Season 6, Episode 15 (Room 147)
The core problem of this week’s case is that three separate people come forward to having committed an otherwise identical murder. They all insist that it was them alone, no one else was there, and that they remember details of the crime scene that the police did not release to the media. Unusually for Castle, these “flashbacks” are shown to the viewers. (These clips contain clues that I`ll admit I missed entirely. On second viewing, I can imagine I might find more ‘aha’ moments in them.)
The crime of the week took place in Room 147 of a chain hotel, and apparently took place as follows: the victim opened the door to the killer, offered her or him some water from the bar fridge, and was promptly shot dead in the chest, toppling a chair on the way to the ground. Beckett’s crime scene followed the same pattern.
It was hilarious to find Castle himself at a loss for theories as to what actually happened. Viewers had more of a chance to come up with their own theory, such as hypnosis. The weirder the plot, the more likely Beckett was to believe Castle, and I find it that episodes wherein Beckett agrees with Castle are more amusing, even if they are dramatic.
As it turns out, the motive behind the killing is petty revenge. The three people convinced that they each killed the victim are entirely innocent and were in fact nothing but collateral damage from the killer’s point of view. The reason for the murder? The victim worked for a company that aimed to heal people from addictions or from disorders through holistic spiritual medicine (or complete hogwash, but that is beside the point). Said company accidentally caused the deaths of three others, one of whom was the murderer’s relative. Hence, the victim was complicit in other murders and thus deserved to die in cold blood.
Sadly, this line of thinking is all too common. We live in a world of mega-corporations and impersonal bureaucracies. We are buried in red tape and regulations. We have rampant corruption. It is hard to be an individual person and to break these corporations or expose this corruption. It is far easier to blame corporations than to work with them, and if you do work with them, you are treated as a collaborator or a mere pawn. This week’s victim was no different. He just signed a non-disclosure agreement, acted out his part, got his paycheque, and left for the day. He may have known nothing of the programs that the corporation undertook, or that anyone had been killed in any accidents (none of which were related to his work with the company). Unfortunately, all the murder remembered was “X corporation = Evil” and could not have cared less for the victim’s actual role in the company.
That comes down to what anyone remembers. The murderer actually wanted people to remember her relative and the victims of said corporation. She did not want the corporation to continue to hurt others by making sure that their actions would be made public. What people would actually remember of such an incident is that an unfortunate man was murdered for no good reason and that three other people came forward to confess. However, what we don’t usually get to see on this show is how the media spins the cases. This is one episode where I would have loved to see the news bulletins for any ensuing trial!
Finally, this episode sees Alexis return to her father’s apartment after having broken up with her boyfriend. She is lucky that her father can afford to pay off her lease, but I would like to think that any loving father would accept such an otherwise responsible daughter back into his home if necessary. Like in the parable of the Prodigal Son, the father forgives and celebrates, no questions asked until later. Castle and Alexis remember the good times together as a family and hopefully use Alexis’s first experience moving out as a building block for their future relationship. Next time Alexis moves out, hopefully she will do so on better terms with her father. Also, hopefully Castle realises that Alexis has learned valuable lessons and is not a little girl anymore.
What I did find odd was that Castle never seemed to think that Beckett might be an obstacle in Alexis moving back with him. Beckett clearly thought this was an issue. After all, from Alexis’s perspective, her father is moving forward in his life and obviously plans to set up house with Beckett. As an adult daughter, Alexis might not feel a need to be a part of that house. An option that they did not explore (although one that most families might consider) was that of having Castle help pay for Alexis’s apartment to tie her over until she found a new roommate or a new place.
However, it will be nice to have the Castle family back together again!