Castle fans, I want to apologize to you for skipping out on reviewing last week’s Mayan Mummy episode, which I really liked by the way. I know it was wrong of me, but seeing as how I do this out of the kindness of my own heart, I’m giving myself a free pass on this one. :-)
So, a lot went on in this episode. Castle was a guest on late-night talk show with host Bobby Mann (Tom Bergeron), where he was as usual, his charming playboy self. The gang all watched—Beckett, Ryan and Esposito from the station and Martha and Alexis from the comfort of a single oversized chair in Castle’s apartment. Not only did Castle pick up a date on the show—an actress named Ellie Monroe—but also a scared confession from Bobby Mann himself – that someone wanted to kill him.
Sure enough, the next day Bobby is found dead of a supposed heart attack on the streets of New York at 4 a.m. But Castle knows something’s up … Bobby Mann pretty much predicted his own death. Castle gets Beckett to have Lanie examine Bobby’s corpse. Her response that she takes payment in the forms of spa certificates, jewelry and cash was so like her, and knowing Castle, he probably went out immediately afterward and picked her up a gift card for a massage and a pair of earrings. It turned out that Bobby was indeed killed, since the contents in his stomach would have had a bad reaction with his medication and essentially caused a heart attack. Is there really such a thing? If so, I wonder how many “heart attacks” out there are really the result of a bad mixture of food and medication. And even more interesting, if Bobby had never said anything to Castle, his death would have never been found suspicious and the killer would have totally committed the perfect crime.
As Beckett and Castle investigated Bobby’s death, the writers ventured not only into Conan-Jay territory suspecting the guy that was on after Bobby’s show moving into his timeslot, but also into the David Letterman “scandal” when they discovered Bobby was being blackmailed when someone learned he was having an affair with an intern. Oh, Castle, you didn’t. Yes, yes you did.
Now, I’m not opposed to using true events to inspire a storyline, but this one felt a little too lazy and a little too obvious. Did anyone else think Castle’s clash of the late-night-TV hosts was just a teeny bit wrong?
But moving on…
I was excited to see the long list of guest stars on the bill for the episode – Nicholle Tom, Beth Broderick, and Dan Cortese—but was extremely disappointed in the capacity (or lack thereof) they were used in. Cramming such a large number of well-known guests into a single episode, including the always wonderful Fred Willard as Bobby’s “sidekick”, some of them are bound to get bit parts, but I hate when such good people are so underutilized. Sigh.
While the investigation is going on, Alexis is out of town for a 5-day college tour or something. And while she is gone, Castle embarks on a quick affair with none other than the actress from his Bobby Mann appearance, Ellie Monroe. Wonder if her character was a nod to Marilyn Monroe? She did have a similar hairdo and overall look. I mention this also because just this morning I saw on the Today Show some guys were auctioning off really strange MM related items, like a chest X-ray and the couch from the shrink’s office she used to visit. Sorry for the tangent, I just thought it was kind of a strange tie-in.
So while the cat was away, the mouse did play, until he realized Ms. Monroe was only interested in the role of Nikki in the Heat Wave movie. Beckett was telling him all along that she was just an actress playing a part, but it wasn’t until they interviewed Bobby’s network exec who said he was with Ellie the night of the murder that Castle finally believed it. But being the man that he is, he still recommended her for the part. He might be a bit of a playboy, but he’s got a heart of gold. Castle’s like a puppy that just ate your favorite pair of shoes—just one look at that pathetic face and you can’t help but forgive him.
After all the possible suspects have been exhausted –the network exec who threatened Bobby’s life but had an alibi, the young intern that was in love with Bobby after only 3 weeks, the two ex-wives who still actually seemed to care about him, and the late-night timeslot stealer, there was only one person left that had both motive and opportunity: the sidekick who was getting replaced in order for Bobby to keep his precious show rather than bowing out gracefully to the tune of $80 million. Was that any reason to kill the poor guy? Absolutely not. But I could understand his frustration with being the best friend to someone more famous than you, only to be tossed aside at the first opportunity for more fame. What would we have done if Conan had given into NBC and Jay Leno and compromised himself for the sake of the network? We’d have a Conan who was completely unappreciated and overshadowed by stingy television people, rather than the promise of a new Conan on a cable home that will hopefully treat him right and give him the creative freedom he deserves. Cause that’s what matters, right?
All in all, I found the story a little trite on plot and too light on everything else we love about this show. I also thought it was a little too soon for Castle just to give into his manly whims with Ellie Monroe, especially after Beckett warned him of her true intentions. I did, however, smile at the end when Castle said he had a date, and Beckett automatically assumed it was with Ellie, even though it was really with Alexis.
So, loyal Castleites, what say you about last night’s episode? Did you love seeing Fred Willard as a guest? How did you feel about the whole late night talk show premise? Sound off in the comments, and ye shall be rewarded!