Castle: Significant Others

“Button up, kitten. We’re going home.”

A dead divorce attorney being investigated by a man who has two divorces behind him. This episode could have become painfully self-aware and mired in self-consciousness. Instead, we had one of the most purely comic episodes of this show we have had in quite some time. I laughed out loud throughout, until the final three minutes when I gasped.

The case itself was better than the norm. I groaned when it appeared that Walter was the guilty party, but the final twist was good and unexpected. We’ll just gloss over the fact that someone with so much to hide would choose to live within miles of her former life. The second time through, the clues to the truth were all there. Excellent writing.

As Castle progresses, the show becomes less about the case of the week and more about the people who inhabit this world. This week, the dead divorce attorney neatly dovetailed with the fact that Meredith, last seen in “Always Buy Retail,” is back and staying at Castle’s loft. A very bad idea, clear to everyone but Castle himself, and it led to a show filled with laugh out loud moments.

There was so much hilarity and so many hijinks that it is impossible to list them all. Easily the best were the bromance moments between Castle and the boys. But, a very close second was any scene in which Meredith appeared.

One of the reasons this episode was so humorous is that, although Caskett is fighting, the relationship is not at risk. There is a new level of security from both of them, helped by the fact that they are not hiding from anyone (at least in this episode as Gates did not appear). Even the kiss was not an end-of-episode-music-soaring one; it was the kind of kiss shared by a couple who are comfortable with each other and with their relationship.

What elevated this episode from standard comedic fare was the final scene. Since we met Meredith, I had always assumed that her affair was the reason she and Castle were divorced. It is, but now we get an insight into why she entered into another relationship.

One of the core dynamics of this show has always been that Beckett is the one who is closed off. Over the years, Castle has had to break down her walls, peel the onion and help her deal with all the drama around her mother’s death. Castle has been the one who has been emotionally available and, because of this, Beckett has been able to open up to someone in ways that, I am sure, she has never done as an adult.

Meredith’s explanation of why she left the marriage is stunning, and not only because it is the first time we have ever seen the adult that must be hidden in there somewhere. The explanation is so shocking because Beckett, and we, immediately sense the truth in it and have seen it. In “Vampire Weekend,” Beckett asks Castle where his fascination with the macabre comes from. He makes up a story about a young boy washing up on the beach and laughs it off saying, “[telling stories] is what I do.” I can only remember one time that we have seen Castle share something painful and personal and that was in “The Final Nail” when he talks to Beckett about what Damian Westlake meant to him as a child and as a young writer.

Some of the responsibility for Beckett’s not knowing a lot about Castle rests with her. She has been so wary of getting close to him and so wrapped up in her own issues that she has never really asked the tough questions. Maybe it’s time for the writers to turn the tables on Caskett and on us and have Beckett be the one breaking down walls and peeling the Castle onion.

I absolutely loved this one. Four out of four smashing vases.


-- The opening song is Missy Higgins’ “Secret.” A fantastic choice, not only for the tune but for the lyrics which are simply perfect for this episode.

-- When we first meet Noah, the director focused on his ring so often that, even the first time through the episode, I knew we were going to see it again.

-- Nancy Lee Grahn was hilarious as the bitter divorcee breaking her husband’s belongings. The painting she destroys is a Zaozirny according to Castle. Thanks to IMDb, John Zaozirny was on Castle’s production staff last season.

-- Similarly, Allan Wasserman as the hotdog eating criminal attorney was fantastic.

-- I like both Castle and Beckett referring to the other inhabitants of the loft as the redheads. Not sure why, but it made me smile.

-- Ryan and Esposito are not only the comic backbone of this episode, they kick some serious ass.


Lanie: “Maybe I’m right? Of course I’m right!”
Turns out, she was.

Esposito: “And, you said no.” Castle reacts. “Tell me you said no.” Castle reacts again. “Wow…”
Ryan: “Really???”
Esposito: “Letting an ex stay with you when you’re with someone else? That’s like throwing gasoline on fireworks.”
Castle: “Come on, guys. It’s not that bad.”
Esposito: “Castle, you are on the edge of a very, very steep cliff, my friend.”
Ryan: “And, if you don’t do something about it quick…”
Both Ryan and Esposito imitate something falling off said cliff.

Beckett: “… how [Meredith] seems to know things about you that I don’t know?”
Foreshadowing much?

Castle: “Is this as bad as it seems?”
Esposito: “No. It’s much worse. Much, much worse.”

Ryan: “Castle, you have two worlds.”
Esposito: “Two.”
Ryan: “Right now, they’re both coming together.”
Esposito: “Uh-oh.”
Ryan: “What happens when worlds collide?”
Esposito: “Boom!”

Martha: “This isn’t a flophouse, darling. You’ve got to stop letting freeloaders just live here.”
Castle: “Please tell me you see the irony.”

ChrisB is a freelance writer who spends more time than she ought in front of a television screen or with a book in her hand.


sunbunny said...

Caught the ring bit as well.

Love Espo and Ryan. They are just adorable. Glad to see the whole betrayal from early this season has been completely gotten over. Our buddies are back and better than ever!

I have so many questions about Castle's past; I'm hoping they will be answered now that Beckett realizes she has those questions too.

Was it just me or did the camera work seem different this episode? Especially when we were outside, everything was jumpier and more handheldy. It's a word. It almost could have been Law and Order, except for it being very obviously LA and not NYC.

Matthew L said...

I agree that there is some truth to Meredith's "explanation" that Castle has his own walls and baggage shaped by his past but I also think her explanation is colored by the fact that Meredith cares about Meredith first and foremost and is going to explain her divorce in a manner that puts her in the best possible light.

Is there truth in saying that Castle didn't open up to Meredith? Sure, it's obvious that Castle has walls just like Beckett, granted his past is not as dark as Beckett's is. But you have a man who grew up with no father, moving around as his mother tried to support both of them, had instant celebrity thrust on him once his writing took off, became a young father, his first love leaves him, he has two failed marriages where in both cases the women ended them, etc -- there's no way he doesn't have his own walls with his humor being his main defensive mechanism.

I viewed the ending as Beckett realizing finally that Castle may be as damaged and broken as herself and like you said it's probably time for her to start peeling away the layers of the Castle onion and this is a good thing.

Billie Doux said...

Loved it. Laughed out loud. Loved the fact that they finally gave Meredith some interesting depth, too. Great review, Chris -- all good points.

CrazyCris said...

LOTS of laughs!

Did anyone else notice how much Meredith and Alexis look alike? Definitely a great casting job! I hadn't noticed it before...

Kate's look on her face after that final conversation with Meredith promises a lot further down the road...

Mark said...

To comment on what Matthew L said, has it been established who initiated the divorce in Castle's two marriages? I believe it would be the women in both cases, and this episode gave a reason why Meredith would chose to walk away.

I believe that Castle is enough of a romantic and wanting to be a better father/husband than his (missing) dad, that he would have tried to make the marriage work despite how bad it got. That sort of quality explains how Castle was able to wait four years to get the prize he wanted: Beckett.

celticmarc said...

Ryan-Esposito : the best bromance on screen right now. Wow. Love these 2 immensely.

"It's The Bachelors meets Homeland."

"Have a hot dog boys. They're delicious." The best new line now to tell people to *bleep* themselves. Think I'm gonna use it at the office. And anywhere else.

"Well, she was never my favourite trophy ! " Beckett's face is priceless.

"What notes ??"

"Have a glass of wine, works for me !"

Chris, have to quote you now : "As Castle progresses, the show becomes less about the case of the week and more about the people who inhabit this world." Totally, completely and utterly in agreement with you. Beautiful episode. Beautiful.

celticmarc said...

Great episode.

Excellent review.

And very interesting comments.

Anonymous said...

Great episode with the new girlfiend meeting the ex as a theme..Oh gosh that was Jack Wagner from Melrose Place..I feel old now.
Esposito and Ryan were as ever a wonderful team. I hope Meredith's revelations to Kate lead to getting closer to Rick. He too has walls that need to come down.

Anonymous said...

It's probably just me watching too much Doctor Who lately, but were there more than just a few DW references in this episode?
First we have Billy Piper (where I first think to myself, "okay, a coincidence, need to lay off a DW for awhile" ;)
But then goes the name of Billy's wife - Leann, and I start thinking that, okay, maybe not a coincidence. Maybe the writer of this ep is a DW fan.
Than this Billy asks Beckett "Michelle Who-ey?", and I really start thinking he is.
And the Beckett/Meredith bonding scene reminded me of "School Reunion", but it's probably because by this point I was just trying to see more references, and found some that weren't there.
What do you think?

ChrisB said...

Anonymous - as I have never seen an episode of Doctor Who, I will leave it to others to respond. I must say, however, it certainly sounds plausible.

Thanks for commenting.