by Michael Seese
Quite a lot of changes on Castle. Beckett is now Mayor of New York. Alexis is married. And Castle is a grandfather.
OK, I'm kidding. It only SEEMS like it's been that long since we've had a new episode. (77 days.. but who's counting?) Of course, it's taken me nearly that long to write this.
I thought "Tone Death" was a pretty good episode. They took a simple idea -- a faux fight between Castle and Beckett -- and ran with it.
(And they got in "lividity," as in "Based on lividity and body temperature, I estimate time of death...")
It all starts with Castle and Beckett talking on their cell phones as she arrives at the precinct.
"It means I love you, but right now, I'm going t have to yell at you." Then she walks in, and, "Castle! We talked about this! You can't be here." The ensuing spat was terrific.
Later, they have another run-in:
Castle: "Oh, I'll decide how short my leash is."
Esposito: "Hey, bro. You OK?"
Castle: "Yeah. No. Ow, man. She hits hard."
All this, naturally, leads to Ryan and Esposito estranging themselves from Castle.
Ryan: "Beckett's family. You cheat on her, you cheat on us."
And where would this episode be without the great singing...
The opening scene gave us Martha delivering "a classic love song from back in the day." That would be, "The Things We Do For Love," but done à la William Shatner.
Tops, though, was all the a cappella music. The setup for the discovery of competing singing groups came via a great misdirection. Castle and Alexis walking through a creepy, abandoned warehouse in a seedy part of town. Shadows dash about on the periphery. A noise. They follow it though a clownface curtain to...
"Take me dancing tonight..."
And you HAD to love Esposito's musical interrogation of Hunter in the dressing room.
"You best be straight / 'cause you're gonna hate / to feel the steel of my handcuffs."
A few other noteworthy lines to wrap up:
Hunter: "We couldn't compete with their feel-good orange is the new singing sensation backstory."
Hunter: "Can you keep a secret?"
Beckett: "No. But you're going to tell me anyway."
Ryan: "Apparently, she's the Paris Hilton of Long Island."
Castle: "You say that like it's a good thing."
Castle: "Honestly, how did you guys solve murders without me?"
And now we have two to watch from last week before yet another new one on Monday. Let me know what you thought of "Tone Death."