TV Time: Castle 5.10

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.

Favorite Lines
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.

 

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11 thoughts on “TV Time: Castle 5.10

  1. I think all of Martha’s moments were my favorite part of Castle this week (or maybe the divorcing couple breaking all of their things so the other couldn’t have them). I was interested in the case, but I didn’t love the Castle/Beckett/Meredith storyline as much as I would have liked to.

    I actually didn’t think Castle handled things as badly as the other characters seemed to think he did. In retrospect, I think he would have made a different choice, but despite her failings as Alexis’s mom, I think he does like it when Meredith shows up to be a parent and that was what he felt she was doing.

    I did enjoy Beckett and Meredith seemingly getting along after their dinner, although I wasn’t thrilled with the ending. I can see why Beckett made the parallel she did between her own secrets and past while knowing comparatively little about Castle’s, but like you said, I would rather that have been a conversation between the two of them, not Beckett and Meredith. I am intrigued by the potential for backstory on Castle though, and I hope that we learn it as he reveals it to Beckett.

    • I agree with you about Castle getting more grief than he should have from the other characters. He always wants to do what’s right for Alexis, and I think he likes it when Meredith appears to want to do the right thing for their daughter, too. No matter how crazy she is, she’s still Alexis’s mother. I might have reacted the same way as Beckett, but I liked that neither character was “the bad guy” in their argument. They both had valid reasons for acting the way that they did.

  2. Hey! Long time no talk. I’m sorry I haven’t been in touch lately. I’ve been having the winter doldrums (Christmas was kind of awful ugh) and I’ve been sick for like a month so I haven’t been around much except on tumblr. I’m glad Castle is finally back so we have an excuse to chat. 🙂

    On to the episode. I had some misgivings during it, like you, but on the whole I did enjoy it. Although I do wish we could just have an episode where Castle and Beckett are together and actually just happy and relaxed with each other instead of these constant “issues” cropping up. I mean I understand that any new relationship has to work out it’s kinks, but it’s actually starting to feel like that’s all they ever do. Encounter issue, one or both of them feel fear and insecure, resolve or table issue, rinse, repeat. It’s not helping that I read a blind item that put the scare into me re: Castle and Beckett, so I may just be seeing all of this through my own fandom insecurities about my ship lol. 😛

    I actually kind of see what Meredith said about Castle keeping his issues and stuff secret. I mean yes, he talks to Beckett about his feelings regarding her and Alexis and his mother, etc. His everyday concerns and feelings. But it does seem like he is holding something back all the time, it’s like he’s let Beckett in, but there’s still this one door that he’s keeping shut. As a person who has those kinds of “rooms” in my psyche I think I can understand. Even when you love someone there’s always that impulse to keep some of the most personal stuff, the stuff that really scares you or hurts or whatever secret. Like you just need something that’s just yours especially the stuff that other people could really hurt you with. Whereas Beckett has pretty much blown those doors open for Castle. He knows about the worst stuff. About her mom, and what her obsession with that can turn her into. So there is kind of an imabalance there. My hope is that Beckett will push Castle a bit to share some of that stuff with her and my other hope is that Castle will be ready to do that.

    • I’m so happy to see you around these parts again! I hope you’re feeling better (I was sick around Christmas—this flu season has been absolutely awful so far). I love everything you said about wanting an episode where Castle and Beckett don’t have to deal with any relationship issues. I know people in real relationships have real problems, but people in relationships also often have periods of happiness and normalcy, too. And it would be nice to see them not have to deal with angst (even comical angst) for at least an episode. It’s starting to wear a little thin for me, too.

      I also really like what you said about Castle. I tend to agree—he’s an open book about some things but not about the deepest stuff. It’s a very realistic thing, and I think Nathan plays it with really great subtlety. I’m just hoping we get to see Castle open up to Beckett with as little relationship drama involved as possible. I want them to be open with each other because they’re both ready for that.

      • Yes, I am hoping that this does mean a deeper exploration of Castle’s past and character. Hopefully sans major relationship drama like breakups or breakup scares or anything related to that lol. And yes I also love the way Nathan plays the subtleties of Castle’s character. Wasn’t it awesome him winning the people’s choice award the other night for Best Actor in a Drama? I admit, I was actually rooting for Jensen Ackles (Supernatural) just because he’s an amazing actor who doesn’t get a lot of recognition since he’s on a cult genre show, but if he had to lose to anyone, Nathan is the best.

  3. Love this analysis and I agree with everything that’s been said so far. I’m 50/50 on the episode too – definitely wasn’t my favorite and didn’t quite go where I had hoped (I also wanted Castle and Beckett to talk about the reason why his marriage broke up and had hoped that the “you’re not the man I thought you were” was actually a positive statement to that effect…but oh well). I wasn’t crazy at all about how snippy Kate was initially – I was much happier when she agreed to go to dinner and I LOVED the interplay between she and Meredith on their return – that’s the self assured Kate Beckett that I think is so awesome. I wish there had been more of that. I also agree that I can’t quite decide how to interpret the last scene but I’m going to choose to think it means Kate realizes she needs to dig deeper on Castle’s story – that there is more to him than meets the eye – rather than another round of insecurity that he’s not a good fit for her, etc. Having just re-watched the first three seasons, I think there is so much more to him than we’ve really learned so far and you definitely get the sense that his childhood was actually pretty miserable (doesn’t sound like Martha was around much, shady babysitters, no father, up and downs with money, etc) so when you factor that into the man/father he became before he met Kate, plus the man he’s become since he met her – he’s really quite an extraordinary guy (and therefore perfect fit for the extraordinary KB!). I think one of the best scenes I’ve seen (and also one of the hardest for me to watch b/c I love Castle and Nathan Fillion just nails his personality so well) is in the episode where his friend is suspected of murdering his wife and Castle talks about the influence the friend was on him during some pretty bad boarding school years – he’s so vulnerable in that one scene. I’m hoping we get more of that with this new direction. Guess we’ll see soon enough! Thanks for covering this show on this site – my husband thinks I’m nuts b/c I’m so invested in these characters so it’s great to have a forum where I can sound off without all the eyerolls and comments from the peanut gallery :-). (PS. Fun thing I just realized from reading the Richard Castle books – which is a slightly silly, fun diversion if you need a little fluff – the author notes on Heat Rises call out a thank you to “Kate Beckett” for “teaching me the meaning of songs”…a direct tie in to the episode where Alexis meets Ashley and Castle asks Beckett “how do you know when you are in love” and she says “all the songs make sense”. Sigh. These guys make me melt!)

    • I’m so happy you come here and comment because we can always use more impassioned, fun girls talking about Castle on this site! 😉

      I love what you said about Castle being his own brand of extraordinary. It’s so true. When the show first started, I was instantly drawn to the dichotomy between his playboy persona and the caring father he really is. It’s amazing that he turned out so well and so grounded, and I’m interested to find out as much as we can about him (especially because I have every faith that Nathan will be fantastic with this storyline).

  4. I’m with you, Katie; not this show’s finest hour. There was some great music, and I did like that Beckett never doubted Castle’s fidelity. But I didn’t like that she and Meredith moved so quickly into friendship territory. You’re right; she’s supposed to be the crazy one, but Kate seemed to trust her implicitly at the end. What’s more, the writers seemed to want us to trust Meredith too, because she DOES have a point: Castle, for all of his increased openness, is still a really, really private character. I’m actually really intrigued by the idea that the show will explore his emotional walls–I just wish they hadn’t used Meredith so inconsistently in order to get us to that point.

    I just felt like nobody was on their A-game in this episode. There were actually palm trees in the background that nobody made any effort to hide. Like, WHAT? This show is usually pretty good at faking New York! There were some clunky lines, too. And, CONFESSION TIME, I didn’t like the scene with the couple breaking all of the vases. This case had the opportunity to shake our characters, to make them take a serious look at divorce, breakups, and the damage they cause (not to mention the insecurities Beckett and Castle might feel over the fragility of their new relationship), but instead we just got a lot of over-the-top revenge. I was glad, though, that the ex-husband immediately joined his ex-wife in crazytown, because for a while there, I thought they were stereotyping vengeful women in the worst way. But nope, turns out they were just stereotyping crazy rich couples. That’s a little better 🙂

    • I join you in your happiness that they weren’t stereotyping vengeful women in the “throwing stuff” scene. I was initially worried about that too. And I didn’t notice the palm trees, but I think that’s because I actually kind of checked out of the episode part of the way through. It wasn’t the show’s finest hour at all, but I’m hoping it bounces back strongly by allowing Castle’s backstory to begin to open up. No show is perfect, and that’s certainly true for a show that’s been on for five seasons. There are bound to be duds here and there, and this was one of them.

      • Oh totally. If I’d stopped watching Bones after its first dud, I would’ve only seen one episode 🙂 And I think it was still a fine episode–it just doesn’t hold up in comparison to some of their better ones. Plus, I’d rather a show fall short sometimes and inspire strong emotion than be consistently decent and never really get to me.

  5. Pingback: TV Time: Castle 6.15 | Nerdy Girl Notes

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