Definitely a good episode last night. The mystery was fun with some good twists yet the path they followed along the way was well laid out. I don’t think the timing of the ending quite works, but this is TV, so I’ll let it pass.
But we can’t discuss the ending without discussing the beginning. Our victim is a social media star. She’d come to NYC to make a living as a comedian. That hadn’t quite come to pass, but she was making a name for herself posting funny reviews along with pictures on a social media sight. Before she was killed, someone sent her a picture of herself from a burner phone – proof he was stalking her.
Suspicion quickly falls on an acupuncturist that she had just given a trademark bad review to. He was furious and threatening her. For one thing, she had never been a client and her review was hurting business. (I’m sorry, but the reviewer in me was furious at that. I hate phony reviews!) However, he alibis out. Castle wasn’t too surprised or upset because it wasn’t good from a story point of view. (And that’s the first time in years he’s contributed anything like this. They used to throw in those comments where he thought of the case as a story all the time, but they got away from that. So nice to see it back.)
The clues next lead to a former cop who now owns a hardware store. And as much as it looks like he did it, the killer posts a picture on line of the police arresting the former cop. He didn’t do it either.
In fact, the killer has an account on the same social networking site where the victim had made a name for herself, and he’s used it to post pictures of the crime scene. A trip to the company’s headquarters doesn’t provide any help since all users are anonymous, and even the killer’s e-mail address is now closed.
The killer then posts some new pictures as taunting clues to his next victim. Castle finally pieces them together as a couple of socialites who are huge on this social networking site. The young woman absolutely refuses protecting until opening the car door and finding her boyfriend’s body behind the wheel. The killer has struck again.
In both cases, he gained access without any sign of forced entry. The solution to that comes from a 3D printer that allows you to make something from just a picture of it. The first victim used to rent out her place when she wasn’t there, and left her key out as a result. A surveillance video from her building’s front door shows the killer going to make a picture of the key, and the camera catches his face. They now know what he looks like.
And this is where the former cop starts to help. He used to work in cybercrimes until he retired after an incident where he lost it because he couldn’t do enough for the victim. They figured that his being framed was tied in to a former case, so they asked him to help. Sure enough, he recognized the killer right away. As a high schooler, the killer was the victim of a cybercrime and the bully was never prosecuted because the laws weren’t strong enough. That high school bully was killed 10 months ago, and the crime remains unsolved.
They are able to track the killer down to the basement apartment under his mother’s old home (she’d died a year ago). He’s waiting for them when they walk in, and the photos on the wall make it obvious – they’ve found their guy.
However, we still have 15 minutes left in the episode, and the killer is too calm about everything. As we learn right after his arrest, he’s captured the brothers who founded the social media site that’s been the center of this show and is holding them captive to be electrocuted in an hour.
And we spent the rest of the time trying to rescue them. Esposito and Ryan head out to the social media’s site again, but a new attempt to reverse engineer the site just causes it to crash. Meanwhile, Beckett tries every trick in the book to get the killer to crack. He finally does, inadvertently revealing a clue the former police officer picks up on. The brothers are in the gym of his former high school, and Ryan and Esposito rush in and save the day at the last second.
Here’s where my issue with timing comes into play. Beckett gets the confession with less than 7 minutes left. How did they communicate to Ryan and Esposito where to go and then those two have time to drive in and rescue them? Unless it was just down the street, it wouldn’t work even with sirens going.
But if my critic can be silenced on that point, I enjoyed the show. I was sure it was the first victim’s friend, but he turned out to be what he appeared, a friend who was trying to help. Once again, they’ve broken their formula on who the killer is. I hope the trend continues.
I also loved that Captain Gates clearly has their back. When the killer posted a picture of Beckett and Castle before they started working on this case, it attracted the attention of the higher ups at the NYPD. Gates made sure Beckett knew to take the case seriously, but she also made her faith in the detective obvious. As much as she doesn’t like Castle and makes her displeasure known, she truly does have the backs of every character on the show. That’s a good thing.
There was also the wrap around, the first and last scene of the show, which featured Castle shooting a commercial for Raging Heat that would be an on line commercial. He is upset at the end when they make it more of a blooper reel, however it is getting hits, and Beckett, Martha, and Alexis love it.
I don’t think there is much else to say on this episode. Looks like we have no new episode next week, but we’ve got a couple of fun episodes coming up the two weeks after that. In the meantime, hit me up with any thoughts in the comments.