Tuesday, March 17, 2015

TV Recap: Castle 7-17 - Hong Kong Hustle

The new season of Dancing with the Stars premiered last night, which can only mean one thing – new episodes of Castle!  So nice to have our favorite crime fights back, isn’t it?

As the episode opens, Beckett has just learned that one of the people who went through the police academy with her has been promoted to captain.  It makes her feel inadequate since she is still a detective.  Even Castle pointing out that she is the best in the city doesn’t make her feel any better.

They are discussing this as they walk up to the victim, a man who was found in the park by a jogger in the middle of the night.  However, when the jogger found him, there was an Asian woman going through his pockets.  Yet wallet, cash, etc. are still there.  If it was a mugging gone wrong, the mugger was pretty bad.

The jogger meets with a sketch artist to come up with a drawing of the woman he saw, and Ryan and Esposito show it to the victim’s landlord when they go to look at his place.  She says the woman is actually in the apartment now.  Ryan and Esposito head up there only to be unarmed by this woman.

It turns out she is a police officer from Hong Kong who has been part of a special unit working out of San Francisco and is friends with the victim.  She didn’t kill him because her plane flight in to town to visit didn’t come in until after he was dead.  She used his phone to track him to his body.  At first reluctant to work with our team, she eventually decides to do so.

And so we start the usual back tracking through his life.  He was an ex-con who was working as a tow truck driver.  He’d left after lunch the day he died and was upset about something.  At the restaurant, we learn he was meeting with someone, and some digging turns up that it was an FBI agent who refuses to cooperate.  The trail then leads to a gangster – the one the victim used to work with in his days as a criminal.  In fact, we find a video of this gangster’s goons kidnap the victim outside his apartment.

Word comes down that they can’t go after the gangster, but our visiting Hong Kong cop doesn’t want to hear that, so she heads off on her own, forcing Beckett to go after her.  It was a good thing she did because we learn that the “kidnapping” was actually a joke, and that the victim wasn’t working with his former criminal boss.  However, he did get some drugs from him.

Those drugs turned up in the car of a developer later that night, and he has been denying having any knowledge of the drugs, claiming they were planted.  This developer is the rival of the woman who owns the restaurant where the victim eats lunch every day, including the day he died.  She’s a ruthless business woman who believes that the ends justify the means.  That includes taking out rival developers and using illegal immigrants as employees – people who came in with debts to be paid off.  Yes, essentially slave labor.

However, she’s not the killer.  The victim was in love with one of her waitresses, and the victim had done this drug planting job to secure her freedom so they could marry.  No, the killer is another waitress, the friend of the waitress the victim loved.  She couldn’t face life without her friend, so she killed the victim so the friend wouldn’t leave.

Meanwhile, Beckett is spending the entire episode comparing herself to the visiting detective, who is a better shot, is married to an action star, and has cute kids.  However, along the way we learn that her personal life is falling apart as she focuses on her professional life, something Beckett doesn’t want to emulate.

And so, at the end of the episode, Beckett is trying to map out some new goals for her life but with balance so she doesn’t lose the things that matter most to her like Castle.

Linda Park was the main guest star of the episode, and it was nice to see her again since I used to watch Enterprise (don’t hold it against me; I know it was a bad show).  She was essentially a clone of Melinda May from the show Agents of SHIELD, but she made a fun character and something different on the show.

The mystery was a bit convoluted, it felt like they tried to cram in a surprising revelation/killer in at the end.  And the character moments with Beckett were completely predictable.  But you know what?  I still had fun with it.  Not the strongest episode of the season, but certainly one worth watching.

Thoughts on the episode?  Hit me up in the comments and let me know.

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