Castle is the only show on television that could possibly get away with an episode as ludicrous as Monday night's "Fool Me Once... ." And I do mean ludicrous in a good way. That was probably the most successful excessive use of a little thing called "red herring" that I have ever seen in my life. It begs the question, though: exactly what are the writers for this show on? (Joking. Unless they actually are on drugs. In which case...well.) In all seriousness, though, "Fool Me Once..." certainly raised the bar on plot twistiness.
It also set a higher standard for episodes of Castle in general. Truth be told, while the show is always entertaining, it often leans heavily on Nathan Fillion's performance (which is certainly more than enough to carry a show on its own). That dependence is nothing to complain about, obviously, because Nathan Fillion is freaking hilarious. The other main crutch of the show is the lead characters' back-and-forth. In "Fool Me Once...," though, neither of those was the strongest element - and not because they were in any way sub par. The plot, the situations, and the secondary characters (particularly the CIA agent played by Chet Grissom) all completely out did themselves and over shot even the combined powers of Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic in the process. And it was amazing.
And, in addition to all the other craziness, there was enough time for not one, but two excellent subplots: Beckett reading Heat Wave and Alexis' new violin teacher. Both of these were incredibly funny, and both of them provoked questions that extend beyond the world of the show. First, since there is apparently an actual Heat Wave being published, does it really have a steamy sex scene on page 150? Second, that's what the kid from Road to Perdition grew up to look like? I really want an answer to the first question. As to the second...well. Apparently sometimes good things do happen in the world.
Final note on this week's Castle: Did you all catch the Firefly reference? Nathan Fillion posed the question and these people, unless we are all very much mistaken, have the answer. Truth be told, I didn't notice initially, but there was something else in the dialogue that brought Firefly to mind...I just wish I could recall what it was.
(This review also posted on my blog at http://meltedbrain.wordpress.com)