Castle: “Once Upon a Crime”

C: Fairy tale theme! Could there be a more appropriate subculture-of-the-week in this TV Season of the Fairy Tale? (Not to mention what’s playing at the movies these days as well…)

E: While I love the ABC-synergy reference to Once Upon A Time, this case just did not live up to that fun inspiration. A fairy tale killer? A subculture of adults who dress up as fairy tale characters?  So awesome.  And then there was what we got.

M: Agreed. I was a little disappointed, especially after Castle comically brought up the fairy tale subculture, that the episode didn’t actually delve into that at all.

C: Interesting! And here I was thinking of it as pretty standard Castle. I take it you didn’t like the episode?

M: I can’t speak for E, but I enjoyed it despite the dropping of the fairy tale theme almost immediately after it started. It was back to the light, fun Castle, and even Esposito’s hair didn’t seem as bad because of that.

E: I totally applaud the return of the funny.  And there were some cute family moments.  But. I don’t buy, even for a second, that Amy could come home from that rave without her friend Owen but with a banged up car, and not have anyone ask question.  Not even close.

C: Hm, maybe it was my misinterpretation, but I didn’t think they were friends. I got the impression that the four teenagers were hanging out together at the rave but not that they’d gone there together or necessarily intended to leave together – that seemed more a drug-fueled impulse.

M: No, they said they were friends. They all grew up/went to high school together. Everyone except Snow White and the girl from Suits were related by blood and or marriage. You had the two brothers (one who died), the two sisters (one who died), and the two friends (one who died).

C: Certainly, though, if a kid gets run over and another kid comes into the body shop the next morning with a mangled car, it does seem likely that questions would be asked.

M: Except that it was in NYC, and my guess is some kid getting run over isn’t exactly one the mind of every person in the city.

E: Also, Charlotte was really the only possible murderer left after a certain point.  So, lame.

M: That point was pretty late in the episode, though. Admittedly, it was down to her and the brother/husband pretty early on, and because I watch Suits I was pretty confident it would be her, but still.

C: I didn’t actually guess it was her until right before, though. When they interviewed the first victim’s sister and her husband was with her I thought, “oh yawn, I really hope the person sitting next to the first interviewee isn’t the killer yet again.” When they discovered he was the blackmailer I felt the snooty contempt of the justified formula-hunter. But no, he wasn’t the killer.

M: They went overboard to have him act not quite right in that first interview scene. So you know something was up with him, but he was acting so guilty in that scene that I had my doubts that he was the real killer, it was too much.

C: I will say though, this was one of the many times when the crime committed in a murder mystery is done in a way completely counter-productive to the supposedly rational, intelligent murderer’s aims. If you didn’t want your long-ago vehicular manslaughter to surface and ruin your career, surely there are better ways to suppress it than to commit two splashy, back-to-back first-degree murders?

E: (Rolling her eyes)

M: I’m with you! I can’t tell you how many times that has frustrated me with TV shows or movies. All the time you see characters kill people to hide something so that their lives won’t be ruined. Yet the murder brings more heat and eventually more punishment than anything that would have happened had they not killed someone. Ugh.

E: I did love Castle getting all misty eyed over his mom’s play, though.

C: Does Castle feel starved for affirmation from his mother? I know she can be a tough talker, but I’ve still never gotten though impression.

M: No, I don’t get that impression either. More often than not he seems smothered by her, as opposed to starved.

E: Did you think Beckett was right to compare the play to the Nikki Heat books?  I get it, but he also never claimed that his novels were biographical.

C: Oh, it’s completely different to write your “memoir” and use real names and yet make stuff up. Since the press knows that Beckett is Heat’s inspiration there would be some popular assumption of art imitating life, but not like with an explicit autobiography. Then again, Martha’s audience is way smaller.

M: Yeah, that was just done to be a joke. The only way they could actually compare was if Castle had used her real name, claimed that the plots of the books were from real cases, then made up all the details in a way to make himself look good, often at her expense. Since that’s not the case, we have to just take it as light banter.

E: So to sum up, a mostly fun episode with a case that definitely didn’t capitalize on its promise.

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One comment on “Castle: “Once Upon a Crime”

  1. Gina says:

    I actually REALLY liked this one. Just as I thought the show was headed straight downhill, we got three episodes in a row that I loved! There’s hope! 🙂

    I totally get C’s point about it seeming crazy for the murderer to do the killings in that way, and draw attention to herself. But she clearly wanted to frame what’s-his-name — blackmailer guy — for the killings. She did take a huge risk, and obviously would’ve been better off if she hadn’t, but from her POV, the payoff would have been huge if it had worked.

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