Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Castle: "Sleeper"

by Michael Seese

Something I appreciate about "Castle." The writers aren't afraid to have a story arc which carries across episodes, or even seasons.

We've had the whole backstory of the murder of Beckett's mother which, in reality, was one arc with another -- the Senator Bracken stuff -- mixed in. We've had 3XK. (Which I think we can safely say is now over.)

And now we have Castle's missing two months. So we've probably now heard the last of Henry Jenkins. (But who knows...)

Picky aside #1: The blood is the corner of Henry's mouth, courtesy of Castle's punch disappeared rather abruptly.

"Sleeper" falls to the darker side of the Castle spectrum, which is not surprising. I didn't take a whole lot of notes -- and there wasn't much humor. But I did really enjoy it.


I found the opening montage compelling, and thought it did a good job at setting the stage for what was to come. In most (if not all) "Castle" episodes, you start out with a murder. It's pretty cut-and-dried. Or bang-bang. (Both puns intended.) But with "Sleeper," we're not sure. Was it a dream? Or did Castle live through some outlandish adventure? Recalling he fought beside Chuck Norris would support the former theory. (Bolstered by Tory discovering that the license plate he recalled did, in fact, appear in a Chuck Norris movie.) But tracing the plate to Thailand, and then bringing up Castle's exposure to dengue fever makes it all a possibility.

Then we get a murder thrown in (and eventually another) and now there's a real crime in Gotham City. And, we can begin to wonder when the killer will come for Castle, which adds to the tension.

I think my favorite scene was Castle's interaction with Bilal. Just the way Bilal kept moving as he gathered his things, hurried down the hall of his apartment, and out in the alley. (My wife said, "He's going to take a bullet here," and I have to say I thought she was right.) It made the whole climax pretty kinetic.

Picky aside #2: I do have to say, I thought the explanation was a bit contrived. "My safe contact (a trained operative...right?) was killed. So I thought I'd turn to some guy I knew in high school 25 years ago." But I'll overlook it.

Speaking of Bilal, they did give him a great line: "I can't believe they picked Phil Bartlett. What a douchebag."

Others of note:

Castle: "I was in Thailand getting shot at with Chuck Norris?"

Beckett: "Why would you be abducted on our wedding day and end up in Thailand?"
Castle: "Worst bachelor party ever?"

Lanie: "Needless to say, the GSW to the head was the likely cause of death." (Italics mine. And, thank you for the "lividity.")

Beckett: "LT is going to drive you home."
Castle: "And if I refuse?"
Beckett: "Then he'll drive you home in handcuffs."
Castle: "Just for the record, extremely bitter."

The next episode, "Castle & Snakes On A Plane" (or whatever it's called) looks promising.

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