Castle: Under the Influence

The most recent episode of Castle, “Under the Influence,” frustrated a lot of fans by not having all that much Castle/Beckett time, but it did shine a nice spotlight on Esposito. I wouldn’t want every episode to be like that, of course, but I do like delving deeper into the secondary characters once in a while.

This week’s victim is Holly Rhodes, an up-and-coming DJ who is shot after mysteriously vanishing from singer Regina Cane’s album release party, where she was working. Rhodes has an extensive record – mostly stuff like burglary – but she’d been clean for seven years. It turns out that her past had come back to haunt her, though. Crime boss Shane Winters, who she’d worked for long ago, had been forcing her to use teen thief Joey Malone as her “assistant” at occasional parties so that he could steal expensive items like jewelry from the guests. The night of her death, though, the stolen item isn’t a valuable necklace but rather a record producer’s phone – which also served as an ekey to open his studio. Regina Cane had hired Winters to have someone steal and leak her rival’s upcoming album in order to undermine the other woman.

Esposito clearly sees something of himself in Joey Malone, so he tries to take him under his wing. Joey’s an orphan being raised by a mostly-absent uncle, and his extensive rap sheet suggests that he’s most definitely headed in the wrong direction – but Esposito had quite the juvenile record of his own and is convinced that Joey can be saved. Joey takes a while to warm up to Esposito – and even escapes his custody at one point – but Esposito finally convinces the boy that Shane Winters really does not have his best interests at heart, and he starts to come around. Esposito goes so far as to track Winters down and threaten him: he is to stay away from Joey and other kids or Esposito will personally track him down and probably kill him. On the one hand, that’s not exactly what cops are supposed to be doing, but on the other, yay Esposito!

At the end of the episode, Esposito shows Joey his own juvenile record, and when Joey accuses him of just saying he should be able to pull himself up by his bootstraps, Esposito wisely points out that that’s impossible and that he needs someone to help and to be there for him. In Esposito’s case, that someone was a teacher, but Esposito himself still needed to make that choice to turn away from crime and make something of himself. He tells Joey that he talked to Joey’s school counselor, and that he’s going to call once a week and keep checking on him. Aww. Joey finally, grudgingly, gives in: “You’re all right for a cop.” I’ll be curious to see whether they bring Joey into things again in the future.

There was one cute Castle/Beckett moment worth noting: toward the beginning of the episode, Esposito walked into a playful spat about whether Beckett’s choice of an awful movie means she should lose her next movie-picking turn. The movie in question? Valentine’s Day. Hee. That movie is terrible, but I love that Kate Beckett has a soft spot for it.

(Photo courtesy of ABC.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *