STANA KATIC, NATHAN FILLION
Castle paints itself into a juicy corner when three people confess to the same crime, a murder they recall taking place in the titular “Room 147.” But the bedlam at work doesn’t extend to the home front, with Beckett and Alexis sorting each other out nicely.

The Players:

  • Director: Bill Roe
  • Writer: Adam Frost
  • Cast: Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic, Jon Huertas, Seamus Dever, Molly Quinn, Susan Sullivan

Episode Title: “Room 147”

Murdered in the charmingly anonymous “Best Traveler” hotel room, three people confess to killing a struggling actor. But none of them can quite remember why. They’ve all been confused for the past couple weeks, and their calendars are wiped. Other niggling details don’t add up, like the phone the victim was using before his death no one can find. Castle and Beckett look for commonalities between the three confessors, and find they’ve all been to a sinister self-help organization, which had been trying to correct behaviors through psychedelic drugs. Hence the confusion. It turns out our struggling actor was paid to be in an inspirational video as a personification of personal issues one then … murders, so okay. It turns out this same organization with a freshman’s understanding of psychology got three people killed in a sweat lodge; so one of the victims’ family members learned about the video and staged a similar murder in order to implicate the institute. Despite a productive three confessions in a day, Beckett takes time to reach out to Alexis, who’s been knocking herself out trying to make rent without her boyfriend. The episode ends with Alexis moving back into the loft, and many d’awwws .

The Good:

  • This Is Why We Can Have Nice Things: Bless this show for doing what we wish all characters in dramas would do – sit down and talk through their issues like adults. Beckett reaches out to Alexis on her own and shares her concerns about the redhead’s exhausting drive to make her lease. Good talk girls.
  • Stockholm Syndrome: Nathan Fillion’s Castle-reactions weren’t so much in range as in a row of wondrous, bemused smiles; but the casting for the sinister, psychedelic self-help guru was spot on. The man was born to be smug in a turtleneck. The institute was properly horrifying and weird, and made a plausible explanation for our three would-be murderers.

The So-So:

  • Confessions: Speaking of, the three people who turn themselves in were all kind of adorable. Too polished to have had a hazy last couple weeks, but cute. One of the episodes best scenes was getting them all at a table and arguing about discrepancies in their accounts of the murder.

The Bad:

  • The Sure? lock Method: That said, the eventual murderess was the beneficiary of some incredible good fortune in that there was a whole doping/mind-game conspiracy going on around her target for revenge. It’s unclear if she knew this, or how she knew about the video they were trying to bury. Perps in these workhorse episodes tend to be of two kinds: telegraphed early on with a staggering amount of motive, or out-of-the-blue tertiary characters with motives that have to explained. This was the latter, but the set-up didn’t feel surprising so much as arbitrary.
  • Off-Off Broadway: This may be because of the capital A acting the poor woman did when she was arrested. “I. Had. To.” Lots of shouting! Looking impassioned! Of all the confessions in the hour, this was the lamest. It ensured that no one was afraid of this particular Virginia Woolf, unfortunately.

Overall:

Not that murder is ever benign, but this was a fairly low-stakes hour of Castle. Beckett is able to help Alexis simply by hearing her out and giving good advice. Castle more or less accurately guides the detectives through the false confessions. It’s just another day in the neighborhood.

Rating: 7/10

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

Which confession did you like the most? Let us know in the comments.