Title Significant Others
Two-Sentence Summary The death of a divorce attorney leads the team at the 12th precinct to the unsolved murder of a pro golfer’s wife. Meanwhile, Beckett moves into Castle’s loft for a brief stay while her apartment is being fumigated, but things get a little more crowded when Castle’s ex-wife Meredith comes to visit.
Martha: This isn’t a flophouse, darling. You’ve got to stop letting freeloaders just live here.
Castle: Please tell me you see the irony.
My Thoughts I’ll get this out of the way now, so you can decide right away whether or not you want to keep reading: I didn’t love this episode. In fact, I thought it was the weakest link in what has been a very strong fifth season so far. It wasn’t “Heartbreak Hotel” or “The Limey” levels of bad, but it certainly wasn’t one of the show’s stronger efforts. I wanted more: more Meredith, more comedy, more romance, and more certainty at the end about where this show is going for the rest of this season. I know it seems like I’m being greedy, and maybe I am. But I know what this show is capable of, and I get frustrated when it falls short of that.
One of my favorite things about this episode was the case. It kept me on my toes, and it featured some memorable characters. The scene with the divorced couple taking turns smashing their belongings while Castle and Beckett looked on in shock was a classic moment of Castle comedy.
I also loved the supporting cast in this episode. Tamala Jones was perfectly snarky and sassy as Lanie. I love when we’re reminded that Beckett does have a female friend to talk to, and I love that it’s Lanie because she feels real. She’s not a perfect character, and she doesn’t give perfect advice—but that makes her all the more relatable and all the more fun. Jon Huertas and Seamus Dever were also in top form. Their scenes with Nathan Fillion were episode highlights for me. The three of them have a natural, brotherly chemistry that creates great moments of comedy, especially when it’s done behind Beckett’s back. And I would be remiss without mentioning Susan Sullivan. Martha is one of my favorite characters, and her scene with Castle this week reminded me exactly why that is. Nothing beats the Martha Rodgers method of delivering advice with style, frankness, and a glass of wine.
Fillion and Stana Katic continued to be great in their comedic scenes. I never once thought that Beckett was acting like a petulant teenager. She had every right to be angry that Castle told Meredith she could stay at the loft. I also never once saw Beckett doubting Castle’s ability to stay away from his “Deep-Fried Twinkie.” What I saw was Beckett feeling uncomfortable and upset because Meredith has a history and had a life with Castle that Beckett can never be a part of, which is completely understandable. I would have reacted the same way as Beckett in that situation. And let’s be honest: Katic plays passive-aggressive humor to perfection, and Fillion is great at mining incredible amounts of comedy from Castle’s frustration with the women in his life. And unlike at some points last season, Beckett’s snippy remarks felt justified and then some, which made them much more enjoyable.
Ultimately, my issue with this episode was that it didn’t do anything to deepen the Castle/Beckett relationship until the last minute. (And one can argue about whether that kind of depth is a good kind, but I digress.) I was hoping that this episode could be used to get Castle and Beckett talking about his failed marriages, but their only talks in this episode were short (but funny) arguments and one little romantic scene. The latter was sweet enough (I do love seeing those two characters be domestic together and seeing those two actors put their effortless chemistry to good use), but can we please get a kiss between them that has good lighting sometime soon? (I know, the Christmas episode had one, but that was so short.) I’m getting a little tired of worrying that the directors/writers are holding back on the romance except in “special episodes” (like the Hamptons one). I know that they’re still keeping the relationship a secret at work, so I’m cautiously optimistic that we’ll see more affection eventually.
Maybe that whole paragraph is a reflection of the fact that I spent most of the winter hiatus watching Chuck, which did an amazing job of showing two people in a well-written relationship that felt integrated into every interaction between them. I’ve been spoiled.
The end of the episode really threw me off initially, but the more I think about it the more I’m hoping it was for the best that it happened. But I’m still not okay with Beckett asking Meredith about their failed marriage instead of just asking Castle. I was so happy that this season has been about them being more open with one another, and then this happened. I did like Meredith’s reasons for coming to the loft; it was good to know she wasn’t trying to break up Castle’s new relationship. But I didn’t like that Beckett never found out the biggest reason Castle and Meredith divorced: her infidelity. Maybe Castle wasn’t open with her; maybe all of the sharing was one-sided. But she cheated on him. And Beckett still has no idea. The change in Meredith’s character at the end from flighty (but awesomely so) to trusted source of information confused me. Isn’t this woman supposed to be “crazy?” Why is Beckett trusting her without confiding in the man she really does claim to trust?
I’m intrigued to see what the conclusion of the episode means for Castle as a show. It’s true that for a show named after this character, we know so little about his past and what really makes him tick. So I’m hoping this means we’ll see Beckett slowly work to peel back Castle’s own layers like he did for her. But I’m a little frustrated by the fact that the ending made it look as if Beckett was doubting their relationship again. I understand it can be interpreted in a lot of ways, and some people love subtlety. I’m usually one of them. But in this case, I want to know for sure that Beckett is thinking about how much she wants to know the real Castle as opposed to thinking about how her relationship with Castle is going the same way as Meredith’s did. Because it’s not true. We know—and Beckett should know—that Castle does share his feelings, his fears, his life with her. And while, yes, she still has a lot to learn about him, she should want to know those things out of love rather than out of fear of their relationship falling apart.
The last scene felt like a way to set up the possibility of a “Castle’s dad” plot later this season, but I’m not so sure it went about it the right way. It felt both too heavy-handed and too open-ended, if that makes any sense. So while I am excited to see Beckett—and by extension the audience—discover more about who Castle is, I’m a little frustrated that this is the way it’s coming about rather than a situation handled with the emotional honesty I’ve come to love about this season.