Week P – Wacky Relatives

2013-2014 Castle cast Season 6CASTLE

Season 6, Episode 12 (Limelight)

Fame is fleeting, but family lasts forever.

This week’s Castle brought in a fictional world-famous starlet who went from cute child-star to teeny-bopper to hard-core addict and partygirl.  At first, she appears to be the murder victim, but as it turns out, the body in the morgue belongs to the star’s body-double.  The real star is found, at least temporarily safe, and a search for the murderer takes off.

Meanwhile, Alexis is having second thoughts about her life.  She is no longer enjoying being somewhat estranged from her father, living with her boyfriend, and where her life seems to be headed.  However, she feels conflicted because a) she has a lease; b) her boyfriend has done nothing wrong; and c) she doesn’t want to hear “I told you so” from her dad.  While her life appears perfectly fine on the surface, unlike the partygirl whose life is visibly crumbling, she is facing considerable turmoil.  Character-wise, she is only nineteen or twenty, which is still young, but Alexis has always been portrayed as an old soul.  This sort of angst hits her harder than many young women, but she also has better coping mechanisms than the not-victim-of-the-week.

Alexis is also lucky in that she does still have a good relationship with her father.  Hopefully, he does not say “I told you so”, because he shouldn’t need to.  That is something parents need to be careful about.  The similar “I didn’t think he was right for you, but I’m glad you came to that conclusion on your own” is a much better response.  As for her lease, Castle should have no trouble paying it off if necessary (or paying out Alexis’s boyfriend) and making arrangements with his daughter for her to pay him back.  As I said, Alexis is still very young, and even still, that is what parents and family members are for.  Alexis is certainly not the type to just assume that her father will bail her out with no conditions – she said as much when she worried that she had a lease.

Finally, Alexis was concerned about hurting her boyfriend’s feelings since he had not really done anything wrong.  This is extremely difficult to handle.  Alexis is still a nice young woman – a “good girl”, if you will.  She cares about others moreso than herself.  In fact, viewers and reviewers have complained that her character is getting annoying because she has started to think more about herself lately.  She is not being selfish, she is not being a doormat.

Of course, her boyfriend’s feelings would be hurt, especially if he had no idea that things were going wrong.  Breaking it off suddenly, without giving the guy a chance to fix anything, is hurtful.  Really, there is no nice way to say “I’m just not that into you anymore.”  Better it be said, however, than continuing a relationship that makes one miserable.  Otherwise, you may end up making more serious financial investments together than a mere lease, such as a pet, vehicle or home.  You may end up marrying the person more out of expectation than anything else.   You may end up having a child or two together, at which point, it is very hard to break off a relationship.  So, kudos to Alexis, and let’s hope the writers don’t decide to drag out her break-up or have her get pregnant.  Maybe now, she can focus on her relationships with her father and her stepmother.

As for the case, Castle and Beckett – with some help from Alexis – and the rest of the team solve it, and we are left with the feeling that the young starlet is going to get help for her addictions and maybe have a chance at a semi-normal life.

All in all, a very nice, relaxing episode.

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2013-4 Murdoch Mysteries Season7 castMURDOCH MYSTERIES

Season 7, Episode 12 (Unfinished Business)

MURDOCH_712mainEight years earlier, in 1893, two women were murdered within weeks of each other.  They had virtually no connection, and the only thing they had in common was that they were both married, which was definitely not unusual at the time.

One woman was murdered in the Toronto jurisdiction and was one of the first cases that Detective Murdoch and Dr. Ogden worked on together.  They were not able to solve the case, however, and this definitely haunted them both, especially Dr. Ogden.

The other woman was murdered in the countryside quite some distance out of town, buried near a lake, and remained classified as missing for eight years.

However, the episode begins with a deathbed confession of the missing woman’s husband, who tells Murdoch that he murdered his wife and gives him all of the details of where she was buried.

Unfortunately, Dr. Grace determines that the woman was not killed in the manner described by her husband.  Because of how passionate and detailed the man’s confession was, Murdoch investigates further and enlists Dr. Ogden’s help.  They realise that the man’s confession perfectly matches the murder of woman from Toronto.

SPOILER ALERT

This episode uses a Strangers On A Train plot, which becomes apparent about midway through the episode.  Murdoch and Ogden soon theorise that the dead man killed the Toronto woman and made a pact with the Toronto woman’s husband to have him kill the first man’s wife in the country.  This is their theory, anyhow, but the rest of the episode has them set out to prove it together.

The bulk of this episode is light and romantic, considering its subject matter.  Murdoch and Ogden conduct a good portion of the investigation in their formal evening wear, since they interrupt or continue their dates to work on the case.  Through these scenes, the audience gets a good look at their relationship.  Murdoch and Dr. Ogden are happiest when they work together.  They respect each other as partners.  It is light and refreshing, only given a dark twist in the penultimate scene.

Finally, however, elsewhere on the relationship front, things are not so rosy for Constable Crabtree and Dr. Grace.  Dr. Ogden’s former brother-in-law is still making advances on Dr. Grace, about which she is uncertain.  I cannot blame Dr. Grace for feeling as such – after two years of courtship, she and Crabtree are still going on lunch dates and seemingly little else.  Furthermore, her hesitation is no doubt because she moves in a higher social circle than Crabtree.  Two seasons ago, her former fiancé called her a working class girl whom he elevated up.  While he was less than trustworthy, it does make sense that if Dr. Grace worked hard to get where she is socially and professionally, Crabtree is three steps backward and threatens to undo all of her efforts.  In 1901, a woman was judged by her husband.  Yes, Dr. Grace is a brilliant doctor, but she would be simply Mrs. Crabtree, a constable’s wife.  She would be expected to stop practicing medicine, even if Crabtree didn’t mind her working, and likely would no longer be referred to as “Doctor”.  Even if she were able to maintain her professional standing, she would be dragging poor Crabtree into social circles which he would be uncomfortable (as witnessed in several episodes already) or showing up alone, which would be scandalous for an engaged or married woman.  Furthermore, if she were from a lower class background, people might assume that she was just returning to her ‘natural’ place and that was all that she was good for.  Ultimately, is Crabtree worth it for Dr. Grace to risk all her hard work, especially if she were from a poor background?  She has to make that decision.  I hope the writers do a good job with this plot.

MMMaking712_unfinishedbusinessMain

16862_bannerREPUBLIC OF DOYLE

Season 5, Episode 13 (Welcome Back Crocker)

Speaking of fathers and daughters, Kevin Crocker is back, looking to once and for all prove his innocence in murdering a prostitute thirteen years earlier.  Perhaps then, he can better reconnect with his daughter, Tinny, and get back to a semblance of normal life, or at least get the “murderer” label off his back.

Naturally, in order to prove his innocence, he effectively kidnaps Jake and Malachy, dragging the two on a quest to find out who the real killer is.  As it turns out, Inspector Smallwood (who was investigating Crocker via Tinny last week) is actually on their side, and gets blown up for his troubles.  Leslie is thus promoted.

As it also turns out, the one sending mysterious letters to Smallwood and Crocker turns out to be…the supposedly dead prostitute, who turns up very much alive at the library.  A subsequent shootout with an assassin makes for an awful mess for the library workers to clean up, not to mention some ruined books, but ultimately our main characters and the prostitute make it out safely to solve the conspiracy.  However, for safety reasons, remember that open bookshelves, paperbacks, and fake wooden tables make for lousy shields from bullets.

Crocker is redeemed, although he likely has a lot of other charges pending, and the real culprits are caught.  Crocker and Jake reconcile, Crocker and Tinny reconnect, and it even seems that Jake and Leslie have a spark of their old flame rekindled as they discuss the day’s events at the hospital.  However, their moment is quashed when Des decides to man up and confess to Jake that he is dating Tinny.  The episode ends much like the pilot episode begins – with Jake chasing Des through a corridor.

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