Castle s06 ep14 Beckett dress

If you wanted to murder Anne Hathaway’s character in The Devil Wears Prada, has Castle got an episode for you. “Dressed To Kill” enters the world of high fashion and scores a wedding dress for Beckett in the process.

The Players:

  • Director: Jeannot Szwarc
  • Writer: Elizabeth Beal
  • Cast: Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic, Jon Huertas, Seamus Dever, Molly Quinn, Susan Sullivan

Episode Title: “Dressed To Kill”

Martha helps Castle and Beckett find the perfect wedding venue just as they get their next case. An assistant to one of the most powerful fashion magazine moguls is found strangled with a scarf. Soon, it turns out the girl, Ella, was fired that very day, along with another assistant for scheduling snafus. It only gets weirder, as the team learns the victim’s apartment had been bugged and she had been approached by the lawyer of a rival magazine. Beckett and Esposito determine the bug was planted by Ella’s employer Matilda King, who may have figured out Ella was about to sell bombshell secrets to the enemy. But her alibi is rock-solid. While Beckett is there to confront her, a model calls in sick and King gets Beckett to try on a wedding dress. Looking in the mirror, it seems like something isn’t right. Just then, Castle reports back with news that the venue’s opened up for spring. Beckett says no.

The team get a break from tech, when they’re able to trace external tampering with King’s calendar to a designer’s studio. It turns out he stole Ella’s designs and she was going to go to the competition with the info that the magazine was about to run compromised work. The designer panicked and phoned the magazine’s number two, who was behind all the hiccups that make King look bad. He was after her job, but had to protect the integrity of the magazine to get it. So he killed Ella. A grateful King sends Beckett the wedding dress she modeled as a gift. Beckett confesses to Castle that all the wedding stuff has made her miss her mother, and that’s why she choked on the venue. Castle is understanding, and the two decide that they may not wait until fall, but try for a spring wedding after all.

The Good:

  • Say Yes To The Dress: Stana Katic could’ve been wearing candy bar wrappers or used tire treads, that’s how well she sells Beckett’s delight in her dress. The show doesn’t usually take a quiet moment for a character to deal with something outside the steady chug of the plot. But that’s exactly what Castle gave Beckett, and it was really refreshing to watch. The mystery of Beckett’s sudden melancholy was even more compelling than the murder.
  • Drinks With Oscar: The best alibi ever would be having drinks with [insert celebrity of your choice, let’s just say Nathan Fillion, shall we?]. But the show did a good job of integrating actual fashion fixtures inside the very fictional world of King’s magazine. Corporate buyouts and digitalization made the bugging and the tired diva designer tropes slightly more plausible.

The So-So:

  • The Devil Wears: But let’s talk about King, who’s oddly much more sympathetic than her pedigree. She does a gear change from being a stone-cold fashion goddess to a regretful mother figure for Beckett. The change isn’t telegraphed as well as it might be, nor their history explicit enough. Beckett gets her dream dress more because she’s a star of this show than because it seems to make character sense. It was fine, it was just obvious.

The Bad:

  • Cordoba House: Minus a goofball grin, and figuring out that Ella’s designs had been lifted, there’s not much for Castle to do this episode. He’s as much on exposition rotation as Esposito, Ryan and Lanie. That in itself would be alright, but the ‘find a venue’ subplot was weak. We suspected with the couple’s interest in moving things up to the spring, it may even open up again. Which made what Castle does for the hour feel even more pointless.
  • Ella Disenchanted: The first half of the episode, before there’s a direction to all the intrigue and plagiarism, suffers from a drama problem. All the dire pronouncements about ‘bringing down the magazine’ and secrets that will ‘rock Modern Fashion’ just sound ridiculous. It was a particularly thin nail to hang a murder on. As the case develops, the problem’s alleviated. But that doesn’t mean the case doesn’t start with cliché characters and silly-sounding motives and machinations.

Overall:

“Dressed To Kill” was, oddly enough, the most wedding-centric episode of Castle yet, bumping up the date and settling on the dress. The case felt flimsy at first, but it came around at the end. The small moments here were worth more than the big show.

Rating: 6/10

Castle airs Mondays at 10 p.m. on ABC.

What do you think of Beckett’s dress? Let us know in the comments.