This week’s mystery starts out promising enough when the victim (William Farwick, aged 25) is found with a pool cue impaled in his chest. Esposito describes him as being an anarchist who worked as an insurance agent by day and pool hustler by night. When the detectives question a manager at one of the pool halls he frequents, he says that the victim claimed to have a deal with the devil (wasn’t this the plot of a Supernatural episode?). To make the case even more suspicious, when they review some security footage outside the victim’s apartment, the door is shown to be opening and closing on it’s own indicating that the killer was invisible. Naturally, Castle is tickled pink by this development.
This of course sparks one of Castle and Beckett’s infamous Mulder/Scully debates but something feels off about it this time. It might be because Beckett isn’t given much of a leg to stand on for the side of logic on this case. Castle dispenses the kind of insane theories that fans have come to expect from him but Beckett gives some unusually weak counter arguments. These include that a gust of wind must have blown the door shut (I’m 98% sure they used that excuse in Cabin in the Woods), the killer sneaked in through the victim’s apartment window (which Castle points out is 19 floors up with no fire escape) and my personal favorite is that the victim had a psychotic break and impaled himself on a pool cue.
Things become a little more serious when some crucial evidence has mysteriously disappeared prompting Castle to change his theory from the devil to the invisible man. While Beckett takes this with some understandable eye-rolling, the theory gains some credibility when they return to the victim’s apartment in search of his key card after finding out his insurance job is a front. While there they are suddenly attacked by an unseen force that attempts to strangle Beckett and punches Castle in the face a few times. Despite the two being shaken up by the incident they are able to find the victim’s key card and trace it to an unlisted facility.
Once Castle and Beckett arrive at the mysterious building, they are quickly met by a team of armed guards. After that initial excitement ends, Castle comes to the conclusion that they’ve stumbled onto a government facility that specializes in developing an invisibility serum. In a rather shocking turn of events, it turns Castle is pretty much right. The lead doctor however, is quick to dismiss the invisibility serum angle as “science-fiction” and that in reality they are working on a highly advanced cloaking device (yes, that sounds much less ridiculous) in which the victim was one of their leading researchers.
After that things become considerably less interesting and after finding the victim’s computer geek neighbor (through his World of Warcraft–esque account no less) they find out that the killer was an angry ex-girlfriend the victim was using to help further his invisibility research and she used his invisibility suit to kill him undetected and to attack Castle and Beckett later at his apartment unseen. How she knew about the suit is anybody’s guess. I’ve also got to say that after all the buildup with this episode it became rather disappointing and predictable in the end (and as I recall Castle’s poker group frown on this kind of writing).
Castle and Beckett
When we first see Castle and Beckett together, the couple are still trying to work out some leftover awkwardness from the previous Castle episodes which has apparently involved watching a lot of movies so they don’t have to talk to each other. It also turns out that they haven’t been intimate with each other since before Castle disappeared and they are finally ready to get things going again. This quickly proves to be easier said than done as they are being constantly interrupted by phone calls to Beckett and the two struggle for the majority of the episode to get some alone time.
Ryan’s New Job
Meanwhile Ryan is having some problems of his own. He arrives at the crime scene with a suspicious stain on his shirt that smells like alcohol. He claims that it was accidentally spilled on him as he was leaving his apartment but the other detectives are skeptical. He’s also coming into work with some mysterious marks on him, though the big red flag for Esposito is when he notices that Ryan has body glitter on him. He accuses Ryan of cheating on his wife (that’s the second time in three episodes he automatically assumes the worst in his close friends) though Ryan eventually admits that he’s been moonlighting as a bouncer at a male strip club (which of course gives Esposito a good chuckle) after doing the math on how much it’s going to cost to send his infant daughter to college.
Let me just start by saying this was a weird episode. While there were some amusing quips from Castle, this might very well be the shows most ridiculous premise. I probably would have been okay with this it made the mystery any more interesting but it doesn’t. Especially when after all the angles they could have played with this, it all boils down to a scorned lover. It’s actually pretty remarkable at how humdrum they can make an episode that involves invisibility. This wasn’t as bad as the Castle premiere but there was still a lot to desired.