The family who solves crime together, stays together, as Castle takes a restorative road trip this week. “Like Father, Like Daughter” gives Richard an out-of-doghouse-free card if he helps Alexis solve a 15-year-old murder and free an innocent man on death row.
- Director: Paul Holohan
- Writer: Mark Dube
- Cast: Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic, Jon Huertas, Seamus Dever, Molly Quinn, Susan Sullivan
Episode Title: “Like Father, Like Daughter”
It turns out Alexis hasn’t been spending all her time decorating her new place or making smoothies. She’s joined an innocence appeals legal activism group and isn’t ready to give up on a man who only has three days to live. During such desperate straights she turns to Castle; and Fillion charms away the first two acts with a perfect blend of eagerness and anxiety. Soon, the whole team’s on the case of Frank Henson. He was nabbed at the murder scene of a local chemistry teacher but his circumstances don’t gel with the brutality of the crime. There’s the usual ebb-flow of suspects and evidence. At first it looks like it might be a boyfriend, then an unstable brother, then the cop who was an ass to Castle ends up being the meth-cook who silenced the girl. The undercurrent that’s appealing about this episode is the slow, delicate way Castle and Alexis come together to solve the case. ‘Hugs all around!’ is a mild way to end the hour, but we’re all a little sentimental when it comes to family.
- Public Defenders: We’ve been asking for weeks for Molly Quinn to have something on her plate besides fruit, and man, does Castle deliver. Alexis the crusader for justice is a force to be reckoned with, that can stand with (and up to) her dad. This is a procedural, so it’s not like the father/daughter crime solvers unit is going to be integrated into the show. But it’s a side we loved seeing.
- Maybe Overreacting: Fillion did a fantastic job. The sensitivity with which Castle treats Alexis – respective, protective, and a little overawed – was a nice, sober place for the character to go after a couple episodes of genre-heavy games. We applaud the show for making sure neither father nor daughter got kidnapped or threatened down in PA. Thank the writers for that tire iron. That was fun.
- Be Writing: It was only a small beat, but Castle’s writing ‘process’ is always ripe comedy. Anyone who’s ever been stalled on a paper can relate to staring up at the ceiling, while stacking pencils on one’s face. The screensaver was great, too.
- Horrors of the Past: The blur and burn effects on the flashbacks to the murder were a little jerky. They were a little intense for the sake of being intense. But it was also well shot, so we’re okay with some edges.
- In Space, No One Can Hear You Reason: The back and forth between Castle and Beckett about a space wedding was, to use the technical phrase, adorkable. But it was slightly cheap that the circumstantial evidence Castle discovers to clear Frank was a broken space clock. It doesn’t feel like the oddball, but essential piece no one else would see, especially after 15 years of appeals.
- Matched Baggage: It is completely understandable for Beckett to dislike being a third wheel, and there has been some awkwardness between the women in Castle’s life. But the only time we’ve really seen Beckett and Alexis interact this year has been that hug at the end of the hour. Kate’s earlier complaints, before Lanie thankfully sets her straight, didn’t quite sound like the proactive detective who’s actually had a pretty good sense of her soon-to-be step-daughter. It all felt a bit manufactured just for the episode.
Castle is at its strongest when its case of the week has emotional stakes. Add in some serious material for Quinn to play and a tire iron for Fillion to wield and “Like Father, Like Daughter” is a satisfying hour of television.
Castle airs Mondays at 10 p.m. on ABC.
Are you ready for a hug or still holding your breath? Let us know what you thought in the comments.