Stars: Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic, Susan Sullivan, Molly C. Quinn, Jon Huertas, Seamus Dever, Tamala Jones
Matt Pyken
Paul Holahan
ABC, airs Monday nights

Original Telecast:
April 11, 2011

Authors Michael Connelly and Dennis Lehane are back as themselves, playing poker with their buddy Richard Castle (Nathan Fillion) in the latest episode of CASTLE – “The Dead Pool”, but this case is actually about a swimmer who drowns after being knocked out by a whiff of chlorine.

At first, Detective Kate Beckett (Stana Katic) and Castle can’t find a motive for the killing of the young Olympic hopeful. Ah, but there’s the stash of designer steroids hidden in the kid’s apartment. Then it turns out he’s been stealing cars to pay for college. Turns out, several folks had a motive.

At the same time, Castle invites Alex Conrad (Brendan Hines), a new young writer that Castle helped get published, to the precinct, and it’s kind of funny how young Conrad strikes a spark with Beckett. Castle gets his own back when he brings Conrad to the poker party and the kid gets hazed by Connelly and Lehane.

It’s actually a nice bittersweet moment, since Conrad almost sits in Cannell’s chair. That’s real person Stephen J. Cannell, TV and mystery novel writer, who passed away last year. His chair has been kept vacant for a year by the guys to show respect.

The other sweet moment is when Castle confesses to Beckett that he was jealous of Conrad. We’re getting awfully close to those two finally getting together. If they aren’t by the end of this season, I am going to be one very torqued fan.

The low grade comes from some sloppy writing – not a good thing when you have writers giving another writer advice. And said younger writer is hanging around the cops to get his facts straight. Put stuff like that in, you’d better have your own facts straight.

Such as the thing about the chlorine. While going after a suspect, Beckett points out that the swimmer was knocked out with pure chlorine. Uhhhh, pure chlorine is a gas. A highly corrosive gas. The stuff you put in pools is the gas suspended in water (mostly), which means it’s not pure. The pure stuff would have killed the kid straight out, assuming the killer could have used it without getting killed at the same time.

The stuff you put in pools could knock you out after a while, if you were in a closed room, but I’m not buying putting it on a rag as a quick knock out. Pool chlorine isn’t that strong, as I recall.

But if you can get past the technical goof, this is a fun episode.

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