Stars: Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic, Susan Sullivan, Molly Quinn, Tamala Jones, Seamus Deaver, Jon Huertas, Penny Johnson Jerald
Writer:  Jason Wilborn
Director: Bill Roe
Network: ABC, Monday nights, 10 p.m.
Original Telecast: January 21, 2013

It’s business as usual on CASTLE this week with a charming, but not terribly deep episode, “Death Gone Crazy,” featuring a soft-core video porn king getting strangled with a really expensive bra in the ladies’ room at the video launch party. Unusually, this one is pretty much all about the case. Okay, Esposito (Jon Huertas) gets friendly with one of the suspects, Scarlett Jones (Kelly Hu) – they have so got to get him back together with Lanie (Tamala Jones). Oh, and Castle (Nathan Fillion) finds daughter Alexis’ (Molly Quinn) video blog and freaks that she’s putting too much private information out there.

Other than that, the episode is standard set up for the murder, here’s the stiff, here’s the weapon, bring in 12 different suspects and, yep, it’s the guy they questioned early on and let go. While I am a major fan of this show, you’d think Det. Beckett (Stana Katic) and company would learn to hang onto the folks they talk to first, because they almost always question the killer early on.

The set up features Beau Randolph (Jordan Belfi) going into a night club party celebrating the release of his latest College Girls Gone Crazy: Girls Take Manhattan. Only he’s not happy about something. Not that his sadness ever comes up in later scenes. He just turns up dead in the head.

One might think that the fancy, expensive bra is a major clue, but no. First it serves as a set up for a snarky line from Esposito, for which Lanie gives him the evil eye – as well she should. Think she’s still got a thing for him? For now, ’tis of no avail. Sexy bodyguard Scarlett is first one of the suspects, partly because she gets caught stealing an SD card from Randolph’s safe. Espo is all turned-on by a woman that can kick his backside three ways to Sunday.

But then there’s the mean old man Ronald Armstrong (Conor O’Farrell) leading the big anti-filth campaign against Randolph. Alas, he has an alibi. Then there’s the competing video with guys. Nope. What about the mysterious girl in pink, who was videotaped by Randolph’s friend and business partner as Randolph went to the ladies? Not her. Randolph’s ex-girlfriend, who it just happens, owns the fancy bra, appears to be the killer, but no, she was just having revenge sex in the ladies room and left the club before Randolph was killed. Leaving behind the bra.

Turns out that Scarlett wasn’t rescuing the SD card for a girlfriend after all. Seems she’s a corporate spy for a children’s media company that Randolph wanted to invest in. Curiouser and curiouser. They confront Scarlett’s real boss and he gives them the SD card that does, indeed, have a sex video on it, featuring Randolph and Candace, the afore-mentioned. But she can’t be the killer – it’s too early in the show.

Ah, but she does point up the motive. Turns out she’s not only Armstrong’s daughter, going by her mother’s name, she’s preggers with Randolph’s baby. Faced with becoming a dad, Randolph has decided to clean up his act and completely shut down College Girls Gone Crazy. Surprise, surprise, his business partner isn’t too keen on that, but he was busy shooting the party. Or was he?

You think they would have noticed that the party video got really stable all of a sudden earlier in the process. Of course, he put the camera on a tripod, killed Randolph, then went back to shooting.

It’s just a pretty standard episode, with a nice little epilogue between Castle and Alexis, which I found utterly charming – that is such a nice relationship. But little more than that. Ah, well, sweeps are coming – things should pick up in two weeks.

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Article: TV Review: CASTLE – Season 5 – “Death Gone Crazy”

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