You know, I’m not sure I’m ready for Castle’s days as a PI to be over. I’m really enjoying this side trip. (Not that I know how much longer this plot thread will continue.) Then again, this felt a little bit like a traditional episode since Castle was working more closely with Beckett again.
Plus they took a staple of the PI genre and twisted it on its ear. And they did a flashback that didn’t annoy me.
They twisted the first scene being of the victim and showed us Castle in the woods with a flashlight. Someone sneaks up behind him and knocks him out. Normally, I hate some kind of excitement like that followed by “12 hours earlier” (or however much earlier it is, but in this case it was 12 hours). It’s a holdover from Alias which did it in every single episode in season 3. Loved the show, but come on! Okay, moving on. In this case, it didn’t bother me that much, at least partially because it didn’t take us that long to fill in the gap.
We flashed back to earlier that day as Castle got a call from a new client, Eva. She’s someone he knew from school, and she is looking for proof that her husband is cheating on her. He’s reluctant to take the case, but he does because of their connection. He follows the husband to lunch and watches as he talks his business partners into not making a deal to sell their business. Then he makes plans with his mistress. Yes, Eva is right, and Castle has the proof. She asks Castle to come and deliver the pictures himself that night at her house in Westchester while she is packing to leave her husband. However, when Castle arrives, he hears a scream. He can’t get in the house, but he sees the husband dragging Eva through the house, leaving a trail of blood. He races back to the car and follows the husband out to the nearby forest where Castle is knocked out.
That’s right, we’re back to the beginning scene and it’s only 10 minutes into the episodes. And you will also notice that we never did see who committed the murder.
When Castle comes to, he calls Beckett, and they head out with a local homicide investigator to confront the husband. He, naturally denies it. However, the lack of a body and the lack of blood at the crime scene makes it look like Castle was wrong.
The next morning, Beckett decides to investigate the husband. Turns out, he was married before out in LA, and his wife died under mysterious circumstances. The police could never prove he did it, however. Meanwhile, Castle is caught watching the husband and ordered by the husband and the local police to stay away.
Things take an interesting turn when the wife calls the husband after cleaning out his accounts. The phone call came from the location of the mistress’s apartment, however she was at work. While the police are questioning mistress, we learn she was called in to work early. This is shared despite the protests of the husband’s corporate lawyer, who comes in to help the mistress.
About this time, Castle is beginning to see that he’s been set up. The wife, his client, is still alive and faked the entire thing. Only, just as he’s reached this conclusion, Eva turns up murdered in the Hudson.
At this point, everyone is looking at the husband, and his mistress recants her alibi. They weren’t together last night as she’s claimed earlier when first questioned. It’s time to go arrest the husband, right? Only they can’t. He’s hung himself.
Now, this might wrap up a case, but we still have 20 minutes left in the episode, so we know that Castle is right when he claims that the husband’s not guilty after all. Castle maintains it is because he was too cocky to kill himself, but it’s enough that Beckett starts to poke around again, and it’s a good thing she did.
Suspicion falls on the two guys the husband was meeting with at the beginning of the episode. His partner alibis out pretty quickly, and the second guy, the business manager, looks very guilty when we learn the husband was having an affair with the manager’s wife. Yes, the scum had two mistresses. The manager confesses to being part of a conspiracy with Eva to bring the husband. The client was supposed to fake her death and then steal the money. However, the unknown third party mastermind behind it all must have taken her out.
And that third party? The company’s lawyer. She was a sorority sister of the husband’s first wife and was trying to get revenge. When Eva started to have second thoughts about faking her death, the lawyer had to kill her and then kill the husband to keep covering it up.
Meantime, we had a fun sub-plot involving Ryan and his wife Jenny creating a dating profile for Esposito to help him meet a woman. Naturally, it backfired when Espo found out about it and then decided he liked one of the women they’d rejected for him.
I was surprised it was a more serious episode since I know next week starts the February two-parter with what sounds like a horrible cliffhanger. Usually, we get a light episode right before the darker ones, but with Castle’s personal stake in the case, it certainly wasn’t light and fun.
However, I enjoyed it. It was obvious the husband wasn’t the killer since we never saw his face during the “murder” scene. Still, it was fun watching things unfold. Even without Castle’s PI narration, it was a classic PI tale.
Thoughts on the episode? Predictions for the two-parter next week? The earlier I can guess the cliffhanger, the less it will bother me when it happens, so help me out here.