So the dead person isn’t actually the dead person, it is the still living person’s now dead body double. Congratulations, Castle never saw that one coming.
We open with a fun scene between Castle and Beckett, wherein Beckett finds a news article about Castle getting back together with his ex-wife, fun to watch and also lets us know that their relationship isn’t that public of thing, something the show has not touched on very much in the past, so nice to see that being brought up. It also served to set up a fun, recurring joke through the episode. The amusement is cut short when Pi, who we have not seen for awhile, arrives to pick up a recommendation letter for a grant he is applying for, set up for the another subplot in the episode, but more on that later.
With the set up out of the way, we jump right into the CoW, this week, a train wreck pop star is found dead in an alley behind her apartment. This is a clever mislead from the writers, as it is shortly revealed that the dead woman is not actually the pop star Mandy Sutton, played by Alexandra Chando, but rather her body double, used to throw off the paparazzi. As far as the main plot goes, things proceed fairly regularly with the following of leads and finding suspects. However, the whole Mandy still being alive thing does offer a nice break from the normal, as I have noticed Castle has been pretty big on doing these past few weeks. I liked this, I really did, I found Mandy to be a fairly enjoyable character to watch. Throughout the episode I found myself sympathizing with her, respecting her, wanting to smack her for being an idiot, and laughing at some of her antics. The best being her talk with Castle in the break room, it is always fun to see Castle get taken down a peg or two in regards to his self perceived status as a celebrity. Honestly, she was probably the best part of the actual crime solving part of the episode, the other characters weren’t bad in anyway, but nothing to make them really stand out from what they do every week. Everyone played their roles well and were fun to watch, but they were all pretty run of the mill.
In the end, after the requisite number of suspects, misleads, and dead ends, the killer is revealed to be Mandy’s mother/manager, who orchestrated a fake scandal between Mandy and her Ex, using her double in the process, all because she didn’t Mandy to actually have a normal life. I called her as the killer at about half way through the episode, but it wasn’t obvious. Her closing lines of everything she did, she did for Mandy was just flat out twisted and disturbing, which fit perfectly with her character. She was much more of a manger than a mother, so it would make sense that everything she did would be in the best interest of her daughter’s career over her happiness.
Best part of this episode, Alexis. We haven’t seen in her awhile and her triumphant return to the show was fantastic. We see her acting as friend, confidant, and ally of Mandy as she deals with the death of her double, her sorrow over the state of her life, and her desire to find the truth behind the murder, while at the same time trying to work through her own problems. Those problems being Pi. (big shocker there) Alexis is having doubts about her relationship with him, and has come to the realization that she doesn’t want to be in a relationship with him, but doesn’t know how to end it. While we don’t see any resolution to this sub plot this week, it was nice to see her doing something again, as I have said before, the best aspect of this series is Castle and his family, so we definitely need more of them in the future.
Ryan and Esposito fall into their usual roles of support for Castle and Beckett and providing the bits of comedic relief to break up the tension of the murder investigation. They are the ones that pick up the running gag of Castle and his ex-wives and run with it through the episode, which is perfectly in character for them and had me laughing. While doing nothing to stand out, like we saw a couple of episodes back, they were fantastic in their usual roles and were, like always, ever so much fun to watch.
In the end, we close out with Mandy going off wit her perfectly normal, average Joe, boyfriend, presumably to live a happy and normal life. Castle gives Alexis the recommendation letter for Pi, which he has been trying to write throughout the entire episode, to Alexis. Alexis herself seems to have come to some conclusion about how to handle things with Pi, hopefully we will see the outcome of that next week. And Ryan and Esposito get in one last shot at Castle’s love life as we discover that Beckett has put aside her issues of being in the limelight and had her and Castle’s wedding announcement printed.
Overall, best episode we have seen since the mid season break ended, and definitely one of the best we have seen this season. It had some twists that captured the viewers interest, an honestly likable victim of tragedy, and some great father/daughter moments between Castle and Alexis. Season six of Castle continues to wow and amaze, and I have absolute faith that the rest of the season will continue with this trend.