I would never sing Let it Go as a duet: Goon Reviews Castle “The Time of Our Lives”

STANA KATIC, NATHAN FILLION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m not gonna cry, I’m not gonna cry, oh fuck it, I am bawling like a baby, that was beautiful!   CASKETT FOR THE WIN!

Alright people, after a few weeks, I am back with the Castle reviews, sorry for the absence on these, fell behind I didn’t get a chance to catch up on this season until just now.  But enough of that, lets get to the reason you are here.

So wow, was this one of those out there episodes, alternate realities and ancient magic artifacts, Alexis with black hair!  Mind = Blown.  So brief recap, we open on Castle and Beckett talking about their lives, idly wondering how things would be different if they haven’t met.  Their musings are cut short as they go off the investigate the CoW, a dead man with a stolen briefcase.  Castle finds some coal on the victim’s body which leads him and Beckett to an abandoned coal plant in town.  Their they find the stolen case.  Inside is a medallion.  The bad guys show and a fire fight ensues, a grenade is thrown, throwing Castle through a door and knocking him out.  When he wakes up, things have changed.  He returns to the station to find that Ryan and Esposito have no idea who he is and Beckett is now the captain of the precinct.  Castle’s knowledge of the case, and of the them, naturally makes the Alternate Universe versions of our favorite cops suspicion of him.  He is arrested, and then we are introduced Alternate Martha, now a success and famous actress and Alternate Alexis, now with black hair and living in Los Angeles with her mom (briefly in town of Martha’s new play opening)  Not liking this new world, Castle quickly goes about trying to get back.  Through some fast talking, and his natural charisma, he is able to get involved with the case.  This doesn’t go well, as he is unable to find the relic he needs, and almost gets arrested for it.  Luckily the magical bond of love between him and Beckett can transcend dimensions!  Or, she was just curious about Castle and decided to cut him some slack, could go either way.  Castle gets Beckett on a date, but has an alternate motive, taking her to a bar where one of MOLLY QUINN, NATHAN FILLIONthere suspects is known to frequent.  They nab him and case seems to be closed, but the baddies lawyer overhears Castle talking about the alternate universe stuff.  After a touching moment between Castle and Alternate Alexis, Castle decides that if he can’t get back home, he will make this universe home.  Setting out to win Beckett’s heart, again, he is waylaid by a guy with a gun, and taken to the mastermind behind the crime.  A real estate developer who wants the relic for himself.  Alternate Beckett shows up just in time to save Castle, and is then saved by Castle as he takes a bullet for her.  As Castle blacks out, he awakens in the real world.  We close out the episode with what he have been waiting far to long for, Castle and Beckett’s wedding.  It was a short scene, but ever so beautiful  and totally worth the wait.

So yeah, this episode really pushed the bounds of the weird for Castle.  I have said before, Castle is not afraid to venture into the weird and the wacky: vampires, zombies, time travelers, lost time, its a weirdness smorgasbord, but I don’t know about this week.  While it was certainly fun to see Castle interact with a world where everything is different this episode may have been a bit to out there.  At its core, Castle is a crime drama, sure there is humor and romance there, and always a bit of the weird, but it has always been weird within the realm of possible, this one, eh, I don’t know.  While its left vague at the end as to whether or not this other world was real or just a dream, with Castle waking up in the same place where he first blacked out, there was some subtle hints that it was in fact real, such as the shot of the glowing lights on the relic.  This could all just be something to add into the mystery and help make the episode more fun, it seemed like a bit too much.

Now, was this a bad episode?  No, no it was not.  While it pushed the weirdness bound, there was still a lot of fun.  Every bit Castle bumbling his way through this new and strange world was just pure fun to watch.  His reactions to Martha and Alexis were priceless, and learning that he is now a failed writer, were priceless.  What was best, was that even in this other world, his bond with Alexis and Martha is still as strong as ever.  While there is no some distance between him and his daughter, Alexis explaining that after his failed novel he just fell apart and couldn’t watch him do it anymore.  As I have said before, several times, one of the best parts of this show is the relationship between the two, so its nice to see that even in bizarro world the bond between the two of them is strong as ever.

As for Ryan and Esposito, they actually got a decent amount of screen time, Castle being paired up with them in bizarro world instead of Beckett, and this was nice.  Ryan was still pretty much the same as always, if slightly less happy because in this world he and Jenny never got married.  Esposito, well, he was a lot more angry than usual, hinted that this is stemming from his failed relationship with Laney and his inability to commit.  It was interesting to see them treating Castle like a stranger when in the past the three have been great friends, and have had a lot of fun bits together.

maxresdefaultThis episode was a classic example of the “be careful what you wish for” trope.  Castle states that when he was holding the relic he was wondering if he and Beckett would be better off if they had never met, short answer, they won’t be.  What was best about this episode was the end, when Castle made the decision to make bizarro world better.  It showed the amazing amount of strength that his character possess, and his unwillingness to back down, the traits that helped to bring him and Beckett together in first place.

To close out this out, the biggest thing to happen on this show, Castle and Beckett got married, finally!  I was worried that the writers were going to drag out the wedding limbo for the rest of the season, spending more time focusing on Castle and his missing months, but now.  We had some time where things were awkward but Castle decided it was time to move past that, for them to be happy.  It was a simple wedding, and was perfect, their vows were sweet, almost to the point where I got cavities, but was still fantastic.

Overall, while this episode did stretch things a bit, it was still fun, and sweet.  We finally got the wedding that we have been waiting for since season one, Castle on a fun adventure in a strange new land, and Alexis with black hair.  Seriously guys, that hair, I just, I can’t.  She looks good as a red head, she should not mess with that.

Goon out.

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The invisible man is real!: Goon Reviews Castle “Clear and Present Danger”

NATHAN FILLION, STANA KATIC

 

I am not certain if you can lock onto a video game avatar and trace it to where the user logged in, can someone please tell me if that is a thing?

Unlike other reviews I do, and Castle reviews in the past, I am changing things up.  Gonna spend less time going over the plot and more time talking about the stuff that happened.  The reason?  Each episode follows a pretty basic format, like most crime dramas, what sets it apart is the various little things they do to make it unique, like this episode, which we will start talking about right now.

Brief summary of our CoW. (has that caught on yet?  please tell me that has caught on)
Open on the victim, who is apparently killed by nothing.  Beckett and Castle find out he worked for an insurance company by day and hustled pool by night, which of course leads them to believe that his hustling caused his death.  They meet with the owner of a pool hall, who says that his marks wouldn’t be the type to seek revenge, and of course introduces our twist for the episode, that the victim got his kills by making deal with the devil.  Castle of course eats this up and concocts his wild theories, which are soon replaced by the belief the invisible man did it.  Beckett denies this until they are attacked by an unseen assailant in the victim’s apartment.  They are able to track down where the victim really works, a government facility working on cloaking technology.  They learn that the victim was unhappy with his work, thinking that no one should have the power of invisibility.  They believe that his friend and neighbor was the killer, but learn that he just used the stealth suit to help him cheat at pool, and commit a minor assault.  Castle and Beckett learn that the victim was basing his research on the camouflage ability of the cuttlefish, something his biologist girlfriend was working on.  She of course, is the killer.  She was enraged that the vic was just using her for her research and killed him in a fit of rage and hurt.

Right from the get go, this episode shows you that its going to be one of the weird ones that make Castle such a fun show to watch.  At the beginning the characters are true to form, Castle immediately diving into the strange and wondrous, while Beckett remains level headed and grounded.  However this does change and helps to set things out from other episodes of the show.  After the “ghost” attack, Beckett is fully pulled into the crazy of this episode, and its amazing. Its always fun to see both Castle and Beckett working on the same train of thought and embracing the wacky, granted its best when done only on occasion, but still super fun to watch.

The CoW itself, when just looking at the crime and the process to solve it, was pretty standard.  We had the usual run of clues, witnesses, and false leads that ultimately lead us to the confrontation in the last ten minutes with the real killer, and as always, it was the characters playing off each other that really made the show.  The personal lives of Castle and Beckett this week revolved around the fact that they hadn’t done the dirty deed since Castle went missing and was found.  This made for fun relationship moments between the two, the best part being midway through the episode when they try to get it on but the recent encounter with the invisible baddie leaves them shaken and uncomfortable.  So how do they solve this?  Castle rigs up an alarm system with dental floss and pots and pans.  Gotta be honest, it was funny, I laughed.  It showcased Castle’s quirkiness perfectly, and Beckett’s response, finding it to be a bit of turn on, shows just why she is with him and loves him, she likes the fun he brings to her life.

For Ryan and Esposito, they of course fall into their usual roles of helping to run down clues and leads, but their role in the case is limited this week.  Instead most of their focus is on their amusing subplot.  Ryan is acting odd, and Esposito accuses him of cheating on Jenny.  Ryan is quick to shoot down this theory, explaining that he has taken a night job as a security guard at a club to make extra money, babies being expensive and all that.  This was funny, as it was revealed that it is a male strip joint that Ryan works at.  So of course we get Esposito giving his friend all kinds of good natured crap, as any good friend would do.   While brief, it was funny to watch, and had an amusing pay off at the end when Ryan turned it around and started tormenting Esposito with the g-string he bought him as a joke.

Overall, it was a fun episode, but I have some problems with it.  It honestly felt just a little to sci-fi for me.  Castle is not afraid to flirt with the weird, its part of what gives the show its charm, but there is always a strong sense of reality to it.  The weird stuff that happens is either explained off in a perfectly rational way or just left vague to let the viewers have fun with it.  But in this case, a full on stealth suit like what he saw, it made the episode feel like something out of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.  or a spy show like Chuck.  Castle is at its best when it stays grounded in the real world, but has fun by channeling tropes or other genres, such as the vampire episodes in season two, or the time traveler episode from last season.

While far from a bad episodes, as there were a lot of laughs and the all the characters were true to form, it was just a little to out there to be a truly great episode.

Goon out.

Apparently Castle knows his camping: Goon Reviews Castle “Driven”

What do mean wedding's not happening!?

And we are back with our favorite crime fighting author and sexy cop partner!

When we last left the pair they had just gotten married, it was a lovely ceremony.  Alexis looked adorable in her best man suit, and gave a fantastic speech at the reception, Esposito and Ryan got up to some antics at the open bar, but it was played for laughs, and  Castle and Beckett’s first dance was just tooth rotting sweet.  We closed out with the two driving off on their honeymo…wait,  what did you say? 0
They didn’t get married?  Beckett got a call and found Castle’s car burning on the side of the road?  Wait, what did  I see then?  I distinctly remember a wedding.  A dream, you say?  No, that can’t be right, the writers wouldn’t do something so horrible to us, their loyal fans would they?  They did!

Well, crap.

So, after an annoying cliffhanger, and a false hope providing hallucination, we pick up right where we left off.  Beckett scrambles to the burning car, trying to save her husband to be, but the heat of the flames force her back.  Once the fire is out, she sees that there is no body inside, and the team scramble to find their missing friend.  The local police jump on board right away, more than willing to save Castle, who is considered to be one of their own.  The discover tracks leading away from Castle’s car, and get a lead on a black SUV that was seen in the area.  The FBI is able to get a brief lock on Castle’s phone, leading Beckett, Ryan, and Esposito to a junkyard where the aforementioned black SUV is being crushed.  They nab the guy the crushing the car, but he refuses to speak.  The troops are scrambled and the FBI is called in to help, the agent assigned does not seem hopeful they will find him alive, raising the idea that it was someone Castle and Beckett nabbed in the past who is behind it.  We get a brief shot of a devastated Alexis, convinced that her dad will be coming home.  The clues lead to the attack being mob related, which brings about a familiar face from the past, Vinnie Cardino, last seen in season five where Castle and Beckett solved a crime in the Hamptons.  He is upset over the news, having made peace with Castle in the past, and explains that he was paid cash to destroy the SUV, not knowing it was related to Castle’s disappearance.  He tells them where the money drop point was, and our favorite reoccurring tech head Tory is able to get security cam footage of the alley, only to discover that Castle was the one to drop off the cash.  The plot, it thickens!

Beckett is shaken by this news, Ryan is confused, and Esposito is angry.  Beckett tells Ryan to look into Castle, and Beckett goes to interview Martha and Alexis.   They know nothing, but we have a nice moment of Beckett worrying that Castle was having doubts about the wedding, but is reassured by Martha that running was the farthest thing from Castle’s mind.  With this in mind, Beckett knows that something is up, that there is something off about this, but the FBI isn’t buying it, convinced that Castle is just trying to make himself disappear for reasons unknown.  Beckett once more throws herself into the case, determined to find Castle. and we are treated to a montage of her chasing leads.  The episode then cuts to the coast guard coming across a seemingly abandoned boat, but low and behold, there is an unconscious man inside it, that’s right, its Castle!  Castle is brought to the hospital and Beckett and team rush to see him, Beckett monetarily stunned after seeing him in the hospital bed, convinced that she would never him again.  What could have been a touching moment, is spoiled by Castle not gaining consciousness.  Martha and Alexis rush in, and we learn that Castle has no serious injuries but is recovering from exposure and dehydration.  Esposito is still angry over the situation, wanting to know what Castle was doing, but Ryan comes the authors defense, saying that after everything they have been through, he deserves the benefits of the doubt.  Beckett calms the two and gets them back work.  She talks to the captain that found Castle, and they are able to  track down where the boat came from, leading them to Massachusetts, and a new suspect, one Henry Jenkins.  Team Beckett go to the dock, and the mobile home next to it, there is no sign of Jenkins and before they can move in, Beckett gets a call from Laney, who looked Castle over, and made some shocking discoveries.  She finds antibodies for a tropical virus in his blood stream, and a weeks old bullet wound.  The team nabs Jenkins, who says he has no idea who Castle is or how he got into his boat.  Jenkins says he saw a man camping nearby to long ago, and after seeing a picture, confirms it was Castle.  Beckett and Esposito check it out and find the tent full of supplies as well as his wedding tux.  Castle regains consciousness and Beckett goes to speak to him.  Beckett confronts him, but Castle claims to only remember the crash and then waking up in the hospital.  It is then revealed that Castle has been missing for two months, gasp!
A doctor tells them that Castle shows no signs of the usual things that cause memory loss, but doesn’t rule them out, nor does she rule out that Castle may have just walked away from his life.  Beckett is upset, and Castle wants answers.  He asks her to take him to his camp site, but nothing is ringing any bells.  Beckett asks Castle for the truth, but Castle insists that he is telling the truth, Beckett does seem to buy it.  At this point Ryan has also lost faith in Castle, to much evidence points to him being there.  Castle says he never would have camped there, research done on never finished book giving him the knowledge of camping.  Beckett takes him to see the witness, but a different man answers the door, who is the real Henry Jenkins.  This leads them to believe that the camp was indeed a set up, and now everyone is determined to find the truth.

We close out the episode with a touching family scene, and a talk between Castle and Beckett, the two seem to be back on a good page, but knowing that they have some work to do to rebuild their relationship to what it once was.

 

Wow, that is a lenghtly plot summary, but I feel that at least in this case its important.  A lot happened in this episode with virtually no filler in it.

Honestly, I have some mixed feelings about this episode.  The mystery of Castle’s disappearance feels a bit to conspiracy theory for my taste, but I have to admit that it does fit in with Castle.  The character is all about the mysteries, unexplained, and conspiracies, so throwing him into the middle of one, with no memory of it, will certainly be interesting to see him try to unravel it.  That being said, it is just a jackass move on the writers part to throw this wrench into the Castle/Beckett romance.  We waited four years for that to happen, two years for them to tie the knot, and now this.  I get that they feel they need to keep the drama going to keep viewers interested, but this is getting annoying.  It is good that they have not split up, and that Castle is sure they will get back to what they once were.

A lot of this episode focused on Beckett, and this was a good thing.  She progressed naturally with the story, sorrow over Castle’s apparent death, rage over his abduction, hurt and distrust when it was revealed that he was apparently hiding out, confusion over the mystery, and finally hope that Castle was home and that everything would be better in time.  Sadly, Castle was used minimally in this episode, so we didn’t get much of the two playing off each other, but his few scenes were great, and he really sold the confusion and hurt over the situation.

The supporting characters all played their roles well.  Ryan and Esposito throwing themselves into the case, Esposito’s distrust of the situation and Ryan’s loyalty to Castle fit perfectly with the character’s, including Ryan’s loss of faith as evidence presented themselves.  Despite their friendship, he is a cop, and has to go where the evidence takes him.

Martha and Alexis were used briefly, but it made sense.  They weren’t involved with case, staying on the sidelines and showing up to provide some drama to the situation, heartbroken over Castle’s disappearance, overjoyed at his return, and never doubting him for a second.  We even got a brief mention of Castle’s spy dad, Esposito wondering if he was involved, and who knows, maybe he was.

This was far from a bad episode, and honestly was one of the better season premiers, it was full of drama and twists, grabbing the audience and not letting go until the end.  They didn’t drag out Castle missing, instead just using it to set up the new overarching plot for the show.  The real problem with it is the whole conspiracy thing surrounding Castle’s disappearance.  While it’s not horribly out of place for the show, it does feel a bit gimmicky, and could get really old really fast.  If this is handled in the same as finding the murderer of Beckett’s mom, with it being in the background and coming up every once in awhile, new pieces of the puzzle occasionally being revealed throughout the course of their investigations, it will be good.

Overall, this was a great premier to the season.  A good, well paced story, and the introduction of a new overarching plot.  There were some missteps taken, but they were minor and don’t hurt the show.  I look forward to seeing this mystery unravel.

Goon out.

Cutest best man ever: Goon Reviews Castle “For Better or Worse”

Kick him in the crotch and run!

Kick him in the crotch and run!

Seriously, f’ing seriously!  We have been waiting six freaking years and you end it with that?  I am very disappointed in you Castle writers, very disappointed.

Okay, lets save this rant for later on and deal with the plot.

We open with 72 hours remaining before Castle and Beckett get hitched, we are treated with an amusing opening scene of Castle, Martha, and Alexis tackling pre-wedding problems before they become problems, which is a truly great scene to watch.  Team Castle is a well oiled machine and they are able to take care of  any problem that may come their way.  Except for one.  As Castle and Beckett are off to get their marriage license we learn that Beckett is already married. (cue dramatic music here)  As it turns out, Beckett had a Vegas wedding back in college, and not thinking it was a real deal, put it out of her mind.  Refusing to let this little bombshell get in the way of their happy ending, Beckett goes off to track down her husband and dissolve the marriage while Castle stays behind to make sure the wedding stays on track.  In true television fashion, this does not go as easy as the simple signing of a piece of paper.   It starts out simple enough, Beckett’s ex, one Rogan O’Leary (played by the ever so great Eddie Mclintock) needs her to break into his girlfriend’s car and swipe the garage door opener and won’t sign the papers until she does.  Beckett pulls it off without a hitch but before the papers can be signed, Rogan gets snatched and taken away.  Castle hurries to her side, leaving the handling of the wedding in the capable hands of Martha and Alexis.  We then treated to usual CoW tactics.  With a little help from Tori, our favorite NYPD tech wiz,  Castle and Beckett get to work, which leads them to a stripper, (with the most fake looking one dollar bills stuffed in her bra that I have ever seen) a black mailed priest who partook of the stripper’s services, and a biker gang who Rogan owes money to.  In the end they are able to track Rogan down to the home of the stripper’s boyfriend, where they find him tied up in the barn.  Before they can make their escape it is learned that the farm is owned by none other than a wanted mafia hitman who has been on the run.  As it turns out, Rogan had pictures of the hitman and unless they were handed over, they would all be killed.  In a clever move, Castle and Beckett lead the mobster and his two goons (no relation) to Rogan’s apartment, where the biker gang is waiting.  Through some quick dealings, they convince the bikers to take the mobster and turn him in for the reward.  With the papers signed, and Castle helping Rogan patch things up with his girlfriend, Beckett and Castle are off to get married.  What should have been a happy ending, with Castle and Beckett finally getting married, was a sad one as Castle doesn’t show up to the wedding and his car is found burning on the side of the road.

Honestly, despite the ending, this was a really fun season finale.  compared to a lot of Castle finales in the past,  this one was rather light and upbeat.  Instead of a crime to solve it was wedding to save.  While there were some definite cliches to the episode, none of them really detracted from it, quite the opposite, they made the episode fun.  Going into the season, when  Beckett said yes, we all knew that their wedding wouldn’t go off without a hitch, but I was glad that they took a light hearted approach to it.  The entire story of Beckett trying to get the papers signed was played for fun, Castle throwing jokes about the whole thing left and right only just made it all the better.  The best part was Beckett’s freak out about the wedding.  With everything that happened, its only normal that panic would seize hold of one of them, at least for a bit.  But, completely unphased by this, Castle calms her down.  Again,  a bit cliched, especially when Castle pulls out the fairy tale metaphor, but it was sweet, and amazing to see Castle keep such a cool head throughout it all.  He and Beckett have been through a lot, and he knows this, what they’re dealing with now is just a minor bump in the road, one that they can easily overcome.  And they do.  And it was pretty awesome.

While Castle and Beckett are running the divorce gauntlet, our lovable cast of supporting characters were working hard to make sure the wedding goes off without a hitch.  Some problems they deal along the way include:
A too small tux for Ryan
The loss of the venue do to first time fire breathers (did not see that one coming)
A ruined wedding dress

Again, nothing overly original, apart form that fire breather thing, but everything worked.  These scenes worked to break up what little tension was building throughout the story, and gave us some honest laughs and cringe worthy moments.  Everything about it really made you care about what has happening to the characters.  The ruined dress had me distraught, and I found myself desperate to find out what how that obstacle would be overcome.  The loss of the venue, in such a ridiculous way,  and the too small tux had me laughing, knowing that while these were pretty big problems, they would be solved in fantastic ways.  That is what made the heavy use of cliches work, because we care about these characters and we know that nothing ever runs smoothly, but we also know that nothing can stop them.  After Beckett’s solving of her mother’s murder, we know for certain that there is nothing that can stand in their way, that working together, Castle, Beckett, and all the others can accomplish anything.

Which now brings us to the end.  After everything they went through, the wedding was finally there.  The divorce was filed, the guests had arrived, Beckett was looking drop dead gorgeous in her mother’s wedding dress, nothing was standing in the way.  Except a mysterious black SUV.  As Castle is on his way to the wedding, he is tailed by an unknown SUV, when he tries to get away, it pulls up next to him.  We cut to Beckett and the others wondering where he is, and Beckett getting a call.  Our closing shot of the season being Beckett breaking down as she see’s his car lying burning in a ditch.

This left me torn.  As a fan of Castle, and a hardcore supporter of the Castle/Beckett paring since day one, there is not enough words to describe how upset this scene made me.  We have watched them overcome countless obstacles in their relationship, go through so many things to make it work, and finally we were getting the pay off, we were going to watch them get married, only for the rug to get pulled out from under us.  I wanted the see the wedding, I wanted that happy ending we have been waiting six freaking years for it!  What do we get instead?  A burning car and a crying Beckett.  It felt like a slap in the face.  And if there is one thing the Goon doesn’t like, its being slapped in the face.  Seriously, it’s not fun.

However, on the other hand, I am also a reviewer, so I do have to appreciate the ending for it was.  A damn good season closer.  There are three purposes to a season finale:
1) Wrap up story
2) Introduce a new story
3) Get us psyched for the next season
A finale must meet one or all of these for it to be good, and Castle did.  We got wrap up of a major story, the murder of Beckett’s mom (granted that was last week, but still, it counts) and I can’t say the same for you, but I know that I am so pumped for season seven.  I can’t wait to find out what happened to Castle, and who was behind the attack.  Current theory is that it was the mafia that the hitman was part of seeking revenge.  Most of all, I can’t wait to finally see Castle and Beckett get married.

Despite the last few minutes, this was a great finale, plain and simple.  It was a lot of fun, all the characters had a role to play, even Tori, who is a tertiary character at best, (and is still one I want to see more of.  Here’s hoping she is a more regular cast member in the next season) and the upbeat nature throughout most of the episode was a solid balance to last week’s drama heavy episode.  The two work together and balance each other out, creating what I consider to be an amazing two part finale.  I am ever so eager to find out what happens next season.

Goon out.

Too late to return the tux: Goon Reviews Castle “Veritas”

6x22-featured2

 

Holy crap, that just happened.

This week, we open with Beckett on a stakeout, following a man linked to Sen. Bracken, (refresher: the guy behind her mother’s murder) hoping that this will lead her to evidence she can use against him.  A snag is hit when the next morning the man she is following turns up dead.  It is discovered that he was with Vulcan Simmons before he died, who we know was in charge of a drug ring that was funneling money into an account to fund Bracken’s run for the presidency.  Gates orders her off the case because of her close ties to it.  Undeterred from this, Beckett tracks down the town car that Simmons was seen in, and finds blood in the car.  After a tension filled stand off between the two, we cut to black.  Upon the return, Castle receives a phone call from Esposito, saying that Beckett is back on the case after Simmons is found dead.  Beckett is then accused of the murder, forcing her and Castle to go on the run.  They discover that Mr. Smith, the man who had the file that was protecting Beckett and was previously thought dead, is still alive and kicking.  He passes on some information about a cassette tape that has proof of Bracken’s evil doings, but the holder of the tape was killed and the tape lost.  Smith tells them to leave town as there is nothing else they can do, Beckett refuses at first feeling that she is abandoning the fight  but eventually agrees.  Castle goes off to secure them a car while Beckett stays at their motel room to change her look, only for Bracken and two thugs to show up, intending to kill her.  In one of the most badass scenes of the show to date, Beckett kills her two would be assassin’s before blacking out due to bottle related head trauma.  While she is out, a memory of her first meeting with Montgomery resurfaces that points her in the direction of the cassette.  The dearly departed Captain left it with her mother, prompting the two to return to New York and find the tape.  While going through her things, they are caught by Capt. Marcus Donovan, who has been leading the manhunt against Beckett.  While they are waiting to be dragged off to the slammer, Beckett realizes that the elephants on her desk, that used to belong to her mom, are where the tape is hidden.  The tape is retrieved, the evidence found, and Bracken arrested, bringing to a close the case that has been tormenting Beckett for her entire career and allowing her to find justice for her mother.

As stated above, holy crap.

The plot for this episode was a relative simple one, and one that we have seen before in the series.  I speak of course of the episode last season where Castle is framed for murder, forcing him to go on the run, but that is not to say this was in anyway bad.  Quite the opposite in fact.  Depriving Beckett of access to her resource and support structure, forcing her and Castle to only rely on each other was a pure genius.  The entire show is built up around their partnership, so ripping away everything else and leaving them to rely on each other almost exclusively was the perfect way to close out this long running story.  Best of all, we didn’t see either of them do anything stupid, well nothing too stupid.  Beckett going to find the Simmons car without a warrant was a pretty big misstep on her part, but I can let that pass.  In a situation like this, I would not be surprised to see Beckett begin to loose her cool.  Her mother’s killer is after her, her shield is gone, being set up as a crooked cop, all of this could easily lead to her going rogue and trying to handle things on her own.  Instead of that though, we had her relying more on Castle, knowing that she couldn’t do this alone and needed help.  It shows just how great her character is, that she is able to keep a cool and level head is a testament to how great her character is.

Castle’s role in this week was amazing as well, we got to see him in a serious role throughout pretty much the entire episode, which is a rarity for the show.  Usually we see him balancing his humor and more serious side throughout the episode, but every once in awhile we get an episode that forces him into a situation where we has no choice but to keep his humorous side suppressed, and this is great to see!  Fillion (who I actually had the pleasure of meeting this past weekend, and is a delight!) is amazing when he brings this side of Castle out.  By no means should it be something we see all the time, the balance they have in most episodes is perfect as is, these rare occasions that we have the deadly serious Castle from start to finish help to drive home just how dire the circumstances are.  Like Beckett, he didn’t let the tough spot they were in get to him, his reassuring Beckett that they weren’t running from the fight, instead just finding somewhere safe to come up with a new plan, was amazing for his character.

Now for the big part of the episode, Beckett finally solved the case.  Let’s be honest, we all knew this was coming, but I didn’t think it would happen now.  We have had some build up to this earlier this season, i.e. the Beckett undercover episode from a little ways back, but I am honestly surprised to see it happen now.  I thought it would be a season finale and it would be dragged out for another season, possible being a continual build up to the series finale, but no, its wrapped up and wasn’t even a season finale.  Now, that is not to say this was a bad call on the writers part, but I wouldn’t say it was a great one either.  Honestly, I am ecstatic that Beckett finally caught the guy, that we finally to see the end to this long running story, and that is ended in an almost perfect fashion, but a part of me thinks they could have done more with it, set up as  two parter, part one being the season finale, part two the next season premier.  But what do I know?  It’s not like I am getting paid to write for the show. (kinda wish I was though, its got to be better than working with Snooty)

As far as our supporting cast goes, Ryan and Esposito were used sparingly in this episode, but used well.  They were thrust into the role as Beckett and Castle’s guys on the inside, and they did this well, never once believing that Beckett was a murderer and working inside the system to help their friends and teammates.  Gates was also fantastic in this episode, also showing her faith in Beckett and wanting to do everything she could to protect her officer, and dare I say it, friend?  I can honestly say that I am loving how Gate’s character has evolved over time on the show, and she is fast becoming one of my favorite characters.  And best of all, the brief but amazing return of Captain Roy Montgomery!  This scene was amazing, best part of the episode hands down.  It really showed the importance of Montgomery to Beckett and the whole of the murder of Joanna Beckett, and really showed just how torn up and haunted he was by his role in the event.  His subtle hint to Beckett about where to find the truth about her mother was perfect, showing how he was trying to find redemption for his past sins, which in the end he did by sacrificing his life for Beckett.  Ruban Santiago-Hudson was a fantastic, and still missed, part of this show and it was ever so amazing to see him come back.

Sadly, we didn’t get anything from Martha and Alexis this week, but honestly that wasn’t a bad thing.  They are usually there to bring some levity to the drama or some insight to help solve the case, which just wouldn’t have worked for this episode.  As stated above, what made it great was Castle and Beckett being on the run and having to rely mostly on themselves, as much as I love Martha and Alexis, they would have been weak point to this week’s episode, which means that we better get a double dose of them next week!

Overall, fantastic episode.  We finally say the close to the series biggest, and really only, overarching plot.  It brings a sense of closure to the story and the characters, while at the same time, leaves the show open to a new story, hopefully we get a good one.  So, next week we have the long awaited nuptials between Castle and  Beckett, can’t for that, but until we see Beckett walk down the aisle.

Goon out.

He is extreme: Goon Reviews Castle “Law and Boarder”

STANA KATIC, NATHAN FILLION, YANI GELLMAN

 

Alright, going to say this upfront, this is gonna be a brief review.  Even as I type there is water pouring into my bedroom from the nonstop rain we’ve been getting for the past several days and if I don’t keep mopping it up I am gonna drown in my sleep, and you guys don’t want that do you?  Naw, course you don’t.  We’re all friends, and friends don’t want their friends to drown in the night from a leaking bedroom.

We open with Castle having been beaten in a game of scrabble by Beckett, and his obsessing over his first ever loss at the game.  This becomes a reoccurring joke throughout the episode.  As for a CoW, that centers on the murder of a skateboarder, which through the case work Castle and Beckett discovers ties into an unsolved murder from six years ago.  While the crime solving is going on, Ryan and Esposito are competing against each other over who will be Castle’s best man in his upcoming wedding.  The CoW itself this week wasn’t the best crime we’ve had, but not the worst.  It was a very average one.  It was a nice bit when we discover that the victim was killed because he was trying to discover who had killed his friend six years ago, and there was some nice twists and turns to help throw us off the trail, including a break in at a lawyers office and childhood ties to a mafia.  In the end we discover it was victim’s friend that was the murderer, both for the current case and the one from six years previous.  The victim was killed to keep the old murder covered up.  As stated, nothing fantastic but far from the worst thing we’ve seen.  Would have kept me interest better than it did if not for the aforementioned flood waters invading my sleeping quarters.

The real fun in this episode was the subplots.  Castle losing at scrabble to Beckett was just hilarious.  As a professional author it would only make sense that Castle be good at scrabble, having a strong vocabulary and mastery of the language is a boon in that game.  For him to lose to Beckett, while not all that out there, was a major blow to his ego and his pride as a writer.  Given his character, it would only make sense for Castle to obsess over his loss to Beckett, and how he plays it up as something even greater than loosing at a boardgame, is hilarious to watch.  In the end Beckett fixes everything with one of the greatest games ever invented, strip poker.  Once again proving that sex can solve most problems.

The real stand out part of this episode was Ryan and Esposito competing over who would be Castle’s best man, without Castle even knowing this was going on.  We got to see the two make subtle jabs at each other, and not subtle hints to Castle about the importance of their friendships with him.  This was fun primarily because we had the two partners, and best friends, at odds with each other.  While its not uncommon for their to be a bit of conflict between the two, which is always played up for laughs, it is still fun to see them competing against each other.  Being the best man is important to the both of them, whether because they strongly value their friendship with Castle, or they just want the prestige that comes from being the best man.  In order to win we see them resort to such things as gifts, competition, and even going to Laney to have her choose between the two of them, only to finally decide to be co-best men for Castle.  In the end they find they have both lost out to the second most important person in Castle’s life, Alexis.  (which I totally called by the way)  Seeing the devastated looks on their faces at this reveal is just hilarious, especially with them trying to keep a straight face and their begrudging acceptance of being Castle’s groomsmen.  This made the episode stand out, its always fun seeing Ryan and Esposito playing more prominent roles in the episode.

The only thing that could have made this better was having more of Alexis and Martha in the episode, but they only forty minutes to tell a story and you can’t have everything.  I only hope we will get more of them soon.

Overall, decent filler episode.  Not the greatest we’ve gotten, the crime was pretty “meh” all things considered, but we had some great character stuff to make up for this.  Anytime Ryan and Espostio get more screen time is always a good time.

And now to go finish building my ark, I don’t think the flood will stop anytime soon.

Goon out.

Disco is a mystery that will never be solved: Goon Reviews Castle “That 70’s Show”

I am so glad I wasn't alive in the 70's.

I am so glad I wasn’t alive in the 70’s.

Seriously, words cannot describe how happy I am that I missed the 70’s.

So, after nearly a month’s hiatus we return to the 12th Precinct, just in time to hop into the ol’ wayback machine for a trip to the 70’s.

We open up with Martha offer suggesting for Castle and Beckett’s wedding, and the two of them promptly shooting them down and hurting her feelings.  They are saved from uncomfortable family interactions by the discovery of a dead body in a building about to be torn down.  Castle quickly realizes that the dead body is none other than that of a mob boss that mysteriously disappeared. After a series of dead ends in the case the only lead left is the victims old right hand man, a man by the name of Harold who happens to be mentally stuck in the 70’s.  This leaves Castle and Beckett with only one choice, to their best to recreate the disco decade so that Harold will tell them what he knows.  A road bump is hit when a hit man attempts to kill Harold while he is at the morgue.  This shakes Harold, leading Castle to have to up the ante and make the precinct look like hold over form the 70’s.  A lead is found in an old nightclub that the victim used to frequent, and Harold is taken there by Ryan and Esposito.  As it turns out Harold had snapped out of his 70’s delusions after the morgue and played Team Castle so he could get to the owner of the club, Frank Russo.  Harold blamed Frank for the death and wanted revenge.  Ryan and Esposito stop him and take him back to the precinct, where Beckett and Castle get Russo to confess what happened the night of the murder.  The victim rented out the place for a private event, he was going to propose to the sister of the head of the rival crime family, thus merging the two into one, super crime family. (or something along those lines)  In the end, Beckett and Castle discover that Harold was more than just a right hand man, he and the victim were in love (that one caught me off guard, did not see it coming) and that he wouldn’t go through the wedding, leading him to be shot by the woman he was going to propose to.  Castle and Beckett nab the crook and we close out the episode  with a disco party at the club.

This episode was not great, but boy was it fun!  There was very little of the usual Castle formula, that being the tracking down witnesses and suspects, following false leads, and finding the killer in the end.  Instead we had the focus primarily on Harold, he was the key to the solving the case.  This led us to learning much more about the a guest character then we usual do.  While Harold wasn’t the most developed character ever, we did get much more with him than we usually do with guest characters.  They strongly sold just how much he cared for the victim, at first portraying it as a close friendship, an almost brotherly bond, which led to the reveal that the two were actually in love all the more shocking.  It was just an amazing twist to have and it perfectly explains how Harold ended up mentally stuck in the past.  Without the man he loved, he had no reason to move forward with his life.  It was an amazing subplot for the episode that showed just how devastating the loss of a loved one can be.

The biggest part of the this episode was our trip to the past, a decade of disco, bad hair, bell bottoms, and hippies.  Again, so glad I missed it, but it was a lot of fun to watch.  You had Castle fully embracing the idea of remaking the past, while Beckett fighting him every step of the way.   It was true to form for the pair, Castle embracing the weird and wacky, Beckett staying firmly grounded in reality.  Of course Castle got his way in the end, using his ever so amazing Castle Logic to convince Beckett that it needed to be done, which led to one of the best scenes of the series, Precinct 12 in the 70’s, orchestrated by none other than Martha Rogers.  Seeing Martha get so involved in what was supposed to be a simple deception, bringing in actors and scripts, was a perfect touch and a strong use of her character.  Seeing Castle and Beckett bumbling their way through their acts was brief, but hilarious, it was nice seeing the two outside of their comfort zones and just being silly awkward in a new role.

Overall, this episode was just plain fun.  It was upbeat, funny, and kept the drama light in favor of playing up the ridiculously funny gimmick of the episode.   It wasn’t anything great and won’t stand out as one of the best Castle episodes, but it is definitely a memorable one, if only for seeing Beckett in hippy wear and Ryan and Esposito acting like tough guy cops from the 70’s.  It was a solid episode to return from the hiatus with and was true Castle form.

Goon out.