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Castle – “Anatomy of a Murder” – review
First of all, apologies for my two-week vacation silence. There are two things I want to say about the two episodes I missed recapping. (1) Did anyone besides me find the reveal about Beckett having been in love with her training officer more awkward than revealing or relevant? It made a certain sense, but I just did not feel it with that actor. (2) Did anyone besides me find it not at all coincidental that Captain Tightpants’s current show had a Steampunk-themed episode the same week Comic Con was in town? Although part two of that: Dear Steampunk–stop–Your subculture has officially mainstreamed now–stop–Condolences–full stop.
So, on to this week’s episode. First, I felt like this was kind of a throwback mystery to the early days of the show, where it was a revolving ring of suspects who each came under scrutiny, got dismissed, and then came back again. But how awesome was the subplot of Nurse Greg and his wrongfully imprisoned sweetheart? I loved their storyline even without the litmus test that it inevitably gave Castle–”Yes, but would you break her out of jail?”
I liked that Gena finally showed up on screen instead of just being talked about or hinted at. I felt like Castle may have actually made some headway toward maturity, as well. He got mad that she had given Alexis tickets to Taylor Swift without consulting him, less because he’s Alexis’s only parent and more because–as Gena rightly accused him–she stole his “hero moment.” On the one hand, yes, Castle does like to play the hero to Alexis, to be the cool dad, but it’s not just about his image but because he truly loves her and because she’s never had a stable mother figure. On the other hand, it’s rather telling that even when Castle was married to Gena and again now that they’re back together, he doesn’t seem to encourage a deeper bond between her and his daughter. Almost as if he understands subconsiously that it’s not a deep enough relationship to risk Alexis becoming attached and getting hurt when she and Castle break it off. So I absolutely think this altercation was writing on the wall for them, even though Castle realized he was in the wrong and has finally learned (thanks to Beckett) how to apologize to a woman sincerely–how to actually regret how his behavior hurt someone else. But I expect it’s too little too late.
After all, Castle wouldn’t break Gena out of prison…but Beckett blithely acknowledged that she’d do it for Castle.
There was an absolutely choice moment of hilarity when Beckett is talking about what she and Castle’s song is: “You Talk Too Much” by Clarence Carter. This is funny to me because the only Clarence Carter song I or any of my friends know is “Strokin’,” so it’s reasonable to assume that Beckett’s a fan of that song, too. Which is just unexpected and fun.
This was an episode that struck a good balance for me between a mystery that wasn’t overwhelmed by the interpersonal dynamics, while still having little moments that advanced the larger emotional story of the show as a whole. And hopefully now that I’m back in the swing of life I’ll be able to hit next week’s episode in a slightly more timely fashion.