Castle: “How many murders do you think we’ve solved since we met?”
Beckett: “I don’t know. Maybe a hundred or so?”
Who would have guessed? A midseason replacement that no one paid much attention to at first managed to find an audience and, this week, celebrate its 100th episode. This episode was classic Castle fare -- a ridiculous murder the precinct is trying to solve and a murderer that was painfully obvious simply because he has such little screen time. But, that’s not why those of us who have seen all hundred episodes watch the show, is it? We watch for the interactions between the characters and as much Caskett time as we can get. In that way, this show delivered in spades and was a wonderful way to celebrate such a landmark.
I’m not going to give the real murder much ink. The only thing I liked about it was the name of the victim, Mrs. DeWinter. This is another homage to a Hitchcock film, Rebecca.
Now, onto the Rear Window homage. While there is a fair amount to quibble about in terms of how well all the pieces came together to make it work, it was so much fun to watch that I didn’t care. On the second viewing, the conversations between the people who are in on the joke when Castle is not around are even better. We get to see the set-up, the worry that the joke has gone too far and Alexis’ role is clearer and better.
I really enjoyed the way that Gates was in on the plan as well. Let’s stop pretending, therefore, that she doesn’t know that our two are a couple. My guess is that the reason she was not at the party was so they could be together without fear of reprisals. The fact remains that as soon as Gates has proof positive, she will have to split the two of them up. Does anyone else sense the end of season cliffhanger here?
There was also a real sense that Beckett is now part of the Castle family. She refers to the loft as “home” on more than one occasion and she speaks to Alexis like a big sister. The biggest clue for me was Martha calling Beckett “Katherine.” She always refers to Castle as “Richard,” so I get the impression that formalizing the name is the same as telling Beckett that she is now one of them.
The best part of this episode, however, was watching Beckett and Castle’s new relationship. All great stories involve character development and both Castle’s and Beckett’s have been part of this show from the first. Looking back at the first episode, Castle is obnoxious, rude and flirty; Beckett is emotionally closed down, almost repressed, and completely wrapped up in her job with no time for any kind of a personal life.
Look at them now. Back in the third series episode of “Pretty Dead,” Castle tells Montgomery that the best gift to give a woman is to give her the thing she said she wanted when she didn’t think you were listening. This is exactly what Beckett has just done. In this season’s “Reality Star Struck,” Castle asks Beckett if his Valentine’s present is an impossible murder for him to solve. She was listening.
Castle has spent his life desperate for validation, causing him to always be the caretaker. He takes in Martha when she is homeless and allows her to stay; he is a wonderful father to Alexis; he has managed to stay friends with both of his ex-wives, although they are both crazy. Most importantly, he was the one who forced Beckett out of her shell, who taught her about family and about love.
These two were damaged people when we met them, neither of them capable of any kind of truly adult, loving relationship. Now, Beckett is able to take care of Castle and he is able to let her. From literally moving away whenever Castle came close, Beckett can be affectionate and tactile. From hiding their relationship from everyone, it is now well out in the open and neither of them appears to mind; in fact, they are even kissing each other in public.
The defining moments, however, were at the party when Beckett solves the case but doesn’t leave. For the first time ever, we see her put her personal life before her professional one. Then, when Castle says to Beckett at the end that no one has ever done anything like that for him, I believe him. The emotion in his eyes and his voice shows us just how much it all means to him. No quips, no snark, just love.
There has been some moaning on the boards over the past month or so that neither of these characters has said, “I love you” yet. Maybe not, but this entire episode was a love letter, to each other and to the fans. Three and a half out of four perfect birthday presents.
Apologies for the delay in posting this review. Let’s just put it down to the fact that I am old and got dates mixed up.
-- Great amendment to the title card that had the pen stabbing the number 100.
-- Beckett has a lot of vacation time. Skiing one week and Bora Bora two weeks later? That’s a sweet deal.
-- Ryan and Esposito posing as Charlie’s Angels is one of the funniest things I have seen in a while.
-- Andrew W. Marlowe and Terri Edna Miller, the writers of this episode, are the two writers depicted in the window. Very Hitchcockian.
-- When Castle looks at his phone in the middle of the night, the time is 3:13. The shot was so clear, that I got suspicious. Sure enough, it is the episode number of “Knockdown.” Not only one of the top five of all time, it was the first time Caskett kissed -- and it was a doozy!
-- Stana Katic looked like Grace Kelly in that black dress. Maybe as beautiful as she has ever looked.
-- As though of you who read these reviews know, I ship Esplanie nearly as much as I do Caskett. I was so pleased to see them making out at Castle’s party, I may have let out a little squeal.
Martha: “It is a spa trip, darling. Not a guilt trip.”
Beckett: “OK, as long as by ‘writing’ you don’t mean staring out the window and ogling at your neighbors.”
Castle: “No. That would be immoral and intrusive.”
Beckett: “Yeah, like you’ve never done that before.”
Esposito: “Hey, Castle. Is it hard to balance on those crutches when you’ve just had your ass chewed off?”
Castle: “Well, I don’t say this often, but I’m sorry. I’m sorry I got you into trouble, sorry I lost my mind.”
Beckett: “You know what, Castle? It’s OK. Your overactive imagination has actually brought a lot of people to justice. In fact, it’s one of the things that I love about you.”
Castle: “No, don’t do it. It’s too dangerous.”
Beckett: “Not as dangerous as me if you blow up my plans.”
Castle: “Well, what if he doesn’t let you in?”
Beckett: “Look at me. He’s gonna let me in.”
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.