Like Father, Like Daughter Reviews: Daddy-Daughter Duo To The Rescue

Last week we were back to our good ol' case-solving antics with our favorite team of crime fighters plus one ... but we fell a little flat with the secondary storylines. Yes, Pi, I'm looking at you. And, frankly, I'm getting really tired of it. Also? We need to bring back the Castle's-daughter-Alexis character that we all know and used to love. I understand everyone has to grow and evolve to keep the show fresh and relevant — I applaud that! — but the key to ongoing character development is you also have to stay true to the core of the character you introduced us to in the beginning and got us to fall in love with.

On with the show! Which does, as it happens, open with a hook! Ouch! And a plot twist! Yay!

But first! Adorable Beckett-Castle banter!

"What? Don't you want to get married in space? You said you wanted it to be special."

"Yes, because as a little girl when I dreamed of my wedding day, being trapped in a tin can with a thousand tons of rocket fuel strapped to my ass was exactly what I had I mind."

"Then we agree!"

Boyish, optimistic charm! Snarky, perfectly timed comebacks! Aaaaaand, we're back!

Oh, all right, we're also back to the case of the week. In our opening, we see what appears to be a gory murder taking place in a dimly lit living room with one of those fireplace poker-hook ... thingies (technical term alert!). We also see the apparent perp get nailed by the cops right outside the front door as he attempts his escape. Fast-forward to 15 years later as said brutally murdering perp has officially exhausted all attempts at a retrial, so his execution is imminent. Also? Somehow Alexis knows Dead Perp Walking and is convinced of his innocence. And Daddy Dearest — who, we recall, is on a different kind of hook for insulting Pi (which, honestly ... who hasn't?) is trying to score points — so has a vested interest in helping his not-so-recently-darling daughter find a way to help the DPW.

Cut to the station house and a very spiffy-looking, all-growed-up Alexis in her natty power suit and I'm-SO-not-kidding-around hair, chatting with Espo and Ryan over her attempts to get them to expedite some of the trace evidence retesting on DPW's case ... which, they can't do because it's out of their jurisdiction. "Have you asked your dad? Maybe he'd see something we didn't." Silently fuming Alexis is still mad at Dad and doesn't want his help. Honey? If you want to play grown up, suck it up and get over it. What's more important? Your dad pointing out that you're dating a maroon, and a fruity one at that? Or trying to keep an innocent guy from dying in three days? No, take a second, we'll wait.

Richard Cartwright, ABC

Wait. What?

And while we do, let's check in on the life of a writer, shall we? Oh, you laugh as we watch Castle lying back, headphones on, trying to see how many pencils he can balance under his nose. Wasting time, you scoff? No. No, no, no. That's what we in the biz call plotting, my friends. Don't mess with the mysterious, often misunderstood, left brain-right brain plotting routine. It's a delicate balance. Sort of like those — crap! You almost had five there, buddy!

Alexis strolls in, all, "I don't forgive you, but can you help me anyway?" and Castle's all, "Anything that will get us past this terribly contrived, unbelievable character development, sure!" Or, you know, words to that effect. Come to find out that the reason Castle knows about the case isn't because he's already been helping her, but that Ryan and Espo have been keeping him up to speed on her actions. We learn this is for a case she's researching as part of a college law class ... or something. Doesn't matter. What matters is now we're just compiling the plot/character contrivances, and I sincerely hope that at the end of this hour we solve the case and get these two back in our comfort zone.

Castle begs off the wedding-venue hunt with Beckett to do a road trip with Alexis up to Pennsylvania where the final sentencing and execution will take place ... and with their parting, I fear the adorable part of the hour is sadly over. One other point of concern is underscored here, too. Beckett is all, "Hey, she's almost family, of course I don't mind, go be with your daughter." Which ... are we suddenly pretending this season that Alexis and Beckett had no previous personal relationship? Because Alexis always looked up to Beckett, wanted to emulate her, and encouraged her dad to go after a relationship with her. So, in addition to believing that the always level-headed daughter who truly understood her somewhat off-kilter father is now some kind of hormonal, becoming-a-woman, hear-me-roar person who doesn't get him at all, we're also to believe that she wouldn't have invited Beckett to the see-our-apartment dinner last week and this week Beckett's all, "go be with her, I know your daughter who I apparently don't know personally means a lot to you." YA THINK?

But. I digress.

It's Road Trip time! Only, instead of being On-The-Road Fun With Castle, it's going to be Let's Make Us Hate Alexis Even More As She Pouts Her Way To Pennsylvania. At some point, he really needs to just tell her to knock that, uh, stuff off. And Alexis? You should have just gone and gotten ice cream with the man last week and we'd have forgiven you and this awful secondary storyline and gotten back to Our Show We Loved a week sooner.

We get a rundown on the case from Pouty Daughter, which essentially boils down to Alexis has spent a lot of time with the DPW and his devoted fiancée, who was instrumental in petitioning Alexis' class-group-law-something-or-other to look into the case, and now Alexis has become seriously emotionally involved. Castle is worried she's going to be devastated when they don't pull a magic rabbit from the 11th-hour hat. And, privately, we all get that he's even more worried that somehow that's going to be his fault, too.

At the prison, Castle, Alexis, the fiancée, and DPW have a convo. He walks Castle, and us, through the Night In Question. He was in a garage, working on his Camaro, set off the smoke alarm doing some ... smoky car working stuff, called the security firm to have it turned off and when the noise stopped, he heard screams. He ran across the street and found Brutally Murdered Girl in the Library with a Poker, realized she was too dead to help, heard the sirens, panicked, tried to wipe his fingerprints from anything he touched, knowing it would look bad, then raced outside ... and straight into the cops. Who decided it ... well, looked pretty bad.

He had priors, and the dead girl had written in her diary about having a crush on him, so the prosecution painted him as a predator, and even with the alarm company corroborating his call to them about the fire alarm, he just looked too good for the deed and off to jail he went.

Turns out the dead girl had just dumped her boyfriend the week before and their relationship up to that point had been ... stormy, but the cops didn't question him since they had DPW bloody-red-handed. Seventy-two hours until walk-the-plank time, so Castle goes into panic mode and calls in the troops Back At The Precinct, and confirms that he knows he's doomed with his daughter if he doesn't fix things.

Castle looks at the ex-boyfriend, but there was no evidence actually tying him to the scene. Beckett pushes on the trace evidence being tested, but doesn't have any more luck than Espo and Ryan, while Castle is trying to prepare Alexis for the possibility that maybe there was no evidence pointing to anyone else ... because it wasn't anyone else. Does she go for this? What do you think?

Castle observes local cop not taking too kindly to Alexis' group trying to prove they got the wrong guy and, thinking maybe they doth protest too much, redoubles his efforts. Castle & Co. figure out that someone else had to have come in the back door (go with me on this) and then Lanie saves the day with her general awesomeness by revealing she got the trace evidence pushed through and there was one thing the other lab missed. A chemical that pointed to the ex-boyfriend.

So, off Castle and Alexis go, only ex-bf takes one look at Castle and does an about-face back into his house. Cue Alexis: "I can get him to talk. I'm not asking permission." And out she goes, and inside. Now ... really? No way is Castle staying in the car. He wouldn't even if that was Beckett striding in there palming a Glock. So we know that any moment he's going to come in and probably at the worst possible confessional moment, to boot. However, we all know it can't be the ex-boyfriend because, the first rule in mystery writing is? It's never the obvious suspect. And? We're right. He has a solid alibi for the time of the murder. But we also find out that Dead Girl was at a party that night and upset about something. And? She was seeing other guys. Alexis comes out to find Dad on the porch with a tire iron to the rescue, but no time for that now!

Richard Cartwright, ABC

Molly Quinn plays Alexis on "Castle."

They race back to DPW to see if he could give them any names of other boys seeing Dead Girl, only to have him tell Alexis that he's over fighting, he's done, thanks for the help, but you can stop now, time to get ready to die. Nice. So Castle and Alexis keep up the search anyway, looking for evidence specific to there being someone else in the house. They look into the place where the party happened the night Dead Girl got, well, dead. Turns out it used to be a meth factory, which would also explain that same trace evidence they had previously linked to the now exonerated ex-bf.


They find bicycle tracks at the meth house and there were bicycle tracks behind Dead Girl's house that night, too. So ... did she see kids cooking meth? Did she call ex-bf upset, go home, try and figure out if she should call the cops, only the meth-cooking boys found her first? And how would they know where she lived? Was one of them one of those "boys she was seeing"?

The plot, it is good, and getting thicker. However, my mood is still somewhat dampered by the lack of Castle Comedy Goodness in this particular episode. They really (really) need to stay in The Castle Zone more than every third episode.

We find temporary relief in a Lanie-Beckett girl talk reunion. If only it lasted longer ... But it does address at least one of my plot-contrivance concerns. Beckett wonders why Alexis hasn't come to her for help after asking everyone else. It's not quite a "Hey, we had a relationship before and now it's weird because I'm marrying her dad" talk, but I suppose it can bridge the gap enough to get us there. If we just, kind of ignore a lot of stuff that happened in previous seasons.

Back to the Small Town in PA ... Alexis and Dad discover that these "other boys" our Dead Girl was seeing were actually kids she tutored. In chemistry. There were two chemistry books found at the scene, which means one probably belonged to the killer. So off they go to find out who owned the book in question. And? Gasp! It's DPW's younger brother! So, is DPW doing death row time for baby bro? Turns out baby bro had one arrest for a controlled substance a year before Dead Girl got dead. Meth, perhaps?

Beckett gets the now-all-grown-up baby bro, who does a darn fine Ryan Reynolds impression, into the precinct for a first-time interview. The cops never talked to him since they had Big Bro cold. As Beckett continues her questions, Baby Bro begins to realize he's a suspect and bolts, interview over. Castle and Alexis confront DPW with the info they found on his brother, only to discover DPW is indeed knowingly taking the fall for his brother. A year before The Incident, they were in a car accident that had left little brother not mentally right, he got on meth, had ... problems. DPW was the driver, so he blamed himself for his brother's mental problems, and when they boiled over — for reasons we still don't know — that made him kill his chemistry tutor — Big Bro took the rap as a sort of payback for what he'd done. He's convinced Baby Bro doesn't remember anything from that night, and has since turned his life around, married, with kids, so left it to fate instead to get him off on a technicality, and, barring that ... well, it is what it is.

Castle and Alexis head back to their rooms, defeated, wishing the clock wouldn't run out before DPW can reconsider. Then Castle gets his geek on and realizes that one of the damaged pieces in the crime scene photo is actually a binary clock made out of the solar system (hey, I said geek), which proves that Baby Bro showed up after the murder for his tutoring, and it was his screams Big Bro heard as he found the dead body. Both bros are innocent! Ooooh! It's not the obvious guy or even the not-so-obvious guy!

So ... whodunit? One of the other kids from the party? Then Castle notices on rewatching the crime scene tech's film footage that when the body was moved for the first time, there was a charm underneath her body — except Baby Bro broke the charm bracelet when Big Bro came in and pulled him away from the body. So ... how did that charm get there before the murder? Turns out — after another Lanie Being Awesome Moment, yay! — that the charm was too small to have come from Dead Girl's bracelet, which means — gasp! It came from the killer. So, was the killer a girl? Who else was Dead Girl tutoring ...?

Alexis starts falling apart at the thought that DPW is going to die before they can prove that both brothers are innocent and finally we get the Father-Daughter Hug that will end the cold war of bad character development. Yay!


"Pelican Point" by Donna Kauffman.

Alexis and Castle talk evidence with the cops, and we find out that jerk cop from earlier in the episode, who happens to be the son of the lead cop on the case Way Back When ... was actually a peer of Dead Girl's at the time. Ah! Never overlook the overly surly cop! Turns out he was behind in school back then, and on the school swim team destined for championship glory, if only he could keep his grades up. What better way to do that then cram with the chemistry tutor so he could learn how to make and use meth? (Again, just go with me here.) So, it was Surly Cop Juvie who followed Dead Girl home from the party that night, because she discovered what he was doing and was going to rat him out to Big Cop Daddy. The dolphin charm? Was his, from a swim team cord necklace.

DPW is cleared! Baby Bro is off the hook! Will Surly Cop Juvie get nailed for the crime? We don't know! But all is right in the Castle Household. So, can we get a fun Road Trip Home? Will there finally be ice cream? We don't know that either, because we jump to Alexis finding Beckett at the station to thank her and apologize and ... they hug it out! Also? And entire hour with no Pi!

We're getting there, people! We're getting there! We've got the gang back together. The Castle household back together. The soon-to-be-new-family nucleus back together. If we can just send Pi out to a field somewhere to count bees ... tying him to a huge hive if we must, we might have our show fully back on track!

Roll credits and previews? Yes! Comedy Gold Castle is back next week. And, if we're really lucky, the week after that ... and the week after that! After all, we've got a wedding to plan!

Now it's time for someone else to get lucky. OK, I don't mean it like that. Minds outta the Castle-Beckett romance-deprived gutter.


"The Sugar Cookie Sweetheart Swap" by Donna Kauffman, Kimberly Kincaid and Kate Angell.

What I mean is it's time to give away the book swag goodies! Last week we had some fun new book swag — a copy of my brand, spankin' new release, Pelican Point, and a specially-designed-for-me pelican charm bookmark. Who's the lucky winner? Come on down ... Vickie Powell!

Now, now, no Alexis-grade pouting, all you non-Vickies! With the holiday season coming our way, I have something to get you in the mood, while in your favorite reading nook and in the kitchen! Enter to win a copy of my new Christmas anthology release,Sugar Cookie Sweetheart Swap, signed by all three authors — which has a few awesome Christmas cookie recipes included. AND, to really get you started on your holiday baking, a copy of the Good Housekeeping Cookies cookbook!

To enter? Drop me an e-mail with "A book book and a cookbook? Pick me!" in the subject line. And that's it! Of course, feel free to include all theCastle dish you care to share! I'll pick a winner from the stack and announce the name here in next week's recap.


An early look at the cover of "Half Moon Harbor" by Donna Kauffman.

But before you rush off to enter, pssssst ... over here! I just got a sneak peek of the cover for the next book in my Bachelor's of Blueberry Cove series, Half Moon Harbor. Wanna see? The perfect glimpse into my little piece of coastal Maine paradise. Hope you'll visit me there in Pelican Point, then hang around for Half Moon Harbor. With cookies and romance in between!

I love the fall! For more info on all my books, drop by my Big-Time Author website,, and check me out on my Facebook Fan Page, where all the day-to-day, hour-to-hour zany hijinks happen!

Source: Usatoday

Captain Founder, Administrator, Editor and Writer

The moment that I met you, my life became extraordinary. You taught me to be my best self, to look forward to tomorrow's adventures. And when I was vulnerable, you were strong. I love you, Richard Castle. And I want to live my life in the warmth of your smile and the strength of your embrace. I promise you I will love you. I will be your friend and your partner in crime and in life, always. - Kate Beckett The moment we met, my life became extraordinary. You taught me more about myself than I knew there was to learn. You are the joy in my heart. You're the last person I want to see every night when I close my eyes. I love you, Katherine Beckett. And the mystery of you is the one I want to spend the rest of my life exploring. I promise to love you, to be your friend, and your partner in crime and life, 'till death do us part, and for the time of our lives. - Richard Castle

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