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Castle - In Plane Sight - Review: "Molly Quinn Soars"

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As is the usual, the case was up in the air until the end, but so was the crime scene in last night's episode of ABC's Castle, with some phenomenally good wifi proving instrumental in cracking the case in "In Plane Sight", written by Dara Resnik Creasey and directed by Bill Roe.

Credit where it's due, the case was one of the easiest to follow that the series has produced, but you could put that down to a simplistic case. A flight attendant used her inside knowledge of who was on the flight bound for London to steal a multi-million dollar watch after the airline restructured to cut her pension. She did a darn good job covering her tracks, successfully fooling the investigative team into going after three other suspects, but in the end it wasn't enough.

The episode saw Rick and Alexis working hand together on the plane with Kate, Ryan, Esposito and Tory manning the phones on the ground and feeding information upward. With many more lives than normal at stake, the intensity was lifted above average throughout, but thankfully didn't boil over. I can't say I found myself too worried about the ISIS threat early on because even Castle couldn't drag things out for another half an hour - though they did come close. The flight attendants did have my money early though - access to the plane's restricted areas to stow the body of the air marshal brought the dots much closer together.

That aside, seeing Molly Quinn as Alexis get some decent screen time was great to see. Quinn has grown up on the set of the show, and delivered a solid performance portraying a character that has always been mature beyond her years. Alexis was understandably nervous throughout, with Lanie giving her some advice from the ground while she was examining the body. Not one to be flustered, she was calm under pressure, and successfully resolved a tense situation on board the plane.

While Alexis' nerves were understandable, I did tire rather quickly after seeing the same from Rick himself. For a guy who has winged his way through hundreds of interrogations, his worries were largely unfounded and unnecessary. Both Rick and Kate in partnership and individually have dealt with people who warranted much more caution because of the threats they posed.

Maybe it's my often purely logical way of viewing such things, but what could be controlled was controlled, and creating a fuss for no reason only serves to waste time, and it also sapped some of the intensity, which had been so nicely developed. Note that the ISIS dude had no way to detonate a bomb if there was one when he was secured below the cabin, hence why getting information to find it as soon as possible if it was there is rather important. You could also add 'overprotective of Alexis' in there somewhere too.

Though planes aren't an everyday location for most television series, it's one I'm glad Castle has ticked off. I would have actually preferred a more comedic episode in which no one was killed, but something was perhaps lost or stolen. A plane provides a unique set of sources for humorous moments for a character like Castle, whether it be angry passengers, fans of his work, the public address system, and of course, the flight controls. Having Kate on board would have added an element of nostalgia given their turbulent time on a plane in season 3's episode "To Love and Die in L.A.". The natural predictability of a happy ending makes a more intense and serious episode as we saw last night a lot harder to take seriously. Iconic medical drama House MD's 2007 episode titled "Airborne" is the best exponent I've seen to date of a plane centered episode, choosing to take the comedic route with tremendous success in my opinion.

In the end, the killer was caught, but because of the nature of the episode whereby only two primary locations were used, there was no time or place for any Caskett moments. Given the lives at stake, I thought the absence of Captain Gates was more frustrating than normal, and the character continues to retain a firm grip on the most underused series regular role on television. If the creative team were looking for an excuse to bring Martha into the precinct and produce a good few moments between Kate and her mother-in-law, then a prime opportunity has also gone begging. The one major blooper I want to point out was the guilty flight attendant switching her grip on the gun she was holding from left to right handed as the camera angles changed.

In all, this was a pretty simple and at times predictable hour of Castle. Nothing was spectacularly good or bad, but seeing Molly Quinn strut her stuff was the highlight of the night for me.

Thanks for reading! This review was a one-off for me, with Ann-Sophie departing for a quick break. She should be all aboard for the final two episodes of the season. Do share your own thoughts about the episode in the comments section below, and make sure you check out Castle on my TV ratings website,

About the Author - Jimmy Ryan
Jimmy Ryan lives in New Zealand, and works in the IT industry. He is an avid follower of drama television and has a keen interest for television ratings and statistics. Some of his favorite shows right now are Person of Interest, Scandal, House of Cards, Orphan Black, The Blacklist, The 100, How To Get Away With Murder, Elementary and Castle. You can visit his television ratings website, or follow him on Twitter, @SeriesMonitor.
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