TV Time: Castle 5.21

Title The Squab and the Quail

Two-Sentence Summary As Beckett begins to wonder where her relationship with Castle is heading, a murder investigation introduces her to Erik Vaughn, an attractive and charming billionaire. When she’s assigned to protect him until the suspect is caught, Castle is driven by jealousy to solve the case as fast as possible.

Favorite Lines
Castle: You know how I get when I’m gaming. I’m like Gretzky.
Beckett: Well at least Gretzky knew how to score.

My Thoughts I had a bad feeling about this episode going into it, and I’m sad to say that my suspicions were confirmed: I did not enjoy most of this episode. I feel like I’m in the minority when I say this, but I have never really enjoyed “jealousy-themed” Castle episodes. The only one I can think of that I liked was “Nikki Heat,” and that was because Beckett was jealous of Natalie Rhodes taking over her whole life—not just her relationship with Castle (and it was just a very well-executed episode in general). I tend to get annoyed with both Castle and Beckett in these kinds of episodes, and this was no exception. Everything felt a little too heavy-handed to me, but at the same time the big issues were left unaddressed, which left me feeling frustrated when all was said and done.

Sometimes an episode goes off the rails at the very beginning and has trouble righting itself after that, and I think that’s what happened in “The Squab and the Quail.” I have never been so uncomfortable watching an episode of Castle as I was watching Beckett try to seduce Castle away from his video games. Before I go on, let’s get one thing straight: I find Stana Katic (and Kate Beckett as a character) to be one of the sexiest people of any gender on TV right now, and I think she can play seduction like no one else. But I found myself cringing watching her wiggle around and speak in a faux-breathy voice as Castle ignored her. I understand that some people probably found it funny, but to me it just seemed out of character for Beckett to be awkwardly and a little too desperately seducing a man who seemed to have no interest in sleeping with her at that moment—even if said man is her boyfriend.

And that brings me to my other issue with that scene: How is Castle that disinterested in Beckett that she has to resort to such ridiculous antics to get his attention? I’m sure some of that scene is realistic; Castle likes playing video games, so it makes sense that he would want to finish his game. But then why invite Beckett over (when we know from previous episodes that they don’t see each other every night)? I found it hard to rectify that man with the man who pined for Beckett for the last four years. This relationship issue seemed to come out of the blue, but it does seem to come from the same place as Castle’s “walls” that the show was supposed to be addressing. But are we really supposed to believe that Rick Castle, the man who was so open about his feelings for Beckett previously, is now starting to hold back because things are getting too serious? Are we really supposed to believe that after less than a year together he’s already losing interest in her, or are we supposed to believe that Beckett is just being insecure? I honestly don’t know…And I’m not sure I like either option.

I guess my issue with the opening scene is indicative of my issue with the episode as a whole: It felt off for the characters and the relationship we’ve seen play out so far. It felt manufactured to create relationship angst just in time for finale season. And it seemed unsure of whether it was supposed to be a serious commentary on their relationship or comedic relief.

The parts of the episode that I knew were being played for comedy worked really well. I loved Lanie in this episode and have missed Tamala Jones so much. Her impersonation of Vaughn was hilarious and perfectly true to her character. Ryan and Esposito were also great in this episode. I love their dynamic with Castle when Beckett isn’t around (and even when she is), especially when they’re baiting him. Caffeinated Castle was also a treat, and Nathan Fillion played it wonderfully. And Katic’s face when Gates ordered Beckett to stay with Vaughn was absolutely priceless. (She really is the queen of facial expressions.)

Another thing I liked about this episode was Vaughn himself. (By the way, anybody else thinking of Alias and the beautiful Michael Vartan right now?) Ioan Gruffudd is almost impossibly charming, and that definitely worked to his advantage here. I’ve been in love with him since he was a lifeboat captain in Titanic. Heck, I was even charmed by him in 102 Dalmatians. The casting people did a great job on this one; he was believably threatening for Castle’s ego, and he had palpable chemistry with Katic.

However, the character trope Vaughn represents is one of my least favorite ones: The outsider who tells characters about themselves and their relationships. If Castle and Beckett were going to talk about where their relationship was headed, I wanted it to come from a more organic place than a man putting ideas in Beckett’s head and using Castle’s own words to describe Beckett. (I’m very protective of “extraordinary” as a word reserved only for Castle to say about Beckett, but I did like that Castle acknowledged that she is still as extraordinary to him as ever.) And while Gruffudd and Katic had strong chemistry, I didn’t like how quickly Vaughn was able to get Beckett to open up about her past. I suppose I could take it as Beckett finally being at peace with her past enough to share it, but it made me sad to think of how precious that information was to Castle as he learned it in tiny pieces and how much more easily Beckett revealed important parts of herself to Vaughn.

I especially didn’t like Beckett telling Vaughn that her relationship with Castle was complicated. That was a word she could have used even last season, but this season it shouldn’t be a question that causes angst; it should be something Beckett feels secure about—as secure as we viewers felt until last night’s episode. This relationship has been built on four years of friendship, partnership, and emotional intimacy. For Beckett to be wondering about its strength after being with Castle for months made me question what kind of foundation it was really built on. And maybe my fears could have been alleviated if they would have talked about their relationship like adults, but apparently they’re resorting to their old ways of skirting around issues rather than tackling them head-on like they did early this season.

I honestly liked the last scene of the episode a lot until the very end of it. I was happy that Castle acknowledged that he needed to romance Beckett a little bit, and I thought the massage idea was both sweet and sexy enough to be exactly what she needed to be reminded that he cares about her and wants her. Beckett’s question took me out of the moment, and Castle’s response took me even further out of it. It set up plenty of relationship drama for the season finale (which I’m actually hoping doesn’t end in a proposal like this episode seemed to hint. There are a lot of relationship beats to hit first, in my opinion.), but I would rather watch Castle and Beckett face outside drama together as the season ends instead of facing more internal drama and insecurities.

I’m excited for next week’s episode because it seems much happier relationship-wise than this one, but I’ll admit to being nervous about how their relationship is going to be handled in the lead-up to the finale. Last season’s “secrets” arc was one of my least favorite arcs the show has ever had, so I’m sad to say I’m a little jaded about the drama that seems to be ratcheted up just in time for May sweeps. I was hoping that the idea of Castle’s “walls” would be a way for Beckett to get to know him as deeply as he got to know her, and I’m still hoping that will prove to be true. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see. I have every faith that this show will get the big moments right; it’s just the lead-up to those big moments that sometimes makes me nervous.


44 thoughts on “TV Time: Castle 5.21

  1. I agree with your review. I feel Caskett was engineered, specifically Castle who has been attentive and aware of Kate’s relationship issues, to look bad. Vaughn on the other hand was made to look like the greatest Mary Sue ever, including hitting every single note for Kate to relate. I half expected him to wheel out a “merger board” saying he used them in his corporate takeovers.

    • I love what you said about Vaughn being a Mary Sue because it’s 100% true. He felt like his only reason for existence was to make Castle look bad, which was unnecessary. He was too perfect; it would have almost made more sense for him to be the murderer and for all of those stories he told Beckett to have been fictional.

  2. But at least the ‘secrets’ arcs came from somewhere. This one came from nowhere, I totally agree. It’s the sort of episode that pushes me away from a show – it doesn’t feel organic or earned.

    • That comment about the secrets arc is so true—at least it had been building since the season premiere last season. This just felt manufactured to create drama. I like angst when it’s earned and organic, and, like you said, this angst was neither.

    • Totally agree. Good word, organic. In the happy episodes, I completely buy into them as a couple, but in these angst episodes, I cant see why anyone would want to be with either of them…they both seem so annoying in their ways. And I LOVE this show and root so hard for them to be together, so it is frustrating. also feel this was missed opportinity to delve into castle’s first marriage and reasons fir divorce. woukd have added more depth to his jealousy and insecurity.

      • I totally forgot about Castle’s first marriage in all of my frustration with this episode, so thank you for reminding me that this would have been a perfect time to bring up his insecurities—especially about infidelity because it makes his jealousy seem more justifiable. The mere fact that I forgot the real reason why he got divorced speaks to how much of a problem it is that they didn’t bring it up here (or in Meredith’s episode earlier this season). It’s an important thing to know about his character, and we still don’t even know if Beckett has any idea. That’s just lazy writing, in my opinion.

      • Laura – that’s a great point. Having Kate connect the dots between this and his first marriage would have been a great way to end the episode at a minimum. I felt like after all the silly behavior (on both sides) during the hour, Kate should have called him to the carpet and not let him grand gesture his way out of what is a problem for her. Her stopping him in his tracks would have at least set up a moment of real tension and something that felt earned. From Rick’s side the moment felt like that point in Season 2 when he has the balloons with ex #2 to make up for being an ass around the concert tickets. Or perhaps I have too much time on my hands and am overthinking it entirely – lol.

        • I don’t know. I sat through this entire episode wondering who the hell were these people and what had they done to my character development?? And from what I’ve seen of Still (yes, I peeked) it will make LESS sense after that one. Totally weird. (Also, as an aside, if the big drama at the end is a strong successful woman like Kate Beckett having to choose between her man and her career, I might hurl something at my TV. lol)

          • ROTFLMAO – who the hell were these people and what had they done to my character development. There are two running teases for STILL the original one that was more serious and the lighthearted one they’ve created for post Boston – have you seen additional footage from that? This episode was just a miss. Oh and as for the Beckett choosing man vs. career I think there is no way Terri Miller would let it happen. So I suspect your TV is safe.

            • I do expect them to make it all right (or I would have just wandered off by now), haha. But I’ve seen more than the teasers for Still at this point (thank you poor international iTunes communication and those with more tech-savvy than I). The most frustrating thing really was that they seemed so…wrong in the ep. The thing about Castle that I have always loved is that, even with the occasionally silly storylines, the thread holding it together always made sense and moved forward. I am going to hold onto the idea that what they intended this episode to be and what it actually was were two completely different things.

  3. Boy, that is a review that mirrored my own to the end! I now know why Castle does not do relationships well afte seeing how clueless he was last night. Three times he made major gaffes with Beckett when she needed him to respond in a mature way. Castle needs to MANUP and stop being an immature, self-centered jackass if he want to keep Kate. Yes, and how is he acting so aloof to Beckett after pineing for her for 4 years, wanting her so bad. Now, he seems clueless as to what to do with her.

    • Thanks for the comment, and your confusion about Castle being clueless as to what to do with Beckett mirrors my own. In this episode especially it felt as if he wasn’t the same man who carefully and patiently worked to break down her walls and make her feel loved. I know that some immaturity is always going to be a part of his character but I don’t like when it shows up at the expense of a realistic take on his relationship with Beckett.

      • I think they simply misplayed the laziness that sets in once ‘the chase’ is over. He has the prize he’s sought AND he’s confidant in it (and yes that’s the chauvanistic, immature vantage point that is suppose to be at the front end of the episode that he attempts to mea culpa by the end). It’s not a bad line of thinking to play out – they just botched it.

  4. OK, I don’t disagree that the episode is disjointed – because it is. However, Marlowe and crew are going to get a pass from me this week for a couple of reasons a) They literally had to edit this episode on fumes and worked all weekend to get it done and b) I am keeping the faith that STILL will provide some context to what felt like an off the rails episode. So I continue my chant – In Marlowe I Trust and I am going to ultimately chalk this one up to this season’s “The Limey”.

    That said the episode was very manic. I speculated with a friend this morning that Beckett’s ‘insecurity’ is really ringing false to me (has been all season). I got it when Rick turned on her last season without her knowing why. But this season has done nothing but build their credibility as a couple (and I don’t for a nano second believe that Marlowe will break them up). Between the birthday gift, the drawer, the bucket list and a handful of other pieces along the way I have found it tough to understand Beckett’s unease with Rick’s sincerity and not simply because we haven’t heard her declare she loves him. That’s what made as you pointed out her quick to reveal conversations with Vaughn ring untrue. Had she had that conversation with Lanie, then it would have made sense. Also while I get the sweeping debonair character, what I don’t get was Kate’s quick to believe and take at face value the neverending platitudes of ‘exactly what she needed to hear’ coming out of his every sentence to her. From soup to nuts I think this episode disserviced both Stana Katic and Kate’s character (And I am not touching that opening scene with a 10 ft.pole). My sliver of hope is that something in Still sets some of this insecurity in motion. Perhaps it’s coming close to death for the first time when she now believes she really has something to lose only to then question if it is really going where she wants it to go. I think Marlowe and Co. have spent a lot of the 5 years giving us fits and starts around milestone moments in their relationship and this is one of those moments. We haven’t seen them ‘not on the same page’ all season, so this seems out of the blue and hurried. That said, they have established Kate’s nagging hesitancy around Rick’s commitment issues, particularly the 2x married as well as his perchance for the grand gesture in the wake of a misstep. That final scene annoyed me too, I think if she was going to ask where they were going she needed to break his momentum of grand gesture to do it. That under her breath ‘where are we going’ just felt like a copout. I think Rick’s manic jealousy played into his former self – the egocentric, cocky, shallow Castle of season 1 (I hope ‘Still’ may have added to the continuity here as well, because it is a trip down memory lane of who they were and where they have landed).

    The episode felt forced for sure and I am thinking I should have stuck with my instinct to show restraint and wait out next week and watch them together. I also think with 3 episodes left the game changer lies in Beckett’s career, not her relationship with Castle. We shall see, but I look at it this way. I forgave LOST for all of season 2. Castle can get a pass for a couple of episodes, especially given the circumstances they had to pull it together under.

    • I LOVE your comments because they’re always so well-reasoned and articulated. I’m sure the quick editing job had something to do with the off feeling of this episode, and for that I will give them a pass because some things you simply can’t help. And I do hope that “Still” provides some context for the things that are going on in their relationship right now. I definitely agree with you about Beckett’s insecurity coming from a false place—when has Castle given her cause to doubt how much he loves her and how committed he is to her (besides that horrible video game scene this week)?

      I love what you said about forgiving a show for a rough episode (or a whole season in the case of LOST, or, for me, Alias). There have been some Castle duds before (The Limey, as you pointed out), and ultimately I can look past them because what comes after is usually great. I’m holding out for the same thing this time around.

      • Agree!! I’m a little frustrated with the return of shallow, silly Castle over the past few episodes. I like the child-like part of Castle in moderation (and I stress moderation, because I’m a grown up and have three sons, so I can appreciate the fun aspect of boys and all its appeal, especially given his history and upbringing and how all that makes him the man we love, but seriously, at the end of the day, he’s a grown man, and blind belief in silly things like a haunted video disc is a little much to take). For me, the Castle that is the most appealing is the one that is pulling on Beckett’s pigtails in a tongue in cheek way (I’m one of the rare folks that thought “Undead Again” was hilarious b/c you could tell he didn’t believe in zombies, but DID believe (and took great delight in!) “driving Beckett crazy”). These last few episodes have painted him like a young adolescent, and Lord, who in the world wants to be with that?? SO not the character that the show has so patiently built up over the past few years, and so, so not the character that we saw at the end of “Hunt”, which to me was such a great example of the “whole man” Castle has grown up to be. I agree with the other posters that this disjointedness (if that is a word) is one of the reasons that this episode didn’t work, and I really hope that we get back on track. I love that this show is portraying the life cycle of a realistic, imperfect, wonderful, grown-up relationship – now, let them BE grown ups.

  5. Castle being Castle is fine. We all love him for who he is and he will never change his personality. What he has to learn is not to use immaturity to mask a problem or situation. Nathan Fillion has really shown his acting chops this season and I wish we would see Castle growup a bit. He may not be man enough for Beckett.

    • “He may not be man enough for Beckett.”

      I think he’s proven that in important moments he can be mature, strong, and sincere enough to be exactly what she needs. I just wish that side of Castle came out more than just the few times a year we get to see it (probably because that’s when I love Nathan Fillion’s acting the most).

      • Yes. I don’t buy the he’s not man enough for Beckett at all. If anything, all along the way he’s shown himself to be the grown up, the reasonable person in the relationship. He holds her up and stands behind EVERYTHING she does, and she just skirts around not being committed. I find that frustrating as a viewer (especially when the overwhelming bulk of the on-line fandom thinks Beckett can do no wrong). I really feel like she’s done more damage to him directly, and it’s his reputation she’s afraid of – not one thing he’s actually done to her.

        And earlier his playfulness was really that, and it never felt immature to me – he was all the things he needed to be – and we never saw him married, we’ve only heard about it – and neither ex seems like they would have been a treat to be married to. I find it existentially frustrating that the writing staff (and maybe NF as he plays it) seems to have made him regress. I really don’t understand how being comfortable in a relationship should be seen as taking someone for granted. I feel totally the opposite.

        In short, it’s Beckett who’s not ready, IMO. She’s the one with the problem.

        Ugh, I could start rambling. lol.

  6. I’m with you, Katie! This was definitely a weird one. I felt the same about the opening scene; it just didn’t feel like Beckett was comfortable in her relationship with Castle. She was trying way too hard, and I don’t understand why. They shouldn’t need to “spice things up” at this stage of their relationship. I’d much rather see them be sweet and thoughtful and happy with each other; that’s much sexier than the “ooh-la-la” over-the-top bedroom stuff (which to me always feels forced, but last night was a new level of awkward). And you’re completely right; why did Castle invite her over if he was just going to start a video game?

    That being said, even though Castle was being a silly goose, I don’t think he’s bored with her. I think he’s really comfortable with her and expressing it badly. Being comfortable with a person and/or wanting a little time to pursue your own interests is FINE, but taking that person for granted/ ignoring them is not fine, especially–as you said–after wanting exactly this relationship for so many years! His behavior was really out of the blue here, and even though I don’t think it’s cause for alarm, I can see why Beckett was frustrated.

    And I’m actually very interested in the dynamic that was hinted at in this episode (even though I don’t think the episode did it well). I like the idea that Castle might have wanted this relationship for years without ever considering what it would look like/ feel like/ BE like to actually date her. We know he loves her, but those are still valid things to work though. And I like that Beckett would hold back until she was sure she could give everything, and now she finds she’s ready to give without remorse, and he’s the one she’s waiting on. I like that. That being said, I think they came at this so suddenly that it feels manufactured and not at all true to their characters. They love each other. They should just talk it out!

    And I do wish they’d kept the relationship drama between Castle and Beckett, instead of bringing in a hot Welshman to stir things up. Not that I didn’t enjoy said hot Welshman’s face and voice and sessuality (Liz Lemon voice), but REALLY, show? Don’t you think Beckett’s capable of contemplating the trajectory of her relationship without his help? Don’t you think viewers are capable of understanding that Beckett is “remarkable” without his help? Did we really need him to literally, overtly say, multiple times, that he felt like he’d known Beckett forever? Do people talk like that? Castle and Beckett ARE complicated, but their complications came across as flat and unappealing here, as opposed to rich and intriguing.

    But also YES Michael Vaughn all the time!

    • Your last paragraph about needing a third party to move the relationship to a new place storytelling-wise echoes my thoughts exactly. And I totally agree about the “desiring a relationship with Beckett vs. actually having a relationship with Beckett” dynamic being something potentially interesting if it was handled in the right way. Castle himself said in an early episode that he wasn’t fond of the “day to day” in his marriages, and that’s something they should talk about. I know it’s a procedural and I know it’s not like either character has ever been good at talking to the other like an adult, but if ever there was a time to move these characters forward in that way, it’s now.

      “YES Michael Vaughn all the time!” My life motto. 😉

  7. Wow you completely read my mind with this review! I wasn’t a fan of the episode but couldn’t pin point why. I totally agree with you, especially the part about not knowing if it was comedic relief or a serious commentary on their relationship. I think that was the big problem with the ep, the tone was all over the place. And completely agree with the last bit too, this show does a phenomenal job with the big moments that always makes me forgive them for the missteps beforehand. Hopefully that’s what I’ll be saying at the end of this season too!

    • Thanks for the comment! The tone of this episode felt very unbalanced—I’m not sure if that was due to the quick re-edit they had to do on it or just a sub-par episode. Sometimes Castle can straddle the line between serious and comedic very well, but this was not one of those times.

  8. I too agree with your review, well done. I have an issue with Castle’s immaturity these days. In the early seasons, Castle was playful which is not the same as immature. He was also attentive, not just about Beckett, but of subtleties from all characters, including suspects and witnesses. I miss that Castle.

    I agree about Beckett’s early seduction scene being pretty unrealistic. Beckett has done earlier seduction scenes with ease. I think it was even harder to accept, because, really, who would or could ignore Stana Katic?

    I’ve been girl crushing on her even before Castle, and she just keeps getting better. It’s really annoying. 🙂

    • “…she just keeps getting better. It’s really annoying.” I agree. How dare she? 😉

      I also agree about Castle’s immaturity vs. his playfulness. They’re not the same thing, and sometimes I think the writers forget that. Castle was always a man who could be mature when he wanted to be but chose to be playful/childlike in many cases because it fit his image and was easier. Now I feel like he acts immature because he just is immature—not because he chooses to be, if that makes any sense at all.

  9. I’ve seen ‘Still’ and I will not say any spoiler at all so don’t worry but..

    When people do watch ‘Still’ what happens in ‘Squab’ is just so confusing from both of them, but mostly Kate. When I think of this season in my mind I will always put the events of ‘Still’ before the events of ‘Squab’ because that was how it was intended. I honestly don’t see how people can say Kate’s questions will/are warranted AFTER you watch ‘Still’ and keep in mind that it is before ‘Squab’.

    To me she did cheat on Rick, not in a major way but she did flirt, her body language was showing attraction to him to continue and try n kiss her, I don’t see how you can argue that at all.

    It’s hard because ‘Still’ is so positive and ‘Squab’ is so negative (from a relationship POV) that I almost feel confused on which thing we are meant to feel leading into these last 2 episodes, and yet because ‘Squab’ is the most recent episode (in terms of viewing appearance) it makes me assume that the negative/angst from it is what will carry us to the finale.

    People continuously mention how Stana and all the interviews are suggesting that fans will be happy and that after bumps in the road, they will get stronger. I find it difficult to agree/see it with only two episodes to go AFTER the events in ‘Squab’. I think they overplayed how Castle reacted to the first guy that comes along AFTER the events in ‘Still’ and they made Beckett the most flighty/wishy-washy person I have ever seen in a TV show considering what happened in ‘Still’, 1 episode before ‘Squab’.

    The character dynamic, relationship, attitudes is so extremely jarring from the two episodes that I don’t see a positive ending to the season. Like you said in your review, it is even more confusing after watching ‘Still’ because it’s just so out of place to the direction they have been taking in general throughout this season.

    This episode(Squab) came out of nowhere and it just felt so OOC with unnatural issues that obviously are creating a angsty ending to the season

    • I obviously haven’t seen Still, but from your post it appears that it doesn’t resolve the continuity issue. That said, it does convince me even more that the accelerated edit schedule to get it on air this past Monday in the wake of the events in Boston did them no favors. I also recall an interview with I believe Andrew Marlowe talking about how Squab was meant to be light and silly coming off some of the heavier theme in Still. I don’t think this episode in the long scope of the season will be pivotal, just a hiccup.

    • I’m trying to avoid being too spoiled for “Still,” but I’ll admit that I am curious as to how it fits with this episode now coming before it. It seems from reading your post that this week’s episode doesn’t fit well either before or after “Still,” which is disheartening. But I am glad to know that I’m in for a much happier viewing experience next Monday.

      • It doesn’t fit at all, the tone of ‘Squab’ is just dead wrong…but ‘Still’ is going to become a fan favourite, on it’s own it is probably one of the best Castle episodes of all time, right up there with the best

          • you will love it haha, it is so so so good. It just feels wrong to enjoy it because of ‘Squab’ and knowing it was meant to be before ‘Squab’ and these last 2 episodes which is like a complete 180 from the mood of ‘Still’ if that makes sense…very jarring

  10. In my opinion, I don’t think it’s about the switch between the two episodes. As mentioned, ‘Still’ and ‘Squab’ are complete opposites. One is so positive while the other is negative. When they are align next to one another, it’s too glaring. So obvious and drastic. There just wasn’t enough build up/development for the issues leading to the finale. We have only three episodes for the whole thing; The Squab, Human Factor, and Watershed. That’s just three episodes where suddenly things go haywire. Especially when there’s ‘Still’ and then suddenly ‘Squab’. It’s like leaving ‘whoa! what just happened?’ Meredith foreshadowing the issue wasn’t done well, especially when Kate doesn’t know she’s the person who cheated on Castle. If Kate knew about the cheating, I would at least accept it if Meredith told the souffle analogy was the reason she cheated.

    • Yeah that’s what I was saying. You go from ‘Still’ and then bang final 3 episodes of the season where all these issues come out of nowhere, I know there has been the Meredith thing and bumps along the road but this is so jarring compared to the tone of late.

      All feels extremely out of place

      • I wish they had at least leave subtle hints or anything that would imply the issues at least beginning from ‘Hunt’. A hint of lack of communication made clear, some conversation between Kate and Castle about him suddenly going to Paris without telling her. Heck, she could at least try to persuade, he goes any way, and Kate shows understand but at the same time discontent.

        Who knows? If one looks really close, (it has been pointed out) Castle fears abandonment given how he divorced Meredith and Gina. Its implied from ‘Lives of Others’ and ‘The Fast and the Furriest’. We’ve seen Kate’s weaknesses and how she’s overcome most of them. Castle? The season explores his background, issues, but hasn’t really much shown him overcoming them.

        A career opportunity for Beckett or Gates finding out might just force Castle to deal with the reality that he would not be able to be by Kate’s side.

    • Thank you for mentioning the faults in the Meredith storyline too because that was honestly one of my only gripes with this season before this episode came along. I thought it was handled incredibly poorly, especially because Beckett still has no idea that she cheated on Castle as far as we know. It seems as if the souffle analogy is going to be the basis for a lot of the angst in the next few weeks, and I’m not a fan of that because it came from a character who I consider an unreliable source of information.

      • I have a slightly different take on Meredith being the root cause of the angst. I think they have actually established Beckett’s insecurity about Castle’s past relationships pretty solidly – her conversations with Lanie have mostly served as the vehicle for this – last year when he pulled back after finding out she was lying about the shooting to be specific- this year when they head to the Hamptons and then again with Meredith. I think we can’t assume she doesn’t know why their marriage ended. Andrew Marlowe has been pretty specific in talking about that there are many things that are known/occur off-screen. I also think only diehards (ahem, us) actually remember the reason he and Meredith broke up. Kate has always feared his ability to really commit but her own ‘walls’ always sat in parallel to his prior to this season. I think things like Meredith’s episode (and we don’t know what they discussed at dinner either) and Monday’s (though poorly laid out) feed this narative. It has always been a sticking point for her at first taking him seriously and later being willing to give her heart over to him. Fillion has often talked about Castle as not actually being cool and in fact being oblivious to the fact that he’s not actually cool. I do think as viewers we’ve become very invested in this relationship and Castle’s immaturity/boyish charm doesn’t play the same because the dynamics are different. When I watch a lot of season 1 you see a very arrogant and shallow Castle. I think that while we’ve seen the depth of his character grow (not merely through Beckett, but with Martha and Alexis) that default position of shallow is always there. It actually mirrors Martha in an odd way. I’ll also add in the FWIW category, Castle’s much maligned (but I thought poignant) confession about feeling as though he was a fraud is also a consideration at play. Over the interesting discussion here I have landed in the space that Squab is a throwaway episode. It’s like the low – high you throw out when doing averages. I think it is worth noting that it was only 6-7 weeks ago that they added an episode to the schedule and that episode is actually Still. So perhaps Still is what breaks up the storyline a bit more than anticipated. Because the antics did start up in Furriest and paired with Squab it would play into a backstep of sorts around behaviors. Just more food for thought.

  11. I have not seen “Still” and have been avoiding any spoilers (including any comments above that talked about it) but just from the promo it appears to be a very positive relationship one much like “The Lives of Others” was. When watching it I think that as viewers we definitely need to remember that “Squab” comes AFTER it otherwise we will be even more confused.

    My thoughts on “Squab” are that some time has definitely gone by since the bomb thing. While I wasn’t super thrilled with the jealousy card there were some positive moments where Kate tells Castle that Vaughn isn’t him and Castle admits to Beckett that he is jealous. Like in any relationship, just because they have grown they ultimately aren’t going to change who they are. I think these things were brought up in the episode fairly well, despite a few issues. Beckett sharing with Vaughn, while fairly brutal to the fan base, showed just how much Castle has opened her up. Even though she has opened up, her concerns about Castle that she has had for 5 years are still going to be there in the back of her mind (2 failed marriages, will he commit to me, Meredith said he didn’t share much). Castle is also insecure despite his outward bravado, which we have seen in past seasons with Kate’s other boyfriends and the disaster of the flight attendants last season. Insecurities don’t just go away despite being in an overall strong and progressive relationship. Most couples go through these moments of “crap, where is this even going?”.

    I think this was a setup for Castle to hopefully share with Beckett how his first marriage ended and that he ultimately was pretty hurt by it and built up his own walls. I have total faith that, even though kind of out of the blue, this storyline will end well like the secrets storyline did last season.

    • I ultimately think I feel the way you do in your last paragraph. I HATED the secrets arc at the end of last season for a lot of the same reasons I disliked the majority of this episode…And it ended with one of my favorite TV episodes last year. So I do have faith that this will end well; it’s just the journey to get to the ending that has me a little anxious. I do agree that both Castle and Beckett have realistic causes to be insecure about their relationship, but I wish we could have seen them talking about these issues before—especially Castle’s first marriage when the opportunity was ripe with Meredith in the loft.

  12. Hi Katie and other Castle lovers,
    I also felt a bit strange how the episode ends and I was trying to find some more comforting reviews (or reviews that were trying to depict a good follow-up for this episode).
    Check out this one:
    I really agree on the last paragraphs (specially from “Questionning” part till the end).
    In my opinion, it is definity an issue of insecurity from Kate and Castle implying that he doesn’t trust her has to come from his first marriage but I hope they will talk about this pretty soon.
    I have seen Still and knowing that “The squab and the quail” comes afterwards, ….. I have mix feelings about this but I just hope my heart will stand the season finale.
    I hope it is fine to post another review here; I just really wanted to share this one with you, because I felt you also needed some optimism maybe 🙂

    • I tried to read that review (thanks) but I had to stop. I need really need someone to point to ‘all these examples of Castle taking her for granted or being lazy, because I do feel like we’re being told he’s doing these things, but I’ve only seen them in TSATQ. It still doesn’t ring true for me.

    • Thanks for sharing that review and especially for sharing your thoughts! While I don’t agree with everything in that review, I do hope they talk about his first marriage soon because I think Castle has a lot of insecurities that aren’t being discussed yet. I’ve been hoping for them to talk about his marriages for such a long time, and I’m still holding out hope for it to happen soon.

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