Castle: Private Eye Caramba Review

In the latest episode of Castle, Rick is still a private eye who somehow gets wrapped up in Beckett's cases. How convenient...

Can Rick Castle exist outside of the precinct house and away from Kate Beckett, Esposito and Ryan? This is the question that Rick’s sojourn into the private investigation business seemed ready to ask, but last night’s episode once again refused to let Rick and the writers pull away from what is familiar to them, ultimately resulting in a middling episode.

At the start of “Private Eye Caramba!” it almost seemed as though we might get that separation. Rick’s business is slow and Kate is concerned, but he’s still slogging along, re-designing his website and waiting for cases that don’t involve lost cats and crackpot theories about his disappearance from strangers.

At Beckett’s latest crime scene, which Rick walks her to, tradition leads him to cross the line before he remembers that he’s not one the chosen few anymore — a glare from Esposito and another quip from Perlmutter ramming that point home.

As I said last week, the Perlmutter thing feels out of place and maybe overdone. I’d much rather know why Esposito seems to be a little bit cooler to Rick than have a minor character’s venom-y disdain remind us that Rick is an outsider.

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The particulars of the case-of-the-week were somewhat unique, but at this point, I’m bored by the show’s procedural elements to the point where it feels cliché to even write about them.

The victim was a telenovela star in a red dress whose associations led Kate and her lackeys to take a few wrong turns before the case ultimately got resolved with a minor twist that is — as I said last week — hollow because there is nearly never enough time to focus on their story or develop concern or interest in them.What’s important to the show is that the victim had borrowed a $500k clutch from a co-worker who wanted the item returned as it was, itself, on-loan. To assist her in finding the clutch, Kate suggested that she hire Rick — thus establishing Rick’s way into the inner circle. Something that felt loose until Rick found himself in the back of a limo with a gun pointed at him. Kate of course rescues him, giving Kate a seemingly viable lead and Rick a return visit to the precinct.Here, it would have been nice to see Rick industriously deal with the situation on his own, but this wasn’t a “Competent-Rick” episode, so much as it was one where he fell into solving the disappearance of the clutch — and by extension, the case. There are two Rick Castles: “Competent-Rick” and the goofy buffoon. Sometimes they occupy the same space, but more frequently, they trade off.

Last week was a “Competent-Rick” episode, where we’ll go next time remains to be seen, but the writer’s are sticking with the PI angle for at least another outing. The question is if we’re not really going to see Rick and Kate tackle entirely separate cases with no interaction besides that of a husband and a wife who are dealing with a significant adjustment, what’s the point?


2.5 out of 5