Another "Castle" review that I have to file under "better later than never." Perhaps if the show were on Saturday nights, we could watch it live. (Though this week, no; we didn't fire up the DVR until 10:10 Saturday night.)
Anyway, "A Dance With Death" represented "Castle" doing what it does best: giving us a well-crafted whodunit, with lots of interesting plot twists, and hints dropped along the way. Consider:
- We learn that the victim was a socialite who turned her life around after a near-death experience. Reasonable.
- Then, the team discovers that the one set of fingerprints discovered belongs to a woman who has been dead for a year...and coincidentally, she died in the train wreck which spared Odette, the socialite.
- Next, we learn that Barbara is a dead ringer (pun intended) for Odette. Castle starts offering his wild theories: twins separated at birth...perhaps Barbara orchestrated the train wreck to take her place.
- They note that Barbara underwent plastic surgery. Wait, didn't they mention earlier on that Odette had paid for a nose job for a friend? One of Castle's wild theories is starting to look promising.
- Finally it is revealed that Odette hired Barbara to be her "good" doppleganger. But when Odette dies and Barbara survives...
The point is, the whole Odette-Barbara sub-plot was at least as interesting as solving the murder itself. That's why "Castle" is a great show: because the writers build mysteries within the mystery.
One picky point: the whole extortion plot involving Brad (the host) that arose when he caught "Odette" shooting up made no sense. Admittedly, I'm no expert on drugs, legal or otherwise. But I'm 99% certain that heroin and insulin are administered in different ways, specifically venous versus muscular. Barbara could have claimed that she recently developed diabetes, needed insulin, and handed the needle over for analysis. End of discussion.
Other points from the episode worth noting:
- You just knew that the dinner party would blow up and degenerate into a hissy fit. It didn't matter, it was still fun.
- You just knew that Martha would somehow put Castle on the hook to resolve it.
- The writers clearly loved the name "Faux-dette," as Castle used it at least twice.
- Likewise, I'm sure the writers also sat back and chuckled after throwing terms like "eliminated" and "end of the road" into the opening scene, just before the murder was revealed.
- I liked that they gave a little more insight into Beckett's character, allowing her to admit that she wanted to be the "first female Chief Justice."
And of course, the looks...
- Castle's embarrassed, "Don't tell my mom," when he explained the "gas card allowance" from his college days.
- Castle's embarrassed, "Forget about that," after his comment about "panties on his head."
- Esposito's grimace when he put on Ryan's wedding band.
- The entire scene with Beckett, Castle, Ryan, and Lanie, when the latter explained that her dream of being a prima ballerina ended once "the girls" came along.
Next up: "47 seconds."