A great actor channels someone instantly recognizable. The humor is witty and fun. There is a good dose of realistic romance. I get giddy when a show I love returns to the form that made it the show I love.
Last week we got Miley; this week we got Anna Wintour, played with gusto by Frances Fisher. Even the haircut was spot on. Although the case was rather pedestrian and the guilty party was again so obvious, the fashion world as the backdrop was fun and peopled by characters that not only gave us a healthy amount of suspects, each of them was hilarious to watch.
One of Castle’s strengths has always been being able to find the humor in what is, finally, a bleak subject. Although the people of the 12th Precinct take their job seriously, their banter and their ability to find the funny in situations is one of the reasons this show has worked. This week was filled with moments like that. Esposito, especially, had some of the funniest moments we've seen for a while.
For one horrible moment, I thought the writers were going to break up Caskett. Or, if not, we were going to have to suffer through more will they/won’t they finally be in the same head space. I liked the scene with Martha and Castle at the Cordova House. Castle is much more sanguine about the wedding, and the marriage for that matter, than Beckett is. He’s been down this road before, twice, and he has been in love with Beckett forever. He’s ready.
Beckett, maybe not so much. The scene where Beckett tries on the dress and panics about the venue was not only realistic, it was beautifully acted by Katic. On the one hand, Beckett is a little girl getting to play dress-up, wearing a couture gown and looking like a bride. She has the most influential woman in fashion, probably close to her mother’s age, looking at her with tears, telling her she looks like the daughter she never had.
Which is where I think Beckett went off the rails. For her, this wedding has been something that will happen later. The date has not even been set yet. All of a sudden, Beckett is looking in the mirror at herself in a wedding dress, Castle is calling with a date and a venue, and her mother is not there. Reality comes crashing down and, for a moment, the old Beckett, the one who shuts down emotionally and who has not dealt with the death of her mother, resurfaces. Beckett panics, but unlike the Beckett of old, she knows she’s panicked and she understands why.
Another reason this scene worked so well is that nearly everything involving Beckett and her mother has been angst ridden. For six years, it’s been all about the murder and the murderer. Now, however, we got to experience another side of Johanna -- the woman whose daughter misses her and would like her to be around for all the changes in her life. It was a beat that has been long overdue, but worth the wait.
The talk between Castle and Beckett at the end of the episode was another milestone. Instead of lying to Castle or evading the truth all together, Beckett comes in and tells him the truth. The change in both of them, not only individually but as a couple, was portrayed to perfection. These two damaged people, who have spent their adult lives shutting others out, have opened up to each other. That chemistry that was so obvious in the early seasons was back, but deeper and more meaningful.
I loved this episode. Three and a half out of four stolen dress designs.
-- For a moment, I thought the writers had made a continuity error when Castle didn’t know that Beckett had been a model. But, if you remember from "Inventing the Girl," Beckett threatens Ryan and Esposito with bodily harm if they ever tell Castle she had been a model. Guess the threat worked.
-- Speaking of Johanna, we get some very subtle backstory for Beckett in this episode. Matilda tells Castle that Beckett turned down a shoot that would have appeared in January, 1999. January 9th of that month was the day that Johanna was killed and Beckett was at Stanford. As photo shoots occur months before they appear in print, I am assuming that Beckett gave up modeling when she went away to college.
-- There is a moment when you are a bride and you realize you have found the dress. Katic played that moment to perfection. Unfortunately, I am not a huge fan of the dress. I like Beckett in simple and elegant. This is just a touch OTT for my taste.
-- It’s becoming pretty clear, is it not, that this year’s season ending cliffhanger is going to happen at the wedding.
Fashion Student: “It was very sad cat lady meets David Bowie.”
What does it say about me that I could instantly picture what he meant?
Martha: “I think I went to a party there. Of course, it was the ‘70s, so I can’t be sure.”
Castle: “Seriously, you’ve never heard of Matilda King?”
Esposito: “I’m betting that most real men haven’t.”
Castle: “Yes, if by ‘real,’ you mean ‘uninformed.’”
Castle: “Blue hairs. So, she was killed by a little old lady. Or, Katy Perry.”
Esposito: “Yo, Beckett.”
Castle: “And, Castle.”
Esposito: ...Couture Chick magazine.”
Castle: “That’s chic.”
Castle: “I just feel like I’ve waited long enough, Mother. I don’t want to waste any more time before we take the next step.”
Esposito: “Just Yumi. I guess if you don’t have a last name, you can charge more.”
Yumi: “Models. The lack of food makes them so very fraught.”
Ryan: “I always thought the fashion industry was so glamorous. Turns out mobsters are more ethical.”
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.