Castle season 3 episode 4 review: Punked

Castle has been giving just a little bit too much away, reckons Alyssa...

3.4 Punked

This week on Castle, our favorite team of writer and detective explore the “steampunk” world. For those of you unaware, steampunk is a “sub-culture that embraces the simplicity and romanticism of the past and at the same time couples it with the hope and promise and super coolness of futuristic design,” according to Castle himself.

This episode has major similarities to the Halloween vampire/werewolf episode from last year (still one of the best episodes to date). Despite the similarities, this episode just wasn’t as good. Don’t get me wrong, I loved it. But there were some major things missing from the episode.

Actually, the beginning started off very strong. You see, back in the first season and even some of the second season, Castle always started with a really artistic shot over some great music and then panned around until you saw a dead body. In more recent episodes, the body is discovered at the beginning with a little bit of exposition and plot, and sometimes with some humor, which is strange for a murder scene. Personally, I love the more artistic openings, and this episode had one that really set the scene for a cool episode without giving too much away.

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We get our usual intro with Martha and Alexis in the Castle home, and we learn more about Alexis’ mystery man, specifically that she’s in love. It’s sweet and adorable, and Castle is obviously hung up on his little girl growing up and not needing him. How sad. Then, of course, Beckett calls. Same business.

Poor Esposito hurts his neck off-screen in a scene we don’t get to see (which is something else that’s bugging me about Castle, but more about that later) and he spends the entire episode in a neck brace. He takes hit after hit, and it’s funny at first and then it’s sad. Poor guy just gets pummelled!

The problem I’ve been having with Castle lately is the amount of plot they give away in their commercials. This episode would have been more shocking in its secrets if they had been real secrets. The idea of a special steampunk club was spoiled in the advertisements, and so, the plot wasn’t a shock to the viewers. Doesn’t mean that the plot wasn’t cool, because it totally was, but it just wasn’t a huge shock to me, and I’m sure I am not the only one who feels this way.

Another problem that this episode suffered from specifically was the sheer amount of plot they try and shove into one episode. They are trying to push so much into one hour that they leave out scenes and try to let us fill in the blanks on our own. The show hasn’t been doing this for long. I’ve always admired the way that the show tied itself into an hour, but recently Castle episodes have been rushing themselves, when they should be explaining more details. Well, that’s just my opinion.

So, the killer turns out to be who we expected all along, though there was a great twist that left us thinking we were crazy for even thinking it could be him. Alexis’ friend Ashley turns out to be a boy, that boy, in fact, and Castle and Alexis share a great scene in which they discuss how you know you’re in love. It was so beautiful and touching. The writers really did a great job.

With great visuals in the steampunk club, fun dialogue, and some cool antique guns, this episode was well worth the watch. It just had some things that could have been improved. I eagerly await next week’s episode.

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Read our review of episode 3, Under The Gun, here.