Castle Review: “That ’70s Show”

(Episode 6.20)

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<i>Castle</i> Review: &#8220;That &#8217;70s Show&#8221;

Last night’s Castle was just good ol’ fashioned fun. It felt like all of the glorious fashion of Mad Men’s Season Six collided with Scorsese’s Goodfellas, and all was right with the world. When the body of a 1970’s Mafia man turns up under an old, demolished building, Castle and Beckett find themselves going to great, disco-related lengths to solve the crime. Meanwhile, Castle’s mother continues to plan their wedding according to her will, which resulted in some pretty funny flower arrangement montages.

Vince Bianchi’s body is like a time machine. None of the surviving mob men (all really old guys, with not-so-old wives) want to talk, save the one guy so traumatized by his friend Vince’s disappearance that he still thinks it’s ’78. The only way Castle and Beckett can find out who might have killed Vince is by spending way too much time with the hilarious Harold Leon. A la 50 First Dates , his wife has been helping him maintain his ’70s delusions (dressing the part, and keeping their house retro style), in an attempt to keep him from breaking down. So Castle, Beckett, and everyone who comes into contact with the guy have to keep up the charade. Dr. Parish looks like such a bad mamma jamma standing in her morgue dressed like Pam Grier in Foxy Brown. I’ve got my Halloween costume, is all I’m saying.

The morgue gets shot up when Harold comes to see the body of his old friend, and they know that they’re close; so close, that it seems totally worth it to have the entire precinct go ’70s for Harold’s official witness statement. Castle sees this as a great opportunity to give his mom a job—any job—that will take her away from the wedding planning. We know she’s going to go overboard, and we can’t wait to see it. She hires actors, writes scripts, and the costumes are a dream. There were so many big-haired prostitutes in that precinct, Castle’s daughter had on the halter top from every father’s nightmare, and Beckett’s hippie look was flawless. But Esposito and Ryan win the award for Best Costumes ever, having dressed up as famous TV cops Snookie Watts and Ray Price. However, their digs required way more acting than they were prepared to do, as they really had to play it up with Harold, their biggest fan. They wind up taking him to his favorite disco club (Glitterati, which had, over time, fortunately gone back to being a disco club) to further trigger his memory, so he’ll remember the night his friend got shot.

Harold, however, already knew everything he needed to know when Castle told him that Vince was found still wearing his blue suit—something he only wore to Glitterati, which actually belongs to their old buddy, Frank Russo. But it turns out that Vince and Harold were in love. Vince did go to the club to make a proposal to the sister of the rival mob. It was a way to keep peace, and for Vince and Harold to hide their relationship. But Vince couldn’t go through it in the end (because there is true love in the mafia!) and the sister killed him. When Harold learns the truth, he releases himself from his delusions, and decides to live in the 2010s—an achievement that Castle insists can only be celebrated with a disco party. As the Queen of Disco’s “Last Dance” plays, the episode ends and we say goodbye to an era, watching Harold shake a tail feather, solo beneath a silver disco ball. All is, indeed, right with the world.

Favorite Quote of the Episode: “I’d rather be dead than end up in your bed, jive turkey!” (Dr. Parish)

Shannon M. Houston is a New York-based freelance writer, regular contributor to Paste, ande occasional contributor to the human race via little squishy babies. You can follow her on Twitter.