Now in its sixth season with a seventh ordered (for a mid-season replacement back on 2009, it's done amazingly well), Richard Castle and Kate Beckett are still engaged in solving crimes... and now engaged to each other. Castle popped the question at the end of the fifth season when Beckett was offered a job in DC (that lasted three episodes) and she agreed.As their wedding approaches, the crimes keep turning up. It's not like it takes Castle that long to write the novels.
Our two leads, after having to reject some more overbearing wedding-related ideas from Castle's well-meaning mother, are summoned to a crime scene where the body of a mobster who disappeared in 1978 has been found, buried in concrete. They quickly identify the key witness that they need to talk, the mobster's number two. Unfortunately, his grief for his missing friend means that he is still mentally in the 1970s... and in order to get the key information from him, they have to make him think its the decade of disco. This involves redecorating the 12th Precinct... and a lot of costumes.
Richard Castle has always been one to enjoy this sort of thing; Nathan Fillion's clearly having fun here and the character's 'Captain Castle' persona (he gets misidentified as Beckett's boss and rolls with it) is interesting, although not the best of the 1970s style takes here.
Beckett, the definite 'straight man' of the pair of them, is definitely one rarely up for this sort of thing; her discomfort with some of the sexist attitudes (and the general culture of the NYPD at the time) is plain to see, but the sight of her in 1970s 'hippy' gear is a superb moment, along with another when she has to try and act like a 1970s detective.
Speaking of 1970s detectives, Ryan and Esposito, the other double act in this show, watch a documentary on two Starsky and Hutch style cops, then promptly proceed to go the whole hog by dressing and acting as them... which includes Espo doing a car bonnet slide and stacking it at the end. The other recurring characters also get some great moments - Lanie's dress, Martha's hiring a batch of actors and Captain Gates' reaction when she discovers what has been going on while she was attending a terrorism seminar (it was cancelled due to a bomb threat), in addition to what she does at the end. Even Alexis (who has a limited role this year due to Molly C. Quinn going to college) gets a welcome appearance.
Best of all, while we don't get a great deal of plot between all the very funny jokes, it's another good mystery for the show with some lovely (and welcome) twists.
A very strong episode with genuine laugh-out-loud moments and a good overall payoff; Castle's 'costume' episodes are always great fun when they appear and I hope we get something else like this next season.