Castle takes a cue from classics like Wall Street and the new classic The Wolf of Wall Street as the gang collides with the world of high finance. The crew from the 12th precinct manages to catch a case that leads them to the wretched hide of scum and villainy that encapsulates the greed of our country. While it is a fairly boilerplate episode, I always judge Castle by if I can guess who the killer is and I am happy to report that the plot was airtight and void of holes. I am always impressed at just how delicately the writing balances the line between mystery and comedy. And in the sixth season, this blend is just like breathing for the comfortably stellar cast. That is why I come back week after week; the steady diet of continually above par episodes makes Castle one of the top five hour long dramas in prime time.
In the opening, we find commodities broker Peter Cordero shot through the heart with a slug and a mystery woman looming over him in his apartment. The lack of any evidence has Castle and company grasping at straws at just what the heck happened. Enter two black hats from the U.S. Attorney’s Office that shed some light on just who Cordero was in life. Oh and the attorney is none other than Captain Gates’ estranged younger sister with whom she had a falling out with back in ’98. As the investigation heats up, the Caskett checks out Cordero’s place of work at JP Harding, a top investment firm on the street headed by the slickly evil Jaime Berman. He is cut from the same cloth as one Gordon Gekko who defined American greed back in the ‘80s. Happy to talk to the dynamic duo, Berman plays the seasoned investigators like a fiddle almost visibly enjoying the game. While he is adamant that he and Peter had a good working relationship, there is a teflon shield up giving us just enough information to suspect the big boss. Hmm…
The dance plays out nicely, and soon the pieces start to fit together, giving us a clearer picture of how deep Peter was in. Starting with a stop and frisk where he was found to be in possession of cocaine, the young broker jumps at an immunity deal that requires him to wear a wire and help catch Berman. The mystery of just why he was killed looms as the detectives scramble to catch a break in the case. When it is found that Peter transferred $25 million from an Internet cafe to God knows where, the gang realizes that he was trying to get out of the situation by changing his identity and starting over in his home country of Venezuela. It is always nice to see a character outsmart law enforcement, but what’s most impressive is that even Castle seems rattled by this case. With just 10 minutes left in the episode, I was still scratching my head trying to figure out who the hell pulled the trigger. Was it a hitman hired by Berman? A government drone hired by the U.S. Attorney’s Office? Close, but no cigar.
While not a jaw-dropper of an ending, it was still a welcome surprise when the truth is revealed. The American dream was crystallized in Peter Cordero’s life and death and it makes you think about just how deep down the rabbit hole people go in the name of being successful. Overall, it was a solid addition to what has become one of the best seasons of Castle yet. The subplot surrounds Gates’ struggle with her kid sister and if she can reconcile with her. I was impressed by Penny Johnson’s range of emotion as the pensive Gates, and while you know that they are going to make up in the end, it was interesting to see the character in a moral dilemma. Also, Caskett are trying to put together their list of guests for the wedding and with Martha’s list, they are at a whopping 500+ attendees. It’s a lot, but I say go big or go home. After all, Castle has the dough to have 1000 guests in attendance. Next week: the ‘70s!