'Castle' Recap: With Friends Like These
'Castle' Recap: With Friends Like These
M.K. Costigan
M.K. Costigan
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
Ah, high school. That tempestuous time when nothing is beautiful, everything hurts and shopping at Hot Topic seems like a good idea. Or maybe I'm just projecting. This week's episode of Castle, "Smells Like Teen Spirit," showcases a more traumatizing experience than most, which is saying something.

We open with two teenage girls, Chris and Hilary, getting a cab ride and talking to their friend Madison via FaceTime. In perhaps the worst advertisement for FaceTime ever, Madison is suddenly and violently thrown about her room by an unseen force and the call cuts out. Just text, kids.

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It's Always the Quiet Ones

This case is important to Castle in two ways. First, it appears to involve telekinesis, which is probably the best thing that's ever happened to him. Second, it takes him back to Faircroft Academy, a school he was expelled from as a teenager for smuggling a cow onto the roof. The principal is the same, which is a delight for Beckett, and he reveals that another seemingly telekinetic event took place in the cafeteria two weeks before. Madison and her friends were bullying a social outcast named Jordan when suddenly tables and chairs started flying all over the place.

They investigate Carrie Jordan and find that she has a ton of books on telekinesis, all of which were purchased after the event. The poor kid was probably just as freaked out as everyone else by what happened. She flees the school when she hears that the cops are investigating and they find her with an MIT professor who casually makes himself levitate for profit. Not really sure what an MIT professor is doing in New York, but I'm also not sure what he's doing three feet above the ground, so I'll let it slide.

Like Robin Hood Without the Generosity

Jordan and her Emily the Strange haircut are kind of a mess. She assumes that she has uncontrollable power and killed Madison by sheer force of will, even though she has an alibi. She explains that Madison had only recently started bullying her, after she found her in the Russian literature section of the school library. This seems very out of character for Madison, and they soon realize that she was there not to brush up on her Tolstoy but to hide $2.3 million in German bearer bonds. 

Madison was actually a shopaholic who racked up thousands and thousands of dollars worth of debt on credit cards her parents didn't know about. She paid for all of this by stealing from Faircroft families. The bearer bonds, though, came from a thief named Chen whom her father defended in an armed robbery case. Chen fled his house and the country when a telekinetic even happened in his living room, giving Madison the opportunity to steal the bonds.

The Man Behind the Curtain

Nobody really believes that Madison, destroyer of Tolstoy classics, pulled this off on her own. Evidence at Chen's house leads Castle and Beckett to Lucas, a socially awkward and highly intelligent student at Faircroft. He admits that he rigged the event in the cafeteria with "wires and magnets" to get Madison and her friends to stop harassing Jordan. Madison figured it out, though, and made Lucas help her make a prank video to send to her friend as a fake FaceTime call. Without the editing, it shows her being suspended by a wire and harness. After that, she blackmailed him into staging the event at Chen's house.

I'm kind of skeptical about this whole explanation. There wasn't any video editing on the cafeteria footage and there were no visible wires or magnets there and no sign of Lucas triggering anything. Castle basically wants to show really cool and realistic telekinetic effects in this episode without thinking too much about the mechanics of how it's done. They even leave it slightly ambiguous as to whether Lucas was really faking it. It's a little disappointing, especially compared with the time travel episode that was so carefully plotted.

Giving New Meaning to "Frenemies"


Beckett does not share my disappointment, since she finally has a logical answer for everything that occurred. She realizes that whoever had the fake FaceTime video must be the killer because it would shift suspicion to Jordan and give them an alibi. They confront Chris and Hilary at the dance, and we learn that they were both involved with Madison's string of robberies. When Madison wouldn't let them stop, Chris killed her and staged the crime scene to look like the prank video. The girls are arrested for being terrible people, and Jordan and Lucas realize that they can make sweet socially awkward music together.

Your Weekly Relationship Saga


As has become the pattern, Castle and Beckett focus on and resolve one detail of their upcoming wedding throughout the course of the episode. This week: the first dance! They realize early that they don't have a song and that neither of them went to their proms, which means the episode must inevitably end with them inappropriately crashing the Faircroft dance. The Internet tells me that they dance to a song called "In My Veins," which is romantic in a kind of morbid way and thus perfect for them.

They still haven't found a venue, which seems like a pretty huge omission, but I'm sure they'll solve a crime for a fabulous wedding venue owner in a few weeks and get a spot. Hopefully, Beckett's dress will get lost along the way.


Castle airs Mondays at 10pm on ABC.

(Image courtesy of ABC)



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