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Book Review: Words of Smiths

Word Of Smith_FinalCoverAuthor: Various
Language: English
Pages: 122
Price: Rs.200
Publisher: All About Books Global
ISBN Number: 9788192569017

The buzz of the tinsel town dies out…as the night shreds out her coyness and meets the flamboyant sun. Movies these days are either posing as a challenge to viewership- or gagging them with fits of laughter. Thus, I took some time off from the trips to the theatre and picked up a book of poems that seemed to attract the interest of the poetry patrons a few months back. This is not the first time an organization held a contest for budding poets and brought a book out which includes the best entries. But the extent reached by the WizKonect team  with their book “Words of Smiths” published by All about Books Global was commendable. Read more…

Castle: Sacred To Death – Review

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After the dramatic two-part  story arc with “Target” and “Hunt,” it was a delightfully welcome  return to the classic Castle formula. Although I couldn’t  understand why this episode was not used around Halloween as it complimented  all spooky stereotypes, ”Scared to Death” was a strong episode supported  by the fact that it was the most watched episode this season.

Very comparable  to The Ring, the victim  of the episode dies three days after they have watched a cursed DVD.  Upon investigating the victim’s death, Castle himself watches the cursed  disc and fears he too will be another victim in a short few days. One  element I’ve always loved about Nathan Fillion is his ability to bring  the charming comic relief to the front with his likeability and ruggedness.  He does an excellent job portraying a terrified Castle to the point  where you really believe his performance.

I loved  the extended look into Esposito and Ryan and their bromance. It was  especially fun to watch the two pester Castle for believing in evil  spirits and cursed media only to change their tune anytime they were  asked to go near the DVD. I erupted in the deepest of laughs when Esposito  went to investigate an Inn with Beckett when his tough-guy demeanor  was replaced by that of a timid dog. After being ‘startled’ by the innkeeper,  Esposito recomposed himself long enough to explain, “…in case you  were wondering, that was my startled reaction, not scared.”

Beckett  played the role of realistic disbeliever by not buying into the mystical  powers surrounding the victim’s death. I’m sure many people would have  loved to see her be somewhat broken by the idea that mysterious powers  could be at fault, but the episode would have quickly turned into a  B-movie knockoff. Another feature I didn’t pick up on was how eerily  similar this episode was shot and structured like a typical horror film.  With a few extended scenes and a couple of re-writes, this episode could  have easily been turned into a TV horror movie which serves as a great  compliment to the show writers. I enjoyed every step of it and was actually  huddled in my chair with anticipation of where the killer would strike  next.

My only  real drawback was how this episode served as a stand-alone title. Prior  to the three-week hiatus, Castle discovered his father and witnessed  his daughter get kidnapped, all while escaping near-death situations.  None of this was mentioned once leaving me envious of Richard Castle’s  ability to shake off any trauma. At least a scene with Castle and Beckett  discussing the matter would have been nice as it would have been something  as opposed to ignoring it completely.

I’ve been  fairly critical this season in regards to the weak homicide investigations  and the paths they take, but this episode was clearly the strongest  we’ve seen of this. Whether it was the horror setting or the simplicity  of the idea, but every step of the way was believable and seemed too  real. Dealing with a serial killer removed from his grave, a mysterious  DVD, a creepy closed down Inn and more, we were treated to a great return  to television from Castle.

I still  hold a place in my heart for “The Final Frontier” episode, but I  might be referring to this as my new favorite. It didn’t follow exactly  the same progression as previous episodes meaning you were genuinely  surprised no matter what happened. Although this wasn’t a continuation  of any ongoing story arc, “Scared to Death” was a great hour of  television and is highly recommended for slasher fans and Castle fans alike.

HIMYM: The Fortress – Review

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Structurally “The Fortress” is a well-made episode. It has a clear beginning, middle, and end that all flow logically from one point to the next. The episode even finds ways to be at its core an exploration of the relationships of Barney and Robin, and, to a lesser extent, Marshall and Lily. A foundation which is something a number of episodes in recent seasons have been lacking or acting like they had but totally didn’t (which meant emotional moments that weren’t well-earned).

 
And yet, there’s something missing. As Community reached a new low in its most recent season, critics scrambled to figure out what had changed to cause such a distinctive diminish in quality. Todd VanDerWerff tried to grasp at what was wrong with the latest season. He argued, “This is Community, yes, but it’s a version missing the most crucial element to keeping an audience that loves a TV show in love with that TV show: its soul.” Similarly, Matt Zoller Seitz noted, “It’s still a good show, but it doesn’t give me that anticipatory buzz that defines a really great series, that joyous anxiety born from being continually, often delightfully surprised”. While Communityhas made a much more significant leap in decline than HIMYM, whose decline in quality has been a slower trudge, there’s a fundamental similarity in the clear change in quality. 
 
I could keep running through the gambit of critics who’ve made complaints, but what they’re saying about Community is something that’s true for HIMYMHIMYM feels like it’s going through the motions. There are all the jokes and all the gags, and yet it all feels incredibly forced. There’s an artificiality to the whole enterprise. To use a turn of phrase from A.O. Scott: “chuckles and heartwarming moments [are] distributed as carefully as nuts in a factory-made brownie.” There are jokes and they seem like the jokes the characters of HIMYM would be making, and they’re in character and they fit the scenarios at hand. There are even some slightly touching moments between characters that grow out of the conflicts of the episode, and sometimes I get “all the feels” about it (though not in this episode to be honest). And yet it doesn’t inspire any great feeling in me other the occasional sentiment of “Oh, I guess that was sort of amusing”. 
 
Now being funny is subjective. What I find funny and what you find funny are possibly not going to line up. And so it’s tricky for me to throw around the term “funny”, but (and I can only give you my opinion because may be you disagree), but this episode, and this season in particular, just hasn’t been all that funny. For a series that is so very, very obviously stalling and killing time until it reaches the point where we meet the mother, it NEEDS to be at least funny to justify itself. Because none of the situations we’ve been privy to are really all that interesting, and they’ve increasingly had little to say about these character growing up and dealing with the ups and downs of life (two broad themes that would elevate the series if it chose to tackle them). 
 
Shows tend to go broader with their jokes as they get older, and HIMYM has become a pretty bad offender of this. That bed that shoots into the wall and sweeps away Barney’s hookups (along with his other bag of tricks described throughout the episode) is squarely in a realm of jokes that the series doesn’t necessarily want to lean on. These jokes can work when they come from unreliable narration (i.e. Older Ted’s many euphemisms), but they work much less so when the show seems to accept them at face value. 
 
There’s chuckle worthy material here and some well-delivered lines. But the show is using the likability of its cast to cover for some very weak material. Neil Patrick Harris is a great performer, but some of these “Barney used to be a man-whore” jokes are getting really repetitive. They also don’t line up with the new direction of his character as he chooses to settle down with Robin. But then again, I’m finding that pairing incredibly problematic. The show in this second half of the season is using our affection for these characters and the desire for this coupling to justify them being together, when it often feels like it’s been achieved too easily. Conflict drives a show, and there’s no conflict between Barney and Robin. This is especially true if the writers are going to give easy resolutions to established problems such as selling the apartment. Barney and Robin have become boring because they’re not challenging eachother. There’s glimpses of the instability here (such as in “Weekend at Barney’s”), but the series tends to sweep aside these apparent problems for something simpler and therefore a whole lot less believable. 

Weekend At Barney’s

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Part of a show’s success is suspension of disbelief. Our ability to tune into a show and a slip away into its world. How I Met Your Mother doesn’t really succeed at this with enough consistency.

 
There’s some funny lines and gags here, but I’m at the point where I just don’t care. 
 
Lily is an art consultant. But what is the point of her and Marshall visiting an art exhibit? In what way does it advance the plot of Lily’s career or her relationship with Marshall? If it were just a story about 30-soemthings growing up and it felt true to real life, than it might be passable, but that’s a different story, and a type of plot the series has shied away from lately. 
 
Ted breaks up with Jeanette, but what’s the point of watching Barney coach him (terribly) using the Playbook. There’s some amusing failed attempts to use the schemes, always ending with Ted offering to show his penis. However, we know Ted’s not going to end up with any of these people and it doesn’t service a forward direction towards meeting the mother. Jeanette had already broken up with Ted, and her return felt needless. The end where Ted’s stuff lies in ruins from Jeanette going crazy was a cop out. It (unsurprisingly) didn’t add up with how explosive and big the show suggested it would be. 
 
Robin is missing for most of the episode (enough so that I was starting to question the decision), but it pays off in one of the better scenes from the episode. After discovering that Barney hasn’t actually destroyed the Playbook, Robin storms out. Barney’s reminder that their relationship is built on lies made me consider temporarily why these two are together; when you think about it, it’s fairly unstable foundation, one only upheld by Barney’s love for Robin, and it’s a fact the show should play around with more. Of course, Neil Patrick Harris plays this all too sincerely and charmingly not to be won over just as much as Robin is.

The Robin-Barney scene was the only scene where I was drawn in, sucked in to the point where I forget “Oh yea, I’m watching a tv show”. It’s a great moment, but elsewhere this episode just doesn’t have the heart or the feeling of purpose that earlier seasons had in abundance. 

Weekend At Barney’s

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Part of a show’s success is suspension of disbelief. Our ability to tune into a show and a slip away into its world. How I Met Your Mother doesn’t really succeed at this with enough consistency.

 
There’s some funny lines and gags here, but I’m at the point where I just don’t care. 
 
Lily is an art consultant. But what is the point of her and Marshall visiting an art exhibit? In what way does it advance the plot of Lily’s career or her relationship with Marshall? If it were just a story about 30-soemthings growing up and it felt true to real life, than it might be passable, but that’s a different story, and a type of plot the series has shied away from lately. 
 
Ted breaks up with Jeanette, but what’s the point of watching Barney coach him (terribly) using the Playbook. There’s some amusing failed attempts to use the schemes, always ending with Ted offering to show his penis. However, we know Ted’s not going to end up with any of these people and it doesn’t service a forward direction towards meeting the mother. Jeanette had already broken up with Ted, and her return felt needless. The end where Ted’s stuff lies in ruins from Jeanette going crazy was a cop out. It (unsurprisingly) didn’t add up with how explosive and big the show suggested it would be. 
 
Robin is missing for most of the episode (enough so that I was starting to question the decision), but it pays off in one of the better scenes from the episode. After discovering that Barney hasn’t actually destroyed the Playbook, Robin storms out. Barney’s reminder that their relationship is built on lies made me consider temporarily why these two are together; when you think about it, it’s fairly unstable foundation, one only upheld by Barney’s love for Robin, and it’s a fact the show should play around with more. Of course, Neil Patrick Harris plays this all too sincerely and charmingly not to be won over just as much as Robin is.

The Robin-Barney scene was the only scene where I was drawn in, sucked in to the point where I forget “Oh yea, I’m watching a tv show”. It’s a great moment, but elsewhere this episode just doesn’t have the heart or the feeling of purpose that earlier seasons had in abundance. 

Castle: Hunt – Review

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Believable make-believe. That’s the cornerstone of a good work of fiction. Think about it for a minute. Do we honestly believe that a person exists on this planet who could do all the things that Jack Reacher (Lee Child’s fictional hero) is capable of pulling off? How about Stephen King’s characters? Or, Dean Koontz’s Odd Thomas? Of course we don’t actually believe they could do the things they do. However, our imaginations combined with a love of adventure and fantasy allows us to “believe” the make believe worlds that we read about, or that we see on TV and in movies.

Perhaps, somewhere in the far corners of our minds we secretly long to be like our fictional heroes, the Jack Reachers and Richard Castles of TV, books, and/or film. Whatever our reasons, we love a well-crafted story. And, that’s exactly what we saw in last night’s episode of Castle. In fact, I’m even going as far as to say that “Hunt” was one of the best episodes of Castle to date, if not the best.

The Hunt episode was a success in many ways. First of all, it was definitely believable make-believe. Even though I knew that much of what we saw last night was total phooey, I still “believed” what I saw unfold during the show. You all know that I watch for the inconsistencies in their police procedure and forensics, but the police stuff took a back seat last night. Instead, I found myself totally engrossed in the characters, especially Castle and his father, Jackson Hunt, a name that sounds made up, and was, according to Mr. “Hunt.”

We all know that the FBI couldn’t take control of video cams in Paris, especially as quickly as they did. We also know the likelihood of those cameras being in just the right spot to record the transfer of money for the hostage was, well, sort of wacky. How about Castle’s “hired gun” leading him to the one building in Paris where Alexis had been held hostage? Remember, he found it because some guy, a mole-like blind guy in an underground high-tech audio-visual lab, was able to pinpoint the building by zeroing in on everyday sounds he heard on a recording. Again, that’s pretty goofy.

Sure, it’s possible to separate sounds and then use something that’s unique to a particular location to help pinpoint a specific area—a train whistle, or something else distinct, like a man yelling, “Welcome to Disneyland.” Still, the characters in last night’s show delivered nearly every single scene in a very realistic fashion, even Mr. Mole’s “20,000 Steps Beneath The City” lab.

Did anyone else wonder why the bad guy’s computer hard drive was merely sitting inside the stripped-down device? Couldn’t they at least have had Ryan unplug it, or something? That was a bit of lazy writing and direction. By the way, it is possible to retrieve some information from a badly damaged hard drive, including one that’s smashed, or one with holes drilled through it.

Yes, I know the scene where Beckett used her foot to shove the woman to the floor wasn’t really a proper police tactic, and neither was saying, “I’m not a cop today, honey.” But she looked great while doing those things. Oh, and the scene where she kicked open a locked door with a high-heel-clad foot…wouldn’t happen. However, they were going for “Tough-As-Nails-Beckett,” which was a refreshing change from the “Mousey-Beckett character we’ve seen lately.

Okay, since this episode was largely based on characters who were not law enforcement, there was very little police work to pick apart. Therefore, I’m going to turn it over to Melanie who I’m sure was absolutely squealing with delight at every shed tear, touch of a hand, and let’s not forget the hugs…and there were plenty of those to go around.

Silver Linings Playbook

While most romantic comedies usually contain bad acting, sappiness, and a large amount of predictable moments; Silver Linings Playbook is the exact opposite. There may be a little amount sappiness in this movie but there is bound to be some in any romantic situations. In reality though, all of the sap in Silver Linings Playbook can be overlooked due to the fact that the film is completely original, extremely funny, and contains outstanding acting from the two lead roles.

Written and directed by David O. Russell (The Fighter), Silver Linings Playbook is about a man, played by Bradley Cooper (Limitless, The Hangover), who was just released from an eight month stint in a psychiatric hospital. He wants to get his life back on track but is being held back by his parents and his unstable condition. After a little while, he strikes up an interesting friendship with a female played by Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone, The Hunger Games). Both of these characters are going through somewhat of the same type of problems which makes their friendship even more quirky and thought-provoking.

Because a large amount of romantic comedies are stale and overdone, Silver Linings Playbook is a breath of fresh air. Usually movies in this genre follow a very particular road map that entails: man is at rock bottom but then finds the perfect girl. After a while, man loses girl and must win girl back in a very cliché and unrealistic fashion. What’s original about Silver Linings Playbook is that it doesn’t follow that mediocre story line in the slightest making it unpredictable but at the same time, more relateable. Chris Tucker is in this movie and even he isn’t predictable. Chris Tucker, the loud-mouthed actor who hasn’t been in a film without the words ‘Rush Hour’ in the title for almost 15 years, was surprisingly mellow. Even though he was mellow, he was still very comedic and played a great role in the film.

The most surprising aspect of Silver Linings Playbook, however, was the performance of Bradley Cooper. Even though this is a comedy, Cooper plays what is maybe one of the most serious roles he’s ever performed. After audience members witness his work in this film, there shouldn’t be any more doubt if the man can act or not. Silver Linings Playbook is without a doubt Cooper’s best work thus far in his career. Jennifer Lawrence has a performance of equal caliber but that is expected from the young Academy Award nominated actress. What was surprising about Lawrence’s role in the movie, was how adult it was. Fans of Lawrence’s work may have been worried that she would be stuck in teenage roles after playing the character Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games, but she should silence those doubts after this film with a very adult, yet professional, performance.

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Silver Linings Playbook is full of creativity and minimal on romance clichés. Based on Matthew Quick’s novel, it is hands down one of the best romantic comedies to be made within the last couple of years. This film contains many laugh out loud moments and a number of scenes that will warm your heart to the point where you can’t help but leave the theater smiling. Silver Linings Playbook is the perfect date movie that both men and women can easily enjoy.

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone

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“I’m incredible.” “I’m so hungry I almost ate my rabbit.” Burt Wonderstone (Steve Carell) 

These two lines are arguably the funniest of an otherwise bland Incredible Burt Wonderstone. This supposedly humorous look at a declining, egotistical Vegas magician, Burt Wonderstone, and his partner, Anton Marvelton (Steve Buscemi), is rarely funny or magical. The sequined jumpsuits and flowing wigs of Siegfried & Roy are there in their cheesy glory, but the camp falls flat around this film.

Incredible tries to make weighty the passage of the old-style Las Vegas entertainer to the new, embodied by the buff Steve Gray (Jim Carrey), whose modern ethic is to lie on coals or shoot himself in the head, among other oddly sadistic stunts. To the film’s shame, it neither exploits Carrey’s physical talents enough nor completes an in-depth exposition of the current shallow state of entertainment. Then, Carrey is the best of the cast, wholly engaging himself in anti-social magic to the delight and disgust of both the screen audience and the one in the theater. Once again Alan Arkin plays a memorably small role, this time as the old magician who first inspired the little Burt.

This film is neither the commercial magic of David Copperfield (who does a cameo here) or the downright silliness of Johnny Carson’s Carnac the Magnificent (one of his absurdly divinations may remind you how humorously deficient Incredible is: “May a desert weirdo lower his figs into your mother’s soup”).

An inherent liability for a film about magic is the tricks could be taken as movie magic and lose their basic charm. In other words, don’t look for the grace of Hugo or the mystery of Welles’ F for Fake, or the recent Illusionist. All those have a gravitas that comes from excellent writing, not strength in screenwriter Jonathan Goldstein (Horrible Bosses) this time around.

Although The Incredible Burt Wonderstone would have liked the mix of humor and magic in the renowned Penn & Teller act, what it ended up with was very bad Judge Harry T. Stone, the Mel-Torme-loving night court judge. While movies are magic, they need much of it to survive. Incredibly, Burt is not the answer. Sadly, it was neither incredible nor magical.

Oz The Great and Powerful

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To attempt a follow-up to a beloved classic such as ‘The Wizard of Oz’ would seem entirely foolhardy; yet there is sheer magic in Sam Raimi’s ‘Oz: The Great and Powerful’, an always engaging, consistently entertaining and utterly bewitching fairy tale fable that elegantly evokes the 1939 classic while being entirely in tune with the sensibilities of modern-day audiences. 

As clear reverence to that legendary picture, it opens in black-and- white and framed in Academy ratio with the traveling magician Oscar Diggs (James Franco) at the Baum Family Circus in 1905 Kansas. It’s no secret that Oscar will eventually become the Wizard; all that matters is how he gets there, and what follows is a beautiful journey imagined by screenwriters Mitchell Kapner and David Lindsay-Abaire of how an ordinary man can become a great man with a good heart and a little bit of faith.

As such tales do, this one starts with who Oscar isn’t – and that is, an honest and reliable person. No doubt as a magician, Oscar will always have a trick up his sleeve; but Oscar hasn’t simply been hoodwinking his audience. Instead, the smooth talker has also been fooling any beautiful lady whom he meets; even as one such lady (Michelle Williams) hopes to persuade him in his trailer to marry her, the relative of another broken-hearted woman gives furious chase, forcing him to climb into his hot-air balloon for escape.

That is the first of many narrative sleight-of-hands in which fans will immediately recall Victor Fleming’s original. Here, a giant tornado whisks him right into its eye, where he watches with wide-eyed horror as every manner of debris flies dangerously around him. Once again taking a cue from the original, this sequence is filmed for maximum thrills – especially so with an added dimension – with an exhilarating ride down a gushing waterfall added in for good measure. 

As Dorothy was in ‘The Wizard of Oz’, Oscar is greeted by a kind and beautiful witch, Theodora (Mila Kunis), who is immediately spellbound by the possibility that he could very well be the great and wonderful wizard that an ancient prophecy had foretold. Those familiar with the tale will recall that Theodora is but one of the witches of Oz; besides her, there is her sister Evanora (Rachel Weisz) as well as the supposed evil one called Glinda (Williams again) whom Evanora accuses of murdering her father. 

The fates of these pivotal witches of Oz is intertwined closely with Oscar’s transformation from an opportunistic and self-centred trickster to a revered hero of the people of Oz, and like Dorothy, Oscar is joined on his adventure by two unlikely companions – a flying monkey (Zach Braff) and an all-porcelain China Girl (Joey King). Along the way, fans of both Baum’s novels as well as the original will recognise the other cleverly placed narrative sleights – including flying baboons, singing and dancing Munchkins, poisonous-scented poppy fields, and floating magic bubbles. 

Yet at no point do these plentiful references ever feel slavish; rather, building on a solid foundation from Kapner and Abaire, Raimi creates a visually resplendent world wowing in its lovingly rendered details that feels fresh and original. The effect is, we dare say, just as magical as that audiences in the past were transported on when Fleming’s Technicolour visual effects fantasy was first unveiled, and perhaps even more so with the wonder of today’s CGI advances put to work.

There is of course much more than just visual bombast on display; in fact, Raimi uses these in service of a story that is full of heart and nerve. Cast as an unprepared man whom destiny calls to greatness, the Wizard is a surprisingly poignant character study of a flawed hero who eventually finds it within himself to rise above himself. That change of heart is portrayed in a befittingly heart-stopping climax engineered on illusion and ingenuity, a grand magic show set right in the heart of Emerald City that again brings to mind the revelation at the end of ‘The Wizard of Oz’ of the Wizard’s identity. 

If there is one blemish to an otherwise outstanding accomplishment, it is James Franco’s casting as the Wizard. While he does bring a slippery charm to the Wizard, he lacks the dramatic stature necessary to make the character a more compelling one. Among the three witches, it is Williams and Weisz who steal the show, the former’s radiant goodness a perfect complement against the latter’s icy malevolence. And though we do not see him after the film’s extended prologue, Braff’s voice-over for the Wizard’s winged companion brings much spirited humour to the proceedings.

So like ‘The Wizard of Oz’, this prequel is good old-fashioned family entertainment. And just because this comes late in Hollywood’s recent obsession with fairy tales should not at all deter you from making a beeline for it – because this is hands down the best of them (even better than Tim Burton’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’ in fact). True to its title, it is great and wonderful, an ageless and timeless fantasy deserved to be enjoyed in history with its forbearer.

Castle – Target – A Review

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First of all, I’m terribly sorry for how ridiculously late this recap is. This week has been hell for me, so I haven’t really had the opportunity to sit and write it before now. However, it’s Castle talk, and the way I see it, Castle talk is better late than never.

“Target” is the first episode of this season’s two-parter, and it was a fabulous one. It starts with the usual: someone is murdered, Beckett and Castle are called to the crime scene and the investigation begins. But the initial case is put in the backburner when the girl that the victim was murdered trying to protect, Sara El-Masri, is kidnapped – and so is her close friend, Alexis Castle.

“Target” was a case-focused episode, obviously, but not much actually happens on the investigative front. We see the team track down the van that took Alexis and Sara, along with the driver and another man involved, and the farm where they were initially taken. But the actual investigation pales next to the emotions unleashed by this case. This episode was a stellar chance to showcase the stunning acting abilities of both Nathan Fillion and Molly Quinn, something that we had not really had in a while. Castle’s pain and terror at the thought of losing his daughter are palpable, and it allowed Beckett – and us – to see a side of him we did not know he had: the ruthless side. We don’t actually get to see what he did to get the van driver to tell him where the girls were, but we don’t need to. The screams are enough to get an idea.

It was also an incredible episode for Alexis. I might or might not have screamed at the TV when we find out that the kidnappers knew exactly where to find them simply because Alexis had shared her plans for the weekend on her vlog (seriously, I’m all for having an Internet presence, but for heaven’s sake, don’t give every crazy person out there the means to find you wherever you go. On a different note, why did they look for Alexis’ vlog if the target was Sara? There must be more to it than meets the eye), but I quickly remembered why she’s considered so intelligent most of the time. Because, you know, minus some errors of judgment (see above), the girl is hellishly smart. She and Sara quickly figured out how to get an approximate idea of where they were, and once they were transported somewhere else, Alexis managed to open the door of the room where they were kept with a hairpin.

Like father, like daughter, I guess.

But it doesn’t end there. She finds a phone and Skypes Castle, but has to end the conversation quickly when she hears footsteps coming up. The call is tracked down and she runs out onto the roof. That’s when all Alexis, Castle, the investigative team and the viewers all find out where she is: in Paris. Yes, the episode ends with a scene of Alexis Castle staring open-mouthed at the Eiffel Tower and a man coming up behind her and snatching her up again.

There are cliffhangers and then there’s this.

I also loved how supportive the whole team is of Castle. Beckett throws caution to the wind and hugs him in the precinct, not giving a damn if Gates sees. Gates, for her part, tells Beckett to do whatever it takes “to get him back his little girl”. I also enjoyed Ryan’s comment, “It’s Alexis. He’s gotta be wrecked. Hell, I’m wrecked”. Ever since the fourth or fifth episode in the first season, when Beckett, Esposito, Ryan and Montgomery were playing poker with Castle and Martha, I’ve loved the relationship the team has with the entire Castle family, and this episode was fabulous for that bond.