[This is a review of Castle season 6, episode 5. There will be SPOILERS.]
Timing is everything. At least, it is here in the fifth episode of the Castle season 6, 'Time Will Tell.' The premise isn't necessarily unique to television, but it is to the standard crime-drama procedural, which makes it all the more entertaining. The mystery within the mystery is whether or not eccentric Simon Doyle - portrayed by the delightful Chuck-alum, Joshua Gomez - is, in fact, a time-traveling, temporal anthropologist from the year 2035, sent to save the time stream from implosion.
Gomez plays the role to near perfection, spouting off a rapid stream of dialogue delivered in a way that could support Beckett (Stana Katic) and her theory that he's a nut-job and possible killer, or his own claim to be a time traveler. Castle (Nathan Fillion) certainly wants to believe, and with former Vulcan Tim Russ also on the guest star credits, who wouldn't? Special props to whomever gave Espo (Jon Huertas) the Doctor Who line!
At the same time, Castle is also worried about his daughter's future. Alexis (Molly Quinn) has been exhibiting signs of adulthood since last season, but now she's taking her first real flight outside the nest. Clearly, Castle's rant wasn't the impetus for the move since she and Pi (Myko Olivier) already have a place picked out, but it certainly gets the ball rolling in a direction dear ol' dad did not want to go.
Things end with tensions still a bit high, but that should make for some good tales down the road. Here in the present, it's nice to see Beckett giving her two cents on the matter as part of the family.
For as interesting as it's been to watch the two couples and mama bear dance around each other these last few weeks, the flat was starting to feel a bit crowded, so this move is a good thing. It forces both Castle and Alexis to mature, while providing a source of tension for the show that doesn't come from the Castle/Beckett angle. A very nice diversion from the norm in TV land. And it looks like this will get further attention next week as well.
Meanwhile, the question still lingers in the air as to whether or not there was a time traveler in their midst. Though Doyle claims he's never met killer Garett Ward (Jess Allen), Ryan (Seamus Dever) finds a file proving the two were next-door neighbors in the psych ward.
Then again, Doyle disappears several times in the episode only to reappear later when he is most needed. Either way, Castle's timeline theory drawn on the suspect board is all kinds of sci-fi, geeky goodness.
All in all there is a cleverness to the writing that allows it to be fun whether Doyle is telling the truth or not. Hearty belly laughs come alongside heart-pounding chase scenes and near misses. On the one hand, you've got Castle wrestling with the reality that his little girl is growing up alongside a story based on a fictional premise that he's all too eager to embrace. Still, this fits the lighthearted approach to reality that's always been a part of the show, while providing an ending worthy of Christopher Nolan.
What's your verdict: was the time stream actually in jeopardy or is Simon Doyle, temporal anthropologist, just a legend in his own mind? Is this the right move for Alexis or is it too soon? Did anyone else think that Paul Deschile (John R. Colley) could have been Paul Pfeiffer (Josh Saviano) in a different life?
Castle airs Mondays @10pm on ABC.