Season 7, Episode 22
Air Date: Monday, May 4, 2015 at 10/9c on ABC
***WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD***
A spoof on the NBC hit sketch comedy series Saturday Night Live, Castle’s latest episode, “Dead From New York,” embarks on a murder mystery involving the death of the producer Sid Ross (actor uncredited) of “SNT,” also known as “Saturday Night Tonight.” The list of potential suspects varies, including the current host, a suave and dashing actor named Danny Valentine (guest star Gregory Harrison). And like the real show, there’s always a musical guest and this week’s guest is Carly Rae Jepsen (herself).
Before I dive into my recap, I have to say how sexy Harrison is. He’s 65 years young and still has it; and boy, does he know how to use it. Even Beckett (Stana Katic) is powerless against his charms, twirling her hair like a school girl with a crush on a teen heartthrob while Castle (Nathan Fillion) looks on like a jealous boyfriend. Beckett’s defense, “He’s Danny Friggin’ Valentine!” “Dead From New York” is a mixed bag of comedy, drama, and, of course, murder.
Sid Ross’ lifeless body falls from the top of an elevator panel and it’s up to Beckett, Castle, Ryan (Seamus Dever), Esposito (Jon Huertas), and Lanie (Tamala Jones) to discover who the killer is. This case has a bit of a twist but we’ll get into that later. It’s no secret Sid was a tough guy to work for and perhaps an SNT cast member is the murderer. Gene Vogel (James Eckhouse), head of Sid’s production company, tells Beckett and Castle about a “private VIP entrance” for the actors but it doesn’t have any security cameras. Through a round of preliminary questions, Beckett and Castle learn from both Gene and head writer Liz (Joy Osmanski) someone may have had it out for Sid. First on the list of suspects is SNT’s veteran cast member, Mickey Franks (guest star Jaleel White). Is this guy coo-coo or is his hand puppet lawyer pulling our leg? Wearing a suit of armor, Mickey doesn’t go quietly when Beckett wants to question him.
After interrogating Mickey, it’s somewhat clear he’s not as crazy as we think he is. He’s pretending to be off the rails so he can get out of his SNT contract. Sid wouldn’t release him, or so we thought, and Mickey has some big movie deals in the works if only he can get out from under his SNT obligations. Is that a good enough motive for murder? You bet, but Mickey isn’t our killer.
As the investigation digs further into Sid’s death, things just don’t seem to add up. Danny tells Beckett and Castle he had lunch with Sid and his ex-wife Evelyn (Janice Kent) and mentions the small stake in SNT’s stock he has. Then, an ex-con, Kurt Van Sant (Mark Rolston), shows up claiming Sid owes him big time. Seems Kurt shelled out money back when SNT was just getting started but never got a chance to claim his stake when he was sent to prison for 35 years for drug trafficking.
Kurt tells Beckett Sid was willing to square things away if Kurt got him an “unregistered gun.” But Kurt knew Sid might be in danger so he followed him to an alley where he saw Sid meeting up with someone. Kurt says he overheard Sid ask the masked man, “Where is she?” Hmm, who is “she” and who is she to Sid?
Ryan and Esposito continue to dig into Sid’s past and uncover some interesting financial records involving off-shore accounts. Sid was in the process of selling 49% of his shares in SNT’s stock to an equity firm and when the firm’s auditors come, they would undoubtedly discover someone has been embezzling $4 million dollars. And the ‘she’ Sid refers to is his ex-wife Evelyn who’s been missing for two days. She was kidnapped and ransomed for $4 million dollars. Coincidence? I think not. After our favorite detectives find Evelyn, she tells Beckett and Castle about her captor – but she can’t recall much except for a shiny black mask with a gold headband and signet ring.
Next suspect on the list is SNT page Chad (Dustin Ingram). As the evidence mounts against him, it seems too good to be true. Chad is being set up but by whom? The saying ‘keep your friends close and enemies closer’ doesn’t take into account the new hybrid of ‘frenemies.’ Gene got in over his head on an investment and instead of talking to Sid about it, he killed him to hide what he’d done. Some people are never satisfied.
On the flip side of the script, Castle and his mother Martha (Susan Sullivan) have a wonderful mother/son moment that makes you love Castle even more. When Martha, who’s practicing her first line, “Is he dead,” repeatedly in preparation for preview night of her new Broadway play, begins to think she doesn’t deserve a second chance at acting, Castle steps in. He tells her she can’t give up on this and to not let “someone with a cell phone” ruin her “second act.” Bravo, Castle.
Head writer Liz Bell has a small obsession with Beckett that borders on cute yet creepy. I love what she asks Beckett, “How do you fight crime and keep your hair like that, and do it in high heels?” The wonders of TV magic?
One of the SNT cast members, Eden Malyn (Tina Tamino), and guest host Danny Valentine are recreating a skit based on Beckett and Castle – the “Righter” and the “Model-Cop.” A well-known author working with the NYPD, Castle and Beckett are famous. Eden tries to mimic Beckett’s movements, including her gait. While Beckett seems offended by Eden’s demonstration, it appears Castle thinks she’s spot on. The hair toss is a little over done but what hair toss isn’t? Right?
It is so adorable to see Castle and Beckett dancing to Carly Rae Jepsen singing her latest single “I Really Like You.” Too bad they weren’t there to actually enjoy the show. Sorry, Carly, there’s a murder that needs to be solved.
As the penultimate episode of the seventh season of Castle, “Dead From New York” is an entertaining and interesting episode. While it doesn’t further the story line of Castle’s disappearance, it does set up some plot points for an as yet unconfirmed season eight. Martha mentioned she was planning to move out in “The Wrong Stuff.” With the success of her Broadway show, that may come to fruition sooner rather than later. Alexis (Molly C. Quinn) is close to graduating college and with “Hollander’s Woods,” next week’s season seven finale, fans will finally learn what happened to Castle when he was 11-years-old. Perhaps what is revealed in the finale will give us insight into what’s to come in season eight.
What did you think of “Dead From New York?” Leave me a comment below and/or tweet me @judybopp.
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Photos ©2015 American Broadcasting Company. All Rights Reserved.
© 2015, Judy Manning. All rights reserved.
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