I'm of two minds about the episode last night. I really didn't care for the mystery, but I loved the 70's stuff. So let's get the mystery out of the way, shall we?
It starts with a body found in the cement foundation of a building that is being demolished. Castle is actually the first to figure out the victim is a mobster that vanished in 1978. They start the investigation in the usual places, the man who took over for the victim and that man's wife. A rival mobster. But that leads them to a man who was the victim's right hand man and who was also his closest confidante.
This confidante is stuck in the 70's because he was never able to deal with the victim's disappearance. So when they go to talk to him, they need to act like it is the 70's and avoid things like cell phones. In fact, he ignores Beckett and pretty much only talks to Castle. They take him down to the morgue, and he identifies a mock up of the body (the real one was too decayed, obviously). And while they are down there, someone tries to shoot them.
Now the confidante is demanding to come to the precinct to talk to the cops for his own safety. That's when they get Martha involved to decorate the place and costume the cops. Of course, things get way out of hand with extras and scripts and lots of over the top fun. The confidante almost loses it when he sees the murder board with current pictures of some of the people involved on it, but he starts talking to Ryan and Esposito. However, when Esposito's phone rings, he loses his touch on reality again. The only connection he's made is a club where the victim used to go and that is again a 70's disco club with the same owner.
So Ryan and Esposito take him down to the club, hoping to jar his memory again, only the confidante takes off and confronts the owner on his own. Turns out this confidante was really the victim's lover. Yet the victim had hired the club for a private event. In fact, he was going to propose marriage to a woman.
And that woman is the killer. Her identity? The mobster who replaced the victim's wife. Turns out the victim loved the confidante too much to get married even though this was the 70's and that's what was expected. So when he couldn't go through with the proposal, the woman was so upset she shot him twice, once in the back as he was talking away and then once in the face.
I'm trying to figure out why exactly I'm having a hard time with this one. Maybe it's because the gay aspect of the story felt forced into things and therefore forced on us. It felt more like we were being preached at than a part of the story. It's a little surprising that I feel this way since usually I give stuff a pass when something like this is in it.
Then again, maybe I just felt like the antics completely overshadowed the mystery, so things weren't as developed as they needed to be for me to like any resolution to the mystery.
But what fun the antics were.
There was a bit of a wedding sub-plot involving Martha wanting to go overboard with the flowers for the wedding, and Castle and Beckett needing to find her some project to keep her out of their hair. It's one reason why they called her to help with the 70's bit at the precinct.
And she went all out. The costumes were so funny, and all the little bits at the desks were wonderful. Plus Alexis popped in for a couple of short scenes. Since we haven't seen her for a few episodes, that was nice.
One of my favorite bits was when Gates walked in to the 70's madness. She was out at a conference for the first half of the episode, but walked in just about half way through. Her reaction was priceless. And, honestly, since we don't see every character every week, I wasn't expecting it, either.
The other was when Esposito tried sliding across the roof of the car he and Ryan were driving and he slid right off and hurt himself when he landed. That definitely got the loudest laugh from me.
I was looking forward to being back and enjoying Castle again, but the mystery was just under done for me. Hopefully next week's will be back on track.