Castle revisits old enemies (or does it?!) week when victims begin to look eerily identical to members of the homicide team. Even if the “Disciple” of the EX3 killer is behind the murders and not EX3 himself, the show makes a disquieting case for them as a real antagonist for Richard.
- Director: Rob Bowman
- Writer: David Amann
- Cast: Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic, Jon Huertas, Seamus Dever, Molly Quinn, Susan Sullivan
Episode Title: “Disciple”
A killer starts stringing up lookalikes, first of Lanie and then of Esposito, by taking strippers and giving them plastic surgery and vocal lessons to look and act like their NYPD twins before killing them. The plastic surgeon, Dr. Nieman, certainly has enough menace to be working with the killer. But it begins to look like it’s William Mapother as Carl Matthews, who knows all about hanging people from his “Others time” on Lost.Was he the mastermind? It certainly doesn’t seem like a marina security guard would have the bankroll to pull a Vertigo to begin with. When the EX3 case files go missing – checked out by fake Lanie and Esposito – the scope of a much deeper game is revealed. Maybe Nieman is acting at the behest of a revived EX3? Maybe she’s acting in his memory? But whatever the motive, Castle has a real nemesis now this season. Which is way better than having ‘federal agents.’
- Just Above The Ground: The show’s always nice to look at and competently shot, but this week director Rob Bowman did a fantastic job with the visuals. The feet hovering just above the ground, Dr. Nieman’s empty office, William Mapother’s two fingers on the table: the camera got in close.
- Do The Creep: Mapother’s Matthews is the creeper ringer, so of course he knocked his fishing line serial killer out of the park. He’s half beguiling, half terrifying with a calm, unshowy precision. In fact, both he and Annie Wersching so commanded the interrogation room it stunned Castle and Beckett into silence. That’s not something you see every week, so good job, casting department.
- Doppelgangland: The victims made over, “like in Vertigo,” to look like Lanie and Esposito were even creepier as a concept than in execution. Apart from the third act realization that this was all to make the EX3 files vanish, the threat of more doppelgangers kept the hour tense.
- We’ll Meet Again: We do have to quibble with EX3 and his disciple’s choice of taunting music for being derivative. “We’ll Meet Again,” has been played over every scene of horror, fear or suspense. That said, the moment still makes a helluva hot button for the episode.
- Confession: The Lanie/Esposito stuff was well played between them. But for a night that dealt with a lot of show history, it might’ve been nice for less ‘Who did this?’ worry and a few more details about where the two of them are at.
- Tough Crowd: The few humor beats, Ryan asking Esposito to open up about his lookalike stiff, Castle’s amazing potential quip, didn’t really land. The closest we got to the show’s usual spirit of fun was Castle asking permission, ‘to say something that’s gonna annoy you.’ The change in tone is not necessarily a bad thing, nor does it preclude any fun at all. But the few light things it did leave in felt particularly flat-footed.
After a string of fun standalones, it looks like Castle is back in the revenge business. This was a tenser hour than normal, but it looked great and was well-acted. Keep up this level of quality. Looks like the gang will need it to go up against a resurrected EX3.
Castle airs Mondays at 10 p.m. on ABC.
Think he’s really back? Let us know in the comments.