Castle Round Table: "Under the Influence"
Esposito shared his past and got his first taste of the frustration of parenting when his little Monster of a witness gave him the slip in "Under the Influence."
Our Round Table team of TV Fanatic writers Chandel Charles, Carla Day, Jim Garner, and Christine Orlando are joined below by Castle fan Bren of The 12th Fan Forum as they argue movie rules and whether this episode needed more Caskett. Won't you join in?
What was your favorite scene from the episode?
Chandel: Kate and Rick's discussion about losing a turn when one chooses a bad movie. I could totally relate to that. It was very appropriate.
Carla: When Esposito offered to be there for Monster if he ever needed anything. It was touching to hear Esposito's back story, but also to see him share it with someone like Monster who could learn he had options.
Jim: I enjoyed watching Espo's face as Monster read down his list of offenses when he was a minor. Clearly they were still very strong memories.
Bren: All the scenes with Joey 'The Monster' and Esposito had a depth and feeling that I appreciated. I'd love to see the relationship grow and eventually get some updates on how Joey is doing somewhere down the line.
Christine: "Freaking kids man. I don't know how you do it, bro." I loved Esposito's frustration with the kid and how Castle says he lucked out with Alexis. It was a short scene but I liked it.
What was the funniest moment?
Chandel: Probably when that kid escaped through the window when Esposito had his back turned. You knew something was going to happen, but it was funny that it wasn't completely obvious the kid was gonna run!
Carla: "Under the Influence" was really Esposito's episode. He had the funniest moments overall. My favorite is the Houdini conversation with Ryan, especially with Monster asking, "Who's Houdini?"
Jim: Couldn't stop giggling at Espo and Monster walking in handcuffed and Espo's recount of how he caught Monster after he went out the window.
Bren: There were a lot of cute moments, but perhaps the dichotomy of a 14-year old street punk giving pointers to Espo (everyone's go to guy for relationship advice) on how to get laid.
Christine: I loved when Beckett smacked Esposito in the back of the head when he took Castle's side of the movie debate. That made the entire episode for me.
Should Beckett have to give up her turn for picking a bad movie?
Chandel I just made my boyfriend see Les Mis with me. He hated it and sat through it anyway. I was due a bad movie because he made me sit through Prometheus a few movies back. They are bound to even out eventually. I think Kate should be able to keep her turn. Then again, if Rick were to pick a terrible film, they would be even again.
Carla: Maybe. It's difficult to say without knowing what other choices they usually make. Though, there are a ton of worse movies that Valentine's Day.
Jim: My wife and I use a different phrasing that sounds more positive; e.g. the other person gets to "pick the next two." It's the same as "losing your turn," but it has a more positive spin. Not sure Valentines Day would rank losing a turn, but The Notebook? Totally different story.
Bren: I loved the glimpse into the minutiae of Castle and Beckett's relationship and that they were bickering over something relatively harmless. Everyone picks a bad movie now and then, but to lose the privilege of choosing the next seems a ridiculous way to work a relationship. Rules are made to be broken. Funny that Castle was the one insisting on the rules though, and not Beckett.
Christine: Chandel, I saw Prometheus and I'm sorry you had to sit through it too. That said, Beckett needs to stand her ground. Taking turns when picking movies is a time honored coupledom tradition and I have never heard of forfeiting your turn because you picked bad. A boyfriend/husband's snarkiness afterwards is punishment enough.
Was Esposito's threat to Shane over the line and do you think he is willing to make good on it?
Chandel: I really think he would. I don't think it was over the line at all. Clearly this Shane guy is ruthless, so Espo had no choice but to dish ruthless right back.
Carla: I thought I was watching Raylan Givens on Justified for a minute. He was over the line, but sometimes that's necessary to protect the innocent. I'm not sure if he'd make good on it, but that's because as a viewer I know him. Shane doesn't know Esposito, so he probably believes the detective's word.
Jim: Oh, it was over the line for sure. I'd like to say he would never make good on it, but he has a soft spot for trouble teens given he was one. Let's just hope we never find out.
Bren: With Espo's background, it's a sure bet that he would protect Joey, or other children, in whatever way he deemed necessary. Let's all hope it won't come to that.
Christine: I agree. We've already seen Espo break the rules to help Beckett. I have no doubt he'd do whatever it took to protect a kid. Besides, Shane wasn't the type to scare off if he didn't think the threat was serious.
Not much Caskett in this episode. Did you miss the romance?
Chandel: No, I think that moments without romance allow us to treasure the moment that include it a little more along the way.
Carla: Not at all. I did notice it while watching, but was happy to see that the show could step away from that and still be enjoyable.
Jim: There was a sprinkle of it, enough to warrant question number-three, so I think they included enough to keep shippers happy and still tell a story without it.
Bren: Nope. I enjoyed what I saw of Caskett, but I felt the story was sufficiently compelling without them. It was fascinating to get so much of Esposito's history at last!
Christine: I completely disagree. I love the entire cast but I tune in for CASKETT! A kiss, a hug, some hand holding, give me something damn it! It's going to be a long week until my next Caskett fix.
Jon Huertas definitely got his chance to shine in this episode. Which other secondary character would you like to see have their own storyline this season?
Chandel: Gates. I think it's about time we learned a little more about our fearless though recently silent Captain.
Carla: Any and all of them. I love all the characters on the show. If I was going to pick one, it would be Gates. Besides the doll episode, we don't really know about her at all. I'd love to get a glimpse into what makes her tick.
Jim: Lanie is my first choice. I would love to know more about how she ended up an M.E. and maybe a little more about why she and Espo didn't work out.
Bren: Lanie. We've seen a fair bit of what's going on with Ryan and Jenny. I want to see Lanie gets some after hours time that doesn't involve Beckett or Esposito. She's earned it!
Christine: I miss Martha. We haven't seen near enough of her this season and I'd love to her interact more with both Castle and Kate.
C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.