Recap: Castle 4×13 – An Embarrassment of Bitches

If you could say one bad thing about Castle, it’s not that it isn’t topical. With the Westminster Dog Show in three weeks and the (somehow) thriving Kardashian brand happily in hand, the writers managed to spin the two into a typical episode: smart, a little bit tense, and hilarious.

One thing I’ve always appreciated about Castle is that they haven’t let the Alexis and Martha plots fall to the wayside. Though they may be less in some episodes, like this one, they still have consistent character and storylines. In this episode, Alexis is leaving to visit some colleges with her friend Buttons Dutton (of which the nominative hilarity is noted), so she’s only there briefly. Martha is, as usual, doing her Martha thing, which always tends to land on the side of slightly wacky.

But this is a procedural, and it wouldn’t be Castle without a murder in the first five minutes. Francisco Pilar, famous dog trainer and show judge, is found murdered just hours after having announced the Best in Show honors at the central dog show – to quote medical examiner Lanie, “Someone put a leash around his neck and pulled.” Though interviewing snubbed dog owners seems to be a bust, Beckett and Castle’s investigation takes a different tack when they’re shown a video of reality star Kay Cappuccio (Hilarie Burton of “White Collar” in a Kim Kardashian-like role) sneaking away from his room with her hood up. After getting by her irritatingly-attached assistant Reggie and talking to her, they find she hired Francisco to train her dog, but when she went to fire him, he was already dead. Due to a case of Nathan Fillion’s Face, I have to give you this gif. If you watch this show for nothing else, his hilarious facial expressions make it completely worth it.

Castle and Beckett then meet with a therapist, who they wrongly assume was treating Francisco – no, she’s the dog’s therapist. Apparently Royal was having emotional problems, and after Castle describes that Royal was pawing at the ground, the therapist says he was trying to tell them something important.

Later, when Beckett and Esposito go to a darkened warehouse, they use a keycard Francisco had in his pocket to enter the locked door. Inside, two vicious German shepherds chase them until a man who identifies himself as Jack Patterson calls the dogs off and explains that Francisco was breeding the Pilar Retriever, a new breed. Patterson says that Francisco was almost ready to unveil it, and people were paying him absurd amounts of money for a puppy. Apparently, though, Francisco worried Cappuccio was trying to steal his breeding secrets.

They drag Cappuccio into the station for another talk, and after Beckett gives us her thoughts on reality television and its stars (“I don’t like people who present fiction as truth. And I find it a waste of time.”), Castle questions Cappuccio about corporate espionage, and she says no, literally, she doesn’t know what that means. However, when she came in, she set off the corporate sweeper they found in Francisco’s warehouse. After a few minutes, they activate the hidden camera, which they find on Cappuccio’s dog’s collar, and realize Francisco wasn’t the intended victim of surveillance – it’s allegedly Cappuccio. She’s shocked, and after Beckett and co. find the paparazzo watching the feed, they find that he didn’t set it up, but just tapped into it, and that he’s overheard Francisco talking about some sketchy activity: shipments from Argentina, getting past customs, street values, etc.

They call in Jack Patterson, who reveals his name is actually Kenny Wyzer, a customs/drug FBI agent who had to pretend he was the warehouse manager – can’t be too careful when it comes to the Argentinian cartel. Apparently Francisco’s dogs are meant to paw at the ground when they smell drugs, which Royal was doing. Once Francisco realized he was being watched, the cartel killed him.

Minutes later, Royal (Francisco’s dog) runs in and paws, and they realize that he was pawing at the scent of Kay Cappuccio’s new and unreleased perfume, which is poppy-based (as is heroin). Ryan says Cappuccio shot a commercial in Argentina six months ago, and she stayed at the compound of Junior Vasquez, first lieutenant of the cartel. They call her back in, and she’s confused (again) – she had no idea the Vasquez family led the heroin trade in South America and that they were using her. Esposito calls Kate out of the interrogation room momentarily, and Cappuccio mentions to Castle that Reggie introduced her to Francisco. Everyone simultaneously realizes Reggie is the one who killed Francisco, and as he tries to escape, Esposito flips him to the ground in a move that belongs in an action movie (hello, Jon Huertas, color me impressed).

Having solved the murder, Castle and Beckett still have to figure out what to do with Royal. They both want him, so they split up and let Royal decide who to go to. After a tense few seconds, he runs straight to Cappuccio, much to everyone else’s dismay. However, when Alexis returns that night, Castle says he wants to get Alexis the dog she never had as a little girl. She reminds him she’s leaving, and he says he’ll just keep the dog there for safekeeping, and not just as a way to make her come home more often.

What did you think of this episode? I keep rereading this recap, thinking it sounds a little disjointed, and to be honest, that’s what I thought about this episode. There were a lot of tiny loose ends that all got tied up really quickly, and I can’t say that wasn’t a little disappointing. It was hard to keep all of the characters and connections, and as someone who generally has a great memory for things like that, I feel like that’s saying something. Also, from the previews I thought this might be a little more centered around the dog show rather than the Cappuccio character, but it was still enjoyable.

All in all, I really enjoyed the episode, though, and I’d love to see it again. However, the next episode, airing February 6, is the much-hyped noir episode, and I get chills just thinking about how fantastic that one’s going to be. Sometimes I think this all-star cast is slightly wasted in the procedural genre, since they’re all great actors in their own right, and these kinds of episodes are perfect to shake it up a bit.

Did you like it? How about that “Kay Cappuccio”? Are you excited for the noir episode? I can’t resist posting this promo pic. Something tells me this episode is going to be one for the books.

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About Bailey

I'm a writer and a feminist. I read a lot of books and I watch a lot of television.

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