This week on ABC’s Castle, Rick got a blast from his 1980s past when a murder investigation introduced him to a bevy of action-movie idols. Meanwhile, Kate said a bittersweet goodbye — to her apartment.
If you’ve followed my recaps over the eons, you know that I occasionally enter an episode with tempered expectations — think Season 5’s Ring riff, for one — only to come away pleasantly surprised. This was one of those instances.
Don’t get me wrong, I love me some Expendables (or Indestructibles, as the case may be), and I tuned in mainly to see how hammy Ted McGinley would go with his take on an aging action-movie star (answer: not very, until Brock read in Castle on their off-books op to pinch the slot car). But I can get wary when they lean too heavily on Castle’s “fanboy” tendencies, if only because it can cross the line into “manchild” territory — which runs contrary to his standing as a mature, esteemed author.
That said, “Last Action Hero” was a whole lotta fun, and with a nifty case at its center, to boot. From Lance DeLorca having fibbed about his “spy” background (thus devastating Rick), to the wealth of red (and redheaded) herrings, to everyone’s reaction as they witnessed video of the goat-herder vic leveling a quartet of goons, the episode was highly entertaining on multiple levels. That this was ultimately an instance of a paternity cover-up, I did not see coming — though I possibly was off my sleuthing game.
But then, as an emotionally rich added bonus, you had this B-story of Kate saddened to realize that Rick never cared much for her apartment (or at least Mr. Kubiak, the neighbor), as they prepared to move her out so that her cousin Sofia can move in. That teed up a too-rare Kate/Lanie scene, in which Beckett’s BFF recounted all that she had been through, lived through and solved — and come to love — while living in that place. I won’t lie, the final scene where Kate pays the place one “last” visit, carving her name in a wall, surveying its emptiness and blank walls while surely revisiting so many memories, kinda sneaked up on me with its impact. And all without saying a word. (Confession: When Kate at first was bothered by Rick’s almost random admission, I for a fleeting moment thought it was a hint that 3XK/Dr. Nieman had swapped in a lookalike during his vanishing.)
* “The honor is mine — I passed many an hour in the john reading your books.”
* “Do you think it would be weird if I asked her to sign this?” “When, on her way to jail?”
* “Well, you’ve got trouble — Ryan trouble.” “I don’t know what that means.”
* “Do you really think I would stand between you and your boyhood dream?” “You are my boyhood dream.”
* And basically everything that was said in the van, as Brock invited Castle to bandana up and join them on a mission.
What did you think of “Last Action Hero”?