Castle Recap: Half-Dimes Show

Castle RecapThis week’s episode of Castle wasn’t an invaluable bag of half-dimes, but it wasn’t a sack of coal either.

I open with that distinction because it seems as if all-day Monday, ever since the episode aired in Canada, I was tweeted at about how “crappy,” “Jump the Shark”-caliber and “ham-handed” this week’s episode would be. As such, despite the best efforts, a person goes into a viewing experience with certain (in this case, negative) expectations.

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“Get a Clue,” at least with its Case of the Week, had a fun enough element to it — as does any instance where Castle over-imagines a far noisier and far-out method to the madness. Sure, it was absolutely a stand-alone installment. And my god, yes, the tension with Alexis was jarring in its juxtaposition of tone. (The episode was 92 percent silly, National Treasure-like fantasy, 8 percent family drama played for almost no laughs.)

In short: Fresh off a disastrous dinner party at Alexis and Pi’s new pad, Castle joins Beckett at the crime scene where a woman was found killed in a ritualistic manner. Add in religious icons/pagan symbols from her apartment and a mysterious stalker-monk, and Castle’s noodle churns out a vast conspiracy involving Freemasons and hidden treasure. Turns out, the victim had participated in a fund-raising scavenger hunt to benefit a historical society, tracking down symbols throughout the city. But when she realized that the symbols in fact fit together like a puzzle to reveal a billion dollars’ worth of lost American Revolution-era half-dimes, her cousin offed her — so that he could actually live of their “birthright” wealth versus simply donating it.

One problem with the Case of the Week, in my opinion, is that it was oddly Ryan and Esposito-free, save for some follow-up interviews and desk jockeying. The guys’ presence was never really felt, so you could almost understand when Ryan remarked how he missed the days of Beckett’s D.C. job. Also, any time you have a stone door with mysterious carvings that is opened by a secret lever, revealing unimaginable baubles and trinkets, it takes me to Frisco and Felicia’s Aztec treasure-hunting days. All that was missing was Sean Donely.

On the home front, meanwhile, it came back to the same conspicuously combative stance Alexis took last week (with that “Let me?” crack). Was Castle a bit of a tool at the dinner party, belittling Pi’s work in… counting bees… and snarking about the “dumpster chairs”? Yeah, pretty much. It doesn’t help a lead character when we see no effort being put into knowing her daughter’s beau. (But rest assured, we the viewers are allowed to loath Pi off the bat, since its our precious 42 minutes-a-week he’s infringing upon.)

At episode’s end — off of a painfully clumsy segue relating to “declarations of independence” — Castle goes to make nice, but Alexis isn’t having it. Rather, she finally airs her grievance, that she learned about his engagement via Martha, and not her own phone call. Alexis kinda smartly argues (and I paraphrase), “Hey, I don’t know if you made a smart move or if Kate’s the right one for you, but I accept it, because it makes you happy.” And all Alexis wants for Pi and her own choice is the same: acceptance.

Rick vows to do better, but Alexis rebuffs his olive branch as well as an invitation to go out for “make-up ice cream.” No, she needs time to “stop being mad,” while he needs time to really think about and accept her choices. And the hour ends with her door shutting, on that somber note.

And yet, there were notable quotables:
* “Dumpster chairs. That’s… great.”
* “What color is it?’ “Free.”
* “A lot of our founding fathers were Freemasons.” “Yes. I saw National Treasure.”
* “Home, crack home…”
* “Hello…? Is there a smithy hereabouts? We have traveled many a mile….”
* “This is not my idea of going to the chapel with you.”

What did you think of “Get a Clue”?

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