Castle Review: “The Third Man”

E: We’re looking for the third man – the presumed killer – in a puzzling robbery scheme gone wrong.  Or is it the three bears?  This week’s body turns up in a little girl’s canopy bed when she and her parents return from vacation.  Is it heartless of me to mention how gorgeous her room is? That room was just lovely. I always wanted a bed like that.  The dead guy is a travel agent – though not the one who booked the bear family’s vacation – and he (or someone else) has been squatting in the apartment.  But why?  And how could that get him killed? He was tranqed to death.  Who runs around with needles like that?  Someone looking for actual bears?  Mad doctors and Nazis in B movies, says Castle.  Good luck with that one, then.

Beckett and Castle have bigger fish to fry, however.  Castle is 9th on the New York Ledger’s hottest bachelors of the year list (“it’s me, president of the really good-looking club”).

C: It’s clearly about more than good looks, though, as  I can’t imagine there aren’t 10 hotter men in America’s second mecca for actors and models.  But for a combination of wealth, fame, and charm, Castle would be hard to beat.

E: Indeed.  To complicate matters, the blurb under his smiling face says that Beckett might be taking him off the market – because, as it turns out, in last year’s interview he talked all about himself, and this time all he wanted to do was talk about Beckett.  In-teresting.

C: Hee!  They’re certainly stressing Castle and Beckett’s romantic connection these days, aren’t they?  I though it was funny that he was so quick to deny interest – and later, jealousy of her date – when in the past he’s been quite open about his attraction to her.  (Responding to “Are you an item?” with lines like “Not yet!”)  Does the flirtatious banter seem less appropriate because the feelings have begun to run deep?

E: I think that’s right on the money, C. They can’t joke about it because they’re not really – joking.  Didn’t you love his nervous chatting that either it was a murder or Beckett calling to yell at him. Martha – master of dry sarcasm – replies “pray for murder:” “dead body, I’m good” he sighs.   And hey!  Miss Langford (the owner of another recently squatted in apartment) is Delia from My So Called Life!  Best show ever.  Sorry, but I can’t let that pass without remark.

I’m not the only one who notices interior design, by the way.  Castle is hilarious, pointing out the molding and dumb waiter and the pre-war ice box in yet another squatted  apartment.  And even more so when he shrieks as the episode’s second dead body falls out of the fridge.

BTW, did you notice that nearly the entire Christopher Guest players were in that census commercial? Well, minus the big names.  Except Ed Begley Jr.  Still, totally awesome!  A Mighty Wind, blowing the census your way.

C: I did notice, and wondered how they got those guys.  Peculiar.

E: Civic duty?  Liberal guilt?

C: Anyway, as Beckett plans a date with Lanie’s friend, Mr. July in the NY Firefighters calendar (and how many people have friends just waiting to set them up with puppy-rescuing pin-ups? Not me!), Castle plans to go out with Number Three on the eligible bachelorettes list, and it’s obvious to all involved that they’ll end up at the same restaurant.

E: Hee hee – “Did she just flip her hair?”  Oh, Beckett, did you really stoop to defending him as a pin up MAN?  Sigh.  And how obvious was it that Three and Mr. July would eventually hook up?  I don’t know, but I feel like if I was on a first date and someone explained a murder investigation to me, that’d be way more interesting than the usual small talk.  Gross and awful, maybe, and I’m not saying Rick and Kate weren’t totally self-absorbed, but still, that’s fascinating stuff, right?  You don’t turn your nose up at that, do you? Of course not! You pitch right in and help solve the case!  Right?  No?  Is that just me?

C: Totally not just you.  We tune in to this stuff every week, right?  I’d find it gripping.  But it certainly established what was intended: that Castle and Beckett really do have something in common – not just a career interest in but a true passion for solving puzzles.

I think what I enjoyed most this week, though, was Castle’s chat with Alexis prior to his date.  She’s helping him pick his tie and giving him a little daughterly advice about not getting hurt and needing someone to take care of him, and the subtext obvious to the viewer goes straight over his head – Alexis, who’s never had a sane, reliable mother, is getting attached to Beckett, and it’s plain she doesn’t like to see her dad shrugging of the newspaper’s hint and chasing yet another floozie instead.

E: Alexis rules.  Loved seeing her with her Christmas Carol costar Colin Firth in A Single Man, btw.  Without getting too bogged down in this ep’s plot – which was incredibly elaborate, even for this show, involving squatting, newspaper delivery, family ties, and really alarming diamond smuggling – we’ll finish by sharing some of our favorite lines:

Castle, when Alexis tells him he can have leftover quiche for a late dinner: “Sweet!  Or savory, actually.”

Beckett snarking about Castle’s upcoming date: “I can see the headline now.  9 meets 3 @ dinner for 2.”

Beckett, asking Lanie to set her up: “I have no life.” “No, Mr. Bishop has no life.  That’s why he’s on my table.”

Ryan, fleshing out the backstory of the second robber/dead body:  “Mr Francis here, not one to waste a sinister-looking scar, decided to round out the stereotype with a laundry list of criminal activities.”

Esposito, worried about an unusual smuggling method: “Motherfreaking snakes on a motherfreaking plane.”

Alexis, urging her father not to be too cocky: “That’s what you said when you tried to deep fry a turkey, and we all know how that turned out.  Don’t burn off your eyebrows. Again.”

5 comments on “Castle Review: “The Third Man”

  1. Gina says:

    “. . . how many people have friends just waiting to set them up with puppy-rescuing pin-ups? Not me!”

    Me neither!!

  2. thepresidentrix says:

    Both scenes between Castle and Alexis were favorites for me! (And I also enjoyed the old-fashioned apartment; man, I’d love to live in a place like that!)

    ‘You hate me a little right now, don’t you?’ Hee hee hee.

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