By Michael Seese
I have to say, IMHO, Castle has been pretty darned good this year. But "Time Will Tell" may have been the best yet. In fact, would rank it up there with among the best ever.
As I've said in other posts, some of the best shows are the ones where the NYPD gang is faced with some impossible circumstances -- a zombie attack, the death of Santa Claus -- and Castle totally buys in while trying to win over the skeptical Beckett.
Like a few others of late, the show begins with someone discovering the victim, and then shifts to a scene in the Castle domicile. I thought the rattlesnake sound, combined with the image of the belt, was very clever. I liked the exchange between Castle and Alexis. And I just knew she would point out some parallel between her decision and Castle's youthful choices.
I think what really carried this episode was the performance of Joshua Gomez as Simon Doyle. I would go so far as to label it "brilliant." He played it manic, but not so over the top that you had to think, "loony." Especially good was his initial rant, where he talked about the energy war, and threw in tachyon emissions. I also thought Jess Allen as the killer, Garrett Ward, was great, and a great foil. He was pure steel. Did he even have any speaking lines...I'll have to look that up. I also thought the staging of the climax was terrific: a dark theater, an unaware (potential) victim, and a shadowy figure with a handgun moving in for the kill. Then it turns out to be Esposito. You guys got me!
And of course, lots of lines:
Castle: "I only commit my murders on paper. I don't actually do them. A lot more lucrative, a lot less prison."
Castle: "Whatever crazy theory I could come up with...this is better!"
Castle: "Tell me you weren't wondering" about the year Doyle claimed to come from.
Doyle: "Ispo facto, QED, she wasn't supposed to die."
Doyle: "People think the Earth is flat."
Ryan: "I thought it [Doyle's story] was rather derivative."
Castle: "It was not a total waste. I picked up some excellent stock tips."
My two favorite looks:
Castle's grin as they walked into the morgue, and Lanie said, "He's not your killer."
Beckett: "Where did he go?"
Castle: "Not where... When?"
At the very end, you knew that Doyle would somehow simply vanish. But I loved the bit right before. When shown a picture of himself as a patient in a mental ward several years prior, he gleefully posits that at some point in the future (his future) the need will arise for them to send him back again. Loved it!
And kudos to me: the second that Beckett knocked over the coffee cup, I saw the connection.
One nit-pick, which those who subscribe to my friend Bill's theory of "you buy the premise by the bit" would tell me to "get over." Simon claimed he was an archaeologist: someone who traveled through time to study past cultures. So why did the folks from the future send him back in time to prevent the assassination of Deschile? Why not send back a cop? Or a special ops guy...like Garrett Ward?
I'd like to end with a bold prediction. How they will end the show. I mean really end it. For the last month or so I had toyed with the idea that they would actually kill Castle in the final episode. And as he was dying in Beckett's arms he'd say something witty and poignant like "I'd never write something this cliched." But now I have my new theory. We will see a computer screen, with words being typed.
"And that is my backspace backspace our story. The end."
The camera will come around and we will see an older Castle. Three kids run into the room and gave him a hug, call him "Daddy." Then a stately looking Beckett walks in. They exchange the standard morning pleasantries. Then she says she has to rush off to Washington to help pass an important bill. And if they really want to put icing on the cake, she could say something like, "I'm really late. So can you..." Castle will then pick up that thing that Simon left behind, point it at her, and pull the trigger. She will beam out, à la Star Trek.
You heard it here first folks.
Feel free to share your thoughts on "Time Will Tell" (or my wild speculation).