[This is a review of Castle Season 6, Episode 6. There will be SPOILERS.]
There's nothing like the end of October to inspire a scary murder mystery story and nothing quite more frightening than realizing - as a parent - that you no longer have the controlling influence in your child's life. In 'Get A Clue,' Castle manages to blend the two with a fair level of competency, though for as much as the Alexis (Molly Quinn) angle was hyped for this episode, it really serves more as bookends than part of the main plot itself.
In point of fact, the opening sequence is little more than what has already transpired in the awkward triangle between Castle (Nathan Fillion), Alexis, and new boyfriend Pi (Myko Olivier), with Martha (Susan Sullivan) trying to broker peace on all sides. Castle's tendency toward exaggeration is in full bloom on his way to the apartment, and once inside, his smart-mouthed remarks kick in. Granted, the pristinely-set table was once a door and the chairs were salvaged from a dumpster, but all things considered, it's not the dive he makes it out to be, nor is Pi the worst guy a girl could choose to move in with.
Fortunately for everyone, there is an interesting case to take his mind off of the fact that his baby girl has flown the coop and it's out of his control. The ritualistic killing, Freemason symbols, shady monks, and a mysterious letter hinting at hidden treasure are more than enough to get Castle's conspiracy theorist wheels spinning madly out of control. Even Beckett (Stana Katic) tries her hand at theorizing for a very brief second before returning to the evidence at hand to figure out the truth. They do have a fun scene in the chapel/crypt together a la Raiders of the Lost Ark, but not much progress is made on the relationship front.
Like so many of the season 6 episodes, however, the truth is buried under a few layers that might look like the real thing at first blush, but are really a setup for something else. This time around, Nolan Burns (Christopher Cousins) is the one pulling the strings, using a New York Historical Institute fundraiser to help himself to a very real Freemason treasure. But he's the red herring, not the killer. That distinction belongs to the victim's cousin, Henry Collins (Aaron Craven), and the motive can be put down to good old-fashioned family greed.
Family strife brings us full circle to the Alexis story. All throughout the episode, Castle's emotions are like a yo-yo, bobbing up when he thinks the treasure is real, down when they discover it's for a fundraiser and back up again when he puts the clues together like their victim did and discovers the real treasure. And where he's the one blowing things out of proportion in the front end, it's Alexis' turn to bring up the rear. This time his "Sorry" is not enough because his lack of acceptance is that potentially damaging to Pi. Not even make-up ice cream can woo her away. She's made her choices - now it's time for him to make his.
How does this Castle/Alexis storyline work for you? Is it better than the alternative of giving the relationship tension to Beckett and Castle? Is tension necessary at all for viewers to tune in week after week? Also, should Castle and Beckett be moving toward the altar more quickly or is this somewhat leisurely pace agreeable for you?
Castle continues next Monday with, 'Like Father, Like Daughter' @10pm on ABC.