Kate Beckett felt as though she was falling behind when she met Inspector Zhang from Hong Kong, a tough, smart, beautiful investigator who seemed to have accomplished it all. But things were not what they appeared in Castle Season 7 Episode 17.
Our TV Fanatics Jim Garner, Stacy Glanzman, Robin Harry and Christine Orlando are joined by Angie from The 12th a Castle Fan Forum to discuss Beckett’s insecurity, what she should do next, as well as their favorite mystery writers after watching “Hong Kong Hustle”
Did you enjoy seeing an insecure Kate Beckett?
Jim: It certainly made her a little more human. That being said, they didn't show very much of her being insecure, and for that I'm grateful.
Stacy: It's not something I would want to see too often because I like strong, secure Kate, but even the strongest feel insecure sometimes. I'm glad it didn't last long and it was nice that Zhang's not-so-perfect after all life helped her put it things in perspective.
Robin: Yes. I liked it because it humanized her a bit. Kate isn't often seen to have silly human vulnerabilities like insecurity. That said, I'm glad it was temporary.
Angie: Yes, it was very humanizing, and I can certainly relate to her feelings. I have experienced the same conflicts, challenges, and uncertainties throughout my personal life and career, so I found it very honest to show that even someone as accomplished as Kate Beckett can wonder what all is out there for her – and how to get it.
Christine: Watching Castle try and make it better for her and failing was almost more fun than seeing Kate a bit insecure. His facial expressions displayed all of the frustration of a man who just couldn’t figure out the right thing to say.
Where do you see Kate’s career headed in the future?
Jim: Hmmmmm, good question. She's already tried a federal agency, maybe she will try another city or some state level position?
Stacy: Post show it could be anywhere. I'd guess Captain someday.
Robin: Interestingly enough, in the novels (spoiler alert), Nikki Heat is offered a promotion but turns it down. Also, in the alternate reality episode, Beckett was captain but she was miserable. Perhaps she'll go for a promotion that allows her time to start a family with Castle.
Angie: Kate is a very hands-on, active person, so I don’t see her behind a desk in an office. But I also see her assuming more responsibility – maybe a “special investigator” who answers directly to the commissioner?!
Christine: I like Angie’s idea because I don’t see Beckett being happy with a desk job. I just hope the time travel episode last season isn’t correct. I’d hate to see her go into politics. If she hated the AG’s office she’d really hate that.
Richard Castle, James Patterson. There are lots of murder mystery writers out there. Do you have a favorite?
Jim: Favorite mystery writer, not really. I do have several favorite authors in other genres, like Molly Harper, Anne McCaffrey, Brandon Sanderson, just to name a few.
Stacy: I loved the early books in Patterson's "Women's Murder Club" series, but they're not nearly as good anymore. Castle should not be comparing himself to him though because Patterson doesn't even write most of his books himself anymore. Almost all of them have a second name now.
Robin: It's been a while since I've read any mysteries besides the Nikki Heat books, but I used to love Jonathan Kellerman when I was younger. His "Alex Delaware" series was one of my favorites.
Angie: I’ve read have a long list of authors whose books I enjoy, but I tend toward the romance/mystery writers such as Nora Roberts. But I also like a lot of the old stand-bys: Mary Higgins Clark, Patricia Cornwall, Stephen King, Sandra Brown, Dean Koontz, etc. Basically, I’ll read anything!
Christine: Richard Castle’s Nikki Heat series is actually a whole lot of fun but I just finished "The Cuckoo’s Calling" and "The Silkworm" by Robert Galbraith (murder mystery pen name of J.K. Rowling) and they were both fantastic. I can’t wait until the third installment in the series is released.
Was there anything about “Hong Kong Hustle” that you found disappointing?
Jim: I was disappointed in the double standard on out of state cops. When Beckett goes to another state, she's threaten with arrest and detainment if she tries to investigate a crime, yet Zhang was free to go even after saying she wasn't stopping her investigation and the best Gates could do was to invite her to help.
Stacy: Beckett's competition with Zhang at the gun range. Cops are trained to shoot for the center of the body, not the head, so in my opinion Beckett totally won.
Robin: I was a bit disappointed in the "girls night out" advice from Ryan and Esposito. It wasn't so much the advice but the smug way they gave it. I usually enjoy the ribbing that goes on among Castle and these two, but for whatever reason that irked me.
Angie: Honestly, I was disappointed in the end. I think they should have just gone with the corrupt business woman as the killer and not pushed it for one more twist. The young woman came out of nowhere and seemed too meek to even kill a spider, let alone commit premeditated murder.
Christine: I really wanted to see what made it onto Beckett’s list of priorities. Career? Family? And what ranked where? I guess we’ll just have to wait.
What was your favorite quote or scene from this episode?
Jim: "You are such a better writer than Patterson" – Kate Beckett.
Stacy: Castle teasing Ryan and Esposito that Zhang managed to take both of their guns. I loved Espo's "she wasn't all that" and Castle's "yet she got both of your guns."
Robin: My favorite scene was the one in the Castles' kitchen where Beckett realized that she was insecure. I loved how supportive Castle was, and how he was the voice of reason to Beckett's insecurities.
Angie: I love the end scene. Despite Inspector Zhang’s sense of personal failure, families don’t fall apart because women have careers, but because spouses don’t always support each other and share responsibilities like they need to. Castle and Beckett show us that equal, united partners can make anything work.
Christine: “Believe me, Beckett has plenty of experience taking a bullet for other people doing stupid things. Hell, she's married to me.” I loved that line.
C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.