Season 6, Episode 11 (Deep Cover)
It’s a Castle family reunion! Not only does Castle get to reunite with his errant CIA father, but so does Martha, who last consciously saw the man some forty years ago. Mother and father get a few scenes to reminisce about their one-night stand, but ultimately, it is mother and son who are in each other’s arms as father watches in disguise from down the street. Unfortunately, Anderson Cross (Castle’s father’s latest codename) long ago adopted a life that would not have allowed him to stay permanently in Martha’s or Castle’s life as a husband and father. He kept his eye on them throughout the years, but anything else would have been impossible. Therefore, they could never be a proper family. However, this episode gave Martha closure on her relationship, and gave both her and Castle a chance to reflect on their family ties with each other as well as Beckett and Alexis.
Castle really wants to trust and know his father. This is unmistakeable as he tries to initiate conversation and discuss more than the case at hand (a seemingly routine murder that soon turns into a spy heist until it is resolved in as routine a fashion as possible). He introduces Cross to Beckett as “your future father-in-law” because I’m sure he wishes with all his heart that they could truly be one big happy family. Regardless of the level of their relationship, however, Cross is still Castle’s father and thus will be Beckett’s father-in-law whether or not she ever sees him again.
The key moment in this episode is when Castle insists on introducing Beckett to Cross and getting her to believe in Castle if not in Cross’s story. By the end of this week’s adventure, the ties in the Castle family are stronger and Castle realises how he wants to not be his father and be there for Beckett in their impending marriage. For her part, Beckett is now part of the strange and CIA-connected Castle family, and she puts Castle and Cross before her duty as an NYPD officer. (Although, in her mind, she likely reconciles the two together.) It is nice to see the family coming together.
Season 7, Episode 11 (Journey to the Centre of Toronto)
Pleasantly, and unusually from a police procedural, this week didn’t feature any murders. There was no corpse to talk over, no mysterious deaths, and any actual deaths were speculative at the least.
Instead of a murder, the crime in the opening scene this week was a robbery of a jewellery store, and in lieu of subsequent deaths, there were subsequent robberies of another jewellery store, a bank, and a science laboratory. The common thread? Diamonds.
Since Detective Murdoch is not uniquely a homicide detective, investigating the crimes falls into Stationhouse 4’s jurisdiction and Murdoch’s duty. What made these robberies especially fascinating was that at the same time as the robberies, a mysterious, earthquake-like tremor would pass underneath the streets of Toronto, rising up through the floors to commit the crimes and disappearing back under the streets again. The tunnels it dug were subsequently filled in again when the machine (dubbed by Murdoch as a “digging machine” and humourously by Inspector Brackenreid as a “screwing machine”) reversed direction.
Thus, the episode turns into a machine-hunting expedition involving multiple seismographs and maps, as well as a side-trip to the museum where Dr. Ogden, Dr. Grace, and Constable Crabtree meet Dr. Gordon, a fictional female geologist-adventuress who formerly conducted digs in the Yucatan Peninsula. Dr. Gordon is convinced that she has found evidence to support the Hollow Earth Theory and that there are a race of subterranean, intelligent, human-like creatures who inhabit the underground. Crabtree, of course, is utterly convinced of the theory and that these “mole-people” are attacking Toronto with their digging machine. The others, even Dr. Gordon herself, are sceptical of Crabtree’s theory. However, the museum does relate to the episode’s mystery – if not in the way that Crabtree thinks.
What this week’s episode does well is a) give the audience a break from murders, and b) take an outdated but real scientific theory and make a mystery about it. This is a humourous and entertaining (and slightly steampunk) story that keeps the audience guessing, but invites us to try to solve the crime as well. It is Fun With Seismographs rather than Who Killed the Corpse of the Week, but it maintains the show’s style. It was an enjoyable hour and certainly an episode worth rewatching if the DVD sets weren’t so expensive.
Season 5, Episode 12 (Sleight of Hand aka Heart of Darkness)
Thankfully, no Sloan this week. She certainly was not missed. Her future is hinted at, however, in that a small-time crook gets in way over his head with the Montreal mob, and meanwhile, Jake Doyle gets involved because unbeknownst to him, the Montreal mobster holds him responsible for the events in Episode 7. The situation is resolved, but not before small-time crook Oscar Noonan gets put through the gamut of emotions (since he is an orphan with no family, of which the mob takes advantage in the most cruel way) and beaten multiple times. Meanwhile, Jake Doyle makes new enemies in the criminal underworld. While this mobster is dying and likely no longer a threat, other mobsters will hear of Jake and come after him.
In other news, Des moves in with Jake at the office because he was rejected for an apartment at the last minute (probably due to his lack of a regular paycheque) and Mal decided that while Des could freely date Tinny, he could not do so while living under the Doyle roof. This is actually understandable — it is one thing to watch someone you love date your precious granddaughter whom you raised, and it is another thing for them to do so while living in your house. This is also practical in that this way, Des and Tinny have somewhere else to go to be together. They will have more privacy and Mal will not have to watch or listen to anyone — even a young man whom he trusts like a son — be intimate with his precious little girl.
Furthermore, having Des and Jake under the same roof allows for their relationship to develop further. Des has always adored and looked up to Jake as a role model, adopted brother, and friend. Much to Jake’s annoyance, he has grown to love the clumsy little computer whiz who worships the ground he walks on. Obviously, Des is hoping to have more time with his idol, while Jake is going to take pains to avoid him. There is no doubt that he will walk in on Des and Tinny making out on the couch soon. That episode, or at least that scene, will be hilarious unless it involves Sloan blackmailing them. At that point, I would be pleased if they gave Sloan a one-way ticket to anywhere else.
Finally, Leslie has a subplot wherein she learns that her boss is investigating Tinny. She is convinced that his investigations have to do with getting at Jake, but she is soon startled to discover that it isn’t Tinny’s connection to Jake that the inspector is worried about, but her connection to her biological father, wanted criminal Kevin Crocker, who will make an appearance next week in what looks like a memorable episode.
This show wraps up its season prior to the 2014 Sochi Olympics, so there are only three weeks and four episodes left. Thankfully, they look like a good wrap-up: Crocker next week, followed by a “crossover” episode with Murdoch Mysteries (I’m guessing in return for an ancestor of Doyle on Murdoch, we’ll get a descendant of Murdoch on Doyle), and finishing with a two-hour season finale.
How soon good things come to an end…