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Castle 6×20 “That ’70s Show” Recap

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After a month hiatus Castle returned Monday only to go back – way back to the 1970s.

In an episode entitled “That ’70s Show” Castle avoided the gimmick trappings of a themed episode by making the episode, fun, breezy, teasing and ending with a surprise turn.

A skeleton is found in cement when a building is being demolished. I half expected Temperance Brennan, from Bones, to show up. Then I remembered she’s on another network. It is funny how other crime show procedurals need a bone expert when skeletal remains are found. It seems Lanie Parrish from the New York Medical Examiner office can handle these 40-year-old remains.

The opening scene with Richard Castle and Kate Beckett really delves into the dichotomy of the couple in the morning – Castle cooks and Beckett makes coffee.

Before the case, it is on to the “B” story which continues the saga of Richard Castle and Kate Beckett’s wedding plans. I am really enjoying the slow burn of the wedding details, though I feel it will all be for not.

I am betting on a quick wedding in the season six finale – I mean it is expected right? Weddings at the end of a season always go awry. Let’s hope, however, Kate Beckett doesn’t have the colors red or purple as her color scheme – those colors did not go well with the pair of weddings in Game of Thrones as of late.

Wedding plans of the week include finding a way for Castle’s mother Martha Rodgers to be involved. Flowers should be easy right? How could she make a theatrical production of that? Well, she can. Her flower ideas include portraits of Castle and Beckett made out of flowers – Beckett is not impressed. I adored how Beckett clung to the back of Castle’s shirt, urging him to put a break on his mother.

The case turns out to be a cold case – the death of a mobster, named Vince Bianchi, who disappeared in 1978. Castle of course is ecstatic at the possibilities when the victim is identified. He is even more overjoyed when he and Beckett go to interview the mobster’s closet confidante, Harold Leon.

It all kicks into high gear, and opens up for Castle fun and craziness, when it is revealed Harold took his friend’s disappearance so hard he had a mental breakdown. Harold is stuck in 1978 and lives his life in the 70’s.

When Harold’s caretaker reveals this to Castle and Beckett they try and act like it is still the 70’s. This doesn’t bode well for Beckett as Harold believes her to be just a pretty faced cop and assumes Castle is the policeman in charge and even calls him Captain Castle. Of course, Castle loves this and this opens up to some fun ribbing by Castle to Beckett.

When they need to bring Harold into the precinct for questioning there brings the dilemma. How to do this when Harold will shut down if he steps out of his 1970’s bubble? Ever hear the saying “When the mouse is away the cat will play?”

Well this applies because Captain Victoria Gates is away which makes Beckett he senior officer in charge. Castle exploits this by turning the 12th precinct into a 1970’s playground.

They enlist Martha, hoping this will deter her desire to help plan the wedding, and magically 2014 version of the 12th is erased and everyone steps back into the way-back machine to 1978.

This allows Castle, Beckett, Lanie, Esposito and Ryan to don 1970’s attire. Esposito and Ryan dress up like former infamous cops from the precinct, Snookie and Ray, and this catches the eye of Harold who wants to be interrogated by them. This also puts Harold in the line of site of the whole precinct and everyone has to keep up the façade.

The murder case was fun and intriguing and the way they handled everyone dressing up was hilarious. It was a really well put together episode with heart and hilarity. The ending twist, revealing Harold and the dead mob leader were actually in love and had to hide it, was a great turn in the episode. Of course, the mob leader spurning the sister of a rival mob family, he was going to ask her to marry him but couldn’t go through with it, was what got him killed. And of course Castle and Beckett figured it out in the end.

It really felt like early season Castle and Beckett with their banter, but thrown into it was how much they loved and respected each other’s opinions.

Fun scenes I enjoyed:

  • Lanie dressed up in her Pam Grier outfit and Esposito’s reaction
  • Beckett’s frustration with Castle’s wild plans – but she still gave in
  • Castle getting in the vintage 1970’s police car
  • Beckett’s reaction to Martha’s wedding flower arrangement ideas
  • Beckett’s Charlie’s Angels move
  • Victoria Gates’ reaction when she walks into the precinct and it looks like the 1970’s
  • Harold assuming Castle is in charge and his sexist comments to Beckett
  • Beckett’s reactions to Harold’s sexist comments
  • Esposito attempting to slide across the hood of a car
  • The closing scene in the 1970s era disco and Beckett’s dress and hair
  • This was a great episode in terms of developing the fun banter between the to-be couple. I thought the whole 70’s theme was really playful as well, and the case was really interesting. I was a little thrown off, though, by the fact that they could solve a murder from almost 40 years ago – it wasn’t even a cold case. But I loved that Castle and Beckett still got into an arguement during their relatinship, even though it wasn’t that big a deal, since it’s been nothing but googly eyes and smooches so far this season.