This is one of those episodes for which Hitchcock famously coined the term "refrigerator film." I was absolutely riveted while I was sitting through the episode. But things started to unravel the moment I started to think about it in retrospect.
Firstly I actually find it funny that I was riveted during the episode. I always do for episodes like this. We know nothing is going to happen to Beckett. She's one of the central characters of the series, and she is going to come out of it relatively unscathed. I guess that goes back to how much we care for the character. In the moment, we want her to survive and come through. (Though we know that is exactly what is going to happen.)
Please don't take my post as if to mean I hated the episode. I cried when Beckett wrote that letter. I was also to the point of tears when Beckett was being interrogated. But as far as raw writing is concerned, this is not the best thing Castle has done.
When I thought about it in retrospect, the following occurred to me (some of which have already been highlighted by other posters):
1) Why did Beckett take the job in the first place? Captain Gates offered her a way out, and she knew something was off from the get-go. So did the Captain. Something about this entire operation screamed wrong, and yet Beckett went ahead and took it.
Now we all know Beckett is not going to run away from a difficult op, but this has to be the dumbest undercover operation I've seen in Castle. At least in The Wild Rover, Ryan's cover was already in place. The only risk was how they would treat him. Here, there's no cover in place. They know nothing about Elena, and the only similarity is that Beckett also speaks Russian (an amazing contrivance) and the fact that she looked like Elena.
Becks should have never taken the job.
2) The moment the episode was announced, and I read it's name, I knew this would be about Senator Bracken. It was pretty obvious. He's one of the two major antagonists for the series, and we've already had 3XK make an appearance, so it was time for some Bracken.
3) Beckett's assassination of that guy depended on the person not going in and checking the pulse. She left a lot of it down to chance. What would she have done in that scenario?
4) Speaking of the takedown, why did Beckett continue the op knowing something was terribly wrong. She could've just made a phone call from the guy's office, she could've run through the back-door, she could've taken down the driver and the other guy, why did she continue the operation? In reality (i.e. if this were not a TV show), she would've just gotten the hell out of there.
5) The whole operation seemed to have been set up by Bracken to taunt Becks and even the scores between them, as someone else mentioned. Elena is a professional contract killer. There is no way she would let herself be captured by the police if it wasn't part of her plan.
She is caught, stages her suicide, and escapes just at the right moment to come and save Beckett. Becks (and especially Castle) have to realize that this was setup by Bracken to even the score.
More importantly, Bracken's taunting Beckett. She has now seen the deep inside of his operation. She knows the kind of money he is pulling in, and how he is doing it. It looked like Bracken was telling Beckett, "This is what I am doing. You know it, and you can do nothing to stop me."
Finally I have a big gripe with regards to the future of the series, and it has to do with Senator Bracken.
They have written him as a bonafide genius (by Beckett's own admission), albeit working on the wrong side of the law. Right from the 80s when he took money from Montgomery and his buddies up till right now, he's run all his operations so that he is virtually untouchable. His planning is almost Godfather-esque in its implementation.
The only hard evidence linking all the wrongdoing to him is an account number that Beckett and the gang know. And that is practically of no use in reality. With the exception of that, no one can already touch him.
What's even more disturbing is that he is now running for President with an almost unlimited supply of funds? How can he be stopped?
My worry is that anything the writers do to stop him will be unsatisfactory. We're entering Absolute Power territory here. And David Baldacci had an entire book to bring down the President of the United States in that one.
They've built Bracken up as an untouchable villain, and they need to find a way to stop him for the show to reach a natural conclusion. I don't envy them.
Comment modified at March 06, 2014 02:08
Plus the conversation Red has with Tom outside the hospital was a huge give-away for me. The way Tom stares at Red. It was a knowing stare of a man who knew that Red had found him out for what he was.
The only interesting thing to see is whether they do a Severus Snape on him. As in, he was one of the baddies, but ultimately turns because of the love he has for Lizzie. If they do, they better make it worthwhile, or it is going to turn into a cliche. We'll see.
Just caught up with a lot of Castle. And I recently saw Bones S8, and I think Castle will take a similar road in terms of blocking the wedding from taking place.
And I do agree with what nottrampis has been saying a lot. It has got to be 3XK. Beckett angst won't work anymore. They've sort of shelved the whole Senator Bracken thing for this season. (So far at least!)
But they've already played with 3XK once this season. So it has got to be the season finale like it happened with Bones S7. At least, I have a feeling they'll do something similar to delay the wedding. But I hope they don't.
In terms of why this song is perfect for them. Because it was the background to arguably the most memorable Caskett moment in the Series' history. It was the moment we'd all been waiting for four seasons, and it finally happened. The song was perfectly chosen for that moment, and each time I listen to it, I am taken back to that wonderful moment. Just brilliant! I am glad the writers recognized that it will always be the song most Castle fans think of when thinking about their favorite TV couple. I personally cannot imagine any other song for Caskett than this one.
Both the endings. The look on Beckett's face was priceless. She looked so damn cute. And you could see the happiness radiating in her face. Just perfect!
Martha telling Hunt gave her the gift of her life, while Hunt looked on from below was also awesome.
I agree with nottrampis. Hunt will feature in a huge role again. They wouldn't have cast a "name" actor like James Brolin if the role didn't have more meat to it.
Replying to your comment above. I completely agree. Castle was wrong about lying. No two ways about it. And he doesn't need to lie just because Beckett does it. And it was wrong when Beckett did it, and it is wrong now. I was simply trying to point out that I don't like it when the writers continue to have Castle commit these mistakes. As Vince said, it makes the relationship seem more lopsided for the viewers than it actually is.
And that is why I loved the ending. When Castle realizes Beckett is the only family he wants right now and fixes a date for the wedding. It was a really poignant moment. It also showed Castle taking control of the relationship in a good way. Just like proposing to Beckett in the beginning of Season 6. That is the kind of thing the writers should focus on Castle doing. And Beckett's reaction was the first time in this show she's actually behaved as a girl. She showed excitement for her wedding which was simply great to see, not to mention it was utterly cute as hell.
And I also agree with something you said earlier about Beckett not telling Castle how much his books helped her get over her mother's death. It is such a beautiful aspect of their relationship that it needs to be explored by the writer sometime soon.
Not sure about Hunt killing 3XK though that is a great suggestion, but I think now that they've introduced him as Castle's father and cast a legendary actor for the part, it would be moot to finish the show without some form of closure. Both Hunt and Castle need that closure, and I hope the writers provide it for them.
Comment modified at January 16, 2014 01:27
When I said duality, I was mostly talking about whether he put Castle's life in danger or whether he was simply trying to reconnect with him.
I was actually happy about Castle lying for once to Beckett. I have no idea what that says about my moral compass. LOL!
But I've been so pissed about the one-sided nature of the relationship that I was happy that Castle was making his own decisions for a change. Beckett is a serial liar in relationships. She has kept so many secrets from Castle. She took a job in another city without talking to Castle. All of that pissed me off. Anything Castle does is blown way out of proportion, because the writers have tended to focus on that side of him, the childish side, who takes rash decisions without thinking about the consequences. And it irritates me that the writers continue to focus on that.
However, I agree with you and nottrampis about Castle being wrong in this case. He was wrong not to tell Beckett especially when the situation escalated. Initially, it was fine because he thought his father was speaking about larger things. But when his father became the suspect in the investigation, he should've come clean to Beckett.
Vince, Agree with most everything you said, but disagree that Hunt could've given up the life. I have no idea of the actual workings of spy agencies, but I am pretty sure they wouldn't let someone like Hunt return back to a normal life, given the amount of things he has seen and done, and the amount of intelligence information he holds. You could hear the yearning in his voice in the Hunt episode. At least, I could.
I think Castle realized in the Hunt episode itself that "My dad is a spy!" is not cool. His daughter and himself was almost killed. Now his dad is almost killed.
I like the duality of Hunt's character. I am pretty sure he put the body there to reconnect with his son. Once again, his job as a deep-cover agent isn't going to afford him too many luxuries, and he's doing what he can to connect with Castle. But then again, he did put Castle's life in danger, so there's that. But I find that duality intriguing. There's more to come from Hunt, and I hope Castle can get his closure before the show ends.
Best episode of Season 6, and one of the best "serious" Castle episodes. (Always better to differentiate between the lighter and serious Castle episodes, since they require everyone involved to bring different qualities to the table.)
I disagree with most on here that leaving the building made Castle look bad. Sure, if they'd made is sound serious that everyone was in imminent danger, then fine. I didn't exactly find it funny, but I don't think it made Castle look like a d**k either.
The Ryan-Jenny call made me cry. Brilliant acting from both Seamus and Juliana. I guess it helps the on-screen chemistry when you're a couple in real life.
For me, the Caskett romance has never been about the PDA. It has always been in the quieter moments. The joke about Castle bringing a date. The scene Christine mentioned where Kate calls Castle babe. The emotions they display when trying to get their friends out. And Kate laying her head on Rick's shoulders towards the end. That's what the Caskett romance is about. Not PDA. At least, that's how it's always been for me.
That's what makes this relationship so special. It is the chemistry they share to make a scene with no dialogues work. To make a scene with only them sharing eye-contact work, to let the audience know how much they mean to each other with just a look in their eyes. For example, the scene in S04E07 - Cops and Robbers, where Kate enters the bank dressed as a paramedic. There are numerous other examples like that.
Next episode sounds really interesting with the return of Jackson Hunt.
This was one of the best Castle episodes in a long time.
Why? Because we got to see Stanathan at their best, and the romance was developed, future was discussed, progress was made on Ryan's baby side etc. etc. This is what a Castle episode should be like: A standard mystery which begins with "Did you notice any changes in your husband's behaviour?" and dovetails into a mystery where you can see the killer from a mile away. But sandwiched in between all that are some of the best character interactions in TV history. And I am glad that AWM still knows how to turn up one.
Between all the Alexis angst, and us discussing the balance of the Caskett relationship, we sometimes forget that Castle is one of the most charming shows on TV. And it was nice to be reminded of it for the first time in Season 6.
1) Definitely the diaper change. Stanathan have redefined on-screen TV chemistry, and the twinkle in Stana's eyes when she spoke about Uncle Rick was splendid. There was a lot of discussion on whether these two are an item IRL (not following that really), but they really should be. Arguably one of my favorite Caskett moments in this show's history.
2) Esposito. But lottery is banned in my country anyways.
3) Her explanation was pretty believable IMO.
4) Yeah. Pleasantly surprised is the right word. But it is too early to be talking about all that when even the wedding isn't over yet. But I like that there are these long-term discussions happening, which hopefully bodes well for the future of the show. I think I'll need to be institutionalized without my Castle fix.
5) I absolutely believed him. I was gonna feel sorry for Beckett, but the way she turned the joke on Castle was awesome.
BTW, Stana looked ravishing in this episode. The best she's looked all season IMO.
I don't want to sound like I hate on Beckett or something. But Castle's theory-building is what leads Beckett to turn around the car and head for the the Secretary's house. The team was heading towards the conference location, when "Castle" starts the theory building. So technically, Castle saved his own life. :P
Just kidding, or maybe not!
Seriously, while your point maybe slightly valid, that doesn't make Tonya's invalid. The balance of their relationships is definitely skewed in favor of Castle when we look at things done to help the partner.
However, if I were to play Devil's Advocate for a moment, one could also say that, Richard Castle, as seen from the beginning of this show, hasn't really needed any help. When the series began, he was a best-selling novelist, with a perfect daughter, and practically had everything in his life. Money. Fame. Fortune. Happy Family. All of the Above.
The series has always been about how he helps bring Beckett out of her shell and makes her connect to the world again. To do that, he needs to help her to gain her trust and blah and blah. That's why if we take their relationship in the context of this series, it feels like Castle has done more for Beckett.
Within the context of this series, we can say it is unfair to compare what Castle has done for Beckett to the vice-versa.
Comment modified at November 16, 2013 14:55
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