Season 7, Episode 19
Air Date: Monday, March 30, 2015 at 10/9c on ABC
***WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD***
“I think we may just have dug our own graves.” – Castle
When Richie “The Pitbull” Falco (Scott Broderick), a personal injury lawyer, is found tortured and bludgeoned to death in a dark alleyway, the list of suspects is quite extensive. Of all the companies he’s sued on behalf of his clients, more than one may be holding a grudge. But as evidence comes to light, it looks like there is more to our dogged (pun intended) seeker of justice.
Throughout “Habeas Corpse,” there are two main revolving story lines –Falco’s murder and the upcoming talent show at the “Policemen’s Benevolent Fundraiser” event. The first obviously should take precedence but it doesn’t. While there are some entertaining moments involving a few colorful characters —one in particular is Falco’s competition, Archie Bronstein (Don McManus), aka “The Savannah Hammer” — the story isn’t all that appealing. The crux of Falco’s tragic demise involves him repaying a debt from his days working at a corporate law firm. Falco represented a car company, “Modesto Motors,” and knew they were corrupt. He discovered the cars Modesto Motors produced have faulty air bags. When deployed, they launch shrapnel into the driver’s chest, killing them almost instantly. His assistant and would-be girlfriend Annie (Nikki DeLoach) turns Beckett (Stana Katic) and Castle (Nathan Fillion) onto Bronstein as a prime suspect. But as Ryan (Seamus Dever) and Esposito (Jon Huertas) dig deeper into Falco’s past, things don’t seem to add up, especially where Falco’s ex-wife Elise Resner (Meredith Monroe) is concerned.
The CSU team finds a hidden compartment in Falco’s office that has a bag containing rope, rags, and chloroform. With these being the items a criminal typically uses, is it possible Falco kidnapped or murdered someone? This doesn’t bode well, especially when Beckett and Castle learn Falco buried a body somewhere. Falco hired a private investigator, Mike Sampson (guest star Brian McNamara), to help him look into an old Modesto Motors case but things don’t go as planned. Prior to his death, Falco took matters into his own hands by breaking into the Modesto facility to take one of their crash test dummies as evidence of what the air bags .
Of course, Beckett and Castle don’t know it’s not a real body when they find the dump site. Suddenly, a masked gunman stops them after they’ve dug up the bag containing the dummy. Later, they discover it was Mike and he and Bronstein had a plan. One of Bronstein’s new clients is a victim of Modesto Motor’s faulty air bags and Bronstein knew if he could get his hands on the crash test dummy, he could siphon tens of millions of dollars from the company in order to keep its name out of the headlines. The only thing standing in Bronstein’s way – Falco.
With “Habeas Corpse” abbreviated like this, the episode sounds a bit more exciting than I made it out to be but trust me, the only real entertainment is seeing McManus portray an outlandish Bronstein complete with polyester suit, bolo tie, and Stetson. Southern drawl and all, McManus has graced our TV screens quite a bit as of late. He’s on FX’s Justified where he also plays an attorney and on ABC’s Forever as a deep sea salvager named George. I’ve enjoyed seeing McManus in various roles, anything is better than the stuffy Dr. Stan Herbert from 2004’s National Treasure.
The really fun and juicy part about “Habeas Corpse” is Ryan and Esposito’s dances moves for the contest. And although Castle isn’t a cop, Captain Gates (Penny Jerald) invites him as their precinct’s “celebrity” guest…only because “Kimmel” can’t make it. Castle is beyond excited and without asking Beckett, enters them in the contest. Esposito fakes an injury to fool Castle into making a bet about who will walk away with the trophy. But it’s all a ruse. The jig is up when both Beckett and Castle witness Ryan and Esposito dancing in sync toDaft Punk’s “Get Lucky” featuring Pharrell practicing their routine in the interrogation room.
As Castle insists on one upping Esposito, Beckett finally reveals to Castle’s mother Martha (Susan Sullivan), who is helping Castle and Beckett with their routine, that she has terrible stage fright. But she doesn’t want to let Castle down or have him think less of her so she doesn’t say anything. Thankfully, she doesn’t have to perform because “Kimmel” is able to rearrange his schedule and attend. Of course, it’s very convenient that Castle knows Kimmel and apparently calls in a favor after hearing Beckett’s confession to Martha.
I really wanted to see both Castle and Beckett’s routine, as well as the final routine Ryan and Esposito had been practicing. I wonder whether either one was filmed and then ended up on the cutting room floor. And finally, Lanie (Tamala Jones) is back! I’ve really missed our favorite medical examiner Lanie. She’s been gone a good while but after seeing this episode, it’s like she never left.
“I’ll make the law your bitch!” Castle, Beckett, Lanie, and Esposito, in unison, recite the tag line from Falco’s commercial for Ryan who’s never seen them before.
“Because it comes on late at night and when you’re not moonlighting, your honey milk sippin’ ass is in bed by 10.” Esposito, ever so lovingly, tells his boy Ryan how it is. I haven’t heard the reference to Ryan drinking honey milk in ages!
“Habeas Corpse” isn’t a complete stiff (pun intended). There are many entertaining moments but ultimately the only thing I cared about is Ryan and Esposito’s dance routine. While Falco tries to make a noble gesture, the hype around the talent competition far overshadows the investigation. But I’ll forgive “Habeas Corpse’s” lack of enthralling police work because the preview for the new episode is all about Castle’s strange disappearance at the beginning of the season. I’ve been dying for the writers to elaborate on this. YES!
What did you think of “Habeas Corpse?” Do you think Beckett and Castle stood a chance against Espo and Ryan in the talent competition? Leave me a comment below and/or tweet me @judybopp.
Castle will return in three weeks on Monday, April 20, 2015 at 10/9c, only on ABC.
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Photos ©2015 American Broadcasting Company. All Rights Reserved.
© 2015, Judy Manning. All rights reserved.
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