Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Recap: Castle Season 4 Episode 2, Superheroes and Villians

Original airdate: Monday, September 26, 2011

Episode 4x02 starts off with a young women running out of alley. A man grabs her and throws her to the ground. As he is descending on her and making threatening comments a deep voice comes from somewhere in the darkness of the alley telling him to leave her alone. A long blade slices through his wrist severing his hand from his body. In a grotesque version of shadow puppets, the man is finished off as the blade divides him from head to toe and his halves fall away from one another.

At the home of our ruggedly handsome writer, Rick Castle is making an omelet as his mother models a Desmonda costume that she is making for her Shakespeare class.. Alexis finishes up her phone call with her Stanford college boyfriend, Ashley. After she talks excitedly about going to Stanford in the spring, Castle has to blame his weepy eyes on the onion he was cutting.
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Castle and Beckett are called out to the alley crime scene, where it determined that a sword was the murder weapon. They interview the woman who was in the alley with the victim at the time of his death. She says she did does not have any details on the killer. They ID the dead man in the alley as Tyler Faris, someone with criminal activity in his history.

Kate Beckett mentions later to Castle that she doesn't think the witness was giving them all the details she knew. They talk to Faris's mother who isn't really surprised that her no-good son bought it in an alley, given that he has more enemies than Detective Beckett's small notepad would be able to hold.

Faris was spotted recently having an altercation with a guy named Tony Valtini, whose family owns a meat packing plant and his nickname just so happens to be Tony the Butcher. Detective Kevin Ryan recognizes his name from back when he worked in the Narcotics division and says that Valtini has mob connections.

Valtini is brought in for questioning and he tells Beckett and Castle that he fired Faris from his business, Tony Valtini Enterprises. Faris and Valtini had a disagreement when Faris said he was owed back-pay, but Valtini says they settled it like gentleman. After Castle makes several corny jokes alluding to Faris being chopped in half, (such as, He's half the man he used to be, a man divided and having split personalities) Valtini swears he had nothing to do with Faris's death. However, he says he was attacked previously by someone with a sword who Zorro'd the letter L into his backside. The surveillance cameras at his warehouse caught the attacker on tape as he was leaving.

As they watch the warehouse tape, Castle, Esposito, Beckett and Ryan are shocked at what they see. A person encased in a form fitting red and blue suit complete with a mask that covered their entire head goes dashing by the camera. "Our killer is a superhero!" Castle exclaims in glee.

As they go through the crime scene photos they find a man who matches the build of the masked superhero. This man also fled the scene when he realized his picture was being taken by the cops.

After doing some research on the costume they are unable to find any like it for sale to the public so they think it must be custom made. Using a display board with issues of his own comic book collection as reference materials, Castle points out the various bits of Spider-Man's, Daredevil's, Black Panther's and Iron Man's outfits that the person of interest drew from to make their costume. Since all the characters that the custom costume is amalgamated from share a history of the death of a father figure or a loved one, he thinks that the person they are looking for must have a similar back story. He also suggests the non-superhero side of them is most likely mild mannered. Captain Gates is not impressed with Castle's method of research.

Beckett and Castle go to a comic book store called Comic-Cadia because Castle thinks the person is a collector based on the belt of their suit as it only appeared in a smattering of early issues of Iron Man. On the way there Beckett reveals if she could be a superhero she would be Elektra and Castle says he would be Bruce Wayne.

At the comic store they speak to Mike Hoover, and even though he is one of Castle's biggest fans, he cannot reveal information about customers. He also does not recognize the man from the crime scene photo. When they show him the photo of the superhero at the warehouse, after some taps on his computer keyboard he spins the monitor around to show them the comic book hero Lone Vengeance. Lone Vengeance is an online comic book created by a man named Sean Elt.

Castle says he saw one of the shiny pieces from the costumes hand area on the ground at the crime scene. Back at the crime scene they find what Castle was talking about and just as Beckett observes there is a partial print on it, it is knocked out of her hand by Lone Vengeance himself. Castle gives chase but in an impressive display of graceful and well timed wall running and jumping Lone Vengeance straddles a motorcycle and speeds away with their clue.

Esposito calls to give them the name and address of a Mr. Chad Hockney who was the man who ran when the police was taking his photo. They find him in his apartment, fully decked out in the Lone Vengeance costume and take him into custody.

Castle and Beckett talk to Chad Hockney in the interrogation room. He says his father is still alive and he didn't kill anyone. He says after his first attempt at being the superhero Red Maroon was turned into a joke after a bungled call to action he decided that he wanted to become a disciple or partner of Lone Vengeance. Castle points out that the "Lone" in Lone Vengeance pretty much seals the deal the he would not want a partner. After Hockney was told by Lone Vengeance to leave him alone, Hockney made himself a Lone Vengeance suit, bought a sword, and was getting ready to go out on patrol when Beckett kicked in his door.

It turns out that Hockney's alibi of being in his apartment and sewing his costume during the time of the murder checks out. The detectives are still waiting on information about the Kawasaki motorcycle that Lone Vengeance drove out of the alley. They are also going to get a list of names of all the people who downloaded Lone Vengeance.

At home, Castle and Alexis talk about what classes she will take when she goes to Stanford. She is going to take economics related courses. She says that way she'll be able to spend more time with Ashley, since economics is his major. Castle cautions her to make sure she makes her choices based on what she wants and not solely with Ashley as the keystone. She gets angry with him and leaves unhappily while Castle is also not pleased with the outcome of the conversation.

His gaze falls down to the Lone Vengeance comic book he had downloaded and he sees a panel with a man who had just left a warehouse having an L carved into his hind quarters. He alerts Beckett to his find and says that the date of the comic was after the ass-carving occurred in real life, so the writer of the comic book has to also be the killer because of the inside information that he has.

The name Sean Elt is actually an anagram for Stan Lee. They find other storylines in his comics that parallel real life crimes. After talking to Faris's mother again they figure out that Sean Elt’s real name Paul Whittaker, a reporter who works the crime beat at the New York Ledger. He was also there when Beckett and Castle showed up to the murder scene in the beginning. They think that Faris was an informant of his and he would tip Whittaker off to crimes about to be committed , then Lone Vengeance would show up to thwart the would be debacle. So Faris put two and two together and got Lone Vengeance as being Whittaker's secret identity. Whittaker murdered Faris to keep from being exposed.

Just as they reach this conclusion they get a hit that Whittaker's ATM card has been maxed out at an ATM located near Comic-Cadia.

Whittaker is inside Comic-Cadia trying to sell a box of his vintage comic collection so he can get some fast cash when Beckett enters and confronts him.

Beckett and Castle talk to Whittaker in the interrogation room (the interrogation room should be considered an extra character as much time as they spend there this episode) and after Beckett says she'll help him get a deal, he confesses. Castle is a bit dubious as killing would go against the code of Lone Vengeance and when asked how he felt after he killed Faris he just says "Bad, really bad." Then Beckett asks him why he chopped Faris's hand off after he killed him. He doesn't have a reason. Now, given that if he truly broke his superhero code by killing someone he should be majorly at odds with himself on top of not knowing that Faris's hand was cut off before death, Beckett decides that he is not the killer.

They think that he knows who the killer is and is protecting them. Originally they thought that he had assumed the persona of Lone Vengeance after he was mugged last year, but now they think that is when he met Lone Vengeance and started writing about him.

By putting together the clues of where Hockney ran into Lone Vengeance and where Whittaker's mugging occurred they find an abandoned building in the area that would be a perfect place for a superhero lair, as Castle says. The electric company confirms that one of the apartments is receiving electricity and they go there.

While they are there, Castle remarks that it's not very impressive, superhero-lair wise. Beckett finds a hidden stash of swords in a built in wall panel. Castle raises his assessment a bit. As they look around, Lone Vengeance comes in through the fire escape. Beckett makes him reveal who he is, and when his mask is removed "he" actually turns out to be a female that Beckett works with: Officer Ann Hastings.

In the interrogation room (again) Officer Hastings says that she applied to the academy the day after her father's funeral. Her father was killed during a robbery of his dry cleaning business. She tells Beckett that she did not kill Faris.

In another area Castle tells Whittaker that Officer Hastings is being interrogated. By the look on Whittaker's face Castle guesses that he is in love with her.

Hastings compares herself to Beckett, pointing out that Beckett shot the killer of her own mother right in the precinct and then later took a bullet over something having to do with her mother's murder. Beckett does not agree that they have things in common. Hastings says that when she took the metal piece of the suit from Beckett in the alleyway she had a friend at the crime lab run the print for her but it didn't match anything in the database. She says Tyler Faris was a creature of habit, so it wouldn't be hard to figure out that he would take a girl out to that alleyway late at night.

Castle and Beckett talk, and Beckett says she doesn't think that Hastings did it. They bounce ideas off one another and come up with someone who had a vendetta against Faris and Lone Vengeance must have dressed up as Lone Vengeance and murdered Tyler, effectively killing two birds with one sword.

The finger is now pointed at Tony Valtini, because Tyler worked for Tony and had the inside scoop on the bad things that were going down, and Lone Vengeance was stopping his crime ring from carrying out his unlawful wishes.

After they bring Valtini in (and I won't even say where they talked to him), they let him know that the partial print on the piece of metal they found belonged to his cousin Ernesto. Ernesto is a tailor, and he told him that he had made a Lone Vengeance costume for Valtini. Valtini requests a lawyer.

When Hastings is released Beckett tells her "You're a good cop and you've got someone who cares about you. Don't be so driven by the past that you throw away your future.” Hastings and Whittaker leave the department as Castle observes the similarities between them and he and Beckett. He points out that they are both writers and their muses fighting crime. Then in the elevator, Hastings and Whittaker share a passionate kiss as the door closes. Castle and Beckett look at each other for a moment, Castle looks slightly nervous and awkward and Beckett looks calm and assured. Castle says he will see her tomorrow and walks away. Beckett looks after him with a slight smile on her face.

Later at home, Martha shows Castle her King Lear outfit, but decides to tweak it further when Castle fails to recognize that is who she is. Alexis and Castle have a heart-to-heart and Alexis tells him she is no longer going to take Economics classes at Stanford. He points out that even without having the same classes as Ashley she will still see him often. She says that's true, especially if she lives with him. Castle's face goes blank as he absorbs what she has just said to him.

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