Castle: Under the Influence
by Stephen Janes (@stephenkjanes)
Castle has relied on a tried and true template in order to tell a story, with locations and settings changing from episode to episode. Several other shows were comfortable with the same format in order to keep the dedicated fan base, but interest new viewers. Although Castle has yet to introduce that ‘shocking’ element that sparks new interest, it still can rely on its clever storytelling and witty dialogue.
It’s not very often that episodes of Castle spend time developing anybody not on the main cast. It was a very nice touch that, instead of assuming somebody’s backstory, we were told where a key character came from and his story. This isn’t something that is necessary for every single episode, but on occasion it’s nice to hear that somebody who was wrongfully accused of murder is not a complete scumbag. We will mention a little more about ‘Monster’ later on and how he plays a fairly key role in the story.
One element that I didn’t talk too much about in last week’s episode was the conflict Castle’s ex-wife was causing. Although by the end of the episode Beckett and Meredith eventually buried the casket, it clearly was an issue between Beckett and Castle. I bring this up because it was not once mentioned by anybody, which was interesting. Also, I hope you saw what I did there with Meredith and Beckett burying the casket.
Lately, one of my favorite elements in Castle has been the character dynamic between Detectives Esposito and Ryan. I always get a kick out of Ryan’s fan girl moments and the ridicule that ensues from Esposito. Viewers got to witness a very touching side of Esposito when he volunteered to take in a young suspect (‘Monster’) for safety. The two shared a few nice moments and seemed to be bonding until ‘Monster’ ran off. Esposito’s character doesn’t often get a development arc such as this, and it was nicely done.
Esposito does everything in his power to help stray ‘Monster’ (or Joey) off the path of crime and do the right thing. This becomes more apparent when Joey holds the missing link to the murder investigation but refuses to say anything due to loyalty. It becomes reminiscent of a father-son lesson that is sure to win Esposito’s character a few more fans, especially with the way he comes to defend Joey against his boss.
All in all, this episode ends just like most other episodes. It was entertaining and enjoyable, although I do wonder why no conflict carried over from the previous episodes. Either way, this episode was good but needed a few more unexpected twists and, “wow” moments to really set it over the top. You won’t miss anything by not watching this episode, but you will not feel as though your time was wasted here.
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars