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Castle - Dead from New York - Review:"I Really Like You"

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This week’s “Castle” has Beckett and Castle on the same continent again, for the show’s 150th episode, as they are thrust into the world of comedy and live television, when the founder of the 35 year running show, Saturday Night Tonight, Sid Ross, is murdered.

I have to confess, when I saw the promo, I had the feeling the penultimate episode to “Castle’s” seventh season (or series, possibly), was going to be ridiculous, and not a funny ridiculous, but a roll my eyes kind of ridiculous. I thus went into this episode quite skeptical about what I was in for. It was with great pleasure, though, that I was proven wrong. “Dead from New York” managed to balance the comedic aspect of the show and its characters without going overboard with it, in an episode which had me, at several moments, laughing out loud, and included an astonishing number of Nathan Fillion facial expressions.

The first suspect is a comedian from the show, Mickey Franks, and a crazy lunatic. He’s been in a tiff with the murdered, openly threatened to kill him, on film, in one of his outbursts, but with way too much against him at first sight, and being their first suspect, he’s obviously not the murderer.

“He was minding his own damn business. My client is an upstanding citizen and a pillar of the community, not to mention he’s one funny motherfudgesickle.” – Franks’ "Attorney"

When “the comedic genius” tries to run, at the sight of the NYPD, Beckett, in a great, chivalrous moment, disarms him and draws his own sword on him. Castle though, did not seem as impressed as I was by his wife’s medieval take-down, and seemed more taken by the hilarity of the situation, and of his idol. He stated the moment was hilarious instead of freakin’ awesome as I was expecting him to.

The partners bring Franks in for questioning and it made for an enjoyable bit. It wasn’t as much because Franks was acting absolutely insane, but mostly because of the reactions of the exasperated Beckett and amused Castle, their contrasting personalities against the crazy man’s antics. (An oldie, but a goodie!) It’s been done, and redone, yet I always find myself enjoying it. Once the real stakes are exposed though, it is revealed he is playing crazy in order to get out of his contract and a seemingly more balanced individual alibied out.

“Well, I’m not sure whether we should be flattered, or offended.” -Beckett

Saturday Night Tonight is putting together a parodic sketch of our favorite duo, with a ridiculous “righter” and a pretty (never as pretty as Beckett/Stana) “Model Cop.” There’s an actress, much like one Natalie Rhodes, though a tad more annoying, anxious to learn the particular ways of Beckett. There is a fan of theirs, or of Beckett’s, mostly. The head writer for SNT has followed her career and had once aspired to becoming a cop, but eventually settled on being a writer.

“Pathetic, I know.” –Lise Bell

This line was absolutely perfectly delivered and I loved Castle’s reaction to it. It has to be one of my favorite non-regular-cast line delivered in a long while. Also, the head writer had pretty good questions for Kate, and I would definitely want the answer to her hair, as would any girl. (If this wasn’t a TV show! Duh.)

I chuckled at Castle fanboying over Carly Rae Jepson, in another great Nathan Fillion moment. If you would have asked me, I wouldn’t have pegged him for a fan, but I have to give it to her, her songs are damn catchy. (And she has Tom Hanks lip-syncing in her music video, what more to ask?) Asking for the motivation behind “Call me Maybe” had me laughing particularly because I somehow don’t think there is an answer to that question, but we’ll never know, now will we? Carly got ushered to the scene to do her musical number leading to the highlight of the interaction which had to be the Caskett backstage dance. It seemed so unlike them, yet so them at the same time. It seemed improvised, and real, like not many dance bits do on TV, nowadays. Kate’s laugh at the end of it had to be the cutest darn thing ever.

The search for the murderer makes the team exit the comedic road for a little bit, after they discover Sid Ross had taken the subway to Brooklyn, where a deal had occurred, at midnight. A drug kingpin, who claims to have financed the pilot of the show, seen fleeing the alley, is their next suspect, but he also alibies out for their time of death window and they’re left suspectless.

The money was a ransom demand, in exchange for Ross’ first wife, kidnapped during her morning run. (Always use the My Fitness App when going for a run guys, it may save your life!) Though I rolled my eyes at the ransom bit, which I though was an easy way to go, I had to applaud the clever twist with the money and pretty clever of the team to piece it all together. (But who am I kidding, it’s them, of course they would!)

After determining that Chad, the perfect fall back guy, wasn’t actually their guy, the team at the twelfth were able to find the real murderer. I, for one, was surprised at the reveal, because, firstly, I did not remember the character at all. They made an incredible good job at making him seem mundane and I hadn’t given him a second thought. Secondly, and more importantly, I had my eye on Danny Valentine. Maybe my judgement was clouded, but anyone who openly flirts with Beckett in front of Castle is under my careful scrutiny. I kind of hated though that Kate flirted back though, and was totally with Castle on this one, and thought he should have been madder, harder on her for it, but he kind of let it slide because: “Danny Freakin’ Valentine!”

Beckett gets to make her arrest on live television and the guys making fun of her after her televised takedown had a great brotherly love feeling to it, which I always enjoy seeing between those three and could never get enough of.

“Yes, and… you can shut the hell up.” -Esposito

Ryan and Esposito's presence at the precinct was mostly business for a major portion of the episode, but they also had their own side thing going on, and it was pretty funny. What can I say? Ryan is a funny guy, and Esposito still plays closed off and cold. Why does it not surprise me that Esposito doesn’t watch the comedy show, that the others have fond memories of, and he finds it stupid? He’s acting like a Debby downer and Ryan, tired of Esposito’s negative attitude, tries to talk him out of it by extrapolating lessons he learned in his improve class to real life, which ultimately works, sort of…

“Castle” remains a procedural, which makes it confined to a certain structure. This episode was the traditional murder and chasing down of suspects, but it doesn't matter because what makes us coming back, what makes “Castle” so special is its characters and how we relate to them. “Dead from New York” did a great job at including Martha into the storyline and made for some heartfelt moments in the midst of the all the ridicule, and for once, her character downed the episode down instead of the opposite.

Kate is still learning some of the quirks of living with the Castles, and this week, it pertains to Martha’s weird routine of repeating the first line of her play for the 48 hours prior her premiere. The first line for this particular play is “Is he dead?” which has Beckett confused but Castle untouched. Susan Sullivan killed it in the opening scene, she was perfect, and hilarious. After Castle’s explanation though, I am kind of disappointed her opening line wasn’t “Come on baby, I’ll make it worth your while” but just imagining a parent teacher conference with Martha repeating it is going to have to be enough.

“Dead in New York,” gave for some quality mother son interactions, in which the later, more Caskett oriented seasons, have been lacking. It was Kate, worried about her mother in law, that pushed them to have the conversation, because she loves Martha, despite her annoying habits, and I loved her just a little bit more for it.

“Because you are a fighter. What have you always told me? No one will ever give you anything in this life, you must earn it. And look at you, almost 20 years later and you’re back on Broadway. You have earned this.” -Castle

Martha usually acts really confident, especially about her craft, and it was great to see a little bit of her insecurities. The scene, and the episode, made her less caricatured and extravagant; it made her more human, as her overzealous repetition of “Is he dead?” before the Preview hides a larger problem, how out of it she feels. In a scene were Susan and Nathan both killed it, she bares her insecurities to her son, who is there to listen, to be a shoulder to lean on, and to ultimately guide her back to her more confident self.

I loved that Castle’s inspirational speech portrayed to how good a mom she was, because Castle often complains on how he was raised, but this was great to see that she did some things right and that he acknowledges it. The scene showed how close they really are, showed a glimpse of the relationship they shared being a single mother and a boy, finding their way in New York City.

The Martha storyline also made for a great ending to the episode, though missing Alexis, as Martha went to the precinct, to her son, to Kate, in order to celebrate her triumphant second act.

“And about that. Is amazeballs a good thing?” - Martha

Side Note: “Just Takes a Little” by Amy Stroup was the perfect song to end the episode. I have always loved the indie-folk type soundtrack to "Castle," and this one definitely makes the cut.

Agree? Disagree? I'd love to know your thoughts.

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