Spoilers.



Castle Official Site

The Time:
Mondays, 10:00 PM, ABC

The Show:

Richard
Castle is a rambunctious and wisecracking best-selling author of crime
fiction who has killed off his golden goose main character, Derek Storm, because
he
was bored with him.  Now, he’s used his charm and connections
to finagle his way into the NYPD to shadow the beautiful and streetwise
Detective Kate Beckett, whom he’s using as inspiration for his newest
character, Nikki Heat. The smarmy Castle continually throws
every
cheap line and innuendo Beckett’s way and generally makes a nuisance of
himself on her cases.  But Castle also brings a keen criminal
insight and plenty of connections with city
government that often proves useful.  Together, they’re the city’s newest crimebusting team.

The Stars:

- Nathan Fillion as Richard Castle
- Stana Katic as Det. Kate Beckett
- Susan Sullivan as Martha Heath
- Ruben Santiago Hudson as Capt. Montgomery
- Molly Quinn as Alexis Castle
- Jon Huertas as Det. Javier Esposito
- Seamus Deaver as Det. Kevin Ryan

The Episode:Fool Me Once”

A con man who was scamming children into thinking he was on an Arctic expedition is seen being being murdered during his life feed from the “North Pole.”  When Castle and Beckett get the case, they have to track him down through his various scams and many aliases.  But with the body having been shot in the face, and no previous records of the alleged victim, they start to wonder if he’s really even dead or not.

The Lowdown:

This may have been the best episode of the series so far, and one I heartily enjoyed.  All of the elements that I like about this show were present in spades (not the least of which was both a bathing and sweaty Beckett in two different scenes).  This was the twistiest case in which Castle and Beckett found themselves.  First of all, the victim, Stephen Fletcher, was a con man who was pretending to conduct a live feed in the Arctic to children over a computer.  But a sudden visit from a killer ends that, revealing that the feed was actually taking place from Fletcher’s apartment.  Castle is his usual enthusiastic self when he discovers that he and Beckett are on an unusual case.

Their investigation quickly uncovers the fact that Fletcher not only had many aliases, but had conned several people out of a lot of money.  He even turned the tables on a Nigerian scammer, taking him for $10,000.  While Castle can admire Fletcher’s talents from a storyteller perspective, Beckett is her usual stick-in-the-mud self, not appreciating the fact that he was conning kids.  Furthermore, Fletcher was getting ready to marry into a wealthy family, and his fiancee didn’t believe for a second that he was scamming her.  Beckett and Castle soon find out that the teacher was in on the con, but that he appreciated Fletcher’s efforts for inspiring his kids, even though his expedition wasn’t real.  As it turns out, Fletcher seemed to genuinely care for the kids.  Nevertheless, with no fingerprints on file, no dental records, and his face destroyed by the gunshot, Beckett and Castle still can’t get a handle on their victim and whether or not he faked his death.

When they learn that his fiancee had been told by Fletcher that he was in the CIA, Castle enlists the aid of his “guy in the CIA,” Agent Gray (Chet Grissom), who can appear and disappear at will, and who also got his hands on Castle’s latest book before it’s even out.  Gray settles a bet that Castle and Beckett had taken out as to whether or not Fletcher was actually a spook.  Castle and Beckett soon get more clues that whatever con Fletcher was running on his fiancee is still in motion and run a con of their own to capture the killer.  There’s also a B-story between Castle and Alexis about a handsome violin instructor who has taken her on and of whom Castle is wary. 

This was a great episode, following the twists of the case, and wondering whether or not the man they were investigating was the victim or the perpetrator.  The case itself was prime Moonlighting territory; and while Castle and Beckett’s banter wasn’t quite as lofty as that show’s, it was solid and their chemistry top notch.  Their ultimate scene where Beckett takes a minute to be alone with Castle’s new book is also fun.  Episode was written by Alexi Hawley (Exorcist: The Beginning) and directed by Bryan Spicer, whose credits include Fringe, 24 and Burn Notice.  This show has found its stride early and is must-see-TV for yours truly.  If you haven’t gotten the chance to get in on it yet, I recommend checking it out.

 

 9.3 out of 10