Castle has kept it light the last few weeks and tonight’s opening is no exception. Rick is playing a Call of Duty-esque game and has to choose between a very comely looking Beckett in a button-up shirt or a kid from India who has been pushing his buttons for weeks on XBOX LIVE. He has to make the ultimate choice between playing and the play. It is a really funny moment that makes you happy to be done with the whole “will they or won’t they” four-season long period where we waited and waited.
A wealthy businessman investor named Arthur Felder has been poisoned at the most posh restaurant, Iago, in New York City. It seems that somebody has mixed up the appetizers, hence the name of the episode. One of the apps was deadly and it was sent for billionaire Eric Vaughn, played by the stretchy Ioan Gruffudd of the Fantastic Four movies. The poison was a saxitoxin chemical compound that was created in a lab and packs a potent punch when ingested. Beckett and Lanie are enamored with the Brit’s looks and accent, making Castle just a wee bit jealous. Castle spouts off a hysterical monologue on why he is jealous; after all, Vaughn has won a MacArthur genius grant and owns a company on the cusp of curing cancer. After their preliminary interaction, Vaughn has the police commissioner assign Beckett personally to keep the billionaire playboy safe much to the chagrin of Castle. It is always fun to see Rick carry on or be usurped by someone wealthier than himself.
Determined to solve the case ASAP and get Becks away from Mr. Vaughn’s charms, Castle works double-time to try to get the information he needs. When a busboy from Iago lies to Detective Ryan, he and Espo follow-up only to find that the young guy has a bullet between the ears (the poor man’s silencer). Strangely, someone washed the busboy’s hands in bleach to eliminate any DNA and traceable evidence. A bottle of the toxin is also found in his apartment, which means he clearly was a cog in a much bigger machine. Victoria “Iron” Gates and Vaughn insist that Beckett stay in the Presidential Suite, keeping eyes on Vaughn 24-7. Hopped up on caffeine and coffee, Castle funnily tells Espo and Ryan that they are not leaving until they solve this case. It really feels like a family after all of these years and the show has the comfortability of going home when during its best moments.
Castle and the boys go to Iago and question the chef only to learn that the busboy was late for his shift the night of the murder. The chef tells them that under normal circumstances, he would have fired him. But this time, he had a spooky look in his eyes like he’d seen a ghost. Vaughn and Beckett share some cozy moments in the hotel suite about their respective pasts and how fate brought them to their careers. It is weird to see Beckett be flirty with another guy since she and Castle became “Caskett.” It has the feel of an earlier episode where there was still that dynamic of sexual tension. Now, even I was feeling protective. Like, “Dude, get your hands away from Castle’s lady.”
In a traffic-cam video of the now-dead busboy, they are able to procure a picture of a man giving the potion to soon-to-be corpse. This is what caused him to be late to the restaurant. Thus a canvass goes out on the man. One thing that they do know is that he is a pro. Castle is flipping out to Alexis about Eric Vaughn and whether or not Beckett will be faithful to him while babysitting the billionaire. Meanwhile at the Presidential Suite, Mr. Vaughn is totally putting the moves on Beckett. He is using his rhetoric to cause a great deal of doubt about her relationship with Castle and his intentions. Vaughn goes as far as to call Castle a fool before going in for a kiss. Right as Beckett is about to make a life-shattering mistake, high-powered rifle fire comes through the top floor window. Clearly someone wants Vaughn dead and quick. While documenting the scene, Ryan needs to take a statement from Beckett, letting Castle hear just how close the two were when shots rang out. Rather than drag it out, Beckett tells Castle that HE KISSED HER. And if he didn’t make that sleazy move, his brains would be on the very expensive carpet. Ryan always seems to take the really funny statements from people involved with the crimes, especially ones that involve Caskett.
After close examination, Castle figures out that the gun for hire is Thomas Barber, a professional killer/fall guy who was hired and is now on the run. It appears that Vaughn is running a Madoff-like con but…it is not Vaughn. His trusty attorney David Anderson is behind it all, so that he could emulate his billionaire boss’s lifestyle. The money was not his and he just kept doubling down until the hole got too deep. The poison was meant for Vaughn, but it killed the investor instead.
It was a very nice and clean episode of Castle. The harmonizing of comedy, thriller and drama continues to work week in and week out. At the end of the episode, Castle cuts the cord to his XBOX. as a symbolic gesture to show that Beckett comes first. (Don’t worry; he says he has lots of extra cables taking the meaning of the gesture away! Ha!) Still he is trying to show his loyalty to the hottest female NYPD detective in town. When Rick reveals a room full of decadence and pampering for Kate, she whispers, “Where are we going?” Castle takes it as literally as it sounds and answers that they are going to the bedroom. Kate’s little crush with Vaughn has triggered her female clock and she, for lack of a better phrase, wants Castle to put a ring put on it. They are getting there. Close, but not yet. A solid episode and worthy of the canon as we near the end of a 5th Season. Still, no word on whether or not a sixth season is in the works. Here’s to hoping.