And, thank goodness, so is the show that I love.
The reason this review is so appallingly late is that, frankly, I didn’t want to watch the episode. The final shows of last season and the first three of this one so disappointed me that I was afraid that the show had jumped. I didn’t want to have to write yet another tepid (OK, snarky) review. I am very pleased to say that I really liked this episode and am breathing a little easier about the show as a whole.
After all the DC nonsense, this episode reinstated the status quo, even amped it up a bit. Beckett is back where she belongs and Castle is allowed to continue as a consultant. All the nonsense about hiding their relationship is over as even the Commissioner is aware of it. Caskett seem to be in good place. Lanie is back and is bugging Beckett about wedding plans. The boys are in good form. All is right.
The case itself was one of the better ones that we’ve seen. A direct callback to the pilot, Castle is called in to the NYPD to help because of his books. To make the connection complete, they should have made his safe word “apples” instead of “cheeseburgers,” but I digress.
The story was good and kept me guessing. I genuinely thought that Emma was going to end up being the guilty party, but the resolution was better and it made sense. The guilty party and how he was discovered hung together and did not come out of left field. The final bit was a bit saccharine. After being abandoned by her father, I’m not sure Emma would rush to hug him, but we’ll let that slide.
I did like the way that Gates was portrayed in this episode. She has certainly relaxed over the years and I like the fact that she is willing to bend the rules now. I was surprised to see old Gates assert her authority when it came time to question Stokes, but I thought her wanting to protect the others worked nicely.
The only story that needs to go away is Pi and the overcrowded loft. While I am sure that what the writers were going for is a sense that Beckett is now a member of the Castle family, each of the other three coming into their bedroom in the morning seemed a bit much. Pi walking around in a towel asking for a razor? He’s become just a tad too familiar too quickly. Of course, we will eventually learn that there is more to this guy than we now know, so let’s get there and let’s get rid of him quickly.
There were a couple of story lines the writers alluded to, but glossed over. The first was the addition of Mickey as a hostage. I found similarities between Castle and him; both are not trained in a hostage situation, yet both want to be the hero. Obviously, we are meant to see Mickey as a pain and an obstacle, yet I think there could have been some interesting parallels drawn.
Similarly, the whole conversation at the beginning about Beckett being out of work but not really needing to could have been something to explore further. I have talked before about the huge differences in their income and what that will mean as they get married. I respect Beckett for not accepting her life being solely “Mrs. C To Be,” but I wouldn’t have minded seeing her trying to come up with Plan B for another couple of episodes.
Those minor quibbles aside, I really liked this episode and felt as though the show has found its footing again. Three and half out of four free drinks at the Old Haunt.
-- Martha still hasn’t learned to brew a good cup of coffee. Great bit of business from both Castle and Beckett as he doesn't drink his and Beckett grimaces when she does.
-- I always smile when the Writer vest makes an appearance. For the first time ever, we see it work. “She dotted the I.” Only Castle would find the humor in getting shot in the chest.
-- The Richard Castle trivia was fun. Storm Rising has not been published in our reality; perhaps, it’s next.
-- How much do you want to bet that Lanie’s bugging Beckett about her wedding is going to become a recurring theme this season?
-- As soon as we learned that Stokes was a golfing buddy of the Commissioner’s, I knew how Beckett was going to get her job back.
-- Not sure we really need Sully around. Now that Beckett is back, perhaps he will walk off into the sunset.
-- Rare continuity error = watch the final embrace. When the camera is on Beckett, Castle’s jacket disappears for a couple of seconds.
Beckett: “What am I gonna do, just sleep in every morning and screw around ‘til the phone rings? What kind of life is that?”
Castle: “Hey, don’t worry. I think I already hit my stupid quota for the day.”
Castle: “And, I brought doughnuts.”
Mickey: “Gluten free?”
Castle: “Dude, they’re doughnuts. You’re in or you’re out.”
Esposito: “Bro, your wife's hormonal because she's pregnant. What's your excuse?”
Ryan: “What does it say about your writing when your number one fan tries to kill you?”
Castle: “That was an accident.”
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.