That was another fun episode, and the mystery was pretty good, too. That’s my one sentence review of the episode, but let’s dive in deeper.
Our victim is a young ice cream truck driver. He’s found shot in his track in an abandoned part of the city. His parents have no idea who might have killed him. He was studying graphic design, and the night before he died, he go really spooked in class and then left. His teacher saw him getting in a car with a man she didn’t know. And all his work on the class computers is gone.
Then comes the twist. There was someone hiding in the ice cream truck when the victim was killed. The only clue to his/her identity is a permission slip from a nearby second grade class. When none of the students open up right away, there is talk about going under cover to gain the kids trust. Naturally, the logical person volunteers – Castle.
And so Castle becomes a teacher’s assistant, and the predictable antics ensue. And they are funny despite the predictability. Castle immediately makes a nemesis in the form of one boy. The rest of the class doesn’t really warm up to him. And Castle gets pelted with an eraser and slips on spilled marbles. In other words, typical comedy. Castle identifies a couple of kids who might be the witness, but neither of them are involved. In fact, the girl is just worried about a bully, and when she takes Castle’s advice too far and hits another student, Castle is asked to leave. Only someone slips a picture of the ice cream truck in his pocket before he walks about the door.
Meanwhile, Beckett, Esposito, and Ryan are continuing the investigation. They identify the mystery man the victim got in the car with as a former cop – who is now dead. The two shared a post office box, but no one ever sent them mail. Someone with a Russian accent had called asking for information on who had the box. They get on the trail of a Russian mobster, but that mobster is dead. And he was a childhood friend of the first victim before he and his family immigrated to America years before.
This is when Castle calls with the information about the picture. He doesn’t know who drew it yet, but with the help of Beckett and the teacher, they find a similar one in the desk of – Castle’s nemesis. Beckett is able to get him to open up, but we learn he wasn’t the one in the ice cream truck, it was his much older half-sister, who just happens to be the victim’s teacher we interviewed earlier.
And that’s when the teacher comes clean. The victim was using his computer at school to forge passports. (We’d found some earlier in his home.) He was doing it with the former police officer. However, he got a picture of a man wanted for war crimes he recognized. He told the officer and his friend. Since no one had a picture of this criminal, it put them all on his target list, and that’s why he killed them. And the teacher? She has this picture in her apartment.
Or so she thought. When Beckett and Castle don’t find it there, Castle realizes that her half-brother had it as his school, so the duo head there to retrieve it.
Unbeknownst to them, the killer was hiding in the apartment when they went to get the picture, and he follows them to the school. Fortunately, it is night at this point, so the kids are there. He shows up just as they find the picture. He’s about to escape when Castle spills the marbles and that causes the criminal to fall long enough for Beckett to arrest him.
Meanwhile, Alexis is going overboard and over protective toward Castle now that he’s back. As the episode ends, Castle has a heart to heart with her, telling her that she needs to let go – something he recognizes after she was kidnapped to Paris a couple seasons ago.
I liked the fact that they broke their formula, at least a little. Yes, someone we talked to early on was not as cooperative as they first appeared, but the victim’s teacher wasn’t the killer. And I loved how they set up the marbles early on and then used them to stop the killer in the end.
Not that the story with Castle in the classroom was terribly original. But it was entertaining and provided some fun and laughs.
I’m not sure I have much more to add to this. Anything you want to comment on? Hit me up in the comments.