Summary: With Kate out of town, Castle works a case with Detective Slaughter and receives some valuable marriage advice in the process.
Best Scene: Castle and Slaughter fight off a gang of thugs. Using musical theatre knowledge, naturally.
Best Line: I forgot to jot it down verbatim, but everything Slaughter said in the “stop asking permission” part of his conversation with Castle was great.
My Review: I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked this one, especially with Kate out of town. In fact, her absence actually contributed to my enjoyment of the episode. At the beginning of the hour, Castle said that he needed a distraction from his marital woes, and I think the audience did to. Though Castle still discussed his issues with Slaughter, we at least had a break from Kate’s heartbreaking inner turmoil, which made the lighter scenes in this hour easier to swallow than others this season. Plus, Castle talking with Slaughter could end up being a great thing for his marriage, if the promo for next week (plus that chair look) is any indication.
I’m beyond pleased that Slaughter gave Castle a kick in the pants, so to speak, telling him that there is obviously more going on with Kate and that he may have to push a bit to find out what it is. I’ve been wanting someone to tell Castle that for weeks, and I hope that advice will help him move past the delusional “she’s just working things out” stage. It’s getting harder and harder to believe that he doesn’t sense something else at play, given how well he knows her.
I enjoyed Castle and Slaughter’s other scenes as well; like last time, Nathan Fillion and Adam Baldwin’s real-life friendship came across, which made the episode that much more enjoyable. It was nice to see Slaughter’s softer side here, especially the way he looked out for the kid caught in the middle of the case. His openness with Castle also led to that awesome and hilarious fight scene, though it did make me nostalgic for Baldwin’s Chuck days. I could totally see Mr. Bartowski coming up with that song idea on the fly. I also loved Slaughter’s struggle to do things Castle’s way; that scene by the dumpster was especially good.
My only real issue with this episode was the role that Ryan and Espo played. For one, I didn’t quite buy their relentless pursuit of Slaughter, especially after Castle told them he was innocent. They’ve trusted Castle’s instincts for the last eight years, why stop now? Mistrust has unfortunately been a bit of a trend for Ryan, Espo, and Castle lately, to the point where it’s kind of bumming me out. The three of them have always been so tight, and Castle and Beckett’s separation has made me need the bromance moments even more.
Other thoughts: That Castle/Martha scene was lovely, though I’m not sure how I feel about Martha’s assertion that Kate is just now starting to realize some of the ways that she was changed by her mother’s death. I think Kate’s fairly aware of the flaws she has because of it. Even though she made a poor choice in her marriage this season, I think she knows why she was compelled to do so…It was a small moment, but when the kid said he wanted to take care of his mom, I loved that you could see immediately that Castle understood. Very appropriate reaction, considering the way Martha sacrificed for him…Hayley and Alexis were both used well in this episode, and it was nice to see some casual bonding between the two.
What are your thoughts on this episode? Let me know in the comments!