Ninjas. That’s a new one.
We open with Beckett complaining to Castle about her upcoming night with her old friend, apparently her old friend is a bit of a wild card who Beckett can only handle in short amounts. Let’s be honest though, we all have friends like that. After making Castle promise to call her at 10 pm for an out, the two get pulled into the CoW, a dead Japanese ballerina.
The team follows the clues, which leads Castle and Beckett to an old warehouse with an odd shrine inside, containing what they believe is the murder weapon. A noise distracts Beckett, who goes to investigate, and while she’s gone a ninja appears, swipes the dagger, and disappears in a puff of smoke. Naturally, Castle is thrilled about this, because he’s Castle, and no one believes him, thinking it’s just another wild Castle story. Beckett departs for her night with her friend, and Castle, Ryan, and Esposito continue on with the case. This brings our trio to a “perfectly legal” tea house where our victim used to work. After some sexy times with some of the girls, Castle goes off with one to a private room to gain more information on Jade, the victim. However, the fun times come to an end when the girls get a look at Esposito’s badge, the three are then thrown out of the club, and attacked by a ninja, and then saved by ninja, both of which then disappear in true ninja fashion. During all this, Castle forgets to call Beckett, which of course leads to a blow up between them. For some reason she can’t seem to see past the whole kissing the geisha girl thing to focus on whats important, the ninjas! The two make up, but Beckett admits that she is actually worried about her and becoming Castle becoming a boring married couple, which we then see Castle prove to her won’t happen over the craziness of the rest of the episode. More leads are followed, people are questioned, and the road leads to a business man that has Yakuza connections and some shocking secrets about our victim. She was orphaned at a young age, her family killed by a ninja assassin and that she came to America to try and find the man that killed her family. She tries to do this through her boyfriend, whose father also had connections to the Yakuza and everything that happened. Castle and Beckett believe the ninja killer is Lee Tong, the business man from earlier, they accuse him, and the ninja kills him. He then tries to kill Castle and Beckett, but the other ninja shows up and saves them. What follows is a fun to watch ninja fight and the reveal that the bad guy ninja is actually the boyfriends father, and the good guy ninja is the victims sister, who earlier pretended to be from the Japanese Consulate to gain access to the case. Everything is wrapped up nicely.
While I had some personal issues with this episode, it was a lot of fun and true to Castle form. There was a simple case that quickly went over the top, Castle had his wild theories that no one took seriously, and a nice twist in the reveal of the killer. He was the guy we saw for about three minutes on screen before the reveal. That being said, there was nothing that really helped this episode to stand out as amazing. Yeah, the whole ninja thing was an interesting twist, but far from amazing. Mainly because the concept of ninjas as portrayed by this episode, and most American media, never actually existed in history (and this is something that was told to my historian father by a Japanese woman while he was in the military, so not just making stuff up here) and the actual martial arts that was the basis for the ninja is, as I am told by several different martial artist friends of mine, is a rather poor and inefficient style. Granted, while personally annoyed by this, its really not something I can hold against the show, as they were just using the norm that American pop culture has of the ninja, and honestly it was really fun to watch Castle come up with his wild theories about it.
There isn’t really much more I can say about this episode, which honestly upsets me. Martha and Alexis were nowhere to be seen, and while Ryan and Esposito did get more screen time this week then in several other episodes, nothing they did was overly great. They were good, and brought a lot of fun to the episode, especially in the tea house, but did nothing that made them really stand out from a majority of their past appearances.
Overall, this episode was fun, but that’s about it. It followed the established formula of a Castle episode well, but did nothing to really keep me overly engaged in it or make itself stand out as anything other than an average episode of Castle, not even the inclusion of ninjas could really make that happen. But, this doesn’t really upset me. We have had a lot of great episodes this seasons, and the promise of more to come, and not every episode can be a winner, sometimes you just gotta stick to the tried and true form and make an episode that’s fun, but not fantastic.