Episode Review: Castle 1×03 Hedge Fund Homeboys

Of course, the kid’s gaggle of friends is the usual suspects: the anxious kid, the rebellious chick, the quiet girl, the goody-goody and the cool one. Isn’t it always the calm and collected kid who plots the most dastardly of deeds? Apparently so. The case, while having one or two twists (although I wouldn’t call them outright turns) was dispatched with rather quickly. The red herrings were a little too convenient to be believed and so, we as the audience come back to the spoiled, rich kids pretty fast. That one of them actually did it, wasn’t much of a surprise.

However, the cases aren’t what make Castle fun. It’s the characters, most notably Nathan Fillion as Rick Castle. Last night’s episode gave us a few more hints at his humor and his emotions, using his open relationship with his teenage daughter as a great foil for his role as both concerned father and witty joker. We found out that Castle’s ring tone for Beckett is “Night on Bald Mountain,” one of the most foreboding motifs in classical music—and amusingly appropriate and irreverent when dealing with grisly murders.

And we saw Castle and Beckett really coming into their own. Not only is Stana Katic’s Kate Beckett exceptionally good at her job, she’s also particularly adept at dealing with Castle’s antics. One would almost think she’s dealt with an annoying sibling before. That’s what I like about their relationship so far; it’s not so much Maddy and David from “Moonlighting,” but a little more Carol and Mike from “Growing Pains:” Beckett puts up with Castle because she’s been ordered to, but maybe she’s also starting to get used to having him around.

Castle is of course still trying to charm her and that’s to be expected. Of course, why she hasn’t managed to fall for him yet is a mystery. The woman either has a heart of steel or just really doesn’t find him attractive. I’m guessing it’s the former, because … well, come on.

The show is continuing to book some terrific guest stars. Although I didn’t recognize any of last night’s teen actors, Nolan Gerard Funk, who portrayed Brandon the psychopathic best friend of our dead body, was exceptional. While at times he appeared a little too calm, which tipped me off that he was the guy, his scene in the interrogation room when Castle nudges him into admitting his own guilt, was terrific. Michelle Page’s Amanda, the ex-girlfriend, and Jamie Chung’s Romy also deserve mention.

However, as “Castle” continues to find its groove and its audience, I’d love to see them capitalize on their permanent cast. Susan Sullivan is being woefully underused as Castle’s eccentric mother and while Molly Quinn’s Alexis is getting good screen time, her relationship with the show’s namesake, would be a great way to further examine the dichotomy of Castle the father and Castle the playboy. Also, Medical Examiner Lanie Parish, played by Tamala Jones, needs to be more prominent as she’s the only other adult female with whom Kate can confide, and eventually that’s going to be important. At least, I hope it is, because I want to know more about Beckett and her backstory.

But, as third episodes go, “Hedge Fund Homeboys” did its job—it improved on the two episodes before it and made me interested to see what’s coming next week. That’s all a new show can really hope for.
 

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