Thursday, April 4, 2013

Castle: "The Lives of Others "

By Michael Seese

They got me. Twice. Which is another way of saying this blog has LOTS of spoilers. Don't even think of reading it unless you've seen it.

OK, admission time: I've never seen "Rear Window." (Hey, cut me some slack; I barely have time for Castle.) But I looked it up in Wikipedia, and expected that "The Lives of Others" would be more of a straight-up homage. It wasn't. But that's OK. It was a fun episode.

I especially loved Castle's play-by-play as he spied on his neighbors for the first time. "That better be for a sick child," to the maid stealing cash. And, "Oh, to be young an underemployed" to the paramours.

The murder he "witnessed" was well staged. You see the woman leave the room with the open blinds. You see the husband / boyfriend (we're not sure which) pick up the knife, look at it, then storm to the other room, where the blinds are closed. The shadows indicate some form of struggle. Then something is pushed against the Venetian blinds, and creates a ripple as it slips down. Bravo!

One unique twist: as I commented aloud while watching it, this was the first episode that I could recall which featured two completely distinct murders. So I just knew they were going to somehow tie them together. Then the writers pulled the rug out from under us, which I would call the first "gotcha."

The opening segment was one huge line-fest.

Castle: "I won't think it's because you've forgotten. I'll think it's because you made other plans." (Accompanied by a great "look.")

Martha: "It is a spa trip, darling. Not a guilt trip."

Ryan: "You must be bored. You've actually gone Rear Window."

Beckett: "Unless the body you're looking at is dead, I suggest you drop those binoculars."

And then it all ended with a great homage, courtesy of Castle: "Hey what if I consult by phone? We could pretend I'm Charlie, and you're my angels."

A few other odds-and-ends looks and lines:

Ryan: "Staring at the phone won't make it ring. I learned that in junior high."

Alexis's eye roll after Beckket said, "Or, maybe his girlfriend asked him to keep it in storage until she's ready to pick it up."

Castle: "When you do it, it's an illegal search. When I do it, it's just illegal."

Beckett: "You didn't have to kick down the door."
Esposito: "I was in the moment."
Ryan: "We wanted to be convincing."

Castle: "Where is Captain Gates?"
Esposito: "She couldn't make it."
Castle: "Good."

Wrapping it all up was the second "got me." I really thought Castle was going to blow up over the joke, especially since he would have spent an agonizing X minutes thinking Beckett had been murdered. And the way his face changed from grim to glee when he said, "This is without a doubt...the greatest birthday present of my life!" Spectacular.

And then Beckett solved the real murder. I thought it was a bit of a stretch, but what they hey.

One picky thing. Beckett said that Captain Gates was in on the joke. Perhaps Beckett sold it to her as a birthday prank for "my friend and professional partner" Castle. Still, it should have raised an eyebrow. (Something Captain Gates does exceedingly well.)

Next week (actually, two weeks) looks to be another "Scooby" episode in the vein of UFOs, zombies, and deadly DVDs

Feel free to share your thoughts.  

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  1. I suspected something was up when Beckett went over to the apartment (at the end). And then I just waited for Castle to pull a "Joey" (from Friends - he always did that sad look about not getting a part and then get happy saying he actually got the part). All in all, it was a fun episode.

    And really, you've NEVER seen "Rear Window"? You're missing out on an awesome movie!!!

  2. Yeah. I've also never seen "It's A Wonderful Life." Maybe I'm allergic to Jimmy Stewart.