Castle Recap: I Dream of Genie

This week’s episode of Castle was the sort that test some viewers’ patience, diving as deep as “fantasy-augmented” Rick did off the deep end of reality. But if you, like me, are the kind of longtime fan who allows the show a lotta leniency those one or two times a season, you had to appreciate how this episode went all in with the “magic lamp” tale.

The victim was part-time tomb raider Lars Cross — which in and of itself is a wonderfully shameless riff on Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. Lars lost his head, literally, after returning to the States from a job in Turkey, conspicuously rich. When Rick sees that Lars in his side gig as a tomb raider had uncovered “Aladdin’s lamp,” both he and the show were off and running — setting the stage for multiple instances where Kate would amusingly dread every next theory tumbling out of her husband’s mouth, and aided in great part by a mysterious blonde whom Rick came to believe was a genie.

The first (and almost always dismissable?) POI is Lars’ ex-boyfriend Mark, who contributed a whole $20,000 to Lars’ schooling at Columbia University. (Talk about magic!) Next we take a look at one of Lars’ coworkers on the drilling rig, who goes by the alias “Al Addin.” He says that Lars recruited him to help with a dig, which was ultimately backed by a mystery financier. Once they found the tomb of Solomon, though, it’s been all bad news since.

Tracking the covert shipment of Lars’ found artifacts leads the boys to Yuruk, a (non-magic) carpet importer who has been freshly killed and rolled up in his own wares. Snooping around Yuruk’s lot, Rick winds up held at gunpoint by the people possessing the lamp — but the “genie” shows up to KO the baddies and save Rick… and then vanish.

Though the “genie” had passed herself of at one point as a reporter working a story, she is eventually ID’d as Genevieve Sutton, a fixer who was hired by the dig’s financier, “Mr. X,” to mind his goods. She leads Beckett’s team to the truck with the stolen cargo, but it is deduced that none of that crew could have been the killer. Instead, the perp turns out to be the kindly female professor/author Rick consulted with earlier in the hour, and who was jealous that onetime student Lars had found the tomb she never could.

Things then segue from fantasy to harsh reality when Ryan’s wife Jenny goes into labor and meets complications — an amniotic fluid embolism that renders her unconscious. Rick’s remaining two wishes, though, perhaps do some good, as Jenny pulls through and gives birth to li’l Nicholas Javier Ryan. Afterward, Rick says what we all knew had to be coming at some point, that he has no need for a genie since he already has everything he could wish for. (Though Kate’s suggestions of a working light saber or Star Trek transporter sure are tempting! Maybe a time machine? “Only to go back and fall in love with you all over again.” Someone will be getting more negligee action; call first, Martha!).

What did you think of the Aladdin-themed episode “Death Wish,” which happened to lead out of a Disney-themed Dancing With the Stars? #CorporateSynergy

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61 Comments
  1. brad says:

    best of the season imo

  2. Teri says:

    Vintage Castle. I loved it because that is the type of episode that makes Castle, Castle. The many Beckett eye rolls were so great and seeing the whole original cast included. The case was quirky, like the good ones in earlier seasons. Hooray for the entertainment value. That is why I watch TV.

  3. Liz says:

    Steph Hicks’ first ep ever, and she nailed it! Super funny, old-school banter and case, and some great Caskett — what a great feel-good ep. I’ll be adding this one to my favourites list.

    • Teri says:

      I feel the same way…feel good episode!

    • leftword says:

      Agreed. Stephanie Hicks did a great job. She’s young, hungry and put in the work. They should have just hired a group of fresh staff writers to write this season. Nancy Kiu’s ep was also a ton of fun.

  4. Kate says:

    That was one of my favorite episodes of the season! Felt more like old school Castle than so many this year. Episodes like that make me really want it to come back next year. Super fun! :-)

  5. BarbaraDarlin says:

    How about using the last one on the identity “Loksat”?!?

    • lrdslvrhnd says:

      Except he used one to wish the gunwoman “wouldn’t do that”, and both of the last two for Jenny and the baby.

      • Susan Smith says:

        I would expect no less from Castle that he would use 2 of his wishes to help Jenny and the baby.He IS that guy when it comes down to the wire

  6. DDRC says:

    I hope this show goes on and on and on. The dialog between these to characters is great.

  7. Susan says:

    Loved it!!

  8. KLS says:

    Glad they had the Barbara Eden pic!

  9. James D says:

    Cute episode in every way. Classic Castle shenanigans loved every second of it. 8B continues to be a joy to watch.

  10. George H. says:

    Was a great episode, though I think the ending was rushed way too much, or maybe wasn’t really even needed since they haven’t even brought back Ryan’s wife at all this season, not even for this episode where her life and the baby were in danger. That part was lame.

  11. Solid episode. Can the rest of the season be this good, please?

  12. Castlefan says:

    A proper Castle episode: If only they’d made more like this in the first third of the season! Fun, the characters were in character, Lanie had more than one line… A season 9 in this vein would really help to remove the bad taste left by most of season 8. Even the birth didn’t drag on for half the episode as they often do. Such a relief. Take out Alexis and the PI office scene and it would have been near perfect.

    • Disappointed says:

      One of the few S8 episodes that makes my rewatch list. No Hayley again contributed to my enjoyment and it would have been even more if Alexis hadn’t got involved in solving the case, much preferred her as just the daughter in last week’s episode. It jarred a bit that Beckett was missing from the crime scene scene but the rest of the episode made up for it.

      • Susan Smith says:

        Watched a small bit.Beckett lite Castle centric not what a lot of us want. We want Kate And Castle.

      • Annie says:

        Minimal Alexis and no Hayley contribute greatly to my enjoyment of an episode. But, I did keep thinking that Alexis should use a wish for a life that is independent of her dad. The scene where she takes Castle for ice cream- cute when she was 16 pathetic now that she’s 21.

  13. Leo says:

    First class outrages Castle at it’s best. Just enough twists and turns to make the 42 minuites incredibly entertaining. The question remains WTF took so long for these two showrunners to figure out the formula that makes this series click, they’ve been stumbling around like a pair of drunken sailors on shore leave for three quarters of the season possibly costing the series it’s renewal.

  14. JImN says:

    Enjoyed the entire episode. Very re-watchable. Most dense dialogue of the season. Someone smart must have written this episode. What was very good was the discussion Castle and Beckett had over his nutty theories. He was back to the way he was in early seasons where he was serious about he outrageous theory without being the buffoon. Not going to win an Emmy, but very enjoyable in any season and highly enjoyable in this season.

  15. Ana Rubio says:

    Can we have Kate pregnant as a wish for the fans? ^^

    I was moved at the end, a healthy baby named Nicholas Javier <3

    This episode was pure Castle!

    • Castlefan says:

      No!!! The last thing this show needs is more disruption caused by a pregnancy. Boring storyline every time – no writer should ever do it unless they’re forced to by an actress being pregnant.

      We finally got a good episode – don’t ruin it now!

  16. Carrie says:

    So Fun. My only “complaint” is to nit pick when Lainie mentioned they all weren’t nerds in High School. Speaking as someone that went to Med school, very few of us – especially those that ended up in Pathology – were NOT at least a little dorky ;-) and I can see Beckett at a total bookworm, Ryan too … Espo was the only one that was likely in the cool crowd .. Now I’m really wanting a HS flashback episode!!

  17. Imzadi says:

    Was I the only one who came up with “Alas, poor Yuruk?”

  18. Imzadi says:

    Did anyone else realize that the author/professor/murderer was played by Denise Crosby, who had starred in Star Trek: the Next Generation as Tasha Yar, the head of security and also her Romulan half sister? Maybe not as good as your own transporter, but still. . .

  19. GT500RonSmith says:

    I really enjoyed this one! This one episode finally gives me a reason to want to purchase the DVD set for Season 8! Up until now, I was thinking that I didn’t want it after having all of the others, and some even in multiple copies! That first scene with Kate and Castle wanting to have the third round made it worth while from the get go!

    This one was funny and warm and all of my favorites in there together again! It made me happy for the first time really this year, I think. And I’m not saying that the other episodes have been bad, because I have enjoyed the acting and action, jut not the story line. This Locstat, or whatever it is, and the separation of my favorite couple has really been a downer for me.

    I so wish the hadn’t taken so long to get to this point! I hope they still can persuade Stana and Nathan to return and have ABC renew again. This can be such a wonderful story.

  20. David says:

    Excellent episode, one of my top 3 for the season. Classic Castle with all the Castle family plus a new little addition….awesome episode. Keep them coming!!!

  21. Julie Lamb says:

    It ended up being a good story tonight, patience necessary as Rick fell in the rabbit hole…. bad jokes and all. Barbara Eden genie joke was cute. Now if they had only cast a ” blue genie”… who had the same type of jokes in homage to the Disney genie Robin Williams… that would have been perfect after the Disney Dancing with the Stars. ;)

    • Julie Lamb says:

      I did like the show. Especially the twist at the end of the case and Ryan’s baby being named after his partner. Nice. I do like the grown up Alexis in this story too. She is such a wise old soul.

  22. Bella says:

    Loved it! A week or so ago, I’d started watching the Castle reruns on TNT, starting from the very first episode, and it reminded me why I was hooked on the show from the beginning. And it made me sad that the show wasn’t fun anymore. So I was very happy we got one of these. I hope we get a few more.

  23. Chris says:

    I was very pleased with this episode, it came back to what the show was, and that is crazy Castle theories and a bunch of laughs. WTG writters for bringing back the reason we love the show.

  24. Plecodave says:

    Wonder if Beckett will be like Montgomery and have a poor man’s pain killer in a flask or a bottle of whiskey in a desk somewhere in her office? She has switched from wine to the hard stuff. Going down the wrong path.

  25. Fran says:

    Loved it!!! Great show!

  26. Jules says:

    Loved it, Ms Hicks did an awesome job writing this episode a little comedy, drama, and Caskett love classic Castle.

  27. L8wrtr says:

    Whoa.. What’s this? By all rights, the summary and reviews all look like.. a normal Castle.. Might it be time to watch one? Well, I’m not going to get suckered in by just one decent episode, but it is at least promising. I’ll see how the next one goes and if they demonstrate a pattern, maybe the wife and I will give them another chance.

    Incidentally, we watched Cops and Robbers last night, written by… Winters and Produced by Hawley. What the hell man? That was an all around solid episode, so it’s not like Winters doesn’t know how to write one of these damn things. However, I find it funny to note that Kate and Rick are separated for most of the episode and share roughly 2 minutes of shared screen-time. It just seems to support Winter’s propensity for writing them separately.

    But back to this week’s episode.. while I’m sure that everyone is happy to see this episode which appears to be in the classic mold of the Castle we all love, it also sounds like a very middle of the road Castle and that there wasn’t a special thing about it. Take the synopsis for this episode and it could easily be tucked into virtually any other season of Castle. Nothing special. At all. So then, remember last summer before the season started, and then again once the season started, and then after getting hammered, in follow-up interviews Hawley and Winter insisted that LockSat and the break up would allow them to amazing and new things? That it would pay-off in huge ways down the road?

    Yeah… so about that.. still waiting for the payoff here guys. By the sound of it, the only truly special or exciting thing about this episode, the only thing that gets myself or the rest of the fans “excited”, is that this is the old Castle formula.. something that they could have been doing since Episode 1. So yeah, great job wasting an entire season, and alienating half the fans, driving the ratings into the ground and pretty much guaranteeing the show will be cancelled.

    It’s the equivalent of taking ice cream away from my kids and only letting them have bread for dessert for half a year but promising them that it was setting up the best desserts EVER.. But when I finally let them have dessert again, rather than a triple fudge sunday, or Banana Split, or some exotic awesome thing, I just give them the same ice cream they had before, and they’re so happy that it’s really awesome and amazing.. but really just where they’d left off so the suffering was for nothing.

    SMH

    • annek says:

      +1 except i dont think it will get cancelled, just come back with one lead – Castle PI, and then get cancelled

      • L8wrtr says:

        Sadly, I fear that you’re right. Other articles and quotes from big-wigs at the network all seem to strongly indicate that Castle PI is a very serious possibility.. which is truly astounding, even with the fans debating the value of the LockSat storyline, Kate ‘protecting’ Rick and all that mess, one thing fans do seem in near universal agreement is that Castle PI is absolutely not enjoyable, so as to why they keep pushing it both this season, and clearly as a possible spin-off to ‘keep the show alive’ is truly a dumbfounding mystery. Like I’ve said all along, for me, pretty sure that Season 7 will remain my definitive final season for Castle, with the absolute perfect Series Finale in Hollander’s Woods.

    • Bill Reehill says:

      I love the ice cream analogy. If I may add though, it’s like getting the ice cream back after six months, but the ice cream had been sitting in the freezer for those six months – and at least three times during those six months, the power had gone out for days – and the ice cream melted and refroze several times.

      You may have your ice cream back, but with it comes the bad taste from those six months.

  28. Loved this episode, stellar job by Steph Hicks on her writing debut. Exactly what a Castle episode should be shame its come 17 episodes into the season but I guess beggars can’t be choosers. More episodes like this might not save this season but will defiantly soften the blow (fingers crossed)

  29. annek says:

    My only complaint about this episode is how they continue to make Rick Castle look like an idiot S8. Previously he has taunted Beckett with his zombie, etc beliefs, but he never fully believed them. Just drove her crazy. This time he looked crazy. Nothing new for S8. Other than that it was more Caskett time then we’ve seen all season (yay) and the end scene felt S5 ish. The new writer was more in tune with early Marlowe, not Hack Hawley

    • L8wrtr says:

      Not having seen it, I can only make comments based on the reviews here and the 1 minute promo clip I saw, but that bothers me too. In previous seasons even when Rick became enamored with some idea, be it time traveler, aliens, vampires or super heroes, he always kept one foot.. okay.. a few toes.. in reality and acknowledged the silliness of it, but always paired with a simple playful desire to wish it was true. More often than not his insistence at impossible things was driven equally by his wish for it to be true as by his enjoyment at annoying Kate. By all accounts, he went all-in on the genie thing, which even for Rick was a bit out there :( :( :(

      • Leo says:

        I did see the episode and enjoyed it but I do wonder what these whimsical stories would’ve looked like if the suave, debonair, fearless, cleaver RC of season 1 hadn’t morphed into this caricature. These episodes might have been edgier. Hmmm

  30. John NYC says:

    While not my preference, did I detect a whole basket of Caskette foreshadowing in this one?

    Sure seemed to be trying.

    • annek says:

      Such as?
      If its positive foreshadowing, all you have to do is watch next weeks SP and your hopes will be dashed

  31. Lisa says:

    Was a great episode!!!

  32. flipper says:

    The last three episodes we finally got back to the real Castle we had in the first 7 seasons.. We all hope that the story does not start to go backwards now by having an over dose of Hawley in episode 18. Will she be spending more time with Rick than Kate does? Is ABC still trying to sell us on a spin off with Hawley and Rick? Maybe a light bulb will go off at ABC that it will not work, just for once ask e fan base and really listen. Castle this year has had the same problem that the Mentalist had, a story line that was just too long. For the mentalist it was Red John and for Castle it is LokSat. It destroyed the Mentalist and is doing the same thing to Castle. One other question I have, is ABC really working on new contracts with Fillion and Katic, or have they known from the beginning of season 8 that one or both of them were not going to sign a new contract for season 9 and just playing us fans? t least with the Mentalist they told the fans at the beginning of the last season it was the last season. And for you Stana Katic I would like to thank you for the wonderful seven seasons and episodes 15, 16 and 17 of season 8. I wish you a very happy birthday and anniversary. We are all hoping for a season 9.

  33. Cl says:

    Enjoyed it, as I do all “Castle” episodes, and worried sick it won’t be renewed! Love this show.

    • Jan Crane says:

      I loved the Genie episode along with every other Castle episode. I would love the series to go on forever because I enjoy it so much. Why must networks take off the good shows after 5 years and replace them with reality shows? Keep Castle on.