Summary: Castle is hired by an old classmate for what seems to be a pretty open and shut investigation. However, things take a turn when Castle believes that he witnessed the husband murdering her, something that becomes a bit less clear when he, Beckett, and the boys investigate.
Best Scene: After arresting the killer, Beckett and Castle share a sweet moment in Castle’s office.
Best Line: “I believe he’s been right too many times not to consider it.” – Beckett, on why they should take Castle’s theories seriously
My Review: I think we can safely call this P.I. arc a win, right? It may continue in some capacity after the two-parter, but I have a feeling that the events of those episodes will cause Castle to be invited back to the 12th. Though honestly, I wouldn’t really mind if we had a few more episodes before he was; it’s been awhile since I’ve enjoyed three episodes in a row this much, and I think that’s largely due to the P.I. component. While I’ve missed Castle and Beckett teasing each other in the precinct and the core four tossing theories around leisurely, most of the aspects of the show that I love have remained in tact during this arc: interesting cases, fun bromance moments between Ryan and Espo, Castle and Beckett bantering (just outside of the precinct), and really nice at home scenes. This arc has also given us those equal parts sweet and sexy scenes in his office, and I can hardly complain about that.
This episode had a kind of cool, creepy tone that provided a nice contrast to the last two more humorous episodes, and I think that was another reason that the P.I. aspect of it remained enjoyable. Going into the episode, I was a bit worried that it would feel like a knockoff of “Live of Others”, but I don’t think that ended up being the case at all. Though the premise was similar, the way that Castle’s confusion was played for drama rather than comedy, Beckett supporting Castle rather than discounting his theories (which kept evolving, while he remained convinced that the boyfriend did it in the first Hitchcock episode), the reveal near the middle of the hour that two people actually had been murdered, etc., made this episode feel very different from the 100th. All in all, these two feel more like a pair of episodes with some fun parallels (Castle and Beckett looking out the window together, her sitting on his lap at the end), then one really strong episode and its watered down twin.
I think the case itself was excellent. It kept me on my toes, mostly because of how convincing Castle was as his theories changed throughout the hour. I found myself agreeing with him almost every time, only to be challenged by a new piece of evidence. And the fact that it was someone Castle knew, and had witnessed being killed, kept me more invested than I usually would have been. I also liked the realistic way that Castle was affected by the case because of his ties to the victim. That’s another reason that the episode was a bit darker in tone; Castle was so affected by the investigation that he wasn’t cracking nearly as many jokes as usual, which gave the episode a nice gravitas. I also liked the lawyer as the killer for a couple reasons. One, it’s been awhile since the lawyer has been the murderer on this show, so I’ve gotten back in the habit of not even suspecting them, which made for a cool reveal. Two, I liked Kate’s line about the killer getting justice for one murder by committing two more. Though she didn’t acknowledge it out loud, I couldn’t help but think about how a Kate with out a belief in justice and right and wrong could have found herself there, getting justice for her mother’s murder by taking out Bracken and his henchmen herself. I don’t know if it’s what the writers intended, but either way, it is nice to be reminded of that wonderful integrity that Kate has, and how easily a lesser person would have ignored it to get their revenge. I’m also a sucker for the scenes with Castle and Beckett trading evidence back and forth in front of the killer before they arrest him or her, so I liked the arrest scene just for that reason.
Speaking of, one of my favorite things about this episode (and this arc as a whole), is the depth that it showed in Castle and Beckett’s relationship. The two of them working separately on some things has allowed for some really lovely, realistic “married people” scenes: calling to check in on each other throughout the day, making plans for dinner, picking each other up from work, at homes scenes that have been given a nice, new energy, etc., and it’s been fun to see that more domestic side of their relationship. This episode was also full of moments with Kate supporting Castle, from starting the investigation even though it was outside of her jurisdiction, to telling the boys that Castle has been right too many times for them not to consider his theory. But I also loved that she never stopped questioning him or let him get in over his head, which spoke to how mature their relationship is now. In a nice contrast to the earlier seasons, when she cautioned him on his judgement getting clouded because of how close he was to the case (another kind of unspoken reference to her experience with Bracken), he didn’t get defensive, but he also didn’t back down. Instead of it turning into a fight, the two of them we’re able to continue working together on the investigation. And I think this was shown best when Castle could have gone off on his own, but instead left Beckett a note; again, a really nice moment of maturity for their relationship.
The end scene in his office was also great; it was so realistic that Castle would question whether or not he should go on with his P.I. business, and I loved that Beckett reminded him of his own words rather than trying to convince him one way or another. Like I said, I’ve really enjoyed the office scenes in these episodes. I kind of love how scotch is becoming their go-to drink there (it feels very P.I.-y), and that sexy make-out sessions are becoming the norm (and seriously, how many code names do these two have for doing the deed at this point?).
Finally, I also liked Ryan and Espo’s mini storyline this week; it brought some nice levity to the episode and it was really sweet to see how much Jenny, Ryan, and Kate want Javi to be happy. Ryan and Beckett’s little cup clink when Espo agreed to the date was cute, as was Espo’s indignation upon finding out that Ryan had set up a dating profile for him. It was fun that the Ryans had ulterior motives in finding someone they could stand being around for a ski weekend, and perfectly in character of Espo to bring the last person they would have picked. All in all, I think this storyline (and really, the last three episodes as a whole) just did a great job of showing the bond between Ryan, Espo, and to some extent, Beckett, which is always nice to see. As much as I love Castle, sometimes it’s nice to be reminded that these three were working together long before he showed up, and that their history does extend beyond when we first met them.
What are your thoughts on this episode? Got a theory as to what our two favorite serial killers might me up to next week (that promo, oh man…)? Head to the comment section and let me know!