Season 3 Episode 18

One Life to Lose

Aired Monday 10:00 PM Mar 21, 2011 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
284 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Castle and Beckett investigate the axe murder of the head writer for a long time New York soap opera. Everyone is suspect when it's discovered that the action behind the scenes plays out as good as the on-air story lines. Castle uses his writer's skills to figure out who's the killer.


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  • The episode title "One Life to Lose" alerts the audience to the fact that soap opera[s] and/or their trappings will play an important part in this episode.

    The title also hints that the tone of the episode may resonate with thesomewhat vaudevilliandialogue of most soap operas. Even the plot verges cleverly on the usually melodramatic situations endemic to most soap operas.This mix of vaudeville, melodrama, and murder moves the plot speedily alongwhile allowing numerous opportunities for the best Beckett-Castle badinagetthat we have seen in the last several episodes. To keep the focus on Beckett and Castle, the episode gives little screen time to anyone else, although it does give"grand damn" Martha a chance to shine. The juxtaposition of humor and serious police work creates the same sort of tension that Beckett and Castle create when they constantly switch roles between playing the "irresistible force" and the "immovable object." Perhaps the most intriguing juxtaposition, however, occurs when Castle accepts an invitation to write a few scenes for the soap opera "Temptation Lane," in hopes that it will trap the murderer into revealing herself. The technique comes straight out of a Shakespearean tragedy: to "catch the conscience of the king," Hamlet writes a short play for the traveling actors who will perform at the castle that night. Hamlet's idea succeeds; Castle's idea succeeds.

    Vaudeville and Shakespeare – a piquant pairing – and it works.

  • 3/21

    As a soap fan I was excited to see Castle tackle the world of daytime drama and I think they did a good job with it. Rebecca Budig was entertaining in her role as Mandy Brunson, although fellow AMC star Cameron Mathison really brought nothing to the table. Corbin Bernsen, can't go wrong with him guesting on the show either.

    But this was an interesting storyline they had and I think that is why I really enjoyed the episode. Some witty banter between the two stars, a clever reveal to the killer, and an all around good hour of television. Well done Castle and props to Nathan Fillion for not forgetting where he came from.moreless
  • General Hostile

    First off, I want to say if you don't like this episode you can title your review "Temptation Lame" just sayin'

    Now, to the episode. I thought this episode was amazing. I love soap opera's, and I always like to think that theres as much drama behind the scenes as there is on the show. I thought the acting was great, and that the charaters were believable as people who would work on a soap opera.

    I like that Martha has a personal connection. I don't feel she gets enough show time, and it's kind of nice to see her brought out every now and then.

    Also, Jane Seymore! I love here, and I haven't seen her on tv since Dr. Ouinn Medicine Women, except for that episode weird incest episode of Law & Order SVU, and the cougar episode of How I Met Your Mother.moreless
  • Katherine Beckett...I never!

    As usual Castle had a gaggle of suspects for the murder, some you instantly knew were not the killer, others...could have been. There certainly were a lot of motives and opportunites for the murder to take place! I enjoyed the killer's reveal at the end, Richard Castle certainly knows how to do things with flair!

    And then there were the always fabulous Kate and Castle moments! Innuendo, eye conversations, and getting-to-know-the-real-you moments had me smiling throughout the show. These two characters may not have talked about all of the "almost" moments that occured in the last 2-part episodes, but their friendship has grown deeper and I think that they both know it has changed.

    Also, the scenes with Martha were fantastic. Castle even gets to show off his heroism in this episode! And Ryan and Esposito, they are the best supporting characters, they always deliver great lines, insight and sometimes just knowing looks! And they deliver in this episode! Great episode, I can't wait for the next!moreless
  • The banter is back!!!

    Castle spent most of the episode making up bizaar "soapy" storylines, while beckett attempted to hide the fact that she actually watches and loves "Temptation Lane" - the soap where the murder took place.

    In the last few episodes of Castle we've seen serious Caskett conversations and situations, this week hailed the return of the fun and flirty Caskett of old. And it wasn't just Castle doing the flirting, Beckett actually went there before him on one occasion, which brought on the now famous "Katherine Beckett... I never" from Castle.

    While this was a great episode of getting back to the roots of the Castle/Beckett dynamic, I found that, while Martha had a great role in this episode, Ryan, Esposito, and especially Lanie had a very backseat role in this episode... And where was Captain Montgomery?moreless
Jane Seymour (I)

Jane Seymour (I)

Gloria Chambers

Guest Star

Rebecca Budig

Rebecca Budig

Mandy Bronson

Guest Star

Cameron Mathison

Cameron Mathison

Vince Bowers

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • The Talent Deal Memo that Beckett finds in Sara Cutler's office confirming Lance Hasting's explanation that he would have been released from his "Temptation Lane" contract bears the names of casting agents Donna Rosenstein & Kendra Castleberry, the real-life casting agents for "Castle".

    • When Beckett is reading the email that Sarah sent to Mandy Bronson, she says "Meet me at the office ASAP" but on the screen, the email reads "Meet me at my office ASAP."

  • QUOTES (3)

    • Castle: (discussing the suspects and motives) Well, maybe we should sleep on it. (Beckett looks at him) Separately! Katherine Beckett, I never.

    • Castle: You know a lot about shippers, you know about FoxCans you are a fan, a big, fat Temptation Lane fan.
      Beckett: Okay, maybe I watched it like once or twice.
      Castle: It's just so delightfully not you.
      Beckett: So says the guy who rattles off plot points from General Hospital.
      Castle: Oh, that is completely different. That is for research.
      Esposito: What was for research?
      Castle, Beckett: Nothing.

    • Esposito: Looks like she was killed last night and stuffed into a closet on set.
      Beckett: Was she a part of the production?
      Esposito: Yeah.
      Castle: Let me guess. The diva actress that everyone hated.
      Esposito: Actually, Castle, she was a writer.
      Castle: A writer?! Why would anyone want to kill a writer?
      Beckett: Oh, so many reasons.

  • NOTES (4)


    • In the interrogation room, Lance Hastings asks Beckett if she wants the truth, and then barks, You can't handle the truth!, Beckett replies that she isn't interested in his Jack Nicholson impressions.
      That line is from one of Nicholson's best known movies, the 1992 military drama, "A Few Good Men".

    • Title: One Life to Lose

      The title is most likely a reference to the soap opera "One Life to Live", which Nathan Fillion starred on back in 1995.