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TV Review: Castle – “The Double Down”

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New York is well known for its wealth of things to do at all hours, hence the title of "City That Never Sleeps." This week's episode was built around one of those nocturnal events, basketball. The scene of the crime? Not exactly. There are actually two victims in the episode, which only heightens the mystery surrounding them both.

At first, more than one crime scene does not seem too unusual. It is a big city with lots and lots of people living in it. More than a few others visit on a regular basis, so it stands to reason multiple victims could be killed at the same time. Leave it to Castle (Nathan Fillion) for some unique insight and a mountain of laughs.

The writers use Castle as a way to poke some fun at the world of language. Victim #1 has writing on her face, with one word misspelled. Fillion has some wonderful lines when he harps on the topic of proper grammar in front of Det. Kate Beckett (Stana Katic) and later, a witness brought in for a round of questioning. Considering Fillion is playing a bestselling novelist, the cheeky delivery is a nice ironic touch.

Even better is the bet between Castle and two others who are direct underlings to Beckett. Ryan and Esposito are partners, which makes them the perfect foils. Seamus Deaver and Jon Huertas portray likeable guys who enjoy the business of being a cop.

More than once, Ryan's girlfriend has been mentioned. Will we get to see her before the season is complete? Perhaps. They don't seem to have been together long, so I am wondering if she understands what it is really like to get involved with someone in law enforcement. A realistic view means knowing Ryan could get shot, or be killed in the line of duty. Having her pregnant is also a possibility. I'm sure Castle could give Ryan a few tips about parenthood.

The guilty party is a bit of a shock. It's not particularly complicated when the solution is revealed, but the result is unexpected. Of course, it all depends on how much attention was paid to begin with.

Lanie (Tamala Jones) is hot this week! The medical examiner has always been pretty, but a certain dress she wears is eye catching. The red shimmering sassiness is a fun visual concept. My favorite line out of the entire episode is Lanie's response to noticing Castle appreciate her loveliness. It's slightly risque, but this show is on late enough to get away with it.

Martha (Susan Sullivan) and Alexis (Molly C. Quinn) provide a bit of calm as a respite from the grittiness of homicide. These two strong women walk through life with their heads held high, no matter how trying the circumstances. They give Castle a home life, while Beckett is still wrestling with the death of her mother. She was a homicide victim, too. It's entirely possible the culprit will only be revealed at the season finale.

Compared to the premiere, this episode was a little lackluster. A crime takes place, and people try and solve it. Granted, the mid-season point has yet to arrive. Since Stephen J. Cannell and Michael Connelly kicked things off last week ("Deep in Death"), it's time for a few well known actors to keep viewers tuning in. The easiest ones would be former castmates. Fillion and Sullivan come to mind first. I also think Ruben Santiago-Hudson , who plays the chief, could bring abroad those he's worked with. More than likely, they are ones everyone recognizes.

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