Title Meme Is Murder
Two-Sentence Summary The team from the 12th precinct investigates a pair of murders involving Internet celebrities, whose dead bodies were photographed and put online. The case leads them to a victim of cyberbullying who has found a sense of power in creating a legacy of brutal murders.
Favorite Line It’s not a line, but I think we could all use another viewing of this video:
My Thoughts “Meme Is Murder” felt like a filler episode before something huge, which we all now know that it was. It was fairly case-heavy, and we all know those aren’t my favorites. And while last week’s episode was also more about the case of the week and less about the characters and their growth, it got by on its charm and some pretty significant development for Castle and Alexis. It’s not that I need for Castle’s disappearance to be brought up every week in a major way, but after integrating it really well into the lighter episodes so far this season, it felt a bit strange for it to not have any presence in “Meme Is Murder.”
While this episode felt like filler, that doesn’t mean I didn’t find it interesting—and unsettling. I thought the guest actors were incredibly strong in this episode. I immediately felt for the former detective who was broken by guilt over not doing enough to help Adam Lane when he was a cyberbullying victim. There was something about his demeanor that evoked instant sympathy from me. And the actor who played Adam was great. He didn’t overplay his psychopathy, which would have been easy to do. Instead, he let it show in the deadness behind his eyes and the chilling way he delivered all of his lines in the interrogation scene.
In fact, I think Beckett’s interrogation of Adam was my favorite such scene in a long time. Stana Katic always does such a marvelous job of showing how Beckett owns that interrogation room, and she’s even better when she’s paired with a guest actor who matches her intensity. The battle of wills between Beckett and Adam was fascinating to watch, and I loved the moment we saw Beckett realize exactly how to get to him. The switch in demeanor from soft to scathing was an impressive bit of acting from Katic. And it was fun to watch Castle and the ex-detective work alongside Beckett to put the pieces together on the other side of the wall. It was a really satisfying moment of teamwork.
The case itself brought up really interesting concerns about the public nature of the Internet, the permanence of what goes online, and the culture of anonymity that leads to people feeling emboldened to act terribly. I thought Beckett’s frustration with the culture of anonymous bullying on the Internet was very realistic. I like when crime shows aren’t afraid to let us see that the detectives are bothered by these cases after they solve them. (And Castle’s little reassuring hug was very cute.) And I think most of us who are even slightly active online have had experience with the way the Internet allows people’s worst selves to come to the forefront. It was a very timely topic, and I thought it was handled well. I love the Internet—it creates and strengthens friendships and gives me a place to share my feelings with others who also feel passionately about the same things (much like Ryan with his adorable callback to his blog)—but it has a dark side, too.
I’ll close this review with some stray observations:
• I wish I cared more about Tori, but I just don’t. When you have a core group of characters as well developed as the ones on this show are, it’s difficult to add someone new into that group, and I don’t think it’s working with Tori.
• On the other hand, my love for Victoria Gates just keeps growing. I loved seeing once again how much she’s grown to trust Beckett, even in the face of her superiors doubting her. And Beckett’s smile when Gates told her she was still on the case was a thing of beauty. These two women have developed a real sense of respect that feels believable and genuine.
• I normally love everything Beckett wears, but what was up with that denim-on-denim ensemble?
• I’m continuing to like this trend of including Beckett being a part of scenes between Castle and his family at the loft. It’s a nice way to show that she’s completely integrated into his life now, and it makes the dynamic even more fun—especially in this episode, with all the women in Castle’s life teasing him about his video.
• CASTLE AND BECKETT ARE GETTING MARRIED IN TWO WEEKS! Did anyone else wake up smiling because of this, or was it just me?