Before I get to today’s Castle review, I just want to say that my thoughts and prayers are with everyone in Boston and all of those who were affected in any way by the tragic events at yesterday’s Boston Marathon.
Title The Fast and the Furriest
Two-Sentence Summary Castle and Beckett’s (and Ryan and Esposito’s) conflicting views on belief in the unknown and the supernatural come to the forefront once again when Bigfoot appears to be connected to the murder of a young woman. Meanwhile, Castle attempts to solve a mystery on a much smaller scale when food keeps disappearing from his refrigerator.
Castle: Did you see the way that gorilla looked at me?
Beckett: I think it was lust actually, Castle. You are ruggedly handsome.
My Thoughts “The Fast and the Furriest” was nothing more than a fun, lighthearted episode of Castle, and on a day like yesterday, a fun episode was exactly what I’m sure a lot of people (myself included) needed. Sometimes you’ll find me complaining about “filler” episodes, but this episode was funny and surprisingly sweet enough to work as a solid Castle episode even without moving the plot along in any major way.
I will go on the record and say that I was surprised by the killer, and I loved being surprised. I knew it wasn’t going to be the roommate’s ex-boyfriend because that would have been too easy. Also, Stana Katic did a great job of showing that Beckett was unnerved by how much she believed his grief and anger over the police not solving the murder—because we all know that she felt the same way about her mother’s homicide. I assumed the killer was going to be Raphael Sbarge’s Bigfoot expert, if only because any guest actor famous enough for me to recognize is usually the killer. And although he didn’t end up committing the crime and validating my theory, it was nice to see Once Upon a Time’s Archie on my TV again (especially since he’s being criminally underused this season on that show).
Once again, we were presented with a case that pits the skeptics in the precinct against the believers, and I don’t know how they do it but that dynamic never feels stale to me. Maybe it’s because the actors are so comfortable with their characters that all of their interactions feel so genuine and easy at this point. It’s truly a joy to watch Katic and Jon Huertas go up against Nathan Fillion and Seamus Dever—bantering and rolling their eyes at one another—because we know that it’s coming from a place of love for all of these characters at this point. You know the show you’re watching has a great cast when you could watch an entire hour of them standing around, debating the existence of Bigfoot and the validity of Bigfoot experts.
This was one of the funniest Castle episodes in quite some time, and it benefitted from great comedic performances from the entire cast. Katic always shines when she’s in “skeptical Beckett mode,” and this was no exception; her sarcastic one-liners and put-downs were all delivered perfectly, and the woman can roll her eyes like no one else in the business. Fillion was hilarious in his joy over the possibility of hunting down Bigfoot. How is it that Castle being a giddy geek over a crime still doesn’t feel old after five seasons? I think that says something about Fillion’s charm. And don’t even get me started on the perfection that was Castle in his ridiculous hunting outfit or the great callback to Beckett having to get an awkward boost from Castle to get out of a tough situation…
But the great thing about “The Fast and the Furriest” was that the jokes came from everyone in the precinct. Ryan and Esposito had some hilarious banter and great facial expressions thrown each other’s way. And Perlmutter and his sass were back in full force. (I especially loved both he and Esposito calling each other the “B-team.”) This is a very funny and very talented cast, and I love it when all of them get moments to shine.
Speaking of moments to shine, Alexis may not have had a lot to do this week as a character, but her scene was the perfect way to end the episode. Molly Quinn is so good at being earnest, and she brings an earnest sweetness out of Fillion that is always a joy to see. I love that Alexis has always been and will always be a good person. She believes in people, and I like that Castle told her that wasn’t a bad thing. It’s a balancing act—keeping young people from being too trusting while also keeping them from being too cynical—and I like the way this show dealt with that conundrum this week.
Alexis’s last scene with Castle was about finding a balance between caution and faith, and that same balance goes to the heart of Castle and Beckett’s relationship. One of the things I love most about their interactions this season is that their characters haven’t changed radically just because they’re romantically involved now. Beckett is still rational, and Castle is still anything but rational. Beckett is still driven by logic, and Castle is still driven by what makes the best story. Beckett is never going to believe in Bigfoot, and Castle is never going to deny the possibility that Bigfoot could exist. But both of them see that as something that’s okay. They may playfully banter and verbally spar about those differences, but they respect each other enough to respect those differences, too. And those differences clearly aren’t as stark as they were back in Season One. While both characters have remained true to their essences, they’ve also been allowed to grow. Especially Beckett.
The scene between Castle and Beckett in bed was so important because it showed just how much Beckett has grown and how much of that growth she’s letting Castle see.
Beckett believes in the magic of the present because she knows all too well that sometimes the future—the unknown—can be taken away, so it’s less painful to find the magic in the everyday rather than hoping to find magic in a tomorrow that might not come.
But we have to remember that there was once a time when Beckett wanted Castle to think that she didn’t believe in any kind of fate or magic. Castle brought magic back into her life; he gave her something to believe in. So while Beckett may never believe in Bigfoot or aliens or any of the million other supernatural things Castle believes in, she’s finally opened herself up to reaching for the unknown again because she’s finally found a mysterious phenomenon worth believing in. Love is the perfect combination of tangible, everyday magic and the inexplicable unknown. It’s the middle ground between their two sensibilities, and I love how happy Beckett is to find herself living in that middle ground with Castle.
While this may not have been a pivotal episode for these characters, it didn’t have to be in order to still entertain me. It was funny enough and had just enough relationship development to keep me happy for another week as a Castle fan. This episode was about simply enjoying the dynamics between all of these characters, and, after five seasons, those dynamics are as strong and engaging as ever.