Richard Castle’s Hitchcock Rip-off: The Sequel
With Captain Gates away on vacation, Beckett tries to take a day off from the station so she can do her paperwork at home and spend some time with Castle. However, in an admittedly unexpected change of pace, Castle gets called in on a case for a change and goes to meet with his prospective new client.
As it turns out. Castle and his new client Eva Whitfield already know each other. The two had gone to high school together and they apparently knew each other well enough that Eva copied off Castle’s chemistry homework. Once the two get done exchanging pleasantries, Eva explains that she thinks her husband Cole is cheating on her and wants Castle to follow him and get proof. Castle is reluctant at first but since he’s not exactly an in-demand P.I., he agrees to take the job.
Castle follows Cole to a restaurant where he’s talking with his business partners. Thanks to a highly conspicuous (though somehow unnoticed) microphone, Castle is able to eavesdrop on the conversation. Apparently, Cole and his associates have gotten a buyout offer on their company and while the other two are interested in the offer, Cole is firmly against it. Cole eventually convinces both of them not to sell and the two associates leave. Cole elects to stay behind, telling them he has a “doctor’s appointment.” As you might expect, the so-called doctor appointment is actually a rendezvous with his mistress, of which Castle takes plenty of photographs.
Castle calls Beckett to give her an update on his case. He says he needs to drop the pictures off at Eva’s house and then he’ll come home. When Castle makes it to the house however, he hears a very loud scream coming from inside. Castle looks through a window and sees a bloodied Eva being dragged through her kitchen. Castle watches as the assailant stuffs Eva’s body into the drunk of her car and drives off. Castle gets in his own car and follows after him. He tails the car to a secluded wooded area and tries to call Beckett but thanks to bad cell reception is unable to (why did he wait this long to call her exactly?). Castle sees the car has finally stopped and tries following Eva’s killer into the woods. Unfortunately, the killer gets the drop on him and knocks him unconscious.
Castle wakes up to find that the killer and both his and Eva’s car have disappeared. He wanders around for a bit until he can finally get a cell phone signal and calls Beckett to tell her what happened.
Castle tries explaining to the detective on the case, Detective Neely, what happened but she seems skeptical about the whole thing and is quick to point out that Castle only got his P.I. license a month ago. I’m not really sure why that would be relevant since a lack of experience isn’t known to impair eyesight. Also, there’s that little fact that Castle worked as a consultant for the NYPD for over six years (a well known fact among the NYPD at this point), making him fairly experienced with crime scenes. Despite the detective’s doubts, Castle is adamant that Cole killed Eva.
After Castle’s car is found, Castle and the cops make their way to Eva’s house. When the cops question Cole about Eva, he claims that he got home about twenty minutes before the cops showed up to find out that Eva left him after finding out about his affair and even has a Dear John letter to prove it. When the cops ask for where Cole was during Eva’s alleged death, he says that he was at the office. Castle continues to insist that Cole is guilty but his case isn’t helped after the cops investigate the kitchen and find it spotless save for a few drops of blood shown under a UV light (which Cole explains came from Eva cutting herself the day before). Cole finally catches on to Castle’s not so subtle accusations and asks him and the cops to leave.
The next day, Castle continues to obsess over what happened to Eva and is starting to sound even crazier with his conspiracy theories than usual. He brings up Cole’s flimsy alibi but Beckett tells him that Cole has already admitted to actually being with his mistress at the time of the murder. Castle convinces Beckett to talk to the mistress even though the case is out of her jurisdiction (though you wouldn’t know it judging by how involved she, Ryan and Esposito end up getting involved with this case). Sadly, Beckett gets nowhere with the mistress and she backs up Cole’s alibi.
Meanwhile Castle is watching Cole at Eva’s house and he apparently hasn’t gotten any better at his subtlety since last week because he blows his cover almost immediately. Just before Detective Neely escorts Castle off the property, Cole claims that Eva called him twenty minutes ago to tell him the marriage was over and she cleaned out several of their joint bank accounts totaling about $7.4 million.
Back at the station, Beckett confirms to Castle that Cole actually did receive a call from Eva’s cell phone a few hours ago and that $7.4 million has been mysteriously moved to a Swiss bank account. However, Ryan finds out Cole has been married once before and that his first wife died in a suspicious hiking accident but the cops weren’t able to make a case against him.
Now that Beckett, Ryan and Esposito are on board with Castle, they start looking into things a little deeper. They trace the alleged phone call made by Eva to a cell tower near where Cole’s mistress lives indicating she was the one that made the call.
Naturally, Beckett tries interrogating the mistress again but Cole’s lawyer (played oddly enough by Lyla from Arrow) shows up to stop the interview. The mistress denies using Eva’s phone and says that she called in at work at the last minute while the call was made. After the alibi is confirmed, the suspicious location of the call causes Castle to change his tune dramatically. He now thinks that Eva faked her death in the vain of Vertigo (how nice of the writers to admit they’re ripping off another Hitchcock movie) to frame Cole but that theory goes out the window pretty quickly when Beckett gets a call that Eva’s body has been found in the Hudson River.
The Plot “Thickens”
When Ryan and Esposito tell the mistress about finding Eva’s body, she finally admits that she wasn’t with Cole when Castle saw her getting killed. Beckett then gets a call from Lanie (who makes her first appearance in almost two months), who tells her that several of Cole’s hairs were found in Eva’s fingernails, which is enough for Beckett (or rather Detective Meely) to go and arrest him. Unfortunately they get to the house to find that Cole has hung himself.
The case appears to be over but Castle isn’t convinced. He doesn’t buy that a narcissist like Cole would kill himself especially considering that with his money and connections, it was still very possible he could’ve beaten the charge. Castle goes back to thinking Eva’s attack at her home was staged and figures whoever her accomplice was double crossed her and killed both her and Cole. After some off screen investigative work, his prime suspect is Scott Galloway, one of Cole’s business partners (who Castle saw during Cole’s lunch meeting at the beginning of the episode). He theorizes that he helped Eva set up Cole to gain full control of the company and accept the before mentioned buyout offer to get himself out of debt. Beckett isn’t fully convinced but she does agree to look into Scott’s alibi. Castle’s theory doesn’t pan out but his suspicions make the detectives look a little further into some of Cole’s other business associates.
The detectives find out that Cole had been seeing a third woman on the side (which is revealed to be his alibi for Eva’s attack), who turns out to be the wife of the third person at the earlier lunch meeting, Robert James. Robert admits to helping Eva stage the attack but doesn’t know who killed her and Cole. However he says he talked to her the day after the “attack”, where she admitted it wasn’t her idea in the first place and she was starting to have second thoughts. The detectives quickly discover the mastermind is in fact Cole’s lawyer. She had been a close friend of Cole’s first wife and decided to join his company in order to find a way to get revenge on him.
After the case finally ends, Castle begins to show a waning enthusiasm for his P.I. business. I suppose we’ll find out soon enough if this leads anywhere.
Ryan and Esposito
While the mystery was happening this week, Ryan was busy having an unhealthy fixation with Esposito’s love life. Ever since Esposito broke up with Lanie, Ryan and his wife have been obsessed with setting Esposito up on a blind date so they can have somebody to go with them on couple’s ski weekend. Esposito is understandably hesitant about this but changes his tune when Ryan shows him a picture of his would-be date.
During the date, Esposito finds out that Ryan signed him for a dating website without telling him and needless to say isn’t happy about it. Later on he tells Ryan that he actually used the profile to set up a date with a “spoken word poet/exotic dancer” (much to Ryan’s chagrin).
I liked this episode better than I expected to but it’s still riddled with problems. The murder scheme began to feel convoluted around the two-thirds mark. There seemed to be a number of ways this could’ve gone wrong before it even started. For example, if Cole had done even a basic background check before hiring his lawyer, he might’ve known about her vendetta against him. What if Castle had actually been smart enough to call Beckett or 911 during the supposed attack instead of well after? In short there are too many plot holes for me to fully endorse this week’s episode.
It also suffers from one of the big things they suffered from last week which is too many red herrings. This week they came in the form of a cash strapped business partner, multiple mistresses and not to mention the homicide detective who was supposed to be investigating this case.
Well next week, the day I’ve been dreading all season has finally come. We will finally be forced to endure the return of 3XK and in a two-parter no less. Tune in next week if you must but you’ve been warned.