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Castle “Almost Famous” 

Photo Credit: ABC

I finally watched this week’s Castle and I’m so glad I did. I know every episode revolves around murder and murder isn’t supposed to be fun, but I really found “Almost Famous” to be a hell of a lot of fun.

The victim was a stripper and struggling actor who couldn’t manage to stay out of danger. Trouble came from several angles but in the end it was his older ex-girlfriend’s slimy lawyer that got the best of him. I felt really bad for the cougar that recently broke up with the 27-year-old over money issues. He asked her for 25,000 bucks and she ran the other way. Plus, she found out her attorney was stealing her money. I have to say, unlike some of the Castle cases, I really couldn’t guess who the culprit was until shortly before the big reveal. That to me is a beautiful thing.

There are a lot of little things that made “Almost Famous” even more fun than usual.

  • Did anyone else see any Seinfeld connections? Or was it just me? The stripper/actor had an alias. His name? Jesse Mandelay. Jesse Mandelay was his front for the real estate scam he and the lawyer cooked up. It totally reminded me of Art Vandelay, which is a fake name used several times during Seinfeld’s nine seasons. So I love that the pseudonym used in this particular Castle rhymed with “Vandelay.” The guy Castle and Beckett questioned at the construction site was named Bert Kramer. Kramer = Michael Richards’ character on the Emmy-winning series that ended in 1998. Bert = Bert Harbinson, a name George made up while he and Jerry hung out in the lobby of an office building waiting for a woman Jerry met a party.
  • I loved three of the guest stars including Mary Page Keller. She’s acted in many primetime TV shows like Duet, Baby Talk, NCIS and NYPD Blue. But to me she’ll always be Sally from NBC’s late great daytime soap Another World. And speaking of soap operas, Blake Gibbons was that ex-con biker, Billy Grimm. He has a recurring role as Coleman on ABC’s General Hospital. Christina Vidal was the bride-to-be at the bachelorette party. She still looks beyond young. Remember her from 1993’s Life with Mikey? She played a talented but sassy kid Michael J. Fox was trying to help make into a star.
  • As usual, I adored the Castle moments with his mom and daughter. Alexis was trying out for her high school play which just happened to be Grease. Martha got a wind of it and went overboard trying to prepare her granddaughter for the audition. Alexis realized she wasn’t into being an actor; she instead became the musical’s stage manager. I love how Castle just takes it all in and then he advises or he listens or he’s right there with the perfect thing to say to help make them feel better. He has also been coming to realizations about his mother lately and doesn’t hesitate to compliment her. He noticed how dedicated she is and you can tell he loves Martha being around. I really get the sense that the two may not have seen eye-to-eye while he was growing up but now that they are adults, their relationship is tighter than ever. It’s a really wonderful relationship.
  • Ryan and Eposito (and subsequently Seamus Dever and Jon Huertas) make awesome partners. I loved the stuff they got to do in “Almost Famous” after questioning the head of that stripper service. It was great how he didn’t have time for Esposito but thought the women ordering the strippers were looking for Robert Pattinson-types like Ryan. Of course Esposito didn’t take too kindly to being rejected.
  • The strip club portion of the episode was also hilarious. I don’t blame the women for being all over Castle. And the dead stripper’s rival looked and sounded like Fabio but he really turned out to be some bloke from New Jersey. Awesome.
  •  And I don’t know how many times I can say this but Susan Sullivan is my hero. Did you catch her wearing those oh-so-tight spandex pants like the ones Sandy wore in Grease when she went from good girl to bad? She pulled it off! She looked amazing, better than girls half her age. I don’t know how she does it.
  • I also love how Castle turns everything into a story. He was speculating on the cougar’s motive for killing her ex-boyfriend. It was this awesome story that of course was completely wrong. And I think everyone knew it was wrong while they were listening to it but you can’t help but be drawn into the tale he’s weaving. I know I really wanted it to be true.
  • I loved the hardcore bachelorette partygoers calling the stripper who dressed up like a cop, “Officer McNaughty.” Speaking of Officer McNaughty, his commercial and appearance on that Cops-like show were funny.

The lines in this episode (written by Elizabeth Davis) were fabulous. Some of my favorites:

“Have you ever heard of a brilliant doctor named Doogie Howser?” (Particularly awesome since Doogie Howser = Neil Patrick Harris. And Neil Patrick Harris = Nathan Fillion’s co-star in Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog.)

“I’m already up to my ears in A-Rods. But uh…your friend here; I’ve got women requesting that skinny Twilight dude like crazy.”

“If you change your mind, I’ll provide fangs and some hair gel.”

“Let me know if you need any singles.”

“Twilight, my ass.”

“Too much?”

“Doug, was a little bitch.”

“His alibi is as hard as his abs.”

“Oh, quick casting idea: Ashton and Demi.”

“Do you have any brochures? I’m looking for a place. Mine blew up.” (Love that Beckett refers to what started in last season’s “Tick Tick Tick” and continued in “Boom,” an episode Elizabeth Davis also wrote)

“Shut the front door.”

“Do you want a lawyer? Or do you want to hire an actor to play one for you?”

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