Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Castle 8x17 Review: “Death Wish” (Overactive Imaginations) [Contributor: Hope]

“Death Wish”
Original Airdate: April 11, 2016

This week probably had the wackiest synopsis of the whole season, and that is why I was so excited for this episode. Just a good, fun hunt for Aladdin’s lamp and tons of comedy... and a little personal drama at the end. I can’t tell you how relieved I was that this was such a light episode. It gives me hope. I think this show strangles itself when it tries to add too much drama. I’m not saying that I want episodes to be stand-alone — actually, I really, really don't want that.

But what I want to see in my screen each week are the characters growing and crime solving and being goofy together. Between declining ratings and close calls with contracts, the last couple of seasons have left this show on the bubble, and I don’t want to take it for granted. I don't want the writers to take it for granted, either. Until we know the status of next season, I want to appreciate the characters, their dynamics, and their journeys. I want to get wrapped up in the mystery of the week, I want this show to be an emotional roller coaster without jeopardizing relationships we know are stronger than that. I want these episodes to be enjoyable, and I want them to remind me why I started watching back at the start of season 3.

I recognized season three in this episode, I’m glad to say. I loved it. I know that others might be disappointed that there wasn't more serialization in this episode, and I get that. Esposito’s storyline from last week wasn’t mentioned. The name LokSat never even came up. However, I’m choosing not to care because I’m OVER LokSat (hasn't the show distanced itself from this a bit? Is it just me, or does this hint at a giant blow-up on the horizon?), I’m used to this show alternating between being serialized or episodic, and because I just want to enjoy the show. This episode made enjoying it easy.


Castle was at his most immature in this episode, and decided to believe wholeheartedly in the existence of genies. It wasn’t surprising, but I did have to suspend my belief just a bit. I don't know why, exactly, since Castle is an eternal child and has taken a whole array of things seriously in the past. Calling someone a genie to their face, though, and locking Beckett out of the interrogation room in order to do so, was a bit much.

What I really loved about this genie obsession, however, was Beckett’s reaction. She quickly realized the direction her husband’s hypothesizing was going in, and her quiet “oh please, no” was perfect on Stana’s part. As was the quick moment of eye contact with the camera. You don't see that very often, and it’s like we were part of a little joke. Overall, I loved how Stana Katic decided to play this episode. Beckett just watches Castle, amused but not exasperated. Even though she begs him not to keep saying there was a genie, and he does it anyway, she watches him with what I can only describe as heart eyes. She doesn’t love him in spite of his silliness. She loves him because of it. That’s true love, folks.

Castle spent the majority of the episode talking about genies, convincing people he was crazy by talking about genies, and... being followed by a genie? The P.I. Office made a cameo in this episode, where Alexis was equally patient about his obsession. The case itself was interesting, but overshadowed by the comedy. There was a street chase, an abandoned warehouse (it’s hard to go a procedural episode without seeing one of those), and a shootout. Someone, give Castle a gun. It’s insane that he’s out there breaking into buildings and hunting down ancient artifact smugglers without a weapon. And even if he technically wasn’t supposed to be breaking into places, you know he’s going to anyway and might as well assume it’s a given that he needs to defend himself.


Jenny went into labor right at the climax of this episode, which was exciting but also just made me wish they would wrap up the mystery sooner. After a medical scare, and a long wait for Beckett, Castle, Lanie, and Espo, Ryan came out and announced he had a son. Who, of course, he named after his best friend. I’m so glad that Ryan got a little bit of a storyline in this episode, and I’m actually a little surprised that this didn’t happen closer to or on the season finale. It’s also disappointing that his storyline hasn’t played a bigger part in this season. I’m willing to bet that if the breakup storyline hadn’t happened, it would have.

Beckett was willing to suspend her disbelief and in a moment of worry, asked Castle to use one of his two remaining wishes on Jenny. You know, on the off chance this whole wish thing was real. He said he already had used both of them on Jenny and the baby. Then followed a really sweet moment between these two (quoted at the end of this review), that included Castle saying he had nothing to wish for. The whole of the episode he was childish and distracted, but when it counts, he’s as serious and grounded as it gets.

It’s just... I don’t want to read into this, but maybe there could be something these two could wish for? Maybe a baby who could grow up with little Sarah and Nicholas Ryan? I’m just putting that out there.

  • “Oprah, I need Oprah!” “Do you even know Oprah?” Martha’s appearance in this episode was short and sweet.
  • It’s a crime that because of the LokSat storyline, we haven't gotten to see Castle and Beckett solving crime in her captain’s office until now. 
  • Buyer’s remorse about being captain? “You get exactly what you wished for, when it turns out it wasn’t what you wanted at all.” “No, I love being Captain… sometimes it just feels like being a kindergarten teacher.”
  • “Oh please, no.” “It’s a genie!” “And there we go.” 
  • I always forget to mention it, but the score is so good on this show. 
  • “You just want to find more out about genies and wishes.” “Well, yeah.”
  • “What's your excuse?” *heart eyes*
  • “That crazy evil genie is after me, man!” “Okay, let’s get you off the crazy train.”
  • “Guys, if you find that lamp and Castle isn’t there I’m never going to hear the end of it. And can you make sure Castle gets the first rub in?” *Ryan and Esposito walk away* “Can’t believe I said that.”
  • “I’m checking if they're magic.” And then he smacked Espo upside the head like he was the silly one.
  • I need a gif of Castle falling through that window onto the pile of carpets.
  • “So you’re nobody doing nothing.” “Pleased to meet you.”
  • “And before you answer remember that I spent six months making an extra lunch for your imaginary friend.”
  • “… your reality-challenged husband.” “I prefer fantasy augmented.”
  • “So after eight years, some of my common sense has finally rubbed off on you?” “No, no, nothing like that. I have no need for genies because I already have everything I could ever wish for.”
  • “[Would you wish for a] time machine?” “Only to go back in time and fall in love you all over again.” “Wow, that was a good answer.” “I know, right?!” These two are lovely and adorable.


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