Summary: Beckett, Castle, and Co. investigate a murder in a Mars simulation, with the advanced technology involved making it very hard to catch the culprit. At the loft, Rick and Kate deal with an endless parade of Alexis’s friends and Martha’s, er, companion, eventually leading Mama Castle to decide to give them some space and get a place of her own.
Best Scene: Castle, Beckett, and Esposito enter the simulation for the first time, with Castle unable to resist showing off his space walk.
Best Line: “If that’s how you think I’d get pregnant we need to talk.” – Beckett, when Castle expresses concerns about their “alien” encounter.
This was a nice breezy episode; it’s not going down as my favorite of the season or anything, but it was entertaining enough and I think it was one of the stronger cases they’ve had in awhile.
You have to give Terri Edda Miller props for finding a way to do a murder on Mars in a feasible, but perfectly Castle way. I liked this case a lot; the twists and turns were solid, and the idea that no one could have come in or out of the simulation (in theory), made for a nice whodunit. I also liked how involved the financial backer (I’m completely blanking on his name, and IMDB was no help) was in assisting on the case, especially since we didn’t have Lanie, Gates, or Tori in this episode. He, Beckett, and Castle (with Ryan and Espo lending their usual support), made a good team, and his involvement in the investigation actually had me pegging him as the murderer for awhile.The computer’s role in the crime was really interesting; Beckett’s reluctance to take it seriously at first was totally in-character, and it was great that Castle was the one who figured out what questions needed to be asked. I didn’t see the “three murderers” thing coming, but I wish they’d had a better motive than “He was annoying, we didn’t want to spend our lives on Mars with him.” It always bums me out when a strong case fizzles out at the end. But still, one of the better ones we’ve seen recently.
The B-plot in this episode, while realistic (like Beckett said, four adults living in one place is bound to get crowded), didn’t really jive in the context of the show, since Castle and Beckett have never had any trouble coming home, having a glass of wine, and making out on the couch in the past. Really, this one seems like a storyline that would have made more sense right after the wedding. But I do know that there’s only so much you can do with an hour per week, and it’s easy to imagine this being an issue that’s been building off-screen. And despite not being crazy about the timing of it, I thought the storyline itself was very strong. Annoyed at-home Castle is one of my favorite Castles, but he’s someone we haven’t seen as much since Beckett moved in. I loved his outrage at Alexis playing laser tag without him and Martha lending his pajamas to her bed buddy. Alexis telling Castle and Beckett to “Get a room” was super cute, as was their discomfort with how quiet the loft was at the end.
But the most poignant moment of the episode was the one I wasn’t expecting at all, when Martha told Castle and Beckett that she had decided to look for her own place. Susan Sullivan has always done such a great job of balancing Martha’s dramatic tendencies with these moments of emotional nuance, and that’s exactly what she did in this episode. You could tell that she was sad to go, but that she selflessly recognized that they needed space for themselves and their future family. Rick and Kate’s reactions to the news were perfect; as much as they’ll enjoy having the loft be a bit less crowded, she’s always been a constant presence there, and you could see in their faces that it’s going to be hard for them to get used to not having that person that gives advice and provides support. And I feel the same way really; if it comes to fruition, it’s going to be very, very strange to not have Martha living there. But if the time when she moved out a few seasons back showed us anything, it’s that she’ll still be around quite a bit, so here’s hoping that’s the case this time as well.
And just a few other quick thoughts:
-For a second I thought it was going to be Beckett and Castle (or Beckett, Castle, and Alexis) playing laser tag and I got really excited. Can we see a scene like that, please?
-Castle is always at his Castle-iest in episodes like this, and this one was no exception. In particular, his space walk, his narration as he and Beckett walked to the rival simulation, and his concern over Beckett being “impregnated” were hilarious.
-I love all of the little “married people” moments we’ve had since the wedding, and in this episode my favorites were Castle saying “Yes dear”, Ryan calling them the Castles, their banter throughout the episode, and their cute but realistically brief alone scenes at the loft.
-I’m intrigued by the next episode and the impact it will have on the rest of the season. I’m hoping it will be a jumping off point for Kate to start thinking about her career beyond the 12th, and possibly, how having a family with Castle factors into that. If I were a betting woman I’d say that Kate gets a promotion (within the NYPD, I don’t see them doing another D.C.-esque storyline anytime soon) and is pregnant (too much foreshadowing in the last few eps for her not to be) by the end of the season. Thoughts? Let me know in the comment section!