Castle: Dreamworld

“What about an antidote? There has to be an antidote.”

OK, I’m a big girl. I can admit when I’m wrong. No, I wasn’t wrong about the ending of this episode, but I was about how they got there.

I went into this episode with expectations that were so low I could have mopped my kitchen tiles with them. It wasn’t bad, certainly not as bad as last week’s. It wasn’t great, either, but at least it wasn’t bad. I was worried.

Where this episode fell down was that the writers didn't seem to know which of life's big questions they wanted to explore, so they touched lightly on three. As a result, none of them got the attention it deserved and the episode felt a bit rushed.

The first big question is what people in love will do for each other. The first example is Jeanette Miller and Jack Bronson. Last week, although they had only been dating a short time, she was willing to give up everything to help him. Unfortunately, her help was not enough.

Similarly, the entire story this week focused on the fact that Brad Parker was so devastated by the death of his fiancĂ©e that he was willing to kill another innocent woman to avenge that death. The premise behind Farrah’s death was an interesting one and was the second big question. When is the death of one person acceptable? Is it when that one death may prevent the death of thousands or millions in the future? Unfortunately, the writers did not give us a lot of time around all the shades of grey that could have, and arguably should have, been explored.

That’s because they were too busy with the more important pending death and couple. We know what they two of them will do for each other; they've already done it. Beckett taking on the world, including a powerful politician, is nothing new. So, to ramp up the tension, the writers introduced the third big question, “If I only had a day to live, how would I spend it?” Castle, not surprisingly, chooses to do everything he can to ensure he will live.

Which leads me to the one scene that had me throwing my morning toast at the computer. The phone call with Martha and Alexis made me crazy. Before you all start commenting about what an awful person I am, I fully understand that Castle didn’t tell them the truth because he did not want them to worry. Bad, bad plan. First of all, the plan failed miserably as Martha, who always knows when her son is lying, picked up on it immediately.

But, what really bothers me is how selfish an act not telling them is. If the worst had happened and Castle had died, he would have denied them the opportunity to see him one more time and to say goodbye. He would be dead; his mother and daughter would have to live with his lie being the last thing he ever said to them. Bad, bad plan.

The DC group were much more interesting this week and much less cardboard-like. Kudos especially to Glenn Morshower, who played the Defense Secretary. He was able to cover all shades of the aforementioned grey beautifully.

I also really like the idea of Lisa Edelstein, who plays McCord, as Beckett’s partner. Lanie is a great BFF and Gates is a great boss (although, once again, they were nowhere to be found), but there are no other women in Beckett’s professional sphere. I liked the interactions between the two of them and I liked the fact that McCord was able to reveal more of her softer side this week. While I know this partnership is not long for this world, I wish there was room in the show for Edelstein. She adds a wonderful shot of much needed estrogen.

This DC arc will continue at least until next week. Castle will live and Beckett is already questioning where her loyalties lie. Not too hard to see where this is going.

As I said, not a bad, but by no means a great, episode. I’m feeling generous, so I’ll give it three out of four predictable, family reunions in a hospital room.

Tidbits:

-- Those agents with earpieces walking the streets of DC aren’t exactly blending in, are they?

-- Pi as the comic relief doesn’t work for me. He just comes across as annoying. Healing reiki indeed.

-- We’ll have to see if there is a “dashing Columbian-American agent” in Castle’s next book. Just a reminder for those of you who read the Nikki Heat books, Deadly Heat is out. I haven’t read it yet.

-- The fact that the missile strike occurred at Ramadan is dreadful timing on the part of the US. It would be as if the US were attacked on Christmas Day.

-- I love the idea that different fonts can be proportional and words can be found based on those proportions. That is one of the cooler things that Castle has come up with.

-- In case anyone missed it, all that stuff in the hospital room was a direct nod to The Wizard of Oz. What is the most famous line from that movie? “There’s no place like home.” Foreshadowing, perhaps?

Soundbites:

Beckett: “We’re gonna find who’s ever behind this; and, when we do, we’re gonna get that antidote, ‘cause I’m not letting you out of our engagement that easily.”
Castle: “All right. So, where are you in the investigation?”
Beckett: “We’re looking into every possible lead.”
Castle: “That’s what you say when you’re nowhere.”

McCord: “Aren’t all eight letter words the same length?”
Castle: “Well, not in a proportional font like Times Roman. Um, each character will vary in size from the narrowest -- a lowercase i -- to the widest -- the uppercase W.”

Reed: “You might want to remember the first rule of combat. You never start a war you can’t win.”

Castle: “Next time I say I’m dying to see you, let’s keep it metaphoric.”

Beckett: “And, you backed me up without even knowing my play.”
McCord: “That’s what partners do.”

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.

3 comments:

Namastenancy said...

I am with you on all points. I want Becket back in NY with the gang; this playing around with the big guys in Washington DC makes the show much more somber. For me, the fun of the show is the dialogue between the four main characters; the minute that goes, the show loses what makes it original.

I also knew the minute that Beckett and crew in Wash DC picked up a Muslim that the real villain was some big bad awful American. They did a good job of keeping that hidden until the last 10 minutes. But I had just finished watching a very convoluted Swedish crime mystery where the vicious psychopath was revealed at the end to be a US operative. I am kind of getting tired of that particular scenario.

migmit said...

> It would be as if the US were attacked on Christmas Day.

Maybe this terrorist should invest into acquiring their own John McClane.

sunbunny said...

I'm sorry, this episode was utterly ridiculous. From "Hello, I'm the Secretary of Defense. Let me tell you all this super classified stuff" onwards, I was just...disappointed, maybe?

The idea that the AG's office would be working on their own on this was astonishing. FBI, CIA, NSA, DoD, no one perked up their ears when they heard the chatter about this investigation? Really? They didn't even attempt to justify this.

We knew Castle wouldn't die, but no one else seemed to think he was going to either. No one was panicking. No one was crying. No one was really rushing either. There was time for an awful lot of exposition...