Castle Review: “An Embarrassment of Bitches”

C: As you might be able to guess from the title (maybe), this week’s subculture on Castle was the world of dog shows. Although in actuality, the episode was primarily concerned with the star of a Kardashian-like reality show and a Dog Whisperer. So, no Best in Show-style humor here.

E: That was rather disappointing, wasn’t it?  I wanted to spend more time with neurotic pet owners.

M: I agree, there was very little in the way of dipping into the dog show subculture, not at least to the usual Castle level.

E: On the other hand, it did lead to what might have been the funniest line of the show – papparazzi swarming over Castle, then backing away in disappointment. “Hey, that’s not Jason Bateman!”

M: I can honestly say, I’ve never thought even once that Nathan Fillion and Jason Bateman looked alike.  I thought the poses he was doing that led to them taking his picture were funnier.

C: I’ve always thought that, actually. Or at least that they should play brothers sometime! But speaking of actors, the reality show star, Kay Cappuccio (pooch? get it?) is played by Hilarie Burton of One Tree Hill and, more recently and charmingly, White Collar. Though she’s doing an odd, higher voice here which I couldn’t get used to.

M: I thought she did a really good job with the change of voice, actually.  Because of it and the super-crappy “it girl”fashion, I wasn’t 100% sure it was her in the first couple scenes.

E: Blah blah blah cable shows I don’t watch blah blah.

M: You know that One Tree Hill isn’t a cable show, right?  And you *should* watch White Collar, no matter what network it’s on.

C: Speaking of irritating bickering, the episode makes a point of starting with Lanie snapping at Esposito to show they are still on the outs (boooo) so we can watch Esposito drool all over Kay throughout the rest of the episode.

M: That was kind of embarrassing, and a bit sad after the way they left Wonder Twin #1 and Lanie at Wonder Twin #2’s wedding.

C: Agreed. And I know this isn’t a new complaint on my part, but did we really need lingering close-ups of Cappuccio’s legs, her butt, and her boobs? I don’t know if I should blame the writers or the directors of Castle, but someone working on this show needs to stop projecting his fantasies on the rest of us.

E: Yeah, they really lay it on thicker than any other show I know.

M: I will invoke my role as the lone male here and tell you both to quit your over-sensitive, catty yapping.  😉  Seriously, though, they were playing her as the sexpot reality star, they did those shots for effect, to make fun of show (and people) like Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton.  I would think that the two of you would have understood that.

E: Catty?  Excuse me?  You think they needed to show us her butt up close to establish her character?  Riiiiight.

C: This from the guy who gave me faith as an insecure teenage girl that at least some men weren’t shallow and disgusting, because he was always telling his wife she didn’t need to be sexy or “done up” to be beautiful. M, I think my heart just broke a little.

M: Wow, everyone’s inability to take a joke is out of hand today!  I threw in the winkey emoticon and followed it with a “Seriously” and everything!  Yikes.

E: I’m not entirely sure the writers made up for it by eventually showing us that Kay’s actually pretty nice and definitely not as vapid as she appears on TV- a bit noir, really, as the misunderstood bad girl.

C: One of the lighter bits is where Castle and Beckett interview the victim’s psychologist, Dr. Barker (barker? get it?) – who turns out to be Ms. Barker, a dog therapist.

E: More of that, please.

M: Played by Star Trek: DS9‘s Nana Visitor, no less.  Long time no see, Major Kira!

E: No way!  Wow, at least White Collar I don’t watch – I’m appalled at myself for not recognizing her.  That makes me wish even more that she’d had a bigger role.  I’m not at all sure why they had to layer in the reality show stuff, especially with such an obvious mystery.  M and I were chatting and realized that we both pegged Kay’s boyfriend Reggie as the killer from the start.

M: And when you combine the dog show subculture and the drug cartel, they had more than enough without it.  As for Reggie, it fit the Castle formula far too well.  I couldn’t say what his involvement was or why he would turn out to be the killer, but I knew it was going to end up being him almost immediately.  They need to start mixing it up again.

C: Who else found it impossible to believe that they would need to scramble to find a home for the canine companion of the world-famous dog whisperer? Yeah right! Even if he was “better with dogs than people,” I’m sure he would have left instructions on who was to get his pooch. And even if he didn’t, the dog certainly would go begging (get it?) — folks everywhere would have been clamoring for him!

E: Me. Particularly since Royal had mad drug sniffing skillz. You’d think the government would have wanted him; those dogs are super expensive to train.

M: Seriously, E, I can forgive you the use of “mad” as a positive adjective, but you’re a grown woman with four kids, never mind an english major, you should not be pluralizing words with a “z.”  Ever.

E: And as someone who made it through 2nd grade, you should know you need to capitalize English.  (Seriously, dude, it’s a silly phrase, mad skillz. I didn’t invent it.  If you’re going to be so persnickety, you better start backing it up!)

M: Really, you think I didn’t know that you did not invent the phrase “mad skillz”?  You not being the originator of it still doesn’t mean you should EVER use it.  Not only are you too old, intelligent and responsible, you are not nearly ghetto enough.

E: Wow, somebody needs to take it down a notch.

C: Um, yes. The quibbling is out of hand today. So! All that said, it was pretty adorable to see Beckett and Castle sparring for custody of the gorgeous golden retriever. Especially when Beckett (inevitably) let the dog up on the couch.

E: Very.  Very cute.

M: Speaking of very cute, when Castle held and rubbed Beckett’s hand to display how Royal liked to be scratched?  Very nice.

E: Definitely something we can agree on, M.

M: Back to “impossible to believe,” did anyone else have a problem with the premise that a South American drug cartel would have a dog trainer killed because he was doing such a good job training drug-sniffing dogs?  I mean, won’t Customs just get another trainer?  Aren’t there plenty of people who can train dogs effectively enough that risking themselves to kill some Caesar Milan-inspired trainer was an unnecessary risk?

E: I’m not an expert, but I don’t know if drug cartels really have a measured attitude towards taking life.

M: My incredulity didn’t have anything to do with their taking a life, I agree that they don’t have any particular qualms about that.  It’s about minimizing risk and maximizing gain.  There’s very little benefit for them to kill the guy that trains the drug sniffing dogs (setting aside how they would find out who it was), while there’s a high potential risk of law enforcement tying it to them causing them more problems than if they let him live.

E: Well, I still don’t know that I give them that much credit.  Of course, I’m ghetto enough to know that for sure. In totally unrelated news, don’t you think Alexis is looking particularly sophisticated these days?  It makes me slightly sad. I did like hearing about her new friend Buttons – though I think it’s peculiar she hadn’t noticed the hilarity of the name Buttons Dutton.  I hope she’s not losing her sense of humor!

M: I think she’s been looking very sophisticated since the beginning of the show, personally.  She just looks more grown up now, so instead of looking like a sophisticated teen she looks like a sophisticated young woman.  And yes, as a dad with a daughter getting close to her teenage years that transition scares the hell out of me.

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3 comments on “Castle Review: “An Embarrassment of Bitches”

  1. formerwriter says:

    You guys are hilarious! Thanks for the best reviews on the ‘net. My favorite line here: “You think they needed to show us her butt up close to establish her character?” 🙂

  2. Gina says:

    *jawdrop* I did not even recognize Hilarie Burton here, and I’ve seen every episode of “White Collar.” Maybe because her mouth wasn’t constantly hanging open in this one? But she certainly does seem to be stuck in that “object of the writers’ fantasies” role. (In case it hasn’t yet been made completely obvious, I think Sara’s the worst thing about WC. I don’t know why the otherwise excellent writers there can’t develop a woman, other than Elizabeth and June, into a three-dimensional human being.)

    • M says:

      Well, since it took me seeing her name in the opening list of guest stars to be sure that it was her, I’m right there with you on not recognizing Hillary Burton in this role. However, I don’t completely agree with your take on Sarah in WC. I thought that even though she was a blatant attempt to rip off the Faye Dunaway/Renee Russo characters in both versions of The Thomas Crown Affair, I thought that she’s the most appropriate and least bimbo-ish love interest they’ve provided for Neil to date. Of course, part of that is because I struggle seeing Percy Jackson’s girlfriend as age appropriate for him, otherwise Kate might be at the top of that list. Certainly, they’re both better than Alex…

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