Welcome Home Alexis: Goon Reviews Castle “Room 147”

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So, I think it’s safe to say this was definitely one of the most interesting cases we have yet to have on Castle, and boy did I love it!

Diving right in, we open with a fairly unimportant opening scene of two maids finding the dead body in the hotel room, this was pretty blah all things considered, they tried an amusing opening with the senior maid making a comment about the same boring rooms only to find a body.  I applaud their effort, but it fell flat.  We then jumped to Castle and Beckett waking up to the smell of coffee in the apartment, and everyone’s favorite red head, Alexis, who had crashed there the previous night.  We have learned that since her last appearance she has broken up with Pi and is working her butt off to make rent.  Castle, ever the amazing father, tells her she is more than welcome to move back home, but she refuses, citing she has a lease and doesn’t want to back out.  Before to much more can happen, she departs for class and Castle and Beckett go to solve their murder.

The CoW was an interesting one this time around.  What started off as a simple and straightforward case, complete with a woman confessing to the murder.  All this is derailed when an alibi is discovered for her, and two more people confess to the murder.   As I said above, this was one of the more interesting cases we have had on the show, because it was less of the usual chasing down leads and question witnesses, and more trying to figure out why these three innocent people were confessing to the crime, and how they all factored in to it.  Seeing Beckett and Castle being completely confused by this and not really knowing how to proceed at some points was a refreshing change of pace.  We still saw them as the competent professionals they have been established as over the series, but we got to see that despite that, they aren’t prepared for every case that comes their way.   As the case progresses and they begin to unravel the threads of the mystery, Castle and Beckett are able to find the common element between the three confessors, an organization that helps people overcome problems in their lives, which I found to be quite creepy in all honesty.  It had a very Scientology feel to it.

The creepy help group is, of course, the center of the crime.  The victim is traced back to a video he did for the organization, one designed to help people put a face on their various problems and get past them, also used is mind altering drugs, as stated before, creepy as all heck.  It is Castle that figures this out, through the use of a mini-fridge and the collective remembering of the three confessors, once again showing just how smart he is.  In the end, it is discovered that the killer is a member of the victim’s theater group, seeking revenge against the organization because she blames them for her brother’s death.  Gotta be honest, this was kind of a let down.  Earlier in the episode they made an offhand comment about three people dying in a sweat tent at one of the organizations functions, and we really only had a couple of minutes of screen time for the murderer.  While it was a nice surprise that I honestly did not see coming, it felt like it was something that was tacked on the at the end, lacking in any real pay off.  I feel it would have been better if it all tied into the self help group, maybe they were up to something nefarious and the victim caught on to it and was killed because of it.  But hey, I’m not a writer for the show, and the ending wasn’t bad, just not great.

We were light on subplots this week, the only one being Alexis’ living situation.  This was light, only having a few scenes that didn’t even add up to more than a few minutes of screen time, but in this case, less was more.  We got to see Beckett having some honest and legitimate concerns about her relationship with Castle, and by extension Alexis.  I am glad that we finally got to see what Alexis has been up to since her last appearance and realization about her relationship with Pi.  Realizing that she made a mistake in her relationship with Pi, she was trying to own up to it and fix her own mistake. Essentially she was trying to be an adult, not realizing that being adult doesn’t mean she can’t accept help from the people who love her.  The best part, which is also in the running for my favorite moment of the season, was the scene between Beckett and Alexis.  We got to see Beckett and Alexis actually connect, with Beckett passing on some advice and wisdom to her soon to be step daughter, in a true motherly fashion.  I have said before that I really wanted some more moments between these two characters, see their relationship develop alongside her relationship with Castle, and I was thrilled that we got that here. In the end we got a great payout as Alexis shows up at the door, asking if she can come home.  This was beautiful, a perfect end to the episode.

Overall, this wasn’t a bad episode, the CoW was an interesting one, even if I felt it had a lackluster wrap up.  The true greatness of this episode came from Alexis and Beckett.  If it hadn’t been for their subplot, I probably wouldn’t have found this episode all that great, but it was there, and it was amazing.

Goon out.

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That was weird: Goon Reviews Castle “Like Father, Like Daughter”

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Okay, favorite episode this season so far.  Everything about it was fantastic.

The best part by far Castle and Alexis teaming up to solve the CoW, it was nice role reversal for characters.  Where as in the past we had Castle working with Beckett to solve the murders, with Alexis being in the background, usually to provide an amusing subplot or random bit of insight that Castle would need to solve the case, we had her taking center stage and Beckett moving back into the support role.   This was fantastic both because it allowed Castle and Alexis to patch up their relationship, which I am ever so happy they didn’t drag out, and allowed Alexis to shine.  Very rarely if ever have we had an episode where she plays as much of role as she does in this one, and it was amazing to see.  Molly Quinn has definitely got the acting chops and I can’t wait to see what she does in the future.

Focusing more on the CoW.  It was an interesting one.  Instead of trying to solve a murder that has just happened, we see the Castle’s trying to prove a convicted man’s innocence.   This was a lot of fun to watch because we saw them approaching the crime solving in a different ways,  there was no searching of the crime scene or chasing down suspects.  Everything was right there in front of them and Castle and Alexis spent most of the time just going over photos and talking their way through the crime.  We got see Alexis’ intelligence shine through, but not so much that it overshadowed her dad’s.  Which makes sense.  Castle has more experience in this field than his daughter so he is able to spot the things she wouldn’t think to see, while at the same time her intelligence helps her to see the things that Castle would miss.  All in all, it was an amazing team up for solving the crime.  There were several fun twists, the suspect taking the fall to protect his little brother because he thought his brother did it, the suspecting of the victim’s boyfriend to only have him be quickly dismissed, everyone hating Castle and Alexis for trying to find the truth, the countdown to the execution.   It made for the good kind of drama, the type that leaves you in suspense and wondering what will come next.  Granted it is always a safe bet that in the end they will catch the bad guy, but still, it is nice to be left guessing every once in awhile.  The reveal of the killer being the cop wasn’t too surprising.  I was honestly expecting him from the get go, but I have a habit of always expecting the assholes first, so I don’t count this against the episode because the cop had such a limited role  in the episode it would have been a bit of a leap to automatically suspect him.

The biggest flaw of this episode was the lack of Beckett, Ryan, and Esposito.  Ryan and Esposito did help out with the case, but most of what they did was off camera.  Laney and Beckett played far stronger support role in this episode, doing what they could to  support Castle and Alexis in their investigation.  The best part of this was Beckett’s wondering why Alexis didn’t come to her for help as well.  We saw her feeling some fear and unease about her relationship with Castle and becoming a part of his family, which was a nice jump off the set up from last week where Alexis said she wasn’t too in support of the upcoming marriage.  At the end we did see Alexis come to the realization that she needs to talk to Beckett, and we he had the closing scene of them talking and hugging.  I liked this, but I would have preferred to actually hear their talk, see them work through their fears and insecurities.  But this episode was more about Castle and Alexis repairing their relationship rather than building new ones, still got plenty of season left for that to happen.

Overall, great episode, as I said above, favorite so far this season.  It will be tough to top it.

Goon out.