Staff Writer@DJSoundBite I love a good mystery! Being sucked into the story and not knowing where it will go... there is nothing more fun! The problem I find with this week’s episode of Castle is I knew EXACTLY how they did it within the first 15 minutes. It also doesn’t help that this story is almost a carbon copy of 2 episodes of The Mentalist.
The Recap- “Room 147”Two maids at ‘The Best Traveller Hotel’ enter a room to clean, only to discover a cat playing the piano….ok that’s a lie, of course it's a dead body (But I had you doing a double take)! Castle and Beckett wake up to the smell of coffee and Alexis is there, having crashed for the night. The subplot for this episode is Castle would like her to move back, Beckett is worried she isn’t because of her, but Alexis is just wanting to take responsibility for her mistake of getting a lease. The plot is resolved with Beckett asking Alexis, who tells her the reason, Beckett telling her she has paid her penance, and Alexis moving back home - I’m tell you all this in one go because it is boring and adds nothing to the story. Anyway, on with the murder! The victim is an actor named Justin who not only lives nearby, but also had a second flip phone which is missing from the crime scene. Justin was working at a theatre with his girlfriend and was rehearsing a play with another actor and the director. One of the actors says a crazy woman confronted him at a coffee shop a few days ago. The crazy woman turns out to be Anita Miller. She is brought in and within 11 seconds says she killed him. While she is writing her confession, Esposito comes in saying she has an alibi. In the right hand corner of her confession is the Charmed symbol (It was witches all along!). She gives specific details about the murder, but when pressed she isn’t actually sure how she knows him. She says she is a recovering alcoholic but has been sober for 4 years, and yet the last 2 weeks have been blurry. They ask why she yelled at Justin, and she says she was warning him that she might hurt him because of a terrible feeling. Just then, another guy called Sam comes in and also confesses to the crime, giving the same details. Neither of the confessors knows each other, confusing poor Beckett and then frustrating her when a third gentleman comes in to confess. The only connection all three seem to have is the Charmed symbol they keep drawing and that the past 2 weeks seem to be all a blur. The case appears to be getting stranger and stranger when it turns out a big bald man in a red van was stalking Anita’s apartment. The 3rd confessor had seen the van before and the police catch a break by finding it via traffic cam. The man driving the van is Miles Madison, who is contracted for a company called “Eternal Horizon Institute”. EHI are actually a cult run by an Englishman, Dr Gustover Bower. Their symbol for the cult is the Charmed symbol. They were in trouble a few years back when some members died in a sweat lodge but no charges were brought. Castle and Beckett rock up and have been ‘expected’. Bower is in Stockholm and is talking to them via TV, being very unhelpful. After doing some digging, EHI apparently help people with issues. A doctor who did a psych evaluation and tests on the confessors find out they have had a powerful drug in her system which can erase memory and can make you very suggestible. They might have been shown a tape of the murder while drugged to think they did it. Beckett gets all three into the room. Anita has a slightly different version than the two guys- the victim flirted with her and there were 6 bottles of water in the room, but the guys both say there were only 5. Castle has an idea, and goes to the hotel room where the body was found; he opens the fridge door but Beckett can't see how many bottles are in there. This means the murder the confessors saw was not done in that room. EHI had hired another 'Best Traveller Hotel' which is what the victims saw. Checking the camera footage from that hotel, Justin is seen with Bower. The police raid EHI and Bower is actually in the building, shredding documents. It turns out that he hired Justin as an actor. It was meant as a therapy to get people to project their problems while shooting him, however the subjects were starting to internalise and think it was real. They threatened to sue. He used Miles Madison to kidnap and drug them again afterwards to erase their memories. Bower thinks it was a setup as he did not have anything to do with the murder. Castle and Becket go back to the theatre. The director Pam did it by luring Justin to frame EHI. One of guys killed in a EHI sweat lodge was her brother- it was all about revenge. The story ends with EHI being shut down, Madison is caught, and all three confessors go off as friends.
My Final Thoughts:Within 15 minutes I said that the confessors were hypnotised into confessing the murder, and while it wasn’t exactly right, being put into a drugged state and being told "this is what happened" is pretty close. The Mentalist did this MUCH better in a previous episode and Bower and EHI is just a cheap knock off of Brett Stiles, cult leader of Visualize, also taken from The Mentalist and no where near as charismatic and clever. I would say 9 times out of 10; within the first 15 minutes of all Castle episodes, you have seen the killer. I automatically thought it was one of the actors, but didn’t know which one, and the reveal was pretty low key. Think about it- this plan is incredibly convoluted. Pam, who committed the murder, didn’t give any hints or directions to the police towards EHI. What if Beckett wasn’t able to make the connection? She would have just killed a guy and EHI would still be running free! Let us admit it, we only watch Castle these days to see the wonderful on screen chemistry of Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic (Castle and Beckett). They really are a treat to watch and after 6 seasons it hasn’t gotten stale…the episodes on the other hand, dull and repetitive. 2.5/5
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