‘Castle’ Recap: Castle, Beckett Return to New York

Joshua Bitton (left), Nathan Fillion (center) and Seamus Dever in Monday's episode of ABC's "Castle" (Photo: ABC)

Castle (Nathan FIllion) and Beckett (Stana Katic) worked a lighthearted case together for the first time this season in Monday night’s episode of “Castle,” titled “Need to Know.”

All of the fans who hated Beckett moving to Washington could breathe a sigh of relief when the episode ended with the dynamic duo permanently reunited.

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I’m So Excited. I’m So Scared 

The victim of the week was Charlie, a former child actor who played a nerd on a 1990s “Saved by the Bell”-type show, “Too Cool for School.”

His corpse was found hanging from a construction hook.  When Castle saw a story about his death on the news, he showed up at the crime scene and begged Ryan (Seamus Dever) and Esposito (Jon Huertas) to let him tag along. Ryan was a big fan of the show, while Esposito pretended he had never seen it, but somehow knew the names of all of the characters.

After they learned that Charlie’s agent believed he stiffed her out of her commission on a recent acting job, Beckett and McCord (Lisa Edelstein) showed up at the precinct and announced that the Feds were taking over the case.

Watch Monday night’s episode of ABC’s “Castle” right here:
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Come to Think of It, Why Hasn’t There Been a “Saved by the Bell” Reunion Movie?

Beckett could not reveal why the Feds are interested in the death of a former child star. Ryan, Castle and Esposito unsurprisingly continued investigating the case even though they had been ordered to stop. The trail led first to Charlie’s former co-star Ramon (Antonio Saboto Jr., doing a great Mario Lopez impression), who revealed that they were filming a “Too Cool for School” reunion movie.

Ramon, who now works as an acting teacher, claims that Charlie did not know his lines. They argued about his lack of professionalism the day he died.  The premise of the film was that Charlie and Ramon were now teachers at their old high school. That’s a decent idea. The only thing missing from this scenario was the cast members who went on to successful careers and had no interest in the reunion. On the set, producer Hank revealed that wealthy Russians were financing the film. He planned to recast Charlie’s character and continue filming.

The Russians allegedly shipped cameras to a Brooklyn warehouse, which Castle realized didn’t make sense because there are plenty of cameras for rent in New York. They discover illegal guns in the camera cases. Beckett and McCord arrive moments later. There is a turf war over who gets to claim the weapons, until a CIA agent shows up and points a gun at all of them.

To Russia With Love 

It turns out that the CIA recruited Charlie two years ago to infiltrate a Russian gang family because the leader was a fan of “Too Cool for School.”  That is hilarious. This case should be spun off into a cable dramedy told from Charlie’s perspective. It would be “The Americans” meets “Argo.”

The CIA agent pulled rank and demanded to take over the investigation. Beckett and McCord were as annoyed as Castle, Ryan and Esposito. They continued investigating, realizing that Svetlana, the Russian female star of the movie followed Charlie to the warehouse.  Beckett thought Svetlana figured out Charlie was a spy, potentially jeopardizing the CIA’s operation. Actually, she was in love with Charlie and knew his secret. The CIA asked Svetlana to spy on her family, threatening to out her if she did not agree to become a mole.

A Very Meta Confession

Though the CIA had no interest in apprehending Charlie’s killer, the two scorned law enforcement agencies did. They figured out Ramon was the murderer. He was upset that Charlie planned to disappear with Svetlana, believing that his departure would ruin his shot at a comeback. Killing him seems like it would dramatically lessen the chances of the film’s completion, but murderers aren’t rational. Ramon made a heartfelt confession speech about how difficult it was to go from being rich and famous to ordinary, which was quite meta given that Sabato Jr. was a breakout star on “General Hospital” in the 1990s who seemed poised to move on to prime-time and film stardom. It was the less hyped ABC daytime star of the same era, Fillion, who made it big.

Finally, Beckett is Back Where She Belongs 

Beckett tipped off the media to Svetlana and Charlie’s history, thereby making it impossible for the CIA to use her as a spy. Castle finally decided to get an apartment in D.C. since his long-distance relationship with Beckett was not working. Fortunately, before they could catch a train, McCord dropped by to tell Beckett the Feds know she tipped off the media. She’s fired and free to resume her far more entertaining life in New York.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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