Review: Castle – Secrets Safe with Me
by Stephen Janes (@stephenkjanes)
Warning: spoilers regarding the episode are ahead.
In “Cloudy with a Chance of Murder,” Castle and Beckett came to an agreement that they were perfectly fine keeping their relationship hidden away from others. Right as this episode begins, Martha reveals she knows they are an item and urges Castle to tell Alexis, who is packing her belongings and finally moving to college. Beckett is angered by this fact and suddenly finds it more difficult to keep their feelings toward each other hidden while working. The dynamic of their relationship is put to the test as throughout the episode; they both want to hug and kiss in public, but settle for awkward, yet meaningful handshakes.
The unfortunate victim of the episode is Wendy Dupree, who is seen scribbling out ‘LIE’ in her own blood just before she dies. Joined by Javier Esposito and Kevin Ryan, the team discovers that Wendy had a twin brother (recently deceased) who had a storage unit that was up for auction. Castle points out that ‘LIE’ is actually ‘317’ upside down, which is the storage unit number that Wendell (Wendy’s brother) owned. Castle and Beckett arrive and outbid everybody, granting all the contents to Castle as they continue their investigation.
The storage unit revealed no clues, but further investigation leads everybody to Angelica Hanley, who employed Wendell as a chauffeur and claims she had a rare bracelet worth four million dollars that was stolen. Castle and Beckett believe this was the work of Wendell, based on the separation of his death and the robbery (six days), despite any concrete evidence. Castle believes that bracelet is in the storage unit (that he technically now owns) and the reason Wendy was trying to purchase it in the first place.
After an unsuccessful raid through the various items contained within the storage unit, Castle and Beckett realize that Wendell needed a partner in order to break into Angelica’s mansion. Castle reminds himself of somebody at the auction who also bid for the unit (named Felix) and makes him the prime suspect. Esposito and Beckett find Felix in his apartment and he tells the detectives that he was paid five thousand dollars to enter the bidding war as a proxy for Marco Vinstrolli, Wendell’s real partner. Security footage from before the auction reveals that Marco stole a safe from the storage unit (which Castle humorously states is his) before the auction even took place.
Marco is then seen being raided by Beckett and Esposito just as he is trying to blow-torch the safe open, which actually contains nothing. At this point, Castle and Beckett believe nothing was stolen from Angelica’s home, so they go back to investigate. After some persuasion, Angelica reveals that nothing was stolen and that the rare bracelet was hidden in a wall safe. She did this as a way to get out of bankruptcy and obtain a hefty insurance payout, which would help her clear her debts and allow her to continue living her luxurious lifestyle. After investigating Marco some more, Castle and Beckett are informed that Marco was only hired to disable the alarms and the last that he saw of Wendell he said, “Mission accomplished,” and left.
Castle is then seen taking his daughter to her new college dorm, where the two share a heart-warming scene which concludes with Alexis asking her father if he could, “check under the bed to make sure there aren’t any monsters?” After that touching moment, Castle begins to think that Wendell hid something of value that only his sister would understand after seeing a college student carrying a teddy bear backpack. Castle then remembers a rare glass doll that was in the storage unit and rushes back to the lab to break it open, which we will discuss more in a moment, but what you need to know is that a glass eye and a USB drive were found inside the doll.
Ryan and Esposito look over the USB drive and find several photos of a car accident, which they discover were taken from the night that Wendy and Wendell’s parents died. According to the police report they pulled, the Dupree parents were hit by a truck driver who didn’t stop for help and fled the scene. The team believes that Wendell was trying to find out who killed his parents and conclude that Wendell had actually stolen the glass eye from Angelica’s home because it contained DNA. The DNA belonged to the one who killed his parents (and Wendy and himself), who was revealed to be Kirby Smith, the butler. Kirby wears a prosthetic (glass) eye and had killed both Wendy and Wendell in order to cover his tracks. He is detained and Beckett reminds Kirby that he is currently on the block for four counts of murder. As the episode concludes, Beckett and Castle tell each other that they would love to hug and kiss one another in the middle of the precinct, which leads the audience to believe that they are having more trouble keeping their relationship hidden away than we originally thought.
In the end, I don’t recall laughing so much during an episode of Castle, nor do I remember a more “humanizing” episode. That rare doll I mentioned earlier was apparently a rare Gemini doll, of which Captain Gates was a fond collector. She almost turned into a little kid upon seeing it, and totally changed characters from spiteful to cheerful when Castle told her she could have it for nothing. Later in the episode, she even approaches Castle about his recent book and claims she loved it, even going as far as asking for an autograph. Gates reverted back to her icy self when Castle had to destroy the same doll in order to retrieve the key evidence needed for the case, but it was really fun seeing Gates actually nice to Castle.
Perhaps my favorite part of the episode was when we discover that the butler Kirby Smith was the killer. Here, Castle states to Beckett, “Please, I’ve been waiting for the opportunity to do this for years now, but I must say it…It was the butler!” while sternly pointing at Kirby.
The relationship dynamic seems to be hitting its first rough patch between Castle and Beckett. Now that Martha and Alexis know, their secret isn’t really a secret anymore and the idea that they can’t be seen as couple is taking its toll. This should develop into an emotional sub-plot in future episodes as they struggle with the idea of going public or playing it safe and staying underground with it.
I’ll go ahead and say it; this is one of my favorite episodes. The humor was strong, the case was interesting and shocking enough, and the relationship between Beckett and Castle seems to be getting very interesting.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars