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…”
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?”
Castle: “Is this as bad as it seems?”
Esposito: “No. It’s much worse. Much, much worse.”
Ryan: “Castle, you have two worlds.”
Ryan: “Right now, they’re both coming together.”
Ryan: “What happens when worlds collide?”
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.”