Stars: Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic, Susan Sullivan, Molly Quinn, Tamala Jones, Seamus Deaver, Jon Huertas, Penny Johnson Jerald
Writer: Christine Boylan
Director: Kate Woods
Network: ABC, Monday nights, 10 p.m.
Original Telecast: January 16, 2011
If ever ABC did not do CASTLE any favors, it was with this episode, “Dial M for Mayor.” The promos made it look like Det. Kate Beckett (Stana Katic) and crime-solving author dilletant Richard Castle (Nathan Fillion) were going to be facing a serious rift in their good friendship over Castle’s support of his buddy Mayor Robert Weldon (Derek Webster). Nope.
Have to take note – this episode was written and directed by women, not something you see very often. Maybe that glass ceiling behind the camera is developing a crack or two.
But back to the episode. A woman is found strangled in a parked car, which turns out to be from the City Hall vehicle pool and signed out by one of the Mayor’s aides. Beckett and her team turn up more and more evidence against the mayor, which kind of makes things difficult for Castle. He only gets to hang around with Beckett, going to crime scenes, because the mayor says he can. As Captain Victoria Gates (Penny Johnson Jerald) points out, no mayor, no Castle. Hence the promo.
Yes, Castle and Beckett don’t necessarily agree on the mayor’s innocence, and they do go back and forth. But you get the sense that this isn’t going anywhere. They respect each other too much. Or the writer glossed over it. Either way, it’s not what’s at issue. They still go after the young woman’s killer, tracking her movements to a phone sex company where she worked, only to discover something she shouldn’t have.
Now, given that the mayor is the most obvious suspect, we know darned well he didn’t do it. That’s not how this show works. There’s a reason for the set-up and it’s loosely connected to the murder of Beckett’s mother. I’d forgotten that Castle had agreed with the shadowy figures to keep Beckett away from that case (to protect her), but we get a pretty potent reminder of it.
By the way, I think this is the first time we’ve actually seen Mayor Robert Weldon. I’m not even sure he even had a name earlier, but this is definitely the first time Derek Webster has played the role.
Overall, a nice episode that didn’t quite fulfill its promise, either the network’s or in the writing.
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Article: TV Review: CASTLE – Season 4 – “Dial M For Mayor”