‘Castle’ 3.19 Recap: “This Has All the Makings of a John Grisham Novel”

It’s been a little while since I last checked in with ‘Castle’ here in the blog. Let’s rectify that now with a look at last week’s episode, which had a pretty good time poking fun at legal thriller clichés.

The episode title ‘Law & Murder’ should already give you a sense of where the writers are going with this one. The plot opens with the juror on a high-profile murder case dropping dead in the middle of the courtroom. He was poisoned with cyanide. Castle immediately calls up his mystery writer friends to call dibs on the story for his next novel.

This juror’s death causes panic among the rest remaining. The judge is forced to declare a mistrial. Naturally, all suspicion falls on the defendant in the case, a “big scary black guy” (as another juror describes him) with a criminal past.

However, as they dig into the case, Beckett and Castle discover that the juror had actually bribed a court clerk to put him on that particular trial. They learn that he had his own criminal past, but (allegedly) cleaned up his act and was running a halfway house for ex-cons. Photos show him at the crime scene where the trial victim was killed, and other evidence suggests that the defendant may be not guilt of this crime. Was the juror the real killer, planting himself in the trial to make sure that an innocent man would be convicted of his crime?

It gets even more complicated than that before the end. It turns out that the real killer was the juror’s own brother, who was hired for the job by some wealthy socialites. When he found out about this, the future-juror tried repeatedly to contact the D.A. (Bruce Davison, doing a weird accent for no particular reason), who ignored him because the socialites were big campaign donors. It was in the D.A.’s interest that the wrong man be convicted. The juror then bribed his way into the trial, to ensure that the defendant would be acquitted. To stop him, his brother slipped cyanide into his time-release Lupus medication capsules. Thus, Castle and Beckett not only find the real killer, but also take down the District Attorney.

While this is happening, Castle also figures out that his daughter Alexis has lied to him about where she’s going one day. She says that she’s going to The Village, but Castle tracks the GPS in her phone to Williamsburg. Alexis gets really upset that he doesn’t trust her, but eventually ‘fesses up that some of her friends had shoplifted in Williamsburg, and she (feeling guilty) returned to the store to pay for the items they took. Castle is both mad at her for lying, and also proud of her for taking responsibility for the company she keeps.

‘Law & Murder’ is a fun episode with some clever twists. Despite a couple of overly-serious episodes earlier in the year, the show is in fine form this season.

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