Castle: That ’70’s Show ‘Life on Mars’ Sans Harvey Keitel

Castle: That '70's Show 'Life on Mars' Sans Harvey Keitel
Last night’s Castle episode, That ’70’s Show could have been titled Life on Mars sans Harvey Keitel. Although to be honest, the premise had nothing to do with being in a car crash or going back in time. In the show, there is a “visit” to the 1970’s in terms of wardrobe, the precinct, and the morgue, but no real, or imagined, trips to the time of disco is evident on the show.

Cutting to the chase, so to speak, it’s time to talk plot, marriage and what has to be the funniest show this season. In terms of reality? The ex-mafioso who refuses to leave the disco era after the disappearance of his best friend, back in the day, had no semblance to reality whatsoever. Seriously though, does it have to? This is Castle for crying out loud, not a documentary. So all those who want to complain about this fun move into left field can go back to the cheap seats and button it. Okay?

The marriage of Rick and Beckett is still an underlying theme ever-present in each episode. In this week’s show, Castle’s mother Martha is busy over-planning the floral arrangements. After Rick offends his thespian parent, Kate asks him to give her mother-in-law-to-be something to do. But before the flower debate, a body in found underneath a cement floor. It turns out to be a missing mobster from 1978 who had become something of a disappearance legend .

In Castle: That ’70’s Show Caskett, still adore this amalgamation of the two names, find out that there may be a witness, one Harold Metzger. Turns out that Metzger was so traumatized by the disappearance of Vince Bianchi that, in his mind, it is still 1978. Cue Life on Mars sans Harvey Keitel. So far so good, but the second that Rick and Kate go to Harold’s house, it’s necessary to leave common sense behind and put on the old “suspension of disbelief hat.”

Seeing an “old fashioned” television, complete with what looks like an old Betamax tape player, knocks the whole thing sideways. Obviously, Harold knows it isn’t still 1978 but seriously? Who cares. This gives Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic, Jon Huertas, Seamus Dever, Susan Sullivan and Penny Johnson a chance to have a little fun. Of course, Tamala Jones and Molly C. Quinn also got to indulge themselves by wearing some great ’70’s outfits. Although it is disturbing to see “Alexis” all grown up and actually looking sexy and beautiful. It makes enjoying how pretty Quinn looks feel…illegal.

For those who are interested, the mystery is solved by the end of the show. Vince and Harold were lovers, who knew! The missing mobster, was killed by his jealous girlfriend and by the time credits start to roll, the whole gang wind up at the Glitterati Disco, another unrealistic plot device, but again, who cares. Suffice to say, the solitary dance underneath the glitter ball over the dance floor by Harold is, at the very least, an lump in the throat inducing moment.

Castle: That ’70’s Show may look like a hokey version of Life on Mars sans Harvey Keitel but it also takes an amusing look at 1970’s cop shows. Who can miss the oh, so obvious nod and wink to Starsky and Hutch “I’m Starsky, he’s Hutch.” The episode did just what it set out to do. Reverse the roles of Castle and Beckett and entertain the heck out of the audience. Sure the show is listed as a crime drama, but the first word in the IMDb description says it all, comedy. This was just one of many great Castle episodes. Bring em on.

By Michael Smith

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TV GUIDE

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