E: Want to get Alicia Florrick mad? Tell her how to live her life. Go ahead, I dare you. Word of warning: if you do, you’re not going to enjoy the results.
Of course, somebody really smart would use reverse psychology on her. But Alicia’s Mom? Not that smart. Or maybe what I really mean is, she doesn’t have that much self-control.
E: There’s a popular quote from the Roman poet Juvenal, and it goes like this: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes. It’s translated variously as “who watches the watchmen” and “who guards the guardians.” I’ve heard this phrase many times, but I’d never actually read it in context until this week’s episode, for obvious reasons, brought it to mind. So finding out that that it speaks specifically to those tasked with enforcing the morals of women and young girls adds an interesting flavor to an episode about a Double Indemnity style murder for hire, prejudiced judges, desperate risks, alcoholism, infidelity, jealousy, trackers and misunderstood boys.
In case you were wondering about the episode title like I was, it’s likely a reference to a 1968 song of the same name thought by many to be the first true rap song, a dramedy about a no nonsense magistrate. The song is famed for these words “Oh, the judge is high as a Georgia pine! Everybody’s going to jail this morning.”
C: Clearly I jinxed something by talking a couple weeks ago about how great this season of Castle was. I’m so sorry, fans! What can I do to appease the small screen gods?
E: Oh, I think you’re overstating that just a tiny bit.
M: Overstating which, the lack of quality of the episode, or her influence over it?
E: This week, we get to analyze a joke. Okay, a few of them, breaking them down into their component pieces. What makes something offensive? What makes something funny? What makes it true? What makes something acceptable for television audiences, and why one thing over another? I imagine this topic lives close to our writers’ hearts. We also get quite a few jokes about anatomy. It’s all clever and thought-provoking, even if none of the jokes are particularly funny. Perhaps in celebration of the past week’s presidential election, we head to Washington. Alicia gains a very unexpected drinking partner. We get to the bottom of one conspiracy, and reach into the past for some rather heartbreaking back story. High profile guest stars appear as guests or cameo as themselves; our team is meeting the FCC, fighting the powers that be, experiencing and exposing dastardly betrayals, and having some really wonderful conversations.
So all in all, lots of food for thought. I can’t get over how many twists and layers and undercurrents this show packs into 43 minutes, I genuinely can’t.
C: After gushing so much last week, I think I might have strained my ability to talk at length about Castle. So it’s on you, E & M, if you have a lot of thoughts to share about “Swan Song.”
M: I think this was another solid episode in what has been a very good season so far, but I agree, after last week’s tough act to follow, this gimmicky episode didn’t get me nearly as excited.
E: Sure. I was pleased, but I’m not tripping over myself to extoll every line.
E: Holy guest star filled episode, Batman! I can’t even believe the number of plots this episode (and its director, Josh Charles) juggled!
And even more amazing? It was a damn good episode! Real movement on the political front (even if they spoiled it last week in the promo), a moving case of the week, and – eeeeee! – Alicia goes out for drinks! With the right person!
C: Castle fans, let’s be real for a minute. We were all a bit worried about this season, right? How it would look with our leads finally together? Now, with six episodes under our belt, it seems like an appropriate moment to step back, take stock, and declare that this season rocks!
E: Yes, and it’s going to pose a problem with this recap. In all seriousness, all I can think about half of what happened is “OMG, that was awesome!” Will I be able to string actual, intelligible sentences together that add depth and enjoyment to your viewing experience? Probably not.
M: Do you ever? Okay, that wasn’t fair, but it was necessary.
E: Oh, I know I left myself open. Walk right in the door, it’s fine.