Episode four of Castle this week had an ice cream vendor being shot in his van, seeming to prove that selling ice cream can be murder until it turns out that the victim’s profession had nothing to do with his being killed. As the show progressed it turned out that the vendor was not the only person to meet an untimely end. The two plot lines in Child’s Play deal with Alexis learning to deal with Rick being back and wanting to keep track of her father’s every move and the second is Rick getting in touch with his inner child, something that the writer is very good at already, so he can find out which child in a second grade class may have witnessed the ice cream van murder.
At the beginning of the show, a child’s second grade permission slip is found at the murder scene and Castle guarantees he will find the eight year old who saw the murder take place. Meanwhile Kate, Esposito and Ryan track down other clues that indicate Russian organized crime is behind the death of the ice cream man. When the detectives arrive at an address they find evidence of torture and a body. Lanie reveals that the corpse has been in the house for three days and that whoever was being tortured did the killing.
As usual, Castle continues to show off the comedic talents of Nathan Fillion and the acting chops of both Fillion and Stana Katic. While these two keep proving that their talents are more than up to any challenge that the series’ writers throw at them, Molly C. Quinn, as Alexis, manages to show that her chops are on par with her onscreen father’s and his fiancee’s. This is not to say that the other regulars in the show are not up to scratch, but as Alexis, the younger actress has to do a lot in an ever decreasing role. As the wedding of Kate and Rick grows closer, her time on the show gets smaller.
In Castle, Child’s Play, it may seem like selling ice cream can be murder, but the death has nothing to do with desert. In episode four Fillion interacts with the small kids in the show brilliantly and he manages to convince that he can get down and dirty with the best of them. Apart from the classroom, and recess, antics at the school, the show’s bad guy turns out to be a Russian war criminal who was working his way through getting rid of people who could identify him to the authorities. It turns out that this nasty bit of work has a connection to the most annoying kid in the second grade class that Rick has been trying to “infiltrate.”
The little boy, whose parents are both lawyers who have intimidated the school’s teachers, has an older sister who knew the murdered man. Armed with this knowledge, Kate and Rick get the young woman to help and they go to her house to collect the only picture of this war criminal known to exist. It turns out that the Russian baddie is there already and he rushes to the school where Castle and Beckett go to get the boy’s camera case where the snapshot was hidden.
Kate and Rick tussle with the criminal and a quick thinking Castle spills marbles on the floor causing the murderer to slip and knock himself out, a trick the writer learned from the kids in the second grade class he was monitoring. At the end of Child’s Play on Castle, Beckett and Rick not only prove that selling ice cream is not murder but Alexis and her dad have a teary heart-to-heart talk about dealing with missing family members and remembering to be a kid. Castle’s daughter has always been the “grownup” and he orders her to keep in touch with her inner child. It is the special relationship that Rick has with Alexis that helps to make this show so appealing and is responsible for many “lump in the throat” moments. Hopefully when Kate and Rick finally get married, Alexis will still be an important part of the show.
By Michael Smith