Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Castle - Child's Play

A murder mystery involving the seemingly-unrelated deaths of an ice-cream truck driver, mob enforcer, and retired police officer send Castle (Nathan Fillion) undercover at a local elementary school in hopes of uncovering the identity of a 2nd Grade witness to one of the shootings. While dealing with twentysome unruly children and a teacher (Michael Hyatt) with serious doubts about their plan, the mystery writer will have to find a way to forge a bond strong enough with the class hoping that one student will fill safe enough to come forward with what they saw.

"Child's Play" is a little too Kindergarten Cop for my tastes, but the scene of Castle playing fairy princess with one of the students (Rachel Eggleston) is undeniably cute. With her fiance busy in the classroom, Beckett (Stana Katic) works the case from another angle trying to find the link between the three victims which leads to fake passports, the reason behind each murder, and the single existing photo of a genocidal killer who will stop at nothing to see it destroyed.

The running subplot of "Child's Play" plays on the insecurities of Alexis (Molly C. Quinn) following her father's return from his disappearance. The episode makes nice use of dovetailing the themes of Castle's over-protectiveness following Alexis' own abduction and offering a touching scene between father and daughter. Speaking of the (best-forgotten) disappearance, the lingering effects continue to fade although I have no doubt the storyline will rear its ugly head to bite Castle and Beckett's happiness, perhaps just in time for sweeps.

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