‘Castle’ 4.06 Recap: “I Ain’t Afraid o’ No Ghosts”

Because the networks are holding back for November sweeps, most of the TV shows I watch didn’t air new episodes over the past week. Let’s use this opportunity to catch up with one that did. ‘Castle’ had a pretty fun Halloween episode on Monday. That’s odd, however, since the show will air another new episode next Monday, which is actually Halloween.

Despite a lame, generic title, ‘Demons’ has a really nifty premise. Castle and Beckett must investigate a murder at a creepy old house rumored to be haunted. (Have the writers been watching ‘American Horror Story’ this season?) The victim was the host of a stupid Reality show called ‘Ghost Wranglers’, of which Castle is a big fan. Up until the moment his throat was slashed, he recorded everything going on in the house from numerous angles with a bunch of video cameras, none of which caught anything. Castle is of course convinced that a ghost did it. A skeptical Beckett plays Scully to his Mulder.

The plots on ‘Castle’ seem to grow more and more incredibly convoluted with each new episode. This one is no exception. Red herring suspects include a disgruntled cameraman for the Reality show and the building owner. The perpetrator turns out to be another police detective who had investigated a previous murder in the house twenty years earlier, which he actually committed himself. He killed the Ghost Wrangler to perpetuate the myth that the house was haunted, and also because he was afraid that the guy was getting too close to discovering another body he’d stashed in a hidden alcove. I’m probably not explaining this well, mostly because I found it pretty confusing. (Did I mention that he committed the crime by swinging down from the ceiling?) Nonetheless, as with most of the show’s crazy plots, you just have to go with it.

The episode has some good lines. Castle describes the suspect in his theory as an “Aparition-American.” Esposito asks Castle, “Real ghost hunters? Isn’t that a contradiction in terms?” And when Ryan is the only cop who’ll agree to help Castle investigate the ghost angle, Beckett retorts, “Maybe Shaggy’ll keep Scooby out of trouble.” The episode also has a really great scene where Beckett tells Castle a long, involved story about her experience with a supernatural event as a child, only to reveal at the end that she was yanking his chain the whole time.

In a side story, Ryan and his fiancée go on a double-date with Esposito and Lanie, which goes so disastrously wrong that it looks like Lanie will actually break up with Esposito. I hope that doesn’t turn out to be the case. They make a cute couple.

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