This week on “Castle,” the team investigates the murder of Sarah Cutler, the head writer of popular New York soap opera “Temptation Lane.”  What they find is behind-the-scenes drama that’s just as scandalous as the fictitious storylines.  Will Castle’s unique skill set as a writer help them find the killer? Find out more in our review…

The Players:

  • Director: David Barrett
  • Writer: Elizabeth Davis
  • Cast: Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic, Jon Huertas, Seamus Dever, Molly C. Quinn, Susan Sullivan, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Tamala Jones, Jane Seymour, Corbin Bernsen, Cameron Mathison, Rebecca Budig, Tina Majorino

Episode Title: “One Life to Lose”

Castle teases Beckett about being a fan of “Temptation Lane” while Martha reunites with an old friend who happens to be a lead character on the show.  Castle repeatedly walks in on Martha and her date, which becomes a joke to his family.  Meanwhile, the team sorts through love triangles, ambitious apprentices, and obsessive fans to find their killer.

The Good:

  • Terminology: Castle’s not the only one impressed by Beckett’s knowledge of soap opera shippers, or the characters fans forsee (or want to see) paired up.  Common in the soap opera fandom, this leads to Castle’s ingenious, funny portmanteau “Esplanie” of lovers Esposito and Lanie.
  • Irony: Castle and Beckett’s conversation about shippers on “Temptation Lane” is highly ironic considering they have shippers of their own (yes, we’ve all been devoted Caskett shippers for some time now).  Also, there is a tinge of irony in the fact that despite all of the relationship and workplace drama, the killer was operating from a purely ambitious, premeditative desire to succeed rather than performing a crime of passion resulting from months of dramatic interpersonal relations.
  • Fiction Versus Reality: The layers of fiction within a fiction that embodies “Castle,” from novels to the tv episodes is taken a step further when Mandy and Vince perform the script that catches Sarah’s killer.  Delving into so many layers exposes some truths about reality, though: as much drama exists in our everyday lives as is made up for sitcoms

The So-So:

  • Castle’s Theories: We’ve grown accustomed to hearing Castle’s bogus theories about each case and, like Beckett, we’re getting tired of hearing them.  However, this episode included three separate theories from Castle about the motives of others, and while the first two were far-fetched suggestions of who the killer was, the third was a touching reflection of how Sarah must’ve felt about her own hectic lifestyle.  Perhaps the third theory is made all the more moving in comparison to Castle’s former ideas, which are, no doubt, meant to be taken humorously rather than seriously anyway.

The Quotable:

  • Martha: “Richard Castle, you are neither trained nor professional.”
  • Beckett: “Castle, focus!” Castle: “I am.” Beckett: “On our suspect.” Castle: “Oh.”
  • Beckett: “She’s dead.” Suspect: “What do you mean she’s dead?” Castle: “She’s dead. It really only has one meaning.”
  • Castle: “We can call them Esplanie, which is perfect because they’re always explaining things.”
  • Ryan: “Do you two practice when we’re not here?”
  • Vince: “You can’t handle the truth!” Beckett: “Look, I’m not interested in your Nicholson impressions…”
  • Castle: “Katherine Beckett, I never!”
  • Alexis: “Gram told me how you went all Jason Bourne on her date.”

Overall:

“Castle” was fraught with irony, humor, and some mad fictional layering that produced some interesting truths about reality. It may have been the funniest episode of the season, and it included some suspense as well!

Rating: 9/10

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

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Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments!