By Michael Seese
Some episodes of Castle start slowly. That's not a criticism. It's just a reflection of how the opening scene sometimes builds. For example, in "Need To Know" we saw a man running through a construction site. A worker in a hardhat stops him and tells him it's a restricted area. The man turns looks up and sees a body hanging on a hook.
Other times, we begin with a rush. For example, "Number One Fan" started with a woman frantically rifling through an apartment, looking for something. Then she finds it. A handgun. Her search is interspersed with images of a body on the floor, and the voices of police officers outside her door.
I really enjoyed this episode. I don't know whether it was because Castle took the lead and didn't rely on Beckett so much, or it was something else. It just felt different. And it worked.
After that intense opening, we shift to Beckett and Castle in bed, their quiet morning interrupted by the cavalcade of co-habitants parading through the bedroom.
The aforementioned scene kicked off the parade of lines...
Beckett: "Castle. Are you asleep?"
Beckett: "Then why did you answer me?"
Castle: "I’m sleep-talking. Also known as somniloquy. Just ignore me."
Castle:"I'm still sleep talking. I can't be held responsible for anything I say."
Beckett: "What am I going to do? Just sleep in every morning and screw around until the phone rings? What kind of life is that?"
Martha: "Nothing going on in here that I haven't seen or done before." (Martha...you harlot!)
Beckett: "If there's one thing you excel at, Castle, it's talking," accompanied by his uncomfortable grin.
Castle: "I think that was once a bagel."
Castle: "She dotted the i."
One small criticism... I'm not sure I followed all of the reconstruction of the crime which came at the end. The security camera showed Vance at Angelo's apartment an hour before the murder. He used that time to look for the papers. Not finding them, he hastily plotted the murder. But I'm not quite sure I heard, or understood, how he got into Emma's apartment. Yes, it had been established that Angelo had her key. But how did Vance get her cell phone, which allowed him to text a message to Angelo? If she was out, if she was working, she should have had it.
One more small one: exactly why were the police banging on her door? Angelo had been dead for quite some time. So it's not as though a neighbor called in a report of a scream. And I can't imagine they would accept a random tip like, "Hey check out apartment 2B at 123 Main Street. There's a dead body inside."
Yet another, something that "Law & Order" would do, and drive me nuts ... When Beckett and Ryan confronted Julian (the records clerk), he just went about his work, largely ignoring them. Excuse me! Two police detectives are questioning you, and you're not giving them the time of day? Right!
I would like to call out one small detail that I appreciated, something that my wife a noted. At the end, Emma's problems didn't just simply vanish into the credits. Even though she was exonerated for the murder, she did kidnap and threaten five individuals. That is a crime. And the writers didn't just sweep it aside.
Feel free to share your thoughts on "Number One Fan."