It seems we may be in this relationship pseudo-drama for quite a while on Castle. Beckett spends most of her time in this episode, titled “What Lies Beneath,” investigating the Bracken drug ring and makes very little progress. Yet she still insists on staying away from Castle until the case is solved, even though she assures Martha that she isn’t going to divorce him. Not divorcing Castle makes the whole estrangement thing kind of null and void, doesn’t it? Since Beckett obviously cares enough about Castle to stay married to him, why is he safer from retribution just because they aren’t living together? Better question: why do I keep trying to find reason in this ridiculous storyline?

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“He Spent Seven Years as a Drug Addicted Eskimo”

The victim of the week is Dave Johnson, who is shot to death while praying in church. He’d been working as an impoverished janitor for several years, but the church’s blind priest informs the police that he was actually PJ Moffett, a brilliant and wealthy author. The janitor gig was simply research for a new book. 

Moffett’s death is half devastating for superfan Castle and half wonderful, since it gives him another chance to work with Beckett. He gets himself hired by Dave’s new wife, Wendy Johnson. Throughout the course of this episode, Beckett will stop even pretending to be annoyed by Castle’s presence and end up just gazing at him lovingly whenever they’re in the same room. Again, who does she think she’s kidding?

Wendy informs Castle and Team Police that her husband met with a dangerous man before his death. Team Police discovers that this man is Milton Cicero, a local mobster. In questioning, Cicero reveals that Dave was actually Jimmy “Two Guns” O’Malley, a member of Boston’s Irish mafia long wanted for turning on his crew. Cicero informed his Boston brethren of this fact.

World’s Worst Con Man

Assuming that Mr. Two Guns and Mr. Great American Novel are not one and the same, Beckett makes some calls and finds out that PJ Moffett is still alive and well. This is good news for PJ Moffett, but the team now has to deal with the fact that an Irish hitman in is town. Billy O’Rourke arrived just before Dave’s murder, so Ryan and Esposito storm the man’s hotel room.

Naturally, though, Billy isn’t alone. He’s with his new best friend Castle, chatting about life and attempted murder. Billy did hypothetically abduct Dave with the intent to kill him but realized that Dave wasn’t Two Guns just in time. Both he and Castle are devastated to learn that Dave also wasn’t PJ Moffett. Everything about this scene is funny and adorable. 

Since Dave Johnson has used at least two fake identities, Team Police assumes that he’s a con man. But if so, he’s the strangest con man of all time. None of his cons seem to bring him any gain. Without any other lead to pursue, Ryan and Esposito begin investigating Eric Logan, a scam artist Dave got into a fight with shortly before his death. Castle also investigates Eric, in that he plants a tracker on Esposito and follows them to their interrogation. 

Pants on Fire

When the trio finds Eric, he’s running a meeting of PLA: Pathological Liars Anonymous. Dave wasn’t a con man because his lies had no purpose or finesse. He simply couldn’t help telling them. As his sponsor, reformed-liar Eric only got into a fight with Dave because he was relapsing. He explains that Dave had uncovered something illegal at work but couldn’t tell anyone about it because no one would believe him. He needed to find proof. It seems that this pursuit led to his death.

Speaking of lying, it should be mentioned that Ryan does quite a lot of it during this episode. He and Esposito both want to take the Sergeants’ exam, but only one slot is available. Since Ryan is so stressed about money, he lies to Espo and says that no slots are available, taking the remaining one for himself. Espo is not pleased when he learns of this. Also, Ryan begins lying to everyone in the precinct by becoming a mole for Castle. I’m pretty sure that’s extremely illegal, but it’s for $500 a week, so I cannot pass judgment.

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“I’d Say the Blindness is Under Dispute”

Team Police — and, thanks to Ryan, Castle — learns that Dave broke into the accounting office while working at City Hall. Ryan and Esposito interview Steven Reid, who is in charge of the accounting office. He informs them that Dave got the job on the recommendation of Father Aguello, the blind priest. But when Castle and Alexis go to interview the Father, they discover that reports of his blindness were greatly exaggerated. To Castle’s eternal embarrassment, he gets away.

Luckily, Beckett has a whole precinct working for her now, and she has her people bring Aguello into the station. He admits that a) he asked Dave to write off some church debt while working at City Hall, and b) that he faked blindness to get out of Florida. Seems reasonable. He also says that Dave uncovered a secret slush fund that had siphoned $10 million from civic projects. Surely, this is the information that got him killed.

Castle’s expertise on being friends with the Mayor narrows down the suspect pool to just Reid. The whole group devises a plan to get Reid to admit his own guilt by tampering with evidence; they plant a fake flash drive at the church, have Aguello tell Reid about it and then wait for him to show up and incriminate himself. It’s a simple enough plan, so Castle has to make it more complicated by allowing Reid to get away. He planted a virus on the flash drive, so when Reid plugs it into his computer, it not only incriminates him but tells the police where the missing money is hidden. Score one for the PI.

Beckett Finds a Clue

Reid did in fact steal government money, but he has a solid alibi for Dave’s murder. It turns out that all of the political intrigue had nothing to do with his death at all; the cause was completely domestic. Dave’s wife, Wendy, found out that her husband wasn’t actually a rich author and got really, really angry. As Castle says, “There’s no greater sin than a lie in a marriage.”

The episode ends with Beckett pulling strings to get both Esposito and Ryan into the Sergeants’ exam before flirting with Castle over some coffee. It all seems promising, but she hasn’t stopped her search for answers. She learns that each batch of heroin has a distinct chemical makeup, meaning that she can determine if different batches come from the same source. Beckett locates the seized heroin from the Vulcan Simmons case and runs tests on the batches so that she will be able to compare it to others. Or something like that. Nothing about this storyline really makes sense.

Castle airs Mondays at 10pm on ABC.

(Image courtesy of ABC)

Mary Kate Costigan

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV