The case this week is about a con man who, it turns out, has a heart of gold. Sound like anyone we know?
Castle, himself, is a con man to a degree. He has spent his adult life putting on a persona, rarely revealing the man he truly is. He writes books for a living, spending his time in a fictional world of his own creation. Again, not unlike Fletcher. In case we have missed the connection, there is a conversation between Castle and Beckett in which he admits that he is impressed with Fletcher. At Beckett’s appalled response, Castle hastens to add that it is not personal, it is professional. They are both storytellers.
Because he and Fletcher share so many characteristics, Castle is more willing to believe the best of the man. Beckett, on the other hand, is cynical and untrusting right up until the end. There is a wonderful scene in which Castle asks her if she believes people can change. Her experience in the NYPD has shown her that it is rare. It is to her credit, however, that at the end she appreciates what Fletcher was trying to do.
The subplot with the violin teacher reveals more to us than stories with Alexis often do. Because of the way Castle is with women, he does not trust good-looking, talented men. He is all too aware of the cons they run to entice women. As a result, he is going to protect Alexis, even when she doesn’t need it. I like the fact that it is Beckett who puts Castle back on track with his daughter. Beckett is compassionate after Alexis berates Castle, but she forces him to face the truth of his actions.
There are cons running throughout this episode, many of them just fun. Ryan pretends to have hurt his back so that Esposito has to carry all the stuff from Fletcher’s apartment. When Ryan and Esposito confront Castle about his feelings for Beckett, he doesn’t answer the question directly. Castle’s CIA contact is a shadowy figure who never reveals whom he really is.
The most fun con, however, is the one that Beckett runs on Castle throughout the length of the episode. For obvious reasons, he is anxious to know how she feels about Heat Wave. Beckett refuses to massage his ego and maintains that she has been too busy to read it. She does, uncharacteristically, leave work so that she can go home and read it in the bath with a glass of wine. Later, she hides in the bathroom stall, only to get caught by her savvy partner.
In spite of all the conning, Caskett have really gelled as a partnership. The scene where they deduce the solution to the mystery is fantastic. The two of them go back and forth with the story, edging closer and closer to each other with each sentence. The scene ends when they both reach the same conclusion at the same time. They exchange smiles that make my shipper heart melt.
At the end of the episode, Beckett is being very sweet with Elise and tells her that Fletcher changed his ways because he wanted to be a better man for the woman he loved. Castle’s face is a study -- even the first time through this episode, I knew foreshadowing when I saw it.
A good, solid standalone. Three out of four snowfalls in an Upper West Side apartment.
-- Firefly reference: When Castle puts on gloves at the crime scene, he takes a good, long look at them. They are blue.
-- Molly O’Quinn actually plays the violin.
-- Beckett’s reactions to Patty Schultz are hilarious. Although she is normally the straight man to Fillion, Katic is a wonderful comedic actress in her own right.
-- I agree with Castle. The Sting is not only the best con movie ever, it is one of the best movies ever. It didn’t win twenty Oscars, only seven. Those seven included, however, Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay.
-- This is the first episode to use “shut the front door.” If you are interested, you can now buy a t-shirt with that slogan and the Castle logo. How do I know? Santa put one in my stocking a couple of years ago.
-- Would anyone else like to know how it is possible to kill someone with an ice cream scoop?
-- In my copy of Heat Wave, the sex scene is, indeed, on page 105. It’s good, but I wouldn’t exactly characterize it as steamy.
Castle: “That was awesome! I mean, well, obviously it was horrible, but that’s not the Arctic.”
Castle: “Oh, I see what you’re doing.”
Beckett: “I’m not doing anything.”
Castle: “Oh, yes, you are. Yes, you are. You’re trying to push my buttons. But, it’s not gonna work.”
Beckett: “Really?” ‘Cause it seems to working just great.”
Esposito: “Why do you care, Castle? Do you have some unresolved feelings?”
Castle: “For Beckett? The woman hates con movies.”
Beckett: “You have a guy in the CIA?”
Castle: “When are you going to learn? I’ve got a guy everywhere.”
Beckett: “I hate this case.”
Castle: “I know. Isn’t it great!?!”