Castle and Beckett are on opposite sides of a case this week on “Castle,” trampling the mushiness of typical Valentine’s Day romance when Castle’s old school friend, Damien Westlake, becomes the prime suspect in his wife’s murder.  Castle must deal with the realization that either Beckett is about to arrest an innocent man for murder or Castle’s dear friend is actually guilty.  Beckett forces Castle to go home; Damien begs Castle to help him prove his innocence.  With friends like this, who needs enemies? Find out more in our review…

The Players:

  • Director: John Terlesky
  • Writer: Moira Kirland
  • Cast: Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic, Jon Huertas, Seamus Dever, Molly C. Quinn, Susan Sullivan, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Tamala Jones, Jason Wiles

Episode Title: “The Final Nail”

Castle is reunited with an old friend from boarding school, Damien Westlake, who helped him launch his writing career and encouraged him to find his writing style.  When Beckett automatically lists Damien as the prime suspect, Castle becomes overly defensive of his friend, forcing Beckett to send him home while she continues to work on the case.  Castle returns with a better attitude, his mind set on freeing his innocent friend of the charges.  When every lead seems to point to Damien, though, Castle must solve the decades-old murder case of Damien’s father to prove Damien’s innocence.  With Alexis’ help, Castle finds an overlooked lead in the old case, helping the team solve two cases.

The Good:

  • You’ve Got a Friend in Me: It’s an unbelievable accusation for Castle to believe that Damien, his long-time friend and inspiration in his writing, could be the same person who is responsible for the brutal nail-gun-to-the-head death of Mrs. Westlake.  Beckett is understanding of Castle’s feelings toward the case, reminding him that Damien could have changed since he knew him years before, and bringing Castle to realize that it is the character he molded from Damien that Castle has so much confidence in rather than Damien himself.
  • ‘Mom and Dad are Fighting’: Esposito jokes that “mom and dad are fighting” when Ryan asks about Beckett and Castle’s heated dispute regarding the case.  After Beckett sends him home, it’s nice to see Castle (upon Martha’s advice) come back to the station and apologize for his behavior to Beckett.  It just goes to show that losing one’s composure is counterproductive, and Beckett’s lack of tolerance for such behavior is just another example of her strength as a cop and as an individual.

The So-So:

  • Alexis’ Valentine: Alexis’ present for her boyfriend is, as Castle quips, “heartfelt yet humorous,” showcasing a photograph of his pet rat as his ‘true love.’  Not only do we love Alexis appearances on the show, we love getting to see her help her dad solve an old murder case. And the momentary diversion from the details of the case serve as a comparative structure between the way people celebrate Valentine’s Day: Alexis has a personalized gift picked out for her beau whereas Beckett and Castle barely have time for a drink before Beckett is to attend a casual dinner with Josh.

The Quotable:

  • Ryan: “What’s going on?” Esposito: “Mom and dad are fighting.”
  • Martha: “Listen to your heart.”
  • Martha: “Your daughter is a genius.” Castle: “I already knew that.”
  • Damien: “I’ve led a careless and wasteful life, Detective.  But I’m no killer.”

Overall:

This week’s “Castle” was emotionally-wrought, examining how our own perceptions of others, particularly those people with whom we have close relationships or have relied on as friends or mentors can blind us from the truth behind their ambitions, motives, and actions.

Rating: 8/10

“Castle” airs Monday nights at 10pm on ABC.

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Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments!