Okay so yeah, this episode totally had a Saved by the Bell parody. That happened. Still processing that one.
This episode opens with Castle and Beckett laying in bed together, sort of. They are actually laying in their own beds and video chatting with each other. Honestly, I really loved this scene, it was simple but sweet and shows that despite the distance between them, Castle and Beckett and still keeping the sappy romantic stuff alive. Beckett’s move to DC could have been a great way to throw some drama into the relationship, because lord knows they love throwing in the drama. I am glad they didn’t. Unlike a lot of other on screen romances these two are actually acting like the adults they are supposed to be and not letting petty things like distance cause unneeded tension. After all, we did wait four years for them to get together, why would we want to see them broken up?
Okay, moving right along, we once again see Castle’s dislike of Pi. Still can’t really blame him, don’t know what it is but there is something about Pi that I just don’t like. Martha and Castle’s side discussion was perfect. Despite all the jokes in the show of Martha being a less than great mother, I love that she is still able to give Castle good advice on being a parent and how to best deal with his daughter. And despite my dislike of him I am hoping that we actually get a scene between where Castle and Pi sit down and hash things out. That would be most interesting to see.
Getting to the real meat and potatoes of this episode (I wonder where that saying came from. If anyone reading this knows please let me tell me) we have the death of a star from an 90’s high school sitcom, that for the sake of the fact that title escapes my memory at the moment, I will refer to as “Not Saved by the Bell.” The victim played the nerdy star of the show, found dangling from a hook at a construction site. This immediately draws Castle attention, his love the weird and gruesome well established at this point, and convinces Ryan and Esposito to let him help. Things are pretty run of the mill for a Castle episode at this point, the biggest thing to note being Detective Sullivan, or Sully for short. The new face on the team, brought in to replace Beckett (as if anyone ever could.) Sully very much fits into the new guy on the team role. He doesn’t stand out much, and seems basically there to pick up the slack for the other characters, and take a bit of new guy hazing. Overall, he’s not a bad addition to the team, but he has not yet done anything to really wow me or stand out as a great addition.
Things take a turn from the normal when Beckett and McCord show up to take over the case. This not only serves to bring a new twist to the murder case, but also raises the tension between the characters. It is interesting to see Castle put in the middle of things. On the one hand he obviously wants to reestablish his friendship with Ryan and Esposito, which is showing signs of strain from him not being a usual face around the precinct any more, and his desire to keep his previous promise to Beckett about not being a part of her cases. Seeing Castle torn between these two groups is fun to see, not often have we seen him in a position like this. It seemed very much a peer pressure type thing. There was Ryan and Esposito questioning his loyalty to the team and trying to push him into getting info from Beckett. They were acting much like teenagers in high school, a nice tie in with the high school sitcom that the victim starred on, and Castle not wanting to do anything that could put his relationship with Beckett, or her job, at risk. In the end he does cave, but isn’t able to get much. This did lead to a cute scene between Castle and Beckett wherein she teased him a bit, recapturing a bit of that old Castle that this season has been missing.
After this we have the introduction a new lead in the case, the victim’s ties a Russian crime family. This serves as a mislead for our favorite crime fighting team, making them think he was working with them only to later reveal he was working undercover for the CIA, using the Russian’s love of his old show to do so. This was nothing to out of the ordinary for the show, crime drama’s always have some twists to keep things interesting and fresh while the investigation is going on, and while it does help to engage me in the show, nothing stands out as anything out of the usual for the show. But hey, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Everything is wrapped up nicely at the end when the killer is revealed to his old friend and costar who was angry over the prospect of having to give up his acting career again. The biggest part of the episode for me came after this. We have a shot of Beckett seeing a CIA agent attempting to talk a member of the Russian crime family into acting as an informant, using her relationship with the victim as a persuasion tactic. It can be easily seen that does not sit well with Beckett. She sees it as the government putting an innocent civilian in harms way, and despite her misgivings, she is told to just let it go and that things like this happen in the world of scary government organizations.
Beckett can’t just let it go. As seen last week, this is something that goes against her own code, so she gives an anonymous tip to prevent it. This of course leads to what we all knew was coming. Her being fired from her fancy federal job, and I am sure, her subsequent return to the NYPD, and I could not be happier about this. Yeah it sucks that she lost her job and all, but this means the team is getting back together! This is what I’ve wanted from the get go, everything that made this show fantastic was the great relationships between the characters. While story wise it made sense for Beckett to take the new job, it made the show less fun. Simple as that. This season has been lacking in fun. But that is setting up to change.
Overall. Good episode, not great, but good. We saw some great relationship scenes between Castle and Beckett, and while light on the Castle family moments, what we got was solid. It made sense for Ryan and Esposito to treat Castle like a bit of an outsider, but it showed that their friendship, and their faith in Castle’s skills, was still strong enough to overcome any unpleasant feelings between them. And best of all, it has set up Beckett’s triumphant return to the NYPD, thus restoring the show to its previous level of awesome.