Castle Recap: Ay, There's the Rub — Episodes Like This, We'll Miss

If Castle‘s plan is to lead up to that finale with a series of episodes that feature the show doing what it does best… that’s almost a bit mean, yes?

Because “Much Ado About Murder,” like “Dead Again” before it, featured a pretty perfect blend of 1) good mystery, 2) interesting suspects, 3) Rick/Kate cuteness and 4) some sort of “personal runner” involving a supporting character.

Here, we had a ripped-from-the-headlines-ish case, in which a movie star hogs a Broadway role for which he is entirely unqualified. Yet so desperate was the guy, Zane Cannon, to rise to meet the Hamlet material, he had Martha on call 24/7 for discreet hotel assignations (setting up a quite amusing eyeful for Rick and the boys).

Jewel Staite (Firefly) played the play’s director, a character that appeared and then vanished so quickly, you had to figure she would emerge as one of the final suspects, if not the killer (which she was). The mystery’s one shortcoming. I also could have stood a bit more of Rick and Ryan questioning “Ophelia” using Bardspeak — though impatient Esp shutting them all down was pretty hilarious.

Where I did not see the case going was in the direction of a notorious cartel kingpin whom Zane was wooing to secure the rights to a biopic. El Oso aka Jorge knew as everyone did that Zane sucked as an actor, and thus challenged him to prove his chops with the Hamlet lark, and then he would greenlight his showcase/box-office payday. El Oso wound up having Rick abducted, primarily to beseech the novelist to write the script for his biopic. Or else. But thanks to some (conspicuously introduced) high-tech credit card that Rick had just received, Beckett & Co. were able to track him down, send in the DEA to gun down El Oso’s goons and capture the drug lord. At episode’s end, Rick — who feared he was on borrowed time, having played a (small) role in El Oso’s capture — received a package from the cartel boss suggesting that things were A-OK between them. As long as Rick turned in a solid first draft.

Was anyone else thinking/wishing that El Oso had gotten word that Rick was chasing drug lord LokSat and had gifted him with a hot lead on a rival…?

Beyond the case, there was an ongoing thread about Rick and Kate’s highly competitive “date night” planning, which Kate at one point tried to pawn off on Ryan — but he was too busy micromanaging daughter Sarah Grace’s preschool play, to the point that he got booted from the production. Sarah Grace, though, stopped by the 12th — dressed as a sunflower — to get a refresher on her lines from Dad (with Javi as backup dancer), before braving the stage.

What did you think of the episode “Much Ado About Murder”?