TV Time: Castle 6.07

MOLLY QUINN, NATHAN FILLION, JAMES CARPINELLO

Title Like Father, Like Daughter

Two-Sentence Summary Despite their strained relationship, Alexis goes to Castle for help when her professor introduces her to a man on death row for a crime he didn’t commit. With only a few days before his execution, father and daughter must work together (along with some help from the 12th precinct team) to prove the man’s innocence and find the real killer.

Favorite Lines
Beckett: Yes, because when I was a little girl imagining my wedding day, being stuck in a small tin can with a thousands tons of rocket fuel strapped to my ass was exactly what I had in mind.
Castle: Then we agree!

My Thoughts I’m often torn when it comes to any question about whether the ends justify the means. That’s how I feel about this “Alexis arc” (or Pi-gate, as I call it in my head). “Like Father, Like Daughter” was an interesting Castle episode that featured an excellent ending, but I’m not sure it was worth all of the father-daughter angst that came before it. Surprisingly, the relationship I cared about most in this episode was the one we only got a brief glimpse of at the end. Because, while it may have been called “Like Father, Like Daughter,” this episode did an excellent job of showing me all the ways Beckett and Alexis are alike.

Sometimes I like when Castle deviates from its normal procedural format, and sometimes I don’t. This time, I was firmly in the middle of those two opinions; I liked the change of pace, but, after the D.C. arc kept us out of the precinct for a while, I still missed having everyone working at the 12th together. However, it was nice to see them all banding together to help Alexis—because she really is part of their precinct family. I especially loved the way this episode reminded us of her relationship with Lanie and her time spent working at the precinct.

My only nagging problem with the involvement of everyone at the precinct is this: Was it a slow few days at the 12th? How was Captain Gates okay with her top homicide detectives spending so much time working on a cold case that wasn’t theirs? But I suppose that’s what suspension of disbelief is all about.

The case itself moved along at a good pace, and I definitely didn’t see the last few twists coming. I wished we could have seen more of Alexis’s work on this case or similar cases before this episode, but a thirst for the true story is in her DNA. So even though her passion for this case seemed to come out of nowhere, it was grounded in some very traceable character traits. It also allowed Molly Quinn to break out of the passive-aggressive mold she’s been stuck in for the last few episodes and remind us that she can sell Alexis’s interesting brand of maturity and naiveté like nobody else could.

My biggest problem with the episode was how long it took Alexis to stop being passive-aggressive (or just outright aggressive) towards her dad. First of all, Alexis (yes, I do sometimes talk to fictional characters), you don’t ask anyone—especially your father—for help by prefacing it with “I’m still mad at you.” That’s not going to get you anywhere, and you’re lucky you have a father as devoted to you as he is; most would not be so willing to bend over backwards for a daughter who is just using them for their connections to the police and their ability to solve impossible cases. And also, Alexis, didn’t you specifically state that you wanted your father to really make an effort to get to know Pi? Isn’t that why you were mad in the first place? Then why for the love of all that is good did you completely shut down his sincere attempt to ask you about your boyfriend? I understand being upset and wanting to stay upset because it’s easier to hold a grudge, especially with a parent. I understand being irrational at times; it’s part of being human. But that “don’t try to bond with me” scene was infuriating.

My frustration with Alexis reached its peak when she went into the possible suspect’s house despite Castle’s obvious concern. I know that the whole point of the episode was to mirror Alexis’s relentless quest for justice with the way Beckett functions, but when Beckett risks her own safety for a case despite Castle’s wishes, it’s often for her mom’s case, which we have an emotional connection to. We didn’t have that with Alexis and this case, so she came off as unnecessarily harsh towards the father who had to fight to get her back from being kidnapped less than a year before. I couldn’t believe that never came up during that conversation in the car—did the writers forget that happened? It would have made for a very compelling moment with Castle telling her he couldn’t risk losing her again. And how is Alexis not the least bit afraid after the ordeal she went through in Paris? I know she’s a brave girl, but for her to be indignant towards Castle about his very understandable fears was too unrealistic for my liking, especially considering her abduction last season.

I know it sounds like I didn’t like Alexis in this episode, but, by the end of it, I found myself warming to her once again. I loved her hug with Castle at the end, and I hope it was a sign of better days to come for their relationship (although as long as Pi is around I doubt it will be smooth sailing). But what really touched me in this episode was the moment we were given between Alexis and Beckett at the end. I wish we could have seen their whole conversation, but I think the subtlety of the moment worked well. It doesn’t matter what they talked about; what matters is they talked, and they shared something together that not even Castle is a part of. Like Lanie told Beckett, they’re making their own history.

That moment between the two best friends in the morgue was a great one, and it was one of the reasons why I think Lanie is such a vital part of this cast of characters. Beckett needs a friend—an honest, straight-shooting, advice-giving friend. And that’s exactly what Lanie is. I loved that Beckett had someone to open up to about her fears of never fitting into Castle’s life with Alexis because it’s a very real fear for a woman marrying a man with a grown child. And Lanie was right; it’s Beckett’s job to stop worrying about Castle and Alexis’s history without her (which will always be there, as it should be) and to start making her own history with them.

This episode was designed to show us just how strong a history that could grow to be someday. Castle and Beckett’s wedding planning scene was adorable (and so in-character), and it was a subtle way to remind us that a big part of the tension between Alexis and her father is this engagement that she felt left out of. What is a source of happiness for Beckett and Castle is a source of skepticism and latent hurt for Alexis.

But the end of this episode proved to me that these two women will be the ones to turn this engagement and wedding into something that brings them together rather than driving them apart. And it’s because they’re both kindred spirits. Alexis’s mother was hardly ever around, and when she was it was as a friend rather than a mother. Even with Gina, Castle kept Alexis separate from his marriage. And Beckett lost her mother just as she was growing into womanhood. Both of these women were shaped by the absence of their mothers. It may be more obvious in Beckett’s case, but Alexis has certainly been affected by Meredith’s inability to maintain a real presence in her life.

“Like Father, Like Daughter” did an excellent job of showing us just how extraordinarily similar both of these women can be. Beckett is serious, smart, and passionate—just like Alexis. And this episode proved that Alexis can be just as driven to get justice as Beckett can be. In fact, I’d be interested to see Alexis go into a legal career, to take the path Beckett was on before her mother’s death.

It put a huge smile on my face to see Castle watching the two most important women in his life hug at the end of the episode. More than anyone, he can see all the ways they’re similar and all the ways their budding relationship can help both of them grow as women. For a man who was so unwilling to open up his relationship with Alexis to Gina, Castle seemed at peace and content with the idea of the two loves of his life sharing a moment that he didn’t need to be a part of. If that’s not a sign of character growth for all involved, then I don’t know what is. And any episode that ends with such significant character growth is a good one in my book.

 

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30 thoughts on “TV Time: Castle 6.07

  1. Hi Katie.
    Wow what an episode. I’ve watched it now 3 times and I’ll watch it again after reading your review. Initially I found it hard to determine where the episode was going. It seemed the teenage angst angle was been flogged to death. On my second watch I tried to look beyond the angst and look for the story. The following is my initial thoughts:

    A show of cliches. A twist with the brother that was always coming, then the final twist when the real killer was revealed.

    The killer wrongly convicted. The brother with a guilt complex. The cop with something to hide, and the outsider who believes in the innocence of the killer and keeps digging even when the evidence suggests something else. Wow it’s like this case was lifted straight off the page of Episode 1 in Season 1. I do miss those poker scenes…

    Fillion’s many faces during this episode were delightful. From the married in space segment, to the long drive comment, and the realisation that he and Alexis were doing what Beckett and Castle often did, thinking out loud bouncing ideas off each other. In fact this episode could have been billed as something like’ Tonight the role of Kate Beckett will be played by Alexis Castle’.

    Many people might see this as the culmination of Alexis’ feud with Castle over his treatment of Pi. Yet what I see here is part of the answer to the burning question, what does Alexis think of the engagement and the relationship between her father and Beckett. In the past Alexis has expressed concerns and questioned her fathers motives, admonishing him and telling him to grow up and at the same time asking him if she makes him happy, and is it enough. Following Beckett around, playing cop was one thing, but a proposal of marriage raises the stakes. Alexis’ reaction to Castle’s treatment of Pi is perhaps not a statement so much about Castle, but perhaps a realisation that she views his relationship with Beckett the same way and sees that in fact she is no different to her father except she has not been so open about her feelings. One telling fact for me is the extent to which Alexis excluded Beckett and Castle from this case. We learn that Alexis has been working with Ryan and Esposito, then when things go south she turns to her Father, who incidentally is on a hiding to nothing. Leaving Beckett out of the loop speaks volumes about Alexis’ state of mind. Knowing this though makes the final scene so heart warming that I began to tear up.

    Is everything rosy with family Castle. Not quite, but we know more now.

    • “Many people might see this as the culmination of Alexis’ feud with Castle over his treatment of Pi. Yet what I see here is part of the answer to the burning question, what does Alexis think of the engagement and the relationship between her father and Beckett.”

      You’re absolutely right, Mark. The Castle/Alexis/Pi issues were not on display here. That much was evident by Alexis’s dismissal of the conversation in the car. There is definitely more to come that! Much of this was Alexis learning to see Beckett (and her relationship with Castle) in another light. After all, isn’t that part of the reason Alexis even brought Pi home to begin with – an act of “rebellion” because Castle shut her out when it came to proposing to Beckett?

    • What a wonderful, insightful comment, Mark! I especially love what you had to say about Alexis and Beckett’s relationship being the focus here rather than the Alexis/Castle/Pi feud. It was incredibly telling that Alexis left Beckett out of her investigation, and I’m sure it was a reflection of Alexis feeling left out of their engagement news. But, like you said, that’s what made the last scene so emotionally satisfying. Beckett’s desire to be included in Alexis’s work on the case was heartbreaking but also very important; we were finally able to see just how much she wants to have a relationship with Alexis. Her desire to forge a relationship and Alexis’s appreciation for her help are a great starting point for going further into this relationship as the season goes on, and that’s something I’m really looking forward to.

    • Mark I think you are right about this not being the culmination of Alexis’ riff with her father, but a pivot towards discovering what their relationship is going to become now that he is marrying Beckett and the fact that the root cause of Alexis’ behavior isn’t so much about his reaction to Pi (it’s not the first time Castle has reacted poorly to a boyfriend) but her acting out about the engagement.

      Last week, while I was upset about the closing scene I didn’t find it unrealistic that Alexis would compare her relationship to her father’s. Ridiculous sure, but completely understandable primarily because she was seeking to get a dig in at her father. It was a childish response to someone who is hurt and feeling left out. So I think this week’s episode went a long way in establishing where this arc is really going – and as Lanie put it, how they are all going to line up their baggage.

  2. I really liked this episode for the most part. I was particularly impressed with the case, which for me, was one of the most best ones they’ve had in a while. It was paced exceptionally well and had some great twists and turns. Even at the end, I had no idea who the killer was until they revealed it. Plus, I didn’t even miss Castle and Beckett working together, so you know it was a case that really drew me in 🙂

    I liked how they showed some similarities between Beckett and Alexis. I totally agree that Alexis pursuing a future as a lawyer or detective could be a great way for these two to bond. Hopefully that’ll be a story they continue with this season or next. The little end scene was really nice, especially Castle’s reaction to it. I’m still hoping we’ll get to hear a conversation between Kate and Alexis sometime soon, but for this episode I think what we got worked.

    I also really like that despite the dynamic duo being a part for most of the episode, there were still some really nice moments between the two. The wedding planning bit was hilariously in character and I loved their sweet little phone call, especially Beckett’s little “I know” after Castle told her how great she was. Too cute!

    All in all, I agree with what you said about the end maybe not justifying the means. While it was a great episode, I don’t know that it was worth the Alexis drama of the past few episodes. Guess we’ll have to see what happens next week! lol

    • Thanks for the comment, Becca! Like you, I’m really hoping we get to actually see/hear a meaningful conversation between Beckett and Alexis soon. I’ve been hoping for that for a long time, and I really think it’s something that needs to happen before the wedding. And on a somewhat related note (although not related to this episode), I really would love to see another conversation between Beckett and Martha, too.

      • Yes to a Beckett/Martha scene! This is random, but I would love to see Kate, Martha, Alexis and Lanie go dress shopping together. That would definitely be a fun way for all of those characters to bond.

      • Oh I think when we get to Spring and the real questions around if a wedding is going to happen begin to surface we are going to get a Martha/Beckett scene. I think a scene of some sort with all the women would make me giddy and just might be the thing to forever erase the Elvis episode once and for all. 😉

  3. Oh random other note, I LOVED the bit where Castle and Alexis spoke at the same time, especially Alexis’s grossed out look after Castle said he usually did that with Beckett lol

    • I think the way the scene played out was extremely powerful. For me I didn’t need to hear the spoken words, the body language was a powerful statement. The look of contentment on Castles face spoke volumes. We already had an inkling of what would be said when Alexis said at the court house there was someone else she needed to thank.

    • I have to admit, I felt ripped off at the end when we didn’t get to hear them talk. Even now, I still refuse to mark it off my Fangirl Bucket List (yes, I have one of those :-P). However, I understand WHY it was done. The words weren’t important. That it happened at all is what matters most. We’ll get to hear them bond eventually.

      • I think all the best fangirls have Fangirl Bucket Lists. 😉 And just so you know, a real, honest conversation between Alexis and Beckett has been on mine for a long time too.

    • Molly Quinn is a very talented young actress, and I love episodes that allow her to showcase what I’ve always seen as very impressive range. This was definitely one of those episodes.

  4. My random note is about Castle saying “Anytime” at the end – a cool parallel to him saying “Always” to Kate but the choice of words was different as he was talking to Alexis 🙂
    Great review Katie, I really liked this episode.
    I got caught up by the story and time flew by for me. I actually liked that we were outside of the precinct; there are obviously great episodes following the normal procedural format but sometimes it is enjoyable just to have another kind of episode. We need Marlowe’s team to come up with such new ideas/formats if we want to reach 100 more 😉

    • Thank, Charlotte! I love your comparison between “Anytime” and “Always.” It’s amazing how Castle is able to melt my heart with just one word. 😀

  5. OK, here’s my take on it. I think the title suited the episode because in fact it was Alexis who took on the role of her father and Castle very much played Beckett’s part. While Castle certainly still was willing to do what he does best – think outside the box, he was very much the part of the duo grounded in reality and very much anchoring Alexis’ frantic need to make the story work to prove the man’s innocence. Very much like “The Final Nail” where Castle was staunchly defending his prep school friend. That for me is what made his admission of that moment being like him and Beckett funny to me as well as Alexis reaction of being completely grossed out by the sheer idea of it.

    I agree the passive-aggressive behavior at the top of the episode was a frustrating, because it took me straight back to her closing the door on her father last weekend. I understand her begrudgingly going to him when she’s got no where else to turn, but a little humility wouldn’t have hurt. But then, perhaps that’s the point of the episode, that as mature as Alexis likes to believe she is and as much as she is trying to play that side, she actually isn’t all that mature. That theory holding true, it then makes the close of the episode less about the close of this story arc but the beginning of it taking a turn towards what it is going to eventually be.

    Everything about Lanie and Beckett’s scene was perfect. I adored it and have watched it twice since last night. It was a great batch of dialogue and a beautiful analogy that we’ve come to expect from Lanie and her sage wisdom that life is for the living. I think it opened up a true aspect of Beckett’s character and a justified insecurity. Castle and Alexis’ relationship is the thing that made her first see Rick for more than he appeared to be. It is the thing she most admires about him and it is the truest aspect of his personality that she couldn’t cynically write off at the beginning of their partnership. She is also fully aware of how Castle has sheltered and blocked that relationship from anyone else, including last year’s kidnapping. Her patience with him in this arena has been well served, but their reality changed when she became engaged. Figuring out that relationship as they become a family is a journey she and Alexis will have to take – independent of Castle.

    And that is what I think that final scene did. It set up the pivot out of her childish behavior and into what I hope will be an openness to figuring out what their family and interpersonal relationships will look like moving forward. Unlike a lot of folks, I didn’t need the dialogue. I didn’t need to hear what they said to one another. This season has distinctly been about looking through Castle’s POV. To watch him watch them without intruding into the conversation showed not only how his heart was filled by the two loves of his life coming together in a moment after a period of great challenge, but how far this man-child has come from the days of begging to know what Beckett and his daughter talked about. We have talked a lot about the confidence and contentment that has come from the engagement this season. That was on full display in another episode close that spoke straight to the story written all over Fillion’s face.

    • I love when I get an email saying I have a comment from you because I know I’m going to enjoy reading every word, and it’s always going to make me see something in a new light. I can’t believe I didn’t make the connection between Castle taking on Beckett’s role of the more realistic one and Alexis taking on Castle’s role in their partnership. I think I was so focused on Alexis’s determination and sense of justice mirroring Beckett’s that I never really saw their interactions in terms of what role Castle was taking in them. Yet another reason I’m glad I have you around. 😉

      Your entire last paragraph is perfectly stated. You’re right; this season has been all about confidence, and that’s what that last scene was all about—confidence from a storytelling perspective in that we’ll understand what was happening without words and confidence from a character perspective in that Castle feels a renewed sense of confidence in both of these relationships to the point where he doesn’t have to ask what they were talking about or but in. It’s a really nice way to show Castle’s character growth without making the moment all about him, and I applaud the effective use of Nathan Fillion’s expressive face once again. 😉

  6. Oh and I forgot to touch on this point. You wrote: “I couldn’t believe that never came up during that conversation in the car—did the writers forget that happened?”

    I thought it was a perfect moment as well for the kidnapping to have come up. I know the episode was written by one of the new writers, but more so I think the writers didn’t want to make this about that parallel. We all know his concerns are valid because we watched him move the mountains to get her back. We watched him cry helplessly and do unspeakable things to a witness – she didn’t. She doesn’t have the same point of reference we do for what he went through, nor should she because she was the one who was kidnapped. And as a parent, you wouldn’t admit to that fear from what came before, because you don’t want your child to continue to relive the horror or be defined by it.

    However, I also think the omission speaks to my belief that the episode was a reflection of Alexis playing Castle’s traditional role and Rick taking on Beckett’s. So when she goes into the house independent of his concerns and desire for her not to, it is no different than the dozens of times Castle has breached a crime scene in direct opposition to Beckett’s wishes. Like Father, Like Daughter indeed.

    • “I thought i was a perfect moment as well for the kidnapping to have come up”.

      I wonder if the reason the kidnapping was not brought up was because this issue was dealt with in Season 5 when Castle kept stalling on signing the cheque for Alexis’ trip to Costa Rica. Alexis stated that she did not want Paris to define her, and she needed to move on, so dragging this up again would be more fuel to the angst and place Castle in an even more difficult place.

      Castle is already aware that things between them are strained, the look on his face when he tries to relive the tension with the stories about the Amish road trip, and the way Alexis shut him down he knows that he has to walk a fine line. As was mentioned above, it’s not that Castle doesn’t care, but Alexis does not really know the extent to which Castle crossed to the dark side to protect his daughter.

      Sometimes to protect the ones we love we have to shield them from the truth. (Oh dear I’ve been watching too much Chuck).

    • “And as a parent, you wouldn’t admit to that fear from what came before, because you don’t want your child to continue to relive the horror or be defined by it.” – That’s such a believable way of looking at the decision to refrain from mentioning the kidnapping. It makes so much sense for these characters and their relationship.

  7. I absolutely love your reviews!
    Your analysis totally hit the target, even though I think this episode had a perfect pace for covering the arc of Alexis-Rick reunion. She’s a nice girl (I hated her since 1st episode in 6th season) but she’s very strong and stubborn, like her father.
    This episode was meant to build the “family”, a weird family as Kate says, and it was almost (almost) perfect.
    I still think I would’ve loved to see Lanie reaction to the wedding proposal, but now it’s time to turn the page and start with “organization”.
    Thanks for your reviews

    • Thank you for the kind words! This episode did a very strong job of laying even more groundwork for the beautifully nontraditional family that will be formed when Castle and Beckett get married. Alexis, Castle, and Beckett have lived lives somewhat defined by the absence of a parent, and it’s going to be interesting to see how that affects all of their interactions in building this family together.

      • It seems like you had some gossip ;). This week’s episode (A Murder is Forever) showed Caskett going a step further. Now it’s finally time to link their stories not only on crime scenes but at home too. The Linus Photo was their first REAL family matter and we could see the best Rick: funny, not used to really share his life but at last he did the best thing possible.
        Even though that seashell stuff is…ahem…kitsch?
        Waiting for your review!

  8. I agree with everything you said here – Alexis annoyed me for probably a good half of the episode, and even though I didn’t blame her for being mad at Castle, the way in which she went about it just rubbed me the wrong way. The scene in the car where he asks after Pi and she totally shuts him down felt mean. Castle’s been cut out of his daughter’s life for a couple weeks, and it seemed to me that this was less an attempt to bond but to try, like he said he would last episode, to accept Pi and to get some information about how his daughter was doing by showing interest in someone important to her. I mean sure, he was viewing the trip as an opportunity to bond, but I didn’t feel like his question was insincere or had ulterior motives to it. I think in general I am going to be forgetting this Alexis storyline happened (like I sometimes do with storylines with non-major impacts on a show if I don’t like it lol), except for this episode’s insight into Alexis’s passion and drive for the truth (which you and your awesome commenters here pointed out mirror both Beckett and Castle, which I think is awesome) and the resulting Alexis-Beckett talk at the end. I’m so glad they’re finally starting to bond as a family, I just didn’t like what took us here lol.

    The actual case was fairly entertaining for me, though like you I did miss having Ryan, Esposito, and Gates around more, and there was definitely some suspension of disbelief (would they even have jurisdiction in order to be allowed to handle the evidence, etc? I somehow doubt it) but ultimately I really enjoyed it. The guilty cop was suspicious to me right away, and I don’t know if it’s because after having watched so many years of procedural shows I’m just good at guessing the culprit or because I’m pretty sure I’ve seen that actor guest star on other shows, making him a tad more suspicious than another actor in that role would have been. Either way I still enjoyed all the twists, and had forgotten my suspicion of the cop until near the very end when they realized that the brother hadn’t actually done it, so it was a job well done in planning the case.

    My favorite moments, besides the Alexis/Beckett talk and hug at the end, were Castle and Alexis’s twin trains of thought where Castle said “I usually do this with Beckett” and Alexis looked totally grossed out (priceless facial expression!), all the scenes with Lanie because we need more of her on this show asap, and all the Castle/Beckett phone calls because they were super adorable talking wedding planning and just being the awesome partnership that they’ve been for a long time now.

    • I love how similarly we both viewed this Alexis storyline. Like you, I loved watching Alexis, Castle, and Beckett start to form a family, but there was too much out-of-character behavior leading up to it for me to completely like this journey we’ve been on to get to this point. I’m actually watching some reruns on TNT right now, and the episode just aired from Season Two where Alexis went to Beckett for advice on studying abroad. It made me wonder how we got from scenes like that to the tension we’ve had lately, and it makes me hungry for many more scenes between Alexis and Beckett in the future.

      • It’s funny because I thought of that episode when I think about how Monday’s ended. I actually think Alexis’ skepticism started in earnest at the start of Season 4 because of the danger it placed her dad in after the shooting. In season 2 he hadn’t yet gone through the serial killer, the bombing, etc. I think the difference is a young girl who firmly has her father prioritizing her and the gravity of the fact that he is now engaged and beginning a life with Beckett that he hasn’t included her in. Especially because her experience has been that her dad made her the priority not just with Gina, but with her mother. So I think the resentment has been subtle and actually snuck up on her with the 2nd hand discovery that her dad was engaged. (and yes I am back to defending Alexis).

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