TV Time: Castle 7.09



Title Last Action Hero

Two-Sentence Summary The death of a 1980s action-movie star brings out Castle’s fanboy side once again. As Beckett works to solve the case, she also comes to terms with saying goodbye to her old apartment now that she’s a married woman.

Favorite Line “To him, this is just an apartment with creaky floors, but to you—this is where you rebuilt your life, where you solved your mother’s murder, where you fell in love.” (Lanie)

My Thoughts This was one of those “pleasant surprise” episodes that come around a few times every Castle season—episodes that seem like filler from the plot description, episodes with a case that isn’t super memorable, but episodes that have at least one moment that you’ll never forget. “Last Action Hero” had a few unforgettable moments—some of the comedic variety and some that packed an unexpected emotional punch.

The case in “Last Action Hero” was a lot of fun, even if it had a very convoluted conclusion. It was one of those fun Castle cases that brought the nerdy side out of one of the main characters—in this case, it was Castle. Nerdy Castle is the best. Nobody plays childlike enthusiasm like Nathan Fillion, and I love when Castle gets to geek out like he did in this episode. We all have those movies that meant a lot to us in our formative years, and it was incredibly entertaining to get a good dose of secondhand glee from watching Castle get to live his boyhood dream. (It also filled me with glee to hear Castle adorably call Beckett his boyhood dream. Those two have gotten even cuter since they’ve gotten married, if that was even possible.)

It was also incredibly entertaining to watch Castle learn that even boyhood heroes can sometimes be less than what we built them up to be in our heads. When he discovered his idol had been a goat herder, I could not get enough of the way Fillion played his reaction. While nerdy Castle is a particular favorite of mine, pouty Castle is challenging for the top spot in my heart. I could listen to Fillion dejectedly say “goat herder” all day.

Overall, “Last Action Hero” was a very funny episode. Whether it was the winks and nods towards The Expendables or Beckett telling Castle he doesn’t have to always keep talking, there were plenty of laugh-worthy moments. None, however, were as good as Ryan trying to come up with catchphrases. Personal favorites of mine included “Time for prison time,” “You’ve got trouble—Ryan trouble,” and “Time to pay the bill for doing the kill.” Something about Seamus Dever’s delivery made each one better than the last, and it was a running joke I was happy to see throughout the hour.

For as funny as “Last Action Hero” was, it also had incredible depth. Who would have thought that a B-plot that started with Castle wearing a beret and scarf would have ended up making me cry? Beckett moving out of her apartment was something I just thought the show would leave unaddressed, but it turned out to be a lovely centerpiece for some beautiful reflection on her growth. Beckett doesn’t need her apartment anymore; she’s grown beyond a loft for one. She’s a married woman now who clearly loves the life and family she’s found in Castle’s loft. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy to leave behind a place that sheltered you during some of your life’s defining moments. There’s beauty in walking out of the place you used to live and walking into a new life, but there’s sadness too. That bittersweet feeling was captured so well in this episode.

There was something so simple and yet so wonderful about Beckett and Lanie talking about all of the experiences that apartment saw in the time she lived there. I could watch Tamala Jones and Stana Katic share scenes like this in every episode and never have enough of it; although thankfully we’ve been getting so much more of their friendship this season. Between the lighter makeup on both of them, the comfy-looking clothes, and the coffee mugs full of wine, there was a sense of grounded reality to that moment that added to the intimacy of their conversation. It truly felt like a conversation between best friends, and I loved that.

It was wonderful to see Lanie be the one to articulate just how important Beckett’s years spent in that apartment were to her growth. Lanie shoots straight, and in this case, she shot for the heart and hit it perfectly. That little monologue was a lovely way for us as viewers to look back on all of the moments that took place in that apartment and, in doing so, to look back on how far Beckett has come from the guarded woman haunted by her mother’s murder who first moved into that apartment. That apartment was where we watched Castle tell Beckett for the first time he was her partner. It was where they first fought about her being too afraid to be happy. It was where we watched her struggle through her PTSD. It was where we watched Castle open his heart and tell her how much he loves her. And it was where Beckett finally discovered who killed her mother. That apartment was a place tied to both loss and love for Beckett; it was a place where she truly began to live her life, choose happiness, and be her best self. And because of what she began while living there, she didn’t need it anymore.

That’s the thing about a lot of the places that mean the most to us; we outgrow them. Schools, dorms, childhood homes, first apartments, bachelor/bachelorette pads—they’re meant to hold us for a little while until we don’t need them anymore, until we find a new home. But that doesn’t mean we love those formational places any less. That last moment of Beckett turning off the lights was filled with such love and respect for those places—like Beckett’s apartment—that shape who we are. Katic, the writers, and the directors treated that moment with the reverence it deserved. It was a moment to think about how far Beckett has come that honored every step along the way. And it was the most unexpectedly touching thing I’ve seen on Castle in quite some time.

16 thoughts on “TV Time: Castle 7.09

  1. Couldn’t agree more. The ending actually made me cry – more than anything has on this show for a long time, including the wedding. Stana Katic is n expert at capturing a myriad of emotions in just one look – I have never seen an actor do this the way she can. The look on Beckett’s face as she walked out that door reflected every life changing event you mention here and every accompanying emotion including the happiness of where she is now. You can see the memories flashing through her mind before she switches off the light. There were some really funny moments in this episode but for me this end scene is one of my favourite ever moments of the whole series.

  2. Very nice ! You have become one of my ” Go Too’s ” along with Sandra,& Angel May not mean much to you, but it means a lot To me!

    Sent from my iPhone


  3. Hit the nail on the head with being pleasantly surprised. I too, thought this would simply be filler to get us to the Christmas episode; an episode for which I have very high hopes. As you took me through key moments we’ve witnessed in Beckett’s apartment, I got chills. I love all of those moments. However, I also LOVE that she has embraced Castle’s Loft & family as her own. I did enjoy the scene with Lanie, especially that they were drinking wine out of mugs, but couldn’t help but wish that in the end Castle could see the meaning beyond the creaky floorboards and have a moment with her in the apartment acknowledging it. ::Sigh:: after all “a man’s middle name is not tact.” So I guess I’ll just accept it. Excited for next week, but also trying to prep for Winter hiatus.

    • I love that so many of us were pleasantly surprised by this episode! I can understand the desire to have Castle show understanding of the importance of Beckett’s apartment, but I actually really liked that it was ultimately something more personal and less about their relationship. Castle isn’t always going to be able to understand everything about what makes Beckett tick, and the same can be said for her with him. It makes them more realistic. And for as much as I LOVE relationship development, sometimes I’m desperate for individual character beats, too. 😉

  4. Stana saved this episode for me. Her scenes were stellar as usual and Kate/Lanie scenes should become much more regular. The apartment meant more to Kate than we know. She used that place to get away from all the things that made Kate who she is….someone who doesn’t let people in, some who is hard to get to know. Castle was being Castle, but a little to over the top for me. I am getting ready for some more serious episodes.

    • I definitely agree that Kate/Lanie scenes should happen as often as possible! I actually really enjoyed Castle in this episode, but I always like when he gets to be over-the-top excited about things (probably because I can often be that way, too). I’m sure there will be some serious stuff coming up with Castle’s disappearance soon, but the stuff with Beckett’s apartment was just deep and character-driven enough to keep me satisfied until then.

  5. Stana and Nathan continue to surprise me every single time with their amazing acting. I ask myself with every new episode I’ve seen, and every old episode I’ve re-watched, “How the hell did Emmy’s overlook these amazing actors?” Nathan and Stana (and the rest of the Castle cast) are probably some of the most underrated actors I’ve ever seen and some of the best actors I’ve seen. I just love how Stana and Nathan acted so subtle-y yet their expressions, actions, movements speaks thousand words. Even the way Stana and Nathan play off each other very well especially with their chemistry.

    And now this episode, I am just so happy (and relieved, of course) that we finally get to see Kate Beckett’s apartment yet it’s the last time we will ever see the apartment. I understood what she was going through. I was going through the same thing with my first house that my parents bought (my sister was born there, I spent my recovery there after my surgery, celebrated my childhood there, watched the classic cartoons). It felt really nice to see Kate going through a similar situation except this is the place where she rebuilt her life, fought with and for Castle, fell in love, solved one of the most difficult cases of her life. This apartment (just like my first home) held memories. I understood, and it was really refreshing to see Kate to be able to look around the apartment with such love, and acceptance that she is now a married woman who is so ready to create a new life with Castle.

    • Thank you so much for sharing such beautiful thoughts with us! I completely agree with you about how underrated this cast is terms of critical acclaim. And I loved your story about how you related to what Beckett was going through with her apartment. It’s always nice when you get to see something you’ve gone through personally reflected in a show you love.

  6. This episode snuck up on me for sure and for the many reasons you outlined. Like you I was pleasantly surprised we were given this little slice of closure. It was a terrific tie off to Castle noting the importance of Beckett referring to the loft as their home. So his reaction made sense to me. She has made her home with him so he wouldn’t necessarily touch into the sentiment of the moment for her. I also felt like this was one of those moments that spoke to their age difference and upbringing. Castle has been in that loft as far as we can tell from when Alexis was very young he has built his life there and his only real home is that loft. It was and is his permanence after a childhood of not having a sense of place between boarding schools and the leaner years with Martha. Beckett’s life was vastly different and between the death of her mom and her father’s drinking the home she’d known had been shattered. And as Lanie points out this was the home that gave her the space to become who she is and frankly to really come of age in a way.She is no longer living in the shadows but found the light both for herself and in finding justice for her mother. It is a sentiment I think more often significant for women then for men. So I loved that she shared its importance with Lanie. Especially since it has been Lanie always willing to hold the truth mirror up to Kate. It is why I loved that she carved her initials into the wood. She’d grown from needing that space. It was something we saw her need even in their courtship. And while she’s evolved to understand that her independence can flourish in her life partnership with Castle she honors what got her there.

    I also thought this episode made some nice parallels to older episodes. We’ve seen a lot of Beckett’s fandom from Soaps to Nebula 9. It was great having those roles reversed this go around. The joint earology moment really solidifying the height of geekdom these two really share.

    And on a final note Ryan and Expo had me crying in this episode. One of the best running bits they have done. Hands down. You know it’s funny when it trumps Fillion in a bandana.

    • I absolutely loved everything you said about Beckett’s apartment and the significance of that storyline. Just a whole lot of nodding from my side of the screen. 😉

      You made a great point about the tables being turned and getting to see Castle’s fanboy side after spending a lot of time building the idea of Beckett as a fangirl. It was just a lovely reminder of why these two characters work so well together and are a perfect match.

  7. Lanie and Beckett scene!!! I loved this scene and the intimacy and the history it conveyed between these two. Lanie has seen Beckett grow and find peace. She knows what that apartment represents to her because she’s been there through it all. It’s what friends do. They see us through life, with all the changes and ups and downs. Lanie sees how happy and free Kate is now and recognizes the emotion connected to the place where that growth occurred. It was a conversation that could only occur between best friends with a long history together and I’m thrilled we got to see it as part of Kate’s goodbye to her apartment.

    I also loved seeing nerdy Castle, especially about a movie and set of actors that meant so much to him as a child. This show has always done such a good job of recognizing the impact that media has on us and the memories attached to it and it’s another look into Castle’s life as a young boy.

    • This episode had two of our favorite things—Lanie/Beckett perfection and a plot that honored the way the media impacts us and becomes a part of our memories. I knew you’d love it as much as I did! 🙂

  8. Pingback: The Best Thing I Saw on TV This Week (11/30 – 12/7) | Nerdy Girl Notes

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