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Beat Cop: 'Castle' brings the return of Captain Tightpants!

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With your regular procedural patroller Alynda Wheat on vacation, it falls to me to embed this clip from last night’s vampire fetish/comic book happy Castle, or what my colleague Marc Bernardin has referred to as “officially, the geekiest hour of television ever.” It opened with Nathan Fillion trying on a familiar “space cowboy” costume for Castle’s annual Halloween party. Daughter Alexis (Molly Quinn) wasn’t quite as psyched as we were for the Firefly reference:

I say a Halloween episode in Season 2 is a fine time to break out Mal Reynolds’ suspenders: Not desperate, just fun. Bonus points for also working in a Buffy reference (the victim, a talented artist and bloodsucker wannabe named Crow, had been staked). The case — Crow and his comic book co-creator were killed by his former nanny, who realized they’d soon piece together that she’d murdered his mother, the woman who appeared in Crow’s art — wasn’t quite as goofy as I’d expected. Which, like the reveal of Beckett’s non-sexy costume, was actually a bit disappointing. In the end, the big question for me was not who would’ve won the costume contest at Castle’s party (obviously Martha, for her Cruella De Vil), but whether we wish Castle had had a traumatic event in his childhood to make him interested in the macabre. He had me hanging on his every word as he told Beckett what turned out to be fake story about him discovering the dead body of a boy his age on a Hamptons beach. I like the idea that you don’t have to be scarred to write mystery or horror, but I wouldn’t have minded if Castle had been telling the truth in that moment. I don’t want him to ever lose that lighthearted scaredy-cat quality (love that he wouldn’t open the Rob Zombie lookalike’s coffin on his own), but I’m ready for him to reveal something real about himself, to get serious about more than Molly. (Kudos to the writers for keeping Molly sober at the senior party — and smart enough to both call Castle when her friend got drunk and to forgive him for phoning her parents, which needed to be done.)

What did you think of the episode? (I thought for sure Castle would be a fan of True Blood, and we might get to hear Fillion do a “Sookie.”) Where does this rank on your list of favorite procedural Halloween episodes? My two favorites are still Bones‘ “Mummy in the Maze” (we learned that Brennan always dresses as Wonder Woman) and NCIS‘ “Witch Hunt” (in which McGee’s and Tony’s jaws dropped at the sight of Abby as Marilyn Monroe).