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Castle – “Suicide Squeeze” – review
Us Weekly kindly provided me with jumping-off points for both of my favorite shows this week, as they spotlighted this episode of Castle in their weekly TV reviews. “Reviews.” They’re like 1 sentence. Anyway, the blurb on this episode went something like “ratings for this light-hearted crime drama continue to rise, and it’s easy to see why with this week’s [some adjective about complications, or flightiness, or capers] mystery. The two leads are still thin; better banter might help.” So their summary was that this episode shows why people are tuning in to the show.
All I can say is I hope not. If this episode is why people are tuning it, it’s why I would tune out, if they were all like this. It wasn’t like a terrible episode, but the jokes were bad and the policework clunky. Maybe it was less interesting to me just because it relied upon other people getting breaks, not Beckett or Castle (or even the Ambiguously Gay Duo, and Oh My God, Castle producer who reads my column, when are you going to have the episode one of our readers suggested where “one is abducted and in mortal danger and the other goes all Riggs from Lethal Weapon to get him back”?!). The clues came from other people in the department who ran down witnesses and produced names, and while that may be what normal police work is really like, this show threw “really like” out the window from its very premise…
The body found is of a Cuban baseball player who was bludgeoned to death with a bat at a community park he helped build. He had been involved in something shady involving $200,000 from a loan shark just weeks after he returned from a trip to Cuba, to find his hero status gone because he had acknowledged Castro. His wife suspected there was another woman involved, that perhaps he had been trying to smuggle her into the States from Cuba, and that made her either an even more tragic widow or a prime suspect for the murder. The resolution of the story was sweet but hardly unpredictable.
There were a couple good moments in the show, this time with Castle and Alexis (this episode was totally season 1 style). We learned I think last episode that Castle doesn’t actually know who his father is, and that theme was picked up a bit this time as Alexis asked him didn’t that bother him? He replied no, because his father could be anything, and if he found out what he really was then he could only be that thing. But for those of you snickering that his mom’s a real life Mamma Mia!, not so—she “loved a lifetime in one night” with Rick’s father and never got enough information (or gave him enough) to find him again. Kind of sweet but kind of sad. I loved Alexis at the end pointing out that the one thing his dad could never be to him, even with all that attractive enigma, was, simply, a dad. That was the best scene of the show for me.
Beckett freaking out over meeting Joe Torre (cameo by himself) seemed out of character, and Castle’s ridiculous unathleticism with being unable to throw or catch a ball (shown twice) seemed…I don’t know. I didn’t buy it. I know they’ve made fun of him for being a little metrosexual or effete at times, but to me there’s just something so rugged about Nathan Fillion—maybe because of his build, which is solid man not limp-wristed waifish poet—that it always jars me when they do things like tell him to “butch up” or show him so incompetent in a physical sense.
Anyway, I thought this was an okay episode, not great, and certainly not one I would use to explain why this show has taken off this season. Looks like nothing new next week, either for the Olympics or Mardi Gras (if it’s the latter they really DO read my column!), so hopefully in two week’s we’ll get back around to one of my favorite writers in the cycle.