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Castle: Bad Santa

“You can trust me.”

Santa as a murderer is not something one sees often in a Christmas episode, especially with a peppy Christmas tune playing in the background. A good open to an episode that, while taking place at Christmas, was anything but about peace and goodwill.

In fact, it was the opposite. This was an episode filled with lies, half-truths, and omissions. Lanie has been lying to her parents and she asks Esposito to lie with her. Castle tells first Beckett and then Dino to trust him, although he is not being completely honest with either of them. Beckett tells Castle to not tell Gates about what he is doing. Jane and Luca were both lying to their families. The episode ends on Castle choosing to not tell Beckett the truth about his dismissal from the precinct.

This is not the first time we’ve seen Castle interact with the mob. It is, however, the first time we’ve seen him go to these lengths. Taking a blood oath is serious business and Castle is smart enough to know that. He’s also smart enough to know that having someone like Dino owe you may not be as good as it sounds. With the mystery of Castle’s disappearance still hanging out there, we may see Dino again.

Because of his actions, Castle is, for now at least, out of the 12th. The first time through the episode, I rolled my eyes and sighed. But, then I thought it about it some more. This is a direction that the writers probably should have taken a while ago.

Castle is not a cop. While he is very good at an investigation and while he has become a member of the workplace family, he is not trained nor is he employed by the city. Add to that the fact that he is now married to Beckett, and it is clear he may no longer belong in the precinct.

Of course, if he leaves the precinct entirely, the show is over. The previews for the next episode tell us that he becomes a licensed PI. The more I thought about this change, the more I like it. It is more realistic; it enables him to still be part of this world; and, it adds another dimension to a show that could use one.

At the end, all the lies have revealed some truths. Castle may not belong in the precinct any longer and Esplanie may not belong together any longer. The latter makes me much sadder than the former. A good episode on which to end the year. Three out of four blue backpacks sort of hidden in a lot of salt.


— I always like it when they change up the title card. Here is the one for Christmas. One of my favorites.

— I’m enjoying the family dynamic in the Castle household these days. Beckett has truly become a member of the family and her relationships with both Martha and Alexis are lovely to watch. And, I grin whenever Castle refers to Beckett as his wife.

— Speaking of family dynamics, I love Ryan rushing to the rescue and coming up with the story of Esplainie’s engagement. He has a romantic soul!

— More of Cyber Rita, please.

— Il Penombra means “the shadow.” How the writers avoided a “the shadow knows” joke, I don’t know; but, I give them credit.

— Beckett may be many things. A poet? Not so much.

— Congratulations to Castle for its three wins at the recent People’s Choice Awards: Favorite TV Crime Drama, Favorite Crime Drama TV Actor (Nathan Fillion), and Favorite Crime Drama TV Actress (Stana Katic). Katic represented the show at the awards and looked absolutely stunning. I love the dress; but, I will defer to the goddess of all things fashion, sunbunny, for the final word on it.


Beckett: “What word rhymes with ‘I’m screwed?’”

Castle: “Squeezing down countless chimneys, delivering millions of presents in one night. It was bound to happen. Santa finally cracked.”
Esposito: “Or, our victim was naughty instead of nice.”

Beckett: “Castle, you keep staring like that, you’re going to have to pay for the two drink minimum.”
Castle: “I’m sorry, what were you saying?”

Beckett: “So, you believe Dino because he gave you a paper cut?”

Castle: “Stolen credit cards? What for?”
Cyber Rita, sarcasm dripping from every word, “So he could buy things and not have to pay for them?”

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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