Castle Recap: A Happy Valentine's Daze -- But No Big Damn Heroes To Be Found?

Castle Season 5 RecapThis week on ABC’s Castle, a reality show was dealt a harsh one when a cast member turned up dead. But Rick was fixated on another case: retrieving his misplaced Valentine’s Day gift to Kate. Did he accidentally hand Gates the evidence she needs to discover the Caskett romance?

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THE CASE | When young Hannah, the rising new star of The Wives of Wall Street, turns up dead with an expensive knife in her back, all eyes at first are on the series’ prima donna Penelope (played by Gina Torres) — especially since a bit of her fingernail was found in the victim’s scalp. Penelope admits to a “dust-up” with the new girl, but she has an alibi. Next on the suspect list was Margo (Gail O’Grady), another cast member whose screen time was waning, so she actually wanted to keep Hannah around. Adding to the mystery, Hannah vanished off the grid for 24 hours before being killed. Turns out that Hannah was part of a fake storyline on the show (I know — can you imagine?!) involving an extramarital affair, but she wanted out — so Penelope and her hubby tied her up for a bit before calling Peter-the-producer for help. Peter tried to convince Hannah to stay, to no avail. She then met up with Margo’s engaged son Stone, with whom she was really in love. Stone’s fiancée got wind of their affair and used a wedding gift knife to kill off her competition.

I’ll give the case a “B+,” because twice I guessed wrong (you gotta always eyeball the producer in these storylines, then I thought for sure it was Stone), plus it got in good digs at the reality-TV genre — though I hate that they made Castle a convert by the end. It was bad enough that hard-boiled Gates was a superfan, though I understood the need there to “lighten up” her character.

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THE CASKETT | What one could argue was the main storyline involved Rick and Kate keeping each other guessing about their first Valentine’s Day gifts for each other, then “gift ninja” Rick’s plan to sneak the earring box into Kate’s blazer pocket… but landing it in Gates’ instead. “Did you write a note?! Was it romantic? Did you put my name?!” Kate fretted upon discerning Rick’s dilemma. As it turns out, luckily/conveeeeeeniently, Rick left off Kate’s name (the note read: “You are beauty, passion and fierce intellect. Be my Valentine”), so Gates thought he was sucking up to her (or worse, her being married and all). The hour ends with Kate giving her gift to Rick, sliding open her dresser drawer to reveal… his own drawer. She begins to apologize, “I know it’s not a light saber..,” but Rick stops her to assure, “No — it’s perfect.” Even more perfect: Kate asks/orders him to “take off your clothes, put them in your drawer, and meet me in bed.” Hopefully Rick still isn’t fidgeting with those shirt buttons!

THE QUIPS | Ryan, in between rounds of baby-making with Jenny: “I feel like a rooster in a hen-house — only there’s just one bossy hen.” Later, he arrives late at the precinct saying, “I had to run home and…” “Cock-a-doodle-doo?” Rick teases…. ABC spoofing its own Shark Tank with Shark Pool (hosted by GH‘s original Jerry Jacks aka Julian Stone)…. Martha wishing there was reality-TV in her day: “No script, overacting, screaming at other people. What a gig!”…. Javy rattling off French to Lanie as they sneak off for their own V-Day plans.

But really — and surely someone will correct me pronto if I am wrong — was there not one direct exchange between Firefly castmates Nathan Fillion and guest star Torres? Let alone a wink-wink in-joke…?

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