This week in “Castle” another “Firefly” and “Serenity” colleague showed up as a guest star in “Much Ado About Murder,” the ever lovely, ever talented Jewel Staite. Like the “YOLO” credit card Rick gets at the start of the episode, Staite is special kind of performer who effortlessly claims the viewer’s attention when she is on camera.
Staite is not the only Fillion pal to show up on “Castle.” This season alone Adam Baldwin (Jane) and Summer Glau (River) have both been on the show, with Baldwin actually having three times as much screen time as both the ladies on the show.
Whether this screams of misogyny or a lack of good guest roles for women on the eighth season of “Castle” is not clear. That said it does look like it is not just the female guest stars who end up short on this long running season. Stana Katic had very little to do in this episode apart from complaining about her husbands publicity, claiming his new YOLO “pretentious” credit card is too much and uncharacteristically asking Kevin Ryan’s help for planning her date night with Rick.
Beckett does do a tiny bit of interrogation with Rick but clearly the bloom has gone off the rose in this series for Katic, and Tamala Jones who does not appear at all.
The plot has a Hollywood star, whose gymnastic abilities overshadow his acting chops, taking on the Bard and being murdered with a quill pen in the neck. (Clearly a “the pen is mightier than the sword” allusion.) Rick joins Javi and Ryan on the investigation and Ryan goes all “fanboy” over meeting Staite’s character Erin Cherloff.
A “Stalker-azzi” films Richard at the crime scene and later provides a clue to who murdered Zane Cannon (Jonny Cruz); a cartel boss named El Oso. (Rather annoyingly, there is no credit for the actor who kills it as the “film star wannabe drug lord” although he looks maddeningly familiar. Anyone with any idea of who played El Oso please provide input in the comment section below.)
Rick is kidnapped…Again. To be fair this was obviously done to get some YOLO play in there, what with the card’s super duper RFID chip, and this allowed the team to track Castle down.
It seems that this episode, just one away from the season penultimate and two away from the finale and presumably the death of Beckett, pushed Rick back into the world of writing. Interestingly enough, one of the reasons Castle went into P.I. work was that he’d lost his muse, Kate. Now the writer is excited to write once more but this project has nothing to do with Beckett.
Writing on the wall or what? Even without the official news that Katic is leaving, this episode screams “We no longer need Beckett!”
Back to the episode itself, Staite plays a director whose temperament turns murderous when the Hollywood star pulls a double cross. Emily Goss plays a costar in the production of Hamlet, “Naomi Fox” (this surely must be an in-joke about Megan Fox…) who was in a “show-mance” with Cannon (great line uttered by Javi) and is a suspect for all of two seconds.
A comedy bit where the “method” actress has to addressed in faux Elizabethan English was funny-ish, but like the rest of this episode, it did not have that usual “Castle” sparkle. This episode was all too much like older ones in the long running series.
Seriously guys and gals in the writer’s room, how many times do we need Rick to be kidnapped? Granted, that is a “theme”of sorts in the show, Alexis has been abducted as has Kate and Rick together and separately.
Not to keep complaining, much, but the best parts of the episode dealt with Jewel Staite (in her small cameo) and the chap who played El Oso.
I adore Nathan Fillion and have stuck with “Castle” even when it lost its way in seasons four and five. Even without the brilliant Stana Katic and Tamala Jones departing, it does feel like “Castle” has passed its “sell-by” date.
It may well be time to the series out to pasture at the end of this season.
“Castle” airs Mondays on ABC.