Castle: Still

“I think we’re just getting started.”

It is said that, as we face death, our life flashes before our eyes. Luckily, many of us will never know if this is true or not until that fateful moment. In this episode, however, as Beckett faced almost certain death (at least in her world -- we know that the producers will never kill her off) the life that flashed before her eyes, with a lot of help from Castle, was their five year relationship. I loved every minute of it.

Clip shows can go one of two ways. They can be simply horrible, filled with nonsense that absolutely no one ever wanted to see again. Or, if we are very lucky, they will encapsulate the past, transporting us back in time, as they serve to move the current story forward. A great clips show reminds us of those iconic moments that propelled us into a show in the first place and reminds us of what keeps us tuning in week after week. This episode fell firmly into the latter.

The framework for the clips was exceptionally well done and echoed many of the Castle tropes. Beckett was in danger and Castle was there to see her through it. Beckett was brave and selfless; Castle came up with the story that saves the day. Ryan and Esposito did their bit, providing great detective skills as well as the comic relief. We saw numerous cups of coffee and the Writer vest. The one we didn’t get and the one I certainly didn’t miss was the guilty party coming out of left field. We knew who he was from the start.

As well done as the framework was, what was superbly done were the clips. It kicked off with the debate that rages on every site that discusses this show, this one included -- did Beckett fall for Castle when they first met? What the clips reminded us is that, finally, it doesn’t matter. They were electric from the start.

We also got to see a myriad of clips put together to a theme. Every one of them made me grin and I watched all of them at least twice, but there were several that stood out. Beckett looking hot to Billy Squier’s “The Stroke” was genius. Beckett’s mentally saying goodbye to her parents and Castle with a Captain Montgomery voiceover was moving and amazingly cut together. The kisses were simply delightful and could probably provide us with another debate. As Beckett says, “I was trying to decide on the best one.”

As fun as this episode was, there were also some wonderfully serious moments. Beckett and Castle facing the truth when they learn of the timer not only led into a wonderful clip montage, it forced them to stop laughing and to face that fact that what they have may not last forever. The scene where they say goodbye was simple and lovely and I cried through it.

As I did when they finally told each other that they love each other. We can count on one hand the number of times that Beckett has called Castle ‘Rick.’ Whenever she does, it means something, but never more than now. It wasn’t epic; it wasn’t overblown; it wasn’t forced. It was earned; it was tender; but most of all, it felt real. An iconic moment in an episode that was celebrating them.

I have spent this entire review trying not to be smug and not to gloat. Too bad, it’s my review. I have told you many, many times that Gates knew. I also told you that the reason she never said anything was so she wouldn’t have to deal with the consequences of that knowledge. I was right! So, for all you doubters, ha!

This one goes on to my top ten list. Four out of four cool, green lasers shooting up at the ceiling.

Tidbits:

-- This episode was meant to play before last week’s, “The Squab and the Quail.” I completely understand why ABC delayed its transmission and commend them for their sensitivity.

-- I’m not sure how I feel about the timing of the two episodes. Last week’s angst feels a tad off after the events of this one. Again, I am going to withhold judgment until next week when we will be back on track.

-- One thing this episode did was get me really excited about my summer re-watch. If you haven’t heard, we’re doing a Buffy re-watch this summer. Additionally, I am going to get through as many of the Castle retro episodes as I can. I hope you will join us for both.

Soundbites:

Captain Mahoney: “All nonessential personnel must evacuate.”
Castle: “I am essential personnel.”

Castle: “Fine. I’ll leave if you admit to me you had feelings for me when we first met.”
Beckett: “Fine. I did have feelings for you when we first met. I couldn’t stand you. Do you even remember what you were like in the beginning?”

Castle: “There’s more but, on thinking back, I was momentarily distracted by your dizzying array of hairstyles over the years.”

Beckett: “I can’t help it if you get off by my putting things in my mouth.”
I cannot believe they got this line past Standards and Practices.

Beckett: “OK fine. Then, why were you following me around? And, don’t say that it was research because no one believed that for a second.”
Castle: “You really want to know?”
Beckett: “Mm-hmm.”
Castle: “It was because I was having so much fun playing cop.”

Castle: “The story… It’s our secret ingredient.”

Beckett: “Rick. I love you.”
Castle: “I love you, too.”

Beckett: “Wait, Castle, listen. Thank you for staying with me.”
Castle: “Always.”

Gates: “Oh, for heaven’s sake, Detective. Just kiss the man.”
Beckett: “Sir, you know?”
Gates: “What? Do you think I’m an idiot? I needed to maintain plausible deniability…”
To which, again I say, ha!

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.

4 comments:

celticmarc said...

Glad to see that you liked the green lasers.

Just like you, I usually am worried about shows that use a massive amounts of flashbacks but this one was an exception. Excellent all the way.

It gave me...the envy to re watch EVERY ep since the beginning. That good.

I knew too that Gates knew. She's a bright woman.

Typo Chris, it's "The Stroke". Still paying attention !

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_OGARBe6W0

ChrisB said...

Oh, Marc. I purposefully put in a typo to see if you were paying attention.

Actually, I didn't, but two weeks in a row is embarrassing! Thanks for catching it. All fixed now.

celticmarc said...

LOL

You've made my day...again !

sunbunny said...

As a rule I hate clip shows. I'm not as in love with the ep as you, Chris, but I think this might be the best clip show I've ever seen (Community's faux clip shows excepted). My favorite montage was Castle's crazy theories. I laughed out loud.

I also love him leaving, like Beckett wants, only to come back with...coffee. It was perfect; it was so them. As soon as he left, my mom was all "He would never leave her like that." Sure enough, back he came.

The Gates scene made me smile because it made me think of your stalwart insistence that Gates has known for...how long? Months? Since the beginning? I'm glad we finally got that business out of the way. It was a bit tiring waiting for that shoe to drop.

Last week's episode makes even less sense now. This was supposed to air a week before it, so now we have Beckett in a life or death situation and have her tell him (FINALLY) that she loves him and next week he's taking her for granted and she doesn't know where their relationship is going? It's even more out of left field (where most of their villains come from) now.