Castle Recap: Hitchcock-blocked

This week on ABC’s Castle, private eye Rick laid witness to his client’s own murder, leaving him with the highly difficult task of proving who (if in fact anyone) did it.

I’ve got two big issues with this episode (as well as one smaller one), which we’ll get to in a moment. But first, let’s take stock of the positives.

So, here we have our third variation on what a Castle, P.I. episode can look like. First, he essentially “raced” to solve an NYPD murder before Beckett & Co. Then, he worked a case that was tangential to the 12th’s. Here, the episode was all about Rick’s own case — the (apparent) murder of the old college friend, Eva, who hired him to prove her husband Cole a cheater — though Beckett and the boys ultimately had cause to get involved. So, three weeks in and things are still fresh, the P.I. thing is showing some legs. Nice.

Now, to us the viewers, what Castle witnessed kinda sorta screamed “set up.” Just as he arrives with the photos, she lets out a blood-curdling shriek, gets dragged through the house (though always in view of an exterior window), and then spirited away by an always-unseen “killer”? But maybe when you are there, in the moment, you’re not wearing a skeptic’s hat.

But then at a very early point — after Cole denies killing his wife, and the house shows no evidence of the bloody crime — Rick likens it all to a Hitchcock movie. (Vertigo, specifically, which winds up being rather fitting, given the killer’s long-game planning and all.)

Rick Castle, the guy who not two years ago was himself the specific target of a Rear Window-inspired prank. Rick Castle, the guy who fell for that ruse hook, line and sinker, thinking he’d witnessed a murder that didn’t happen.

And not once is this alluded to? He namechecks Hitchcock but doesn’t bring up “The Lives of Others”?

My other big issue is that Kate wasn’t skeptical enough about what happened, that she never really sympathized with Rick’s befuddlement — not until the very end, when she acknowledged to the boys that he’s right a lot of the time, so they should chase a new lead.

(Oh, and my minor quibble: That’s all the Brianna Brown we get?? C’mon.)

Returning to the positives, the P.I. storyline continues to light a fire under the Caskett romance/flightiness, here with the word “nap” intimating much more than a quick bit of shuteye. And the Ryan/Espo B-story was fine enough, if only because of the little “zing” Espo delivered at the end, inviting his unwanted, spoken word poet/exotic dancer date on the ski weekend with the Ryans.

What did you think of “I, Witness”?

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Teri says:

    Castle proves week after week that it is stellar in so many ways. Great script with awesome acting.

  2. K says:

    Great episode. I loved the story and the Caskett moments.

  3. Luli says:

    I knew the lawyer was the killer!! Good episode, can’t wait for the 2 parter. I’m enjoying all the Caskett banter/scenes/cuteness in this PI arc.

  4. Lysh says:

    I don’t know why, but as soon as I saw Lyla Michaels, I figured it was her. It was a good episode though!

  5. Frustrated says:

    Get the feeling they’ve exhausted the variations on the P.I. theme now, as you say. This was the best, with Private Eye Caramba the worst because of the way Caskett did and didn’t work together. The breadcrumbs they’ve included in this and the last episode where Castle seems to be having doubts about his new career reminded me of the DC arc where we were shown Beckett not entirely happy and giving the impression that she would come to her senses and return to the NYPD of her own accord but that didn’t quite work out like that did it. Expect the P.I. to be concluded by the end of the two parter, now if only Terence Paul Winter could write all the episodes.

  6. James D says:

    I’m really enjoying this P.I thing so much more than i thought I would, so I hope they don’t get rid of it anytime soon. with that said a few points I agree with pretty much everything you said Matt, you would think with Castle’s Notorious (Ha see what I did there :)) eye for detail he’d remember the lives of others, and he would at least in some measure realize it was such a clear set-up. If this P.I. thing is to continue Castle should really get a license to carry the guy just jumps into a threatening situation willy nilly sooner or later odds are someone will have a gun so one would think it would be wise to have one yourself. Other than that very enjoyable episode and season for that matter Mr. Amen has done a wonderful job so far IMO.

    • Anonymous says:

      Looked up the N.Y.C. gun carry ordinance and it is almost impossible to obtain. The Police Commissioner has to approve it. PI even former cops as profession is no cause for issuance!

      • James D says:

        I know you’re correct but still I kind of want to see Castle at least try and get a gun

        • John NYC says:

          He’s a lot more a thinker than shooter and he’s diminished in the thinking arena with how he’s jumped into things lately (has he gone a case without pushing too far yet?) so more encouragement by being armed could be a problem….

      • lame're says:

        Since when has reality interfered with a Castle storyline?

  7. DarkDefender says:

    I enjoyed the episode over all and I too, highly advocate naps… But I didn’t like all the suspects they had to meander through to get to the attorney, especially because they were investigating an out of jurisdiction “murder”.. Seems if they were going to stealthily work an off the books case (on city time) it should have tied up quicker. The RyEspo B story was fun, but would be better if they played out some of that ski weekend in a future episode.
    The pattern of the PI arc seems to be wrapping up pretty similar to the DC arc, but I secretly hope they stick with it until season’s end. I hope they don’t lose this new Casketty, sexy, playful goodness once the team is officially back together.. Which has to be that endgame, lest it become Castle & Castle investigations. (I wouldn’t mind if they hired Tory and still worked occasionally with the boys).
    I am excited about the 2-parter and I can see it returning Rick as an NYPD consultant by its conclusion. I also think it’s not the real Jerry Tyson (or that’s how they play it), given the Dr.’s plastic surgery skills.

  8. Mika02 says:

    I liked it a lot but I would liken it more to Gone girl than Hitchcock.

  9. Matthew Weber says:

    Liked it a lot. Little convoluted from a COW standpoint, but still really good.

    Not sure if I’m looking forward to the two parter or not. I’ve liked all the previous two parters, but this one for some reason has me worrying.

  10. lkh says:

    We all know if there’s no butler to have done it, then it’s the lawyer! :]

    I, too, am enjoying the PI episodes. I like the interaction of Beckett and Castle, I like the separation of their ‘jobs’, him not being at the 12th inappropriately, and I think the mysteries have been improved. At least there’s something holding the episodes together, not disjointed without a common thread. But most of all, I love that office and elevator. I think they could just put a garbage story in after I see it and I would still be happy.

    Would it be too much to have him be a PI thru out the rest of the season–please :[ I know the recipe, 3 and done–back to the 12th. sigh

    • Just one thing says:

      Hey lkh!
      Having Castle on his own has helped re-solidify his competence, even with some classic silliness. Like you, I enjoy really taking Castle seriously.
      I also thought it was interesting that they packed this episode with Castle action. :-) He was scaling walls and gates like they were nothing, plus chasing people throughout, which is a 180 from the last couple seasons.
      Perhaps future eps can include him and Beckett chasing down suspects together?

      • lkh says:

        Hi JOT–I saw that fence climbing and the running. Actually, that could get ugly. NF has very distinct hair and style–thick. Last year the stunt man was pretty obvious, just by the hair alone–now it’s either NF doing the stunts (really?) or a better hair styled stunt man this season. Castle, the character, really needs to learn his limitations in regard to dangerous situations. However, there was season 1 episode 1 where he was running in that alley carrying his shoe–know that was him ’cause he talked about them sweeping the alley after each take so he wouldn’t step on anything. Maybe he will get more physical-we’ll see.

      • lkh says:

        ps and SK is really fit, so that could be a trick too.

  11. m3rcnate says:

    Lol so stupid…im at the point in the ep where Castle and the cops are walking into the house (“crime scene”) after they just questioned the eye witness account of a veteran crime solver with the NYPD and respected author & millionaire like he was a crack head bum lol. SO DUMB! Really? This only ever happens to the lead on shows…of course guest characters testimony/eye-witness accounts are trusted like crazy and they take down their account respectfully and start to investigate, but when its the lead? In this case Castle? Oh ya, instant disbelief like hes a drunk drug addicted homeless war vet who has PTSD.

      • m3rcnate says:

        What part was confusing? Instead of taking Castle’s statement with the utmost seriousness and going off the belief hes telling the truth (backing him is years and years of solving cases as a consultant for the NYPD, hes a respected public figure/author and is a rich handsome white guy)…yet they instantly start talking to him like they dont believe him, like “Are you SUUUUUURE that’s what you saw? You’ve only been a PI a month” and “well only part of his story matches up, blah blah blah”…if it was Beckett questioning a witness with Castle’s credentials she would take him seriously, would right away want to investigate and would believe the eye-witness until evidence came up (if any did) that contradicted his account of the events.

    • sigh says:

      Maybe not PTSD but he has some weird selective amnesia thing lol

      • m3rcnate says:

        Lol true but the other cops dont know that. I mean if Brad Pitt calls the cops and says he witnessed a murder and a woman being dragged away all bloody and he followed the car she was put in and then was knocked out…no WAY any detectives/cops question him…hes famous, has no reason to lie, is rich, is handsome, is white, is respected. Basically hes the movie star version of Castle.

        • KCC says:

          It’s because they know Castle so well that they question his take on things. In the end he’s usually right, but in getting there he throws out any number of theories that are way off base. Also, it’s a TV show and fun to watch them doubt Castle. Check out the real world crazy stories from pro golfer Robert Allenby or NASCAR driver Kurt Busch not many people are believing them.

          • m3rcnate says:

            No, im not talking about Kate and the boys, im talking about the Detective and other cops at the scene that are from a different precinct so they don’t know Castle, they don’t know that he throws out crazy theories.

            But i will also mention….since when do cops/detectives seriously doubt a mans eye witness account of a MURDER cause he throws out CIA theories every once in a while? The idea that they wouldn’t take him 100% seriously in regards to witnessing a MURDER of a human because he has a big imagination is INSANE. When someone tells you they saw someone get murdered and the body all bloody dragged away you only seriously question their story if they are a clear drug addict or they are drunk.

  12. Just one thing says:

    Interesting episode. Intrigued by next week’s promo.

  13. Jake says:

    As others have mentioned, the first thing I thought of was Gone Girl. That Rick or anyone else didn’t was weak.

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      Maybe Rick is jealous of this up-and-coming whippersnapper Gillian Flynn?

    • Just one thing says:

      Sometimes the Castle writers seem to “low-key” lift themes and concepts from pop culture. It’s interesting to see when they decide to have a character (Rick) acknowledge it, and when they just let it ride.
      I will say that some of the scene transitions felt a little off, like the transitioning of three scenes in a row toward the end between C/B at PI office, C/B and B at home, only to go back to C/B at PI office. They don’t normally do that, and I kind of see why.
      But it was entertaining. Non-sequitor: As final details are made with actor contracts, I hope they both are presented with opportunities to do films within the Disney empire throughout the next couple years.

  14. Lynn says:

    Who played Richard James on I, Witness episode? I have seen the actor before and can’t remember who he is. His wife was one of the women having affair with Cole. Thanks for your help.

  15. Amie says:

    Am I the only one who is really, really tired of “The psycho wife did it” plots? You can ask my husband — I said, “The psycho wife set it up” from the get-go and and then “The psycho lawyer is in on it” as soon as she appeared. Yawn.

    • John NYC says:

      Well, the “psycho wife” didn’t do it did she here? It was the revenge seeking sorority sister who manipulated the victim wife.

  16. lame're says:

    This episode like the two before it are fun, entertaining and move the P.I. arch along nicely, almost seamlessly. The huge question is why wasn’t this done with the abduction arch! Which leads to the second question, who’s driving this train? Which leads to the third question, does this person behind the wheel have a drivers license?

  17. kitty says:

    This wasn’t the third take on Castle the PI. It was the third take in the ‘hhow many ways/excuses can we come up with to keep our leads away from each other for the majority of the episode?’ game the people behind the scenes are playing. So tired of seeing Beckett marginalized. I hope SK walks away from the season 8 negotiations. She and her character both deserve better treatment.

  18. weckman says:

    Liked the episode, but it was a bit heavy on the product placement side, there were like half a dozen. Seemed a bit excessive to me, worse than Five-0…

    • lkh says:

      yea-the Buick. Thought he drove a Benz.

      • Jessica says:

        He did drive a Benz…until it blew up in flames on the day that the wedding was supposed to take place in the S6 finale.

      • weckman says:

        Oh, he drove all kinds of luxury cars (including a Ferrari) on the show, but a Buick? That’s so not Castle’s style. And betraying/ignoring that for the sake of yet another product placement? A shame! Why didn’t they let him drive the Tesla, he’s a geek after all! At least when Marshall Flinkman drove a ‘placed’ car on “ALIAS”, it was a Mini and thus very fitting in a self-deprecating, humorous way. :-)

  19. Jacque Leopold says:

    What kind of Buick is Castle driving in this episode? We’re car shopping and just wondered….anyone know?

  20. L Desjardins says:

    Am I the only one to pick up on the continuity issue? How did they both manage to go to sleep on dark patterned pillowcases and then we see Beckett wake up on solid cream onesL

  21. Pete Bauer says:

    Castle is one of my favorite shows, but this was not one of my favorite episodes. Many of Castle’s reactions didn’t ring true from someone who had worked on over 100 cases by now. He jumped to conclusions, was positive about things without really seeing things clearly, etc. For someone who has spent multiple seasons noticing nuanced clues missed by professional investigators, to make broad assumptions based on things he didn’t see clearly seemed convenient to the plot, but not true to the character. Maybe in episode 30, not 100+

    Plus, I’m skeptical of any plot that involves the planned viewing of a murder. What if Castle got into the house somehow? What if he avoided getting slugged? There are a 1000 ways that plan wouldn’t work. Too many what ifs to be believable. It’s lazy, convenient writing. Not their best work. I’m looking forward to the return of 3K.

  22. Fran says:

    Great episode!! Enjoyed it!!i

  23. Yo Mama says:

    I rewatched Disciple to get in the mood for Dr. Evil’s and 3xk’s return–big reference to Jimmy Stewart and Vertigo. There are no coincidences in the Castłe world.

  24. carbono says:

    I’m loving this Castle PI storyline. I knew that I would.

  25. Rich Abey says:

    Certainly one of the more intriguing cases in a while. Had my head spinning trying to figure out who exactly is actually dead & who did the killing. Plus I am a real sucker for Caskett moments & this P.I arc has certainly added a lot of spice in the romance division making it a ‘kid in the candy shop’ situation: that’s 2 makeouts in the P.I office…I’m loving that place already!
    – It was a bit odd indeed that Rick didn’t bring up the similarly themed birthday surprise Kate gave him 2yrs ago.

  26. Harry_Wild says:

    Castle scored a 1.6, up two tenths from last week’s 1.4 adults 18-49 rating. 7.40 million viewers(Live+SD ). It not that much of a boost! I think the show is heading for cancelation unless something changes like Fillion salary stays the same or even better gets written off the show! The way that the Captain ordered Castle to be exclusively to work on this case and then she said she was going talk to the D.A. about it afterwards. So, the Captain might be in hot water after this and she could be written off the show too or be partners with Castle as a P.I.!

    I beginning to not like the extreme swings in plots this season 7! I just hoping for normalcy to happen in the 8th season if there is one that is!