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‘Castle’ Season 7 Episode 4 Recap: “Child’s Play”

Richard Castle’s sometime childish behavior pays off in this week’s episode of Castle as he spends time in a second grade classroom as everyone believes one of the students witnessed the murder of an ice cream truck driver. A permission slip from an elementary school nearby leads the team to believe someone was hiding in a cabinet in the ice cream truck and it was a student at the school.

It was predictable fodder for Nathan Fillion, who plays Richard Castle, to have childish run-ins with the eight year olds. He plays army men with one child and dress up with another. Castle believes if he can connect with the children, the one who witnessed the murder will confide in him.

Meanwhile, Kate Beckett (Stana Katic), Esposito and Ryan try and figure out how three murder victims, the ice cream truck driver, a former cop and a guy named Dimitri, have in common.

Of course it turns out the little boy who was the bully and the one acting out was the one who has information Castle and Beckett need. When Castle finds a picture in his jacket, of an ice cream truck, they realize it is the little bully Jason is the one they are searching for.

When Castle and Beckett talk with Jason, it was cute to see Beckett play the good cop role – being very patient and calming to the little boy. In the end, it turns out Jason wasn’t the one who actually witnessed the murder – it was his half-sister. And his half-sister is the graphic design teacher the ice cream truck driver had been taking classes at night with.

Turns out all three murder victims, along with the graphic design teacher, were making fake passports for immigrants. One of the fake passport requests is for a Russian that escaped his home country before he was convicted of war crimes. The three men murdered were trying to stop the Russian mafia man but were murdered by him because they knew what he looked like – as no police entity had a picture of him.

When Castle and Beckett head back to the school to retrieve the picture, it was hidden by the graphic design teacher in a camera bag Jason had taken to school they are confronted by the Russian mafia guy. There is a tussle and he is foiled finally when Castle dumps a jar of marbles on the floor andtrips him.

The “B” side story dealt with Martha and Alexis waiting on Castle hand and foot after he returned from his two month disappearance. In the opening of the episode they have just finished cooking a large meal for him and found his favorite ice cream – chocolate potato chip. Beckett was unsure about trying it before she tastes it – she makes a face of pleasure so it must be tasty.

Through the episode, Beckett warns Castle he needs to address Alexis’ clingy nature and after Alexis force feeds Castle the last bite of his breakfast he agrees.

After a homerun of an episode last week, with plenty of Castle and Beckett moments, this episode was lacking in many spots. With Castle in the classroom with the children and Beckett running down other leads, the couple was separated for most of the episode. It left the episode flat.

The scenes with Castle and Beckett were decent but few and far between. Beckett sending Castle off to school, with a kiss on the cheek, was sweet. When one of the little girls in the classroom asks Castle and Beckett if they are getting married and both say “one day” shows how in unison they are and that a wedding may be not far off.

But in the end, it was a typical run of the mill episode with nothing outstanding and nothing too spectacular.

The closing scene was dedicated to Castle confronting Alexis about her clingy-ness. He tells her you can’t always protect the ones you love and brings in two scooters. He says she has been the adult in the family for so long that it was time for her to be a kid and they ride off on the scooters.

I feel like these early season seven episodes are like a countdown clock to what the fandom is truly waiting on — the Castle and Beckett wedding. And maybe after they say “I do” and place those gold bands on their fingers I can tolerate an episode like this — typical case heavy storyline. But until then, episodes like this only frustrate me because I just want the wedding the fandom was promised and then the writers can go back to episodes that are so formulaic.