By Michael Seese
With all apologies to the Monty Python players, this episode of Castle was defined one chief thing: tension. Tension, and an overriding sense of doom. TWO things: tension, and an overriding sense of doom. And claustrophobia. Three! Three things....
I really enjoyed "After Hours," because it was a radical departure from the norm. Beckett and Castle, usually the hunters, became the hunted. As I've said before, yes, we all know they're going to get out of it. Still, I was on the edge of my seat. This entire episode reminded me a lot of the last five minutes of "3XK," when Castle realizes that he's alone in a motel room (Ryan having been knocked out) with the killer. And in both cases, a carefully worded phone conversation served as the SOS.
I'll admit to be taken completely by surprise when it was revealed that Leo was the killer, and a smart criminal to boot. If I may pat myself a little on the back, I did figure it out when FBI Agent Lucas said Dolan was not the bad guy, but rather a state witness; but that was about 30 seconds before Leo revealed himself.
Two bits of insight I will take credit for: when Castle said, "It's a Vatican conspiracy," I knew a Da Vinci Code reference was coming; likewise, when Castle started tinkering with the CB radio, I knew the word "MacGyver" would follow.
Along those lines, a few other noteworthy lines included:
Castle: "How about we dive into this dessert? Because honestly that death thing is sounding pretty good right now."
Castle: "I'm just saying there have been worse dinners."
Beckett: "Like what?"
Castle: "Well, the dining scene from Alien comes to mind."
Ryan: "Catholic school is like combat. Unless you've been there, you don't know." (I've heard a lot of people say that.)
Castle: "Dude. Where's your car?"
They even gave one to Leo: "I may be safer outside."
Above and beyond mere "looks" were scenes full of looks: the entire dinner party; Beckett's and Castle's bickering after the dinner party; and Ryan's body language from merely thinking about -- let alone being in the presence of -- a nun.
My only picky little complaint: Castle's speech to Dolan about not shooting Leo being what Father McMurtry would have wanted was nice and touchy-feely; a more direct disincentive would have been Beckett saying, "I'm a cop. If you shoot him in cold blood, I have to arrest you for murder."
All in all, though, I thought this was a great episode. Next week's looks to be a little lighter.
Feel free to share your opinion of "After Hours."