After being off air last week (damn you America, damn you hiatus, damn you all), Castle made a return this week and even though the show never fails to impress, this week it really stepped up it’s game and gave us an episode that was, for me at least, on par with Cops and Robbers for being the best episode so far this season. Part of that reason was Stana Katic, for she really acted her socks off this week.
The case of the week focuses on a sniper offing seemingly random targets across the city. The start of the episode has a pretty gruesome death scene when a random woman walking down the street receives a bullet to the heart, spraying her very life force all over her friend and the pavement. One minute she’s talking about getting married, the next she is in a morgue being cut open and examined by Lanie. It could be worse. Well, maybe not worse than the blatant Windows product placement that was featured so prominently in this episode. Best just to forget about that.
Naturally, after nearly having her own chest cavity exposed at the end of the last season, Beckett finds this week’s case a little too close for comfort and spends the entire episode suffering at the hands of her PTSD. Luckily, she has a solid set of friends and colleagues to guide her through the process, and this episode stands to prove just how great an actress Stana Katic is. I am glad that the writers decided to integrate this PTSD storyline into the show because it was obviously an extremely traumatic event for Beckett to experience, and having her move on and not even bother about it anymore would seem relatively unrealistic. It always irks me when something horrific happens to a character in a TV show, and the next week they’re back to normal as though it never happened and said event is never mentioned again. I obviously have no experience with having a bullet through my chest, but I can imagine that it’s not going to be an experience you will forget in a hurry.
As mentioned before, Stana Katic does a wonderful job of portraying the confused, scared and almost delirious version of Beckett that we see this week. It’s quite a contrast to her usual demeanour of looking ‘tough’ and as though very little phases her, so to see her withering on the floor and looking utterly terrified at every passing noise is heart-breaking, but made completely believable at the same time. Castle has always been a show that has benefited from having two very versatile, strong actors at the helm of it’s cast, and just as Nathan Fillion got the chance to show his strength off in ‘Cops and Robbers’, Stana Katic gets hers this week.
That’s not to mention the rest of the cast either, because they’re also on top form, just as you would expect. One of the things that separates Castle from the other cop shows that are around, is the cast and the way they work so well together. When there is an episode like this that comes around, that deviates from the normal pattern of ‘body turns up, have to find killer’, it shows that this is a show that wouldn’t really be the same without any of them in it. Cops and Robbers was another one, and you only have to watch that to see what I am trying to say.
Another point to note this week, is that Captain Gates is most definitely warming to the charms of Castle. It’s a miracle that it’s taken her this long, but she is gradually asking more from Castle himself, and this week, it looked as though she valued him as a part of the team. Although there have been moments during this season that Gates has been bitchy to the point of wanting to slap her, I am glad that she is finally being taken in a direction that might make her less of a cut-throat bitch. Lets face it, if she spent her entire time on the show hating Castle and cutting him out of everything, there would be no other reason for her existence other than to hate her. Besides, I do consider Penny Johnson Gerald to be an inspired casting choice and I hope we get to see something ‘personal’ relating to the background of her character sometime soon. If not, Gates is in danger of being a character that simply pops up from time to time, says a few lines of dialogue then disappears again.
Once again, there was at least one moment in this episode that will please the ‘Caskett’ fans. I am one of those people, and I don’t think we’re that far away from a relationship being formed between Beckett and Castle. There are few ‘ships’ that I care a great deal about in the shows that I watch, and ‘Caskett’ is most definitely at the very top of them all. These two characters have always worked so well together and the sooner they finally get together, the better. My main hope is that they don’t leave it too long and that when they do get together, they don’t change the dynamic of the show too much as it’s perfectly fine the way it is. The fact that we are getting so many ‘moments’ between the two recently, makes me believe that it will finally happen soon, possibly at the end of this season but maybe next.
To conclude; this week’s offering was easily one of the best of the current season so far. Stana Katic proved how great of an actress she is, and although she wins few awards for what she does, she consistently pulls it out of the bag and delivered one of her finest performances to date, this week. The story itself was a deviation from the usual ‘killer of the week’ story, and it worked. The tension was cranked up to maximum, the character development of Beckett was on top form and Castle continues to show how great a show it is, and can be. We also got several shots of Beckett’s cleavage so if you’re into that, get watching!