I’ll be honest, I had a thought about not recapping this week’s Castle. I mean — ninjas? Really?
And then it turned out to be one of this season’s Top 5 episodes.
For one, on the heels of a Beckett-heavy outing, the middle section of this one was rather Rick-centric, with Kate off on some girls’ night from hell. As such, we got the very fun sequences at the “hostess club,” complete with playful Rick (“If this is a tea company, I want a cup”), highly uncomfortable Ryan, the tease of karaoke and Rick’s eyes popping out cartoon-style at the $6K tab they ran up. (“Can I expense this…?”)
Akin to those scenes, the episode from start to finish was peppered with humor, mostly stemming from Rick’s steadfast ninja theory — but not in the usual, “Oh, Castle, you’re so silly” way, but played out in a richer manner. The consulate imposter’s own reaction to Rick’s ninja obsession was rather priceless. (By the way, I spotted her as a phony almost ASAP.) And then there was the victim’s boyfriend’s, “I’m Korean, not Japanese. Way to racially profile.”
The case itself, I had no idea where it was going to go, though as noted, I suspected that Saya would turn out to be one of the ninjas. But a decade-old revenge scheme against a Yakuza member? Who turned out to be a milquetoast American business man? Replete with faked deaths, a ninja-who’s-really-a-cop and a nifty final duel? Nice. And unpredictable.
And lastly, as icing on the cake, Beckett’s night out fed into a larger, important Caskett beat — the age-old worry that in marriage we become staid and fall into routines. After an episode in which we saw Kate withstand water torture, it was all the more impactful to see her deflated so by the thought, her face in her hands. But then she draped her arms around Rick, her eyes (those eyes….) open wide, and he assured her that, even if they must work it into their vows, “We will never, ever be boring.”
Humor. A compelling case. Rick being Rick. Meaningful Caskettnicity. A throwing star whipped in Gates’ general direction. Lesson learned — don’t judge a ninja episode by its cover.