‘Castle’ Takes on ‘Girls Gone Wild’ with ‘Death Gone Crazy’

by | January 22, 2013 at 10:12 AM | Castle, Recap

Kelly Hu in "Castle" (ABC)

Remember Joe Francis? He created the “Girls Gone Wild” video empire, eventually getting karmic payback for persuading hundreds of drunk college students to get naked on camera for free when he ended up in jail on a variety of charges and recently was ordered to pay casino magnate Steve Wynn $20 million. “Castle” goes for a more literal punishment this week in “Death Gonee Crazy” when a character clearly modeled on him (his name is Beau, for goodness sake) is strangled with a bra. It’s a funny premise that I would have liked to have seen used to explore how Castle (Nathan Fillion) and Beckett (Stana Katic) view the commercialization of sexuality, or some parallel between the case and their relationship. Instead, there was little shipper action, with Castle firmly in protective daddy mode. Nonetheless, it was a fun episode that showcased Esposito far more effectively than last week’s installment.

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Victoria’s Secret Weapon: When porn impresario Beau Randolph is found strangled with an expensive 36DD bra (it’s a plot point) after a College Girls Go Crazy party at a nightclub, there are a wealth of suspects. He’s got a famous ex-girlfriend who has been stalking him. A thinly veiled version of Focus on the Family, who I would have expected  theoretical enemy of censorship Castleto hate, was protesting outside the club. That went unaddressed. Then there is his sexy bodyguard Scarlet Jones (Kelly Hu), who video footage reveals stole a SIM card from Beau’s safe the night of the murder.  She turns out to be innocent, though her initial claim that she took the job to obtain and destroy a friend’s sex tape turned out to be false. Instead, she was hired by a family friendly entertainment company that Beau was trying to take over. The CEO hoped to find a way to stop him. The sex tape was of him with the daughter of the head of Not Focus on the Family. It turns out that she was pregnant with his child. After finding out, Beau decided to become a decent human being and decided to shut down his company. I predict after this episode the real Joe Francis is going to attempt to recruit the daughters of prominent moral crusaders to appear in his videos. That would generate a ton of publicity. In any case, the culprit, as it often is in Castle, was an employee we met early on who wanted to continue making videos of naked college girls. I’m not sure why it didn’t occur to him to start his own company to fill the void in the marketplace that Beau’s retirement would create.

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Esposito and Scarlet Sitting in a Tree: As a fan of “The Vampire Diaries,” I kept waiting for Scarlet to turn out to be a vampire, since Hu was so great as Pearl. Obviously, that didn’t happen. But sparks flew between her and Esposito (Jon Huertas), who asked her on a date. It got interrupted when Castle and Beckett showed up to interrogate her. Since she turned out to be innocent, I’d like to see her return as Esposito’s love interest.A cop dating a private security expert could be a lot of fun and   provide a way for the cops to collect evidence in a pinch when they can’t get a warrant. This was so much better than last week when Esposito bonded with a troubled teen.

Equal Time for Naked Dudes: The best twist in the case was when a former racketeer who was a suspect in the case turned out to have a warehouse fill of… male strippers who were rehearsing for his rival company College Guys Gone Nuts. It was both hilarious and equal time for viewers who would rather look at half naked men than half naked women.

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Alexis Makes the World’s Dullest Video Blog: Alexis (Molly Quinn) started a video blog. She talks about how she pretended that she didn’t know how to ice skate so she could lean on  her boyfriend Max. (Are viewers ever going to get to see this guy?) Castle should have been angry that Alexis was playing dumb to get a guy.  This isn’t the 1950s. Also, if Max watches the blog, he’ll be onto her. Instead, because of the case, he is worried that she will attract stalkers or film herself doing something that  she will regret for the rest of her life. It’s a g-rated blog that appears to be dull to interest anyone other than Castle. But I like that the situation resolved itself with Alexis pointing out that, as someone who grew up with the internet, she’s far savvier than Castle is about how to stay out of trouble on-line. It also makes the subtle point that the vast majority of the women who appeared in Beau’s videos knew exactly what they were doing, even if they later suffered negative consequences.

Also, if Max watches the blog, he’ll be onto her.