Summary: Castle, not to be deterred by his firing from the NYPD in the fall finale, secretly gets his P.I. licence and surprises Beckett by showing up at her crime scene. After being told to get lost, Castle works on his own (with an assist from Alexis), and Beckett and Co. are perturbed when he’s a step ahead of them throughout most of the case. When C and B (as well as their respective teams) hit a wall, some plying of wine and other things causes them to share their information and eventually solve the case. In the end, Beckett encourages Castle to continue to pursue his P.I. side business, even giving him a hat and magnifying class so he’ll look the part.
Best Scene: With their patented brand of sexy adorableness, Castle and Beckett try to convince one another to give up their goods on the case.
Best Line: “It was just a one time thing.” – Beckett, on she and Castle’s night of, er, sharing
My Review: I loved this one. Really and truly, after the wedding ep, this one is my favorite of the season.
I think the biggest reason I liked it was because of how great the C/B interactions were (and really, that’s the main reason I like most of my favorite eps of this show). The premise gave them the opportunity for lots of fun, sexy banter that hasn’t been this strong in awhile. I heard some previewers say that it reminded them of season 2’s “The Double Down” and I completely agree. For me, the banter was even sharper in this one, because as we saw, there was nothing stopping them from, for lack of a better term, “going all the way”. Instead of just cutting to the next scene after that verbal foreplay they’re so good at, we got to cut to them in bed with each other. Seeing stuff like that which would have never been possible in the past makes me that much happier that they’re together now. There was also a lovely tinge of sweetness in their interactions this week, because, despite their competitiveness, they are married now. Beckett’s “Oh thank god” when Castle showed up at the precinct near the end was great, as was her arranging to arrest the suspect in front of him, and even better, their ending conversation. Beckett saying how proud she was of Castle was a really nice moment (especially with how much everyone doubted him early in the ep), and her gift to him was perfect. These two weirdos know each other pretty well by now, and I am so, so glad.
I also think Alexis and Martha were really strong in this ep. That Martha scene with Castle and Beckett in the morning was great, especially for Martha and Kate’s shared surprise at seeing Castle out of his p.j.s, but my favorite bit was the little good morning kiss between the two (whoops, did not mean to make that sound so romantic). It felt very natural and I love thinking about the bonding that these two are probably doing off screen. And not to be cheesy, but seeing Kate with a mother figure so present in her life now is just really nice. Not that Martha hasn’t played that role for her in the past, but it seems especially apparent this season.
When they cut to Alexis after Kate was told to “do some detecting” (hah!), I thought for a minute that she’d gotten Alexis to spy for her, but I think I actually liked it better that Alexis was on her dad’s “side”. It was fun to see father and daughter working it out, and reminded me a lot of their scenes in “Lives of Others” and “Like Father, Like Daughter”, which are two of my favorite eps for their relationship. And the way that scene was put together, cutting between Beckett, Ryan, and Espo at the precinct, and Castle and Alexis at the office, was really great.
As much as I missed Lanie, there’s no doubt that Perlmutter had to be the M.E. in this ep. He and Castle chasing each other around the table was one of the greatest visual gags of the season and I loved how delighted he (unsurprisingly) was that Castle was no longer welcome at the NYPD. Also, he (and really everyone) ribbing Beckett for marrying Castle was hilarious. Seems like they’ve been holding back until now, lol.
The case itself seemed like one of the stronger ones this season, though it did have the good fortune of being in an episode where it was even more tied in than usual to the C/B of it all. I didn’t pick the killer (blame it on the distraction of awesome banter) and the characters involved were interesting enough (especially pepper spray guy). I do tend to like the ones that involve a cold case or previously unsolved murder (don’t ask me why) so there’s a chance I liked it more because of that.
My biggest issue with this episode is that it further proved to me that Gates’s characterization has been wildly inconsistent. In the past Gates has been shown to genuinely care about Castle (as recently as the end of the last episode, in fact), so why are we still getting such extreme reactions when Castle acts like, well, Castle? I know that she has to look out for the NYPD’s best interests and answer to her bosses, but at the end of the day, he helped solve the case. A little more understanding (at the beginning of the episode) and gratitude (at the end) would have felt far more believable to me. One plus with Gates in this episode though: her interrogation scene with Beckett. I love seeing Gates in interrogation, and even more so when Beckett’s there as well. Those two play off each other really nicely, and it’s always fun to watch.
My concern leaving this ep is that, like Beckett said, it felt very much like a one time thing. I’m curious to see how this storyline plays out in the next couple episodes. As funny as Castle is on his own, and as much as I love seeing Beckett kick ass at her job, with or without Castle by her side, I still don’t think it’s going to be enough to keep me invested in two different cases in the next couple episodes (which I’m assuming is the plan). But who knows? I was really skeptical about this storyline at the end of the fall finale, and I clearly ended up enjoying this episode. Here’s hoping the same thing happens in the next couple!
What are your thoughts on this episode? Feel free to use the comment section to chime in!