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TV Review: Castle – “Tick, Tick, Tick…” and “Boom”

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Since this is a double-episode that aired over a two week period, I’ve decided to make one article summing up both parts. It makes more sense that way than trying to break the two up… especially after considering how the plot worked out.

Lord, what fools these mortals be! A famous line, to be sure, but it definitely fits in with the case which Castle (Nathan Fillion) and Beckett (Stana Katic) find themselves trying to solve. It’s not an easy one and this time they need a little bit of help. Multiple victims each fit into a single pattern and indicate a serial killer. Enter FBI Special Agent Jordan Shaw (Dana Delany, Desperate Housewives) to help out.

Anybody who has ever seen Delany in action in one of her many television roles is familiar with how adept she is at taking on a variety of characters. Her appearance on Castle is no different. Here, she is a strong female character and consequently placed in conflict with Beckett. Her presence certainly helps liven up what could potentially be a dull storyline otherwise.

Delany presents an image of what Katic’s character could be like if she had a family in addition to her regular job. The balancing act is tricky to be sure, but it can work. An occasional phone call home to her kids and supportive husband makes up for missed birthdays. The life is sweet, much sweeter than the guy the cops are chasing.

Shaw realizes the perp is highly intelligent, although perhaps not smart enough to understand that Nikki Heat, the main character in Castle’s new book, isn’t real. He may actually think Beckett is Nikki! A very smart nutcase is a serious problem, as Beckett finds out after he sets off a bomb in her apartment. You’ll just have to watch to learn whether or not she makes it out alive.

I have to wonder who was responsible for the promos on the second of the two episodes. In the promo they showed a scene inside a car. I won’t ruin it for you if you haven’t seen the promo or the episode, but sheesh. With that one bit, viewers almost didn’t need to watch this week. Think, ABC. The idea is to ensure people tune in, but to still keep something back for that surprise element.

On the homefront in this story, Martha (Susan Sullivan), Castle’s mom, has a dilemma to handle. Does she move in with Chet, her sometime beau? It’s hardly an easy decision. After all, Castle might not need her as much anymore, but granddaughter Alexis (Molly C. Quinn) is still in school and could use a woman role model. Watching the domestic scene play out is a sweet moment in a heart-stopping episode. It’s part of the reason Castle stays on the air.

Speaking of, there’s been nothing new lately about Beckett’s dead mom. Did the killer this week play a part somehow? Most likely not, serial killers tend to be very specific in choosing their victims. The real story with Beckett’s mom has yet to come out. I have to believe the police would have considered Beckett’s dad a suspect when the crime first happened, and eliminated him, even as the man who put out the contract, eventually.

The answers might not come out for a while yet. Perhaps we’ll see them in the finale, which is probably going to be sometime in May. Repeats have been airing a lot recently, which tells me there are still a handful of new episodes left in the run. The exact number remains to be seen.

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