Castle 5.11 “Under The Influence” Review

JON HUERTAS, SEAMUS DEVER, BRIANA BARRAN, TAMALA JONESLast night’s Castle finally gave us some backstory on Detective Javier Esposito when he takes a troubled teen under his wing and tries to get the kid back on the right track. “Under the influence” told the story of young Joey Malone, a 14-year-old orphan that got mixed up with the wrong people and ended up with a rap sheet that was entirely too long for a teenager his age.

When a DJ is murdered after working at a famous popstar’s album release party, the gang starts investigating the case. It had a lot of twists and turns and I actually kind of liked it this time around – and was completely surprised at who the murderer actually was – unlike most “cases-of-the-week” lately.

However, we didn’t get to see a whole lot of Castle and Beckett and the lack of scenes featuring our favorite crime-fighting duo stood out like a sore thumb to me. I like Esposito and all and it was really nice to know a little bit more about who he was before he became a detective, but it was like watching the Esposito show with a few guest appearances from everyone else. And that’s not what I tune in for.

I am not saying it was a bad episode. It wasn’t. A little cliché, yes, but it was a nice story. I really liked how Joey slowly warmed up to him and I loved how it ended, but it still just fell kind of flat for me. And that really sucks because there have been a lot of episodes exactly like this one this season. They’re okay and the plot is nice, but at the end of the day they don’t blow my mind like episodes in the earlier seasons used to. This was episode 11, right? Out of eleven episodes there was only one jaw-dropping-ohmygod-that-was-so-amazing episode and that was “Probable Cause”, seven episodes ago.

I know things tend to slow down midseason, but I really hope they pull it together and deliver better episodes because I can already see where this is headed if they don’t change direction soon. So, please, Mr. Marlowe & Co, do not pull a season 4 on us again. As a fan of this show, I beg you. Castle is a great show, but it has the potential to be amazing and you have already shown us that potential with episodes like “Knockdown”, “Knockout”, “Cops & Robbers”, “Always”, “Probable Cause” and so many more. Tap into that fountain of amazingness again. Please.

  • JAA

    So wait, because Seamus Dever hinted there would be an episode about Ryan’s past. I love the whole cast but if there’s a reason to tune in an episode, that’s Castle and Beckett.

    I want the drama back.

  • lame

    It was a good episode, “BUT” it had no zip, even without Rick and Kate, there still should be something that causes Javi to face real danger,something that places is life and ethics on the edge and cause him to make some sort of difficult choices. We needed to see that tough up bringing, not just some words on a report and the life and death decision he made in the military, we needed to see the scars left from his time as a sniper. We needed to see what scared the hell out of him and how he overcame those demons. Now that would have been a story worthy of Javier Esposito!

    • lame

      After four years Javi and Kevin deserve SO MUCH MORE than this.

  • http://twitter.com/#!/lucianamangas Luciana Mangas

    Couldn’t agree more, lame. It could’ve been so much better!

  • elmer

    It wasn’t the best, but it wasn’t Heartbreak Hotel. I think this season has been better than four, and we did get Caskett. I would like to see more of that relationship, but they do have to solve crimes. I loved After the STorm, Probable Cause, Murder He Wrote, Secret Santa, After Hours so far. I do think Marlowe can do better, but I don’t expect every episode to blow me away and some fans prefer less Caskett, so they have to get a few eps too. I love Castle, but any tv show on has room for improvement. Oh and yes I want more kisses with better lighting etc but I will settle for the low light if we see just a bit more of their relationship. I also would like more Lanie/Kate, but others want different and that is fine too. In my opinion, Castle is still the best written show on TV and the most under promoted by ABC of all it’s shows. I personally can’t stand Nashville, but some people do and that is fine. OK off topic there ABC just ticks me off.

  • lame

    The Meat Grinder and undisputed champion of this genre is NCIS. They have six major cast members and they seem to work them in to some exceptionally dangerous situations almost weekly. I know AWM is just as if not more talented so, he has to put some heat on his writers or what ever they do to strike that balance between comedy,romance, intense drama and just plane shock, something NCIS never fails to do each season.
    Come on Andrew, you’ve proved you can do it, only more often, please.

  • Flick

    I think what they did in the previous episode opened up all these endless possibilities. And although some episodes are falling short, I believe Marlowe will bring the amazingness back, but I really hope it’s soon. I also totally agree that ABC is doing the worst job at promoting this show. Seriously ABC, can’t you see that this show can do even better with a bit of your help?! Now I’m keen for that two-parter especially since Caskett is together. Bring it on.

  • lame

    AWM has to bring his “A” game, NCIS set records with last week’s two-parter. 22.36 million viewers and a 3.8 share.

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