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‘Castle’ Review: “What Lies Beneath”

Devika Syal ’18 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

Copy Edited by: Brooke Hoppe ‘17

Seamus Dever, Nathan Fillion, and Jon Huertas in Castle. Photo credit: ABC/Greg Gayne
Seamus Dever, Nathan Fillion, and Jon Huertas in Castle. Photo credit: ABC/Greg Gayne

Monday night’s episode of Castle definitely needed to be watched more than once to understand what was happening, but even then, it lost its focus about fifteen minutes before the end. The problem is that it took too many twists and turns. “What Lies Beneath” had a really good idea that was not executed well. It focused on the victim, a man named Dave Johnson (Jeff Davis) who turned out to be a pathological liar, telling people that he was both renowned author P.J. Moffat, and Irish mob boss Jimmy “Two Guns” O’Malley. Kevin Ryan (Seamus Dever) and Javier Esposito (Jon Huertas) are responsible for chasing both those leads, only to find that the former leads nowhere.

Johnson had been posing as Jimmy “Two Guns” to sneak into City Hall and get financial information, apparently sent by his priest — a blind man who turns out to be not so blind — who mismanaged some money and needs things to be fixed. Along the way, Johnson discovers major embezzlement and wants to expose Deputy Chief Stephen Reed (Ryan Devlin) who appears to be responsible for Johnson’s death. So Ryan and Espo, team up with Richard Castle (Nathan Fillion) and Alexis Castle (Molly Quinn) create an elaborate set up in the church to catch Reed. And guess what? Reed wasn’t the murderer.

Molly Quinn and Nathan Fillion in Castle. Photo credit: ABC/Greg Gayne
Molly Quinn and Nathan Fillion in Castle. Photo credit: ABC/Greg Gayne

As far as disappointing endings go, this episode took the gold. It turns out that Johnson’s wife believed him when he said he was millionaire author P.J. Moffat and killed him when she found out he had been lying. Absolutely nothing was gained from the entire episode, and while it had some entertaining moments, it felt like a waste of time. So many times in Castle history has the spouse been the murderer, but in those cases it has worked. This episode had the absolute weakest excuse for murder, “He had to pay for what he did.” Divorce is honestly not that hard an option. It would have saved the twelfth precinct all that work and it would have saved viewers an hour of their nights.

The storyline may have lacked, but the characters made up for it. There are pros and cons that come with Kate Beckett (Stana Katic) being Captain. Con: We don’t see her as much on the field since her work takes place in an office. Pro: Ryan and Espo have had more screen time in the past four episodes than they have in a long time.

There was one moment of comedy that was completely overlooked in the show but was absolutely hilarious. At one point in the episode Castle awkwardly hugs Espo, and it’s revealed later that he was using the hug to plant a tracking chip on Espo’s jacket collar. When Espo finds out, he throws the chip somewhere into the distance only for Castle to say, “You know I can find that, right?” As far as comedy goes, this one-liner was subtle and was pushed aside so that the actual dialogue could continue, but the genuine delivery of the line made it worthy of pausing the episode for a few seconds to laugh about it.

Seamus Dever and Jon Huertas in Castle. Photo credit: ABC/Greg Gayne
Seamus Dever and Jon Huertas in Castle. Photo credit: ABC/Greg Gayne

Beckett had her moments, too. At the beginning we see her trying, and failing, to make a cappuccino in the precinct’s coffee machine, which is significant because Castle bought them that machine and Beckett rejected it so strongly at first. From then on, he was responsible for making the coffee as shown at the end of the episode when they both sit down for a cup. In this episode, Beckett asks him what his secret ingredient is, to which he refuses, saying that she won’t need him anymore if he tells her. She agrees, the subtle Beckett way of saying that she still loves him and needs him, but right now she needs space.

This brings us to the best part of the episode. Towards the beginning, Martha Rodgers (Susan Sullivan) visits Beckett at the precinct and lets Beckett know that no matter what she’s going through, Castle will always be by her side. Instead of being the angry mother-in-law, Martha gave Beckett the one thing she needed right now: a hug.

Next week’s episode promises to be a strange one, with more attention being directed towards the Caskett storyline, hopefully leading to a quick reconciliation.

You can watch Castle, Mondays, 10/9c, on ABC.

Episode Grade: B

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One Comment

  1. Good review. This new secondary plot of finding Bracken’s drug partner is terrible. It insults the intelligence of the audience. The show runners have missed what the viewers wanted from the early seasons. The want witty banter between Castle and Beckett, not slapstick from Fillion. They wanted two fine actors working together on the set not some faux intimacy over the phone or using Skype. The work suffers.

  2. I hate the Bracken story. Kill it and let it be dead. Who cares? Does anyone care? They made that a long drawn out story and she got him. Why do this? Why do writers think they can wring more out of these storylines. Get some new ones! I did enjoy this episode anyway, even though your review is spot on. Dumb ending and so quick too. Lazy writing.

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