After a body is found in a pizza oven, the team on “Castle” discover the victim is not a restaurant worker–but a reporter!  Was his story “Pizza Wars” enough to get this reporter killed or was it something much deeper? Find out more in our review…

The Players:

  • Director: Steve Boyum
  • Writer: Scott Williams
  • Cast: Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic, Jon Huertas, Seamus Dever, Molly C. Quinn, Susan Sullivan,Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Tamala Jones, Darin Brooks, Liz Vassey, Peter Onorati

Episode Title: “Slice of Death”

The team scrambles to unravel the truth behind the reporter’s death.  They soon find that he was researching more than just a couple of rival pizzerias–he was also uncovering the truth behind a fabled drug lord in New York City.  While Castle and Beckett solve the case, Alexis works through some issues of her own regarding Ashley and her best friend.

The Good:

  • The Murder Mystery: The case itself was intriguing. The ‘authentic Nick’ versus ‘terrific Nick’ details were funny, and the twist at the end provided a satisfying closure.  The episode paid homage to The Usual Suspects, which was rich in references such as the following: the case is based on the selling of illegal narcotics, the leader is believed to be only a myth, and when his existence is revealed, he is still mixed up with someone else.  The unraveling of facts and suspects was well-planned.

The So-So:

  • Femme Fatale: ***SPOILER ALERT*** In keeping with the film noir essence underlying the episode, it’s only natural that Cavello turns out to be a ruthless and independent woman whose downfall occurs by the end of the show.  But if Castle hadn’t referred to her as a ‘femme fatale,’ we probably wouldn’t have made the connection because she lacks the archetypal seductress aspect.  Instead, we’re given a version of the femme fatale that bends traditional female gender roles by using intellect and mystery alone.
  • Castle/Beckett: Although the series usually capitalizes on their relationship, there were no sparks between Castle and Beckett this week. We miss the suggested romance between them, but it did serve as a good reminder that they are just friends.

The Bad:

  • Burned Body Jokes: It’s one thing when Castle tells a distasteful joke regarding the victim’s death and is rebuked for it either vocally or through scornful looks, but it’s another for Chief Montgomery and others to make jokes about their murder victim while Castle applauds them.  What happened to their usual intolerance for such disrespect for the dead?
  • Alexis’ Character Development: Last week, we overlooked Alexis’ out-of-character lie to her father because no one is perfect.  This week, Alexis’ behavior escalated to unbelievable levels: name-calling (seconded by Castle, which was equally odd), crashing parties, and getting in a fight–all in the same week!  What’s even less believable is the fact that she and her bestie ‘hug it out’ after her friend publicly humiliates her, assaults her, and ousts her.  If Alexis is going to change so quickly and to such extremes, we’d at least like an explanation for such odd behavior.

Overall:

This week’s episode of “Castle” had an intriguing mystery to uncover, but included disrespect and odd, out-of-character behavior that was difficult to overlook.

Rating: 5/10

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

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Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments!