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'Castle' recap: A tangled web of telenovelas

Season 7 | Episode 12 | “Private Eye Caramba!” | Aired Jan 19, 2015

Castle finds himself knee-deep in the twisted world of telenovelas when he is presented with his first real case as a private investigator in “Private Eye Caramba!”

When Beckett’s team begins investigating the death of popular telenovela star Annajita Menendez, Castle is himself presented with an intriguing case … just not quite in the way he was hoping. The victim’s costar, Sofia Del Cordova, asks Castle to track down her $500,000 diamond-encrusted purse, which she lent to Annajita the night of her murder. While it’s not technically tracking a killer, it will do for the time being, so Castle accepts.

Castle and Beckett find out that on the night of her murder, Annajita attended the opera, where she had a secret meeting with a Middle Eastern contact, Layla Nazif. An opera house employee tells Castle and Beckett she saw Layla give Annajita a USB flash drive before the two parted ways and Annajita left the opera house.

Beckett then questions Layla, who claims she and Annajita are merely acquaintances and denies any involvement with her, the opera meeting, or the flash drive. Layla is the daughter of a high-ranking Saudi Arabian official in town on official business, and she has diplomatic immunity, so unfortunately it doesn’t really matter what she says right now.

Meanwhile, Castle sifts through social media photos posted of Annajita that night and discovers she had likely left the purse in the limo that picked her up from the opera. He tracks it down using the VIN number he lifted from one of the photos, but he has a dangerous surprise: Instead of the purse, he finds the barrel of a gun pointed right at him by the driver, Harlan Mathis.

Beckett had already discovered Mathis was a contract killer, who was hired by the Nazifs to capture Annajita. But why? If Layla and Annajita were working together on something secret, why would she and/or her father also order her capture? Furthermore, why exactly WAS Annajita involved with a billionaire Saudi’s daughter anyway?

Meanwhile, Beckett figures out Mathis drove the limo that picked up Annajita up from the opera. The team tracks down the limo and ambushes Mathis—much to the relief of Castle. who at this point had gotten himself tied up and held at knife point by the hired gun. Whew. Classic Castle, amiright?!

But just when it seems like a slam dunk that Mathis is the killer—especially because his fingerprint was found on Annajita’s neck!—his alibi checks out: the killer is still at large. Mathis tells Beckett he was hired not to kill Annajita, but to capture her on behalf of Abdul Nazif, Layla’s father. But Annajita refused to meet with Abdul, and the next thing Mathis knew, she was dead.

Considering the diamond purse is still missing, Castle goes back to the opera house in the hopes that Annajita stashed it nearby. He lucks out, finding it lodged in a nearby bush. When he begins to examine the contents back at his office, he discovers that the purse is actually a fake, covered in shoddy fake diamonds. But the coveted USB flash drive is intact!

Too bad as soon as he is about to dig into its contents, none other than Sofia Del Cordova waltzes in and pulls a gun on him. Alas! It was Sofia all along who wanted to find the USB drive. She played Castle to find the purse so she could get her hands on it.

But it’s not as bad as you think. Back at the station, Sofia tells Castle and Beckett the whole story: She and Annajita were planning on leaving the telenovela that made them famous in order to start their own network. Layla was their financier, even though her father disapproved and wanted to shut the whole thing down. The USB drive? It was an encrypted security key to a Swiss bank account that held $100 million to fund their new venture.

But who would stand to lose the most if Sofia and Annajita left the show? Their producer, Francisco Herrera. He found out what they were planning and killed Annajita in a fit of rage. If he couldn’t have her, then no one could.

Oh, and by the way:

  • OBVIOUSLY MVP quote goes to Beckett (to Castle): “I’m just a girl looking for a private dick.” OBVIOUSLY.
  • Esposito’s adorable obsession with telenovelas was hysterical.
  • Still really digging Ryan’s quest to fill the Castle’s crazy conspiracy theories role while Castle is out of the NYPD loop.

Castle airs Mondays at 10/9C on ABC.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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