Mar 17 2015

Castle – “Hong Kong Hustle” Recap. Finding Your Balance.


Castle Ink Spot logo (featured)Season 7, Episode 17

Air Date: Monday, March 16, 2015 at 10/9c on ABC






“Yeah; this is gonna be fun, this little threesome here…investigatively speaking. I don’t wanna, didn’t mean to, I’m not trying to imply…” – Castle


Chief Inspector Zhang is ready to get her fight on

Chief Inspector Zhang is ready to get her fight on

After getting lost in space, Castle finally returns from a three week hiatus. In “Hong Kong Hustle,” our favorite NYPD detectives get international help from the beautiful Chief Inspector Zhang (guest star Linda Park) of the Hong Kong PD to solve a local murder. But, could she be the murderer?

In the opening scene of “Hong Kong Hustle,” it’s an early, foggy morning and a jogger is running while a hooded person rummages through a dead man’s pockets. The murder of Henry Graham (actor uncredited) lures Chief Inspector Zhang from San Francisco to New York to find out who killed her childhood friend. Running the U.S./Chinese task force out of San Francisco, Zhang finds herself at the center of the suspect list after the jogger reports seeing an Asian female going through the victim’s belongings.

Meanwhile, Beckett (Stana Katic) learns one of her police academy classmates is being promoted to captain at his precinct, leaving her to ponder about her own accomplishments, or lack thereof. Castle (Nathan Fillion), her dutiful partner, both in crime and in life, explains it the only way a writer can. “…Patterson syndrome…every time I write a best seller, Patterson writes like six; it’s maddening. But comparing myself to him doesn’t make me write any faster.” Kate feels as though she hasn’t done enough in her career, which doesn’t go unnoticed when she makes a comment about her short stint with the FBI in Washington, D.C. back in season six.

Throughout the investigation, we learn Henry was a “repo man” and ex-con. Henry had dealings with drug dealers that lead Beckett to believe the “access codes” Henry inquired about for a 2013 X5 are a big clue, especially since there are no cars matching that description on his repossession list.

As the investigation progresses, Beckett and Zhang find out Henry frequented“Jade Temple,” a local Chinese restaurant in Chinatown but he’s not going there just for the dim sum. wanted to help a young Chinese waitress, Su Yin (Ellen Wong), repay her debt to the restaurant’s owner Mimi Tan (Rosalind Chao), who purchased her from human trafficking smugglers. Mimi is a smart and savvy business woman who’s trying to edge out her competition, a developer named Jeffrey Wadlow (Robb Derringer), so she makes a proposal for Su Yin’s freedom – plant drugs in Wadlow’s vehicle (guess what make and model) in exchange for wiping Su Yin’s debt clean.

She packs quite a punch!

She packs quite a punch!

Henry finds it a bit tricky getting the drugs since the feds are watching his old pal William Hicks’ (guest star Hector Luis Bustamante) gym. Because of the FBI’s involvement, the NYPD detectives’ hands are tied, so Beckett tells Inspector Zhang they must back off Hicks until the feds get their indictment. Zhang can’t and won’t wait. She goes after Hicks alone and discovers Henry may be back into dealing drugs. She doesn’t realize the drugs aren’t for him but to help Su Yin.

After learning from Wadlow, who stands to gain from his incarceration, Beckett and Zhang pay another visit to Jade Temple to speak with Mimi. While Mimi may be a corrupt business woman, she didn’t kill Henry. It seems Su Yin isn’t the only Chinese immigrant who owes a debt. Su Yin’s best friend and co-worker Mei Woo (Susan Park) can’t allow her only friend in the world to abandon her so she eliminates the threat.


Fun Moments

Early in the investigation, Esposito (Jon Huertas) and Ryan (Seamus Dever) visit Henry’s apartment complex to speak with the manager. They learn the Asian female suspect is in the building so they go to Henry’s apartment. Esposito and Ryan get “schooled” when Inspector Zhang gets the best of them. The conversation among Castle, Esposito, and Ryan is both hilarious and revealing.

Castle: “So you mean to tell me she got both of your guns?”

Ryan: “Hey…you weren’t there; she was fast – crazy fast.”

Esposito: “Please, she ain’t all that.”

Castle: “And yet she got both your guns.”


Castle Theory

No episode of Castle would be complete without one hair-brained Castle theory about a case. In “Hong Kong Hustle,” Castle theorizes early on that the female suspect is a “Triad assassin.” He tells Beckett the woman is probably looking for something hidden in the “X5,” perhaps “cold fusion technology, genetically engineered super virus, some secret, unpublished Harry Potter manuscript…”


Ladies, ladies - you're both great shots. Zhang just goes for the kill shot in the head not the chest like Beckett.

Ladies, ladies – you’re both great shots. Zhang likes shooting the head; Beckett has a soft spot for the chest.

Girl Power

With Beckett feeling a bit “insecure” about her lack of accomplishments compared to the highly decorated Inspector Zhang, the two women head over to the gun range for a little target practice. I thoroughly enjoyed this mano á mano, so to speak, competitive angle to Beckett’s story line. The camaraderie between these two female “super cops” definitely speaks volumes about women in law enforcement. I love girl power in Castle episodes. I miss Beckett and Lanie (Tamala Jones) having their BFF moments. I hope we see Zhang again…after she finds her balance between work and family life, of course.



“Hong Kong Hustle” is another fun episode of Castle. While it doesn’t get us any closer to the mystery behind Castle’s strange disappearance at the beginning of the season, we do see character growth, especially with Beckett. I especially enjoyed the action and female empowerment scenes. Come on, you have to admit, Zhang is a badass chick. She takes Ryan and Esposito’s guns like they’re kids on a playground. And the way she beats up all the guys in the gym…I really need to learn kung-fu, or tae kwon do, or something.

What did you think of “Hong Kong Hustle?” Ready to find your balance? 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.

Judy Manning

Dream chaser extraordinaire! Judy is a tad sarcastic and kind of goofy! She is an avid admirer of all things supernatural, paranormal, and mystical. She finally came around to zombies, but NO clowns...she loathes clowns. She loves to read, write, and watches way too much TV. She enjoys many genres of film and music of the Trance/Electronica variety (and let's be honest, most music from the 80s). She also has a wicked sweet tooth. Cupcakes beware.

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