Castle: “The Blue Butterfly”

E: Castle and Beckett in the ’40s!  The glamor!  The love story!  The gaudy jewelry!

C: I have been dying to see this episode since they teased it two weeks before it aired (particularly since I thought it was going to be on the week before!). Castle as a hardboiled P.I.? Beckett as a gangster’s moll? The Wonder Twins as the gangster’s toughs? This premise has “TV gold” written all over it.

The conceit of the episode is that, in the course of investigating a murder at an old nightclub, Castle starts reading a piece of the evidence: a real P.I.’s diary from the 1940s. Naturally, he starts imagining them all into the roles.

E: I think my least favorite element of this episode was how badly the main cast affected that old school NYC accent.  One of my most favorite bits, however, was seeing Ryan and Espo as immigrant mobster muscle, with Irish and Cuban accents.

C: Ryan’s Irish accent struck me as a little embarrassing, though I liked Castle trying to get the real Ryan to act the part he’d assigned him: “Say ‘boyo.'” “Boyo.” “No, boy-o.”

E: Oh, and the clothes.

C: Oh HECK yes the clothes.

E: And Lainie singing.  She was amazing!  What a smooth way to work that in.

C: I know! I was so impressed. And I liked her lounge singer’s move of covering for Beckett and Castle as Vera and Joe, who are something like the ’40s version of Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman in Moulin Rouge – carrying on their true love affair behind the controlling lover’s back. But with guns, gangsters, and fabulous jewels, of course.

E: I’m not sure there were any truly amazing lines this week – no fist of capitalism for sure. The case, on the other hand, was pleasurably twisty.

C: It was hard to guess where the plot would go, for the most part. Joe meets Vera and falls instantly in love. She does the same with him, but can we trust her? What is she mixed up in? Why was he hired to trace her to begin with? Who stole the Blue Butterfly, and where is it in the present time? And who killed the treasurer hunter who thought he’d tracked it down?

E: I figured that Alexis’s doppleganger Sally was lying and would figure into the ending.

C: Well obviously she was lying. Do you even have to be a fan of film noir to know that the dame who walks into the private dick’s office at the beginning, with teary eyes and an innocent-seeming reason to track somebody down, has nefarious purposes in mind?

E: True enough. What I really didn’t believe, though, is how long Vera and Joe got to stand in the alley in front of a burning car without her crack bodyguard team noticing she was gone or hearing the fire.

C: Not to mention the scuffle, shouting and gunshots? Yeah, their escape was so far from plausible. But I’m glad they made it. As soon as our-time’s detectives discovered that Vera and Joe supposedly burned up in a car fire, I felt certain it wasn’t really them.

E: I’m really afraid there’s not way the DA can prosecute the killer without exposing the old couple as (accidental) murderers.

C: No… true, and problematic. One might also worry a little about the casual way Beckett let the elderly Vera and Joe get away with their crimes. Is justice put on hold when you’re old, and have a good love story? But honestly… I can’t say that I mind.

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