Previously on Castle… actually, I have no idea, which is why our editor thought this would be a perfect show for my inaugural WTHIGO. I used to say that you couldn’t pay me to watch certain shows, but I now know that if you pay me, I will, in fact, watch a show. Here goes.
(Warning! Spoilers follow. Also, it gets gruesome. Immediately.)
A would-be rape in a dark alleyway is thwarted when the almost rapist has his hand sliced off with a sword by an anonymous man with a resounding baritone, who goes on to use the sword again to slice said rapist in freaking half! They aren’t messing around, as this is only the first thirty seconds of the show. All that comes to a screeching halt when Castle and his mother, an aging drag queen, react to the news that his daughter is going to concentrate on her film career now that she’s old enough not to need a tutor on set—I mean, going off to college. Castle plays it off like it doesn’t bother him, but he tells Beckett—who’s pretty but wearing a men’s suit so you know that she’s a serious lady cop—that he’s not ready to let go of his daughter.
Castle and Beckett arrive at the crime scene and learn that the cops only know the victim’s identity, let’s call him Vic Timh, and the almost rape victim says that she couldn’t make out the guy who rescued her. A visit from Vic’s mother reveals that she is an awful, awful person who would rather have a smoke than mourn her son, but she mentions that he had a lot of enemies and a list of crimes a mile long. The two other cops from the crime scene ascertain that the victim had been in an altercation with some a guy in the mob whose family owns a meat packing plant.
Mob Guy didn’t know about Vic’s death, but bets it was done by a vigilante who carved an “L” into Mob Guy’s rear end, an act which he had caught on video. A cursory review of the video reveals that the vigilante is a costumed superhero, a fact which tickles Castle to no end, which means he likes comic books, I guess.
Beckett reports this information to her captain, who notes that the superhero probably escaped from Bellevue. Because only the insane do weird stuff around Manhattan, right? But Castle thinks that this might be someone working as an actual superhero, with a backstory and everything. Also, Beckett calls her female boss “Sir” for some reason, like the role was intended for a man, but the script supervisor was out sick that day.
To prove that there are actually people dressed as superheroes running around the city, Castle shows Beckett a video of “Red Maroon,” a guy in a costume who fails to fell a mugger and ends up getting beaten by the lady who lost her purse on Youtube, or the Castle equivalent of a website which mostly contains videos of people being victims of crimes or getting hurt. So… Youtube.
The other cops in the office, whom I’ll call “Mr. & Mr. Cop,” since they appear to be interchangeable and in every scene together, state that they’ve heard rumors of a costumed vigilante swordsman around town. Meanwhile, Castle uses his comic book collection that he evidently has on his person to create a psychological profile of the suspect: someone who likes comic books! And in a city as diverse as Manhattan, there is one place to which such a person would most definitely go: the one comic book store in Manhattan (where they incidentally feature his own graphic novel)!
The Comic Book Guy can’t give Castle information about clients who read particular comics (as per the Comic Book Guy Code, you know), but he knows who the suspect is: Lone Vengeance, an online comic with a small following. When Castle sees the comic, he notices that the knuckle plate (which I guess is a thing) of the costume, resembles a button he thought he saw back at the crime scene.
Mr. & Mr. Cop continue their search for the sword and banter back and forth about how awesome it would be to be a superhero, but we really know what’s going on. I hope things work out for these crazy kids and they end up together by season’s close. Regardless, a pawn shop calls them and says they recognize the guy who bought a sword like the one the killer used. Man, being a New York City policeman is easy!
Beckett and Castle head back to the crime scene to find the knuckle plate in the middle of the night because when else would you want to try to find a button-sized object in a dark, Manhattan alleyway, and wouldn’t you know it, they find it after two seconds and it has a print! No sooner do they lift it up when Lone Vengeance himself shows up and uses some weird tool to precisely grab it out of Beckett’s hand. He then uses his secret power, unnecessary parkour, to evade Castle and drive off on his motorcycle, which he must have walked there because Castle and Beckett didn’t hear him coming. No matter. Mr. Cop #1 knows Lone Vengeance’s identity, so Beckett and Castle are able to apprehend LV in his sad, lonely, studio apartment, practicing his swordplay. (Actual swordplay, not the kind of swordplay that usually occurs in sad, lonely, studio apartments.)
When they get him back to the station, they discover the perp is the wrong guy: a fanboy who is probably only engaging in this form of cosplay until his inevitable loneliness compels him to become a furry. Not-LV explains that he merely aspires to be Lone Vengeance’s Robin, but Castle reminds him that the first part of his moniker means that he probably isn’t looking for a partner.
Meanwhile, Mr. & Mr. Cop are busy looking up everyone who has ever driven a motorcycle, when Beckett tasks them with finding out everyone who has ever downloaded the Lone Vengeance comic book—which Castle has apparently done, as he’s reading a copy of it, and the copy has been printed out in color. I imagine this is to drive home the fact that he is rich. While he’s reading, his daughter, whom I’ll call “Speedbump,” since I’m totally taken out of the crime story, shows up and tells her father that she’s taking all the same classes as her boyfriend who finally shows her all the attention Daddy never did growing up while he was being an author, a cop and generally smug about being Castle.
Whilst Castle takes a moment to regret his seventeen years of bad parenting, he notices that there was a panel in one of the comics in which a hoodlum has an “L” carved in his butt…”L” like “Lone.” Of course, if you tilt him a little to the left, the carving becomes “V” like “Vengeance,” but what do I know? And the comic came out after Mob Guy had gotten the “L” on his derriere, so they deduce that the killer is the author of the Lone Vengeance comic book.
The comic book’s author operates under a nom de plume, but Mr. & Mr. Cop find a couple more instances in the comics of art imitating life. A visit to Vic Timh’s Mother of the Year exposes that while she didn’t care about his death, she knew exactly what kinds of comics he loved and the exact conversations her son had in the days leading up to his death with the reporter from the crime scene whom I’m supposed to remember, despite the fact he spoke one line. Mr. & Mr. Cop discover a connection between the reporter and Vic, but they vie for approval from Castle (Does everyone have daddy issues on this show?), and as they hammer this comic book theme over our heads a little more, Beckett receives a call that the reporter has been spotted by the one comic book store in all of Manhattan, where he appears to be preparing to flee.
In custody, Reporter appears “mild-mannered,” as Castle is quick to say, lest we leave any comic book terms out of this show, and he and Beckett remind Reporter of his mugging at an abandoned tenement which could have been his origin story (They almost left that term out. Phew!). Reporter reluctantly agrees to confess to killing the Vic, as he threatened to expose LV’s real identity (which would be a bad thing, I guess?), but Castle and Beckett ain’t buying it. Because Reporter acts worse than a third grade production of 12 Angry Men. Although that would be adorable.
Ceckett & Bastle jump to the conclusion that the real LV must be at the one abandoned tenement building in Manhattan where Reporter was mugged. Despite it being a less than impressive lair, according to Castle, they find Lone Vengeance, who is unmasked to be…a lady! What’s more, she’s indubitably the lady cop who also spoke one line in the Crime Scene scene, which we’re supposed to have remembered.
They arrest Lona Vengeanca, and it turns out that she has an obligatory, although very brief origin story (which involves her father; I’m just sayin’), and it resembles what I guess happened to Beckett in seasons past. Also, Reporter is crazy in love with Lona, but she didn’t want him to turn himself in for this crime that neither of them committed. And she only stole that knuckle plate (still a thing) from Beckett so that she could take it to the police and have it dusted for prints…which I would have assumed Beckett would have done, but that added another twenty minutes to the story so there you go.
But what we learn is that there is someone else out there dressing like Lona, but splitting people down their sternums, but who else is left from that Crime Scene scene?
Beckett believes Lona, because a cop knows, and C&B bring back the Mob Guy from the scene after the Crime Scene. Oh, Castle Writers, thou hast bested me. Mob Guy has the original motive about which they questioned him half an hour ago: Vic had been tipping off Lona on Mob Guy’s whereabouts so she could stop his crimes. Mob Guy knows they don’t have any proof, but they do: the knuckle plate (most definitely a thing now)! It has the thumbprint of Mob Guy’s cousin, Ernesto the tailor…because Mob Guy is Italian. I can only assume they cut out the scenes in which he talked about his monkey-grinding side business with his cousin from Jersey Shore. Ernesto dropped the dime on Mob Guy, telling the cops that he made his Faux-ne Vengeance costume. You’ve been Castled, my friend!
Beckett reaches out to the now free Lona, telling her to let go of the past as Beckett has had to do, and Lona goes into the arms of her beloved Reporter. Then everyone spends far too long watching the couple embrace. The Captain decides to pretend that this whole superhero never happened, and still no one addresses why Beckett is calling her “Sir.” The Captain is a woman, right?
Castle notices the similarities between Lona and Reporter and Beckett and himself: a writer and his lady cop muse. And as Castkett watches Lona and Reporter kiss, Beckle realizes that when they finally make out, it will be their last season.
Oh, and Speedbump had another scene. She, like, learned a lesson or something about being herself.