Title At Close Range
Two-Sentence Summary Ryan finds himself in the middle of a murder investigation when a philanthropist with political connections is killed at an event where he was working as a member of the security team. Things get even more complicated when Ryan’s brother-in-law, who got him the extra work, becomes a suspect.
Castle: Is it One Direction? You’d tell me, right? Are they in town?
Esposito: No, they’re in Hong Kong.
My Thoughts Sadly, non-NGN responsibilities have forced me to be brief with this week’s Castle post. So instead of a full recap, here are Five Fast Takes from “At Close Range,” and I can’t wait to talk about this episode in greater detail with all of you in the comments!
1. Castle and Esposito being One Direction fans was one of the greatest side conversations on this show in a long time. I think I’ve re-watched that one little exchange five times since last night. Nathan Fillion and Jon Huertas had great timing with their line delivery, and sometimes a silly moment like that just lands perfectly, which this one did for me.
2. I love Kevin Ryan. I don’t know if it’s the way he’s written or if it’s the earnestness Seamus Dever brings to him or if it’s some combination of the two (I’m guessing that’s it), but I find Ryan-centric episodes to be some of the show’s finest hours. My favorite thing about Ryan is how deeply he cares about doing the right thing. It makes him an easy character to root for. I also love how perfectly in-character it is for him to be burdened by guilt and a sense of failure when things go wrong on his watch. Ryan has the one-two punch of Irish-Catholic guilt working against him, and that makes his sense of devotion to doing the right thing even more believable.
3. Bill Roe’s direction is a gift. “At Close Range” wasn’t directed by the great Rob Bowman, but it could have been. That’s how wonderful I thought Roe’s direction was in this episode. You could feel his cinematographer’s touch throughout, and I found his use of lighting and shadows to be particularly effective. (I’m thinking especially of the scene in which Ryan confronted his brother-in-law.)
4. What’s going to happen with Beckett’s career? She’s actively preparing for the captain’s exam, but there seemed to also be some foreshadowing in this episode of a political career for her. Between the politician saying she’s gotten people’s attention in a positive way and Castle talking about the world of politics needed more upstanding citizens, I felt like this episode was suggesting that Beckett could end up in politics. However, I don’t think I’d like to see her in a more political role than captain. A politician was responsible for her mother’s death, and I don’t know if I could see Beckett in that kind of world. I’d much rather see her in Gates’s footsteps, taking on the role of captain.
5. Once again, I was reminded that—for as much as I love a fun Castle case—I’d much rather watch an emotional, dramatic one. “At Close Range” was incredibly compelling because this case had real stakes for a character we care about, and Dever made me feel just how intensely this case was weighing on Ryan. That emotional connection to the case and the sense of respect for and duty to the victim are things that I sometimes find missing in the show’s lighter episodes. There have been a few episodes this season I’m already having trouble remembering, but “At Close Range” is one I know I won’t soon forget.