'Castle' Recap: Best of 'Heroes and Villains'
'Castle' Recap: Best of 'Heroes and Villains'
This week on Castle the show steps away from conspiracy theories to indulge in some geeky comic book-inspired fun. Nathan Fillion is never better, or having more fun, than when he can embrace his fanboy roots. Castle gets to bring out his first edition comics and name drop a dozen caped crusaders, all in the name of solving the case. His nerdiness was never so useful.

In the Caskett shameless pandering section of the episode, a writer and his policewoman muse neatly mirror Kate and Richard, with a much more make-out filled ending. Hopefully our two favorite crime fighters were taking some notes!

A Caped Crusader

The episode opens like a scene out of Sin City (incidentally the first comic book Beckett bought!) with a man being cut in two while assaulting a woman. This leads, as you would imagine, to a zillion puns on being cut in half. My favorite is probably "two half men" for its pop cultural timeliness. The whole episode seems to be an extended excuse to get Nathan Fillion, fanboy superhero, to say a lot of comic book puns. Whoever wrote this episode should be given some kind of nerd medal, because it's amazing.

We also find out that Castle would be Bruce Wayne and Beckett would be Electra if they could be any superhero. But most importantly we find out that Beckett has already pre-ordered Castle's Derek Storm graphic novel. Aww!

Empty Nest Syndrome

Meanwhile, Alexis continues her trend of being super awesome and sassy started last week. Castle is having a hard time dealing with the fact that Alexis has enrolled in Stanford early admission. In the spring Castle will have to deal with his mother and her questionable costuming skills all by himself. But his bigger concern is that Alexis is putting all her energy into her relationship with boyfriend Ashley and not into picking out her own classes. "Why can't I just do what I want every once in a while, that's all you ever do!" Alexis yells at him, finally becoming a teenaged girl four seasons in. She runs upstairs, presumably to blast some crappy alternative music and write in her diary about how no one really understands her.

Because this is Alexis, most sensible of all teen girls, the freak out doesn't last long. She and Castle have a sweet heart-to-heart in which she admits she should be taking her own classes. Besides, she'll see plenty of Ashley because they'll be living together! That sound you just heard was Castle's brain exploding.

That is So Game of Thrones!

While Castle deals with home problems, the case of the vigilante superhero is taking some twists and turns. First they talk to a fishy business man/mafia member, who shows off the L-shaped pattern carved into his butt. This leads them to an online comic called Lone Vengeance; also the name of a vigilante prowling the street of Manhattan. Next they track down a comic collector who used to fight crime under the redundant name the Red Maroon. When they find out Maroon is not exactly the next Batman, they change their focus to a costume piece that might have fallen off in the alley. When they go to retrieve it the Lone Vengeance steals it back.

Finally, because I guess they saw that episode of Criminal Minds with the exact same premise, they start looking into the writer of the comic. Turns out the comic has been getting published AFTER the crimes are taking place, meaning it's not a copycat. They figure out that the author's name Sean Elt is really an anagram for iconic comic legend Stan Lee and is the non de plume of local crime writer Paul Whittaker. Ryan impresses everyone with his Castle impression while imagining why Whittaker might have done it. It's a cinch to find Whittaker, who's trying to sell his comic collection for easy money, which means in Castle tradition that he's not the killer. But then why is he willing to sign a confession and who is he trying to protect?

Castle and Beckett-lite

Turns out the real Lone Vengeance is a pretty brunette officer named Anne Hastings. "Officer Hastings?!" they yell when she's uncovered, and I wondered if she was a character I had just never paid attention to. Like all superheroes and flawed TV cops, Anne Hastings has a tragic backstory. This one involves her father's needless death and the need to change things. Does that sound a bit familiar? Don't worry, because the episode feels no need to be subtle about the similarity between Hastings and Beckett. And because Hastings is just like our favorite feelings-phobic lead detective, Beckett knows she didn't kill the creep in the alley.

No, the answer to this whodunit is the first perp, the shady businessman. Turns out Lone Vengeance was bad for business and Ferris, the alley creep, was leaking trade secrets to her. So the businessman decided to frame Lone Vengeance for murder.

Meanwhile, Gates is sort of but not at all warming up to Castle and Beckett. But at least she displays a heart, or public relations sense, in not pressing charges against Hastings.

The episode ends on an extremely adorable note, especially for Caskett shippers. It's obvious that Whittaker loves his officer lady muse. I wonder who that could remind us of? Meanwhile Kate gives Hastings some good advice. "You've a good cop and you have someone who cares about you. Don't be so driven by the past that you throw away your future." Now if only she could take that advice herself!

As the episode ends, just in case you hadn't put together this very well-hidden and subtle similarity, Castle notes: "A writer and his muse fighting crime. Just like us." They watch as Whittaker and Hastings get in the elevator, turn to each other and start sucking face. If only we could get a similar Caskett scene, am I right?

Castle scurries away in embarrassment and Beckett smiles knowingly. The knowledge that Beckett remembers those three little words from Castle gives that smile quite the added meaning.

Will Castle and Beckett ever make out in an elevator? And will it be before the end of the season? Plus is Alexis really leaving for Stanford in the spring? Sound off in the comments!

Morgan Glennon
Contributing Writer

(Image courtesy of ABC)