Season 1 Episode 10

A Death in the Family

Aired Monday 10:00 PM May 11, 2009 on ABC

Episode Fan Reviews (12)

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out of 10
572 votes
  • A great end to the first season!

    But who knew it would end with such an intriguing cliffhanger? It's a great addition to the show, but it's quite frustrating since we will have to wait a few months to find out what happened. It all started when Castle started looking into Kate's mom's death. He had someone help him investigate, and this guy found out something important. Castle was about to tell Beckett, but the episode ended before it was revealed. The rest of the episode was alright. Alexis gets ready for her first prom. Her dress was so beautiful! Her prom date was good looking too XD But that's beside the point. Anywho, Castle wanted to scare the boy, so he got a zombie head, and an apron with "blood" on it, and was about to answer the door, but he was caught, and forced to give up the charade. The main plot to the story was about the investigation of a plastic surgeon's murder. Beckett and Castle were eventually led to a guy who is in witness protection. They talked to him, but on their way back, he was shot at, and so was Beckett's ex-boyfriend. At the end of the episode, it looked like they were getting together again, but it will be awhile until we can find out for sure...
  • A very good ending for the season, leaving us wondering about the two protagonists' personal relationship in the future, and putting in a nice family touch at the same time.

    One of the best Castle epis and a more than decent season finale - although much too quick, I understand the season ends somewhere around the middle of May but they could've carried the show a few episodes further in my opinion. However, the cliffhanger ending ensures we are getting a second helping, so no complaints there! The execs made a wise decision renewing Castle, it's just about the only exciting, original and well-done police show out there right now.

    The story is about a plastic surgeon, who is found executed mob-style in his car. The reason for a contract being put out on him was that he helped the government in a witness protection program case, by performing plastic surgery to change an ex-mobster's identity. The mob family involved desperarely wanted to track down the witness, so they tortured and killed the surgeon to get that information. While the solving of the case proceeds Beckett pulls in a favour from her ex-boyfriend, the FBI agent. It all bounces back on them however, when the mob follows them and shoots at the witness and Beckett's ex. She ends up at the hospital, feeling guilty and keeping him company.

    In the meantime Castle does the unthinkable, and probes into Beckett's mother's murder case. Beckett gets really pissed off and tells him to stop, but when did he ever listen to her? A forensic pathologist who is his friend discovers that the case wasn't a random stabbing after all, but part of a series of similar murders that were tossed aside at the time by the coroner and the police. Should he tell her and risk ending his collaboration with her forever, or should he keep his investigation to himself? His mom proves to be wiser than she seems, when she tells him Beckett needs to know regardless. And, of course, he chooses to do the right thing in the end. So with Beckett seeming to re-bond with her ex, and Castle about to do something that will certainly hurt and anger her very much, does he really stand a chance with her after that? We'll just have to wait and see!!

    A very good ending for the season, leaving us wondering about the two protagonists' personal relationship in the future, and putting in a nice family touch at the same time, with Alexis going to the prom, her grandmother helping her pick the dress, and her father being anxious about how fast she grows up. Well done and can't wait for next season!
  • The season finale really shows us why we love this show.

    Castle is an amazing show that really hit the ground running, launching its season long premise from episode one. This episode was truly the climax of all the subtle developments woven throughout all the previous episodes. The cast really took the emotional characterization of each role to new heights. Castle's relationship with his daughter, mother, and detective Beckett are presented in a light which throws them into even greater relief. As Castle nears the conclusion of his novel, next season's story line is hinted at, as his relationship with Beckett becomes yet another layer more complex. It's hard to say more without delving into the realm of 'spoilers' but the future of this show looks brighter and brighter.
  • *** Spoiler-free *** Exciting and intense story, entertaining guest characters, convincing Stana Katic performance but awkward genres mix, anecdotic Alexis arc and missing ex-wife

    A finale about plastic surgery sounded intriguing even if I knew it wouldn't be as disturbing and dark as Nip/Tuck. But the story wasn't a naive vision of that twisted world and in fact I found it as exciting as the Home is Where the Heart Stops episode one. Moreover for once the characters involved in the investigation weren't as stereotyped and predictable as in Nanny McDead for example. From the funny gangster to the surreal blonde its gallery of portraits was entertaining to watch. Also Beckett and Castle's complementary skills were well used and they managed to pull the right strings to solve the case. The intensity was progressive as unexpected events happened one after the other until the unavoidable sensational development.

    Otherwise a better writing that in most other installments couldn't hide all the show flaws. First I found the mix between humorous and serious genres a bit awkward, specially at the end. Second Alexis attempting her first prom was anecdotic. Of course Molly C. Quinn looks beautiful in her dress but her character is just too sweet and one dimensional. They probably profiled her that way to balance the relationships with her playfather and extravagant grand-mother but it only makes her boring. I'm not even sure girls of her age can identify with her because being a teenager is more a crisis than a peaceful journey. But again Susan Sullivan as Martha Rodgers, the vivid grandma, saved the day again as her speech about being a woman was inspiring. An other element that disappointed me was the absence of Gina Cowell, Castle's gorgeous ex-wife and editor played by Monet Mazur in the pilot. I can't believe she wasn't featured when covering his writing career could have been the sparkle the show needed to appeal some angry viewers like me and convince them to watch the second season.

    But in the end I have to admit that A Death in the Family was a good last season episode. Even if it wasn't as hilarious as some previous installments it was still entertaining. Moreover Stana Katic's performance impressed me at times and I could feel how much Beckett's past was still haunting her. In one scene she even reminded of Jennifer Carpenter as Deborah Morgan in Dexter's Easy as Pie episode even if it wasn't as mesmerizing. Let's not forget that Castle is family-friendly so portraying Beckett as an obsessed and troubled female detective would be inappropriate. I wouldn't mind it as it would move the show to the upper league but let's not forget our younger audience.
  • A complex mob murder and Castle finds too much information about Beckett's mother's murder.

    Another winner, great story and a continuation of Beckett's mother's murder case.

    Castle's daughter goes on her first date and restrained, Castle actually doesn't embarrass her. She did look very lovely, the color of the dress was particularly well chosen for her very fair complexion and hair. Very sweet kiss after the date and it was nice that Castle didn't interfere. He gives her a great deal of space which works because she is so responsible and she doesn't abuse it. It's a wonderful relationship and well played as always.

    Castle has a friend look into the autopsy records of Beckett's mother's murder and finds out the coroner botched the case. The killing stab was straight to the kidney, the killer would have to have some knowledge of anatomy since how many of us could manage that? Very deliberate and a signature that shows up in another three murders during the same time period. We could be talking serial killer here. Beckett forbade him to investigate, even threatening to disown him but he cares about her too much not to tell her. The whole end sequence was perfectly done, just the right amount of darkness and sensitivity on Castle's part.

    Beckett's still sensitive feelings for her ex when he gets shot was beautifully handled, got all that bottled emotion across without ever being overly dramatic or clichéd. Understated and elegantly acted.

    What is the rest of the story and will Beckett do the unthinkable and banish Castle from her life? Can't wait to see what happens next!
  • pretty decent episode

    the show is not at the top of my must renew pile, but this episode did make me want to tune in again for season two to find out what happens with Beckett's mother's death. The left a pretty good hook for that. I think over the last few episodes the characters have been becoming a bit more real and a bit more likeable too. It's easier now to see the softer edges and vulnerabilities of Beckett and Castle which makes them more endearing. They've also improved Richard's mother's character and her fit in the mix considerabely too. Well, we'll see!
  • Wow ... talk about ending with a HUGE question mark! What does a plastic surgeon, a mob hit, and a prom date have in common? The season finale of CASTLE. It's a good strong season finale ...

    Wow ... talk about ending with a HUGE question mark!

    What does a plastic surgeon, a mob hit, and a prom date have in common? The season finale of CASTLE.

    Without giving TOO much away, the episode starts out with a car getting towed away, but whats interesting isn't the fact that there's a handful of parking tickets on its windshield, but that there's a dead body inside of it. Castle is meeting with a forensic scientist about detective Beckett's mother's case. He then finds out that, his daughter, Alexis has been asked to go to prom.

    It's a good strong season finale and it seems the writers are confident that the show will be picked up for another season. Because IF it isn't then this will be THE WORST cliffhanger ending EVER!!!
  • Probably my favourite episode yet.

    I feel much more connected to almost all the characters and their place in the overall story, and this episode managed to do all that for me in one short hour!
    But quite apart from that all important character connection, this was just a great script or story as a stand alone. Even better: it opens the door to all kinds of new possibilities for the overall storyline and character development.
    I really enjoy Susan Sullivan's performances and find her a really bright spot in the mix.
    And Nathan Fillion seems to have found his comfort zone in this character at this point...but of course. He is, underneath it all, really and truly heroic Captain Mal! ;o}
  • Beckett and Castle work the case of a murdered plastic surgeon. Beckett has a Forensic Pathologist look into the closed case of Beckett's mother and he finds something significant. Alexis goes to the prom and Castle wants to play the tough/scary father.

    This is a great show not like any on TV today. I am really pleased that the numbers have rebounded and it is likely to be back next season. I think ABC would be crazy to shelve this entertaining and sexy show.

    At his mothers behest, Castle asks Beckett about her mothers death and asked if she ever thought about reopening the case. You see Castle already had and he was trying to smooth things over just in case he found something. Unfortunately Beckett let him know if he ever did do anything about the case they would be through. With everything else going on this was by far the most important long term plot.

    The murdered plastic surgeon was killed in an obvious hit in the way it was put together. Professional and clean with no prints and with a point. I was surprised that the witness who was a killer himself was not known for doing his hits that way as he admitted that was his M.O.. It seems that the police would know his M.O. by now. That seemed to elude them in general and was found through a mob contact from Castle.

    We hear Beckett confide in the Captain that she didn't think they would have solved this murder if it was not for Beckett. In a lot of ways Beckett and Castle are really starting to care for each other as real partners and their working styles are quite smooth now compared to when they first got together. Of course that also brought up the fact he was going to have to tell her his news at the end. What a shocker for a cliff hanger. My wife said to me, "It's ten o'clock! Will this be completed next week?" She was a little disappointed when I pointed out it was the season finale and we would find out next season. Just to point out, my wife does not get easily pulled into plots for television shows. She's more of a news program watcher. I do believe there will be a next season. The numbers have really rebounded for this show and again I think ABC would be crazy to cancel it. Thanks for reading...
  • I want More... so some a plastic surgeon is found dead in a car mob style message and all. Castle uses his crime connections and Beckett uses her legal ones to get to the truth. Good and Bad outcomes. Ending with a cliffhanger of an ending. IWANTMORE

    So some a plastic surgeon is found dead in a car mob style message and all. Castle uses his crime connections and Beckett uses her legal ones to get to the truth. Cas uses his connections for a cold case close to Beckett's heart and Alexis goes to her first prom. Good and Bad outcomes. Ending with a cliffhanger of an ending

    It was typical cop stuff fun and funny the usual with Castle. But we as the case is being solved we are focused also on the fact that castle might solve Beckett's mom case. The question that boggles the mind is, was it a serial murder or a hit. ABC had better bring it back with an ending like that. After all tis is a token cop show as most consultants are either scientist or psychics.

    I loved the plastic surgery aspect of this case only for Castle's reactions and banter with Kate. The twist that the victim, a plastic surgeon, was assisting in the protection of a witness in a federal investigation into organized crime was predictable but believable. I appreciated seeing the sharing of information between Castle and the other detectives. I think it shows that both sides can learn something new. I figured it murderer had to be an ordered it but I loved the creativity of having the hit man not only a woman but also working in the doctor's office. I'm really enjoying seeing the new aspects of the relationship between Kate & Castle; the past few weeks it's been both colleagues and friends. But Castle looking into Kate's mother's murder maybe too much for both of them. Castle's impression of Christopher Walken was hysterically bad however he redeemed himself in the handling of Alexa's first official date in attending a prom.
  • Castle and Beckett search for a killer with mob ties. On a personal note, Castle has to deal with Alexis first prom and a project that could ruin things with Beckett.

    When Beckett and Castle are called in to a body found in a car, killed with a plastic bag over his head, and various other injuries. They later find out that the victim, who is a well regarded plastic surgeon was involved in a mysterious off the books surgery. The trail leads them into the world of organized crime and the witness protection program. Beckett reaches out to a friend for help, but is stricken by guilt when a meet with a witness goes very wrong. Meanwhile, Castle has to deal with his daughter's first prom, and a secret project that has serious implications for Beckett.
    I really enjoyed this episode. I like that the victim wasn't just some greedy plastic surgeon who screwed over his patients. He was a principled guy who was helping the Attorney General by changing a witness' face. It was interesting where the case led to and the killer was an unexpected twist. Stana has really grown into the role of Beckett, and in this one, she showed a lot of emotion. I also like the reason she gave for not wanting to investigate her mother's death and the compliment she gave Castle when the case was solved. She and Castle make a great team.
    Nathan, of course was brilliant. I loved the scenes with him and Alexis, and the scenes where he was planning to do when meeting his daughter's date for the first time. The love he has for Alexis and the bond they share is touching without being saccharine. He was also dealing with a secret investigation into Kate's mother's death. He had a friend take another look at the file and was given some interesting information. He didn't want to tell Kate unitl he had something solid, but his mother sagely told him that he was prying into something that was very personal for Kate so he either had to tell her or leave it alone. He tried to tell Beckett but she told him to leave it alone and why. He couldn't help himself and had a talk with the friend he gave the file to and the episode ended with him telling Kate what he found out, even if it meant that they would no longer be able to work together again.
    It was really good for a season finale. I like how they opened up some possibilities for next season and a decent story arc. I really hope that the show gets picked up because it is a fun, funny, fast paced show with characters you grow to care about and the cases are getting better too. Hope it's back next season.