Castle Review: “Overkill”

E: What do you think: does the episode title constitute an unforgivable spoiler?

M: I saw the episode and can theorize what you mean, but really don’t know what the spoiler would be, so I’d say no.

E: Um, I mean that the murder victim was essentially killed twice, which is unnecessary?   And the double, unrelated killings (the overkill) were the big plot twist?  But I guess it can’t constitute that much of a spoiler if you didn’t pick up on it.

C: I saw the title after seeing it and thought the same thing you did, E.  If you had it in mind while you were watching, you’d definitely be more likely to guess the twist!  Which I didn’t guess, although I really should have, since both the killers gave me the “it’s them” vibe when they were interviewed.  But I kept trying to decide between them!

E: The plot?  A skin care line developer, Damien Wilder, gets shot and clubbed to death (C: I’m hotlinking because I love that song) in a case involving blackmail, animal rights activists, shaving cream and vengeful models.  The meat of the episode, however?  Castle is jealous.  Jealous jealous jealous.  He’s also hilariously metrosexual about the skin care line, spreading the bug to Ryan and Esposito, asking for samples during the investigation, and meditating on being Carrie to their Charlotte and Miranda.

M: Oh, the shaving cream stuff was hilarious.  The Wonder Twins were great with it, especially when it turned out that it might be dangerous!  But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.

E: I didn’t recognize any of this week’s possible suspects, did you guys?  Well, the girl who played the blackmailer is vaguely familiar, and it turns out that the business manager, Lisa Jenkins (Julie Claire) is on 24 right now.  Paul Carafotes had a substantial role on Knots Landing, lo so many years ago. Was this an off week for them, or would these guest stars be more familiar to someone else?

C: They weren’t familiar to me, which is why I had to go by general shiftiness – but there was too much of that going around!

E: Actually, I take it back.  The cousin is played by William R. Moses, who was Perry Mason’s sidekick (Della’s son) in those TV movies in the early 90s.  Huh.

C: Oh yes, that makes him SO recognizable…

E: Well, I didn’t actually recognize him, but he did seem vaguely familiar (mostly because we watched many of those with Grammy back in the day).  And he was on Falcon Crest.  Which we, er, didn’t watch. Is that the mini-theme – nighttime soaps of the 80s and 90s?

M: I did think that Julie Claire looked familiar, but looking over her IMDb page I think she just looks like someone, because I don’t know her.  However, I actually thought that the lack of recognition with the guest stars this week was intentional.  The way that they played the episode I felt like we weren’t even supposed to care who the suspects were, just that Castle and Demming were competing, bringing in anyone they could on their respective sides (robbery/homicide) to try to solve the case first.  It reminded me of the hilarious episode where Castle and Beckett bet with the Wonder Twins on who would solve their case first.  Because of the whole romantic plot, and not everyone being involved, it didn’t play out as funny or as well, in my opinion, but it was similar.

E: Ah, I agree with both sides of that – that it wasn’t as zippy or entertaining as the bet with the Wonder Twins, and that they may have minimized spending on guest stars to concentrate on the dubious jealousy plot.  Martha delivers the “make Castle think” moment of the week by writing a thank you note to the rival who got her role in a bad play.  Rick isn’t expecting her to be gracious.  And it makes him step back. It doesn’t change his behavior to Demming, though.

M: That’s yet to be seen, they didn’t really interact after that.

C: I’m going to disagree with both of you.  I thought it was a great episode.  I liked how Demming at first wasn’t even aware there was a competition on hand, and kept giving Castle funny looks when he was getting aggressive about his theories.  But Castle made it more than evident and then the boys were going head-to-head with Beckett rolling her eyes.  I loved that she finally solved the case without them – but let them book their suspects for the sake of “male vanity.”

E: It’s interesting.  Why does Demming compete with Castle, when he also clearly has the girl?  Even though he’s won (at least for the moment)?  Is that just testosterone, or does he have a reason to feel threatened?

M: That’s both.

E: Thanks for the guy perspective on that, then.

M: No problem. He’s obviously very similar to Castle in his competitiveness, but I’m pretty sure he can sense that Castle’s interested, and that there is something there, and not just on Castle’s end.  That puts him on high alert, and will lead him to do whatever he needs to to hold onto his current position.

C: Castle seeing them kiss at the end of the episode was predictable but inevitable – and certainly ups the ante.  I feel like it’s too early for Castle to make his move, though.  Does he really want Kate + Rick = luv 4eva?  Surely he knows that he can’t just date this woman casually!  But how could either of them feel that the time’s ripe for the real thing?  Their relationship still has a ways to grow…

M: It’ll be interesting to see where they go with this triangle, since we know Demming won’t be back next season.  Do things fail miserably?  Does he turn out to be dirty?  Does he end up riddled with bullets, as you suggested last week?

E: Do we know for sure that he won’t be back?  In the interview I read, he’s been signed for these 4 episodes, but potentially with the option to come back.  Of course, that might be disinformation.

C: I wish he could stay for a longer stretch, because I think Beckett having a boyfriend changes things up in a good way.  It’s no longer just that Castle has to wear her down – she has a real choice.  It makes her more interesting and makes him have to work harder.  I think this is probably it for Trucco, though, alas.

E: I know your notion, M, is that they’re testing the waters before creating a show for him – as they did, say, with heavily promoted Castle guest star Alyssa Milano, who’s currently starring in Romantically Challenged, a sitcom so atrocious that I couldn’t stand to watch more than five minutes of it. I haven’t heard anything about him in the press for the upfronts, though, have you?

C: Um, clearly you guys don’t actually read the comments to this blog.  Nice.  When you guys posted without me the other week, I linked to this article, which describes Michael Trucco’s new show: Facing Kate with Sarah Shahi of the defunct but once-good show Life.  It’s on USA, so if it has any of that White Collar magic, I could be into this in a big way!

E: Oh, I’m an idiot. Now I remember that.  Being that I was the one who sent you that article in the first place.  Complete lunacy. Talk about unforgivable!  So, hail of  bullets it is!

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