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TV Review: Castle – “Sucker Punch”

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After last week's romantic interlude with Alyssa Milano ("Rose for Everafter"), Castle goes back this week to the one storyline which has dominated the run so far. Who killed the mother of Det. Kate Beckett (Stana Katic)? The fact of homicide isn't in question, but nobody, not even Rick Castle (Nathan Fillion), has been able to say exactly what moniker the guilty party goes by.

This dilemma is answered, albeit in a roundabout way. A man lies dead in an alley, but that is hardly a cause for concern. Cops see dead people all the time. However, this is Jack Coonan, rumored to run with the local Irish mafia. Beckett has the weighty task of telling Dick Coonan (Jay R. Ferguson), the victim's brother, what happened. The solution is easy, right? Not exactly.

Lanie (Tamala Jones), the medical examiner, realizes the stab wounds on Coonan are similar to those which Beckett's mom had ten years ago. To be sure, she asks a forensic expert, Clark Murray (Robert Picardo Stargate: Atlantis), to have a look see. Considering Castle already consulted Murray to look into the original death ("A Death in the Family"), it's not surprising he makes a second appearance in regards to NYPD.

Although the killer is discovered in both cases, the question of who wanted Beckett's mom dead is still up in the air. I can think of a few people, although they hardly make logical sense. A colleague, most likely, would either ensure Beckett is transferred elsewhere or the person leaves immediately. The D.A.? Surely whoever is in this position knows better.

There is, however, an obvious choice — Beckett's dad. He is played by Scott Paulin, perhaps best known for his work on A Year in the Life. Papa Beckett seems sad enough, but appearances can be deceiving. Now, having your wife killed so your daughter becomes a cop is a bit pointless. Then again, people are not always rational.

Jones and Katic have a strong scene as the emotions run high. The solid acting ability of these actresses is nice to watch. Katic is understandably upset, while Jones holds her ground with a admirable determination.

Ruben Santiago Hudson also makes a good effort. Capt. Montgomery clearly cares about the group he works with, but sees the job must come first. Emotions can override judgment, which means innocent people may be hurt or killed.

Putting the final piece of the puzzle in place just might come during the season finale, whenever that is. Since this is season two, a handful of episodes are left.

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