This week on Castle, reality starlet Kim Kardashian — whoops, I mean Kay Cappuccio — is the prime suspect of a doggone murder. Usually,¬†Castle episodes only have one pun-heavy, jokey premise to them. Tonight’s episode, however, had two.

First, it was a skewer, though one with empathy, of the vapid reality stars and their over documented lives. Kay Cappuccio was such a stand in for Kim Kardashian that her reality show had the same name. When the camera zoomed into her well-defined derriere, it was obvious there was nothing thinly-veiled about this sendup. The second trapping of the episode was a little Best in Show as the murder victim was a dog-show judge with a newly death-abandoned pooch.

This was an episode with a lot going on and could have easily felt overcrowded. Yet each story felt well serviced and the show even sported some great Caskett moments. Who knew stroking a wrist could be so hot? God love Caskett and the fact that they make Jane Austen-esque wrist touching seem risque.

Every Dog Has His Day

Despite watching Best in Show, it’s hard to believe that dog shows could inspire murder, especially with a leash. But initially, it looks like that’s what happened to poor dog show judge Francisco Pilar. Now his poor best friend, golden retriever Royal, is all alone. Castle jumps at the opportunity to have an office mascot, even though Esposito thought that was Castle’s job. The only thing that could make this show more wackily endearing is if they had a dog help them solve crimes, like Due South without the Mountie.

Alas, though, because Kate also has her eye on Royal. Who wouldn’t, though? He’s adorable. As are both Castle and Beckett as they try to win his doggie affections. They decide to share joint custody of Royal, and just like any two divorced parents, they both spoil him to win his love. For Castle, that means steak dinners and Beverly Hills Chihuahua. For Beckett, that means pretending to be bad cop for about five seconds before cuddling with Royal on the couch. Now if only all three could cuddle together, I think the problem would be solved. Caskett getting a dog is something I never knew I needed until this episode.

While telling Beckett how Royal likes to be rubbed between his eyes, Castle rubs a little circle on Kate’s wrist over and over again. Things start playful and then take a quick turn for sexual tension-ville, population two. It’s been awhile since we’ve had a really good long lingering sexy look between the two and it’s just as satisfying as you remember.

Insert Kardashian Joke Here

Also at the dog show is Kim Kardashian stand-in Kay Cappuccio played with winning airheaded charm by former One Tree Hill resident, Hilary Burton. Between Burton and Smallville‘s Justin Hartley, this episode was brought to you by the letters C and W. Kay is at the dog show with her loyal pet Lolita, a tiny dog with a big anger management problem. That’s why she was going to see Pilar, who was helping her train Lolita to be less aggressive.

Unfortunately, after one look at the dead body, Kay bounced. For obvious reasons, this makes her look rather suspect. Castle goes on and on about how Kay has a reality show based mostly on her doing nothing and posing with her butt popped. As he displays this for Beckett, photographers go crazy thinking they’re taking pictures of Jason Bateman. I never really thought much about that, but Nathan Fillion does look sort of like Michael Bluth.

With the discovery of Pilar’s lair of dog breeding, they also discover Pilar was fairly paranoid. He had a bug sweeper that goes off as soon as Kay and her bandage-dressed booty make an appearance. It turns out her companion, Lolita, is the culprit. Someone has bugged Lolita with a surveillance camera.

Esposito bravely offers to spend some time with Kay looking at paparazzi pictures to determine what site might have bugged her dog. While he’s at it, he also gets some good flirtation time in with the suddenly vulnerable Kay. “This is depressing,” she says, looking at pictures of her life. I’m sure Kim Kardashian would say the same if she had self-awareness. The show wisely gives Kay a soul and a certain airheaded sweetness about her, which keeps it just this side of being too mean.

It’s Heroine, Dawg

Also, the winky puns were a bit out of control this episode. I’m usually full speed ahead on the pun-train, but calling a pet therapist Dr. Barker is just a little too much quirk for my taste. Still, it was hilarious to see Royal and his therapist roll around on the floor. It also gave a vital piece of information: Royal was pawing the ground at the scene of the crime.

This is vital because it turns out that Pilar wasn’t actually breeding designer dogs. He was actually helping train drug sniffing dogs for a customs agent. This is the reason that Pilar was so paranoid and the reason that Royal was pawing. It seems that when the dogs sniff drugs, they paw at the ground. Pilar’s drug sniffing dogs were taking a big chunk of change out of an Argentinian drug cartel. Therefore, the cartel had a bone to pick with him. (HWCP: How Would Castle Pun? Live it, love it.)

When it turns out Kay’s gross perfume has some poppy in it and sets Royal to pawing, Kay looks like the main suspect again. But wait! We’re all forgetting that poor Justin Hartley is in this episode. A recognizable guest star with almost no on-screen presence always spells murderer. I’ve learned that from every cop show I’ve ever watched. You can never go wrong suspecting the actor you recognize. It looks like the former Green Arrow isn’t just hanging out with the Justice League anymore. It was Reggie, Kay’s pal and paramour, who bugged Lolita and killed Pilar for the cartel.

So the team and Royal help to take down Reggie. But in the fray, Royal and Lolita have one of those once in a doggie lifetime moments that should have really been accompanied by a power-ballad. So when Castle and Beckett split up to see who Royal wants to go home with, he blows them both off. Poor Caskett looks heartbroken while Kay promises to take good care of Royal. We’ve seen Castle and Beckett relate to the love woes of a lot of people this season, but this is the first time they got beat to the punch by a dog couple.

Next week, Castle gets to be a stylized film noir, which means that there’s a good chance we’ll get to see Caskett make out with no long-term repercussions. Still, noir episodes are always fun!

What did you think of tonight’s episode? Did you love the Caskett moments? Was there too much going on? And was it a little too on the nose about a certain recently divorced reality starlet who shall remain nameless? (Hint: It’s Kim Kardashian.) Sound off in the comments!

Best Tweets About the Episode

Morgan Glennon
Contributing Writer

(Image courtesy of ABC)

Morgan Glennon

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV