Title Secret’s Safe with Me
Two-Sentence Summary The murder of a young woman sends Castle and Beckett to a storage unit, which holds the answer to not only her murder but the deaths of her brother and parents as well. While working on the case and still keeping his relationship with Beckett under wraps at the precinct, Castle also deals with moving Alexis out of the loft and into her college dorm.
Favorite Line “Even on the worst days, there’s a possibility for joy.” (Beckett)
My Thoughts I’m running out of superlatives at this point when it comes to Castle. This season started out on an amazingly high note, and yet the show seems to be getting even stronger with each successive episode. Finally allowing Castle and Beckett to be in a happy relationship with each other seems to have given both the actors and the writers a renewed energy. If these first few episodes are any indication, I think Season 5 has the potential to be the show’s strongest season yet.
My favorite Castle cases allow for moments of both humor and heart, and this one did exactly that. The parallels about “stuff” and what our physical belongings mean to us on an emotional level were done with enough care and finesse that they didn’t seem as heavy-handed as the running theme about “secret relationships” last week. I loved the fact that there was no way to predict how the case would turn out until the very end (even if it was frustratingly obvious that the doll had something to do with it). And in an episode that featured deep moments of love between Castle and his family, the idea that an entire family could be killed by one man was especially affecting and heartbreaking.
There were so many hilarious moments in this episode. It had been quite a while since an episode of Castle made me laugh this hard. Some of my personal favorite comedic moments included:
• Everything with Captain Gates. I loved seeing such a different side to her character, and I loved seeing everyone’s reactions to it. Penny Johnson Jerald was surprisingly funny, and that element of surprise is what made her scenes really work for me. I’m starting to like Gates more and more every week, which is something I really needed because I felt like her character fell flat for me last season.
• “Need I remind you; I’ve already seen your stuff.” And, “That’s not the owing I mean.” – The sexy banter between Castle and Beckett will never get old because Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic pull it off so well.
• Castle’s theories about Beckett’s doll were priceless. I was especially fond of the one about the old gypsy lady giving her a talisman.
• “Take your hands off your tool…Shut up.” – I can’t decide which was better—Katic’s delivery or the reactions from Jon Huertas and Seamus Dever.
This episode was also a huge one for Castle and his family. There were some great reminders throughout of just how unique and interesting Castle is as a character. I appreciated the fact that the storage unit auction reminded the audience that he is both rich and famous because that has always been such a huge part of who he is, and sometimes I think it gets forgotten. That image of the bestselling novelist contrasts so perfectly with the kid-at-heart that Castle truly is, and there were some fantastic moments that showcased this side of him as well (rummaging through the boxes from his storage unit; trying to navigate the maze of boxes Alexis stacked in their loft; racing to get to Beckett after he’d discovered something crucial about the case after moving Alexis into her dorm, etc.).
The most interesting and wonderful part of Richard Castle as a character, though, is how he relates to the women in his life—and that was the central focus of this episode. I can never get enough scenes between Castle and his mother, and this week reminded me why. Susan Sullivan brings such a winning combination of sharp wit and incredible warmth to Martha’s interactions with her son, and she’s the perfect match for Fillion’s talents as an actor.
The B-plot about Alexis moving into her dorm was executed with so much genuine emotion. Fillion has always brought a depth of feeling to his scenes with Molly Quinn that have made this relationship one of the standouts on the show. While I would have liked to have seen Alexis’s initial reaction to Castle and Beckett’s relationship, I understand that there simply wasn’t enough time to allow for it. The writers made up for it with the scene in Alexis’s new dorm. Castle checking under her bed for monsters one last time was such a unique way to show the love between a father and a daughter in this situation, and it definitely made me misty-eyed. Another moment that got me choked up: Castle holding Alexis’s gold medal at the end of the episode. Fillion really sold the myriad of emotions a parent feels when their child leaves the nest; he’s doing incredible work this season, and I hope he gets recognized for it by someone with more clout than I have.
And now for this week’s installment of “Castle and Beckett Continue to be Perfect.” The chemistry between Fillion and Katic has always been this show’s calling card, and it’s better than ever this season. There are actors who show you the love between the characters they play, and then there are actors who make you feel that love. Fillion and Katic are, without question, members of that latter group. Even without having them kiss, this episode was the most intimate yet for this couple, and that is a testament to the new electricity these two are bringing to every scene they share this season.
That electricity made a handshake the most romantic thing I’ve seen on television so far this season.
What could have been cheesy was instead one of the best moments between Castle and Beckett to date, and that is all because of Fillion and Katic. The seriousness with which Fillion delivered his line about how much he wishes he could kiss her gave me chills. This wasn’t just flirting; this was genuine longing finding an outlet in the only way possible for them in that moment, and I bought every second of it. And the way the scene ended was just comedic enough to keep it from being over-the-top.
Another handshake ended what was my favorite scene in the episode. I have a real soft spot for moments when Beckett lets Castle in beyond the “tough cop” façade she shows the rest of the world, and the ending to Season 3’s “One Life to Lose” is one of my favorites of these moments. Imagine my joy when this episode contained a direct parallel to that scene. It was such a beautiful thing to see Castle tell Beckett that it’s her right to keep some things private; it shows how much he’s grown in their relationship. And I loved his face as Beckett shared the story about her time with her father on the beach after her mother’s funeral. Fillion did an amazing job of showing how honored Castle feels that Beckett chose to open up to him; he looks like he’s literally hanging on her every word because he knows how special it is for her to let someone in like that.
Beckett’s conclusion that the doll reminds her that “even on the worst days, there’s a possibility for joy” was such a moment of depth for her character. Beckett is a woman who has seen more than her fair share of worst days, but she has once again found the balance between the pain and the joy. In a way, Castle is her new Coney Island doll, her reminder that there is reason to be happy even when things look bleak. Seeing Beckett acknowledge that there is both happiness and sadness in this memory of her mother’s death—and seeing the depth of Castle’s respect for her in that acknowledgment—was better than any “badass Beckett” moment because it was a moment of honest growth for her character and for their relationship. It felt earned and genuine, which is exactly the way the show feels as a whole right now.