Castle: Number One Fan

Last night’s Castle, “Number One Fan,” was a fun episode that nicely transitioned the show back to New York. As Castle and Beckett wake up together in his loft, and are frequently interrupted by members of his family, she is clearly at a loss as to how to spend her time now that she has neither job. And when Gates calls, it’s for Castle, which startles everyone.

As in his very first case, it’s Castle’s fame that makes the police reach out to him this week. When Richard Castle superfan Emma Riggs realizes she’s being framed for the murder of her boyfriend Angelo Vazquez, she takes five people hostage in a dentist’s office and tells the hostage negotiators that she’ll only talk to Castle – and quizzes him on trivia about his own books before she believes it’s him. And Castle, clearly nervous, bravely puts himself in danger by going in with the hostages in exchange for the child hostage and her mother being released.

Beckett, of course, is none too happy about any of this – “I’m kind of looking forward to spending the rest of my life with you, so don’t do anything stupid in there, okay?” And Gates, who has really softened, or at least started showing how she stands up for people she cares about, lets Beckett work the crime scene with the Ryan and Esposito, presumably because she knows Beckett will go crazy otherwise (and will probably help solve the case). It turns out that Emma’s only demand is that she wants Castle to clear her name, so he sets out to do just that – and soon comes to believe her story. She lets him out to work on the case, but he ends up going back in when one of the other hostages starts acting stupidly, and in the ensuing shuffle, Castle gets shot – thank goodness for that “silly” WRITER bulletproof vest.

Luckily, Emma is telling the truth, and our team figures out what happened: Emma was given up at birth, and in a foster home as a teenager, she killed a foster brother in self-defense, but was made to look like a murderer by the dead boy’s twin. Now, years later, her boyfriend Angelo decides to steal her records from an orphanage where she lived in order to give her long-sought information about her birth parents as a birthday gift. When he then goes to talk to her birth father, powerful businessman and aspiring politician Aaron Stokes, he instead meets Aaron’s lawyer son-in-law Vance, who uses his legal connections to unseal Emma’s records and figure out what’s going on. He’s afraid that a newfound sister will cut into his wife’s inheritance, so he murders Angelo and stages the scene to look like the killing in Emma’s past. After Vance confesses, Castle makes sure to introduce Stokes to Emma, which was a nice touch – he spent so long wondering about his own birth father that it’s only natural that he’d want to make this reunion happen.

And Stokes? He’s so grateful to be reunited with his daughter that he calls up his buddy the commissioner and gets the money for Beckett’s reinstatement sorted out in what seems like a matter of minutes. I liked that the show at least made a nod toward the fact that someone who quit her job wouldn’t be able to just get it back automatically, and if this was resolved a little too neatly, well, something need to happen for the show to be able to continue. (Castle’s reflexive “You don’t have to work” was interesting – obviously Beckett feels strongly about her job regardless of whether she needs the money, but I liked the recognition that as Castle’s wife, she won’t have to worry about her salary. And hey, that potentially opens her up for some sort of non-traditional crime solving role in the future.) There was also some nice parallelism here, as Castle’s fame, which gave him his in with the NYPD in the first place, is also the indirect cause of Beckett being allowed to return to the work that is so important to her.

(Image courtesy of ABC.)

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