After last week’s epic episode that saw the return of 3XK, I pretty much expected a vanilla episode before the holiday break. I was right but it’s not as bad as it sounds, even the episodes of Castle that are not home runs do a solid job of entertaining. Most of the bores that troll around the 10 PM spot cannot hold a candle to even the “just OK” episodes of Castle. I will say that although the plot is has some solid twists, it has that feeling of familial fun that makes the non-hardcore episodes of the sometimes grisly show stand out as solid fare.
When an overnight limo driver shows up at a church riddled with bullet holes and a baby in tow the mystery begins. Just who was this driver and more importantly whose kid is this?? Castle immediately is taken with the little rugrat and has taken to calling him “Cosmo” and spoils the little guy with Manhattan’s finest in chi-chi baby-wear. As they say, “only in New York.” The driving force of the episode is not only to determine whose baby Cosmo is but also to figure just why a man was killed saving him. Hmmm. Throw all that in the TV blender as well as an old fashioned heist and a fixing of the multi-state Powerball lottery and you’ve got a fun little pressure cooker of a plot.
While social services are set to take Cosmo, Castle insists that he become the proxy caretaker while the state searches for his birth parents. One little problem with this plan though—Beckett is not exactly what you’d call a warm and cuddly Mommy type. As warm as she can be under that tough exterior, she would probably be the only Mommy & Me attendee wearing a Glock. Pending father Ryan also stands out as his usual affable self that is clearly terrified of being a father in just under a month. Still it is nice to see Caskett playing house at Rick’s playboy pad as he gets spit up on and Beck’s deals with diapers filled with number two. Seeing Kate deal with this domestic crisis is clearly foreshadowing for a future little Caskett that is sure to come about should the show last a few more seasons. Baby aside I hope the show has a long, healthy life ahead and that we are only half way through the Castle canon.
The plot does indeed thicken and it is has sparks of life that tie in the NYC staple that is the lottery. For those that live in the Tri-State area (New York, New Jersey & Connecticut), the popping ping pong balls are as New York as hot dog carts. When the plot thickens and comes to a boil the writers do a stellar job of integrating three different story lines into one cohesive narrative. And let’s get real, it was sweet to see Caskett together prepping for the future. When the smoke clears and it is all laid out for us it actually turned out to be a far more clever episode than I had given it credit for after the first viewing. By the second time I watched it things became a little clearer and the episode definitely fell into one of the more “fun” Castle episodes. To be honest I needed a little break after listening to Vera Lynn’s “We’ll Meet Again” at the end of last week’s super-creepy episode.
While it is definitely not an all-time Top 10 episode, it does hold water and makes for a nice sketch of what Caskett’s life may be like in the very near future. The rest is neatly organized around a plot that while is not the most original, the gang makes it work better than any other ensemble cop drama. The beauty of a show like Castle is that at its heart it is its character-driven episodes that make you realize why we keep tuning in every week. A solid three-star episode before the holiday break.
Den of Geek Rating: 3 Out of 5 Stars