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TV Review: Castle – “Food to Die For”

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Decisions, decisions. Perhaps nobody knows better than a mystery writer that while the basic plot is simple enough, figuring out how the story itself plays out is a little more difficult. Even for an accomplished scribbler such as Richard Castle (Nathan Fillion). Part of his success comes from writing series books. They build on one another with the same characters, but different situations. Too bad life is not so predictable.

Take the case of the dead chef. How he dies is not exactly impossible to figure out. The overturned mess in the kitchen is a clear indication of an attack of some sort. Dr. Sidney Perlmutter (Ayre Gross), the medical examiner, concurs. The cause of death is blunt force trauma. Unfortunately, dead guy did not hit his head while collapsing in a faint. If he had, the cops would not be investigating.

Worse yet, there is a list of suspects a mile long. Why? The victim is one of the premier chefs in town, who rose to fame by appearing on a reality television show to compete for top honors. He wins with a technique of using liquid nitrogen and a devotion to molecular gastronomy. Think of it this way – break down food into its most basic elements and prepare them in unexpected ways.

No wonder Rocco DiSpirito makes a cameo appearance in this episode. You'll have to watch and see if he turns out to be the killer. There's an obvious suspect, but a huge twist lies at the end.

Det. Kate Beckett (Stana Katic) is still involved with Det. Demming (Michael Trucco, Battlestar Galatica) from burglary. Castle may not like the possibility of losing his partner in crime to another guy, but it's not as though she is choosing from a bad guy-good guy situation. Beckett is also an adult who is allowed to make her own choices.

Alexis (Molly C. Quinn), Castle's daughter, has a choice of her own to make. A friend invites her to visit the Hamptons for the weekend. Upcoming Advanced Placement exams do not make for an easy resolution. Especially when Alexis discovers the exam first on the list is chemistry. Microscopes and travel are not exactly compatible.

An even bigger storyline is that of relationships between characters, whether romantically or otherwise. For Castle and Beckett, working on cases together brings a certain level of trust. Beckett knows Castle has been married before, and which one of those produced Alexis. For his part, Castle is well aware Beckett's mom died years ago. He even came face to face with the killer. The question now is who hired the guy. With only two episodes remaining, it's anybody's guess whether or not an answer comes by the end of the season.

It's no wonder Castle is a tad perturbed if Beckett starts to see someone on a romantic level, and the guy is another person entirely. Part of the problem stems from having lots of money and a string of lousy lovers. Having a mother and daughter love you is nice, but an extra person to care about is pleasant as well.

Beckett, then, should be happy if Castle decides to go out with another woman. After all, she is involved with a decent man. I assume so, anyway. Nothing has been shown to indicate Demming is evil incarnate, but things could change down the road. The reality is a little harder to take.

The season is almost over, but a third is guaranteed. Perhaps it is time to begin thinking about future guest stars. With Fillion's work on Firefly, there are surely some cast members who could be coaxed into service. Felicia Day from Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog may fit in nicely. Susan Sullivan has a link to a former television show, Falcon Crest. Calling Robert Foxworth! The mini-reunion would make for wonderful watching.

No breaks this late in the game. Watch May 10 and May 15, Monday nights at 10 for all new Castle episodes!

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