Castle: Deep in Death

“A guy in a tree. Mom and Dad bickering. Seems like old times.”

Instead of the Pussycat Dolls, we have Junior Senior’s “Can I Get Get Get” playing as the second season opens. Otherwise, this season opens almost exactly as the first did; Castle is being photographed surrounded by beautiful women as he gets ready to launch the first Nikki Heat book.

Unlike the beginning of season one, Beckett and Castle are no longer strangers. But, because of Castle’s looking into Beckett’s mother’s murder, they are on the outs. Or rather, Beckett has made it clear that she wants him out. Castle has changed since the beginning of the first season. He knows exactly what he did to upset Beckett and is trying desperately to get back in her good graces. Beckett, however, is not giving an inch and it seems as though it is all she can do to be polite to him.

The case itself is pretty good, but what it does is allow us to watch as the squabble carries on. As they leave the victim’s apartment for the first time, Caskett are talking like they always do -- until Beckett remembers that she’s mad and moves away from him in the elevator. Castle’s face at that moment reveals how frustrated he is becoming at not being able to communicate with Beckett.

The entire Chinatown scene is fabulous. Castle is at his best, playing a part yet using his skills to get the information they were looking for. But, as so often happens, he finds himself in serious trouble. Beckett, following a clothes change straight out of True Lies, comes in and saves his life -- again. They can’t help but work together.

The other characters all turn up and we get to see their reactions to the squabble. Montgomery, ever the father, is staying out of it, but is forcing Beckett to keep working with Castle. He couches it in terms of it being what the mayor wants and it being good for the NYPD, yet I got the distinct impression that he is hoping that they will work it out because he likes having Castle around. Esposito and Ryan are highly amused by it and tend to egg Caskett on. Lanie, ever the loyal BFF, stands by Beckett. That is until Castle tells her, and us, what he found. He’s right; he had no choice but to tell Beckett that he has uncovered a conspiracy.

The poker buddies get involved, nailing Castle’s motivations for tangling with the mob in Chinatown. Martha and Alexis are involved as well. Both are trying to get Caskett working together again in their own ways. Martha with her ever helpful advice and Alexis with giving Castle the answer to the problem, however unknowingly.

The final two scenes are simply wonderful. Castle, whose need to know the story overrides all else, can’t understand why Beckett wouldn’t want to know. Even when she tries to explain it to him, he just looks lost and confused. But, the look on his face when she asks him to leave is sad to watch. We see his heart breaking as he realizes that he has gone too far and he walks out of the precinct, his shoulders hunched.

There are some Castle scenes that I play over and over again -- the apology is the first one. Castle is sincere, contrite and humble. Beckett, to her everlasting credit, understands what he has done and accepts his apology in her own way -- she invites him back into her life. I love it!

Fantastic start to the season. Four out of four body snatchers.

Tidbits:

-- The second season DVD’s have a “Starter Kit” which is, actually, a pretty good summary of the first season.

-- The show now opens with a Castle voiceover talking about who he is and what he is doing with Beckett. It has good clips and the first few times one sees it, it’s fun. It gets old quickly.

-- Lanie and Esposito are beginning to show signs of real chemistry.

-- Remind me to never play poker with Richard Castle; he seems to always win!

-- Life saves: Castle 1/Beckett 2.

Soundbites:

Castle: “Well, just at least let me know what I can do it make it up to you.”
Beckett: “You could leave me alone.”
Castle: “Yes, well, I tried that and it didn’t work. Hey, I could buy you a pony!” [Anything for a smile, a hint that everything is going to be all right.]
Beckett: “Focus, Castle. Crime scene, OK?” [Not interested.]

Beckett: “All right. I’ll let you work this one case with me if you promise to leave me alone when it’s over and not to weasel your way back in.”
Castle: “Deal. But, fair warning, Detective. I will make you change your mind.”
Beckett “I won’t.”
Castle: “You will.”
The best part of this exchange is the looks from the four on-lookers and Ryan losing the bet. Laugh out loud funny.

Martha: “You have a strategy?”
Castle: “Be my usual charming self.”
Martha: “Uh-huh. What about Plan B?”

Cannell: “You must really like her.”
Castle: “Who?”
Cannell: “That police detective of yours. Look, Rick. There’s only one reason that you’d be dumb enough to go down there, and that’s to impress a girl. Why don’t you cut yourself a little slack and just buy her some flowers?”

Castle: “We make a pretty good team, you know. Like Starsky and Hutch. Tango and Cash. Turner and Hooch.”
Beckett: “You know, now that you mention it, you do remind me a little of Hooch.”
Castle: “Hmmm.”

Alexis: “Why do boys do that? Why do they always have to justify everything? Why can’t they just say they’re sorry?” [Damn good question!]

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.

5 comments:

Matthew L said...

I agree with you that the opening montage clip sequence with the voiceover was great the first few times, but I started skipping over it soon enough. :)

I liked how Lanie backed up Kate and was giving Castle death stares and the cold shoulder. Russian Kate was very hot...had to be said. :D

It's interesting the parallels that exist between the season 2-4 openers.

Mark said...

I really like those last two scenes as well. But it's interesting how we saw that penultimate scene a bit differently. "Even when she tries to explain it to him, he just looks lost and confused." My take was his expression was first from surprise (they were having a warm moment, then her anger came out), then from the fact that he *fully* understood what she was saying. He came to understand the pain he was causing, and that he was selfish. (His opening salvo was to convince her to change her mind to his position.) The lost & confused was from his guard being taken down, embarrassment at what he had done.

ChrisB said...

Matthew --I just watched it again with your thoughts in mind. I see where you're coming from, but I'm still not convinced. Castle looks completely confused to me.

What you and I both missed was Beckett hanging her head at the end of the penultimate scene...

Mark said...

Ha! I get called "Matt" all the time in real life, but I think this is the first time on the Internet. ;-) (And I do agree with Matthew that Russian Kate was smokin'.)

I see where you are coming from too. I was trying to be careful not to say which of us was right. My thinking was that Castle spent a lot of time rehearsing his argument in his head, thought it sounded solid (to him), and then was devastated that it wasn't even close to swaying Beckett.

There's one acting habit that impresses me about both Fillion and Katic. They both have "masks" for the characters (smooth/charming for him, confident/in control for her), but when they are caught off guard, it's like they revert to a 6-year old kid. The naked vulnerability, confusion, and pain on their faces when that happens is almost scary.

And you're right about the end of that scene. I did notice that Beckett had that comfortable smile on her face the entire time, up to the moment when she realized that Castle still didn't get it. But I was so busy watching Castle walk away (without another word), that I didn't think to watch her reaction (until now).

ChrisB said...

Mark! I somehow missed your comment when you posted. So, first and most importantly, deepest apologies for using the wrong name. No excuses -- a senior moment. I'm sorry.

Secondly, I love your comment about the masks. So, so true. But, how fun is it when they slip??