'Castle' Recap: When Ninjas Attack
'Castle' Recap: When Ninjas Attack
M.K. Costigan
M.K. Costigan
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
Slainte! I hope everyone had a lovely St. Patrick's Day. After a day filled with green things, "Kiss Me, I'm Irish" shirts and beer (or, as my family calls it, Monday), Castle is switching gears entirely. "The Way of the Ninja" explores Japanese culture instead of all things Irish.

The episode opens with a young woman walking through an ominously abandoned warehouse when she is fatally stabbed by an incrediblely accurate knife throw. That escalated quickly.

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The Abandoned Warehouse Episode

The victim is Jade Yamata, a Japanese citizen working with New York's ballet company. They can't find much information about her. Her past is suspiciously ambiguous and her only apparent contact in New York is Dean Bedford, her boyfriend. A plot point leads Castle and Beckett to an abandoned cookie warehouse, which is my personal favorite kind of abandoned warehouse.

This is where things get interesting. First, they find a murder shrine complete with Japanese writing and a dagger that could be the murder weapon. But what self-respecting abandoned warehouse doesn't have a murder shrine or two? No, what's interesting is that a straight-up ninja steals the knife from Castle's hands. He can also create fog from sheer force of will, and disappears into the mist before Beckett can see him.

Casual Racism

Despite the fact that ninjas were at one point in history very real, Beckett reacts as if Castle claimed to have been mugged by a unicorn. Everyone else is skeptical about the ninja thief as well.

They meet Saya, a woman from the Japanese consulate, who offers very little information about Jade but does give Castle some potent "you're racist" side-eye when he talks about ninjas in movie tropes.

The first suspect is Lee, a male dancer at the ballet company who had an unrequited love for Jade. The fact that he is Asian convinces Castle that he must be the ninja, but he is in fact Korean and not Japanese. He's also not in love with Jade, and was instead frustrated by her lack of professionalism. He reveals to Castle and Beckett that Jade was about to leave the ballet company, even though it had been her lifelong ambition to become part of it.

Ninjas Attack!


Castle, Ryan and Esposito follow Jade's phone records to Miyago Tea Import Company, which appears to be yet another abandoned warehouse. Inside, they do not discover dust and murder shrines, but instead fancy sake and plastic bead curtains much like the ones I had in my bedroom doorway circa 1997. It's a Japanese hostess bar, where the hostesses borderline prostitute themselves to increase business. Since all the women are wearing the same outfit Jade's body was found in, they realize that she must have worked there.

Castle finds a hostess who's willing to tell him about Jade under the guise of infidelity. She says that Jade targeted a regular customer named Saito, and had been to a party of his the night she died. It seems like Castle's biggest problem of the night is his imminent relationship drama when suddenly ninjas attack! Not one, but two ninjas appear, one trying to kill everyone and the other saving their lives. They can defy gravity, disappear before your very eyes and at least one of them has a very creepy deep voice. It is awesome. And "Ninjas Attack" would be a great band name.

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She's the Swan Queen

Once everyone has processed the reality of ninjas swarming New York City, they visit Saito. He's heavily involved with the yakuza, a branch of Japanese organized crime. They know he is involved, but have no way of proving it.  Luckily, two new pieces of information come to light. First, a medical examination reveals that Jade was in some kind of explosion years ago. The team discovers that a family was killed a decade before in Japan for crossing the yakuza, and Jade is exactly the same age as one of the presumably dead children.

The second piece of information is that Saya the consulate officer was an imposter. When they find her again, she reveals that she is Jade's sister. Damn, the yakuza did a really crappy job of killing this family. An operative called the Green Dragon was responsible for her family's death, and while Saya wanted to move on, Jade was consumed by the desire for revenge. And I mean consumed. She came to New York solely to pursue the Green Dragon, which means she may have entered years of intensive ballet training mostly to someday get revenge. She also found out that Dean's father, Randall, was connected to Saito and dated Dean to get more information. Natalie Portman's got nothing on this ballerina's determination.

Could No One Find a Pronunciation Guide?

Castle and Beckett visit the Bedford's, and Randall gives them the information they need to get a warrant for Saito's arrest. He's displeased, both because he claims he's not the Green Dragon and because the pronunciation of his name has been butchered the entire episode. But just as he's about to reveal the true identity of the Green Dragon, he's shot and killed. The actual Green Dragon shows up in full ninja regalia and proceeds to try and kill everyone again.

Luckily, ninja number two isn't far behind. They have an intense fight before ninja number two finally gets the upper hand on the Green Dragon and reveals him to be Randall. A white guy?! What a perfect disguise! And then the second ninja turns out to be Saya! She's very close to killing him for murdering her entire family, but Beckett talks her down. She finally gets her peace and her sister's dagger back before going off to be badass elsewhere.

The Hooha Goddess


Naturally, Castle and Beckett find a way to make this case about their relationship. While Castle is making out with the Japanese hostess, Beckett has a dinner with an unbearably fabulous high school friend and the deity that resides in her lady parts. As it turns out, though, the dinner is terrible because the friend's life had become incredibly boring since getting married.

Beckett worries that she and Castle will end up the same way after they tie the knot. They assure each other that this will never happen, and the nature of this case suggests that it's not something they'll have to worry about. When a typical day at the office involves a throwing star becoming lodged in your smartphone, it's safe to say that you lead an interesting life.


Castle airs Mondays at 10pm on ABC.

(Image courtesy of ABC)

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