Castle: Death Wish – Rick Dreams of Genie (Review)


A man is tortured and decapitated by a Turkish scimitar  in Castle: Death Wish and the dead man is a smuggler of antiquities. The “tomb raider’s” latest find includes “Aladdin’s lamp” and Rick dreams of genies and is apparently  helped  by one to solve the crime.

This episode was a return to the tried and true formula of Castle.  Rick following his flights of fancy, which ultimately leads to a solid conclusion and Kate exasperated with her fella’s vivid imagination.

After finding photos of the dead man holding a lamp with the “seal of David” on the side, Rick believes that the victim awakened the genie in the lamp and it is now roaming free, “like a samurai ronin” as he says to  professor Baker.

Baker wrote a book, “Unlocking the Mysteries of 1001 Arabian Nights” and Rick goes to see her about the missing lamp. The object is part of an entire shipment missing from a dig at King Solomon’s tomb.

Throughout the episode Castle has help from a mysterious, and beautiful, blonde who Rick believes is the released genie from the lamp. Genevieve (Carolyn Stotesbery) has a habit of suddenly appearing and handing out helpful information (or knocking out a gun-wielding female villain)  and then apparently vanishing.  

Despite the warning from Baker, Rick believes in the more benevolent type Genie, and it does seem that Genevieve is a friendly entity. Although later it is revealed that Castle’s magical pal is a real person who is helping the country of origin to reclaim their national treasures.

(Or is she? Clock that wink that Genevieve gives Rick as they leave, and this is the one time that the woman does not vanish after her interaction with Castle. On a sidenote, Stotesbery, as the neighbor/journalist/security freelancing agent/genie comes over much better than her Pamela Richardson in Agent X;  must have been the dialogue…)

The “Kate moment”  of the episode had her moaning about feeling more like a kindergarten teacher than a police precinct captain. Immediately after,  Javi and Ryan come in competing, and bickering, over who will present their findings to Beckett first:

“Guys? Play nice…indoor voices…Espo goes first.”

The line of the episode goes to Lanie (Tamala Jones) who encapsulates “1001 Arabian Nights” and its story of Scheherazade as a book about:

“A misogynistic serial killer.”

The entire fanciful episode, with a genie who saves not only Rick’s bacon but Kevin Ryan’s wife and baby is well written. The first suspect, Mark Harlin describes his interaction with the genie as a malevolent creature. She, says Harlin, ruined his life.  It is not interesting  to note that both genies, Rick’s and Mark’s are female.

Each time Rick meets with Genevieve she vanishes, except for the end, and at one meeting, where Castle tumbles through the warehouse window and finds Aladdin’s lamp,  the woman arrives in a puff of smoke (clutching a two by six).

This episode allows Javi (Jon Huertas) and Ryan (Seamus Deaver) the chance to reveal their secret dreams. Kevin wants to be a Broadway star and Espo an MME star who “dates a different hot chick  every night.”  Interesting choices, one would wear tights and the other speedos “while grappling with men,”  says Kevin.

“Don’t forget the different hot chick every night,” responds Javi plaintively.  

Everything about this episode works, the Greg Edmondson type score; the man who worked on all the “Uncharted” video games which feature a “tomb raider” type in the guise of Nathan Drake (who Fillion was tipped to play in a movie version of the game  a million years ago…). The pipes are missing but the texture of the music feels very Edmondson.

Castle wants to believe in the genie and  even Alexis warns him about being careful what he wishes for.  In the end it is Dr. Baker who is revealed to be the murderer of  the tomb raider and Ryan’s wife delivers their baby amidst some pretty serious medical problems, after a heartfelt wish from Rick to his “genie.”

The show  is getting very good at surprising schmaltzy tears out of its viewers while working the storyline for a healthy number of laughs. Well done. Death Wish was more about Nathan Fillion and less about Stana Katic and sadly, Toks Olagundoye was nowhere to be seen.

It is almost fait accompli that LokSat will rear its nefarious head before the season finishes. This will undoubtably damped the tone, in terms of laughs, and with five episodes left in the season it may well be sooner than later.

Castle airs Mondays on ABC.

Author: Mike's Film Talk

Former Actor, Former Writer, Former Journalist, USAF Veteran, Former Member Nevada Film Critics Society

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