This week on “Castle,” a champion swimmer and Olympic hopeful is found dead in a training pool.  Castle and Beckett dive in to investigate his murder, uncovering several secrets that may have led to his death.  Who would murder a dedicated athlete to hide the his secrets? Find out more in our review…

The Players:

  • Director: Paul Holahan
  • Writer: Matt Pyken
  • CastNathan FillionStana Katic, Jon Huertas, Seamus Dever, Molly C. Quinn, Susan Sullivan, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Tamala Jones, Michael Connelly, Dennis Lehane, Brendan Hines, Justin Bruening, Erik Palladino

Episode Title: “The Dead Pool”

After a swimmer is found dead in a training pool, the team follows several different leads on the case.  Meanwhile, Castle expresses his pride in a mystery writer, Alex Conrad, whose novel is published after Castle passes his manuscript on to his publisher.  But when Alex befriends Beckett, Castle becomes jealous of their relationship.  Alexis and Martha advise him regarding the situation, and he invites Alex to play poker with him. His poker buddies help him solve the swimmer’s murder case.

The Good:

  • Keeping It Real: The poker game scene in this episode is great for several reasons: there’s intellectual conversation tinged with humor, Castle’s impressive friends are not just actors–Michael Connelly and Dennis Lehane really are crime fiction novelists, and they even recognize the absence of the late Stephen J. Cannell, a renowned mystery writer who played himself as a poker buddy in “A Deadly Affair.” We even get to see them offer insights into the case based on their experience.
  • Parallels: The show opens with a parallel between the actual murder case and Castle reading from book about a fictional murder case. Later, Alexis suggests a different motive for Alex’s actions when Castle presumes he wants to replace him at the precinct and at the publishing house.  Likewise, Castle’s crime novelist friends suggest motives that help him solve the case.
  • Honestly, Now: When Castle confronts Beckett about hanging out with Alex, explaining how he feels hurt and left out when Beckett hangs out with Alex instead of him, their honesty with one another is touching.  Beckett’s quick agreement makes their friendship seem infinite, confirmed by a zoom-out of Castle watching Beckett work while the rest of the precinct bustles around them.

The So-So:

  • Missing Poker Buddy: Jim Patterson was missing from the poker night scene, but no mention was made of his absence. The scene was great just the way it was, however, and perhaps Patterson’s presence would have been too much.

The Quotable:

  • Lehane: “You know what I did after I wrote my first novel? I shut up and wrote 23 more.”
  • Castle: “What are you looking at?” Beckett: “Nothing.”
  • Alexis: “…nefarious muse snatcher…”
  • Castle: “Don’t confuse me with your reasonable-ness.”
  • Esposito: “A dude can be a muse, right? It’s not weird?”
  • Castle: “So not okay.”
  • Castle: “I want you all to myself.”
  • Beckett: “Always.”

Overall:

This week’s episode of “Castle” was full of comedy, touching moments, and had guest appearances from real crime fiction novelists.

Rating: 9/10

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

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