Title Private Eye Caramba!
Two-Sentence Summary While Beckett and the team at the 12th precinct investigate the murder of a telenovela star, Castle’s private investigator business is struggling to find worthwhile cases. To help him feel better, Beckett sends him a client—a friend and costar of the murder victim looking for her missing purse, which may be a bigger clue to finding the killer than anyone thought.
Favorite Line “Canvasing? Oh, that thing you get Espo and Ryan to do.” (Castle, to Beckett)
My Thoughts While it might not have been quite as much fun as last week’s “Castle, P.I.” (mainly because it didn’t have the element of pleasant surprise on its side), “Private Eye Caramba!” was still a thoroughly entertaining way to spend an hour. It featured some of the show’s most crowd-pleasing elements (plenty of “Caskett” banter—and kissing, a healthy heaping of bromance, and a fandom-inspired case that revealed a secret nerdy side of one of our main characters), and it was a good way to combine beloved elements of Castle lore with this new direction the show is heading in at least for the moment.
This new direction for the show seems to be including more interaction between Beckett and Martha, which I adore. Last week’s cute morning greeting was followed-up by this week’s breakfast-table discussion of Castle’s P.I. business. I loved seeing these two women share their worries about Castle’s new venture while still being willing to support him if it’s what he really wants. Martha fills such an importance place in Beckett’s life, and I hope these scenes are a sign that their dynamic is going to continue to be explored in such a positive way. Scenes between Beckett and Martha are also a nice reminder of Castle’s love for and admiration of strong women. Both his mother and his wife aren’t afraid to say when they think he’s wrong, but it’s also nice to see them still ready to encourage him if he really believes in something.
And Castle really does believe in his P.I. work. It’s something he’s obviously having fun with (hence his film-noir-style voiceovers), but it’s also something he takes seriously, which is why he was frustrated that he couldn’t find better uses for his time as a P.I. than doing background checks on teenage boys. And I loved that Beckett could see how much this P.I. work means to him (even beyond him getting to be his own muse, which was a fantastic line). I found her sending him a client to be a very romantic gesture, especially for these two characters. It was her way of supporting her husband in his new work the way he’s supported her in her work for so many years. Sometimes Beckett might tease Castle about his crazy theories or his goofiness, but she ultimately respects his ability to solve cases. And sending Sofia to him was a nice vote of confidence in his professional abilities, which ultimately paid off for her, too, as it helped her find Anna’s killer.
Beckett understands that Castle is taking his P.I. work seriously, but she also understands that he’s having fun playing gumshoe, too. And she’s not above having a little fun with it herself. If there’s one thing I’ve loved more than any other about these last two episodes, it’s the way Castle’s P.I. gig has given Castle and Beckett’s marriage some very sexy sparks. This is one married couple that’s far from boring, as their interrupted role-playing tryst in Castle’s office clearly showed. (Does it get better than Beckett telling Castle she’s “just a girl looking for a private dick?” I think not.) They may still be in the honeymoon stage of their new marriage, but I’m hoping the honeymoon stage lasts as long as possible. From the cute goodbye kisses to the way they walked out of the precinct arm-in-arm, marriage looks good on these characters.
While Beckett and Castle’s relationship took center stage in this episode, perhaps my favorite “relationship moments” were the moments where we saw once again just how much Ryan misses having Castle in the precinct. The friendship between those two characters is one that arose so organically from their interactions over the last six-plus seasons, and it’s become one of my favorite relationships in the Castle universe. Ryan’s desire to come up with crazy theories that would make Castle proud has been one of the best parts of these last two episodes. Those theories have only added to my love for Kevin Ryan and the way Seamus Dever plays him.
While Ryan was spending his time coming up with Castle-esque theories, Esposito got to show his nerdy side in this episode. Esposito trying and failing to hide his love for telenovelas reminded me of our glimpse of Beckett’s innner soap opera fangirl in Season Three’s “One Life to Lose.” (In fact, part of me found it a bit too repetitive to have two stories that were so similar to one another, but I suppose that’s what happens when a show is on for seven seasons.)
This episode gave Jon Huetras some great little comedic moments to play, and he ran with it. From his inability to focus on Beckett’s instructions while the telenovela cast was filming in front of him to his gushing in Spanish to Sofia, it was great to see this side of Esposito. Everyone’s a fan of something, and Castle has always done a great job of showing that its characters are all passionate about something in pop culture. Esposito’s love for telenovelas was a nice little layer to add to his character, and I liked what it said about stereotypically “masculine” men’s ability to enjoy things that are stereotypically “feminine.”
There were some great things being said about gender throughout this episode. My favorite thing about the case was that it featured a trifecta of strong women who wanted to start a broadcasting company to support other women. The case in “Private Eye Caramba!” ended up being about both the power of and danger inherent in women trying to carve out their own place in the world. And while it may have ended in tragedy for one woman, her death wasn’t ultimately in vain. It made me incredibly happy to see that Sofia made sure their TV dreams would come true, and that twist—with the murder revolving around a group of women who wanted to make their own place in a male-dominated world—gave me a real sense of emotional investment in what could have been just another “fandom-related” Castle story.
“Private Eye Caramba!” was an episode about support. It started with Beckett and Martha discussing their support of Castle’s new job, and it ended with the formation of a new TV network created by women to support other women. Along the way, it wove Castle and Beckett’s stories together nicely once again, and it even gave us plenty of moments to love with Ryan and Esposito. Ultimately, this was another well-balanced Castle episode, which continued to prove that this new direction for Castle’s character and the show as a whole was taken at exactly the right time.