Castle, “The Final Nail” (3.15)

You made him up, just like you made up Derek Storm, just like you made up Nikki Heat. He’s a character in a story that you told yourself when you were a homesick, 14-year-old, little boy. And maybe it’s time to let him go.” – Kate Beckett

The above quote truly encapsulated this week’s theme, one that really struck me on a personal level. There’s nothing worse than finding out the person you thought you knew is completely different, and the version you knew never existed. A review of this episode after the jump…

A truly pleasant surprise greeted me with the start of this episode; one of my favourite actors (Jason Wiles) from a long deceased TV series that I also greatly enjoyed, Third Watch),was guest starring. I knew immediately that the character Wiles was playing – Damian Westlake, an old school chum of Castle’s – would play an important role this episode, more than just the “usual suspect”. I was not mistaken. This episode of Castle, while not rife with twists and turns like the last one, did have an eerie theme – who can you trust? This is a question Castle struggles with throughout the entire episode, providing a rich detail in his background that remained unknown until now. Beckett also finds herself on the receiving end of some of his trust issues because she is accusing one of Castle’s close friends of being a murderer.

As mentioned above, the whole episode struggles with this notion of having an idea of who someone is and not being able to let go of that despite being faced with overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Castle is stubbornly determined throughout the episode to prove his friend’s innocence, to the fault of not recognizing how much he is provided with that says otherwise. It’s astounding how far we will go to protect someone we care about, who means so much to us. We often go to points of naivete for those people, choosing to remain in denial rather than accepting what may not be easy, but know better than to disbelieve. This episode’s message hit home for me in many ways. There really is nothing worse than learning the version of someone you know doesn’t exist anymore, or worse, is a lie.

Wiles performed brilliantly as a mysterious individual you don’t know whether to believe or trust. My empathy for his character rose and fell periodically throughout the episode. Nathan Fillion walked a fine line between crazy and protective this episode. Castle’s character got in the way of the investigation numerous times, but he finally came through in the end with his dedication to the case and the pursuit of truth.

A few issues I had with tonight’s episode:

  1. The alibi for the carpenter checks out. Why? Because they found the ring he claims he never stole. So it’s totally inconceivable that he goes back to the victim’s place, kills her, then puts BACK the ring? Nothing more is said about how his alibi checks out when his alibi was that he was with the victim at some point during the hours she was murdered. WHAT?
  2. Josh is mentioned. Again. Still only briefly and he has not appeared on screen. The episode had a few loose Valentine’s Day references (due to the fact that it aired on V-Day), and one of them was regarding Beckett and Josh’s relationship. Last time we heard mention of Josh, he was overseas in some sort of Doctor’s Without Borders program. We now learn he’s abandoned that and is back in town again, since Beckett makes no mention of it in her brief conversation about him. I mean it would have been pertinent to remind the audience of, since the characters were discussing potential Valentine’s dates.

But over all, “The Final Nail” was a solid episode with a pleasantly surprising guest star, and not just because the victim is killed by a nail gun.

In other news, I got a ghost writer version of the Nikki Heat novel for a birthday present so I may post my review of the book some time at a later date. For now, I leave you with the funniest quote from this episode:

“Do I see two men jumping on a hot workman related lead?”


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