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Monday 10:00 PM on ABC (Returning September 29, 2014)
Let's be honest people, this episode had a hell of a hard act to follow. After all, in last week's episode, "Time Will Tell," we learned that time travel is an actual thing in the world of Castle. As I mentioned in my review last week, and in response to some of the comments, that was a very interesting choice for the show's writers to make. While similar things have been done on other shows (Midsomer Murders, Murdoch Mysteries, and Murder Rooms: The Dark Beginnings of Sherlock Holmes are all mystery procedurals that exist in non-supernatural worlds, yet they have all had one or two episodes in which it was shown that supernatural things did exist), it is very rare (from my experience, at least).

This was a rather bold move for Castle. Having actual time travel pop up in a show that takes place in the "real world" is noticeable to say the least. It can get you mentioned on the front page of the TV.com Times, and it can cause a storm of excitement among your viewers. But it does leave a lot of questions for the future of the show. If time travel is now real, what's next? Especially on a show that features episodes about Santa Clause, werewolves, vampires, and zombies, what other additions will be made to the show's mythology? Will ghosts be real?

Regardless of what the future of Castle holds, I'm fairly certain in saying that all of you either loved or hated "Time Will Tell." Or at least, I doubt many of you thought it was so-so. I'm guessing that those last few seconds really made or broke the episode for most people. After all, it's hard to learn that time travel is real, on Castle of all shows, and not do a double take, or at least blink a few times. I'm just glad that I wasn't drinking anything at the time. Regardless, I don't think any of us will be forgetting that episode anytime soon.

But enough with old news, let's move on to last night's episode. "Get a Clue" wasn't nearly as earth-shattering as "Time Will Tell," which isn't that surprising. But it certainly wasn't mellow either, providing a fast and enjoyable ride through a strange mix of the Da Vinci Code, National Treasure, and Indiana Jones, but on a much smaller scale.

The episode started with a murder, as these things tend to do. Now, I mentioned in the past that the last two episodes each started with a rather active opening. In both cases, suspects were in the process of fleeing the scene of the crime. This week, however, was a return to the usual static reveals of corpses that are the bread and butter of Castle openings. In this case, a woman was lying on her back in an alleyway. Both of her hands and neck looked like they had been gauged into. It certainly wasn't the most pleasant way to go.


From this grim discovery, we were transported to the presence of our hero and his mother. Castle and Martha were going to see Alexis's and Pi's apartment for the first time. Yep, it appeared as if we hadn't seen the last of Pi, which I had personally been worried would be the case. But I had hoped that he would never again tarnish our screens. Hope can be so cruel...

Now, I already talked a bit about the whole time travel thing in last week's episode, and I certainly discussed it in great detail in my review of it. The thing is, that revelation was a huge shock. But you know what? I'm fine with it. I can roll with the fact that Castle added time travel to its catalog of canon. I've come to terms with the idea that future Castle and Beckett will have three children. And that Beckett will be a Senator. And I've even wrapped my head around the fact that Castle will write serious works at least twenty years from now. Needless to say, that was a lot to accept and be okay with. And I figured that, you know, the writers wouldn't be dropping any more bombs like that in the near future.

But as it turned out, they threw some crazy at us, the likes of which I could never have imagined. I am of course referring to the latest interaction between Castle and Pi, which was very...strange. Very very strange. It couldn't have been more weird and uncomfortable.



How did that happen? Seriously, what? Time travel is more believable than this. Suddenly Pi is a nice, pleasant, polite, and aware person. And Castle is now the bad guy. I don't even know anymore. I really don't.

Anyway, Castle's dinner at Alexis's apartment didn't go so well, which honestly wasn't surprising in any way. So he was hoping that a nice grisly murder would cheer him up. And thankfully for him he, Beckett, and the gang were investigating the murder of the woman we'd seen at the beginning of the episode. Her name was Susanna, and by the looks of things she had been killed elsewhere. A search of her apartment revealed a number of books about medieval history, as well as several pictures of symbols.


The first person they interviewed was her cousin. Based on the pictures in her apartment, Castle theorized that she had been involved in the occult in some way. But according to the cousin, she wasn't involved in anything of the sort. He had no idea who would want to kill her, or why she was looking into those symbols. Unfortunately he wasn't able to provide them with any solid leads as to her murder, so the interview ended and they promptly forgot about him. Wait a minute...a family member who was in no way involved with the case, and wasn't suspected to any degree. Hmmm....


Anyway, using a metro pass found on the victim's body, Ryan was able to track her movements on the night of her death. He found footage of her being followed by a man in a brown robe. That's right, their prime suspect was a monk. As you can imagine, by this point Castle was spewing out all kinds of conspiracy theories. He even said that they had found themselves a "real life Da Vinci Code." And his theories were even further fueled when they went to see a professor that Susanna had visited. He was an expert in symbols, and he may as well have been named Mr. Exposition.


Yeah, this guy was super useful and gave Castle and Beckett a slew of important information. So it looked like Susanna had been looking into the last will and testament of a high ranking free mason, and that all of the symbols were associated with them. Whether or not Castle's crazy conspiracy theories would pan out, this case was certainly getting interesting.

Meanwhile, Ryan and Esposito called from the station to say that they had identified the monk from the surgical scars on his head. His name was Benjamin Wade, and they had tracked down his location to a seedy apartment. What followed was one of those refreshingly realistic scenes in Castle where two police officers pointed guns at a guy, told him not to move, and he actually didn't run away. Though I have to admit, a chase scene with monk would have been entertaining. More importantly, this exchange gave me an idea for the best action movie title ever.


Admit it, you'd go watch. Sure, maybe not in theaters. But you'd at least watch it on DVD. No? Illegally download it then? Now we're talking.

Anyway, back at the station Wade's interrogation wasn't going that well. According to him, he hadn't been stalking the victim. Instead, he'd been following her to make sure she was safe. He said she'd visited his chapel, said it was important to her family, and then another guy had showed up. This guy had asked him questions about Susanna, and Wade had gotten worried about her safety.

At this point, it was clear that the NYPD had no case against Wade. After all, the best way to dodge an interrogation on this show is not to say: "I didn't do it; here's my alibi," but to feed them an unlikely story about what actually happened. Those always turn out to be true. Which means that if I'm ever arrested in New York -- having been caught next to a dead body with blood on my hands, holding the still-smoking gun -- I'm going to make up some story about a dude wearing sunglasses and a black suit/robe bending spoons with his mind and dodging bullets by doing some intense stretches. That way they'll hopefully forget all about me and start looking into the possibility of our world being nothing more than a computer program.

Anyway, they had no evidence against their prime suspect, but Beckett didn't want to let him go just yet. So she came up with a plan.




How funny was that? In order to stall for time they did the necessary detective work that I'm sure most of the audience knew would be needed in the future. I felt sorry for Ryan being sent off to track down a single cab based solely on an add, seeing as Esposito had only to oversee the sketch of the man Wade had seen.

Meanwhile, Beckett and Castle went to investigate Wade's chapel, the last location of significance that Susanna had been seen at. There they chatted with a monk who I assumed was the abbot, even though he got no introduction whatsoever. Naturally, Castle suspected him of being involved in some secret conspiracy. And Castle being Castle, he didn't exactly keep these thoughts to himself.





For some reason, simply asking the abbot twice if he was involved in some secret conspiracy didn't immediately result in a full blown confession. I guess all those years of killers confessing to everything merely because it's the end of the episode has given him the wrong idea about what it would take for an actual member of a super secret society to crack.

If at this point in the episode you were starting to wonder how Castle was still considered useful in these cases, he suddenly reminded us why the NYPD needed him. Because every case he's a part of is crazy, and they need him to navigate the crazy world they've been living in for past five and a bit years. A stained glass window in the chapel reminded him of something he'd seen in the letter the professor had shown him, (Which was written by a Theodore, btw. We're everywhere.) and sure enough a line in the letter was a clue that led to a symbol carved on the wall. This was the same symbol that she had written on her hand (which had been removed rather violently by the killer).

Now they were getting somewhere. The letter appeared to be a treasure map, filled with clues that presumably led to other symbols. Castle was able to work out one of the other clues, which led them to a very old blacksmith's shop that had been around since the 1700's. Once there, Beckett decided that they should split up, which was a terrible idea that made absolutely no sense whatsoever. And sure enough, as soon as Castle was all alone he ran into this guy.


My first thought was that a humorous scene would follow in which Castle attempted to talk his way out of the situation, while the guy with the sword playfully swiped at our loveable hero just to make him squeal and cringe. But no! Oh my stars, no! Instead we were treated to one of the most enjoyable scenes that this show has ever delivered. As it turns out, Castle is a master swordsman, and he straight up dueled the steel out of that nameless guy. It was awesome. I don't know about you, but I can't wait until the pirate episode that they have to make now, in which Castle wakes up on a ship in the middle of the ocean and has to swash-buckle his way out of there. Make it happen, Castle. Make it happen.

It was only after Castle had bested his opponent that Beckett came into the room. Where was she that entire time? There were only 10-15 seconds between when she wandered off and that guy started talking (his voice echoed in the room). She had only been gone 40 seconds before Castle and the guy fought a very loud and epic battle with swords, which lasted for more than a minute. It also took her ten seconds from when Castle called her name to the time she actually entered the room. Plus she was out of breath. What? How extensive was that back section she was searching? And did she have to go through a door into a soundproofed chamber or something? It didn't make that much sense, but I didn't care because it allowed awesome things to happen. Oh, and it was funny how Castle tried to hide the fact that he had bested another guy in a sword fight, because he's a really good swordsman, from his fiancé. Trust me, those are the kinds of things you want to share with your future betrothed. It can only do good, especially when your future betrothed in a police detective.


Anyway, the nameless guy had revealed a symbol on the wall, which sure enough matched one of the pictures in Susanna's apartment. The guy also revealed that he was just an actor, and that the whole thing was a fundraiser for the historical institute. He recognized a picture of the victim and said that she'd been through there a few days ago. So...she and everyone involved in the fundraiser had to best this guy in a duel? Which meant having to be genuinely skilled in sword-fighting?

Anyway, this led them to the Director of the New York Historical Institute, who confirmed that the whole thing was a scavenger hunt. According to him, he had written the letter himself, and had signed it with a name that was both historical and tied to the masons. Everything was fake; it was all a game.

It doesn't need to be said that the wind had been taken out of Castle's sails, but for the sake of summarizing the episode I will. The wind had been taken out of Castle's sails. His dreams of wandering down an old and ancient treasure hunt, and finding some secret lost to the ages, was shattered. Ryan and Esposito, though, had made a helpful discovery. After looking through the other contestants who had registered for the scavenger hunt, they had found a familiar face.


So this was their new prime suspect. How...helpful.

Back at his apartment, Castle was wallowing in the symbols he had hoped would be part of something more than a mere scavenger hunt. It was at this point that Martha came in to talk about Alexis, and I was hit with the unpleasant reminder that Pi is still a character on this show. To be fair, Martha offered some pretty good advice. She said that Castle needed to change his point of view if he wanted to keep Alexis in his life. Which, fair enough. Castle's always had a problem with seeing his daughter as a girl who still wears diapers, and it's a wonder that he ever let her leave the apartment. It's time that he let her make her own decisions, and support her in these decisions, and be there for her when she realizes that she's been living with a monster and never wants to date anyone ever again who has the same name as a desert.




Yeah, am I the only one who finds it odd that Martha is suddenly this fountain of wisdom? After all, this is the woman who's spent the majority of her time on this show getting in her son's way, planning every disrupting activity possible in the living room or his office. This is the woman who told Castle that all romantic relationships are meaningless if there's no ring, even though one of the most meaningful romantic relationships in her life (that with Chet) never led to an engagement. This is the woman who is such a stage actress in just about everything that she does, that if you slapped her she would probably turn her head for you and clap her hands to provide the sound. This the woman who...never mind.

Anyway, it's a good thing that Martha used the phrase "change your point of view," because this got Castle to realize something very important about the symbols. They fit together.


That's right, the shapes around the symbols were actually very important, and when put together they all formed a larger shape.


I don't know about you, but this was one of my favorite parts about this episode. All too often, it's obvious in shows like this when you're looking at a clue, or when someone's just said something that will be important later. But here was something that the camera could focus on (because of the symbols) without making it obvious that those shapes would later fit together. So when Castle discovered this it was like I'd been given a surprise present. Way to go, show. Way to use the medium. More of this please. Oh, and why don't you take some of the creativity you've shown here to kill of Pi in an enjoyable way. Thank you.

Anyway, this larger shape looked an awful lot like something they'd seen at the chapel. And indeed, after a little bit of Indiana Jonesing, Castle discovered that this was a secret entrance...


to this...


Now that is how I want to be buried when I die. None of this being put in the ground next to your loved ones. No, I want people to be searching for my decaying remains hundreds of years after I'm dead. Nah, don't worry, I'll probably just get shot up into the sun. Or better yet, have my ashes turned into a jewel. They do that, you know. You can literally become a family heirloom. Talk about immortality.

Anyway, inside the tomb Castle and Beckett discovered those missing half dimes that the highly informative professor had told them about. How convenient that they'd just learned about them. So it looked like they'd found the real motive for murder, and were that much closer to solving the case. But in another Indiana Jones reference, after picking up the bag of coins the entrance sealed shut, and Castle and Beckett were trapped inside. Oh no, how were they going to get out? Beckett didn't have any phone reception so they couldn't call for help. Castle hastily tried to find some sort of clue that would lead them out of there. Was there some stone that when pushed would open up the entrance again? Another way out perhaps? However they escaped, it would surely involve some sort of clever and exciting- Oh, wait, never mind. Beckett just stood on top of the sarcophagus and suddenly she had cell phone reception. And before you can say "hasty scene transition" we were back at the precinct.

So...presumably Ryan and Esposito opened up the door the same way that Castle had, right? And did they pull another Indiana Jones by quickly picking up the bag of coins and then putting something heavy where they were? Or did they keep the door forced open somehow? Or did they just pick up the bag, allow the door to close while making sure someone was on the other side, put something heavy where the coins were, have the person outside open the door again, and then leave? Yeah, that's probably how they did it. I guess?

Regardless, apparently exactly how they got out of their plight was unimportant, because our heroes were busy interrogating the historical institute director. As it turned out, he knew that the treasure was real, and he had written the letter based on actual clues that supposedly led to it. The whole scavenger hunt was a way to hopefully crowd-source a way to finding the treasure. Or at least, finding all the symbols (specifically that last one in the chapel). But he wasn't the killer. Why not, you ask? Because he said he wasn't. That, and he revealed that the victim was descended from Theodore Rose (the guy who'd written the clues that led to the symbols).

So, after all that running about with monks and hidden secrets in hidden tombs, it turned out that the killer was one of her relatives. Can't say we've never been here before. But how do we know that the cousin was guilty? Why, because he confessed to everything, naturally.



Okay, so they also had his DNA at the crime scene (which happened to be the tomb, btw, which was a lovely touch). But still, you don't confess without trying for a plea bargain first. Or at least without consulting a lawyer. I would absolutely hate being a defense attorney having to deal with one of Castle and Beckett's cases. Think about it, every single one of your clients would have already confessed before you'd even been given the case. Or they would confess while you were in the room, as you were telling them specifically not to confess. How annoying would that be?

I'll admit that in the past I've found the fact that pretty much every killer on the show has given a voluntary and full confession to everything, oftentimes when there wasn't enough evidence to convict them. But you know what? Tonight's episode completely changed my view on this. Because for the first time on this show they revealed the NYPD's secret weapon. It's Castle's face.


I mean, how could you possibly refuse that look? I couldn't, that's for sure. And neither could this week's killer. As it turns out, he was having some money troubles and wanted the coins for himself. But Susanna wanted to give them to the public, and let them sit in a museum for all to see. He begged her to keep the coins between the two of them, but she refused, so he killed her. I honestly don't see why she wouldn't let him have just one of the coins (since the last one sold for around $1.5 million), wait for him to sell it, and then give the rest of them to a museum. But no, this was one of those situations where the killer simply had to kill the victim to keep her quiet, but not actually take the coins that he had killed for. Yeah...

But the case was over and everyone was happy. Especially Castle, I imagine, since he got to live out the epic treasure hunt of his dreams. But unfortunately he didn't stay happy for long. The episode ended with him talking to Alexis outside of her apartment. He told her that he was willing to change his view of her living with Pi, and that it would just take a while (try a million years). In the meantime he wanted to take her out for ice cream. But Alexis wouldn't have it. She was still mad at him and wasn't feeling up to the usual sudden reconciliations that normally occur between characters on this show.



So it took Pi, the evil of all evils, to create a relationship change between Castle and Alexis that will actually last more than an episode. But while I'm pleased to see that we're at least getting some kind of arc that may even span more than two episodes, this certainly wasn't worth the incalculable cost that is Pi.

Once again, how has this happened? How has Castle suddenly become the bad guy when it comes to Pi. I'll tell you why, because that hairy man is most truly vile and despicable in ways that had previously been unimaginable. After all, it takes something truly dark to put Alexis and Castle at odds for more than an episode. What black magic must this demon be capable of? I don't know, but it certainly won't work on me. Or you, I hope. Because no matter how decent of a person he seemed to be in this episode, there is one terrifying image that continually comes unbidden to my mind that forces me to remember how bad Pi really is. This:


That's right, we will never forget.

Notes from the Bloody Fountain Pen:

1. What did you think of this episode? Was it a pleasant return to familiarity after last week's mind explosion?

2. Sooo...the Free Masons did hide those half dimes in that tomb, right? So why weren't any of them guarding it, or at least keeping an eye on it? I feel really weird saying this, but I think Castle's crazy theory about a secret order assigned to guard a secret treasure should actually have made some sort of appearance in this episode. I mean, who hides an immeasurably valuable treasure in a tomb and then promptly forgets about it, or stops caring that it's still in a tomb which happens to be a literal death trap?

3. I hate to split hairs here (not true) but Castle made several references to this case being like the Da Vinci Code. But that book took place in France, involved art mostly in the form of paintings, and dealt with a secret that turned out to be that Jesus Christ had offspring. There were also religious assassins sent by made-up religious sects. But The Lost Symbol, also by Dan Brown, takes place in the U.S., involves a hidden secret/treasure, and primarily deals with the Free Masons. Isn't this a better fit for this episode?

4. I don't know about you, but I tend to prefer these types of cases (the historical/conspiracy/crazy ones) to the supernatural ones. This is only because the crazy things in these cases could actually turn out to be true. In this episode we got to see an actual treasure worth millions, hidden by the Free Masons, which was found in a sarcophagus inside a hidden tomb in a chapel. On the other hand, we'll never learn in a supernatural episode that ghosts are real. At least, I used to be able to say that.

5. We are exactly one fourth of the way into the season, and there still hasn't been an inkling of a season arc. I don't know about you, but I'm worried. They haven't even mentioned the wedding, which is fine because that will only lead to trouble down the road. But still, where is this season headed? Anywhere?

6. If the conclusions in last week's episode are to be taken to their logical destinations, then we know that Castle and Beckett will get married, they will have three kids, Beckett will be a Senator, and Castle will actually write serious fiction. Do you think that we'll actually see any of these things sooner rather than later? Will we see any of them at all (besides the wedding, obviously. Hordes of angry fans would literally march against the writers if they didn't have Castle and Beckett marry in the end)?

7. That swordfight was arguably the best thing on this show ever. More please.

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