[This is a review of Castle Season 6, Episode 15. There will be SPOILERS.]
After a week away to let the Olympics hype wear off a bit, Castle returns tonight in good form. And while Valentine's Day may have come and gone, "Smells Like Teen Spirit" is all about the things we do for love (albeit, with a supernatural twist).
Yes, love is in the air and there are three types of love on display this time around. The obvious one is the maturing love between Castle (Nathan Fillion) and Beckett (Stana Katic) as they march ever closer to their wedding. Then there's the unlikely prep school teen whose innocent, protective love of a girl lands him in a world of trouble. The third grazes the surface of the cruel, inward, twisting self-love the cliquish girls demonstrate and whose only intent is to look out for number one.
The poster child for this selfish love is Madison Beaumont (Natasha Hall). A mashup of any and all entitled female prep school kids, she manages the social scene at school and her extracurriculars include several counts of breaking and entering. Intimidation is her weapon of choice, though it turns around to bite her in the end. Ex-boyfriend, Riley (Sam Towers, pictured below) is the only guy smart enough to get out before she can suck him under, too.
Not quite so valiant is Lucas (Leigh Parker). The telekinetic special effects are his attempt to ward off Madison's attacks on his crush, Jordan Gibbs (Hannah Marks). Unfortunately for him, Madison is the only one not buying his tricks and he becomes her next blackmail victim. Kudos to the writers for keeping him around as a believable red herring for the murderer until the end reveal that it's Madison's "friend" who killed her.
Woven through all of this are the show's leads doing what they do best.
Castle, of course, is in seventh heaven with the more supernatural elements of the case and gets bonus points for namedropping the Hulk and Stephen King in the same breath. He's also feeling a bit nostalgic, going back to his former stomping grounds. The scenes with he and Headmaster Duncan (Sam Anderson) are comic gold.
Neither of our two lovebirds, however, attended their respective senior proms. Kate chose poetry over boys, while Castle got expelled for putting a cow on the roof of the school. Obviously they are going to end up dancing at the Winter Ball, and obviously they're going to find "their song" before the credits roll.
But the final minutes manage to avoid most cliched pitfalls, the acting is spectacular, and Andrew Belle's "In My Veins" is the perfect song for the moment.
Castle returns next Monday with "Room 147" @10pm on ABC.