Castle: Smells Like Teen Spirit

“The outcast, the mean girls, the rage that erupts in a telekinetic attack. This is a real life Carrie.”

This is not the first time that Castle has taken on a well-known trope. In general, these episodes can be a great deal of fun, especially if you know the source material. Because I am a huge scaredy-cat, I have never seen nor read Carrie. It didn’t matter.

I always enjoy the episodes that have a supernatural bent. It’s fun to watch the Mulder/Scully antics of Caskett, knowing all the while that some logical explanation will come before the end of the hour. This explanation was not too difficult to figure out, but it was fun watching the crew get there. The twist at the end, with no wire or magnets being found, was well done.

As was the twist of who the killer was. Although Kris falls into the standard category of being among the first on screen, it never occurred to me that one of the two girls who witnessed the murder was the guilty party. I was convinced the creepy doctor would turn out to be Fagin.

As good as this week’s case was, it was the details we learned about Castle that raised this episode to one of the best of the season. Way back in the third episode of this show, we learned that Castle had been kicked out of a series of New York private schools. Turns out that Faircroft was one of them and Castle was kicked out for putting a cow on the roof.

While the cow incident is amusing, what is less so is what it tells us about the young Richard Rodgers. A scholarship kid, he was already using humor to get along with the group. It didn’t work for him as, because he lacked the necessary connections, he was kicked out in his senior year right before prom. Think about that for a minute. It would have happened right before he was meant to graduate. No wonder this kid, in just a few years, would begin to create a fantasy world for himself in which his hero is the perfect man.

Years later, Castle comes face to face with the man who kicked him out. That man is still contemptuous of Castle, refusing to acknowledge his former student’s accomplishments or even his new name. As we watch Castle interact with Principal Dunnan, clearly all of his old insecurities are resurfacing.

Which makes the final scene between the two men such a joy to watch. Principal Dunnan acknowledges who Castle is and what he does. The smile on Castle’s face melted my heart. Is it a coincidence that, right after Dunnan walks away, Castle makes such a romantic gesture?

What a gesture it was. It is rare that we see Caskett in such a romantic situation, but the dance, the fact that they finally found their song, and especially what Castle said to Beckett brought tears to my eyes. By the time Jordan and Lucas were dancing together, I was weeping openly.

I must congratulate TPTB at Castle. This show has gone from one I was sure had jumped to one I am now looking forward to watching every week. There is only one rating for an episode that made me laugh out loud and cry. Four out of four Die Hard bearer bonds.

Tidbits:

-- Two of the kids playing students looked so familiar that it was bugging me. The same night this episode aired, Malese Jow’s (Hillary Cooper) new series Star-Crossed premiered. She also played Anna on The Vampire Diaries. Leigh Parker (Lucas Troy) was in an episode of Supernatural.

-- There were a fair amount of movie references in this episode. Carrie, The Incredible Hulk, Mean Girls, Die Hard, The X-Men, The Bling Ring. Have I forgotten one?

-- In a school like Faircroft Prep, there is no principal. There is a headmaster.

-- Billboard, unsurprisingly, does have a list of the top love songs. It differs from that shown on screen, but both contain great songs. The title of this episode refers to a Nirvana song that I would certainly not categorize as a love song.

-- I must say that Andrew Belle’s “In My Veins” is a much better song than “Witchcraft,” “Dancing in the Dark,” or “Pour Some Sugar on Me.” Don’t get me wrong. I love all three of those songs, just not as the song. There was, finally, only one possible choice. “In My Veins” is the song was playing during Alexis’s graduation speech in "Always".

Soundbites:

Principal Dunnan: “I see you have managed to extricate yourself from a life of delinquency, Mr. Rodgers, and become a writer… of sorts.”
Castle: “Well, actually, it’s, uh, Mr. Castle now.”
Principal Dunnan: “You’ll always be Rodgers to me.”

Castle: “Cannot wait to tell Stephen about this case.”
Beckett: “Hmmm?”
Castle: “Stephen King. He won’t believe it.”

Castle: “1987. A year when the Bangles taught us how to walk like an Egyptian, Bon Jovi taught us how to live on nothing but a prayer, and Rick Astley taught us how to laugh.”

Beckett: “It was one of those seminal moments that I kind of wish I didn’t skip out on.”
Castle: “To the things we missed.”
Beckett: “And, to those we didn’t.”

Lucas: “It’s pretty amazing what you can do with, like, some fishing wire and magnets. And, people are pretty gullible.”
The look on Castle’s face and Beckett’s smirk made me laugh so hard. It is often their expressive reactions to what others are saying that makes the humor work so well.

Castle: “Listen, I know you’re a rebel and you hate convention and blah, blah, blah. But, Kate, would you, uh, will you go to the dance with me?”

Castle: “Everything I’ve ever done, every choice I’ve ever made, every terrible and wonderful thing that’s ever happened to me, it’s all led me right here, this moment, with you."

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.

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