There were a lot of things to enjoy about Monday night’s “Castle,” though at the same time there were a few things to be frustrated about.
First and foremost, we’re not going to try to get into the mystery as to why Stana Katic is not in every episode this season. It is a little weird and jarring, but we just gotta live with it. We’re happy when she’s there and feel like “Castle” in its purest form is her and Beckett solving a case together, but it’s also unfair to penalize the rest of the cast for something that they don’t have any control over. Therefore, we’ll try to look at “The GDS” objectively.
Clearly, one thing that the writers are trying to in these episodes without Stana is compensate by bringing in some of Nathan Fillion’s former “Firefly” co-stars. Earlier this season, it was Adam Baldwin as Ethan Slaughter, and for this episode it was Summer Glau. We’ve always been a Summer fan, and have long wondered why she hasn’t secured more of a regular role on some other show, but we are more than happy to have her here as Kendall Frost, a private investigator who like Castle, was in a race against time in order to solve a case to get invited into the Greatest Detective Society, a club featuring the best mystery-solvers out there. Gerald McRaney was fun as the head of the group, and while the case itself was somewhat straightforward, there were a few nice moments in here. Watching Rick, Kendall, and Hayley go undercover at a prominent director’s home was worthy of a laugh, and it was nice to see Rick emerge victorious in the end.
Now, things get a little tricky. We’ve never liked the story of Rick’s missing time, and we are also not fond of LokSat. We’re still not entirely clear just how Rick went from Thailand to Los Angeles or why he cared so much about this in his missing time, but he had his memory wiped to protect Beckett, feeling that what he knew would get her killed.
Also, Hayley was in on it the entire time, at least in that she encountered Rick a year and a half before and tried to look after him and his daughter out of fondness for them. All of this was certainly convenient, but at the same time it’s nice that all of this is connected, if for no other reason than that it’s easier to wrap up and the show can get back into what is to us more interesting: The humor and crime-solving. “The GDS” was at its best when there wasn’t all of the mythology to wade through. Glau and Fillion still have great chemistry, and the sideplot with Ryan and Esposito trying to prank Lanie about her new boyfriend (it’s great to see Lanie have something to do!) made us laugh. It’s just too bad that we had to spend so much time on a long-term story that doesn’t feel right for this world. Grade: B-.
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