Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Castle - Season 7 - Episode 4 - Child’s Play



The fourth episode of Castle of the season - Child’s Play - is another one that is a bit lighter overall even though a few more serious things come up.  The episode stands alone fairly well, there are a few small connections to earlier episodes.

Once again, there are spoilers, so people who haven’t seen the episode yet will want to proceed with caution.

At the loft, Rick, Kate, Martha, and Alexis finish a big dinner that Martha and Alexis fixed, complete with a huge sundae with potato chip fudge ice cream.  When Kate tries to say that she and Rick will do the dishes, Alexis takes the plates away.  Kate is a bit concerned with how Alexis is acting, but Rick isn’t bothered and thinks he should enjoy it.  They get called to a crime scene where there is a dead man inside an ice cream truck.  They soon figure out that someone was hiding in a cabinet in the truck and it looks like it was a second grade student since there was a field trip permission slip from a near by school in the cabinet. 

When Kate and Rick talk to the principal the next day, he says that none of the kids have said anything.  Kate then gets the idea that Rick should go into the classroom, as an adult who can act like a kid, and try to find out who was in the truck.  Rick claims he’ll have no problems, but a few of the kids do present a bit of a challenge.  He does come up with the idea of having the kids write stories, hoping that something in them will point to who the witness is.  As Rick tells the teacher, he believes that witnessing the murder will come out in the writing some way.  He thinks he finds the potential witness, but it turns out the boy was writing about a scary movie.  A little girl named Emily seems on the verge of telling him something at the end of the day, but then her mom interrupts, so Rick promises that he will be there the next day.

The next morning, Alexis actually feeds one last bite of breakfast to Rick while giving him a lunch that she packed him.  After that, he agrees that he needs to talk to Alexis.  Back at the school, Rick has a princess tea party with Emily during recess that is very sweet and she does confide in him.  Unfortunately, it is that Jason is a bully.  Rick does tell her something that I think is very good related to her inner strength.  Emily interprets it in a different way, punching Jason who then goes running to the principal.  Since Jason’s parents are lawyers who threaten to sue at the drop of a hat, the principal sends Rick on his way.  As he is leaving, Rick finds a drawing in his coat pocket that is of the ice cream truck.  Kate, Ryan and Esposito have been following other leads in the case.  Rick lets Kate know about the drawing and she goes to the school where they discover that Jason drew the picture.

Jason mouths off a bit to Kate when she first starts to talk to him, but he eventually starts to talk.  He insists he wasn’t in the ice cream truck but that he knew who was and that he wasn’t supposed to tell.  It was his older half sister who also was the graphic art teacher of the victim.  It turns out that they, along with one of the victim’s childhood friends from Russia and a former cop had been making fake passports to help Russians being taken advantage of go back home.  One of their clients is actually a wanted criminal who is now killing anyone who has seen his picture.  Kate and Rick go after an actual picture Jason’s sister has, only to figure out that the picture is in the classroom.  Just as they find it, the bad guy shows up, a fight ensues, and Rick ultimately stops him by dumping marbles on the floor.  Rick discovers that Alexis put a tracking program on his cell phone when she texts him to come straight home.

Rick again agrees that he has to talk to Alexis.  Rick arrives home on a scooter to Alexis freaking out a bit because she thinks he is late.  They talk about her being afraid that he will disappear again and how he felt after she was kidnapped.   He also points out that part of being a grown up is realizing that you can’t protect someone you love every minute.  Rick convinces Alexis to be a kid by bringing in another scooter and the two head off for pizza. 

While this episode isn’t one of my favorites, I still really enjoyed it.  Rick and Kate spent most of the episode investigating apart, something that I generally don’t like as much.  I just tend to enjoy the episodes more when they are together more.  I did like Rick spending time with the children .  While it was perhaps a bit silly, it was fun and I think worked overall for the episode.  The princess tea party was absolutely adorable and gives the audience a hint at how he was when Alexis was that age.  It takes a confidant man to pull of fairly wings and a tiara, and Rick pulled it off perfectly.  I just wish that Kate would have shown up then for some reason - maybe to have lunch with Rick or just to check in - and seen the tea party. 

Rick has always been a bit of a child inside the body of an adult man and that one of the things that I like about him.  It makes him more of a fun character.  He isn’t exactly immature, at least not all the time, but he will take time for fun and to enjoy things.  Yes some of that can be a little silly, but I like it.  Rick in a classroom full of children is very fun.  He thinks he will have no trouble at all, only to quickly see that he is wrong.  It seems mostly realistic even when it is a little silly.  Rick has a way of connecting with children without talking down to them.  I thought it was fun to see him with younger children after seeing him with Alexis for the last six years.  Nathan Fillion is wonderful in the episode and it nice to see him get a bit more to do.  The case is interesting, though I enjoyed the parts with Rick in the classroom more than Kate, Ryan and Esposito following other leads.  I think I would have enjoyed that part more if Rick had been more involved in it as well like usual. 

There are no new developments connected to Rick’s disappearance, but the episode does address how Alexis is afraid that he is going to vanish again.  It even refers back to when she was kidnapped and how overprotective Rick felt afterward too.  When that happened, once Alexis was back home, they didn’t really deal with that again except very briefly when Rick didn’t want her to go off to Costa Rica.  They really didn’t talk about things at that point, so I think it is good that they did this time.  I think it is completely believable that Alexis would be worrying more about Rick and even kind of over protective.  It is kind of cute to see her fuss over him in that way, though she is going overboard.  Last year when Rick and Alexis had their issues, Kate didn’t bring it up, she just waited until Rick said something.  This time, she points it out early in the episode.  I think this is a way of showing that Kate feels more comfortable as a part of the family that includes Alexis and Martha.  I also think there is a bit of a clue in what Rick says to the teacher about how it would come out someway in writing of the child who witnessed the murder.  I think that is a clue that whatever happened when he was a child has already made it into his writing at some point in his past.  I’m also thinking that it is possible that something from the missing two months may start to come out in his future writing, once he is working on another Heat or Storm book. 

Overall, I really enjoyed Child’s Play even though it isn’t one of my favorite episodes.  I liked Clear & Present Danger better, but that one is hard to top.  This one is still very fun and well worth checking out.

2 comments:

  1. I will agree that I think the previous episode was better over all, but this was still a very good one and much better than either of the first two this season.

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    1. Yes...exactly. Clear and Present Danger was the best of the season so far, but this one was better than the first two...and the finale of season six.

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