Castle has a rare miss this week as it enters the world of extreme sports. I guess it was only a matter of time before we saw the veteran cop drama flirt with the crazy culture of bikes, boards, and cycles. While its not really my cup of tea, it does make for an interesting backdrop for a murder. That being said, the lighthearted air of the episode does not mix well with the murder of skateboard champ Logan Moore. It is a fairly boilerplate episode that does not really capitalize on what I hoped would be a more balanced episode. Frankly, the wedding subplot of Ryan and Esposito battling to see who is going to be Castle’s best man was way more fun. Plus, Beckett beats Castle in Scrabble making for a fun and flirty contest of brains that lasts the whole hour before ending in a game of strip poker for the soon to be betrothed couple. Putting that aside, the murder was completely forgettable.
The New York Street Sports Festival is in full swing and rising star Logan Moore is favored to win. But before he can compete, Logan is cut down by an assassin on a cycle with three bullets. Being originally from the Bronx, Logan knew New York, and it was definitely strange for him to be in the city between three and four in the morning the night before the games. Just what was he doing out? While it began as intriguing, I just could not really get hooked into the normally winning narrative that Castle is so capable of producing. The first suspect is Logan’s tour rival Manny Castro, but he predictably is a dead end. Caskett turn to event organizer Tommy Fulton who is cagey but has information about Logan and his past. Immediately, I thought, “Hmm, they are going to see this guy again…”
As the investigation deepens, Caskett track where Logan was staying to trust fund kid Ross De Koning, a twenty year old that likes to party with the extreme athletes. Ross is a real piece of work and gives Caskett a tip about an Albanian that Logan’s incarcerated mother dated years ago that wanted payback on the rising skate star. What?? All of a sudden, we are dealing with the Albanian mob? Is this Taken? At this point, I felt that the episode kind of missed the exit, but I held fast and kept my faith in my show. Upon interviewing the Albanian, they discover that he found God in prison and saw Logan before he died, but his alibi held water. Another strike. The thing that did hold my interest was just what exactly the motive was to kill Logan. Just what could an extreme sports star do to warrant getting killed puzzled me. The problem was that I was not too impressed with the candidates for just who the killer could be.
As the episode progresses Ryan and Espo continue to try and one-up each other to impress Castle and get the nod for his wedding. Seeing the two detectives desperate for Castle’s approval is pretty damn funny. They genuinely want to be a part of the wedding. In the end, Castle reveals that he has asked Alexis to be his best man but has Espo and Ryan as groomsmen. I thought it was kind of lame to have Alexis as his best man, but whatever. I also noticed that unlike a lot of episodes, they cut away to Rick’s loft to see Caskett playing Scrabble again and enjoying a bottle of wine. As opposed to earlier seasons, the couple are much more domesticated than they used to be. It actually translates well on screen and it is seamlessly entered into the story.
When the digging continues, more and more bizarre events turn up including an old Hi-8 video camera Logan purchased as well as a gym locker filled with tools that a burglar would use. Then a law firm is broken into in the vicinity where Logan’s body was found further confusing me. In the end, it all came back to Logan’s past and a videotape that revealed a very dirty secret. “Law & Boarder” just did not find its footing and stayed on shaky ground the whole episode. Outside of the case, it totally got by on its charm that saved it from being a one-star snoozer. Still, even a sub-par episode of Castle is better than most one-hour dramas. Next week: Beckett gets set up!