“Meme Is Murder” opens with Richard Castle (Nathan Fillion) filming a webmercial, a commercial for the web. He is hawking his new book Raging Heat, with his mother Martha (Susan Sullivan) providing advice and support. Meanwhile, the case of the week deals with the darker side of social media.
A woman is found dead in her apartment, two perfectly placed puncture wounds have caused her to bleed out. On her phone is a picture of herself sent to her, from a blocked number, just minutes before the murder.
Kate Beckett (Stana Katic) and Richard Castle are dealing with a social media killer.
To make it worse the social media killer sends the NYPD clues of his next victim on a photo sharing site called “Snapomatic.” When Castle and Beckett visit the Snapomatic company, they are frustrated to learn each user’s account has stringent privacy settings.
There appears to be a break in the case when they get a geo tag on one of the photos of the victim that were loaded on Snapomatic. It is a retired cop who worked in the Cyber Crimes Division. He is not the killer but he plays a part in solving the case later in the episode.
Soon the social media killer strikes again sending three random pictures and Castle realizes it is a pictogram. They discover the next victim is a spoiled little rich girl, they think, and track her down to take her into protective custody. When the girl refuses to go with Beckett she goes to get into her boyfriend’s car and discovers his dead body in his car.
After his latest victim, the social media killer turns his attention on the NYPD and Castle and Beckett. He posts a picture of Castle and Beckett tapping coffee cups as they make their way to the first crime scene – effectively saying they are inept at their job.
This sets up a nice moment between Gates and Beckett when One Police Plaza calls Gates about the photo and calls it a public relations nightmare. Beckett wonders if she is off the case but Gates says she told them her people have this and for Beckett to go home, get some rest and come back and nail this guy’s ass to the wall.
After weeding out the clues, and with the help of the retired police detective from the cyber crimes division, Castle and Beckett realizes the killer is a former victim of a bully. As a boy he was taunted by a boy in high school and when he finally broke down the meltdown was recorded by the bully and put on the internet.
When Beckett goes to arrest him the social media killer, named Adam Lane, is sitting in his basement apartment as if he is waiting on them, But he also has an ace up his sleeve, he has kidnapped the two brothers who started Snapomatic and have them bound, gagged and hooked up to a device that will shock and kill them. The worst part is the shocking device is on a timer and is also streaming on web asking people to vote whom they like the most. The brother with the least amount of likes will get the lethal shock.
Beckett goes into the interrogation to try and get Lane to tell her where the men are. He won’t budge and even forces Beckett to say he won promising he would give Beckett a clue about where the men are. When he still won’t tell her, Beckett unleashes on him saying he is a joke and everyone is laughing at him until he snaps and gives clues to where they can find the men.
Esposito and Ryan rush to the old school where Lane was first bullied and save the two men just in time.
The episode closes with Castle’s big debut of his webmercial. He gathers Beckett, Martha and Alexis into his office and pushes play. What Castle thought would be a straightforward webercial turned out to be a highlight clip of both Castle’s attempts of making the webmercial and his mistakes all set to music. Castle is devastated while Martha and Beckett try to hold back their laughter. Alexis quickly checks online and tells Castle the video has gone viral. Castle is still unsure but Beckett says they need to watch it again.
This was another case-heavy episode but it was a better episode then last week’s “Child’s Play” because it stayed with the Castle formula that works – having Castle and Beckett working the case together.
This episode was overshadowed before it aired thanks to ABC releasing the promo for the next two episodes billing it as Castle and Beckett’s wedding and honeymoon episodes. These two episodes will air Nov. 10 and Nov. 17. Hopefully it will make up for that atrocious Season 6 finale but only time will tell.
Bonus: Kevin Ryan has a blog called “The Ryan Report”