Castle Recap: Dead Ringers -- AKA the Best Episode of the Season

Castle Recap 3kX Killer Returns?The week on ABC’s Castle, Kate, Rick et al found themselves twin piqued by serial murders that hit wayyyy close to home and left a trail of clues pointing to the impossible-ish.

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THE CASE | A waterfront watchman spies a woman apparently standing at the end of a pier — except she’s actually hanging from fishing line, dead. Arriving on the scene, Kate and Rick note that Lanie looks unusually startled, and for good reason: the corpse is a dead ringer for the M.E., right down to her hair products and a new hip tattoo that Javy (and only Javy) could have known about. The victim, Pam, used to be a street-walker, but shortly after moving to New York City, she told her dad, she landed a sweet gig. The source of her good fortune is a mystery, though, with the only clue being the serial number on her cheek implants. traced to Dr. Kelly Niemann. The plastic surgeon explains to Castle and Beckett that Pam gave her a pic of a “friend” she wanted to look like.

Meanwhile, thanks to a selfie retrieved by Tory from Pam’s phone, the boys stake out a boat at the marina, where they find another strung-up body — that looks like Espo. This victim, Daniel Santos, was a former stripper who — stop me if you’ve heard this before — landed a sweet gig after moving to New York City, from Georgia. Whats more, it’s discovered that Daniel was practicing to talk like Espo, too! Scouting out Santos’ digs, Espo is approached by a spooked neighbor, who says that a town car used to pick Santos up regularly. And on his final such trip, he was deposited at the home of… Dr. Neimann.

But no amount of grilling can cause Niemann to break for Beckett. Instead, the good doc explains away her curious connection to both vics by saying that Daniel, a “purely physical” hook-up, had referred Pam to her. What’s more, Niemann’s alibis for both kills checks out — as proven by a video of Santos leaving her place at night, then getting into a car traced to… waterfront watchman Carl Mathews, who has gone missing after quitting that job. Rick suggests that Carl doesn’t “fit” this crime, that if anything he is working with someone — someone like 3XK aka Jerry Tyson, the killer who dogged them in Season 3. “No evidence, meticulously planned… It’s vintage 3XK,” Rick contends. But no sooner does Kate urge him to not chase ghosts do they discover that all of the 3XK files have been stolen (by Faux Espo), as has all the DNA evidence from those investigations (by Like-Lanie).

The team tracks Carl to a motel — the same place (and room number) where 3XK was put up back in the day — and Rick tackles him. In the interrogation room, Carl claims he is no disciple of Tyson’s but his own man, and as such he’ll ‘fess up to only his own kills — “no more and no less.” He then taunts Caskett with this parting thought: “You think you’ve got this all figured out. But you don’t.” Indeed. A review of Tyson’s prison records show that the visiting doctor during his stint behind bars was none other than Kelly Niemann, and that she left when he did. And now, Niemann is in the wind, her tony office cleaned out save for a pen that, Rick later discovers at the loft, harbors a flash drive….

He plugs it into his laptop, and Vera Lynn’s “We’ll Meet Again,” quite haunting in this context, begins wailing throughout the living space, visibly shaking Beckett to the bone.

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THE CASKETT | Before the eeriness of the first murder scene set it, we saw Rick trying to plan his and Kate’s honeymoon, suggesting that the right place and best time will in turn dictate their wedding date. But Kate soon gets wise to his subtle plan to have their honeymoon double as a tour of “Middle Earth” in New Zealand. (“I was hoping for something more romantic and less Hobbit-y.”) But when Kate begins suggesting other destinations, they realize that Rick and his previous mates have already covered much of the globe — save for Albania and Finland. Hmmm.

THE ESPLANIE | Some nice moments for the long-forsaken couple, first as we learn that not only are they still hooking up, but that Lanie, at least, has been a one-man woman. Later, when Espo’s doppelgänger pops up, Lanie frets over who’ll be next. When Javy assures her, “I won’t let anything happen to you,” she worries, “What if something happens to you?” And towards the hour’s end, as they observe the questioning of Carl, Lanie raises a chilling: “How long until we stop thinking about what he’s done, until we stop looking at each other and seeing dead people?” Fair point, that.

THE REVIEW | I know the season-opening D.C. arc had its appeal, but when it comes to a combination of A) ca ompelling (if not entirely realistic) case, B) cast inclusion (Lanie! Gates! MyTory!), C) good Rick/Kate moments and D) solid guest stars (in 24‘s Annie Wersching and Lost‘s William Mapother), you’d be hard-pressed to name a more satisfying Season 6 entry than this. Cinching the deal was how it revived the 3XK storyline (and maybe Tyson himself?) to an extent that is TBD. Is he back? Is Niemann just an obsessed fan? (Is there any way that Carl is Tyson?) Yep, I’m going with Best Episode of the Season. What did you think?

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Tim Devine says:

    Perhaps setting the swcenario for the wedding and the carasher is Tyson?

  2. yaashi says:

    this has the creepiest episode on castle
    i just expect the 3XK comeback at all
    and that song at the end gave me chills

  3. Aspiring Englishteacher says:

    I actually don’t think it was the best episode of the season, certainly not of the series. #1 Fan was better as a whole imo, this one felt … incomplete. Like the case part of the 100th ep. Not necessarily rushed, but not quite all together either. And I kind of expected more from it after reading the synopsis and various teasers beforehand (rookie mistake, I know, couldn’t help it.) There were flashes of Really Good in it – Lanie’s scenes, starting with the first one on the dock, her and Javi’s huddle really set the tone instantly, and the tattoo reveal, and then Caskett’s scene in the archives – intense! yes! – but mostly the good stuff in this ep was about the tone – the photography, the lighting, the music, the creepiness of dr. Niemann (which, I love to nitpick, is German for “no man” I believe, which makes sense for a woman…, not “new man” as someone posted earlier. New man in German is Neumann. I believe.) and the ultra-creepiness of the final scene. Overall I’d call this ep bone-chilling more than anything and from that perspective it was really good. But as far as 3XK ep’s go, the first – and the second – was (were) far better than this one.

    * Homeless guy = Tyson. Has to be.
    * We’ll Meet Again obviously must have some deeper meaning for Beckett, other than just Tyson actually being alive, else Stana was overacting some. Which she apparently never does? ;)
    * Would love it if Jar Jar really is entangled in Tyson’s plot for Castle domination somehow, if for nothing else so he can be “neutralized” or thrown in a deep dark hole somewhere.
    * More Esplainy!

    • Dory says:

      Quite by accident I saw the actress from #1 fan on a Major Crimes rerun on TNT. She is really a good actor. I didn’t get her name but I will go back and look it up. Hope she appears on more shows.

  4. MLO says:

    What I don’t get is that if Carl killed look-alike-Lanie, what was all the fakery at the beginning when he found the body? Who was he putting on the show for? The audience that’s not supposed to exist? The homeless (may or may not be Tyson) guy he chased off? Didn’t make sense. Should have had someone else find the body. Or had him stage the body and then call the police, maybe in silhouette so we wouldn’t know who he was right away.

  5. CC says:

    Personally, i believe this episode proved the potential of the cast, i mean, there’s no need of a long list of guest stars, with the usual great writers and cast we got an excellent episode. It was great to watch to interaction.
    on a separate note, i completely forgot the Pi character and obviously did not miss him at all.

    • Viv says:

      I actually think Jon Huertas is not a good actor so I’m good when he doesn’t have too many scenes, which was not the case here.
      And, as someone says, Stana tends to over-act. Which actually doesn’t bother me that much, because it works very well with comedy and I think she’s a great comedic actress. She doesn’t do stutter very well also and I can see her “act” each time.

      I looooved how C and B were dressed: black over red for him, red over black for her. They were so cute together in this ep, with their clothes coordonated.

      Not my favorite ep because there was too many holes in the plot but the lighting and direction were excellent! I actually think that’s why people loved it, because of the atmosphere.

  6. Susie says:

    This episode was a little too creepy for me – well-done, but creepy……..

  7. Maria says:

    I think we already heard that song from the end! or at least i did i dont know if it was from castle or another serie (and no, it was not just me listening in a normal day just because i wanted to) i dont think its her mother story or something, i think is something else like when she get shot! or when her place explode! that were 2 really scary stuff for her right? and i believe she was taking a bath with some music behind or something..
    or maybe im confusing with some similiar “scene” from another show .. what do you think? I dont know what episodes were this but if you do please check for me :)

    sorry about my english!

  8. bibs says:

    I thought Beckett’s shock was horribly overdone in the end. Unless they explain it in the next eppy like she had some connection to the song, if not then it looks super fake. I almost thought I can hear ACTION! in the beginning. Shame if so, great episode otherwise.

    • LL624 says:

      If it had been overdone, they would have called CUT and had her do it again. It was very well done, just as intended. We’ll just have to wait for the explanation. Definitely not next eppy, probably more like next season when 3XK shows up again.

  9. Scott says:

    Sorry if someone posted something similar but I couldn’t read through 160 comments. The fact Tyson knew Dr. Kelly before everything happened on the bridge that the guy on the bridge was a Tyson double. I know he looked and spoke like Tyson but so did the guy who was made up to look like Espo. I don’t know if i’m right but I know Tyson is going to be found alive.

  10. T says:

    I liked this episode but it was not my favorite. It was definitely creepy. The terror on Beckett’s face at the end told me that the song has a personal meaning for her that goes beyond her just thinking that 3XK is alive. Castle’s response at first looked like he was both vindicated and afraid of facing 3XK again. When he saw Kate his look morphed into something that was both concern and fear based on her reaction. It looked to me like Kate was reacting to something that Castle had no experience with and then he reacted to her. So something has been set in motion for a future confrontation, with someone. I liked the interaction of the entire cast. I do like a dose of Caskett but the show works best for me when the big four are involved somehow.

  11. ChuckMeForever says:

    Best of the season By far…3XK-Y-Jelly is alive and killing…I along with 50% or more of the Castle Viewership have known this since last season…Just cant wait for the next installment of JT and who will play the part since his face is now “different”

  12. Tom says:

    Sorry but I think Stana overacted at the end & it was just to convey the realization that Tyson was in fact back and would be targeting Kate next. Too many plot holes in this episode to get on the “best episode this season” bandwagon.

  13. Timothy says:

    Hardly the best episode of the season. There were a lot of plot holes in this episode. First, there was no reason to resurrect 3XK for this episode. The doctor was creepy enough to stand on her own. Two, there are two things you can’t change about yourself: fingerprints and DNA and you’d think they’d contacted the FBI at some point for assistance so they’d have copies of the NYPD’s files. People need to stop giving the show passes on bad writing and crappy storytelling.

  14. Timothy says:

    Also, I felt that Stana overacted the final part. I also read a review by a fan that said that the NYPD f’d up the initial investigation if they didn’t know 3XK had a girlfriend. I’m sorry but I can’t for the life of me understand why everyone is giving the show a free pass on this episode. It wasn’t great, it wasn’t horrible—it just struggled to remain relevant.

  15. Dee says:

    I don’t think anyone has mentioned this – maybe because they’re a lot younger than I am, but “We’ll meet again” was played at the very end of “Dr. Strangelove: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb” while Dr. Strangelove was riding the bomb to its inevitable cataclysmic ending on earth. Just saying – I think it’s foretelling something explosive. Just had to mention that.

  16. wubitnose says:

    I liked the 6×09 episode but for me “Number One Fan” and “A Murder Is Forever” are still running neck a neck for “Best episode” of the season 6, Sorry!!

  17. Liz says:

    I really did like the episode. It was great. I think the writers and producers have been spot on this year. I still like the time travel episode the best though. I think it’s really the first time that Castle’s crazy theories and possibilities have had the potential to be right. Plus seeing Morgan Grimes be kick ass was AWESOME! I really want to see him again.

    I did find it interesting in the episode that Tyson was involved with a plastic surgeon. He could look like anyone now, he could even be Mathews. Very creepy.

  18. Dorothy says:

    hey hey hey. what if dr. neimann IS 3kx?

  19. Krithika says:

    Amazing, amazing episode! See, this is why we fans want more of Lanie. She and everyone else truly gave a stellar performance. And I know many of you guys have already posted this but yeah, I did go back and watch the homeless guy and the guy at the motel and I’m pretty much convinced too, that it’s 3XK.

  20. Rick says:

    Good episode, I would not make it best of the season never mind best ever. Always is the best ever. I do like the episodes since leaving DC with the original cast.Are we being set up for Beckett’s evil twin. That is, the Doctor copies Beckett face and manners to deceive Castle. We then get an end of the season evil twin breaks up with Castle just like on Bones. Next season will Castle find the real Beckett?

    • Waqar says:

      I like the way u think bro. I think its just gonna be like that. Specially with th way she babbled on about perfecting Beckett

  21. Waqar says:

    The dude in the hoodie has a face similar to Pi. Just freeze it when the light goes on his face. He has the Pi mustache. He was also there outside the motel. I also think the the security guy is not the killer. He is just a attention seeker who is being used by Tyson. N btw BEST EPISOSDE THIS SEASON!!!!!!

  22. Joakim says:

    Where does this episode continue? its not by the folllowing 10# episode..