Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Castle Season 7 Episode 3 - Clear & Present Danger

I have had some issues with recent Castles episodes, mostly the season six finale and the season seven premiere, but I have continued to watch.  The second episode was a little better, with a few more answers being discovered, but something was still a little off.  For the most part, I was all right with that since I know that the writers have started what they are calling a new mythology connected to Rick.  I didn’t expect everything to be resolved in one or two episodes.  I did want to see the beginning of some resolution, and I do think that happened in the first two episodes.  For me, Clear & Present Danger, is the most entertaining episode of the season so far and it feels like things are back on track between Rick and Kate.  While some of what happens is more silly, to me, it feels more like a classic Castle episode.

Like usual, I will be sharing things that will be spoilers for people who haven’t watched the episode yet, so read at your own risk.  You have been warned.

A man is alone in his apartment playing pool when there is a knock at the door.  When he checks the peep hole, no one is there, but he opens the door anyway and walks into the hallway.  He then freaks out and rushes back inside, slamming the door behind him.

Rick and Kate are settled in at the loft, on opposite ends of the couch, using their tablets.  They have a short discussion about doing something that night, deciding against the idea of a movie because they have watched a lot of them recently.  The discussion takes a more personal turn, with each of them admitting that they thought the other wasn’t ready for certain activities again just yet.  They each state clearly that they are ready and just when they are ready to head to the bedroom, Kate’s phone rings.  They have a murder to deal with.

Will Fairwick, the man from the first scene, is dead in his apartment, stabbed in the chest with a pool cue.  Ryan shows up to the scene a little late, smelling of alcohol that he said someone spilled on him when he and Jenny were having dinner.  They discover a stash of cash in the apartment and it looks like Will worked for an insurance company.  His neighbor Henry shows up long enough to say that Will was a pool hustler and that was how he made his real money.  Henry says that he and Will sometimes played video games together and he didn’t hear anything because he had been playing with headphones on.

Rick and Kate talk to the owner of a pool hall where Will has won a lot of money.  The owner claims that Will talked about having made a deal with the devil to be so good at pool.  He also said that Will was acting nervous recently and started to say that his time was up.  Back at the precinct, they look at the video footage from the hallway outside Will’s apartment.  It shows the door opening and closing, after the time of Will’s murder, but no one is visible on the footage.  Rick decides that the devil showed up to collect while Kate tries to find a more reasonable explanation, like a draft from an open window - even though all the windows were closed and locked from the inside.

They follow a few clues, which leads Rick and Kate to Tom Talmadge, a man in the hospital recovering from being attacked.  When he talks to Kate, Tom says he was attacked by some kind of unseen force and he briefly blacked out.  When he came to, a stranger, that he now identified as Will, was standing over him.  Tom believes that Will saved him from whatever attacked him.  Back at the precinct, Kate wants to look at the video footage again, only to discover it missing from the evidence and the officer on duty says no one has been there since she originally brought it in.  That makes Rick decide that the suspect is an invisible man.  They do discover that Will had been dating Donna, a biology professor that he originally knew from college before he had a break down and dropped out.

Kate and Rick head back to Will’s apartment to get the keycard for the insurance company that he worked for.  Rick does make a joke or two about the Invisible Man again.  After Kate picks up the keycard and they are leaving, she is attacked by something or someone that they can’t see.  At first Rick thinks she is teasing him, but he quickly realizes he is wrong and tries to help her.  He does manage to get the attacker off Kate, only to be attacked himself as soon as he picks up the fallen keycard.  Once the attacker seems to leave, Rick shares that he managed to keep the keycard.  Kate comes up with a creative explanation for the encounter when telling Captain Gates what happened.

Back at the loft, Rick and Kate attempt to follow through on their plans from earlier, but first Rick and then Kate get the feeling that they are being watched.  Rick then gets what looks like every pot and pan in the loft and strings up a homemade alarm.  Unfortunately, they are interrupted again when Martha, who thought they weren’t home yet and wanted some dental floss, got snared in the trap. 

Esposito spots body glitter on Ryan and wants to know what is going on.  Ryan is still worrying about being able to pay for everything connected to Sarah Grace.  Specifically, he is worrying about college that he says will cost a quarter of a million dollars just for a state college.  He has a second job working as a bouncer at a strip club.  A male strip club.  Tory does some work with the keycard, but she is unable to find any information.  Another clue takes Kate and Rick to what turns out to be a secret government facility working on cloaking technology.  Will was working on the project which has been set back by his death.  His boss suggests that the Chinese may be behind his murder.  She also believes they are behind a recent computer attack that damaged all the files for the project. 

Rick notices something that points to Henry being involved in the attack.  He was a talented programmer who has been in trouble with the law before.  Will and Henry had been working in secret on the cloaking suit and managed to get it to work.  Henry used it to try to find proof that Talmadge had stole code from him.  Things didn’t go as planned and he ended up hurting Talmadge instead of just scaring him. 

Kate and Rick then realize that Will got back in touch with Donna because he wanted her research to use for the cloaking suit.  When Donna figured that out, she was ticked off and used the suit to attack and kill him.  She manages to get in the suit again, but Rick and Kate trap her in a room where they then get the idea to use fire extinguishers to find her.  Will’s boss shows up at the precinct to take possession of the suit.  Esposito gives Ryan the gift of a speedo, claiming he needs a proper uniform for his new job.  Back at the loft, Rick and Kate are able to pick up where they left out before earlier.

While some people may find this episode too silly, I thought it was really fun and entertaining.  It was nice to have a more lighthearted and fun episode again after the last two episodes that were more serious.  Nothing new tied to Rick’s disappearance comes up, but that doesn’t bother me.  While I do want answers to what happened, I am fine with it taking a while, as long as there is no lingering or long term damage to Rick and Kate.  Things definitely look to be back on track in that regard, which makes me happy.  It is nice to see them more natural with each other again and back to teasing each other a bit.  They even have one of their mind melds as Rick calls it moments late in the episode when they both get the same idea at the same time.  I am happy that they are getting back to their normal even while still not having all the answers.  There was at least one point in the second episode when it seemed like Kate still had doubts about Rick.  I didn’t see anything like that in this one, which I liked.

I have always really enjoyed the episodes that have Rick fully embracing one of his somewhat wild ides - he’s been cursed by a mummy, attacked by a vampire, abducted by aliens, a ghost is a killer, the killer is a zombie, he is going to die because he watched a cursed DVD, there is a time traveling killer, Bigfoot is real, or there is a ninja assassin running around.  The fact that it looks like an invisible person killed Will is just that type of case.  Rick and Kate’s reactions to what is going on is very entertaining.  It was kind of creepy but also funny when Rick was getting beat up by the invisible woman.  I’ve already watched this episode twice, and the second time, I swear I heard something when Rick did before he set up the pots and pans.  It is rather freaky to think that someone could be around that you couldn’t see.  It was very funny to see Kate try to explain what happened to Gates, especially when Rick started to say more but was stopped by Kate.  The cloaking technology stuff that is part of the story is based on real research that is being done by the military and/or government. 

The episode has several funny moments.  Some come from how Rick and Kate react or deal with things connected to the case.  It was really funny how Rick rigged up the homemade alarm in the bedroom.  It looks like he not only got every pot and pan from the kitchen, but that he got donations from the neighbors as well.  He has a lot of cookware.  It was really funny how Martha got caught.  Kate looked mortified, but Martha was fine, mentioning how she didn’t think they were home and she just wanted to get some dental floss.  I also found it funny that she didn’t question why there were pots and pans hanging from the ceiling.  Esposito’s reaction to Ryan’s second job is very funny, as is the gift and the way Ryan reacts to it.  I don’t think anyone else knows yet, so it will be interesting to see how Rick and Kate react.  I also don’t think that Esposito is done teasing Ryan about it yet either. 

This episode of Castle is the most entertaining of the season so far for me.  It is a bit silly, but it works.  Things between Rick and Kate are well on the way to getting back to normal even though they don’t know what went on when he was missing.

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