Title Room 147
Two-Sentence Summary When three people confess to the same murder, all signs to point to a mysterious organization that claims to help people better themselves but actually seems much more like a cult, complete with drug-induced mind alterations and a disturbingly charismatic leader. Beckett also has some mind-altering of her own to do, as she tries to convince Alexis to stop punishing herself for her decision to move in with Pi.
Castle: You should know you’re engaged to a genius.
Beckett: Yes, a genius at annoying me.
Castle: So I’m Justin, and you’re one of the several people who shot me.
Beckett: I’m starting to feel the urge.
My Thoughts This was another episode that could have just been midseason filler—albeit very entertaining midseason filler—but it was elevated by a scene that led to great progress in a relationship that has often struggled to find its own footing. “Room 147” featured an interesting case, classic Castle/Beckett banter, and plenty of fantastic reaction shots from both Stana Katic and Nathan Fillion. But it was the development in Beckett and Alexis’s relationship in this episode that made it something special.
This week’s case allowed for a lot of humor, and it brought Castle and Beckett back to their default positions in the precinct: the boy with the crazy theories pulling the pigtails of the serious girl who doesn’t believe him (but loves to have those pigtails pulled). One of my favorite moments in the episode was when Castle started theorizing about psychic connections, and Beckett couldn’t help but laugh at his enthusiasm for such a crazy idea. It was another little touch to show just how far these two have come—from exasperated looks to suppressed smiles hidden behind rolling eyes and finally to Beckett admitting that Castle is cute when he runs with an absurd theory. Castle’s enthusiasm has always made Beckett’s job more fun, and it’s nice to see that written all over her face.
Speaking of faces, boy oh boy were there some great ones in this episode. Fillion and Katic are masters of great nonverbal reactions, and they outdid themselves here. Fillion’s uncontained glee as the case got more and more twisted was perfect, as was Katic’s increasing frustration. It was so much fun to just sit back and watch their reactions in every scene. It reminded me of earlier seasons in the best possible way, and I don’t think I will ever get tired of seeing “gleeful kid Castle” and “annoyed Beckett.”
Beckett’s annoyance with the case was hilarious, but what I loved even more was her annoyance with Castle when he dragged her back to Room 147. Their banter is that scene was wonderful, and kudos to writer Adam Frost for really hitting that important part of their dynamic out of the park. I didn’t love their dialogue in their scene with the wine as much as I wanted to (it was a little forced for me in its attempt to tie the case to their relationship), but I’ll forgive that little bit of heavy-handedness when the rest of their dialogue was so good in this episode (and when Katic looked so gosh-darn cute delivering it).
I was pleasantly surprised by how enjoyable I found this case. Three was the perfect number of confessors; it escalated the humor each time but stopped just before the joke would have gotten old. I found myself genuinely intrigued by the details each remembered about the murder, and I loved seeing the psych analyst again. I even thought the drug-induced mind alterations were done in a way that was clever and unique enough to be more of a nod to and less of a direct rip-off of Season Four’s “Undead Again” (one of my favorite cases Castle has ever done). I felt the confessor’s confusion as to why they would feel such anger towards a man they had no memory of knowing, and that made me feel more invested in their stories than the victim’s, for better or worse. The cultish self-help organization wasn’t developed as much as it could have been, but I didn’t need it to be. But I have to say that the use of a singular symbol and repetition of a number with “47” in it made me think of Alias and its cult of Rambaldi fanatics. (Then again, when does something that happens on a TV show not remind me of Alias?)
I had a feeling that one of the members of the theater company was going to be the real killer, but I was surprised by the director’s motivations. I don’t always like Castle cases that tie up the loose ends with information we as an audience weren’t privy to, but I thought the scene itself was acted very well by all involved.
All of those elements added up to a fun, if not exactly memorable, midseason Castle episode. What made it memorable was the way it gave one often-overlooked relationship its time in the spotlight. I have always wanted more scenes between Beckett and Alexis. I think their dynamic could be great, but it’s been squandered up to this point in favor of focusing on each of their separate relationships with Castle. But, while Beckett is never going to be Alexis’s mom, they are going to be family someday soon. It was about time we saw them have a real, honest conversation, and the conversation they had exceeded even my expectations.
I’ve been hard on Alexis this season, but I am so happy to say that this episode reminded me of all the reasons why I fell in love with her character in the first place. Alexis’s isn’t perfect—she’s stubborn, impulsive, and prone to perfectionism. And when perfectionists mess up, we’re the first ones to punish ourselves for it. That’s why Alexis needs Beckett. She needs another stubborn, strong, perfectionist woman in her life with a wealth of experience for her to learn from. And Beckett needs Alexis, too. She needs to know that her struggles might help some other young woman from becoming her own biggest roadblock to happiness.
I loved the sincerity Katic gave to this moment between Beckett and Alexis. Beckett spent so many years punishing herself for her mother’s death and her subsequent inability to catch her killer. And, though Alexis’s situation may not be as serious, Beckett doesn’t want to see another young woman punish herself when she doesn’t need to. Beckett spent 10 years punishing herself and pushing people away because she thought she didn’t deserve better, and she doesn’t want Alexis to lose another day of potential happiness by pushing her father away because she feels like she hasn’t atoned enough.
The tone of that scene was perfect. It was warm without being cloying. It was familiar but still reserved enough to be a believable scene between these two women who are still trying to define their roles in each other’s lives. It was exactly what I’ve been hoping for ever since Castle and Beckett first got together, and it’s a scene that I hope points towards a continued fleshing-out of this relationship.
When Alexis returned home and Castle’s smile showed that all was right in his world, I felt the same way. Was this my favorite episode of this season? No. But was it good enough to leave me feeling content? Yes.
Alexis ended the episode by telling Beckett “Thanks,” and I feel like saying the same thing to Frost. Thanks for finally letting these two women open up to each other in such a genuine way. I’ve always thought there was so much potential in this relationship, so thanks for making me feel like I wasn’t crazy to think that way.
I know I’ve been slacking on my comments (Life! Geesh.), but, again, I couldn’t wait to read your thoughts – especially with regard to the Beckett/Alexis scene. It is something I know many fans have wanted for a long time and I, too, feel as though opportunities have been squandered along the way. I was overjoyed by their conversation in last night’s episode, though. It was perfectly balanced. I especially loved when Alexis tilted her head toward Kate’s hand on her shoulder. Also, what nice progression in the Beckett character (again). She never would have reached out to Alexis before. Just goes to show how even she has matured and is more comfortable with herself, her relationship with Castle, and her place in the family.
How dare life get in the way of far more important things—like talking about Castle! 😉 I’m happy you were able to comment today, though, because I always look forward to your thoughts! I completely agree with what you said about Beckett showing how comfortable she feels in her relationship—and with herself—by reaching out to Alexis. It shows that her walls have come down in so many aspects of her life and in so many relationships, and it’s a beautiful thing to see.
OK here is where the ‘in Marlowe I trust’ came full circle. And that for me saves what was an otherwise very mid-season, very filler episode of Castle. I knew who the murderer was the moment they interrogated that threesome. For me it was painfully obvious given her complete disconnect to the victim in that questioning scene. However I do agree with you that the fun of this season has been watching Katic and Fillion no-verbal play. After many seasons of passing glances it is nice to see that communication be with one another and remain wonderfully layered. The episode had moments – all of which you pointed out from Castle’s declaration of “not so boring after all” through to the tip of the hat to Dr. Horrible.
But here is where I tip my hat to Marlowe’s steady steering of the Castle ship. Like you, I have craved scenes between Beckett and Alexis. That they needed to come together in order for this to really ring honest and true. Especially given their individual importance to Castle. I realized as I was watching that we’ve seen the importance of each character to Castle played out in his conversations with the other. Particularly when things got dangerous, we were privy to Castle taking the time to make Alexis understand why Beckett was deserving and important. So to have Beckett serve as the conduit that brought Castle and Alexis full circle made for a perfectly laid out and well earned scene in the Castle lore. It was as Lanie stated, it was up to Beckett to forge the path for the three of them to become a family. Beckett chose her moment well and the scene played out wonderfully. I loved that Molly Quinn gave us a skeptical Alexis at the start of the conversation, initially believing she was there to proxy on Castle’s behalf only to quickly realize that Kate was there in concern of her relationship with Alexis and that it was THEIR relationship she was concerned with, not father and daughter. I liked that Beckett had the confidence to go directly to Alexis because it spoke to the strength of her relationship with Castle. That impenetrable bond that Alexis and Castle have is nothing she tries to manipulate, instead she forges out her own path with Alexis knowingly as a woman who punished herself and as someone who adores her father and shares an intimate bond with her father that is also impenetrable. Quinn’s immediate softening to see that Kate was there for her best interest, not Castle’s was a joy to watch. It was a conversation of two people who share common ground that exists beyond loving Castle. That’s what made it special and that’s what made it worth the wait.
In my haste I forgot to touch on a moment in the end that I thought was deliberate and a lovely touch of symbolism. When Alexis comes to the door at the end of the episode I particularly liked the fact that she knocked. As someone who loathed the episode that left Castle standing in a hallway after being figuratively and literally shut out by Alexis, I appreciated the humility in which she came back. She knows she put her dad through the ringer. And obviously she has keys to the loft. Knocking symbolized for me the return of respect for her dad, the act of admission that he was right and she knows that now. The unspoken apology for her actions in anger. Of course Castle is going to wrap her up in is open arms. But in the manner in which she returned righted the ship of respect that has always been a part of their relationship. It was a small, simple gesture that I really thought closed that thread beautifully.
I actually thought of you when Alexis knocked on the door at the end of the episode because I remembered how much you hated the door scene when she shut Castle out. I agree that it was a lovely little bit of symbolism, and it was such a subtle but very realistic sign of respect.
Your analysis of Beckett’s decision to forge her own path with Alexis based on the things they share is wonderful. These are two women who have come to rely solely on their fathers (albeit for very different reasons), and they’re two women who are both stubborn and driven to a fault. They needed this moment, and, like you said, it was important that Beckett served as the catalyst for all three characters coming together as their own little family unit in the end. It was a moment that was earned, and it was a moment that delivered.
Loved your review and have been waiting so long for Kate and Alexis to have a meaningful talk. That made this episode really great for me, besides all of Stana and Nathan’s faces! They are becoming classics!
Thanks for the comment! And you’re right—those facial expressions really are classics!
Wow this episode had what we’ve all been waiting for. The conversation between Beckett and Alexis. We’ve had a teaser to the sort of conversation they would have in the episode Like Father Like Daughter. In that episode we were not privy to the conversation, but in this episode we hear the entire it. The wise woman passing on her life experiences, concerned that she may be responsible for driving a wedge between Father and Daughter, and the young woman finding her way, troubled because she’s made a mistake and feels that she must pay penance.
Castle been Castle doesn’t understand the way women think, even though he’s been surrounded by women his entire life it’s like he doesn’t know what makes them tick. Beckett of course picks up on it straight away and the gentle nudge she gives Castle shows that he’s clueless so she intervenes. Beckett has been giving Castle sage advice about Alexis since day 1, but never judgmental, and yet Castle is still clueless.
The final scene was emotional on many different levels. Alexis did not need to ask Castle for permission to come home, yet this is her final act of penance. The hug and the look on Castles face was one of unconditional love. This is a man who we know would do anything for his daughter. The look from Alexis to Beckett and the mouthing of ‘Thank You’ was heartwarming. Beckett may be moving in, but she in no way is replacing Alexis in Castle’s life. In fact this moment showed acceptance from Alexis that Beckett was now part of the family.
Thanks for sharing your very articulate thoughts on Beckett and Alexis’s relationship (and Castle’s relationships with both of them), Mark! I love that Alexis and Beckett have each other to talk to now that this relationship has been deepened. For as great as a woman’s relationship can be with her father (and her grandmother), there’s something to be said for having a strong female presence in your life who is a little closer to your age and who shares similar personality traits. Alexis can learn a lot from Beckett, and I think that Beckett can learn a lot from Alexis, too. The fact that these two women seem to understand that now makes me excited for future moments between them.
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