'Castle' Recap: Dangerous Dames
'Castle' Recap: Dangerous Dames
This week on Castle, things take a turn for the film noir when Castle and Beckett uncover the case of a priceless necklace, a hardscrabble detective and the gangster's dame that stole his heart.

It's a fun event episode, with everyone talking like a character in a Raymond Chandler novel. All of the cast really commit to the film noir portion of the episode, which is excellent. While the case of the week was a little substandard and hastily wrapped-up, it was really the noir elements that made this an enjoyable ride.

From Alexis as the dame who meant trouble to Beckett and Castle's noir-era love affair, it was nice to see the cast get to play off type. The accents on Ryan and Esposito were particularly fun. As an episode, it was a big departure from the usual Castle, but with big risks come big rewards.

Present Day Murder

The case that brings them into noir-land is the murder of a recent adventurer named Stan who was searching for the elusive blue butterfly. Castle eagerly takes home a diary found in his possession, the tale of a hardboiled detective named Joe.

Beckett just rolls her eyes at Castle's excitement over the tale and tries to go about solving the murder. That is, until the diary uncovers that the blue butterfly was in fact a million dollar diamond necklace in the shape of a giant, tacky butterfly. As usual, Castle's overexcitement has led to their first clue.

As Castle continues to follow the clues in the diary, even Kate is getting into it. She's especially suspicious when she starts figuring out that Castle has been casting the precinct into his reading. In particular, he's been casting himself and Beckett as the star-crossed lovers Joe and Vera. He pulls Ryan into the tale too, even though he initially freaks him out trying to convince him to talk with an Irish accent.

The clues lead to several red herrings, including Lost actor Mark Pellegrino, who plays both Dempsey and his doppelganger grandson. I choose to believe that he was just Jacob and therefore didn't age. After he left the interrogation room, he probably returned to the island to hang out with Hurley.

They also briefly thought it was an Indiana Jones-style adventurer named Clyde who was chloroformed trying to figure out what Stan knew about the blue butterfly. My favorite thing about Clyde was that he made the turn from jerky to full out Bond villain in about three seconds.

Finally, they track the clues back to the bartender of the old club Pennybaker, where the film noir of it all went down. He feeds them a story about Sally getting the last laugh, but thanks to Beckett's keen eye for fashion, they see right through this story eventually.

Turns out Joe and Vera never died in a double homicide but went on to live happily together, minus a million dollars. Stan's killer was their loyal nurse who was angry Stan beat him to the million dollar punch. For some reason, Caskett don't do what I would in their situation which is make out, find the butterfly and retire on a tropical island somewhere. Next season could be like the Baywatch version of Castle where they only solve sexy beach crimes.

Trouble Walked In

In the film noir portion of the episode, the whole cast play a variety of stock characters from the 40's, including gangsters, toughs, the one lady who always sings and the private eye in over his head. When Sally, played by Alexis, walks into Detective Joe's office, he knows she's trouble because her shoes are totally last season. For a noir detective, Joe is awfully catty. Sally is searching for her sister Vera because their mother is sick, but wants him to not let Vera know she's the one searching.

Joe goes to the club in search of Vera and listens to the sweet sounds of Lanie singing. Who knew Lanie could sing? Maybe she can work that into her morgue scenes now? It could be like the forensic version of Glee. This could be how Castle competes with NBC's new musical show, Smash.

Anyway, Joe takes one look at Vera and falls instantly in love. Which I totally buy because Stana Katic looks incredible in her 1940's femme fatale getup, even with the tacky Claire's butterfly necklace. The only problem is that Vera is the girlfriend of gangster Dempsey, who has her followed around at all times to keep tabs on his tacky diamond hardware.

Here's a thought. if you don't trust your girlfriend, maybe don't have her wear your million dollar necklace? Apparently not a thought that ever occurred to Dempsey because before it adorned the neck of Vera, it was being flashy and tacky around the neck of his former girlfriend. His former girlfriend, who just happened to be Sally's mother. Making Sally not Vera's sister like she claimed.

It turns out Sally and her so last season t-strap shoes were using the good detective in an effort to get vengeance on Vera for replacing her mother, leading to her suicide. Except things don't go according to plan for poor Sally and her outdated footwear. She and her husband do catch Joe and Vera about to escape Dempsey together. But when it comes down to murder, she is pretty inept. She manages to shoot both her husband and herself. So Joe and Vera toss their bodies in the car and light it on fire so that they can finally disappear.

Of course, first Vera needs to Titanic her giant blue priceless necklace because no one ever thinks of selling their piece of cursed jewelry and starting a nice savings plan. So Joe puts it behind a brick in the alleyway outside the club, which is at least a step up from dropping it in the ocean.

We're then treated to the sight we all wish for: a Caskett kiss. Too bad it's not actually Caskett. It is, however, Stana Katic and Nathan Fillion looking very pretty backlit by fire. Just try to forget those are the flaming bodies of people that they just killed or that by this point someone should have probably thought to check for Vera. I mean, Vera killed two people, set them on fire, hid a million dollar necklace and still had makeout time and they still thought she was in the bathroom? Still ... Caskett kiss!

Next week, things get intense again with a jealousy and near-death experience packed two-parter. Can't wait!

What did you think of tonight's episode? Did you like the film noir elements? Or was it a little too gimmicky for you? Sound off in the comments!

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Morgan Glennon
Contributing Writer

(Image courtesy of ABC)



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