Devika Syal ‘18 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
The most recent episode of Castle took place on Mars to investigate the murder of an astronaut. Well, technically it was a Mars simulation, but the reality of the entire thing made this week’s episode a little creepier than might have been intended.
The beginning features an astronaut on “Mars” trying to fix a shorted space contraption. The overdramatic behavior and the foolish rambling about Hawaiian girls in bikinis given by the astronaut made it look like a television set, which may have made for a better storyline. The astronaut even utters the line, “What I wouldn’t give for a hot girl…I’d even take an ugly one.” Come on! That would have been the perfect opportunity for him to open the space thing and find a dead woman in there! But no, instead it turns out the man, revealed to be Tom Richwood (Yves Bright), is the one who gets killed by a mysterious attacker while doing his repairs. Sure, there’s a lot of confusing things that happened in that opening sequence, but the only mystery that stands out is why he had to give that stupid monologue before dying. It definitely took away from basically everything else that happened, and his awful remark about how he wouldn’t mind having an ugly girl if she came with a paper bag made him seem like he deserved to die.
It was difficult to follow this episode. Suspects were brought in then taken away then brought back until a picture showed the fake Mars rover wielding the murder weapon. Okay? So a robot killed Richwood? Since that’s not logical, Castle and Beckett assume that somebody programmed it to commit the crime, which led to Mira. But it turns out MIRA is the mission control computer (think TARS or KIPP from Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar only less sassy and more scary) who has been programmed to lie about the murder. There is actually a full scene in this episode where Castle and Beckett interrogate this robot…and then she tries to kill them with noxious gas.
As is the case in many Castle episodes, Ryan (Seamus Dever) and Esposito (Jon Huertas) were the best part. Most of Espo’s appearances in the episode involved him sitting in the simulation chamber wearing an astronaut suit and looking exceptionally pissed off. Ryan, on the other hand, was adorable, greeting Beckett (Stana Katic) and Castle (Nathan Fillion) with, “Hey, Castles!” at one point. And let’s not forget the look on his face when he suggests tracking an IP address to find a suspect and one of the computer experts does it before he can even finish his sentence.
Castle and Beckett had their moments, too, nerding out over the Mars simulation, a privately funded project called Mars 2018 that hoped to beat the competition to Mars. It was revealed that both Castle and Beckett had separately signed up to go to Mars, and when the other asked why they didn’t know about it, their excuse was, “we were fighting.” There was another scene where they were snooping around mission control while having a conversation. It seems like these murders have turned into dates for the couple.
However, it turns out the murder cases are the only time Caskett gets any alone time. The apartment has been getting crowded because Martha (Susan Sullivan) has a new boyfriend and Alexis (Molly C. Quinn) keeps bringing friends around. Martha reveals at the end of the episode that she’s going to be looking for her own place, throwing in a mention to future Castle/Beckett babies. This is the second time this has so casually been mentioned in the series, but a baby might complicate the storyline the way it is now. It might be a good way to end the show, which will hopefully be in many years. The episode ends on a funny note, with Castle and Beckett alone, freaking out because of how quiet it is. This gives an indication that they might not allow Martha to move out, keeping the Castle family dynamic as whole as it’s always been.
Overall Episode Grade: B+