Welcome back, fair Castleites!
Castle bounced back from last week’s fluffy episode with a meaty story that brought one of our favorite characters – Esposito – front and center.
We started off with a murdered ex-robber, but it turned out to be anything but the typical Castle-esque investigation. It introduced us to Demming, Beckett’s attractive sparring partner-slash-robbery detective, who requested to help out on the case. My first question was—why do they always show people boxing/sparring in dimly lit basements with rusty old equipment? Is that what police stations really look like? I’m always surprised they don’t work out in the brightly-lit 24-hour fitness that no doubt is across the street. And did we all think that Beckett was the boxing type? She always seems so well put together, it’s hard to imagine her getting so messy. I always picture her in her apartment running on her treadmill or something. And speaking of apartments – did they ever address where she is living now? So many unanswered questions, but I’m getting off track.
So Demming is working with the team, and the primary suspect is Esposito’s former partner – who is supposed to have died 3 years ago. His partner, Ike, and the dead man, Finch, are linked to crime boss Racine, who Esposito believes killed Ike. I liked the personal connection to Esposito, and that we got to explore his past a little more. Upon discovering his old partner is alive and possibly working for Racine, Esposito has to fill in the missing puzzle pieces. Where has Ike been all this time, and had he really gone to the dark side to work for Racine? On top of that, a jerky Internal Affairs cop accuses Esposito of knowing about Ike’s activities, so he also has to clear his own name. What a crappy day to be Esposito.
Esposito figures out that Ike was framed for the murder, and that he and Finch were attempting to steal Racine’s ledger, which would prove all of his illegal businesses. So it’s up to the team to determine who the real dirty cop is that is keeping Racine safe. All the signs point to Demming, Beckett’s new flirt-friend, but he has an alibi. I admit that I kind of enjoyed the sweaty sparring between Beckett and Demming as she kept him occupied while the 3 guys stole his phone out of his locker. It was funny how they were sneaking around like little boys to hide what they were doing.
Esposito decides to go help Ike once again steal Racine’s ledger. I really loved the scene between Ryan and Esposito, when Ryan followed him out to his car, and instead of trying to talk him out of it, offered to have his back. It was really poignant to see their partner dynamic—most of us don’t have a frame of reference to understand how your partner on the force essentially becomes your best friend, the one person (other than one’s spouse I assume) that you would protect at all costs. Ryan and Esposito always seemed like good buddies, but this was the first time we got to see the real emotional link between these two, and I thought it really added an enormous layer of depth to these characters. They’re not just the comic duo after all.
Esposito and Ike get to the ledger – but are interrupted by the real dirty cop—the jerkface IA cop, fka Max from Gilmore Girls. (Love to see GG alum on TV. Sadly, I haven’t really gotten to see much of Parenthood). It ends in gunfire, one of bullets hitting IA cop. After he is caught by the gang, Ryan rushes up to find his partner, who is fine, but tending a shot Ike. Esposito introduces him as his partner, Ryan, then introduces Castle as his “other partner.” I know that touched Castle, and really solidified his part on the team. Personally, I would have ended it with Ike dying instead of showing him alive and watching his nemesis Racine being brought in on arrest. Maybe I’m morbid, but for a show that investigates murders, it always seems to have a happy ending. How tormenting would it have been for Esposito to experience his partner’s death twice? Too cruel, huh?
Things I loved about this episode:
-Castle teaching Alexis the art of no-limit Texas Hold ‘em—and their adorable matching dealer outfits! It was also great that Martha joined in.
- It was little depressing when Alexis beat Castle for the umpteenth time and he said he wasn’t used to losing. But was he talking about poker, or watching Beckett showing interest in another man?
-I actually liked Beckett’s partnering with Demming, even if it did make Castle crazy. Honestly, I like Castle and Beckett together, but I don’t know if I like them together. I feel like they are better as best friends than as romantic partners, so I don’t see a problem with the writers pairing them with different people. I mean, they’re no Booth and Brennan.
-As I mentioned before, I really loved the development of Esposito, a little on his backstory, and the bond between him and Ryan. Really good stuff.
Anything else to add? What did you think about the Esposito-centric episode? How great was Jon Huertas? Did you miss the Castle comedy?