Friday, August 21, 2015

Castle: "Hollander's Woods"

by Michael Seese

"It's about time!" I know you're saying. Two words: summer vacation.


Speaking personally, the wait was worth it. "Hollander's Woods" was a taut thriller. First of all, anything with "woods" in the title can't be good. And like many of the darker Castle episodes, the directors used lighting and camera angles as an effective mood element. The two scenes that stand out in my mind:

So I should say... SPOILERS!

- The interrogation. To me it looked as though the characters were lit from below, which always gives the demon-face effect. (For example, Baltar from the original BattleStar Galactica). Though it's possible the lighting was from directly overhead. Hard to say. And as always, I'm too lazy to go back and re-watch.) Plus, the way they shot Noah from slightly below was creepy.

- The scene where Castle and Beckett were interviewing Dr. Holtzman. Though better said, Castle was interrogating him. Here, they used tight camera angles and side lighting, if memory serves. And I loved Holtzman's measured responses to Castle's questions as he commented on the mask being the true face of the killer, while face he wears every day being false the false one.

Kudos to me, and my wife: as soon as they showed Dr. Holtzman we both called him out as the killer.

And though I recall nothing cool about the lighting, the scene where Beckett was being grilled about her conduct was awesome, and her rebuttal was even better.

Poor Lanie. This week she didn't get to say "lividity." Just decomposition.

Being that "Hollander's Woods" was the season ender, I was worried that they would give us a cliffhanger. They did not, and I was glad. As I've often said:

1. Even if you put Castle (or Beckett) in seemingly inescapable jeopardy, you know the writers are not going to kill off a main character, and 

2. I'm a fan. I'm going to tune in to see the season premiere. (Or record it, and watch it at my leisure.) You don't need to keep me wondering.

But when Castle entered the barn (and what a creepy barn), and Beckett was sitting in the unlocked car, I couldn't know there was no cliffhanger forthcoming, so I assumed something bad would happen. But it all worked out. I thought it was a neat idea to have Castle dispatch his personal bogeyman, and the way that scene was shot -- with the slow-motion grab of the gun -- was fantastic. Though when Holtzman had Castle on the ground, near the door, I wondered why Castle didn't just say, "Kate! Shoot straight in one foot up." Oh well the end result was still the same.

The awards dinner was a nice conclusion, and a great way to end the season on an up note. I especially liked Castle's reference to his mother and Alexis being his "red-headed pillars of unconditional love." Though I admit part of me was worried that something nefarious would happen, and give us a true cliffhanger.

Sometimes I think I think too much.

So, the lines...

Martha: "I love both of my son's big heads equally."

Castle: "There's the death-as-opportunity spirit we all love."

Castle: "It's your mannniversary? And I didn't get you anything."
Esposito: "There's still time."

Castle: "One day you'll look back and you will realize that every experience you ever had, every seeming mistake or blind alley was actually a straight line to who you were meant to be."

Until next season...which isn't too far away.

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