The title also hints that the tone of the episode may resonate with the
somewhat 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 along
while allowing numerous opportunities for the best Beckett-Castle badinaget
that 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.