Tuesday, October 22, 2013

TV Recap: Castle 6-5 - Time Will Tell

I loved last night’s Castle.  I don’t know if I can emphasize that enough.  I am well aware that my tastes might not be shared by everyone, especially since it did two unusual things on Castle – one I know for sure was a first.  But that would be spoiling things.

The body is found when a neighbor is returning home from work and finds someone running to the elevator with blood on his hands.  He goes to the opened door and finds the very tortured and bloody body of a parole officer.  Her clients are the non-violent offender type, so they are quickly ruled out.  We visit with her step-brother (played by Tim Russ aka Tuvac from Star Trek Voyager), but they weren’t super close.

Our victim had filed a complaint against someone she thought was stalking her.  It matches the description of the man seen fleeing the scene of the crime.  And when he returns to her apartment and starts searching it, they pick him up.

And that’s when things get weird.  This man (played brilliantly by Chuck’s Joshua Gomez) claims to be from 30 years in the future sent back to stop this woman’s murder.  Somehow, it sets off a change of events that leads to billions of people dying.  He’s quite insistent that they need to help him find the killer and that he isn’t it.  The only real clue he offers is 12 58, and he doesn’t even know what that means.

Castle, naturally, falls all over it, but Beckett isn’t buying it.  She books our time traveler for the murder.

Only Lanie calls to say it couldn’t have happened that way.  She’s got the time of death narrowed down to a window during which the time traveler was under a psych lock down.  In fact, the victims watch stopped at, wait for it, 12:58 AM.  Meanwhile, the time traveler has disappeared from the lock up where he was being held for another psych evaluation.

They start tracking the victim’s last known movements and find out she’d picked up a prostitute the night of her death.  They follow her back to the john who was hired to get someone with the victim to steal her keys.  And the man who hired him?  A violent parolee who had no record of existing going back more than six years.

This new suspect was arrested for attempting to bomb a science conference where the step-brother was speaking several years ago.  Is he the next target?  Beckett and Castle head out there too late.  The wife confirms that the man who killed her husband is our suspect.

Through former ties in the environmental movement, Beckett and Castle track down the electrical plant where the suspect is hiding out.  He gets the jump on them, and it’s looking like he will kill Castle until Time Traveler shows up and scares him off.  The suspect has been asking “where is the child,” but Tim Traveler actually figures out he means Chile (and I know I’m spelling that wrong.  Work with me here).  Chile is a brilliant scientist who plays a big role in saving the future.  Maybe this is what everything is about.

Sure enough, Chile had also been at that conference, and he’d written a letter to the step-brother.

So it becomes a race to track this guy down.  They finally find the friend he is staying with in New York, the Chile is at the planetarium, which is too far across town.  We switch over there and watch as the killer enters the planetarium and starts stalking the aisles.  Just as he’s closing in on Chile, Ryan and Esposito rush in with a bunch of other cops and arrest him.

Back at the precinct, Chile explains that he is the one who called in the bomb tip that sent this guy away six years ago.  Revenge seems like a good motive, especially since the killer isn’t talking.  However, Chile also says that conference is what set him on the path to science in the first place, and Time Traveler says the killer was going to bomb it in an attempt to kill Chile back then.

Now here’s the part where things get weird for this show.  Every other time we’ve had a plot like this, everything has been explained by reality despite how it first appeared.  As Time Traveler walks out the door, Castle finds that Time Traveler left his futuristic tracking device behind.  He follows him to give it back, only have the guy disappear around a corner.

Meanwhile, there’s the letter that we got from the step-brother.  The killer had a photocopy of it in his hideout, and it was stained with coffee.  The original wasn’t.  That is until the end when Beckett spilled coffee on it accidentally and it left a stain exactly like the one in the photo.

As I said, normally this show doesn’t leave any doubt behind when it introduces these sci-fi type plots.  I found it interesting that they left this part of the mystery up to us.

Meanwhile, Time Traveler did spill a couple of tidbits about Castle and Beckett’s future.  Beckett becomes a senator, Castle starts writing serious novels (which are much better than his mysteries), and they have three kids together.  Reality or fiction?  We may never know.

Then there’s the sub-plot.  It was decidedly serious compared to the wackiness of the main story.  Usually, the family sub-plot is lighter than the rest of the show or at least as light when you are dealing with a funny episode.  When Castle trips over something of Pi’s in the middle of the night, he starts to lay down the law.  It’s time for Pi to move out.  Alexis agrees and announces that they’ve found a place to move in to together.  Castle freaks out, naturally, and spends the rest of the episode trying to talk her out of doing it.  The final scene finds Castle coming home just as Alexis is carrying out a box with the last of her stuff in it.  It’s a sad moment as they say goodbye.  A chapter in Castle’s life is ending whether he likes it or not.

Honestly, I’m very curious where they are going with the whole Pi sub-plot.  This is the most we’ve seen of one of Alexis’ boyfriends in a long time.  And I agree with Castle that this is moving very quickly.  Some people are theorizing that Alexis is trying to figure out her own life with Castle and Beckett getting married.  Is that the case?  Is this really level headed Alexis at her best?  Even the most mature people make mistakes every so often.  Is that what this will be?  I really can’t tell how they are going to play this one.

But I’ve got to go back to Joshua Gomez.  Now, I’m not trying to knock any of the regulars, but he absolutely made this episode.  His performance was over the top enough that you had to laugh but you could tell his character actually believed every word.  I can’t imagine any actor playing the part as believably as he did.  When I’d first heard he was cast and just a bit about the part, I knew it had the potential to be great.  Frankly, this blew it completely away from anything I expected.

How did you feel about the open end to the time travel aspect of the episode?  What did you think of it over all?  And just where is Alexis going with the Pi storyline?  Hit me up with your thoughts in the comments.

4 comments:

  1. I really liked the coffee stain and the way the writers left things open at the end. I kept wondering how things would be resolved until near the end I realized that no explanation could possibly live up to the build up. With that realization I was quite glad they left things open ended with the possibility that things were real.

    My wife had an interesting thought that would have made for a fun twist. What if Dechile was Pi? That would have been an interesting intersection of plot-lines.

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    1. Having Pi be Dechile would have been a first for the show, and you're right it would have been interesting.

      If they hadn't had Morgan offering predictions on Castle and Beckett's future, they could have easily written it off like they almost did. I just wonder exactly why they left it open ended since that's not what they usually do on the show.

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  2. Loved this episode. I agree that Joshua Gomez did a excellent job as time traveler. He was so invested in his character. I loved him on Chuck and I loved him in this role. I totally agree that this is the first story where you actually believe that he really is from the future. I liked how Castle became involved in his story and believed him (as he usually does and then is shot down at the end). "See you 20 years" he says. That's great. How old is Beckett anyway? Is she young enough to have 3 children? And she becomes a senator (if you believe in time travel) which is interesting considering the storyline of her mother and the senator who masterminded the killing. Coffee stain at the end was brilliant.

    Did not like the Alexis/Pi subplot but then I've made it known I do not like Pi anyway. I can not understand what she sees in him given her past story lines. It just doesn't fit her character to me. Maybe she is not going to be on the show that much? With her out of the apartment she won't be around so much? I hope not as I like her character (up until now that is).

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    1. I've been trying to figure out how old Castle and Beckett are supposed to be. Maybe they have twins? Or triplets? Or adopt?

      I'm sure Alexis will still be around - she was living in the dorms on campus last season, remember, but still seemed to pop up quite a bit. I can't figure out where they are going with Pi, but most fans seem to hate him. I don't love him, but I find him amusing. I think if they had him around for more than one or two goofy scenes, we might like him more.

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