Recap: Did Castle's Mockumentary Go to 11?

ABC’s Castle sang a different tune this week, as the presence of a documentary crew tailing the murder vic’s rock band tweaked the format, and in some cases showed us new, fun sides of familiar characters.

In fact, I wouldn’t question anyone who found this week’s episode as amusing, if not more chuckle-worthy, than the send-up of Comic-Con.

And for good measure, there was a dash of drama toward the end, as Rick and Kate fretted that footage of them sharing a tender, way-more-than-professional moment had made it onto Captain Gates’ DVD player.

As noted above, the victim this week was the star of an up-and-coming rock band, and the suspects included a man who’d been stalking the guy (but was really looking to “save” his groupie daughter), the leader of the cult from which the vic years earlier escaped, and the bass player who was about to lose his job to a talented roadie.

As Caskett & Co. investigated the case, each warmed to the shadowing cameras in different ways. Rick, for example, labored to cap each segment with a quotable quip (a la “He had time to kill”) — when he wasnt gallantly and proudly teeing up Kate for her big “Here it comes…” case-cracking. Esposito (and his guns) and Ryan (aka the Nerve Center) struggled to differentiate their contributions to the crime-solving process. Lanie at first was bemused by the crew, then started playing to them. Gates saw an opportunity to stow away her steely facade and instead play the positive reinforcement-happy team player. And Kate never quite cottoned to the intrusion — especially when their leering lenses threatened to out her workplace romance — but in the end she had the last laugh.

There were many funny lines, but I’m not here to transcribe them. Plus, as with The Office and its ilk, much of the humor came from the mere facial expressions, like Kate’s darting-away eyes, Castle’s mugging and Gates’ preternatural grins. As for the bit of drama, it was fun seeing Caskett worry that their secret would be found out by the worst person possible… though in the end, Gates somehow never got to that tell-tale clip.

And as a bonus “track,” viewers got a taste for Espo’s musical know-how — and in the final scene hear Jon Huertas’ pipes.

What were your favorite moments from “Swan Song,” and how do you compare it to “The Final Frontier”? [Hard fade to black, musical sting.]

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