Season 7, Episode 5 (Meme Is Murder)
The Internet is a place where fame is both fleeting and long-lasting. On one hand, one is only as popular as one’s ranking on Google searches, but on the other hand, once something is online, it is extremely hard to destroy. Depending on the type of site, one can see photographs from years ago as easily as ones from yesterday. Popular videos, memes, blogposts, and articles can be viewed long after they are first published. In some cases, what begins as a quirky post becomes a worldwide phenomenon, and while some people crave that attention, others are killed by it.
Not usually literally, of course. In this episode, Castle writers merely take the above truth to the extreme and have minor Internet celebrities get killed and have it posted online as a fear and intimidation tactic. Unfortunately, while the murderer craves fame and notoriety as well as instilling fear into New Yorkers, online fame is also fleeting. While things may be posted for years, they are also buried beneath millions of new additions daily. New memes, music videos, phenomena, and articles get published or reported on.
That said, posting hurtful or devastating things online is still permanent. Young people in particular are vulnerable to having their lives indeed ruined by someone posting a humiliating or incriminating photo or video of them. The police should take such things as seriously as Castle and Beckett do. Does it seem drastic that some teenagers kill themselves after having a video of them getting drunkenly violated at a party surfaces online?
The motive of the murderer in this episode is (of course) revenge. Instead of committing suicide, they choose to take a much more devastating route: scare, shame, kill, and try to destroy reputations on the way down.
On the other hand, Castle does a video promotion for his latest book…
Season 7, Episode 6 (Times of Our Lives)
At long last, we finally have our Castle-Beckett wedding!
Unlike the fancy to-do last season, the “big moment” is tacked tastefully on to the last act of this episode that features a mysterious Incan artefact and possible alternate worlds. Oh, yes, and a murder.
In all actuality, the episode’s premise is that Castle is suffering so much from insomnia over feeling inadequate for Beckett that he falls passes out during the murder investigation and dreams that he is in an alternate present wherein he and Beckett never met up in that fateful first episode where he was called in to consult for a case similar to one of his books.
The alternate present confirmed that he, Richard Castle, would be worse off without being in his relationship with Beckett. Besides having a plummeting writing career, he had no relationship with Alexis (who had moved to live with her mother), Ryan and Esposito’s love lives were zilch, and Beckett had been made Captain but also had never solved her mother’s murder case. The only one who seemed to be having a good run of things was Martha, who was starring in a play. (Thus, upon waking, Castle encouraged her to keep on auditioning because she still had what it took to be a star performer.)
All in all, this episode was funny – a “what if?” scenario that was made all the better by having Castle entirely confused and genuinely attempting to return home to his own reality. Was it slightly over the top? Only in the sense that they attempted to make it more ambiguous by not emphasising the fact that Castle merely passed out. Most of the episode was thus an extended dream sequence.
I preferred this wedding to the planned wedding in the season finale. It was a beautiful scene befitting of the couple and the episode felt more like a traditional quirky Castle episode rather than the absolutely bizarre finale last year. Honestly, if I could forget about Beckett’s Vegas marriage from college, I would. This episode thoughtfully re-examined Castle and Beckett’s relationship, as well as those between Castle and the other main characters, and reminded the audience why we ourselves fell in love with the show in the first place.
Season 7, Episode 7 (Once Upon a Time in the West)
With the wedding episode over with, it was time to move on to the “honeymoon episode”. However, since Beckett used up all of her holiday time searching for Castle over the summer, their honeymoon ended up being an undercover investigation at a ranch camp in Arizona. The plot itself involves a treasure hunt in the mountains for gold…
As far as tributes to western cinema go, this episode was fantastic! The writers played up all of the expected stereotypes and the guest actors did a fine job of falling into the necessary roles: the sheriff, the barkeeper, the outlaws, the cowboys, etc. Castle – and Beckett, to a lesser extent – really enjoyed themselves and yet played the episode as seriously as possible.
I really enjoy the themed episodes of Castle. They are generally hilarious, well-written, and sweet – even if each of them starts out with someone being murdered. They set this show apart from other crime procedural dramas. This western-themed episode was one of the better ones, if only because it seemed as though it was a perfect fit for the overarching plot of the season. After six seasons and six episodes of sexual tension, Castle and Beckett finally got married…and now, we can all sit back, relax, and enjoy!
Season 7, Episode 8 (Kill Switch)
After two episodes of fun, we get a suspenseful case…and a character study of Detective Esposito. Esposito and Lanie are the only unmarried main characters (aside from Martha and Alexis) and the only unmarried couple. Naturally, having his buddies get married is making Esposito reconsider his relationship with Lanie and where it is headed. Despite his jokes, he wonders if she is the one, if they should follow suit and get married…or if he really is ready to give up bachelorhood.
As luck would have it, he ends up following a suspect into a subway…and the suspect pulls the emergency brake and takes all of the passengers hostage. While he gets the opportunity to play the hero, he also meets a fellow cop who is a female Iraq War veteran. He explores the road less travelled by, only to have Lanie be the one on his mind when he genuinely felt his life was in danger. His fellow cop, while flattered at his attention, manages to point him in the right direction. Whether or not Esposito and Lanie end up getting married remains to be seen, but at the moment, their relationship is at least serious enough to warrant it.
The suspect in this case turned out to be a mere patsy in a scheme to cause an epidemic in New York City, which would undoubtedly create a global pandemic within hours as New York is such an important city worldwide. The scheme would lead to an increase in the stock price of the company that manufactured the vaccine – and the murderer of the week was arrogant and greedy enough to suppose that they themself would survive such an epidemic to cash in.
Lately, the threat of global pandemic has been bandied about in the media. American culture in particular is very afraid of invasion. No wall can protect from a virus or bacteria – not now, and not ever. However, it is ignorance that is the best weapon of germ warfare. In this episode, it is only three-quarters of the way through the story that Castle and Beckett figure out that the suspect is carrying a deadly virus – and only by careful attention to detail after the fact. On the subway, Esposito and his fellow hostages never notice that their captor is getting steadily sicker by the minute. Only quick thinking by everyone involved saves everyone, including the patsy captor. One can’t help but feel sorry for the guy.
It was refreshing to focus on a different character after two episodes heavily focused on Castle and Beckett. We get it, they got married, let’s move on. Their ability to solve the case in the nick of time this week proves that their chemistry has not faded now that they are married. It is indeed possible to keep the show going.
Take that, naysayers.