Castle this week looks at Internet celebrity and how fleeting any event is on the web “continuum.” Season seven of this popular Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic double act, along with the ensemble cast of Molly C. Quinn, Susan Sullivan, Jon Huertas, Seamus Dever, Penny Johnson and Tamala Jones has moved on from the wedding that never was in the beginning and has gotten back to making pertinent statements about society. The power of the writing and the show’s deft humor still delivers. When a web star from “Snappamatic” is murdered by “netslayer,” who then posts a photo of the dead celeb on his account – with the caption, “This star’s 15 seconds are over,” Team Castle and Beckett, or Caskett have to solve the crime before the killer can strike again. In this instance, however, they fail at first.
The entire episode deals with the fleeting nature of viral videos, Internet fame and the non-accountability of the web. As pointed out by the show’s writers, who use the Andy Warhol misquote – the actual statement attributed to the artist dealt with everyone in the future being famous for 15 minutes not seconds – as a signpost to show the amount of misinformation available on the Internet. Later in the show, when Netslayer is taunting the police department by posting a picture of Kate and Rick toasting one another with their coffee cups, the inference is that the two do not care about the case they are investigating again another instance of incorrect information.
This again brings up the question of culpability for content uploaded on the Internet which ties nicely into the first suspect, a former cop who worked cyber crime, aka Internet crime. When questioning the suspect, whom Castle and Beckett discover from a GPS code unearthed by Snappamatic staff they discover that Bill Garrett is a false lead set up by Netslayer. The murderer taunts the NYPD and Rick tells Kate all these images online are just a “blip on the Internet continuum.”
As the team continue their investigation, it comes to light that the next victim will be someone from the “Spoiled Brats” section of Snappamatic, a vlogger named Tatyana Fisher. When the police step in to place her under protective custody – which she refuses – the girl discovers her boyfriend dead in the car she starts to enter. The second murder has television news claiming that there is a social media serial killer on the loose. After Netslayer uploads the latest victims picture, he also uploads the photo of Kate and Castle making it look like the police do not care about the deaths.
Kate points out that the lack of accountability on the Internet, allows people to become bullies. This leads Rick to point out that their killer is most likely a bullying victim who is striking out. Ryan figures out how the killer got access to his victims, by using a 3D printer and photographs. Working with Garrett, Rick and Kate learn of a young man who was humiliated online by a prank at his school and despite the former cyber cop’s best attempts, no one was ever prosecuted.
Netslayer makes a mistake and the NYPD arrest him. Once he is in custody, the police discover that the serial killer has kidnapped the two founders of Snappamatic and they will die while he is custody. Beckett taunts the former victim turned murderer and Rick, along with Garrett, work out where the two men are and rescue them just in the nick of time.
By the end of Castle the writer’s webmercial is uploaded and Castle is glad that his advert will be a blip on the Internet continuum, as it consists of outtakes and autotuning of his lines. This episode looks at the fleeting nature of the web, referencing that millions of items are uploaded everyday, and how caught up people are by the idea of using the Internet to gain popularity, Even Ryan has a blog online and he is disappointed to learn that Rick has not heard of it. Previews at the end of this week’s show, indicate a two week break, but when the show returns, Rick and Kate will be getting married but only after a little more drama, of course. Castle airs Mondays on ABC.
By Michael Smith