Review: Castle – Murder, He Wrote
by Stephen Janes (@stephenkjanes)
This article contains spoilers for the episode. Read at your own risk.
The secret relationship between Detective Kate Beckett and Richard Castle took an interesting turn this past episode when the couple decided to take a vacation together. As both Beckett and Castle are seen leaving the station, fellow Detectives Kevin Ryan and Javier Esposito ask what their respective plans are for the weekend. Castle mentions he’s writing in his Hampton house, while Beckett is going on a getaway with her “secret” boyfriend, and they head off. Ryan and Esposito decide that since apparently no crimes are being committed in New York at all, they will try to uncover who Beckett is really dating and why she is being so secretive, despite the audience already knowing the answers.
While Castle is giving Beckett the tour of his Hampton house, Beckett begins to wonder how many women have received the same tour before. Castle tells her honestly that “many women have been here, but none of them have been you.” After his romantic comment, Beckett decides she wants to skinny-dip in the swimming pool until somebody collapses into it and dies. Here, the romantic weekend away becomes a working vacation for Beckett and Castle.
The local law enforcements arrive to take Castle’s story, while Beckett attempts to keep quiet and continue her vacation. Chief John Brady, a guest character for this episode, tells Castle that he won’t say anything about his “hooker friend” and leaves the premises. Much to Beckett’s displeasure, she and Castle attempt to continue their romantic weekend but are offset by Castle’s constant need for answers and closure, so the two begin to investigate on their own. Thanks to Chief Brady discussing the situation prior to him leaving, we know that the victim was Randall Franklin, and a suspect has been taken in by the name of Cassius McMurray.
By using Esposito and Ryan back in New York, Castle and Beckett find that McMurray is nothing more than a drug user (further confirmed when he is found with methamphetamine on him) and Franklin recently avoided jail time by testifying against his former colleagues, all of whom were coincidentally at a party the night Franklin was killed. Ryan and Esposito also relay the information that Franklin was dating Natalia Roosevelt, who, according to witnesses, was last seen screaming at Franklin before he died. As Castle and Beckett attempt to ask her about her involvement with Franklin’s death, she reports the two to Chief Brady, who arrests Castle and Beckett for interfering with the investigation.
While in a holding block, Chief Brady realizes that Castle’s “hooker friend” is really Detective Beckett, and offers to drop the interference charges if they agree to help with the case. Castle immediately agrees for a reluctant Beckett, but the two interrogate Roosevelt who claims she was yelling at Randall because he was only dating her for her council vote, where she sat on as a member. Shortly after her vote (what the vote was for is not known at this point), he broke up with her, causing the yelling. Roosevelt also remembers seeing McMurray shortly after, who in turn tells Beckett and Castle of a boat he saw dump Randall’s body into the ocean. When Beckett and Castle investigate the boat, they run into another former colleague of Randall’s, Aaron Lerner.
Lerner’s only contribution to the case is a description of an angry neighbor he saw an hour before Randall was killed. This neighbor happens to be a leader of a crime family by the name of Vinny the Scar, who actually happens to have connections with Castle through a friend. The three (Beckett included) have lunch together, where Castle presses that maybe Vinny was the one who killed Randall, much to his displeasure. Vinny claims if he did it, nobody would have been found and storms out in a fury, causing Chief Brady to become upset and tell the couple they are no longer needed in the investigation. Castle reluctantly agrees, but is more focused on having his weekend vacation with Beckett. At this point, the roles have been reversed and Beckett is now the one who wants to solve the case with Castle wanting to enjoy their romantic dinner.
Ryan and Esposito (who still have no idea Beckett is with Castle) call Castle to tell him that Franklin had been buying properties all other New York but somehow making a profit despite not spending any money on renovations. Ryan and Esposito go to investigate one of the buildings and discover that Franklin was actually a meth drug lord; using the buildings he bought to cook and distribute meth. After interrogating some of the employees, Ryan and Esposito bring in Lerner for questioning, who turns out to have been partners with Franklin. Lerner lets it slip that another drug lord is in the Hamptons who was competing with Franklin and that he was most likely the killer, who happened to steal his boat the night Franklin was killed. Lerner also lets it slip to Ryan that he was already interrogated by Castle and Beckett, much to Ryan’s surprise and shock.
Back at the Hamptons, Chief Brady tells Castle and Beckett that they found the killer and would like the two to accompany him on his first arrest. Chief Brady and two of his deputy’s detain Marty Brently and find a murder weapon and meth. At this point, Castle notices that one of the ropes that held the boat to the dock was tied perfectly to the cleat (the metal piece that keeps the boat docked), but when they investigated Lerner’s boat earlier, the rope was messy and nowhere near the same. Castle at first puts Chief Brady on the spot since he was the only person who had access to everything, but then his associate, Deputy Jones, begins retreating with Brently as a human shield. Just as Deputy Jones is making a run for it, Chief Brady wounds him by shooting his shoulder, with Beckett making the arrest. Here we discover that Jones was in the meth business first and didn’t like that Franklin came into his territory and took over.
Castle and Beckett never really got the full weekend vacation that they wanted, but still ended up sharing a romantic scene at the end where Beckett, “got everything that she desired.” On top of that, Detective Ryan now knows the secret relationship taking place between Castle and Beckett, but refuses to say anything to Esposito and instead wishes their investigation to stop.
Overall, this was a good episode with a lot of great humor, but the turmoil of the relationship between Castle and Beckett seems to pick up in the next episode. During the teaser, we see Beckett, Esposito and Ryan arresting Castle for having his fingerprints at a crime scene as well as being the last person who saw the murder victim alive. As much fun as Beckett and Castle are as a couple, it’s going to be interesting to see how they survive when they are butting heads against each other. It still bugs me that a department full of detectives didn’t know about Castle and Beckett, but now that Ryan knows it may open up interesting opportunities for the writers to get him involved (possibly a double date). I did enjoy Castle’s line about needing a celebrity joint name and suggesting, “Caskett! You know, because of the whole murder thing,” which got a laugh out of Beckett. Another good episode, but as mentioned above, the next episode looks as though it will be a major plot point this season for Caskett.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars