Castle: The Lives of Others (Episode 100!)
by Stephen Janes (@stephenkjanes)
When a television show hits episode number 100, it is often a time to evaluate how much longer a show can continue to produce fresh content. The 100th episode of Castle turned out to be a well-scripted, clever homage to the classic Alfred Hitchcock thriller Rear Window, and turned out to be fantastically entertaining.
As the episode opens, Castle is shown with a full leg cast after a horrific skiing accident that happened off-screen. Based on the way Castle was explaining his injury, it would have been somewhat entertaining to see exactly how Castle injured his leg. Suffering from cabin fever, Castle did everything he could to entertain himself in humorous fashion.
As mentioned, this episode pays homage to Rear Window. Castle witnesses a murder in the apartment complex across from him and tried everything to convince Detective Beckett that something happened. Not finding any evidence or reason to believe him, Beckett believes Castle is making up the murder in order to distract her. We haven’t seen too much of ‘Caskett’ disagreeing this season, which was different.
One element I appreciated this episode was the return of Alexis Castle, who we haven’t really seen since her kidnapping in the two-part special. The character of Alexis is a great character that is often underused and serves as a great “sidekick” to her father. She is the only one who believes her father’s theory and actually joins forces to help her crippled parent.
As Castle and daughter are solving a murder, Beckett, Ryan and Esposito are busy with their own investigation. The case wasn’t exactly too complex, but it had some interesting elements (infrared lights, insurance policies and cover-ups among others). The process of the investigation felt very flat without Castle, and was definitely lacking something. It wasn’t difficult to see the void not having Castle created, but there was still some entertainment value from the case.
The show gets back into its regular strut when Beckett joins Castle and attempts to investigate his theory. What begins as a potential murder ends with a surprise birthday coup directed by Martha Castle and Beckett. It turned out the murder was actually a staged performance in order to surprise Castle and entertain him in his crippled state. I loved every second of it and hated the writers for coming up with something so deviously crafty that scared me at first.
Ever since Castle went Taken with the two-part special, the show has been very strong with its writing direction. These episodes are usually considered filler, but feel like anything but. It was another strong showing for Castle and with only four more episodes until the season finale, we seem to be riding the high tide until the end. This episode was absolutely brilliant and, minus “The Final Frontier” episode, is probably one of my personal favorites this season. Must watch, hands down.
Castle: “Hey Beckett…about how many crimes do you think we’ve solved together?”
Beckett: “Oh, I don’t know, probably about a hundred?”
Castle: “Well then, here’s to another hundred more.
Castle will return in two weeks with new episodes.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars