Castle Recap: Strife on Mars

Castle Martha Moves Out

This week on ABC’s Castle, Rick and Kate went to “Mars” — was the end result out of this world, or just spacey?

Considering I could barely bring myself to share with y’all the still photos from this episode, as silly as they appeared on the surface, this was an instance where I was pleasantly surprised by the execution surpassing the premise.

For one, the Case of the Week — in which a crew member on a high-tech, closed-environment Mars landing simulation was murdered — was impressively involving and kept me guessing… until the last act where it all kinda fell apart, swapping too many better suspects for a conspiracy among the other crew to snuff their colleague. The inclusion of a Mars rover as the “murderer” was quite novel, as was the “interrogation” and surreptitious override of M.I.R.A., but the “gassing” sequence and Beckett’s sudden realization that she could use her cell to call for help nudged mine eyes in the direction of rolling. (Besides, in the name of “preventing cheating,” wouldn’t cell phone signals have been jammed down there…?)

Off-setting any pickable nits in the story was the fun banter throughout, some of which has been excerpted below. Then, as an unexpected bonus, the final act’s revisiting of the B-story — Rick’s loft run amok and crowded by Alexis’ heretofore invisible friends as well as Martha and her pajama-borrowing beau — sprung on us the twist that Martha had decided to find her own place, having achieved a certain amount of success as of late and sensing there soon might be some “little Castles” running around. Didn’t see that coming, surprised by how much that reveal affected me.

THE NOTABLE & QUOTABLE
“You signed up to go to Mars?”
“A couple years ago.”
“Where was I?”
“We were fighting.”
(And then Beckett’s own version of same later on.)

* Beckett interrupting spacesuited Castle’s slow-mo jog on the planet’s surface.

* Ryan likening the “lifeless orb” of Mars to Jenny’s grandmother.

* “Why am I always on the bottom? Yes, dear.”

* “If you think that’s how I get pregnant, we need to talk.”

* “Hey, Castles!”

* Rick’s Captain Kirk-like narration of his and Kate’s crimesolving mission.

What did you think of “The Wrong Stuff”?

Want scoop on Castle, or for any other show? Email insideline@tvline.com and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.

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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49 Comments
  1. leigh says:

    The sci-fi geek in me loves this fun episode! But three weeks til the next one? Dang…

    • Leigh says:

      Agreed. As with 99’99% of television, you check reality when you switch on the show and settle in to enjoy the fictional story set in its particular boundaries.

      If the writing is good and you like the talent you can expect an entertaining 40+ minutes. Castle works for me with these parameters.

      Sometimes a real life situation happens. In this instance, two married people are working together Since I know several couples who have worked together I am hoping writers will give Rick and Kate story lines that will have them working with and sometimes against each other…but please…Don’t break them up with real or imagined affairs like standard soap opera fare. Wives and husbands can and do work together and survive!

      It would take the writers being smart and avoiding the standard tv outcomes. Dare to be different ABC! So far it is working on Bones..

  2. maria says:

    I thought it was kinda boring. And, doesn’t Alexis live at college? She can get together with her friends there. (Speaking of which, she would be a junior now. Do we even know her major? Does she?)

    • lkh says:

      the story moved along a little more slowly

    • hud says:

      Dump the freeloader Martha, send the little Princess Alexi’s packing. Get the show back into the squad room. Give Ryan and Espo something worthwhile plot wise. Don’t break what’s not broke. Linda Park, don’t see as much of a plus. Contention will only turn off viewers.

      • Just one thing says:

        Hey! Martha is awesome!

        • SOrms says:

          Jot, I agree! The show has always been the whole family, home & squad room. Like hud said, don’t break what’s not broken. Writers always surprise us even then.They usually have some episodes featuring each star’s amazing talent. The show is called “Castle”, so naturally it revolves mainly around Castle & Beckett(now wife). You just can’t please everyone all the time.

  3. K says:

    I found this episode to be really boring. Shouldn’t Alexis be studying not playing laser tag with her beau and opening the loft door just to interrupt castle and Beckett. Her presence in the episode made zero sense to me. The case was intriguing just wasn’t my thing. Not into the Sci Fi or space theme.

  4. Burda mówi też, że firma nie zabrania osobom starszym kontaktu
    z synem, córką czy wnukami przed zawarciem transakcji.

  5. Tran says:

    That episode reminds me of the movie Total Recall (1990) with Arnold Schwarzenegger.

  6. Carol C says:

    This was a fun episode, and like Matt, I thought the plot was more complex than expected.

  7. Studio reklamy może mieć ciężki orzech do zgryzienia w przypadku gdy niezbyt dobrze przemyśli swoją
    strategię i rodzaj wykorzystanych mediów.

  8. JeffDJ says:

    I thought this episode was a lot of fun. I liked that the title card got into the action too.

  9. Matthew Weber says:

    Liked it a lot, but I’ll be happy to get to more serious ground in a few weeks. Didn’t think I’d say that after the last two episodes, but this one was just goofy.

    Saw the promo for next episode. Beckett may actually shoot Castle this time.

  10. James D says:

    loved it. I agree that the third act kind of fell apart in terms of the COW but I actually enjoyed the ‘Hal’ bit more than i thought i would and I always enjoy Castle geeking out. The Martha thing threw in the sense that I didn’t expect it to be coming this soon I did expect to come though it sort of seems like the story is evolving to the point where “baby Castles” will be coming along so Martha leaving fits. with that said it makes me sad I’ve always enjoyed the rapport she and Castle share. Been loving this season so far kind of suck we have to wait so long for the next episode but we’re at that time of year.

  11. DarkDefender says:

    Okay episode, heavy on the COTW and Caskett lite. This baby talk is making me nervous.. Having a baby changes the Caskett dynamic and they are only like 3-4 episodes into a cool married groove. Methinks a baby is a series finale move (ala The Mentalist) and I really want more seasons of this show.
    .
    Until the reveal at the beginning, I was totally hoping my dream came true and it was Castle and Beckett doing the laser tag.
    .
    They are totally killing it with the title cards this season. Was that the murder weapon (instead of the pen) in the “A”?

  12. Harry_Wild says:

    This episode was near the quality of the episodes shown on TNT cable network! It was a shock to see that the current Castle on ABC had the potential again to be equal to that of the season 1-5 episodes! Totally took me by surprise!

  13. arial2 says:

    Enjoyed it more than I expected. But now it makes for a whole new conspiracy theory: HAL was framed! ;)

  14. Andrea says:

    I thought this episode was cute, very case heavy but still well done. The set for the Mars area was very impressive. I’m very interested to see where the rest of this season will go. I’m still hoping for a season 8.

  15. T says:

    The set was great. The story was ok. The killer(s) was lame. The baby talk is the new form of wedding planning. Castle’s Captain Kirk sounded a lot like his PI narration. In earlier seasons Martha was great. Now she is almost non-existent and apparently going to disappear. The spark between Castle and Beckett is flaming out. Wrap it up soon, before it is gone.

    • John NYC says:

      “flaming out”? They’ve been more all over each other in recent episodes than ever before.

      • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

        What John said. Unarguable point.

        • T says:

          If you like clawing at buttons, wearing combat boots and multiple layers of clothes to bed, and choosing Indian food over their empty loft as “all over each other” then ok. Not me. However their flame used to be conversation and wit that conveyed a feeling of wanting to be together. Not now. They often look like they want to be anywhere else. Two or three sentences together does not replicate the Castle of old. The flame is dim.

          • Mary says:

            We definetly are not watching the same show! Like @John and @Matt said, they were never more all over one another than this season – and no, they don´t look like they want to be anywhere else – actually, hadn´t I known both S.K. and N.F. are in relationships, this season I would believe they were together:)

      • Rich Abey says:

        Precisely. If you watched the 3-episode P.I. arc, the constant role-playing, flirting & making out..the stuff of dreams for Caskett fans!

    • sigh says:

      That’s what I was thinking about the narration — worst Captain Kirk imitation ever! Lol. I’m pretty sure he could have done a better job.

  16. David4 says:

    For a show that has had time travel and invisibility cloaks I find it lame there was no AI. Do scifi and go all the way.

    I wish it was like 2001 and 2010 where HAL kills people because he’s told to lie.

  17. Velocisexual says:

    If you can ignore the scientific inaccuracies and plotholes this episode is a lot of fun (and you could tell the actors had fun with it). Plus we got a glimpse of Alexis which is rare nowadays.

  18. Just one thing says:

    I pretty much checked out of the episode, though it was fun enough. It was just a little too “out there” for me to enjoy.
    .
    Not only did I find it hard to believe that any space race would find its origins in NYC, but I also had a hard time believing that Beckett – feet-on-the-ground, lover of the simpler things in life – would legitimately sign up for any Mars mission. It just seemed like a clumsy way to suggest that she and Rick are more alike than they often appear.
    .
    Considering they’ve been saving money by significantly cutting the screentime of four out of eight characters for the last couple seasons, Martha’s decision to move out isn’t so much a surprise. Whether the show is renewed or not, her leaving at the end of the season could be deemed as solid closure. (Really, I would only like Martha to leave – if she must – at the end of the series.)
    .
    It does make me wonder what they’ll do with Molly Quinn and Tamale Jones’ characters if the show is renewed. Perlmutter is fun, but he’s become downright mean about Castle, so he can only be doled out sparingly, I think. And though Alexis’ bond with her dad is one of the major threads of the show, she really isn’t much more than a character who sways in the wind to help move Castle and Beckett’s story along. That, or they have her play laser tag with her boyfriend, after fans have been asking for years to see Castle and Beckett play it. LOL
    .
    I can see why those involved had fun making the episode, but it just didn’t resonate with me. I’m not saying Rick and Kate needed to be mopey and drag their feet after last week’s episode, but a single line of acknowledgement would have helped just a teensy bit with continuity.
    .
    As for next episode… it looks really dumb: “Kate Beckett is the only attractive, successful woman in New York who has landed herself a good man. What a feat! But that’s all gonna be questioned when… another attractive, successful woman flies to New York. What are they gonna do?!”
    .
    Also, having Castle constantly act like other women are so attractive, when he can barely make believable, even non-sensual, physical contact with his wife on a regular basis isn’t funny. It’s actually kind of rude.

    • R says:

      Great analysis as usual. I honest to God do not remove remember much about the episode because it was so case heavy. Everyone seemed extra sassy so that’s a plus I guess. I’ve been cringing about next weeks episode every since I read about the preview from Amann. I’m so over these jealousy storylines. At this point it’s just a disservice to the character(s).
      .
      Castle and the way be acts around other women and Kate… oh boy, I might not touch that because it’s sure to bring out the pitchforks. All I’ll say is I find it odd we are continually getting these instances where he’s ogling or effusively praising other women right in from of Beckett.

    • Kate says:

      totally agree with all of this.

    • sigh says:

      Ah, as usual, thank you for articulating what I’m thinking. I guess my problem with this show lately is that (at least with episodes like this one) it’s not dramatic enough to be a drama and it’s not funny enough to be a comedy. So it just seems mediocre. The last two weeks were so good…this one brought me back to earth (see what I did there).

      Also I would love more Martha! I rarely cry when watching TV but found myself almost choking up when she said she was moving out.

      • Just one thing says:

        I get the impression that a lot of viewers like that pendulum swing from comedy to drama, but it seems kind of whiplash-inducing. I understand that the series cannot be too serialized, but plenty of other procedural series manage to keep a common tone over several episodes – even other popular dramedies.
        .
        I am bummed about Martha moving out, and I wish it didn’t have to be that way. Have said it before, beut every other one of ABC’s dramas have casts of thousands. Yet Castle hasn’t gone over eight in their primary ensemble, with half of those characters appearing throughout less than 50% of the last couple seasons.
        .
        Sure, it’s just business, but Castle has seemed to be forced into more cost-efficient tactics than most.

        • sigh says:

          Exactly. I think of X-Files as one show that did a really good job at being both funny and dramatic. And they also had good continuity when it came to super dramatic episodes. Then again, that show went down the drain the last couple seasons haha. It does always make me wonder why some do something one way and some do it another. :)

    • Cassie says:

      what they’ve done to the Beckett character since 6×23 is asinine

  19. kmw says:

    Sounds like a good episode, but whoever said they are “flaming out” are wrong. Castle and Beckett are getting more action than some couples I know. As for baby story, I also believe this will be like last year, something they want but are not going to get right away. If they do end up having a child they will either skip over most of pregnancy or wait till the end of series to have it. At least you don’t have to wait 3 and a half MONTHS for your show

  20. Vanessa says:

    We should start betting when we’ll find out that Kate is pregnant :)

  21. brett says:

    Didn’t they already do this story on Hawaii Five-0?

  22. Luiza says:

    I really didn’t see that Martha twist coming. It truly affected me. I almost cry. I love Martha and Susan and I just hope she doesn’t leave the show

    • John NYC says:

      I hope so as well and I don’t see the character “moving out” as being anything more than the logic of the storyline, Rick and Kate growing to need a space for themselves as their relationship evolves.

  23. Mary says:

    It was a fun episode, very welcome after the intenity off the two parter.
    I only have a little “issue”; I wasn´t expecting any continuity from last episode (actually didn´t need it, it was kind of adressed at the end), but I would have liked to see some nod to Castle being back at the 12th, it was his 1st case after being banned! And since Andrew Marlowe wrotte 7×15 and Terri Miller 7×16, I think it was a missed oportunity…unless, and the chance exists, they didn´t know the order this episode would air?

  24. vallikat says:

    I think we’ll probably find out that Kate is pregnant by the season finale. I think them having a baby keeps Martha in the picture. Even after she moves out, she can still mind the baby for them. Which is a job that Alexis could also do, but I’d really like to see Alexis get a job and maybe a place of her own (and I’m not really sure why she didn’t return to school post-Pi, but perhas she should do that as well).