TV Time: Castle 7.07

Title Once Upon a Time in the West

Two-Sentence Summary Castle and Beckett visit an Arizona dude ranch to investigate the murder of a young woman. The trip serves as a honeymoon for the couple, who also face the wrath Ryan and Esposito for not inviting them to their spur-of-the-moment wedding.

Favorite Lines
Castle: We did it, Mrs. Castle!
Beckett: We certainly did, Mr. Beckett!

My Thoughts “Once Upon a Time in the West” was the perfect follow-up to last week’s big Castle wedding episode. “The Time of Our Lives” had all of the emotion a great wedding episode should have, and “Once Upon a Time in the West” had all of the fun, sex appeal, and adventure a great honeymoon episode should have.

While “The Time of Our Lives” was filled with moments that demanded deep analysis, “Once Upon a Time in the West” was decidedly lighter—nothing but campy fun. As such, in lieu of my usual review format, I’m just going to list my 10 favorite things about this episode.

1. Lanie’s reaction to the wedding. Every episode of Castle is instantly improved by the presence of Tamala Jones, and this was no exception. Lanie’s reaction was exactly right for her character—from the sass to the sweetness. More than anything, I loved that she was genuinely happy for her friend. In the end, what mattered most to her was that Beckett was happy, but she got to give Castle a hard time about it, too, which is all I could have asked for from her reaction.

2. Ryan and Esposito’s reactions. I’ll admit it; I was a little sad that Ryan and Esposito weren’t at the wedding, but it was worth it to have their reactions play out so perfectly throughout this episode. From Esposito’s “You suck” to Ryan’s “No song for you,” these two were absolute perfection. There’s nothing better than Jon Huertas and Seamus Dever getting to be as funny as we know they can be. And when their comedic indignation is directed at Nathan Fillion, it’s even better.

3. “Mr. Beckett.” Damn right, Kate.

4. The sense of campy fun throughout. No show does “theme episodes” like Castle. And that’s because when this show does one of these episodes—from “The Blue Butterfly” to “That ’70s Show”—everybody commits to it fully. In the words of Amy Poheler, no one looks stupid when they’re having fun, and this cast always looks like they’re having so much fun when they do these kinds of episodes. That sense of fun is contagious, and I have to give so much credit for that to Stana Katic and Nathan Fillion. They sell these campy episodes with an enthusiasm that can’t always be easy after seven seasons, and it makes it so easy to buy exactly what they’re selling and go along for the ride with them.

5. Beckett’s black Wild West outfit. Need I say more? I’ve always had a weird desire to wear a corset just once to see how it would make me look, and the fact that it made the already gorgeous Katic look even better is not helping me covet a corset any less. Luke Reichle outdid himself once again.

6. The casual intimacy of the newlyweds. Not only were the sparks still there after the wedding, they were as strong as ever in this episode. From Castle helping Beckett out of the stagecoach to their cute little kiss before splitting up, this episode was filled with the kind of casual intimacy I love as a viewer. And I absolutely adored the entire campfire scene. It was such a nice, quiet moment of happiness for these two characters who’ve earned every bit of that moment. To see Beckett so happy always makes me happy. I liked the idea of her learning to make the most of their situation and embracing the fact that, while it may not have been her ideal honeymoon, there was still something magical about spending the night with her new husband under a starry sky.

7. Beckett’s sharpshooting skills. I think we all knew she was going to come in and take charge during the perfectly cheesy standoff, but that didn’t make it any less fun to see Katic wield her six-shooter like a pro.

8. Victoria Gates. Remember when we all thought we would never warm up to Victoria Gates? Times certainly have changed. I loved her initial annoyance about not even getting invited to the announcement party at the loft, but what I loved the most was her putting Ryan and Esposito in their places for continuing to act mad at Castle and Beckett. By telling them to be happy for their friends, you could tell she was happy for Castle and Beckett, too. It was the kind of firm but excellent advice that has made Gates a perfect precinct mother hen.

9. Beckett’s white Wild West outfit. Not only was this a great choice for the start of their “real” honeymoon (it’s basically Wild West lingerie), it was just a really good look for Katic. And was I the only one who noticed that they actually remembered her scar? It was a little detail, but stuff like that matters to me. And it’s nice to see that it matters to them, too.

10. The tone of that entire last scene. It was light and playful and just sexy enough to be the perfect note on which to end this honeymoon episode. It left me with the biggest smile on my face, and that’s all I needed from this episode.

7 thoughts on “TV Time: Castle 7.07

  1. To start things off on a shallow note, good grief Stana Katic was attractive in that black outfit. Or more accurately, more attractive than usual.

    I loved this episode. It was just fun to watch and a great way to kick off the era of married Castle and Beckett. I completely agree with all 10 of your choices and only have one more thing to add. I loved the changes to the title card and the “the end” at the end of the episode. For the title card, nothing beats a desert sunset and it just further set off the theme of the episode.

    • In case you couldn’t tell, I was in a very shallow place while writing this. 😉 I’m not sure she’s ever looked better, and that’s saying something.

      I also loved the new title card. Whenever they change the title card, I know we’re in for a good episode.

  2. For someone who have seen western films for the sake of a film class in high school, this was a great callback to most of the western references, especially some of those fight scenes. This was probably one of the best episodes so far this season, and this episode reminded me a lot of the earlier Caskett with all those bickering, nicknames, kisses, and sweet moments. It felt like I was watching Castle from season 3 except this is season 7. Unbelievable.

    More importantly, I love the bromance in this episode especially when Gates has put Ryan and Esposito’s bickering to rest with her sincere words (I love that. For some odd reason, Gates reminded me of Montgomery here in a good way though). ‘

    Last but not least, Nathan and Stana looked absolutely their best in this episode. I felt that the western attires suited Nathan and Stana perfectly especially Stana who looked absolutely gorgeous.

    Anyways, this was a great episode who focused on creating moments around the characters rather than focusing on the case of the week, and having the characters to interrogate the suspects. In a way, this episode was a callback to Murder He Wrote except they’re married and they are working undercovers as newlyweds.

    All in all, this will probably go on my top favorite episodes list so far this season (If I actually had one for the entire show, it’s gonna be long and confusing)

    • Thank you so much for sharing your enthusiasm with us! I feel the same way about how wonderful this episode was; I agree that it was one of this season’s best!

  3. YES to all of this Katie! You are so right, this was a perfect lighthearted follow up to an episode that wasn’t necessarily heavy, per se, but much more thoughtful and full of important moments.This was like the “digestif” at the end of a meal, something fun and flavorful after the “main course” of last week’s episode. (not the strongest metaphor, I admit, but go with me here…)

    First off, I LOVED everyone’s reactions, too. I thought I’d die laughing when Martha couldn’t keep herself from saying “You should have been there…” and of course, they’re all thinking precisely the same thing! But Lanie’s reaction of frustration morphing into joy for her friend was terrific (including the thump she laid on Castle’s chest about it). and the boys tormented them just enough before getting put in their place by none other than Iron Gates. Oh yes, I remember my intense dislike for her in the beginning as well, but she has grown so beautifully on everyone, and her chastisement of Ryan and Espo was so well-timed, so perfect, I wanted to shake her hand afterward.

    The costumes? Oh be still my heart! Dear LORD these two wore their western garb so very well. NF was dashing in that vest and hat (and there were suspenders underneath, although we never really got to see them…*le sigh*), and between SK in that all-black outfit and the white “wedding” dress at the end? Ugh…gorgeous doesn’t begin to describe her. Those two can go western any day of the week at the 12th precinct and I’d be fine with that.

    And truly, the casual intimacy that you mentioned was pretty much the tone of the entire episode. A couple doesn’t change when they get married; they’re the same old people they were before, they’re just…MORE when they’re with the other, if that makes any sense. That may be one of the parts of their relationship I’ve loved the most: they’ve helped each other to tame their shortcomings, and bring out their best qualities. Castle can be somber, of course, but that’s not his default setting. He brings lightness and levity to Kate’s life and her work, and he’ll be as serious as a heart attack when it’s called for. Likewise, Kate brings that stability and level-headedness to Castle that he was so sorely lacking when they first met, but she’ll be sweet and spontaneous with him because he loves those qualities about her, and makes her feel safe in expressing them. They were so perfect in this episode, just having fun and enjoying each other while getting the job done. It’s like everything and nothing has changed, and that transition was effortless.

    I could go on and on here (didn’t I tell you last week that I’m always tempted to write an essay in response to your reviews?!) but I’ll just finish by saying that I love how this show continues to bring every shiny facet of a successful adult relationship to the surface. I love that these two are portrayed as flawed human beings who mess up regularly and love each other regardless, and I’m thrilled that we actually get the chance to see them BE married, as opposed to the oft-overused trope of the romantic leads marrying in the very last episode of the series, their life as a married couple forever the stuff of wonder (and fanfic).

    Such a terrific review as always, Katie!

    • Thanks, Megan! I’m so happy you were able to comment on this post because I always love reading your thoughts! This put such a big smile on my face.

      I am in completely agreement with you about the pacing of their relationship. It’s so nice that we’re actually going to get to see them navigate married life together instead of having them get married in a series finale. It’s such a rare thing on television, and I’m happy this show has been brave enough to follow through on this relationship the way it has.

  4. Pingback: The Best Thing I Saw on TV This Week (11/16 – 11/23) | Nerdy Girl Notes

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