Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Castle: "Secret Santa"

By Michael Seese

Only three weeks late. But just in time for the holidays...

Ho ho ho! The folks behind Castle decided to give us a bit of holiday cheer with the episode "Secret Santa." If you can get past the dead Santa at the beginning, that is.

This was a "standard" Castle: seemingly implausible murder (victim falls from the sky, with no commercial flights having passed over; a chip of red paint in his possession), multiple suspects (David Dunne, Tim Cabot, Michael Case), and then a quick resolution.

I thought they nicely mixed the murder mystery with the holiday good cheer: Castle's family surprising him by canceling their Christmas Even plans; Beckett's surprising Castle by switching shifts; Esposito surprising Ryan with his support; Esposito surprising the Cabots with the heirloom clock; and the overall redemption of Edmund Smith.

Santa lines dominated.

Beckett: "I hate to break it to you, Castle, but there is no Santa Claus."
Castle: "Well, not any more."

Captain Gates: "Lord I hate the holidays." (As my wife noted, that scene let Gates be uncharacteristically open about her personal life.)
Castle: "Yet another quality she has in common with the Grinch."

Ryan: "What does this mean for the future?"
Esposito: "It means one less guy dressed up as Santa."

Castle: "...and then launched into space?"
Beckett: "And how is that less plausible than your sleigh?"
Castle: "I think you mean less clausible." (His smirk probably was my favorite "look.")

A few other noteworthy points:

- I liked the scene where Espo went to visit Lanie, and that she was receptive to getting together in the future...just not Christmas Eve.
- Much like the rock-and-roll-tinged theme at the first commercial break of "Swan Song," "Secret Santa" had jingle-bell-like song, with a candy cane replacing the pen.
- The arrest of Dunne was great. He fought Esposito with a giant candy cane, and then fled to the tune of "Run, Run Rudolph."

"And to all, a good night..." I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas.

If you still remember the episode, feel free to share your thoughts. Otherwise, until January 7...

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