Allow me to set the scene for you. I have just spent the day at Disneyland with some friends. I am tired. I am spending the night at a hotel room down there so I can go back the next day. I arrive in time to watch Castle, so I settle in and turn on the TV only to have it be the zombie episode. And let me tell you, the make up on those faces was a little freaky. Fortunately, it didn’t keep me from having nightmares, but since I don’t do much horror at all, it did have me worried.
The episode opens with someone sneaking up on Alexis. It’s Castle, and he’s taking part in the game of laser tag they’ve been playing since she was 5. Game to 1000. But she’s not interested because she’s trying to figure out which college to attend. She’s debating between two far away colleges because she doesn’t want to have the option of running home easily. She wants to spread her wings.
Castle’s depressed about that and confiding about it to his mom when Beckett calls. He refuses to take the call at first, and Martha prods him about that. Finally, he decides to work one last case with her, but because of how hurt he is to hang it up after this.
So he arrives at the crime scene, a parking garage, to find the victim was a stock broker at a nearby financial firm. He was found by his boss with a bite mark and his head smashed in. The only other car is from someone who he beat out for a promotion.
This looks like an open and shut, easy case. Castle’s a bit bummed as they go to take down the killer. Only the suspect begs Beckett to kill him. He claims that not only is he not the killer, but he witnessed the killing and then was attacked and bitten by the killer – a zombie and is now worried about being turned into one himself.
Predictably, Castle’s thrilled and Beckett is skeptical. That is until they get security camera feed from the area and find a zombie walking toward the garage. Meanwhile, they’ve determined that the bite mark on their witness matches the bite mark on the victim and neither of them could have done it. When they go to free this witness, he refuses to go until they’ve stopped the zombie apocalypse.
Investigating the victim, they find that he had an ex-girlfriend he’s called the night before. She has broken things off with him because she is engaged. Her fiancée is naturally not a fan of the victim, but he was studying in the law library at the time the murder happened.
They also discover a zombie sub-culture, and one of their meeting places is a place the victim went before he died. Beckett and Castle show up and almost get attacked before they finally learn what is happening. It’s all pretend with people in makeup and “victims” who run away or get turned themselves. No one recognizes the murder victim, however.
They do get a line on the zombie who killed him, however. When they arrive at his place, they find him in full makeup and costume dead on the floor. When they get him back to the morgue, however, he revives. (And where was Lanie this episode? I didn’t recognize the new coroner, and I didn’t like him at all. Have we seen him in the past?)
When the zombie killer wakes up, he claims to remember nothing from the last two days. While he still looks to be the killer, it also leads Beckett and Castle to make some interesting observations to each other about the after math of Beckett’s shooting – all couched as “maybe he.” It was a funny scene, and in it Beckett confesses that she just might be ready to act on Castle’s confession of love.
The blood work from our zombie killer reveals a heavy dose of a drug in his system. At those levels, he’s susceptible to do anything he’s been told to do but then wake up the next morning and not remember it. Several people in the zombie scene take the drug to enhance the experience, and one of them identifies the dealer – the victim’s ex-girlfriend’s fiancée. The one who was studying for his law finals at the time of the murder.
Since he’s a law student, he doesn’t just break down and confess. In fact, he’s very adamant that he is innocent and threatens to sue the police for holding him without cause.
Cue the final commercial break.
Now, according to formula, they’ll realize their mistake and then catch the real killer in the last act. I loved the fact that this wasn’t the case this time around. In fact, they spent the entire time trying to get him to confess. When they can’t get the girl in this love triangle to turn on him, they must reluctantly set him free. This is about the time they learn that the zombie killer has made bail. The law student freaks out, demanding police protection. The best they can give him is a ride home from Esposito.
When they get to his home, they are immediately attacked by the zombie killer. He knocks Esposito out and then turns on the law student. As the law student panickly confesses, Beckett steps out and arrests the law student and Esposito pops up unharmed. The zombie? It’s really Castle in the makeup.
Speaking of which, he takes it home that night where he wins the game of laser tag from a momentarily frightened at the zombie Alexis. Alexis also admits she’s decided to go to college in New York, but only if Castle will promise to not invade her life. Castle promises that he intends to give her space right then, and that seems good enough for her.
And how did Castle and Beckett leave things? Actually, on pretty good terms. They obviously enjoyed working together again, and everyone picked up on how good it was to have them back in sync. As he was leaving with the case wrapped up, Castle said he’d be back tomorrow.
Next week is the season finale, and it promises to be pretty big as Beckett’s mom’s murder comes back to the foreground (as it always seems to do in May).
I don’t know where Lanie was, but the coroner in this episode has always been the standard backup for when Lanie isn’t around. The name of the character is Sidney Perlmutter. I remember when he first showed up, I thought it added a bit more realism that it wasn’t always Lanie who was on duty when a body was found.
Here’s a list of the other episodes he was in (from IMDB):
The Double Down (28 September 2009)
When the Bough Breaks (19 October 2009)
Famous Last Words (2 November 2009)
Kill the Messenger (9 November 2009)
Suicide Squeeze (8 February 2010)
Food to Die For (3 May 2010)
So we haven’t seen him in two years. I feel better that I didn’t recognize me. Thanks for filling me in from IMDB since I was too lazy to look him up myself. (Actually, it’s funny I didn’t think to do that since I was on the page yesterday myself.)
I guess it was easier for me to recognize him, since I only started watching Castle 3 months ago, which means I’ve seen all those episodes fairly recently :)
Makes sense. For me it’s been two years since we saw him last.