'Castle' Fan Columnist: Murder, Mentors and a Muse
'Castle' Fan Columnist: Murder, Mentors and a Muse
Nicole Bessette
Nicole Bessette
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
Hey, Castle fans! In this week's newest episode, "The Dead Pool," a champion swimmer is found dead in a pool as a result of drowning, which, given the unusual circumstances, causes Beckett and Castle to investigate.

However, before I delve any deeper into this week's case, I must congratulate Castle on its award-winning day yesterday.

As a result of a crazed wave of mass fan voting a few months back, Castle took the top honor of "Favorite Drama," while Castle and Beckett won "Favorite Couple Who Should" in this year's TV Guide Fan Favorite Awards. Congratulations Castle!

Now for those of you who didn't catch last night's episode, I highly recommend watching it before reading this as there are definitely certain moments you do not want spoiled.

But, as usual, for those of you who did, let's get recapping!

Drowning in Death and Deceit

This week's murder victim is Zack Lindsey, an Olympic hopeful swimmer who was no doubt on his way to gold before he was murdered.

Yes, thanks to the increasingly beautiful Lanie, we know that someone held a rag saturated in pure chlorine over Zack's face which made him pass out, allowing the killer ample time to dump his body back into the pool to drown.

Now, from Zack's coach, we learn that he only had a partial scholarship to swim at the collegiate level, and it was just him and his mother. He never had a lot of money and still didn't, but at the same time, he didn't have a job and wasn't taking out any student loans.

So, how was he able to afford everything then?

Well, at Zack's apartment, Castle and Beckett find anabolic steroids, but since Lanie already confirmed he was clean, this causes them to think that maybe Zack was dealing, and this is what got him killed.

Yet, because Zack's teammates fervently deny that he would ever do such a thing, Beckett and Castle begin to look back into Zack's humble upbringing; specifically, his friends from the old neighborhood.

And sure enough, Ryan gets a hit. He discovers that Zack's prints match those found on a car that was stolen two weeks before, and suddenly, Castle figures out how Zack was making money: he was a car thief who was getting help from his old friend Tommy Marcone.

With the evidence stacked against him, Tommy confesses to helping Zack steal the car of one of his biggest rivals, Brian Morris, and he also reveals what they found when searching the car: the steroids. So, all along, they had been Brian's and not Zack's.

While Zack remained conflicted in regards to what to do with this information, Tommy wasted no time in blackmailing Brian using Zack's e-mail account, telling him to pay him $25,000 or he'd tell everyone what he knew.

Now, even though Brian looks like the most likely suspect, it turns out that he is not the murderer. Sure, the phone call he made after receiving Zack's e-mail to his fabulously wealthy father did seem suspicious, but it turns out it was all just damage control in order to keep the news of Brian's steroid use a secret.

But then, the question still remains: who killed Zack?

As always, Castle and Beckett solve it. If you were in a jam and didn't know what to do, who would you turn to? Someone you look up to--a mentor, right?

Well, Zack's mentor was gold medalist swimmer, Rob Tredwyck, and when he went to talk to him the night he died about what he had learned of Brian's steroid use, Rob got nervous.

You see, Zack's coach, the same coach who gave Brian the steroids, also gave the same steroids to Rob back when he was his coach, and Rob knew that if Zack said anything, he would eventually be found out and his name would be erased from the record books in addition to having his medals taken away.

So, unable to stand the prospect of losing everything, Rob smothered Zack with a rag soaked in pure chlorine and dumped him in the pool to drown. Sounds like a real stand-up guy right there, doesn't it?

Well, at least Castle and Beckett brought him to justice, and like Beckett said, "Where [he's] going, I don't think they have pools." Classic.

Get Your Own Muse

Alright, my friends, so here's where this week's Castle really gets good. Allow me to introduce you to Castle's protege, Alex Conrad, the author of a new murder mystery novel called Seriously Dead.

Claiming Richard Castle as his mentor, Alex asks to get together with Castle to learn more about his writing process, so Castle agrees to do so very willingly, excited that he will be able to profoundly impact Conrad's writing.

Of course, when Alex finally does arrive at the precinct, it is evident from one look at Beckett that he no longer has any interest in speaking with Castle but rather in questioning her. Go figure.

And since he proves himself useful on one part of the case, Beckett gives him her number and agrees to speak with him later which, of course, has Castle reeling with jealousy.

"It's so not OK!" he proclaims to Martha and Alexis. Not only does he think Alex is trying to steal his muse, but he also abhors the fact that publishers are calling him "the next Richard Castle."

In typical fashion, however, Alexis implores her father to be reasonable, and he manages to succeed until he learns that Alex and Beckett are going out again that next night. Now that's just unacceptable.

So, what does Castle do? Why, he invites Alex over to his place for some poker with guest stars Michael Connelly and Dennis Lehane. Only, this game turns sour for Alex very quickly as the accomplished writers don't go easy on him and do not let him forget that he is still very much a rookie.

Of course, Castle enjoys this little bit of hazing, but what did you think? Did you think it was too much? Leave a comment below!

Now, I'd also like to take this time to mention the very tasteful nod to the memory of the late Stephen J. Cannell. When Alex goes to take a seat, the writers all quickly tell him that that is Cannell's seat, and they say it's a rule that, if they lose a member, nobody sits there for a year. I very much enjoyed that little tribute.

Still, despite a rough night of poker, things work out just fine for Alex in the end, as he finds two new muses by the names of Ryan and Esposito. No, Esposito, it's not creepy at all for a dude to be a muse... Just keeping telling yourself that.

Also, he saves himself from a major rookie mistake: the girlfriend as the killer. Whew! That was a close one.

Crossing Several Mediums

For anyone who has ever watched Castle, you all know that one of the coolest things about the show is how it goes beyond just the show to the books, the Twitter account of Richard Castle, and now to the launch of Castle's new website!

Obviously, this episode was pulling out all the stops when it came to advertising, and it didn't just end here. When Castle was upset over Alex hanging out with Beckett, he decided to take his glowing review of Conrad's book off his website and replace it with cover art for his new book, Heat Rises, which is slated to hit shelves for real in September.

Very clever, Castle writers!

Jealous Castle

If you're wondering what that sound you're hearing is and where it's coming from, I'll clue you in: I am having a hard time controlling my epic fan girl squeal right now as a result of the end of this episode.

But before I get there, let's go back a bit.

When Beckett and Castle first go to question Rob, he is modeling for cologne, and Castle catches Beckett staring. Then he comes in to find an enormous basket of muffins on Beckett's desk from Alex with a note saying, "Thanks for last night!"

Next, Beckett is laughing at a text that Alex sent her, and thinking about her going out with him for the second night in a row just becomes too much for him which is why he purposely mentions his poker game, knowing that Alex won't be able to pass it up. Nicely played, Castle.

Of course, the next day, Beckett confronts Castle about his harsh treatment of Alex at the poker game, and she says she knows that he didn't want him to spend time with her.

Now, instead of deflecting her comment, however, Castle ultimately confesses to being jealous, and he admits that he wants her all to himself. In other words, having her spend time with another writer upsets him, and he can't help but feel that way.

And cue my tears of joy here when Beckett responds to Castle that she thinks what he did is sweet and tells him he doesn't have to worry about her hanging around Alex anymore because, from now on, she's a "one writer girl."

Are my hardcore Caskett shippers still with me? Well, brace yourselves, because it gets better.

After a series of heart-stopping looks, Castle tells Beckett, "Thank you," and she responds using his famous line, "Always," followed by a few more longing and incredibly romantic looks.

Sorry, I think I just died and went to Caskett-shipper heaven for a moment there. I'm back now.

I mean really, though, can you all even fathom this moment right now? The looks exchanged between those two were definitely not strictly professional or just friendly, and from the way Beckett was looking at Castle, it seemed as though she'd forgotten all about a certain boyfriend of hers named Josh.

Of course, that's totally OK with us, is it not?

The Next Episode

What I really loved about this week's episode was that it was a perfect segue into the next episode of Castle, "To Love and Die in L.A." which airs on May 2. Yes, unfortunately, we have a wait ahead of us, but it'll definitely be worth it.

In this particular episode, Castle and Beckett find themselves in Los Angeles as a result of the death of Beckett's former partner, but perhaps what I'm most excited about is the fact that this episode will supposedly be a test to see if the two can resist temptation while sharing the same hotel room.

Need I say more?

Well, actually, I must, but not about this pivotal episode. I just wanted to take this time to once again mention the incredibly wonderful comedic timing and flare of both Jon Huertas and Seamus Dever, and I also wanted to point out how nice it was to see Captain Montgomery in yet another episode.

However, if you've seen the latest Castle news regarding the season finale, then you might understand why this could cause me a little bit of concern.

Ultimately, though, we will just have to wait and see what happens, but already, this episode has been described as one dealing with love and loss, so I can only imagine what's going to go down!

But now, I want to hear from you, so be sure to leave a comment below with your thoughts!

(Image courtesy of ABC)