'Castle' Preview: Ships, Stars and Soap
'Castle' Preview: Ships, Stars and Soap
Laurel Brown
Laurel Brown
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
Just when you think Castle can't get anymore meta, the show goes and springs an episode like "One Life to Lose" on us. And, as it so often is on Castle, meta translates into awesome.

The case of the week is pretty standard Castle fare. The head writer of a soap opera, Sarah Cutler, is killed in a brutal way. The suspects include roughly everybody associated with the show, Temptation Lane, along with the few people in her personal life. But the mystery is so very much not the point of this particular Castle episode.

This Castle is all about fun. And, after episodes dealing with Beckett's mother's murder and New York-ending terrorism threats, we desperately need some fun. Yes, there's some sadness associated with a murdered woman, but it's mostly nothing but soapy intrigue in this episode. Also, it's about the guest stars: Jane Seymour (Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman), Corbin Bernsen (Psych and The Young and the Restless), Rebecca Budig (All My Children), Cameron Mathison (All My Children), David Eigenberg (Sex and the City) and Tina Majorino (Big Love and Veronica Mars).

What's so meta about the episode? The wink-wink references start with the title, "One Life to Lose" -- a blatant shout-out to Nathan Fillion's former role of Joey Buchanan on One Life to Live (a star of Temptation Lane even shares the name Buchanan).

It doesn't stop there. A major line of investigation follows up on a hardcore shipper who took her devotion to frightening, yet impressive, levels. (Let's just say her fan campaign would top any "Save the Show" campaigns we've had in reality...) This brings up the very concept of "shipping," the obsession with TV relationships so familiar to Castle fans. There is not, alas, any mention of "Caskett" by the stars, but we do get an awesome 'ship name for Esposito and Lanie.

Back in the murder investigation, most of the intrigue revolves around the very real issues and problems faced on a TV show. Waitresses desperately want someone to read their scripts, writers take out their actor frustrations by writing death scenes, and absolutely everyone has an agenda. Watching "One Life to Lose" may just be a peek into the overworked psyches of the Castle writers' room.

It's very much worth a look.

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Are you looking forward to this week's episode of Castle? Do you like it when the show throws in some meta touches? Are funny or serious episodes better? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

(Image courtesy of ABC)