It always amuses me when TV shows blatantly and shamelessly rip their storylines from current events. This week's episode of Castle
, titled "Limelight," takes its cues from Miley Cyrus, the Kardashians and the general crappiness of being famous. It's episodes like this that make you really appreciate the ability to go outside looking crappy without anyone caring.
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She's Just Being Mandy
The victim of the week is
Mandy Sutton, a former sugary-sweet teen pop and television sensation who has since become a hot scandalous mess. After a stint in rehab, she fell in love with a ridiculously nice guy named Zach, cleaned up her act and seemed poised to walk away from the horror show that was her life in the public eye. But after a night of relapsing, she cheated on him with her trashy ex, Jesse, and the ensuing break-up kind of shattered her resolve to be a functioning human being. Fast-forward to her murdered in an alley. Circle of celebrity life.
But wait! It turns out that the victim was not Mandy, but her decoy Claire. Mandy was actually passed out drunk in a hotel room, one of the few cases in which that is the lesser evil. The team decides to keep up the pretense of Mandy's death, since they believe she was the intended target, though
Kris Jenner Mandy's "momager" is worried that this will hurt her daughter's comeback tour. At this point, my mother's priorities would have been smothering me with her joyous sobs and trying to feed me tea, so I consider myself lucky.
After Castle's failed attempts to relate to Mandy over the harrowing world of gossip and lies they live in, she finds an unusual ally in Alexis. They first meet when Alexis trash-talks Mandy without realizing that Mandy is a) still alive, and b) in the same room as her. Alexis ends up in Mandy's hotel room after accidentally taking her phone and they proceed to have some Real Talk. Mandy confesses that she doesn't really know how she became such a mess, and that she has to drink to stop from feeling terrible. Alexis then bores Mandy with her comparatively minor problems and says that she made a huge mistake by dating and moving in with Pi and doesn't know what to do about it. The fact that his name is Pi really should have been a warning for all this.
Mandy gets a text from her friend Sam, who knows that she's not really dead. She and Alexis go and visit him at the bar where he works and find out that Claire had been trying to get in touch with Mandy the night that she died. She also contacted Jesse and told him to meet her in the alley where she was killed. None of these revelations can be thoroughly processed, though, because someone recognizes Mandy and all hell breaks loose. And when the girls try to escape the chaos, they are taken at gunpoint by Jesse.
The upside of being kidnapped at gunpoint is that you can often gather some really useful information. In this case, Jesse reveals that it was Claire he was caught cheating with, not Mandy. Mandy had been drugged so that she wouldn't remember what happened, and Jesse had been paid $25,000 to suck face with her decoy. Claire wanted to confess because she felt bad about the whole ruining Mandy's life thing, and Jesse went to the alley to talk her out of it. When he got there, she was already dead, and now the cops are on him for her murder.
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The cops land on Jesse as a prime suspect by way of a crazy and remarkably detail-oriented stalker, who is creepy but not murderous. Castle identifies a motorcycle at the scene of the crime that Beckett and company trace back to Jesse. By this point, though, the news has already begun reporting that Mandy is alive, and the team realize that Alexis is with her. Because she has more or less been adopted by the precinct, they charge in to save her, and Mandy has to witness the loving parent/child relationship that she obviously has never gotten to experience.
The cops track the photographer who took the incriminating picture of Claire and Jesse, who leads them to his tip source, who in turn leads them to a burner phone that was used to tip him
off. Normally, this would be a dead end, but Mandy's mother, who has apparently never watched a crime drama, didn't throw the phone away. Yes, it was the fame-obsessed momager all along! This twist would have been more shocking if they didn't reveal it in the promo pictures for the episode, but I digress.
Mandy's mom couldn't let Mandy walk away from her comeback for stupid reasons like happiness and mental health, so she staged the photo to ruin her one healthy relationship. When Claire wanted to confess, she killed her to hide what she'd done. Poor Claire was the target all along.Achieving Serenity
Now that the murder is solved, it's time for the relationship stuff. Since she didn't actually cheat on him, Mandy and Zach get back together. Alexis decides that she has to break up with Pi. And Castle and Beckett deal with his own level of fame. An article was published saying that Castle and Ex-Wife #2 were getting back together, which invites feelings of discomfort and much mocking at the precinct.
While Beckett still doesn't want to be a public figure, she realizes that marrying a famous author is going to garner some attention, and she decides to officially announce their engagement. She's still not budging on getting married in space, though. Maybe she just needs to find the right ship
airs Mondays at 10pm on ABC.(Image courtesy of ABC)