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'Castle' fan recap: The case of Pitbull versus Hammer

Season 7 | Episode 19 | “Habeas Corpse” | Aired Mar 30, 2015

You know those hideously obnoxious commercials for lawyers on TV who want to get YOU what YOU deserve? Think:, “Have you been hit by a drunk driver recently?” or, “Let me get you the settlement you deserve!” or “I got $18,000 for my accident. Thanks, So-and-So!”

You know the ones. That kind of lawyer is our Castle victim this week, one Richie “The Pitbull” Falco (Scott Broderick), who winds up dead in an alley due to blunt-force trauma to the head.

With a rep like his, it’s no secret that Falco likely had lots of enemies. Castle & Beckett & Co. begin their investigation by visiting Falco’s office and speaking with his coworker, who says even though Falco’s business seemed shady, he really was out to help the little guys get what he deserved. When Beckett tells her Falco’s body was found uptown, nowhere hear his residence, she points them in the direction of St. Simon’s Hospital in that area, a place Falco frequented to find new clients who might need his services.

There they meet another caricature: Archie “The Savannah Hammer” Bronstein, Richie Falco’s biggest competitor. They often fought over and stole clients out from one another, and in the nights before his death, Falco had been arguing with Bronstein because Bronstein had accused him of trying to poach a client of his.

After scouring through security-cam footage, Ryan and Esposito find video showing a man in a red sports scar grabbing Falco from the hospital parking lot and speeding away with him on the night of his death. The car is registered to famous NFL running back Derek Bolt, who denies any foul play. He claims he was clearing up an agreement he and Falco had because Falco had missed an appointment earlier that day with him. Bolt says they sorted out their differences and he dropped off Richie at a diner later that night. Just a few hours later, Richie was dead.

While Ryan and Esposito look into Falco’s phone records and financials, Castle and Beckett respond to a call from Falco’s office. Someone had ransacked the place, stealing all of Falco’s case files. Not to mention the fact that the team finds a duffel bag with some very strange articles in it: chloroform, gloves, glow sticks, alarm schematics, night-vision goggles, and a list of dates and cities that don’t make any sense to anyone (more on that later). When they connect the night-vision goggles to Mike Sampson, the P.I. Falco rented them from, Sampson says Falco had been acting strange when Falco approached him for equipment. Sampson adds that Falco even asked him how to get rid of a body.

In Falco’s phone records, Ryan finds that the only call Falco made on the day he died was to his ex-wife. Tracy traces that call and triangulates it to Montrose State Park, far from the city, which Castle and Beckett deduce must have been Falco’s choice of “the perfect place to get rid of a body.”

There, Castle and Beckett find what looks to be a fresh grave and dig up a body bag. But just when they are about to uncover what they think is their smoking gun, a masked man with a gun ties them up and makes off with the body bag.

Luckily, a few wildlife cameras mounted in the trees capture the masked man. It’s none other than Mike Sampson, P.I. When the team catches him and uncovers the body bag in the trunk, they are surprised to find what’s inside: it’s not an actual body, but merely a test dummy.

Say what?

Beckett and team also find Falco’s shredded case files in Sampson’s apartment. So with the bizarre findings of Sampson’s trunk and the mounting evidence around him, all signs points to Sampson, right?

But when Lanie works her magic on the dummy, she reveals that it was “murdered.” How so, you ask? It means whoever was using this dummy had acted out the killing on it. Castle astutely connects the dots between the injury marks on the dummy and the injury sustained by the client Falco was trying to poach from Archie Bronstein. See, the client, Jodi Evans, was a patient at the hospital. She had been in a car accident and had suffered a serious injury that included three small pieces of shrapnel piercing her heart … just like the dummy.

Castle and Beckett interview Jodi, trying to find a deeper connection between her injuries, Falco, Sampson, and the test dummy.

Jodi’s description of the accident that put her in the hospital raises a red flag for Castle and Beckett: She had been driving a rental car manufactured by Modesto Motors. Castle and Beckett do a little digging and find several other accidents linked to a Modesto Motors vehicle that resulted in a fatality, accidents that directly correlate to that mysterious list of cities and dates found in the bag of equipment uncovered at Falco’s office.

Falco had been trying tirelessly to get Jodi on his docket so he could represent her because he had also figured out the Modesto Motors link to accident deaths. In fact, he was in the process of trying to blow the whole thing wide open. He knew Modesto had faulty cars that caused deaths, and he had stolen the test dummy from Modesto as proof that the company knew what was happening and chose to do nothing about it. Falco knew if he could just prove it, he could win millions of dollars in settlements for all of the people wronged by Modesto Motors.

Unfortunately, Archie Bronstein had other plans and when he realized Falco was only out for justice—only?! He decided to get rid of Falco so he could sell the dummy back to Modesto, which would pay a pretty penny to get that kind of evidence back—as long as it meant keeping their secret.

Oh, and by the way:

  • The ongoing talent show B-plot was pretty cute. Ryan and Esposito are three-peat champions with LIGHT-UP SHOES! All is well in the world.
  • Castle: We’ll just do out routine.
    Beckett: We don’t have a routine! That’s just two naked people singing when no one is around to see it!
  • Next week: The return of the mystery of Richard Castle! Finally, the dangling thread of the disappearance of Castle storyline is back within reach. Finally.

Castle, rated TV-PG, 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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