C: Since Castle in fact airs a new episode on Halloween night this year, they decided to spook us with a ghost-themed thriller… on Monday the 24th.
E: Because on Halloween, the viewing public will be so over Halloween.
M: Duh, because it’s Christmas time!!! Oh, wait….
E: Thinking like an advertiser, M.
C: Beckett and crew are investigating the death of a cable-show ghost hunter, who was found thoroughly slashed up in an empty haunted house he’d locked himself into for the night. Though his cameras went out just before the killing, the team knows from the blood splatter that his assailant – if corporeal – was not standing anywhere near him.
M: I have to say, my immediate thought was that someone had to be suspended from the ceiling.
E: Me too! I totally went to that Mission: Impossible place as well.
M: So, apparently unlike last week’s Revenge, we’re on the same page here!
C: Or just, you know, using some sort of tool from a distance.
M: Don’t be ridiculous, suspending yourself from the ceiling to slit someone’s throat is FAR more plausible! Um, right?
C: Anyway, from the recording they also know a metal tripod seems to have moved on its own, and the victim said “Mercy, I see him” right before croaking. “He was begging his killer for mercy!” the team decides. Yeah, only the way he said it makes it obvious that “Mercy” is a person’s name… not so sharp, guys.
M: I didn’t think it came across absolutely as someone’s name, but it sure as Halloween didn’t come across like he was begging for mercy.
E: Sure as Halloween – really? That’s, er, colorful of you, bro. I’d say I liked it, but I’m clearly being too nice to you so far.
C: One of my favorite moments in this episode was when Castle and Beckett are in the haunted house and she strings him along with a story of her own paranormal experience as a child. Despite knowing Kate to be an utter skeptic, Castle’s hanging on every word of her spooky tale of hearing her name whispered from a locked room in the family’s vacation rental… until she smiles and he realizes she’s completely playing him. I loved the reversal here – anyone remember, waaay early in the series, Castle doing the exact same thing to Beckett with a fake story about finding a body on a beach when he was a child? Turnabout is good television.
E: Heh, I thought of that, too!
M: That must have been in the half season before I started watching the show, because I don’t remember it. I had a few favorite moments of my own, though. First and foremost was Beckett giving in and saying “I ain’t afraid of no ghost,” and of course Castle’s glee at hearing her say it.
C: The best moment of the episode, inevitable or not!
E: Think how disappointed you’d be if they hadn’t! Even if it’s not the fist of Capitalism up the you know what of Socialism…
M: The other was the writers crafting him into a fan of the cheesy paranormal show, and explaining every detail, for the people involved to the tools they use, to anyone who would listen. They continue to find ways to make his character like a grown up version of Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes.
E: That’s pretty exactly who Richard Castle is – Calvin, all grown up. I’m particularly thinking of the snowman carnage tableaux.
C: Ha, you’re so right! His love of the bizarre and macabre, of endless details and elaborate plots and chaos… he’s so Calvin!
M: Exactly! And picture him describing the snowmen to Alexis and Martha, using his storytelling voice… Okay, sorry, getting carried away, back to the episode. I found the mystery of the week a little less engrossing than the best episodes they have churned out, but fairly fun. There were twists, some back history of the building, and of course our killer turns out to be someone we do not expect (the cop, who looked remarkably like Beckett’s now deceased former partner, so much so that it really threw me for a few minutes).
E: Wow, it’s uncanny how much we’re agreeing, M. I was stunned that it turned out to be the cop, but my first reaction upon meeting him was “hey, isn’t he dead?”
C: Same happened at my house.
M: Seriously, they’ve got to work on better casting. Much of the action of the episode took the form of relationship problems in the secondary characters. On one front Alexis and Ashley… quick aside, I still have trouble with calling a guy Ashley, it’s not really an androgynous name.
C: Tell that to Scarlett O’Hara!
M: No, I will not, because she’s been dead for decades. And she’s fictitious.
E: Hee! Can’t you just hear it in a Southern accent? That’s half the problem with that character, though it may be an unintended one; I’m sure his name adds to our general impression of his soft, “feminine” personality.
C: Um, I don’t have that impression. Though I would say he seems almost fictitious, he’s so little of a presence.
E: I’m sorry, I actually meant Ashley’s Wilkes’ character in Gone With the Wind. Sorry!
M: Anyway, Alexis and “Ash” are having a hard time keeping up the long distance thing, and she is pushed to stand up for herself and does.
E: Ah, the trials of first love. Poor Alexis.
M: On another note, the Wonder Twins decide to double date, and everything is going great until Jenny asks Lanie and Esposito when they are going to get married. Because, you know, that’s something you’d ask a couple that’s been dating for a few months the first time you go out with them. And the mere question itself, which has apparently never been asked of them, causes them to break up, which is not at all sketchy writing.
C: Seriously, who would ask that? That’s a grandma move. Come on!
E: Yeah, that’s pretty annoying. I liked Lanie and Esposito.
M: Oh, I think this is just temporary, they’ll be back together in no time.
E: Oh, I don’t know. This might be cold turkey. I kind of wondered if they just wanted to have more romantic options with the core cast.
C: Seems silly to bother if that’s the case, since they hardly show their romantic life anyway.
M: You know what has been good, though? They are keeping the new boss, the evil former first lady from 24, as a very, very minor character. She’s not interfering much, and generally only has one or two bitchy moments a show, which works.
C: Agreed. And so, the show continues on with, overall, less angst than one might fear.