Monday, April 23, 2012

Castle: "Headhunters"

Once again, in under the wire...

What an amazing episode of "Castle." (I was going to say, "awesome," but I'm a grown man.) The writers really worked a tightrope, teetering between dark and light. You had Slaughter's rough-housing of suspects and informants, balanced by Esposito and Ryan seeking favors from Castle in exchange for their help. The final scene, with Castle and Alexis racing for the ice cream, let us end on an up beat.

First of all, give a ton of credit to Adam Baldwin for his portrayal of Detective Ethan Slaughter. He was intense. (Though at the end, when she confronted Vales, Beckett showed that she could be intense, too.) As over-the-top as Slaughter was, the character easily could have been a caricature. Credit Baldwin for not letting that happen. 

They gave him so many juicy lines:

- The aforementioned disparaging of "awesome."
- "I'm guessing 32s?" (Complemented by the camera panning up from the bullets to the medical examiner's...)
- "You got a skirt that says 'writer' on it, too?"
- "Real man land."

Two scenes stand out in my mind as being particularly engrossing and entertaining. First, Beckett's scene with "Counselor Worf" was great. Have you noticed that in her early therapy sessions, she sat and hugged herself, and now she paces and gestures? But the best was the entire scene in McCrawley's Bar when Castle:

1. Yells "NPYD" (yes, that's what he said) and then nearly get trampled.
2. Has his fight with Shea, all the while Slaughter is calmly holding Brian Reilly (the victim's father) at gunpoint and cracking peanuts.
3. Knocks out Shea with a beer bottle and, rather than make some sort of macho gesture, faints.
4. And (though it was not quite the same scene) struts into the precinct like he was a member of the Magnificent Seven.

Which leads us to "the looks."

- Beckett's disbelieving stare at Castle's triumphant entrance.
- The medical examiner's panicked "no" nod when Castle asked to ride along with Slaughter.
- Slaughter's glare when Castle offered him a cappuccino.

Though Slaughter would be too much as a regular, I certainly hope they bring him back for at least one curtain call.

What did you think?


  1. I've only recently discovered 'Castle', thanks to my husband, and enjoy reading your takes - even when I don't agree (ex. Cops & Robbers is one of the best IMO).

    Hollanders Woods is a great episode and a throwback to earlier episodes before the dragged out Johanna Beckett case & the Caskett wedding / Castle disappearance bogged the series down. (As a newby fan, I really get bored by the former). As you mentioned, the penultimate scene in the barn was tight and suspenseful, made moreso by the lighting & shadows.

    The banquet was meant to serve as a series finale, just in case Stana didn't re-sign. At the time of filming, 'Castle' hadn't been renewed.

    PS: Jusr had to mention also - I'm a West sider. Born & raised & lived for 40 years in Westlake (though we live elsewhere now).