Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Castle - The Wrong Stuff

Richard Castle (Nathan Fillion) goes to Mars (or at least to Mars One). The latest episode of Castle gives us a locked room mystery with a Castle twist when one of the astronauts in a simulated Mars mission turns up dead. Getting the chance to enter the simulation to investigate, a giddy Castle follows Beckett (Stana Katic) into the man-created Martian landscape in search of a killer.

The setting of the episode certainly offers a unique crime scene, but what makes "The Wrong Stuff" work, besides feeding Castle's sci-fi love, is the structure of the locked room mystery which produces a surprising number of suspects and red herrings including a former astronaut (Matthew Marsden) who washed out of the program, the estranged husband (David DeSantos) of one of the astronauts (Dilshad Vadsaria), a competitor (Maxwell Caulfield) stealing design plans for their own private launch, and the person (Konstantin Lavysh) inside the simulation who was feeding him the intelligence. The truth, however, is a bit more complicated including the use of the computer intelligence to both commit and cover-up the crime in order to save the mission.

It may not have the weight of some of the show's best episodes but the episode certainly provides its share of fun moments including a humorous scene between Castle and Beckett while hunting some "thing" in the tunnels underneath the simulation. The episode's B-story reintroduces the idea of the increasingly cramped Castle apartment (and the couple's love/hate relationship with the bustle and lack of privacy). This leads one supporting character to make a surprise announcement while suggesting more changes on the horizon for the Castle family.

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