REVIEW: Castle 2.01 – “Deep in Death”
Original Air Date: September 21, 2009
Screencaps were done by me this week.
It’s Nathan Fillion doing what he does best, and that’s being charming, funny, and awesome. Oh yeah, and there’s a murder mystery story, too. I love cop shows (I will literally sit there and watch Law and Order all day long), but what makes this one different is that it doesn’t take itself too seriously.
Castle (who I always want to refer to as “Frank Castle” — thank you, comics) is having a photo shoot at the cop shop that Beckett works in. This involves a couple of stripper lady cops hanging off him like the cover of a Conan the Barbarian novel. Meanwhile, Beckett is being interviewed by a journalist with a major celeb-crush on Castle (so the interview is basically about how charming, funny, and awesome he is). I’m wondering what happened to the bad blood Beckett had for Castle at the end of S1? Beckett, doing her best to tow the party line, finally cracks when Lois Lane mentions Castle told her he’s been instrumental in solving a bunch of their cases. This does not sit well with her, but the mayor wants this done, so they’re going to do it. Before she can go back to the interview, Castle catches her and he still doesn’t get why she’s angry with him. Is that just a guy thing or what? She explains it again (I told you not to do it, you did it anyway, then you told me you did it like I’m supposed to be glad). Even then, he still doesn’t get it. He thinks because he “found something” that should trump the fact that she didn’t want him snooping around in her mother’s murder case. Thankfully, Beckett is saved by a dead guy! She doesn’t have to go back to the interview, but Lois Lane and Castle get to tag along with her and her crew (despite Beckett’s obvious displeasure).
At the crime scene, Castle wants to talk about stuff, asks how he can make it up to her, and even offers to buy her a pony (which is ridiculous — where would she put it?). Beckett just wants him to focus. They find the dead body in a tree along with Sassy M.E. She and Heckle and Jeckle get a little screen time for some funny one liners. I like these three as supporting characters, even though I have no idea what their names are. Lois Lane asks if it was a suicide, and Beckett and Castle both answer that it wasn’t. He goes on to explain all sorts of stuff to her, shining her on with his knowledge, all to Beckett’s irritation. Finally, she’s had all she can stand and sends Castle and Lois back with the dead guy.
Sassy M.E. rides in the back with Castle so Lois doesn’t have to be near the dead guy. She’s short with him, covering her friend’s back, up until Castle says he “found” something involving Beckett’s mother’s murder case. Turns out, three others were killed around the same time and in the same way: a former lawyer of Beckett’s mother’s, a documents clerk, and a lawyer for a nonprofit. Sassy is surprised that the M.E. at the time didn’t make the connection. Castle says he couldn’t question him because that guy died three years earlier. Before the convo goes any further, their hit by another car, and a bunch of guys bust in and steal the body at gunpoint.
Back at the cop shop, they do the usual procedural rundown of all the “technical” stuff cops do in situations like this. Heckle asks who would steal a dead body, and Castle, being a brilliant fiction writer, makes a list of exactly the kind of people who would steal a dead body (evil scientist does make it on there). Beckett deadpans that it was probably the killers who left evidence on the body and didn’t want the police to find it. Castle, rightly so, says that’s boring and goes into a spy scenario. Beckett wants him gone, but Castle is allowed to stay until the end of that case. You know, as long as he doesn’t try to weasel his way “back in.” Which he totally will by the end of this episode because he is that charming.
The two of them go to the vic’s house were the wife says everything was normal with them. Everything’s always normal in these shows. They go through the usual questions, which eventually gives them a lead (a guy the vic supposedly fired the year before keeps calling the house). Then they have to tell the wife what happened to her husband’s dead body and are promptly shown out of the apartment.
Castle heads back to his gigantic, depressingly fab home, and finds out that Beckett called earlier to let his mother and daughter know he was okay (she’s totally still smitten with him and who could blame her). This leads him to tell them both about his plan to win Becket back — be his “usual charming self.” Of course, his mother asks if there’s a Plan B. It also comes out that instead of wanting to see a movie with her father, the daughter would like to go with her boyfriend. Castle gives the okay, but makes sure he gets to see Christmas Carol with her. This leads to a nice dig on Ryan Reynolds playing the triangle in an Asteroid movie.
The only suspect they have at this point blows a hole in their theory when he tells them he and the vic were both laid off together, not at all like the story the wife had been told. All of a sudden, because no one thought to do a check on all the supposed travel he had been doing, the vic’s story starts falling apart. He has no job, he wasn’t traveling out of state, and he wasn’t making any money to pay the bills. On the plus side, his body shows back up.
And it’s missing all its internal organs! He was cut open with box cutters and kitchen knives, and turns out he was a drug mule (that’s why those masked dudes stole his body and opened him up Operation style). However, what killed him originally is still strangulation and he was strangled by a guy who either was missing his pinky or by someone being fancy:
Because a raised pinky makes you classier. They find out (after doing some, you know, police work on the vic) that he’d been running drugs from Mexico to New York City to make money. The family had been bad off and living on credit cards. Next step, find out how he became a mule.
Sassy gets a print off the inside of one of the gloves left at the second crime scene, and it belongs to a guy with a long record. They bust the Drug Guy and his crew in the middle of processing the drugs they dug out of the vic. Flash bombs are fun. After that arrest montage, Beckett is forced to make a deal with the drug dealers in order to find out what happened that led to them stealing the body. They work on each perp individually, because it’s more dynamic that way when they edit it together, and find out that he owed someone big time and that’s how he ended up running drugs for them. That’s not enough for Beckett, and they get pressed until they spill who vouched for the vic and got him a meeting with the drug guys.
That guy (who comes into the cop shop stoned out of his gourd) tells Beckett and Castle that he met the vic at a “floating” poker game. The vic had gotten into a serious debt playing poker at the Triad games to a Russian mobster, so this guy sets the vic up with the drug running gig in order to make enough money to pay off his debt. Helpful, but not that helpful since you have to “be in the know” to know where the Triad games are played and there’s no way a cop’s getting in. Castle comes up with the plan that he goes into the Triad game to gain the info they need to find the Russian guy.
He finds out where the games are being played at HIS poker game with his writer buddies (who are actual fiction writers, and seriously, what’s with all the poker games?). His buddies aren’t willing to let him walk into this dumb situation just to impress Beckett, but eventually they tell him. No one is immune to this man’s charms!
They set Castle up with a button camera with visual and audio on the cop’s end, but he can’t hear them; once he leaves the safety of the police van, he’s on his own. The plan is that he goes in, gets a picture of the Russian, then get out of there — no dicking around. He’s confident this will be a cake walk because how many tattooed Russian gangsters could there really be at an underground poker game in Chinatown? All three cops have a bad feeling about this drop. Once he gets in, it quickly becomes obvious it might be a little harder to find the Russian they’re looking for (LOTS of tattooed Russians at this party).
Eventually, he finds the table of Russians (and the one in the middle looks like Viggo and is pretty hot) the vic lost all his money to, and immediately ditches the plan and heads in to play a few hands with them. We all knew this was going to happen; Castle couldn’t stay on point if his life depended on it (which, in this case, it does). He gets them to talk to him by telling them he’s doing research for his new book (in this world, everyone is a fan of Castle’s previous series of books). We also find out that Beckett knows Russian! Castle starts to tell them about his “book” which is really the actual case. He’s trying to provoke the killer into giving himself away. Oh, the poker analogy would never be overused.
They spot the killer (he’s twisting his fake pinky around nervously as Castle tells his story), but the problem is how to get Castle out of there. Beckett sexes herself up so she can get into the game and save Castle’s ass. You know this is going to happen because the guitars get all serious with their wah-wah and kerwanging, and Beckett ditches the pants to make her cardigan into a hoochie dress. So the Russians think they’ve beat Castle, he actually beats them, the killer has him at gunpoint in the kitchen, and Beckett totally saves his ass.
In the end, Castle and Beckett are on good terms until he has to bring up her mother’s murder again and that just kills the good vibes. She tosses him out because he still. doesn’t. get. it. How hard is it to understand why she’s pissed at him? He heads back home to find out his daughter didn’t see the movie with her boyfriend because he was busy playing video games. She asks Castle why boys have to justify everything instead of just saying they’re sorry. Light Bulb Moment!!! He goes back to the station and tells Beckett he’s sorry. And that’s all it takes.