has secrets they want to keep hidden. The Wellesley family’s involved a secret daughter; Martha’s involved an old photo. Strained connection. As so often happens, however, Martha had some of the funniest lines in this episode so I’ll be forgiving.

There were some good moments in this episode, but they were brief and too far apart. Ryan, Esposito, and Castle drinking tea and being swarmed by cats was fun as was Castle’s expression when he learned of his mother’s first time.

An overall dull, bloated episode that was saved from itself by a few good lines. Two out four mamas on the prowl.


— Gregg Henry (Winston Wellesley) has guest starred on just about every show there is. I mention it here because one episode in which he appeared was called “The Train Job.”

— Seeing three of Susan Sullivan’s old head shots was fun.

— Perlmutter is showing up a lot. I’m not complaining.


Castle, looking at Beckett making a death notification: “How does she do that?”
Montgomery: “Better than anyone I know.”

Martha: “Nothing good comes from the internet.”

Jeff: “What? Can’t a guy and girl just be friends?”
Castle: “Please.”
Jeff: “Are you two together?”
Castle: “Not yet.”
Beckett, simultaneously, “Absolutely not.”

Montgomery: “Hold on. I, too, have a ‘however.’ Thank you for your offer, however, my detectives will conduct their investigation in any manner they see fit.”
Blake Wellesley: “Captain, I can get the Commissioner on the phone in under a minute.”
Montgomery: “Well, tell him I said hi and I really could use a raise. I think we’re done here.”
Castle: “That was awesome!”

Beckett: “Are you looking at porn?”

Castle: “I use Ryan’s computer for that.”

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. That was a terrific episode. One of the few I still remember from that season.

    First of all, when we learned about Cap's past mistake, I was afraid we're gonna lose him. That he would start questioning himself, then drinking heavily, and finally resign, and that would be one big rubber stamp.

    Instead Montgomery said "Who fucked up? I fucked up? No way!" and started fixing things.

    Before that episode, Montgomery was nobody. He was just who would listen to infodumps, but never someone we really care about. Now he showed us why we should care.

    Secondly, Ms. Niedermeier was simply great. Her reaction to Esposito aiming a gun at her and shouting was really something — she wasn't scared even a little bit. And I liked very much that they bothered to show us the door being fixed. Oh, and yes — cats, tea, and small sofa.

    The third great thing about this episode is the idea of a wealthy politician who was betrayed by his own family — they got rid of his daughter without even telling him. His reaction when he learned about this was wonderful — controlled, but hurt and sure as hell angry. In a second he transformed from the cardboard character who tries to stop the heroes just for the kicks, to the real person, the father who was denied a chance to meet his child. It's unclear if he would actually take this chance, but that's a different story.

    And yes, Martha and Chet. Their relation is as sweet as it could possibly be without us actually meeting the guy. It's also quite funny. And Chet is a really lucky guy.

  2. I'm a relatively new viewer of "Castle"; and like many in the past, have found myself addicted to the series. In this case, I won't go any further than to say I agree 100% with your assessment of this episode. I've watched most episodes multiple times, and this is one that I invariably skip.

    The "Caskett" relationship arc and development is what keeps viewers coming back, and this one really missed having any of that. Had I randomly chose to start the series by watching this one, I'm not sure I would have come back. That said, everybody, even Andrew Marlowe can have a bad day.


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