“Captain, you had the confession, the evidence. Anyone would have come to the same conclusion.”
-Kate Beckett, Castle S2E8: “Kill the Messenger”
Brief synopsis:When a messenger delivering a package to Capt. Montgomery is killed, it reopens up a case that he had thought had been solved years ago.
Title significance: Oh my gosh, once I took a second to think about it, this title is really perfect. On the surface, there’s the obvious connection. The whole case begins when a messenger is killed. So, in the very literal meaning, the messenger is indeed killed. It’s also phrased as an order, which becomes significant at the end of the episode.
There’s also the phrase “Don’t kill the messenger.” This phrase is about how sometimes people get angry at the bearer of bad news, even when they did nothing wrong and are just passing on information. This idea of blaming someone who is not at fault goes along with how Brian Thompson took the blame for a murder he did not commit, and really makes the title stand out.
Homelife and the Case: They’ve been doing much better with this recently. In this case, the most connection is made through the idea of something from the past coming up in the present with Brian’s case being reopened and with Martha’s old beau connecting with her through social media. A tenuous and believable connection.
Other than that, there isn’t really much focus on Castle’s homelife this episode. The scenes that did were quite brief and didn’t really advance the plot or even the tertiary plot of Castle’s relationship with Alexis and how she’s growing up. I thought it worked very well this episode, especially as the focus was more on Montgomery.
Success of homelife parallelism: Not to much, and this worked wonderfully.
What “Kill the Messenger” does right:
- Martha – So, Martha’s social networking issues are something I considered long and hard before deciding to make them a pro or a con. The MyFace joke is one that has been around forever, which definitely lost it points, but in the end Martha anxiety about her picture and just her reaction to the entire thing was so charming I decided it added to the episode. Martha and Alexis may be my favorite part of the show.
- Montgomery – I like that this episode delves a bit into Montgomery’s past. It was a great way of making the case feel personal and emotional, without making it so intense like it would be if it was related to Kate’s past. It highlighted the captain as a character and let us learn a bit more about him, and like him a bit more.
- Twists and turns – I liked the ins and outs of this case. I liked that it wasn’t one of the politician brothers who did it, and that they seemed properly horrified that it was their mother, and willing to work with the police once they realized that their family was somehow involved. It made me care about characters who could have otherwise been seen as smarmy.
What “Kill the Messenger” could have done better:
- Stereotypical – Sally Neidermeyer, the aunt of Brian Thompson, was a bit too ridiculously stereotypical. While the scene with her made me smile a couple of times, it just got to be too much. The cats, answering “yes” to an either or question, the cups of tea. It just added up into something a bit too silly and stereotyped for my taste.
- Mistaken name – That is a really odd name mistake, to have Neidermeyer, a last name that isn’t all that uncommon, be mistaken for a much less common (in the States, at least) name of a terrorist. It felt very weird and it seems like the purpose was just to be a moment of misdirection. I don’t really think it worked all that well, especially given how silly it got.
- The other Wellesley’s – While Winston and Blake Wellesley were well-done. The others fell a bit flat. The first man they speak to about it, the one who got in a fight with her, the matriarch of the family and her dutiful butler. They just felt like caricatures of the rich and entitled without any real character of their own.
Overall: A fairly good episode.