“It’s amazing how fate changes lives, isn’t it?”
Traditionally, Castle has a five episode arc at the end of every season. As last week’s was clearly a standalone, we had to wait until this episode to see what the final arc was going to be. Unsurprisingly, we are going to be treated to the next stage of the Caskett relationship.
The case of the week was a series of moments meant to remind us of the early days when Castle and Beckett were still coming together as a couple. Beckett is ordered to work with a rich, influential man she would rather avoid. Said man knows her backstory. She has a conversation about her backstory with said man. She and said man, spending time in a hotel suite, nearly share a kiss. It is a sniper who keeps Beckett and said man apart. The others in her world see two glasses filled with an alcoholic beverage and make assumptions.
The difference is the man involved in the story. While at the beginning Castle was abrasive and insincere, Vaughn is not. Beckett did not like Castle even a little when they met; she is instantly drawn to Vaughn. The irony here is that it is because of Castle that Beckett responds to Vaughn. She has fewer walls, fewer insecurities and the love of a rich and famous man; she is able to hear and accept that a man of Vaughn’s caliber (who, let’s face it, is almost too good to be true) would be attracted to her.
While the case itself was typical fare, it was not meant to be the center of the episode. The obvious and unsubtle illusions are there to kickstart another will-they-won’t-they storyline. Only, this time, it is not whether or not they will come together; it is whether or not they are going to get engaged. For me, however, this complication is coming too early and feels a bit off.
I’m not sure I completely understand what Beckett is looking for. Caskett are not living together yet (although she does seem to spend many of her nights at the loft); but, even more importantly, Beckett has not gone to the “I love you” place yet. Everyone else has (Ryan, Lanie and Alexis all refer to it in this episode), but she has not.
Martha’s telling Castle that Beckett isn’t committed without a ring set all my feminist sensibilities tingling. Martha is, by no means, a traditional woman. She bore a son without the benefit of a ring and, way back in season three, she struggled with becoming engaged to the man she was dating. Making that kind of statement to her son, in front of her granddaughter, felt really odd to me.
I cringed when Beckett initially tried to hide the truth of the kiss from Castle. Every single time these two try to hide things or keep secrets from each other, it ends badly. Surely, two people who know and love each other so much would have figured that out by now. I was pleased that she did, eventually, tell him the truth and I liked the fact that Castle figured out that Beckett had pushed Vaughn away.
The part of this episode that felt exactly right to me was Castle’s reactions. I’m not sure if he is taking Beckett for granted, although I understand why she would see it that way. This man has loved three women before, two of whom he married. All three left him. There must be some part of Castle that is beginning to protect himself from what he sees as inevitable.
We see several other examples of Castle’s defense mechanisms kick in. When Beckett accuses Castle of not trusting her, she is right, but not in how she thinks. Castle trusts her; he doesn’t trust the fact that she will stay with him. He’s been through this before. Meredith left him for a man directly connected to her career. To Castle, this scenario is too close for comfort.
The scene when he laughs at the idea of Vaughn actually wanting Beckett is the perfect example of his insecurities. While what he said bordered on insulting, I think he was reassuring himself without thought of how Beckett would hear his words.
In the final scene, Castle is reverting to behavior we have seen in the past. Rather than confront what they have just been through, he is charming and romantic. It reminded me of the first episode in season two where he tries to buy his way back into Beckett’s good graces. It was only the sincere apology that worked then. Beckett’s look at the end of the episode ensures that we understand that all the candles and hot oil are not going to be enough this time.
There has been a great deal of buzz about the fact that this episode should have followed one that we will not see until next week. As such, I am willing to trust that this episode will feel more real in a week’s time. Even so, I still liked it overall. Three out of four dead birds on a plate.
-- The title is brilliant. Not only are squab and quail nouns, but they are verbs as well. The verbs are excellent signposts to what is happening in this episode.
-- Squab (baby pigeon) and quail look and taste almost identical. It is not a stretch to see how they would be mixed up by a waiter.
-- Ioan Gruffudd is one of the few men who would make me look away from Nathan Fillion as well.
-- Castle’s Last Supper List includes Lincoln, Einstein, Ian Fleming, John Lennon, Joan of Arc, Sinatra, Eric Vaughn and, now, Beckett.
-- I love good continuity. The writers remembered Ryan’s goose down allergy.
-- The show keeps telegraphing clearly that Gates knows about Caskett. In this episode, it was the look she gave Beckett after telling Beckett she will need to stay at the hotel with Vaughn and Castle walks out.
-- The pop culture references made me feel old this week. I had to look up both Bar Refaeli and Carrie Underwood.
Castle: “You know how I get when I’m gaming. I was… I was in the zone. I was like Gretzky.”
Beckett: “Well, at least Gretzky knew how to score.”
Castle: “I can’t believe that the department is forcing her to hang out with some womanizing rich guy against her will.”
Ryan: “Yeah. Unbelievable.”
Esposito: “Yeah, she’s never done that.”
Vaughn: “Do you have any idea how remarkable you are? You don’t, do you?”
Vaughn: “We’re all misled by our hearts sometimes. It shouldn’t end a career.” Is it me, or is this obvious foreshadowing?
Vaughn: “You know, that’s an extraordinary woman you have there.”
Castle: “I know.”
Vaughn: “Do you?”
Beckett: “Where are we going?”
Castle: “To the bedroom."
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.