TV Time: Castle 6.10

Castle 610

Title The Good, the Bad, and the Baby

Two-Sentence Summary After a dying man abandons a baby at a church, Castle and Beckett must solve not only his murder but also the mystery behind the baby’s identity and connection to the case. Until they do, they take the baby in, which allows both of them—especially Beckett—to take a glimpse into their future and the possibility of having children of their own someday.

Favorite Line Upon walking into the loft to see Martha holding a baby while Castle and Beckett are sleeping near her: “How long have I been gone?” (Alexis)

My Thoughts In honor of this episode’s Thanksgiving theme, I would like to turn this week’s review into a little list I like to call: “10 Things to Be Thankful For in ‘The Good, the Bad, and the Baby.’”

1. An Excellent Opening. The opening of this episode, with the victim stumbling into the church while the cantor was singing and the service was going on was just unsettling enough to be memorable. Part of me was a little frustrated that the chilling events of last week’s episode went completely unaddressed in “The Good, the Bad, and the Baby,” but that’s sadly to be expected from a procedural. However, I did get a good dose of goose bumps from this opening scene without being as terrified as I was by “Disciple,” which is just what I want from a holiday-themed Castle episode.

2. Playful Pocahontas. Between last season’s “Secret Santa” and this episode, I really enjoy watching Castle and Beckett share holiday traditions—even made-up ones. I had a feeling Castle was kidding about his Thanksgiving costumes, but I loved that Beckett was willing to play along. Even more than that, though, I loved that she was smart and sassy enough to get him a costume just in case he turned out to be kidding.

3. A Family Affair. It warmed my heart to see Beckett and her father included in Castle’s family festivities for Thanksgiving. I have always loved that the Castle Family feels like a real family, with history and traditions that are special to them. And now I love that Beckett and her dad are becoming a part of this warm and welcoming family. From Beckett helping Castle shop for the Thanksgiving meal to Alexis talking to Jim Beckett on the phone, there was a very natural, domestic feel to this episode, and that tone was perfect for a holiday episode. It further proved to me that this season of Castle is all about confidence, and now that extends to confidence in the characters’ abilities to form their own big, happy family without having to make a big deal about it in the plot.

4. Just Enough Alexis. After the angst-driven father/daughter storyline that permeated the show only a few weeks ago, I was happy to see Alexis used sparingly but enough to make a fun impact in this episode. Her entrance to the loft (see my favorite line of the episode) was hilarious. And her final line about having kids at the same time as Castle and Beckett could have been cringe-worthy, but it was saved by Nathan Fillion’s hilariously horrified reaction. I’m not sure if I was supposed to think that Alexis is serious about having kids with Pi in a few years, but I’m hoping it was just meant as the setup for another awesome Fillion reaction. And was anyone else thrilled that Pi existed in name only in this episode?

5. Kevin Ryan. Is it even humanly possible to be more adorable than Kevin Ryan? Seamus Dever is knocking everything he touches out of the park this season, and this episode was no exception. His lottery subplot was genuinely funny, and it fit perfectly with what we know about his character (as did Esposito’s dislike of the lottery). But Dever’s best work in the episode was with baby Benny. There is no worse feeling than feeling like you made a baby cry, and that little bit of realism mixed with comedy was a great running side plot in this episode. The stress of Ryan’s impending fatherhood was something that hadn’t really been dealt with too much this season, and I thought this was the perfect way to make his anxieties tangible while not making them too melodramatic.

6. The Best Bromance on TV. Another week, another reminder that Castle and Beckett aren’t the only perfect partnership on this show. I thought Esposito’s little pep talk to Ryan about being a dad was perfect—it said just enough without being too sentimental. It felt right for both characters, and it reminded us of an important part of Esposito’s character that we were only really privy to in one episode—his sense of abandonment and his lack of a real family, which makes his brotherhood with Ryan so special.

7. Lanie the Baby Lover. Was anybody else surprised that Lanie was so enamored with baby Benny? I love when character traits sneak up on me, and that’s what happened with Lanie’s maternal side. Tamala Jones was so cute in her interactions with Benny; her baby-talk delivery of facts about the case was both adorable and realistic. (I have definitely had conversations with other adults in that kind of voice while holding/interacting with babies.) I also love that just because Lanie loves babies, it doesn’t mean she wants to rush out and start a family with Esposito right now. That would have been a clichéd direction for this episode to take, but instead, Lanie’s love for babies and her desire to have one of her own seem separate, which is often the case in the real world.

8. Beckett and Benny. Beckett not being a baby person was so true to her character that I could have cried grateful tears for Terri Miller knowing her so well. Not everyone is a baby person, and it makes so much sense for Beckett, who doesn’t seem to have much experience with children, to have trouble knowing how to interact with a baby. Also, I’m sure babies and talk of motherhood and starting a family bring up a whole host of issues in the back of her mind about losing her own mother and all of the emotional baggage that has come with that loss. But watching Beckett come to warm up to Benny was one of the great rewards of this episode. There was a brief moment where she was holding Benny and watching Castle, and you could see in her eyes the recognition that this could be her life someday soon. And the happiness Stana Katic put into that moment absolutely killed me—in the best possible way.

9. Ruggedly Handsome Dad. You’ve got to hand it to Castle; it knows how to work with what it’s got. And what it’s got is one heck of a charismatic leading man who looks even more desirable while holding a baby. Naturally, this episode featured Fillion interacting with Benny as often as possible. It fit with Castle’s character—of course the warm, playful man who practically raised Alexis on his own would be great with babies. But, more importantly, it gave the GIF makers of the Castle fandom endless material for anytime you want to fall in love with Fillion all over again.

10. Terri Miller. There’s nothing like a Terri Miller episode of Castle. They’re uniquely funny, warm, and believable. Miller has such a great grasp on these characters and their relationships that even the smallest details ring true. I love the way she writes the Castle/Beckett dynamic; it’s always smart, playful, and, above all else, genuine. Whenever those two interacted in this episode, it felt like a real engaged couple talking. Their discussions about their future family weren’t made into these big, game-changing talks. Instead, they were simple, realistic moments of understanding that both of them do want a little Benny of their own. Fillion and Katic played those moments with such genuine joy and easy warmth, and the writing and performances combined to make the perfect finale for what has been an excellent first half of Season Six.

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25 thoughts on “TV Time: Castle 6.10

  1. 11. It gave us this great review! 🙂

    Re #8: I completely agree that Beckett isn’t/wasn’t a baby person, but I’m having a difficult time reconciling that with how she acted with Angela Candela in the first season. Maybe it’s one of those little things I just need to overlook. 😉 Those moments where she snuggled Benny and whispered, “Uncle Rick thinks he’s funny” and then sees them doing this for real in the future makes me melt like frikkin’ Frosty in July.

    I also LOVED the “watch those balls” line and Castle’s reaction. We can file that away with “Let’s just stick it in and get it over with” and “I can’t help it if you get off by putting things in my mouth.” Hahahaha!

    It makes me extremely happy that children are now a given and I, for one, am hopeful the show will remain on the air long enough to see one brought into the fold.

    Happy Thanksgiving, Katie!

    • Hey Lindsay,
      Your comment about Beckett’s different reaction to Benny and Angela could be explained by the difference in ages of the child. I know many parents who find it hard to relate or don’t know how to behave around an infant, but when they grow up can walk and talk the dynamic changes and they are so different.

      Beckett’s time with Angela showed that this hard edged cop did indeed have a softer side. With Benny it showed that there is serious consideration of what her future holds and whilst it might terrify her she’s warming up to it and might actually enjoy the experience. However as Esposito rightly stated no one is ever ready for parenthood.

    • Lindsay, I totally get what you’re saying about the disconnect between Angela and Baby Benny, but may I suggest that there is a HUGE difference between interacting with a toddler and handling an infant? I had this discussion with some friends just this morning and some of my more baby-phobic friends commented that babies are mysterious to them in a way that young children are not. They cited worries about dropping them, making them cry, and doing something, ANYTHING wrong to them. Personally, I did not consider myself to be maternal AT ALL prior to having my son, and quite frankly, babies freaked me out a bit too! Of course, all of that changed when he entered the world, and I found myself to be far more competent than I had even imagined. I have no doubt our Kate Beckett will find the same!

    • Lindsay I think the difference is that Angela represented the child Beckett didn’t save when she and Will had worked that other case. Angela was personal for her. At least that was how I saw it. I also agree with the others that babies and toddlers are two different creatures.

      • Wow, guys. I had actually typed a line about the difference in newborn and toddlers, but deleted it. Guess I should have included it after all.

    • Thanks so much for the nice words, Lindsay, and I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, too!

      I’m so happy you pointed out the “watch those balls” line because it cracked me up. Yet another priceless Castle reaction shot.

      I do agree with the prevailing sentiment about the differences between babies and toddlers and how Beckett’s interactions with them could differ. My sister is great with toddlers, but she doesn’t feel comfortable around newborns and infants. I liked that the show addressed this dichotomy with Beckett, and I also liked that she seemed to have completely warmed up to Benny by the time the episode ended. And how could you not—he was adorable!

  2. Hi Katie,
    I loved this episode and everything in your review is what I might have said. Here we had a murder case where I actually cared about the victim. Even the reveal that he might be the baddie didn’t diminish the fact that he’d sacrificed his life for the baby. There were enough twists and turns to keep it interesting.

    Ryan’s reaction to holding baby Cosmo/Benny was priceless, and I’ve seen this same reaction in many soon to be parents. The horror and realisation that this is your future and you can’t stop it. Also Beckett/Castle’s sheer look of exhaustion after only one night of babysitting was a complete hoot. Castle’s quip that he’d forgot about this part was the icing on the cake. How many parents the second time round forget the exhaustion, drama of their first child, only to be reminded of it once the second arrives.

    You mentioned that in this episode the organic nature of the involvement of family in the holiday activities. Two things I noticed, Pi’s name was mentioned with no snide remarks, only an accepting statement that he was bringing something to the table. The second was Beckett walking in costume, handing Castle his and the high giving Martha as she walks off. Martha and Kate in cahoots to play Castle at his own game.

    Oh and I so loved the whole Alexis interaction with the comment about how long have I been gone and the prospect of having a baby together.

    On a side note I’ve just watched the last episode of Chuck.

    • Thanks so much for the thoughtful comment, Mark! I liked what you said about Pi’s name being mentioned without any snide remarks. It added to the overall warm feeling of the episode in a subtle but noticeable way.

      And that last episode of Chuck was a tornado full of emotions, right? It still makes me cry.

      • Watching the last 3 episodes of Chuck I had many mixed emotions. Knowing that these were the final episodes perhaps played on my mind, but I felt dissatisfied with the direction and the story. I cared for these characters and the ending felt lazy almost in a Lost type of way.

        Watching the final episode and in particular the final beach scene I was disturbed, cheated and believed it wasn’t the best ending or the ending that I would have written for these characters.

        Now that I’ve had a few days to reflect on the ending I see hope. Ultimately the story of Chuck and Sarah is a love story. Chuck’s love for Sarah is pure and unconditional. We’ve seen over 5 seasons the extent Chuck is willing to go to save and protect the woman he loves. Sarah’s loss of memory we see in everyday life, as the result of traumatic accidents or mental health issues. We see this with couples where one partner afflicted by Dementia or Alzheimer’s becomes a stranger to the relationship. Often the effect on the other partner can be devastating and we see Chuck’s initial reaction to this with his denial, self pity and then final acceptance that Sarah is gone. But this loathing in self pity is not in character with the Chuck we’ve grown to love over 5 seasons. Thankfully with the help of the eternal optimist Morgan, he snaps out of it and does what we all hoped he would. Fight for the woman he loves.

        The final beach scene (and I’m beginning to tear up as I write this) shows the true extent of Chuck’s love and acceptance that things have changed. But she will always be his Sarah, the memories are there and he will be there for her. Their love is eternal, and you see a glimpse that Sarah is falling in love with Chuck on the beach.

        Now I just need to find a tissue…

      • Definitely! It was perfectly executed and I love that Castle got to show off his goods as a dad and demonstrate his skills first-hand. And the smile on Benny’s face after? It could’ve melted a glacier. We all know that it certainly softened our dear detective’s heart…

  3. I adore the 10 things to be thankful for from this episode. Although a jarring change from last week’s tone it was a wonderful way to close out this first set of episodes for season 6. I must say the recurring thought I had throughout the episode was how easy the episode flowed. I think the credit as you so aptly highlighted lies at the feet of Terri Miller. I have always been struck by Miller’s unique perspective on Castle and Beckett over the seasons. She infuses in her dialogue an intricacy that doesn’t necessarily speak to Castle and Beckett as individual characters but to how they percieve one another. It’s a subtle thing but it lives in the reactions like the one you mentioned about Beckett holding Benny. It is the quiet discoveries that Rick and Kate find in one another often by surprise. It is a joy to watch. Fillion’s reaction shots when exiting the church or convincing Beckett to take Benny overnight are a wonderful mix of glee and adoration with that dash indelible charm. There is a distinct adoration of who the Castle family is that shines through in this episode. Esposito’s quick but sincere reinforcement of Ryan’s pending fatherhood. Martha and Alexis perfectly timed scenes and Lanie’s brilliant “kid voice” autopsy report. Miller seemlessly managed to weave in all of our Castle family into this episode with substance and never feeling forced. I think you hit on all the parts that worked so well.

    My other reason to adore Terri Miller. It was her giving NGN a shoutout that led me to this wonderful place of fun thoughtful fan discussion. And that’s just one more thing to be thankful for this season. Happy Turkey Day Katie! I hope you and your loved ones have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

    • It looks like I also have even more reasons to love Terri Miller and to be thankful for her. Not only did she write another fabulous episode, which, as you said, flowed perfectly and seamlessly incorporated every member of this little family of characters—she brought you and your insight to NGN! Once again, your comments are thoughtful and full of the kind of enthusiasm and intelligence that makes NGN’s comment section one I’m proud of. I hope you and your loved ones also have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

  4. Oh and one final point was I the only one who saw the Fillion line around “watch those balls” as a bit of a nod to the neverending blooper when Fillion lost it over the double entandre while shooting that scene in season 5 Christmas episode?

  5. Oooooh Katie, how we needed this episode after the creep-fest that was “Disciple” and heading into this long end-of-the-year hiatus. The whole episode felt like one giant warm fuzzy, not that I minded!

    There are a lot of differing opinions about Castle and Beckett having babies, and while this episode isn’t the first time that subject has been brought up within the fandom, it has certainly changed the tone of the discussion. Before, the question was “will they?” Now, it can be accepted that “yes, in fact, they will,” and the question now becomes “when, and will we be privy to that development as an audience?” I, for one, am not against their starting a family, but I do confess that a part of me wants that to be the domain of fanfic. After all, their having a child would for all intents and purposes end their partnership, and therefore the series. Some might argue that isn’t necessarily so, but could you imagine Richard Castle allowing his child to be raised by a nanny when we all know that he wasn’t okay with that the first time around? Not to mention, if his partnership with Kate continued, he would run around and regularly place their child’s mother AND father in harm’s way. I can’t see that happening, but I acknowledge that that’s just my opinion. Of course, there’s the other part of me that’s DYING for the fluff that would be a Castle/Beckett baby. Yeah, I know…I can’t even reconcile my own feelings on the matter.

    I love that you’ve put such a brilliant descriptor on their relationship this season: confidence. It’s just so wonderful and refreshing after a season of uncertainty, and while I didn’t object to that at the time (the beginning of serious relationships ARE fraught with uncertainty during the feeling-out process), I don’t miss it.

    And dear God, there are few things in life sexier than a man caring for a baby, and there very well may be NOTHING sexier than Nathan Fillion with a baby. I’m STILL fanning myself today. Sheesh!

    • Thanks for the comment, Megan!

      I have to admit that I share your feelings about Castle and Beckett having a baby on the show. On one hand, I’d love all the warm, fuzzy, and domestic scenes it would produce. And it would feel so earned after years of watching them develop their relationship. But I also wonder what would happen to their partnership—and the show—if Beckett had a baby. It would fundamentally alter everything about the show.

      “And dear God, there are few things in life sexier than a man caring for a baby, and there very well may be NOTHING sexier than Nathan Fillion with a baby. I’m STILL fanning myself today. Sheesh!” – All I will say in response to this is I completely agree. Sheesh, indeed! 😉

  6. Aw, it was.so fun, wasn’t it?! I am really loving these full ensemble episodes this season! Such great rhythm. Loved the writing…my two favorite lines (mainly bc the delivery each time!): castle telling the patrolman not to look at Beckett for help out of buying supplies and that they’ll stop for ice cream, and then Espo saying “I don’t want to hold that baby”. I am still giggling. I just live these guys

    • Whoops, hit post by mistake and before editing…love these guys, not live! Also want to say thanks for the props to Seamus Dever…such a great actor. I first saw him as evil Ian devlin on general hospital and he was so sleazy and despicable that I HATED him….took a whole season of castle for me to warm up to him. I just love his adorable self now….so glad he is getting to shine! Thanks for another great recap and happy holidays!

      • Thank you for the comment, and happy holidays to you, too! It’s always nice to see another Seamus Dever fan. He’s such a great actor, and he seems like such an adorable person, too.

  7. Hey, I was waiting for your review since monday morning (I see the Canadian air on streaming).
    I am happy we could have a lighthearted episode after Disciple, that was awesome but terribly creepy, and the link between the two (the opening) was perfect to slowly fade the emotions from 6×09 final.
    I agree with almost all your points (as usual).
    I think that season 5 and 6 made Kevin Ryan grow in our hearts, I started noticing his cool flatfeet walk, his broad smile and funny quotes. Sometimes I think that he’s intended as the “Castle” in our favourite bromance, as well as Espo is quite the Beckett side (Ryan is the only one who buys the fancy castle theories since season 4 at least).
    Lanie is exactly as I expected her to be, we NEED Esplaine back soon!
    Kate chapter: the wall is finally down. I’m not sure it really came down on “Always”, maybe not when she answered “yes” to Rick’s proposal. It came down in a moment between “like father like daughter” and now, because this is the episode where we finally, without doubt, see Kate lose herself in her love. Not the pure passion we saw in Season 5 but something more related to her will to spend her life with Rick.
    This was so funny and tender and beatiful I could not stop watching the same scenes again, but this is a major point now, there’s no turning back in Kate’s character unless there is some major twist in the plot.
    And I am not sure that fans would appreciate.
    Thanks again, you’re a great reviewer and I will miss this until next episode (January? Seriously???)

  8. Great review Katie! I think this ep was probably their best of the season as far as striking the right tone, using each character in the best way possible, Castle/Beckett banter, etc. You’re totally right about it coming down to Terri Miller; she knows these characters and this show better than anyone and that always shines through in her episodes. I love what you said about the confidence that this season has had. I think the main reason the show has this awesome conviction this year is because Castle and Beckett are (finally!) completely confident in their relationship. I love that they both just knew that they were going to have kids together. It wasn’t a question of if, just when. It’s so cool that the writers know that they have endless stories to tell with this couple; they don’t have to stretch a conversation out unrealistically for the sake of drama. Instead, because of how solid they know Castle and Beckett’s relationship is, they dealt with it in one great, very realistic episode that felt extremely true to the characters they have created.

    Thanks again for your awesome reviews this season! Can’t wait til January! =)

    • Thank you so much for the comment and the kind words, Becca! I totally agree with you—the confidence the show is projecting seems to come directly from Castle and Beckett’s confidence in their relationship. It’s a true joy to be a fan of a show and a pair of characters who consistently make me happy episode after episode this season.

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