Not that there’s anything wrong with any of this. If “Castle” has to steal from a particular movie genre, this is definitely the one to choose. Spooky, intriguing and ultimately sweet, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” is everything you would want a “Castle” episode to be.
The ‘Carrie’ part
A pretty but mean girl, Madison Beaumont, gets murdered in a rather dramatic fashion. While her two besties watch on a video chat, Madison is seemingly attacked by a vengeful poltergeist. When the cops arrive at the murder scene, Madison’s blood is splashed on the ceiling — just like in the video.
Who or what could have done this? Suspicion quickly falls on Jordan Gibbs, a social outcast that Madison tormented. A couple of weeks before the murder, a camera-phone caught what appeared to be another poltergeist attack against Madison. This time, however, Jordan was right in the middle of it.
It turns out that not even Jordan is sure whether or not there’s a “Carrie”-like situation going on. She did want Madison dead, since the popular girl had begun tormenting Jordan after a weird incident in the school library.
But it is not Jordan who is making things fly around. Instead, it’s Lucas Troy, the super-smart kid who has a little crush on the social outcast. Castle and Beckett go to question him, only to find Jordan surrounded by flying objects.
This isn’t telekinesis — it’s special effects. That’s Lucas’ specialty — a specialty that Madison found out about and exploited. That creepy, poltergeist murder? Lucas and Madison staged it well in advance, with Madison planning to use it as a prank.
Obviously, the prank went horribly wrong.
The ‘Bling-Ring’ part
What was the connection between Madison and Lucas? Why would someone want Madison dead? The solution is straight out of “The Bling Ring.”
Madison and her two best friends (the ones who witnessed the murder via phone) had been stealing valuables from classmates’ homes and splitting the money. It all went wrong when Madison decided to go after the biggest score herself. Using Lucas’ special effects as a diversion, the girl broke into the home of a bank robber being defended by her lawyer father. She got away with millions in German bearer-bonds.
The bonds were hidden in a Tolstoy book in the library, hence Madison’s overreaction to Jordan. And the motive for her murder was found in the same place. One of those best friends found out about Madison cutting the others out of the biggest score. When that friend also got the poltergeist message, she flipped.
The girl killed her friend and created an alibi by showing the video as if it were a live call.
The John Hughes part
Castle and Beckett’s personal lives and wedding talk interweave with this particular case. Back in the day, Castle had been a student at the same ritzy private school — but he got kicked out for a prank (involving a cow) just before his senior prom. Beckett didn’t go to her prom either — she was a rebel who went to a poetry slam instead.
With a school dance happening as arrests are being made, Castle and Beckett get their chance to make that up. The couple dances to a slow song — which they simultaneously realize is their song — and celebrate both the past and the future.
It’s a level of adorable totally worthy of an ’80s teen film.