CliqueClack TV

Castle – It’s not how I would write it

The two hour special event comes to a close as the team is hot on the trail of the Nikki Heat obsessed serial killer. Did Beckett survive the bomb? Is Jordan dirty? Will Martha ever actually be moved out? *Update* Season 3 of Castle has been ordered!

- Season 2, Episode 18 - "Boom!"

Comments on websites are a curious thing. After banging out a million or so words about TV — in I don’t know how many posts over the years — I’ve seen my share of the best and worst of them. Despite how horribly wrong the anonymous commenting system can occasionally go, I wouldn’t want to be a part of a site without them. Because, sometimes, the best things come from the comments. That was again the case with this week’s Castle. You may have missed it, because it came in late, but Wombat Joe left this on last week’s Castle review:

“Did no one notice that Delaney’s character likes playing Scrabble? Maybe with bullets?”

And with that, my viewing of “Boom!” was dramatically altered. I found myself looking for any sign that Jordan (Dana Delany) could be dirty. As often happens when you are looking for something, you find it. It all started to come together. That’s how she caught all of those serial killers. She was working with Dunn (Dameon Clarke — Perfect casting. See below….). And the whole kidnapping? Another elaborate trap. Of course they left the blood trail, and the just-visible bridge. All to lure Beckett in. I was expecting Castle to save the day the whole time. But I thought he would do it by getting the drop on Jordan, not Dunn.

Now that we’ve seen it play out, we know that none of that came to be. But it sure made it a fun ride. Even if you weren’t operating under the same delusions as I was, the two part special event still came together very well. As usual, the lion’s share of the credit for that goes to the constantly evolving Castle/Beckett relationship. There was so much to like there, but I think I can condense it down to just a few lines.

First: “It’s not how I would write it.” I was right with Castle in noting that it was all coming together too easily. Although, I wouldn’t have made the Star Wars reference, due to my long-standing hatred that burns with the fiery passion of a thousand suns. Still, it was too easy, and the fact that Beckett was completely on board to go with Castle’s gut says a lot about how far they’ve come. And that’s progress that has been earned slowly along the way.

Second: “Want me to hold it while you tie your shoe?” I’m really not reading much more into that one than the simple fact that it’s a great example of the Castle humor. Even in the most dire of times, the writers can go for a joke, and it works. I suppose we could also look at it as another step in the trust that Beckett now has for Castle, but that was better shown with quote number three….

“Castle. You’re my only backup.” That’s pretty big, right? Jordan spun it as making the most out of the resources at hand, or some such. But really, it’s very telling that Beckett is now comfortable facing something like that with Castle at her back. And it does all build, ever so slowly, towards the two of them getting together. As Jordan put it, “He cares about you Kate. You may not see it. You may not be ready for it. But he does.”

If I had a complaint about the two hours it would be that we didn’t get quite enough time with Dunn on his own. Once he was revealed, it would have been fun to see him going through the machinations of setting some of this up, to get more of a feel for just how warped he was. Really, though, that’s small potatoes. Not to marginalize any of the supporting players, but Castle lives and breathes through the interaction of Castle and Beckett. And in that regard, the two hour event was a huge success.

And next week, “A mummy brings murder…” Right on.

Photo Credit: ABC

Categories: | Castle | Clack | Episode Reviews | TV Shows |

7 Responses to “Castle – It’s not how I would write it”

March 30, 2010 at 7:24 AM

Finally somebody reviewing this show ;-)

I’m a little sad I wasn’t hinted at the Scrabble thing myself because you can’t just get all comments to a post you can only get replies. Time to start bugging Keith I guess :-)

Haven’t seen the episode yet, maybe I’ll come back later, if not: did you notice that the writing for Esposito and Ryan is getting significantly better? They are not just there to set up tag lines for Castle and Beckett anymore, they are developing real personalities. I like that very much because the “Castle home stories” are getting a little bit one-dimensional. Especially the cheerleader thing got me a bit irritated – I don’t mind gaping at Molly Quinn, mind you, but I rather see her in real stories like when she was intern-ing with the police. Sometimes those homestories come across like those pseudo-stories on 2 1/2 men while I really think there can be more to that. More depth, more fledged out stories. I mean I don’t want Castle to go to Cheerleader tryouts or Alexis to get involved with murder at her school (“Dad, somebody got murdered” (ad break!)) but I do think there’s a way to get those two involved a little bit more especially since mother Castle is now moving out.

I know I know, this is light comedy/drama but still. I think there’s room for depth.

March 30, 2010 at 2:37 PM

Esposito and Ryan are great. Really enjoying them now.

March 30, 2010 at 2:39 PM

Thanks for the great review. The two parter really lived up to the hype. This show just gets better and better and finally the ratings are too! Now if only ABC would renew it already…

March 30, 2010 at 2:58 PM

More good ratings news this week. The show is obviously getting a bump from Dancing With The Stars. This week though, Castle was up again, despite Dancing With The Stars dropping off a bit from its premiere numbers. So it looks like the big two part event has won some more people over.

Update: ABC has picked up the show for a third season!

March 30, 2010 at 5:52 PM

I did notice that Jordan played ‘a mean game of Scrabble’ but that they didn’t reference it again. I think it’s to the show’s credit that it’s so good and so packed with stuff that they can throw away something a lesser show would milk to death.

I think the “Want me to hold your gun while you tie your shoe?” is a throwback to The Third Man when Beckett wanted Castle to hold her purse while she went into the store with her gun. That she would now give him his own gun to back her up speaks subtlely to how much their relationship has developed.

March 30, 2010 at 9:32 PM

I also expected Jordan would reveal herself as an FBI agent obsessed with serial killers who focuses upon Beckett as a worthy adversary with a child as a psychological manifestation. Although she appeared true blue in the end, I still liked her character and her Castle-Beckett insight. I also liked Castle stepping up to pressure Beckett into staying with him.

The thing that shocked me most included Beckett handing Castle, the civilian, a gun. I’ve also noticed in recent episodes that Castle operates now as part of the team and less as an observer i.e. ‘I have to return to help’, etc. The only minor thing I disliked about this ep hearkens back to last season where Castle solved 80% of the cases. I liked S2 because Beckett and Castle either solved them together or Castle backed Beckett up. However, this time around all of the observations, save a few, appeared to come from Castle’s corner. But, I assumed they did that to prove his worth to DD’s char.

March 31, 2010 at 3:42 AM

I also loved that Jordan became a sort of mentor for Beckett throughout the episodes, not just at the end (or never). Sure there was some of that NYPD-FBI head butting, but so often whenever a guest star is introduced as a strong female authority figure, shows constantly pit the female lead against her or paint the guest as incompetent in some way. Not so with Jordan. They have different styles, but both are more or less open to listening to the other or changing their minds — actually working together (who would have thought :P). It’s so dang refreshing to watch that realistic relationship between those two. It’s so rare elsewhere on television.

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