Stars: Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic, Susan Sullivan, Molly Quinn, Tamala Jones, Seamus Deaver, Jon Huertas, Penny Johnson Jerald
Writer: 
Alexi Hawley
Director:
 John Terlesky
Network:
 ABC, Monday nights, 10 p.m.
Original Telecast:
 April 30, 2012

Those of us CASTLE fans who have been waiting none too patiently for Rick Castle (Nathan Fillion) and Det. Kate Beckett (Stana Katic) to get their game on, so to speak, get some hope in “Undead Again.” The episode is for the most part classic CASTLE fluff – until near the end….

The episode starts, however with Castle sneaking up on daughter Alexis (Molly Quinn) in their ongoing laser tag game. Only Alexis rather archly declares that it’s time to grow up and move on. She has to decide between going to Oxford and Stanford. But then Beckett buzzes in and, initially, Castle ignores the call.

He has decided this will be his last case with Beckett, so he does go out. But the stiff is a securities trader, beaten to death and bitten – not actually and interesting case until the one lone witness turns up. Turns out the stiff was killed by a zombie that bit him, too. Which should make the witness a candidate for a rubber room, except that video surveillance turns up, well, a zombie.

Castle, of course, is going to town with this and even giving poor Detective Ryan (Seamus Deaver) the shakes, until Castle confesses he doesn’t really believe in zombies. He just wants to push Beckett’s buttons. Oh, and Alexis literally drops in and laser tags her dad because she was just throwing him off earlier.

So they finally find Kyle, the zombie (Josh Braaten) and, alas, he’s dead. Until he wakes up suddenly in the morgue. Poor Kyle runs with the zombie group – people who dress up as zombies and chase their friends for the fun of it – but can’t remember anything about that night. Turns out he was doped up on scopalomine and given the suggestion to kill the trader. Ah, but who gave him the scope? The fiance of the girl the trader wanted to date?

He’s the only person with a motive, and he’s just cool enough to point out that there’s no proof. So now the chase becomes about finding the proof.

But here’s the key scene (which only tangentially has anything to do with the murder at hand). Castle points out very emphatically that in moments of great trauma, people remember everything. But Beckett points out that those moments are too big to handle all at once and people need time to process them. Uh-huh….  Well, we knew that Beckett was trying to process Castle’s declaration of love when she got shot at the end of last season’s finale, which is why she told him she didn’t remember anything. But then Castle overheard her saying how she remembered everything and took it wrong, yeah, yeah, yeah.

The good news is, Beckett finally says to Castle that the wall is coming down slowly. About flippin’ time. Oh, and they do catch the bad guy using Kyle’s zombie disguise, which Castle promptly uses on Alexis to win their laser tag game. Alexis, in turn, suddenly realizes she’s distraught that the game (which they’ve had going for many years) is actually over. She then realizes her problem with choosing which college to go to has nothing to with which is the better school, it’s that they’re too far away and while she wants her independence, she doesn’t want to be that far away from her dad. Castle tells her to go with her heart, and she chooses Columbia (which is in New York) with the caveat that Rick has to give her space, etc.

So the next episode is the season finale, and the network is teasing the bejeebers out of it “changing their lives forever.” It had better be in the direction of being together, but given how the producers of this show have mercilessly teased us along on that point, we despair of it ever happening. Yes, this episode was a nice launching pad for the relationship and beautifully handled. But it still wasn’t worth all the angst the producers have put us through.

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Article: TV Review: CASTLE – Season 4 – “Undead Again”

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