Castle Review: “Eye of the Beholder”

C: Every week, Castle seems to take on some unusual world as its setting. This week, they seemed to have wandered into the world of White Collar, where astonishingly well-dressed insurance investigators sashay their way into the hearts of clever crime-fighters. In this particular case, we have a theft and a murder at an art gallery.

E: I’ll see your White Collar and raise you The Thomas Crown Affair and Entrapment.  Art thieves: so educated, amoral and sexy.

C: They’re really the crème de la crème of criminals. In this case though, one seems to have done the ultimate in gaucherie: killed a man. The victim, the gallery owner, was impaled on a piece of art resembling the head of the Statue of Liberty, prompting Castle’s second-greatest line of the night: “Looks like somebody gave him liberty and gave him death.”

E: It was genius, pure and simple.  Do I know which one you liked better?

C: You should. The greatest line revolved around the art piece that was stolen, a sculpted metal arm clutching a glittering greenback called “The Fist of Capitalism.” Not only was this a hilarious phrase for the characters to be bandying around as a noun, the MacGuffin gave Castle the chance to quip: “Somebody stole the Fist of Capitalism? Anyone check up the ass of Socialism?”

E: Mr. E and I had to rewind that 3 times – first to figure out if they had the hutzpah to actually say it, and then to keep laughing.  I honestly cannot express how much I liked the possibilities inherent in that name.  So beautiful.

C: Love. So then, at the gallery, our heroes bump into the above-mentioned insurance investigator – a career which, by the way, going by TV is incredibly awesome, including all the glamor of thieving with none of the moral or legal downsides. Also, going by TV, it means you wear foxy cocktail dresses to work every day. Naturally, this lady catches Castle’s eye.

E: Hard not to do, especially in that red dress.  We had to hit the imdb to recognize her as the campaign manager from The Killing; not only was it an altogether different role, but Kristin Lehman looks like a different person with the curls and the vavavoom wardrobe.

C: Kristin Lehman? Frak! She was the main girl on Strange World, this really cool, short-lived, Fringe-esque show M and I were in love with way back in the day! Come to think of it, she was also on some terrible short-lived show with Nathan Fillion, I do believe, called Drive.

E: It all comes back to Strange World, doesn’t it?  (Funny, I always misremember that the lead of that show is Samantha Mathis.)  We won’t discuss Drive.  Shudder.   

C: What I enjoyed here was seeing how far Castle’s come from the playboy he was at the beginning of the series. You know there’s been a transformation when his mom is worrying he isn’t having enough fun and tries to set him up with somebody!

E: How much did you love hearing him talk about the disaster of marrying the last girl Martha set him up with?

C: Castle declines a date with one of Martha’s acting students, but his ears perk up at the attentions of Serena Kaye.

E: That’s a fantastic name, don’t you think – so comic book.  Also, pretty much all of him perks up.

C: Hm, I wasn’t looking that closely! Anyway, Beckett’s jealousy has to take a backseat when suspicion falls on Serena (due to her shady past as an actual thief), making her attraction to Castle convenient: he can take her on a date while the team searches her hotel room. The really dumb part of this plan was having him take her out to dinner in the hotel restaurant. Um, guys? It works a lot better as a distraction when you get the subject out of the building.

E: What, you were expecting that plan to go as planned?  And why would that be?

C: Fair enough. Contrivedly, of course, Castle is “forced” to kiss Serena to prevent her from seeing Beckett & co. leaving her hotel room. Since this was a really poor plan from a logistical standpoint – kissing or not, they were ten feet away! – I appreciated that it did not in fact work at all. Beckett gets all mad and shouts at them!

E: Might have been the best moment of a really fun night.  Here’s Castle, stalling like Beckett has just texted him to do, and instead of slipping by Kate hollers “Hey!,” utterly outraged, and chastises them, standing in Kaye’s open doorway.  So much for the subterfuge!  It was cute to see her so openly upset.

C: I feel for her, I really do, and yet who’s keeping them apart? She is! Even if he might panic if Beckett said “Guess what Castle, I want you to be my boyfriend” with an implied “and you better not screw this up” on the end, he’s on board with the idea and we all know it. She doesn’t need to find the person responsible for her mom’s death; she needs to figure out that her emotional life shouldn’t be on hold until she does. And, as applies to this case, to recognize that she can’t put Castle on perpetual hold too.

E: Uh huh. Sing it, sister.  Castle’s growing up; Beckett needs to do the same.  I loved the whole discussion with her therapist getting into these issues.  What is Kate more afraid of: that Rick won’t wait for her, or that he will?

C: Always asking the perceptive questions, Worf.

E: Worf?  Are you kidding?  Gosh, have I ever seen Michael Dorn without Klingon make up to recognize the real man?  Crazy!

C: Anyway, I ended up liking Serena, and I’m a little disappointed that they wrote her off with a generous and knowing “I don’t steal things that belong to other people.” I could have seen them keeping her in the background for an episode string to draw out the tension further — and, as she seems like the kind of woman to breeze in an out of a man’s life with no hard feelings, we wouldn’t have needed to feel bad about her eventual jettisoning.

E: That’s true.  Maybe she’s too busy filming more unsatisfying episodes where we don’t find out who did the killing in The Killing?  They don’t have a ton of recurring characters like that on Castle, though.  Also, I think the writers are probably sick of doing the whole jealousy/involved with other people thing.

C: I guess the jealousy thing has been played out enough already. It’s just… poor Castle! He “belongs” to Kate but she won’t take possession. Anyway, we haven’t said much about the actual murder plot yet. I was impressed to say that yet again they kept me guessing. Like last week, I didn’t know for sure who it was until just before the last reveal.

E: Exactly. They had me sold that it was the assistant right up until the last minute – although the eventual killer (the statue’s owner, ha, who was stealing it back so her husband couldn’t use it as a pawn in their impending divorce) was the probably the guest star I knew best: Jessica Tuck, one of Nathan Fillion’s old costars from One Life to Live.  His character’s half sister, if I recall correctly. That was definitely a treat.

C: Keep us guessing, Castle. I like this new trend.

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