After last week’s fairly intense episode where Javi’s life was in danger, this week on Castle, was a bit more laid back and Last Action Hero felt that bit more light hearted with Rick suffering from hero worship when he gets to meet his favorite stars from 1980s action films. One of these actors is found murdered at the start of the show and Castle and Kate have to question a whole group of older performers who are working on a film set in New York. The dead man is Lance DeLorca “the star of all the Hard Kill movies.”
The dead star, according to Rick, was a former agent for a Spanish spy agency before becoming an actor and the writer thinks that this has something to do with his murder. Richard is in fanboy heaven as he gets to meet idols from his childhood and he and Kate get to visit the set of The Indestructibles to question Lance’s old friend and co star Brock Harmon. The aging action star is played by Ted McGinley who played Jefferson the hunky husband of Marcy D’Arcy in Married with Children. McGinley looks like an older action star and his performance was funny without being over the top, obviously the actor remembered all he had learned on the Fox comedy years ago.
Last Action Hero gave Nathan Fillion, as Castle, the chance to play his hero worship of his youthful idols for laughs and to reinforce the idea that marriage to Kate has not caused the writer to grow up. The episode also allowed the show to give a nod and wink to the aging action hero films of Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dolph Lundgren, et al. Bruce Willis was not forgotten, as the victim Lance DeLorca seemed to be an allusion to Willis via the Hard Kill films, which obviously were Die Hard in disguise. The Indestructibles is The Expendables and on the film set for the latter film, Kate gets the best line in the episode.
As the detective, along with Rick, watches the older actors moving toward the cameras firing weapons, she points out the young Asian female action star amongst the aging heros and says to Castle that it is amazing how this young woman is there with a group of men who could all be her grandfather. This particular “dig” was almost matched with Rick’s major disappointment that Lance was not really an assassin with the CMA in Spain but a goat herder before he began his career in film.
The highlight of the episode was when Rick gets invited out for “drinks” with the actors from the film only to discover that these movie tough guys are going to get evidence that can catch their late friend’s killer. The three action stars, Castle, and the Asian female actress “infiltrate” another former actor’s nightclub and they recover a recording device that the murdered man planted in the club owners office. In another nod to action film plots, the owner played drug dealers in all the movies he worked in and after retiring became a real life criminal.
Of course by the end of the Last Action Hero, Rick Castle gets to live out his fantasy of being in his own “real life” action film and work with the men he worshipped as heroes when he was growing up. The episode showed that Rick is still a big kid and the subplot, of Kate moving formally out of her own apartment, shows that she can still be a little childlike as well when she carves her initials in a beam at her old home before leaving for the last time. Next week’s episode, Bad Santa, looks to played for laughs like their honeymoon episode.
By Michael Smith