Castle S8 Ep20 – Much Ado About Murder

This was a pretty fun ep! Nice to have one that was totally free of annoying plotlines.

Vaguely interesting that this guy actually ended up being helpful, instead of just creepy.

Interesting that this guy actually ended up being helpful to the case, instead of just creepy.

This week a movie star named Zane, not particularly known for his acting chops, had tried to prove his mettle by starring in a stage production of Hamlet. But before opening night he’s killed by a quill to the throat, while he was rehearsing the big monologue.

The director, played by the wonderful Jewel Staite, directs the team’s attention to the woman playing Ophelia. That in turn leads to the shocking revelation that Zane had been meeting Martha, of all people, in a special hotel suite multiple times a week! But no, Martha and Zane weren’t having an affair. (Good. Don’t think I could’ve handled that.) She was his acting coach.

But Martha doesn’t know who killed Zane. And neither does the gangbanger that they find with aid of Zane’s kind-of stalker. The gangbanger does have ties to one of the most infamous Mexican cartel leaders, El Oso. All this guy can tell them is that Zane wanted to talk to El Oso, for something to do with his financial situation.

And apparently that’s enough inquiry into El Oso to make the man himself interested in the investigation. He kidnaps Castle (how many times does that make for Castle getting kidnapped?) and tells him what Zane wanted: to star in the biopic of El Oso. But the cartel boss refused unless Zane became a better actor first. Hence playing Hamlet onstage. The cartel boss doesn’t know who killed Zane, but he does know that Richard Castle would be the perfect person to write the screenplay. The only drawback, from Rick’s POV? El Oso wants to keep him locked up until such time as the screenplay is finished. Uh-oh.

But that’s when Beckett uses Castle’s fancy new YOLO credit card (hate the acronym, love that scene with Esposito) to track him down. The DEA capture El Oso in the process. Castle is kind of terrified that the cartel boss will be furious at Castle for helping get him arrested. Instead, though, it turns out later that El Oso is still interested in having Castle write his life story. Oh, and also he’s broken out of federal custody of course.

Right, back to the murderer. It’s Big Name Guest Star Syndrome again: Jewel Staite’s director character killed Zane. She was furious that he reneged on his promise to let her direct the future El Oso biopic, wanting to do it himself instead. She rails that it’s nearly impossible for a female director to break into Hollywood. Which is true, and that was a jerky thing for Zane to do, but Mal would still be very disappointed in you, Kaylee. (Sorry. I just couldn’t resist.)

Yeah, Sarah Grace is adooorable. (Photo credit: 'Castle' Facebook page.)

Yeah, Sarah Grace is adooorable. (Photo credit: Castle Facebook page.)

The other storylines this week: Beckett trying to come up with something amazing for her date night with Castle (who always goes all-out, of course), and Ryan being over-the-top focused on his preschool daughter’s dance performance. It’s nice to see Juliana Dever as Ryan’s wife again, and the little girl playing Sarah Grace was sweet.

What did you think of the episode? Was there enough Jewel Staite? Let us know in the comments.