Okay, favorite episode this season so far. Everything about it was fantastic.
The best part by far Castle and Alexis teaming up to solve the CoW, it was nice role reversal for characters. Where as in the past we had Castle working with Beckett to solve the murders, with Alexis being in the background, usually to provide an amusing subplot or random bit of insight that Castle would need to solve the case, we had her taking center stage and Beckett moving back into the support role. This was fantastic both because it allowed Castle and Alexis to patch up their relationship, which I am ever so happy they didn’t drag out, and allowed Alexis to shine. Very rarely if ever have we had an episode where she plays as much of role as she does in this one, and it was amazing to see. Molly Quinn has definitely got the acting chops and I can’t wait to see what she does in the future.
Focusing more on the CoW. It was an interesting one. Instead of trying to solve a murder that has just happened, we see the Castle’s trying to prove a convicted man’s innocence. This was a lot of fun to watch because we saw them approaching the crime solving in a different ways, there was no searching of the crime scene or chasing down suspects. Everything was right there in front of them and Castle and Alexis spent most of the time just going over photos and talking their way through the crime. We got see Alexis’ intelligence shine through, but not so much that it overshadowed her dad’s. Which makes sense. Castle has more experience in this field than his daughter so he is able to spot the things she wouldn’t think to see, while at the same time her intelligence helps her to see the things that Castle would miss. All in all, it was an amazing team up for solving the crime. There were several fun twists, the suspect taking the fall to protect his little brother because he thought his brother did it, the suspecting of the victim’s boyfriend to only have him be quickly dismissed, everyone hating Castle and Alexis for trying to find the truth, the countdown to the execution. It made for the good kind of drama, the type that leaves you in suspense and wondering what will come next. Granted it is always a safe bet that in the end they will catch the bad guy, but still, it is nice to be left guessing every once in awhile. The reveal of the killer being the cop wasn’t too surprising. I was honestly expecting him from the get go, but I have a habit of always expecting the assholes first, so I don’t count this against the episode because the cop had such a limited role in the episode it would have been a bit of a leap to automatically suspect him.
The biggest flaw of this episode was the lack of Beckett, Ryan, and Esposito. Ryan and Esposito did help out with the case, but most of what they did was off camera. Laney and Beckett played far stronger support role in this episode, doing what they could to support Castle and Alexis in their investigation. The best part of this was Beckett’s wondering why Alexis didn’t come to her for help as well. We saw her feeling some fear and unease about her relationship with Castle and becoming a part of his family, which was a nice jump off the set up from last week where Alexis said she wasn’t too in support of the upcoming marriage. At the end we did see Alexis come to the realization that she needs to talk to Beckett, and we he had the closing scene of them talking and hugging. I liked this, but I would have preferred to actually hear their talk, see them work through their fears and insecurities. But this episode was more about Castle and Alexis repairing their relationship rather than building new ones, still got plenty of season left for that to happen.
Overall, great episode, as I said above, favorite so far this season. It will be tough to top it.