Castle Official Site
The Time: Mondays, 10:00 PM, ABC
Castle is a rambunctious and wisecracking best-selling author of crime
fiction who has just killed off his golden goose main character because
he was bored with him. Now, he’s beset by writer’s block and
is wondering what his next move will be. That is until the
no-nonsense and driven Detective Kate Beckett pays him a visit and
informs him that his help is needed on a murder case. The
womanizing and smarmy Castle is instantly smitten with her and throws
every cheap line and innuendo her way and generally makes a nuisance of
himself at every opportunity, which Beckett is forced to tolerate for
the sake of solving the case. But aside from the hijinks,
Castle also brings a keen insight and plenty of connections with city
government into the case that proves useful. Once the case is
solved, Castle convinces the mayor to allow him to tag along on
Beckett’s future cases as he researches a new female detective
character for his upcoming book, much to Beckett’s chagrin.
• Nathan Fillion as Richard Castle
• Stana Katic as Det. Kate Beckett
• Susan Sullivan as Martha Heath
• Monet Mazur as Gina Cowell
• Ruben Santiago Hudson as Capt. Montgomery
• Molly Quinn as Alexis Castle
The Episode: “Nanny McDead”
Beckett and Castle are on the case when a nanny for an upscale couple turns up dead in the building’s laundry room dryer. With a plethora of possible suspects, including the nanny’s employers, ex-boyfriend and best friend, Beckett is running down every lead while Castle is getting on her every nerve. Meanwhile, Castle is still cooking on his new Beckett-inspired female detective, to be called Nikki Heat.
Last week I extolled the virtues and potential of this show despite a high level of criticisms against it. Well I’d have to say that this episode was a step down from the pilot. The show this week was pretty much coasting on Fillion’s charm and not much else. Katic’s game seems to have gone down a bit and Beckett’s interplay with Castle wasn’t at the same level it was last week. There’s even a fairly preposterous scene where Castle is describing the motivations of a potential suspect when killing the nanny and depositing her body into the dryer like he was reciting a Patterson book, with the cops transfixed.
Last week’s murder mystery had twists and turns that went in several directions and was quite reminiscent of the Moonlighting cases to which everyone was comparing the show. This one was a boilerplate procedural with not much of interest in the suspects nor the crime. The two things on which I said the show was going to have to rely, the Castle / Beckett relationship and the mysteries, were both sub-par (of course par is only one so far) this week and overall, I just wasn’t as interested as I was the previous week. This week was a dry Law and Order episode with only a few more wisecracks and a subplot about how Castle didn’t use a nanny for his daughter growing up. Not what the show needs if it’s going to make it past the season.
What I’m hoping for in the future is for Castle to be even more obnoxious and for his and Beckett’s interplay to be at a fever pitch whenever possible and for Fillion to be allowed to be his wisecracking best. Eventually some Katic skin is also going to be required. Mandatory even. I would think that eventually Beckett is going to meet Castle’s family and be invited over for dinner or something and possibly start bonding with his daughter. Not something I’m looking for, but I see the eventual necessity. Martha could then possibly take an interest in Beckett and start pushing a relationship between the two. Also see an episode where Beckett delves back into the cold case of her loved one whom was murdered and a new lead is provided since the killer was never caught.
Yes, there’s still potential, but this episode wasn’t as good as last week’s opener.
Behind every great book adaptation is a forgettable first try. — By Ryan Covey