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Castle: Home Is Where the Heart Stops

“So many layers to the Beckett onion. However will you peel them all?”

In any new show where there is a male and female lead, the first thing most people begin to speculate on and to talk about is not if they will get together, but when. When this show began, the differences between the two characters were so great that I thought the producers and writers may do a Mulder/Scully thing -- make them best friends, but keep them apart romantically. This episode proved me wrong. By the end, it is clear that these two will eventually end up together. The case itself is another standard procedural that has been done, but this one proved to be the backdrop for more information about Beckett and Castle and allowed us to watch their growing relationship.

For Beckett, the case is a reminder of her own mother’s death. She becomes uncharacteristically emotionally involved with the victim’s daughter, talking to her, telling the daughter to call her Kate and returning the locket. The latter is very telling as it was technically a piece of evidence; Beckett has broken the rules, which she tends to do when she gets emotionally invested. She also gets physical. In this case, we see her throw a table into Mitchell and, literally, get in his face. Castle looks at her with a trace of concern, but lets it go. He’s beginning to trust her, but has her back.

For Castle, the case serves as a reminder that no matter what neighborhood he lives in or how much he thinks his money can insulate him from bad things, that is simply not the case. Alexis scoffs at the idea of heightened security at home, but becomes visibly nervous when Castle goes running off to meet Powell. We’re getting a lot of hints that she is less than enthralled with her father’s new life and is worried about what he is doing. Martha? She continues to drink, tells Castle that nothing is ever going to completely protect him and sends him off to Powell asking Castle to set her up on a date. I love this woman.

We also get to see Castle use his “underground” contacts for the first time. Powell is a great character who gets Castle to break the rules as well by breaking into the crime scene. The fact that Powell sneaks off leaving Castle to face Beckett’s wrath always makes me smile. It’s also telling that Powell and Martha have a past; yet another example of how much a part of her son’s life Martha really is.

Caskett are already much more comfortable with each other than they were at the beginning. There is no way that Beckett would have engaged in a childhood game like jinx even a couple of shows ago. Now, she not only plays, but she smiles as she’s doing it and she turns the tables on Castle. She’s also coming at him first, throwing zingers, calling him on trying to push too far and not falling at all for his “great writer” persona.

I simply love the scene at the gun range. Castle has gone looking for Beckett and tries to cheer her up. He fails miserably until Beckett hands him a gun and he allows her to “teach” him how to shoot. By pretending not to know how, Castle allows Beckett to relax and to open up to him a bit. It’s also interesting to note how much Beckett touches him in this scene. Until now, she has shied away from any kind of physical contact.

Of course, the highlight of this episode is the “first date” or, as Castle calls it, the “undercover operation.” There is an element of Cinderella as the Castle family get Beckett ready for the ball that I found charming. Beckett is so obviously out of her element and so nervous, yet overcomes the anxiety as soon as Castle is put on the auction block. And, the date/operation works. They get enough information to find the guilty party and bring him down, Beckett saving Castle’s life in the process.

The final scene is also very revealing. Beckett is being welcomed into the Castle family as one of their own, sharing breakfast and stories as though she belongs. Again, she is hesitant to join in, but the other three won’t take no for an answer and bring her into the fold, Castle looking at her with an enormous amount of affection. And, so it begins.

Three out of four vodka martinis, not shaken, just swirled around a bit. Just the way I like them.


-- I’m sure the Forrest Gump-esque floating feather at the beginning means something. For the life of me, I have no idea what they were going for. If you do, please comment.

-- Even as a child, I thought Jinx was a stupid game; I always refused to play. For fun, I googled “rules of jinx” and got 2.880 million hits. No, I didn’t read them all. I did read the first five and they all have different rules. Go figure.

-- One of the reasons I love this show is that the characters are smart and aren’t afraid to show it. Beckett uses the word “hyperbolic” and Martha quotes Anais Nin, a quote that Castle recognizes.

-- As the elevator doors close at the end of act one, a crew member is clearly reflected. Oops.

-- If you’re planning to read the Nikki Heat books, remember the exchange with all the synonyms for “suspect” and “Go ahead. I need the practice.” You will see them again.

-- I had to look up Scaramouche. It’s a perfect name for Castle at that particular moment.

-- Castle uses his charm a lot in this episode. He charms Mitchell into giving up information on the thief and he charms Greene into giving up tickets to the event

-- The mayor refers to the party as a shindig and the name of one of our thieves is Paul Reynolds. Our first Firefly references.

-- A date with Nathan Fillion (in a tux, sigh…) is cheap at $7,000.

-- Life saves: Castle 1/Beckett 1.


Beckett: “This isn’t a speech. It’s not a platitude. It’s a promise. I am going to do everything in my power to make sure that they pay for what they did.” The victim nods and looks comforted while the look that Castle gives Beckett at the end of this speech speaks volumes. For the first time, he is looking at her with something other than respect.

Castle: “Shot too soon.”
Beckett: “Yeah, well. You know, we could always just cuddle, Castle.”
Castle: “Funny. And a smile! Good.” He wins.

Castle: “Our thieves used a bump key.”
Powell: “This new generation. How utterly vulgar.”

Greene: “Oh, you two aren’t…
Beckett: “No. Never.”
Simultaneously, Castle: “Not yet.”

Esposito: “Man, these guys look guilty of tax evasion, not home invasion.”
Ryan: “Yeah, well, appearances can be deceiving.” Spots Beckett and Castle walking the red carpet. “Nice dress.”
Esposito: “Yeah, what there is of it.”
Beckett: “I’d let you borrow it, Esposito, but you stretched out the last one.”

Castle: “Can I get you a drink?”
Beckett: “Yeah. Vodka, lots of vodka. But, I’m on duty, so water.”
Castle: “Yeah. Vodka.”

Beckett: “Did you know they call you the White Whale?”
Castle: “The White Whale? Not Moby…”
Beckett: “No.”

Castle: “Where was the badge?”
Beckett: “Don’t ask.”

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.


  1. I love the gun scene too. He gets her to smile and they have a lot of banter back and forth. Of course, I love at the end that he shows off that he is a marksman with those 3 shots in the 10 ring and teases her with "You're a very good teacher."

    One of my other favorite scenes is Beckett with Lanie trying to come up with a dress for her to wear. Lanie's comments are hilarious. It would have been a fun nod if one of the dresses Lanie makes fun of was the one that Beckett wore at the end of Hell Hath No Fury that distracted Castle from his book reading. I couldn't tell, but was that dress in her closet?

    The auction scene was priceless especially when Castle realized what Powell had set him up for and the giddy way Beckett reacts watching Castle squirm. I remember what the winning bid was but I don't think we know who the winning bid was.

    This episode and the previous one, Always Buy Retail, are my favorite episodes of Season 1 along with Little Girl Lost.

  2. I remember really liking this one, too -- especially the scene at the gun range. Lovely review, Chris.

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  4. Not necessarily a retcon; shooting at a paper target is very much unlike shooting at a person. What this shows is that the technical skills are there, which as far as I can recall was never explicitly contradicted.


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