07 February, 2012

CASTLE 4.14 -- The Blue Butterfly

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.


  1. Chad Everett. Dr. Joe Gannon to the rescue sounded like Clint Eastwood. Overall great episode to bad Chuck couldn't do a throw back to the Peter Gunn era.

  2. I'm glad Castle is being reviewed. I love Castle but I hated this episode. I don't like these types of episodes. I also hate musical episodes..so please Castle writers, don't do a musical.

    1. Yeah I am also not a fan of these "special" episodes that many t.v. shows love to do when they get a few seasons in. To me it's just a waste of an entire week while absolutely NOTHING moves forward in the major story arcs. I thought this one was fun and all, but I would have been fine without it.

  3. I was so-so on the episode. It felt a bit too gimmicky for me but I also liked elements of it that made me forget the gimmick. I'd probably have rated it around what I would rate all CASTLE episodes. 72.

    But that's why I'm not reviewing this show. :)

  4. First off I just want to say that I'm glad you guys are reviewing Castle now that Chuck's gone. I never watched Castle until this season, at which point I tuned in because Chuck was gone from Mondays and I had nothing left to watch on those nights. I got hooked into it and then caught up on all the back-seasons via Amazon streaming. It may be a little bit of a silly show, but it has a lot of the elements of Chuck that I enjoyed:

    - Doesn't take itself too seriously
    - Has a lot of funny scenes
    - I absolutely HATE police procedurals but this one is different because the storylines are a bit more weird and "whimsical"
    - Has a big "will they won't they" romance element with Castle and Beckett.
    - Great actors, great chemistry between all the actors

    I'd say your score for this episode is totally appropriate. It was a fun episode, and clever the way they weaved the 1947 story with the present day story ... but it wasn't exactly an important episode to the series or anything. It was just entertaining in a light and inconsequential way.

    "Resulting in Beckett giving Castle a John Casey-like grunt. I miss Chuck."
    That made me laugh out loud, as did the part right before it when Beckett realized that Castle was picturing himself as the P.I. and her as the gangster's moll.

    "I should take off some more points for the totally ridiculous fact that Beckett didn’t arrest the old couple."
    Completely absurd that Beckett would come to that decision so easily ... WAY out of character for her. I think I enjoyed this episode much more in the first 50 minutes than I did in the last 10, because it felt like they were rushing to tie everything out right at the end there. If the last 10 minutes of the ep had been stronger than my rating of it would be much higher. And Castle endings come off as "if it wasn't for you meddling kids" Scooby-Doo-esque a LOT of the time ... but this one was like that to a RIDICULOUS extent. I THINK maybe it was meant to be a little cheesy to go with the vibe of the goofy 40's P.I. storyline ? ... but I'm not 100% sure because we were back in present day by that point. I need to watch that scene again.

    And then I have to address the "fake Castle & Beckett" kiss right at the end, lol ... two issues: A) the kiss was a little rushed right at the end there and B) it's been done before. I mean come on, I will totally forgive them for doing a fake kiss once in season 3 (especially because it was hot), but to make the fans wait ANOTHER whole season and STILL only be at the "fake kiss" stage this far into the series?? If these two don't get together by the time this season's over then forget it, they're gonna lose the magic. The obstacles are already at the point where they seem quite artificial. This season of Castle reminds me a lot of season 3 of Chuck from the "shipper" perspective, in that the obstacles are pretty contrived by now and the fans seem to be starting to lose patience (based on various comments I see on the internets). Based on the significant ratings drop in mid-season-3 of Chuck, it seemed that fans gave up on it super easily (which annoys the hell out of me) ... hopefully Castle doesn't experience the same negative effect. :-\

    1. "- Has a big "will they won't they" romance element with Castle and Beckett."

      ZzzzzZZzzzZZzzzzzzZZzzzzz... but I bet shippers love that shit so maybe you can rally them to the show.

    2. HAHA look I'm going to just admit that's the main reason I watch, and that for the most part I could not possibly care less about what happens in any of the cases of the week, ha ha. Unless they are particularly fun/wacky/hilarious in some way. I'm a girl, what the hell do you want from me!? ;-) I guess I must be a shipper but I swear I'm NOT a "crazy shipper"!!! I'm not one of the psychos that get super pissed about every little thing and start pitting characters against each other and all kinds of other demented shit, hahaha. Those people were always so entertaining on your ChuckGasmic blog though.

      Well, let me give myself a LITTLE more credit than that - the other reason I don't care about the cases of the week is that I like the continuing storylines with more consequence to the series as a whole. I also like character development. That's why I always hated L&O and those types of case-of-the-week shows. I guess that's why I always get sucked into serialized shows that have low ratings and cause me to constantly sweat the ratings every goddamn week!!

    3. Hell, bring all the fuckin' shippers here that you can find so they can argue to their heart's discontent about when Castle and that chick will ever actually get together (SPOILER: final episode).

    4. HAHAH "Castle and that chick" ... I guess we can't all be Sarah Walker. I made the mistake of going to castletv.net a couple times and saw some weird and disturbing shit on there (from commenters) ... I don't even know if they are shippers, but they are sure as HELL are crazy. Maybe I will try recruiting them here to crazy up these blog threads too. ;-)

      p.s. sorry for my earlier comment deletes, I messed up before and didn't hit the "reply" button.