Castle, S5 Ep7 – Swan Song

I’m going to state right off the bat that I’m not usually much of a fan of documentary-style TV episodes.  They’re usually irritating and don’t end up making much sense.  However, I’d say Castle‘s use of this trope succeeded very well.  I should have known that with Nathan Fillion/Richard Castle’s natural hamming-it-up talents, this would end up as a pretty darn good episode.


Beckett’s facepalm in the background makes it art.

This week’s case revolves around the murder of James Swan, member of a rising-star rock band which is currently being filmed for a documentary.  When Swan is murdered, the overly focused documentary director manages to finagle his way into filming the murder investigation instead – as a publicity stunt for the precinct, of course.  This means each member of our team gets to react to being on camera.  And while some of the hijinks that ensue ended up a bit over-the-top, it was mostly just hilarious.

It seemed fitting to me that Esposito, after his initial lack of tolerance of cameras all over the crime scene, would be one of the crew who let being filmed go to his head – big time.  And Lanie’s sexy poses for the camera down in the morgue were spot-on, too.  Captain Gates’ on-screen enthusiasm for the project reminded me of the best parts of The X-Files‘ documentary episode “X-Cops,” with Skinner insisting that “the FBI has nothing to hide,” thereby forcing Scully to agree to the project.

And of COURSE Castle would be allll over this idea, from the very first time he saw the cameras.  My favorite part of the entire episode was probably him singing the musical sting himself.  Fantastic!  My second favorite was the soundtrack guy adding his own dramatic chord after Castle and Espo float their theory about the other band members’ motive for killing Swan.  As Espo said, it really gave the moment added weight.  Hee!

I was worried beforehand that the ‘film crew’ discovering Beckett and Castle’s relationship would be a major focus of the episode, as Rick and Kate try desperately to convince the crew not to reveal their secret to Gates.  I should really have learned to trust the show writers by now – they rarely steer things wrong.  That sweet little hair-behind-the-ears moment the cameras captured, and then Castle and Beckett’s quietly frantic attempts to keep that film from Gates’ eyes, played out very well.

Castle & Beckett

No wonder the camera lingered on this moment! *happy sigh*

As for the case, this was another episode where I had a strong hunch about the murderer from the first time he showed up.  As I’ve said before, however, that doesn’t usually bother me.  I was a little disappointed in how little screen time crazy cult leader C. Thomas Howell got, though.  Maybe we’ll see him again in a future storyline.

I have to say I was not disappointed that Martha didn’t appear in this episode, since the presence of a camera crew would have brought out the character’s more grating side.  We can all just imagine that she heard about it later and was very annoyed with her son for not calling her in for some expert advice, or something.

So, how did the gimmick work for you?