TV Time: Castle 5.20

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.

Favorite Line
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.

10 thoughts on “TV Time: Castle 5.20

  1. agree fully with your comments. The one thing I really found myself happy about was that in the bedroon scene, Beckett comes in with a oversized shirt and shorts, in other words she looks like a normal gal (although beautiful of course) They didn’t have her in some slinky see through outfit. Who knows that may come later in a sexy, teasing episode. But as you say, they have esencially kept the characters true to form. That’s probably one reason why the audience stays facinated with this duo. The whole cast is exceptional!!

    • I love what you said about Beckett’s outfit in that bedroom scene. It lent an air of realism and adorable domesticity to the whole scene to have her looking more like a “normal” person in bed with her boyfriend. I especially liked the detail of having her hair up in a kind of messy way—if only because when my hair was long I used to do the same thing. 😉

  2. What a well written article. AWM says that the rest of the season is about taking down Castle’s walls. The conversations Kate and Rick have had in recent episodes are doing that, and I really enjoy them. The reality of a relationship and it’s development over time is what we are seeing on Castle. I find that refreshing in a TV landscape where big is seen as better than real. I like real.

    • Thank you for the comment!

      “I find that refreshing in a TV landscape where big is seen as better than real. I like real.”

      I completely agree with this assessment of why Castle and Beckett’s relationship development is so special. It feels real, and sometimes that means it’s not flashy or momentous. It’s built in little moments of intimacy, and I love that more than any other kind of relationship on TV.

  3. I think the theme of this episode was nuance. There was much to love regarding the second hand nature of the character interaction in this episode over the course of many scenes. The calm confidence of Beckett and Castle’s relationship, the ease of the four of them weaving in and out of the case, the changing balance of Castle’s relationship with Alexis. I think while the case wasn’t overtly interesting it was a good buffer between the 100th and what is likely to be an emotional run next week and fell smartly back on reinforcing the fun derived in the differences of these characters and that a romantic relationship doesn’t undermine that dynamic – for any of them. For me, the money moment of the episode is the believers vs. non believers banter (not since “I OWN A BOAT” have I laughed that hard). I must have rewound that scene 3x just to capture all the small nuances. Not just the timing of the dialogue but little things like Castle holding Ryan back after Esposito baits him with leprechauns all the while never missing a beat or ever looking up. Perfection. I think you’re right, what the episode provides is that consistent balance of where these characters have arrived to after 4+ years that have seen their share of harrowing moments. I think I most marvel at the fact that Marlowe and Co. have been able to take a procedural with a twist and in its 5th year keep it fresh through the depth of the characters, giving them breadth within the daily interactions rather than stretching the storylines to unrealistic places. The fact is, by bringing the characters together and taking away the will they/won’t they/when will they and knowing who Beckett’s mother’s killer is much of the overarching suspense is gone from the show (even when characters are in peril, there is little doubt of their survival because the show hasn’t built it’s credibility on shock value). I think it actually makes the show more challenging to keep entertaining audiences and requires a much more deft hand to build, broaden and crescendo these characters in ways that are both honest to the past and intriguing for the future. Only 5 left to go, le sigh.

    • I love this incredibly thoughtful comment! I agree with everything you said here about this episode showcasing the nuances in these relationships—both the relationships between the characters and the actors. By having them interact in ways that feel real to us as viewers, we’ve come to care about these characters in the small moments of humor as much as we do in the big moments of drama—and that’s not a given when it comes to TV.

  4. I love that Castle always has an ally in Ryan when it comes to believing. I loved when Ryan was talking about liking Curios George..Ryan has a soft heart just like Castle. Beckett is so in love with Castle because he has helped her believe that good things can happen after being so skeptical after her mom’s murder and her own shooting. When she dropped alot of her walls In “Always”, she gave in to Castle being her guiding force to the future.

    • Ryan talking about Curious George was one of my favorite parts, too! He’s so earnest and adorable, and I love the little details like that which make the character come alive even more.

  5. The scene in bed was perfect. First of all, Stana is absolutely stunning with messy hair and an oversized shirt. It was slightly distracting in a good way 😉 Second, I love it when Castle and Beckett show how different they are and how much they love that the other is different. Beckett may not believe in many of the things Castle does but she loves that he believes them and it came across in the way she looks at him so well. As a cop, it makes sense that Beckett is drawn to the the tangible while Castle, as a writer, is drawn to things he can only see in his head.

    It’s probably good that I didn’t watch this on Monday night because I would have been bawling at how earnest Alexis looked when she says she believes in people. There were so many heroes that day in the face of all of the hurt and destruction that I couldn’t help but believe in the good people can do too.

    • “As a cop, it makes sense that Beckett is drawn to the the tangible while Castle, as a writer, is drawn to things he can only see in his head.”

      I love this take on their differences. It goes all the way back to Season One with Castle believing that “Until tomorrow” is more hopeful because he’s writer, and Beckett responding with “‘Night” because she’s a cop.

      And I completely agree about Alexis’s faith in people being even more moving in the face of Monday’s events.

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