ABC’s ‘Castle’ season 8, episode 11 review: ‘Dead Red’ and a surprising family reunion

CastleGoing into Monday night’s all-new episode of “Castle,” we had some definite concerns when it comes to whether or not “Dead Red” would be something up our alley insofar as interesting storytelling goes. Stories regarding organized crime / mobs are not always our favorites, and that is where we thought we were going with the arrival of “Spartacus” alum Nick Tarabay as a Russian official very much invested in having his own stamp of justice on a case.

So what unfolded after this? We’d describe it primarily as a fun romp that also thankfully managed to have some emotional moments to boot, thanks to Castle getting a chance to actually see his stepmother Rita in the flesh. She was connected to what Beckett continues to her on behind-the-scenes with LokSat, and this afforded him a nice opportunity to vocalize a few of his concerns about what is happening in a way that worked for his character. It wasn’t that he was bashing Beckett, but expressing his frustrations that nobody was able to tell him anything in a factual way.

The other scene-stealer in this episode was Tarabay, who was fun throughout given that his character was 1) rough around the edges and 2) a surprisingly enormous fan of all of Castle’s novels. He used his connections for force him and Beckett to work together, so there was a nice way around the whole “we cannot work together because of our relationship status” argument that has dominated the past two episodes.

We’re still not sure that “Dead Red” brought us the same sense of fun that we had in “Tone Death,” but much of that just comes down to personal preference first and foremost. Everyone is going to have certain episodes that they enjoy more than others, and for now the majority of our satisfaction is that “Castle” is not making any more enormous mistakes. Grade: B+.

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