Tuesday, November 18, 2014

TV Recap: Castle 7-7 - Once Upon a Time in the West

How can you go wrong with Castle in the old west?  You just can’t.  Well, there might be a way, but the writers certainly didn’t find it on last night’s episode.  That was a ton of fun and a great mystery honeymoon for the newlyweds.  And for these two, what could be more appropriate?

Speaking of newlyweds, the episode starts with Castle and Beckett breaking the news to Esposito, Ryan, and Lanie, who are less than thrilled that they missed the big day.  Martha isn’t helping talking about how wonderful it was.  (And later, at the precinct, Captain Gates points out she wasn’t even included in this Champaign announcement).  Lanie is quicker to forgive than the guys, who really seem out to hold a grudge.

But that is interrupted by the discovery of a body.  It’s a woman who got sick and died on the subway, and they quickly determine it was poison that killed her.  Foxglove to be specific.  And it entered her body several hours earlier.  While back tracking to where she was at the time, they determine she was still at a ranch in Arizona.  The sheriff out there won’t investigate, saying it is a New York problem.  It is way outside of Beckett’s jurisdiction, and while they wait for official strings to be pulled, evidence is disappearing.  That’s when Castle hits upon a grand idea – he and Beckett will go out there on their honeymoon and investigate.  Beckett agrees, but only if they take a real honeymoon not an undercover one later on.

This particular ranch caters to their guests by putting everyone and everything in the time of 100 years ago.  You arrive by stage coach, and even the guests have to dress the part.  Castle and Beckett manage to get the victim’s room, which has a single bed.  However, they learn from her neighbor that she went off on her own the first day there and she was spending a lot of time around a married employee.

With no official jurisdiction, Castle and Beckett start doing research (just a fancy term for investigating if you ask me).  They learn from the ranch hand that the victim was asking lots of questions and wasn’t really coming on to him, so that’s a dead end.  She went out to research the meaning of a word in the tribe of a local Native American group.  And they keep hearing about the legend of local gold thieves.

It’s that legend that Ryan, Esposito, and Gates are honing in on back in New York.  It turns out the victim’s mother had just died, and the victim found some letters written by her father to her mother.  Her father had been out in that area trying to find gold that had been stolen over 100 years before.  Her mother had finally gotten tired of his quest and dumped him.  Using the correct meaning of that Native American word, Castle and Beckett are able to track down the location of the gold.  Only inside of the chest is a dead body instead of gold.

Now here’s where things get complicated.  They are able to determine that the body in the chest was the victim’s father who died years ago.  So obviously, his partner killed him and took the gold, right?  They are able to figure out that his partner is the man who can come into the station at the start of the episode because he and his wife were listed as the emergency contact of the current victim.  However, he didn’t kill his partner, the victim’s father.  The two of them intended to turn the gold in for the reward if they found it.  The wrinkle in their plan turned out to be a third partner who wanted to keep the gold.  This third man fought with the victim’s father, and the father accidentally died.

Who is this third partner?  The owner of the ranch where Castle and Beckett are now staying.  Beckett’s gone off with the sheriff to show him the location of the old body, leaving Castle with the ranch owner.  Castle gets a panicky call from Ryan.  They’ve discovered the identity of the killer but Beckett isn’t answering her phone.  They tell Castle, and the owner figures out the game is up.  He and Castle are about to face off in a classic shoot out, but Beckett comes back and saves the day.  She got her messages after all.

And to wrap things up, Castle and Beckett wind up extending their stay as an official honeymoon (sort of, they still plan to go someplace tropical once Beckett has some vacation time saved up again) because Gates talks Ryan and Esposito into giving Beckett two vacation days each as a wedding present.  Once again, Gates shows her human side when the situation calls for it.

I really did enjoy this episode.  They used all the clichés about the old west, but had so much fun with them, making them jokes instead of clichés.  They even changed the opening to make it look western and they added “The End” at the end.

Plus, they are still having Castle add to the investigation by looking at things as a writer.  I loved that in the early episodes, and it is so nice to see that return.

Looks like next week will be a more serious and suspenseful episode, but I’m hearing great things about it.  I will see you then.  In the meantime, did you enjoy this honeymoon as much as I did?


  1. Yes I did! I thought it was a great episode and so much fun. I was pretty zoomed in to the bad guy being either the Sheriff or the owner but it sure was fun getting to that point. I loved the Old West town and people dressed Western and Kate and Castle's Western look. Everything about this episode was right on the money and I got a real kick out of the burning The End during the closing. When they do these episodes right it really is something :) Hoping next week's is good because it does look pretty serious.

    1. I was having so much fun with the the episode, I wasn't paying attention to guessing the killer ahead of time. Yes, "The End" was wonderful, and I seriously loved the way they tweaked the opening "Castle," too.

      They do serious episodes well. Think about the fire episode from last January. I'm sure it will be good if not the light hearted fun we are used to seeing.

  2. I really enjoyed the episode overall. I did think the guys held on to their anger a tad long - I get they were upset..it just went on to long - but I loved that Gates set them straight.

    1. The guys hanging on to their anger was just for the comedy. And it gave them another chance to show that, while Gates gives Castle a hard time, she really does like him deep down.