One of my favorite Castle episodes of all time is “The Double Down.” This episode had a lot of the same beats, a lot of the same humor, even Perlmutter. While it may not have been all that original, it was still hugely entertaining.
What kept this episode from being a carbon copy of that earlier one is that the relationships among everyone at the 12th has changed. Not only are Caskett married, the friendships both Beckett and Castle have with Esposito and Ryan have matured and deepened. The interactions were much more nuanced now.
Interestingly, it was again Esposito and Ryan escalating the competition. Beckett misses Castle and can’t help herself from working with him. The scene where they try to ply each other with wine and end up in bed was not only sexy and fun, it was a great character beat. These two are turned on not only by working together, but the way each other thinks. It was a great way to show how much they genuinely love each other.
Ever since the beginning, Ryan has held Castle in high regard. He spends the first season reading all his books, he and Castle are usually on the same side against Esposito and Beckett; earlier this season we learn he’s writing. When he compared Sparkles to Lassie at the beginning of the episode because “someone has to provide us with out-of-the-box thinking,” I smiled. As “Baby Castle” continued to channel the master, it just got better.
Perlmutter. I love it whenever he turns up and this episode was his best to date. His glee at the beginning when Castle is not around made his crestfallen expression even better when Castle showed up. However, Perlmutter chasing Castle around the autopsy table had me laughing out loud.
Unlike “The Double Down” where the case was derivative, this one was just average. There were the requisite twists and turns, but the killer was just ridiculous and the motive is non-existent. Or, at least we don’t know what it is yet. I thought it was a relatively bold choice on the part of the writers not to wrap everything up neatly. As one of the main players is a DA with political ambitions, it wouldn't surprise me if this story comes back later in the season.
I like the idea of Castle as a P.I. As I said in my review of the last episode, I think it will add an interesting dimension to a show that could use a new one. If the writers continue coming up with episodes like this, even if there are strong echoes of the past, I think we might be in for a fun back half of the season. Three out of four glasses of wine poured up to the rim.
— Beckett has certainly made the loft her home. The wall picture from her apartment now hangs on the stairway and she and Martha have certainly bonded well.
— The small moments are often the best. Castle had a cup of coffee for Beckett when she turned up at the school.
Beckett: “OK, now why does that scare me?”
Martha: “Because you’re smart.”
Perlmutter: “How a woman so astute could choose to marry Castle…”
Castle: “People do insane things for their kids. You’ll see.”
Beckett: “He’s resourceful, but he’s not that resourceful.”
Ryan: “He got you to marry him, didn’t he?”
Castle: “What happened to that rebellious girl with the leather jacket and the motorcycle? Would she say 'can’t?'”
Beckett: “She enforces the law and drinks expensive wine.”
Castle: “Ryan, you played the C card?”
Ryan: “You weren’t around. Somebody had to step up.”
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.