Good grief. Boston’s silly penchant for pre-empting quality television with ridiculous Patriot games made watching this week’s Castle much more work than usual. ESPN isn’t good enough for you, Boston? But the Internet is a kind and generous thing, so I was able to catch “Last Call” in a close to live fashion. And it was worth all the struggles as the show finished off 2010 on a very nice note.
The case itself was a little muddled, offering plenty of suspects, but not really doing much work to really point the finger at any of them. I actually stumbled on the actual killer early, in a completely misguided attempt to figure out just what it was that got Donny killed. My guess was that Donny had found Mayor Walker’s 1875 bottles empty, and refilled them with his best attempt at what 135 year old booze should taste like. That led me to Heisler killing Donny after figuring out the ruse. So, right murderer, not even close on the motive.
And that’s really the one knock against the episode. It could have used a little more of Heisler to set him up as a big bad. And really, if you’re going to hire Oliver Muirhead (iCarly), why not? It is a small complaint though, when stacked up against what was an otherwise very good episode. The Old Haunt was a fascinating crime scene. Both from the hidden chambers, old New York angle, and from the way Castle went on about its history. But the real treat of the bar may be yet to come. Now that Castle owns the bar, it has to come back, right? Any bets that we’ll see the return of the poker game in the secret basement?
I was a little dubious of the Alexis story this week to start with. It seemed very odd to introduce Gracie (Jillian Clare, Days Of Our Lives) right away and then just ignore her for 40 minutes. But it did come back around in the end, and you do have to grade on a bit of a curve where the Alexis bits are concerned. Given the nature of the show, it’s tough to keep her involved every week without it seeming occasionally forced. Fortunately, the good far outweighs the bad on where that is concerned.
Finally, perhaps the best bit of the episode was the last call at the end. The whole team, singing together as they make for the The Old Haunt. With this being the last episode of the year, it was a very nice way for the show to head off into the holidays, closing out what has been a great first half of the season.