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Castle Recap/Review: "Number One Fan"

Maya Zach ’17/ Emertainment Monthly Staff

After Emma Riggs (Alicia Lagano) is suspected of murdering her boyfriend, Angelo Vasquez, she appears to prove her guilt in this episode of Castlewhen she holds five people hostage in a dentist’s office. She demands to speak to Richard Castle (Nathan Fillion), rather than a hostage negotiator. As his number one fan, she knows that if anyone can prove her innocence, it’s him. After negotiating the release of a nine-year-old hostage and her mother, Castle enters the dentist’s office in hopes that he can talk Emma down. Emma tells her side of the story–she woke up the day of her birthday and her boyfriend was dead. Before she knew what happened, the cops came pounding on her door and she bailed.

Due to the nature of the situation, Gates ( Penny Johnson ) allows Beckett ( Stana Katic ) to assist in the investigation. However, all signs point to Emma having killed her boyfriend. This idea is solidified when the team discovers that Emma killed a boy with the same M.O. in her youth. However, Castle is convinced of her innocence, the team investigates another angle, a slip of paper that reads “S.H.” found in Angelo’s pocket. They realize that it stands for St. Helena’s, the orphanage where Emma was left. Angelo, returning to his life of crime, broke into the orphanage to steal her adoption papers. Emma has always wanted to know who her real parents are, and Angelo’s birthday present was that knowledge.

Alicia Lagano and Nathan Fillion in the Castle episode "Number One Fan." Photo Credit: ABC/Richard Cartwright.
Alicia Lagano and Nathan Fillion in the Castle episode “Number One Fan.” Photo Credit: ABC/Richard Cartwright.

It turns out that Emma’s father is Aaron Stokes ( Tom Amandes ), a real-estate developer who is planning on running for governor. Not-so-coincidentally, Raymond Vance ( Patrick Heusinger ), a lawyer at the firm that represents Stokes, illegally unsealed Emma’s juvie records just a few days prior. However, Vance didn’t unseal the records for Stokes, rather, for himself. Vance is Stokes’ son-in-law, he was afraid that he and his wife would lose their inheritance if Stokes discovered the daughter that he abandoned. Stokes had always thought about meeting his daughter and now the two finally have the chance.

Gates is very cautious when she discovers that Stokes might be involved, because he is a good friend of the police commissioner; one word from him and all of their badges could be revoked. Once Stokes hears the whole truth, he apologizes for any difficulties that he might have caused, and he understands that they were just doing their jobs. To make up for it, he helps the commissioner find some money to have Beckett reinstated. And, of course, Castle is reinstated as a consultant along with her.

After five years of wearing his customized bulletproof vest, it finally comes in handy. During a struggle in the dentist’s office, Castle is shot in the chest. Castle is no longer the butt of the joke when it comes to his Writer’s vest, rather the vest itself is. Castle is eager to point out that she “dotted the I” when she shot him. After years of being mocked for the vest, Castle is the one laughing.

Nathan Fillion and Alicia Lagano in the Castle episode "Number One Fan." Photo Credit: ABC/Richard Cartwright.
Nathan Fillion and Alicia Lagano in the Castle episode “Number One Fan.” Photo Credit: ABC/Richard Cartwright.

There were multiple developments during this episode that were downright hard to swallow. When Kate conveys Emma’s juvenile record to Castle, he does not react–he acts as though he was just given a typical case update. However, Emma realizes that he knows, freaks out, and pulls a gun on him. There is absolutely no reason that she should have suspected that Rick uncovered her secret. Another aspect that was hard to grasp was Mickey’s ( Billy Miller ) character, one of the hostages.  He continually talks back to Emma, which only aggravates her, and then tries to stage a coup that everyone is against, thus attacking her. The fact that he is both aggressive/sarcastic and has a hero complex seems contradictory and incredibly unlikely.

This episode of Castle was definitely not on par with the rest of the season. It seems as though this episode was solely created as a way for Kate to receive her badge. Maybe now that she is back on the force, the show will return to the higher standard that Castle fans are used to.

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