NCIS, The Mentalist, Criminal Minds, CSI, The Closer, Law & Order SVU, Hawaii Five-O, Blue Bloods, Bones, Unforgettable, Prime Suspect, Body of Proof – weekly TV police procedurals are even more common and annoying than New England Super Bowl appearances and halftime show controversies.
Before you flip me the bird for leaving off a certain show near and dear to your geeky heart, just know I did so for good reason.
Because Castle, in this week’s “The Blue Butterfly”, did what no other of those weekly procedurals can do: satisfy our need for more Nathan Fillion (in Dick Tracy attire, no less), successfully travel back to a 1940s mob jazz club, appease the Castle-Beckett ‘shippers (even if it wasn’t real) and give us the fun twist and turns that one expects from a show like this.
And we get all of this while simultaneously treasure hunting? And with no Nicholas Cage!? Castle fans are spoiled.
When a modern-day treasure hunter is killed, an old 1940s private detective’s diary is found – leading Castle, Beckett and the rest of the cast (except for “Iron Gates”, whose presence is completely useless in this show in general. We miss you, Montgomery) to the search of the valuable Blue Butterfly necklace, where Castle’s vivid imagination turns a standard TV crime trope into an exciting, amusing and sexy journey.
The episode goes back and forth between their present-day investigation and the clues from the diary being played out by in Castle’s mind. Beckett playing a dolled-up mob bosses girl? No complaints here.
It also links back to a previous double murder in the 1940s, where Castle and Beckett’s character quickly fall in love and but fail to make off together with the diamond necklace before being killed by the mob boss – played by Mark Pellegrino (nice to see him working for someone other than the Ring).
But just like the double murder and the investigation of the current-day murderer, nothing is as it seems. In the investigation, we are pointed in several directions: a competing treasure hunter, a financial backer, a homeless squatter and the mob bosses’ great grandson – but no matter who you guessed to be the culprit you were wrong. Because we learn at the last minute it was a character that wasn’t even an option. Nothing grinds my gears on a TV show more than when the murderer is essentially introduced at the very last second out of nowhere. So lame.
But that was fairly inconsequential as it turned out to only be the secondary mystery, as the twists and turns that played out like a Castle novel were far from over.
--Detective Ryan: “Maybe clothes aren’t the only thing they’re laundering.” C’mon, Kevin. How did you say that with a straight face?
--Castle (playing the 1940s private eye) describing Beckett’s character in his fantasy portrayal of the diary: “This dame was trouble on two legs.” I wish people talked like that now. Let’s bring it back.
--Castle, after his private detective character gets roughed up by Ryan and Esposito (who play the muscle for a mob boss): “You should see what my face did to the other guy’s fist.” I can see Esposito as mob muscle, since he used to be a bad-ass sniper. But Ryan? That guy is a pipsqueak. Castle would have destroyed him. And getting beat up just for looking at a woman? I wouldn’t have lasted long in the 40s, I don’t think.
--Castle to Beckett: “If you want a beginning, middle and an end, I have 27 novels you can choose from.” Resulting in Beckett giving Castle a John Casey-like grunt. I miss Chuck.
SCORE: 86 out of 100
It was a good, entertaining and unique episode, but let’s not go overboard. Some may overrate it simply due to the fact that Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic kissed or because this episode has been hyped for a while, but at times it was predictable and the identity of the murderer was a cop-out. I should take off some more points for the totally ridiculous fact that Beckett didn’t arrest the old couple. How about murder, arson or faking your own deaths? Really, nothing?
If you think my grade is too harsh, well tough luck. I sucked at school so maybe I don’t want to see anyone else do well, either. Even if it is one of my favorite shows.