by Michael Seese
"Once Upon A Time In The West" is not to be forgotten, lost to the pages of history, or... OK, I think I've beaten that horse to death.
I know in the past I've said that some of the episodes where most of the action takes place outside of NYC seem to be "lacking" because I see the city as a character. But in this case, the Diamond Back was a character all its own.
Picky aside: if someone poisoned you, would your dying words be the place the murder was committed, or THE PERSON WHO POISONED YOU?? It sure would have made the show a lot shorter.
Another picky aside: the fact that the victim was from New York, and keeled over in New York is irrelevant. She was murdered in Arizona.
Final picky aside: Beckett seemed awfully cavalier about discussing the case (via cell phone with the boys back in the City) out in public.
One of the joys in this episode came from losing count of all the Western movie cliches and homages:
- The gun-spinning hotshot. (Followed by Beckett's look of amazement, and Castle's proclamation, "I want to be him when I grow up.")
- Castle's saloon entrance. (And the doors swinging back on him. I completely saw it coming.)
- The burning Bonanza map.
- The rolling tumbleweed.
- The bartender's google-eyed slow descent behind the bar when the gunfight was imminent.
- The gay cowboy neighbor. OK, that was new.
And lines everywhere.
Lanie: "I haven't hard a carb in months, just in case I had to put that damn dress back on."
Castle: "We got married, Mrs. Castle."
Beckett: "We certainly did, Mr. Beckett."
Castle: "I have three theories."
Beckett: "And I'm sure that none of them will be a waste of my time."
Esposito: "You still suck."
(Also, I loved how Captain Gates smacked Espo and Ryan down, calling them "school girls," if memory serves.)
Beckett: "This is so not our honeymoon."
Castle: "We approach this like writers."
Beckett: "So we procrastinate and make stuff up?"
Castle: "Of course I want to go after the gold. It's gold!"
A great look: the dour faces of Lanie, Ryan, and Espo (in contrast to the elation of Martha and Alexis) when Caskett made the announcement.
And I would be remiss if I failed to mention that I thought the Yavapai elder was a great character.
Applause for the continuity editors, who remembered to put a scar on Beckett's chest at the end.
Whew! What did I miss?