Disco is a mystery that will never be solved: Goon Reviews Castle “That 70’s Show”

I am so glad I wasn't alive in the 70's.

I am so glad I wasn’t alive in the 70’s.

Seriously, words cannot describe how happy I am that I missed the 70’s.

So, after nearly a month’s hiatus we return to the 12th Precinct, just in time to hop into the ol’ wayback machine for a trip to the 70’s.

We open up with Martha offer suggesting for Castle and Beckett’s wedding, and the two of them promptly shooting them down and hurting her feelings.  They are saved from uncomfortable family interactions by the discovery of a dead body in a building about to be torn down.  Castle quickly realizes that the dead body is none other than that of a mob boss that mysteriously disappeared. After a series of dead ends in the case the only lead left is the victims old right hand man, a man by the name of Harold who happens to be mentally stuck in the 70’s.  This leaves Castle and Beckett with only one choice, to their best to recreate the disco decade so that Harold will tell them what he knows.  A road bump is hit when a hit man attempts to kill Harold while he is at the morgue.  This shakes Harold, leading Castle to have to up the ante and make the precinct look like hold over form the 70’s.  A lead is found in an old nightclub that the victim used to frequent, and Harold is taken there by Ryan and Esposito.  As it turns out Harold had snapped out of his 70’s delusions after the morgue and played Team Castle so he could get to the owner of the club, Frank Russo.  Harold blamed Frank for the death and wanted revenge.  Ryan and Esposito stop him and take him back to the precinct, where Beckett and Castle get Russo to confess what happened the night of the murder.  The victim rented out the place for a private event, he was going to propose to the sister of the head of the rival crime family, thus merging the two into one, super crime family. (or something along those lines)  In the end, Beckett and Castle discover that Harold was more than just a right hand man, he and the victim were in love (that one caught me off guard, did not see it coming) and that he wouldn’t go through the wedding, leading him to be shot by the woman he was going to propose to.  Castle and Beckett nab the crook and we close out the episode  with a disco party at the club.

This episode was not great, but boy was it fun!  There was very little of the usual Castle formula, that being the tracking down witnesses and suspects, following false leads, and finding the killer in the end.  Instead we had the focus primarily on Harold, he was the key to the solving the case.  This led us to learning much more about the a guest character then we usual do.  While Harold wasn’t the most developed character ever, we did get much more with him than we usually do with guest characters.  They strongly sold just how much he cared for the victim, at first portraying it as a close friendship, an almost brotherly bond, which led to the reveal that the two were actually in love all the more shocking.  It was just an amazing twist to have and it perfectly explains how Harold ended up mentally stuck in the past.  Without the man he loved, he had no reason to move forward with his life.  It was an amazing subplot for the episode that showed just how devastating the loss of a loved one can be.

The biggest part of the this episode was our trip to the past, a decade of disco, bad hair, bell bottoms, and hippies.  Again, so glad I missed it, but it was a lot of fun to watch.  You had Castle fully embracing the idea of remaking the past, while Beckett fighting him every step of the way.   It was true to form for the pair, Castle embracing the weird and wacky, Beckett staying firmly grounded in reality.  Of course Castle got his way in the end, using his ever so amazing Castle Logic to convince Beckett that it needed to be done, which led to one of the best scenes of the series, Precinct 12 in the 70’s, orchestrated by none other than Martha Rogers.  Seeing Martha get so involved in what was supposed to be a simple deception, bringing in actors and scripts, was a perfect touch and a strong use of her character.  Seeing Castle and Beckett bumbling their way through their acts was brief, but hilarious, it was nice seeing the two outside of their comfort zones and just being silly awkward in a new role.

Overall, this episode was just plain fun.  It was upbeat, funny, and kept the drama light in favor of playing up the ridiculously funny gimmick of the episode.   It wasn’t anything great and won’t stand out as one of the best Castle episodes, but it is definitely a memorable one, if only for seeing Beckett in hippy wear and Ryan and Esposito acting like tough guy cops from the 70’s.  It was a solid episode to return from the hiatus with and was true Castle form.

Goon out.