When it comes to gambling, when you’re hot, you’re hot. When it comes to murders, sometimes when you think you’re hot, you’re actually pretty cold.
Castle, Episode 4, Season 8: “Heartbreak Hotel” was chock full of goodies: a complex, hard-to-crack (but totally fun) case, an improptu bachelor party while on case, a little alone time for Beckett and Gates ... and the boys in Elvis costume.
If only there were more Caskett moments. Sigh.
The Ex Files
The episode begins with a sneak peek into the drama that’s to come, with Castle, in full-on Elvis attire, getting dragged out of a casino by two burly security guards. We gotta admit Nathan Fillion makes one good “Pelvis,” like shockingly good. But what the heck is going on here?
Time warp to 16 hours earlier. We discover there’s been a murder (ya don’t say?) and the victim is Sapphire Casino co-owner Sam Seagal, whose found with a fat lip and a bullet wound. Ryan and Esposito also find a 357 Magnum in his glove box, so this guy def was looking for trouble — or knew it was looking for him. And according to the GPS in the vic's gold-painted SUV, Seagal and his driver made one stop — at Seagal’s ex-wife’s house.
The former Mrs. Seagal confesses she and her husband were at each other’s throats (figuratively) over a building they co-owned in Queens. Apparently he wanted to buy her out of her part, but the former Mrs. Seagal aid she wouldnt’t sign anything without her lawyer, and her ex took off.
Seagal isn’t the only one with ex-drama this episode: At the crime scene, Lanie lashes out at Esposito when he starts cracking casino jokes over top of Mr. Seagal’s dead body
“What did I do?” he asks Castle, to which he replies, “You broke up with her.” Oh. Right.
On that note, Esposito asks Ryan if he’s sure he wants to spend the rest of his life with a woman. He says, “Yes. Mine likes me.” Yeah. We’d say that’s important.
While he trio are discussing both LTR’s and AC, Castle and Esposito try to convince Ryan that Atlantic City is the perfect place for a bachelor party, and that he better let his best man — whoever that may be — know his role, so he can start planning.
Ryan gets uneasy and mumbles something about how he still has time to decide. Sounds like somebody’s got something to hide!
Boys Will Be Boys
Since Seagal’s casino is in Alantic City, Captain Gates orders Ryan, Esposito, and yes, even Castle, to investigate America’s Playground. As for Beckett? First of all, Gates compliments her (we know, right?) calling her a “good cop,” and then orders her to stay in NYC.
As Gates says, she wants to see how Beckett works without her writer partner. Let’s hope she can pull this off! We know she’s gotten rather used to Castle’s wild theorizing.
Meanwhile in Atlantic City, the boys are stupid excited to get to the casino. Er, at least Castle and Esposito are. The giddy duo try to convince Ryan they can work on the case and plan the most epic bachelor party ever, all at the same time.
However, there’s an issue: Ryan admits his fiance’s 16-year-old half-brother has to be his best man. Poor Esposito!
However, Castle supports Ryan’s decision, saying, “Trust me, you do not want to start a marriage with a family feud.” Sound advice, we’d say.
Plus, now this means the trio can throw an impromptu bachelor party while on case.
But wait! We know all the talk of partying and gambling is exciting, but there’s still a murder to solve here, people. At Seagal’s casino, the trio learn from the his partner, Turner, that Seagal loathed NYC, and that he and his driver, Marino, got a little scrappy with each other a week ago when Seagal hit on Marino’s woman.
And as it turns out, Marino’s brother lives only eight blocks from the abandoned dock. Good thing they’ve still got Beckett in the Big Apple to check things out.
All by her lonesome, Becket picks up Marino, and when the detective darling interrogates the chauffeur, she finds out that while Marino did drop his employer off at the dock, he didn’t put the bullet in his chest. He did, however, see a sleek black car pull up right before he left. His guess? Somebody wanted that Queens property real bad.
…. Or could it be that somebody is super pissed off that Mr. Seagal embezzled $10 million from the Sapphire Casino account? ‘Cause yeah. That happened.
Apparently, Turner knew about the money transfer, but didn’t stress it because Seagal told him it would be redeposited by the end of the day. So, Turner never left the casino that day, since he assumed the cash — and Seagal — would make it back unharmed by sunset. Unfortch, such was not the case.
In order to figure out what happened to the missing $10 mil, Beckett and Gates pull out all the stops. Dare we say these two hardheaded femme fatales actually work pretty well together! The ladies of the 12th precinct discover the exact time the money was transferred.
But Seagal was getting a massage at that time, a fact confirmed by the casino's resident massage therapist — who, from the sounds of it, wasn’t above giving our Seagal a happy ending. Eesh.
Guess that rules him out as the person who transferred the money since he was a little, um, occupied.
Turns out the person who made the appointment was the casino host, Nadine ... who just so happens to have the same last name as someone who lived in Seagal’s Queens building. A-ha!
The boys go after Nadine, but are unable to snatch the sneaky host before she’s kidnapped by a slew of masked men. However, while fighting off the men, Nadine drops her bag, which just so happens to include her laptop — and clearly shows she transferred the large sum. All signs point back to Turner, but when the trio confront him inside his own casino, he gets a little irritated. And by that we mean he kicks them out the casino and tells them never to come back.
But don’t think that will deter this triple threat!
Shortly after, the boys discover that Nadine's boyfriend is head of tech and security for the casino. But since the trio can’t get back inside, Beckett decides it’s time for her to join them. Never ask a man to do a woman’s job!
A Little More Conversation
While Beckett’s en route, the trio decide to take a different approach and dress up as Elvis impersonators to sneak back into the casino — and damn, they look good! We think the King of Rock and Roll would be proud.
Meanwhile back in NYC, Castle’s daughter Alexis is having a little party of her own. Soon after deets of her “quiet girls night” are posted on Facebook and Twitter, Castle’s loft blows up with inebriated teens, but Alexis, staying true to character, kicks them out.
Inside the casino, the Elvis gang are eventually caught, and Castle winds up facing a baseball bat-wielding Turner. However, Castle’s brain must go into overdrive while in stress, 'ause he finally figures it all out. The money Nadine stole was mob money, loaned by a guy name Maretti — same guy who kidnapped Nadine earlier — and not the money she should’ve transferred.
Then, Beckett arrives in Atlantic City, and the team sets a trap to catch the elusive mobster. However, what we find out is that Maretti was after Seagal for not paying him back, but it was actually Seagal’s ex-wife who shot and killed him!
She signed over her part of the Queens building, lied about it, and then — knowing someone else wanted her ex-hubby six feet under — took the opportunity to take him out herself. Guess there were a lot of people at fault here!
Back in NYC, Beckett nabs the wife and puts her behind bars. Since all’s well, Captain Gates and Beckett share a moment and it seems like they might actually — gasp! — like each other. (OK, maybe we’ve gone too far.)
Honestly, they did do some good detective work together, not that we had any doubt they would. But let’s just say, just because icy Gates is warming up to Beckett, doesn’t mean she’s completely sold on a novelist solving crimes in her precinct ... at least, not yet.
Beckett arrives in Atlantic City, and the team sets a trap to catch the elusive mobster. However, what we find out is that Maretti was after Seagal for not paying him back, but it was actually Seagal’s ex-wife who shot and killed him.
She signed over her part of the Queens building, lied about it, and then – knowing someone else wanted her ex-hubby six feet under – took the opportunity to take him out herself. Guess there were a lot of people at fault here!
Back in NYC, Beckett nabs the wife and puts her behind bars. Since all’s well, Captain Gates and Beckett share a moment and it seems like they might actually – gasp! – like each other. (OK, maybe we’ve gone too far.) Honestly, they did do some good detective work together, not that we had any doubt they would. But let’s just say, just because icy Gates is warming up to Beckett, doesn’t mean she’s completely sold on a novelist solving crimes in her precinct. ...At least, not yet.
So, we know what you’re wondering. What happened to the “unofficial” bachelor party that was teased the entire episode? Yeah. We never saw it. Honestly, we don’t know why Alexis’ little teenage barf fest made the screen instead. We’d trade that for real glimpse at “the boys night out” any day!
We could complain a lot more about the lack of Atlantic City shenanigans in this ep, but it’s actually not our biggest gripe about “Heartbreak Hotel.” Although we assumed Castle and Beckett wouldn’t get much screen time together since, well, they were working in different states, we were extremely disappointed we didn’t get any good Caskett moments. Not one.
Sure, t was kind of cute that Beckett defended her non-cop partner to Gates ... but that’s hardly out of the norm.
As for the aftermath of the other party in this episode? Well, when Castle (in sunglasses) stumbles home to his loft, clueless that only 24 hours ago it was a hotbed for drunk teens, he passes out on the couch just as clueless.
It’s pretty endearing the father-daughter duo are both hiding something from each other, but are clearly too exhausted to prod the other.
Luckily, the next episode of Castle looks like it’ll be far more emotional, heavy and, if we’re lucky, full of Caskett. After this week’s severe lack of interaction between our leads, we can hardly wait until “Kill Shot” airs Monday, November 21 at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.