Castle Review: “When the Bough Breaks”

C: Another fine episode of Castle, this time with a plot ripped from the National Enquirer – but I won’t go into detail on that outside of the spoiler cut.

However, some other significant events here too – Heat Wave debuts to big sales and rave reviews (the former fact being, weirdly enough, true in real life too) and Castle and Beckett have their second big break-up of the season. Gotta say, I love the way they play Beckett and Castle’s pseudo-romantic tension.  When they first met, they were a pair who had good chemistry but didn’t seem right for each other as a couple.  Now, they’re friends but don’t like to admit that.  While he could teasingly hit on her in the early episodes of last season, they’ve developed a real rapport that makes jokes about them getting together too awkward – witness the scene at the release party, where they seem to be verging on some “I like having you around” admission and Castle awkwardly jerks the conversation to the case of the week.  Keep the slow, slow simmer coming, Castle writers – it’s working.

E: I love that scene.  Best of the episode.

M: Agreed.

C: It works in a way that Beckett’s hair is really not.  Can they change it already?  Pleeeeease?

M: Enough with the complaining about the non-mullet mullet! They clearly aren’t changing it, and it could be worse.  Okay, I’m not sure what exactly would be worse, but anyway, on to “When the Bough Breaks” and its twists and turns, not all of which had to do with the case.  Among the twists was Debi Mazar taking a break from Dancing With The Mildly Recognizable (E: Uh, kicked off already. M: Whatever, not watching E: Me neither – I just know these things) to play Castle’s agent, and let him know that he’s getting offered a three book deal to pen James Bon…  uh, that British Secret Agent (you know, the one who goes around the world telling everyone his real name, like all secret agents do – right?).  Well, you can tell right off the bat that this is being thrown in to create tension: will he or won’t he leave Beckett and the wonder twins, Esposito and Ryan, behind?  Since it’s episode 5 of the season, we all know how that ends.  They should have saved that for the season finale and let the audience stew over it for the break.  Opportunity lost.

E: I generally would agree with that, but I can see why they felt like the timing was right; now that Castle’s gotten his book, how do we account for Beckett and Co. allowing him to stick around?

M: They already did that in the premiere, or the second episode.  Done and done.  Anyway, when we get to the case of the week we find an illegal immigrant (who no one cared was illegal) dead inside a manhole, and a well-to-do couple in the cross-hairs. From there, they threw a type-casting curve at us.  The husband, played by the fabulously named Reed Diamond, has been a good guy in a supporting role in a bunch of things, including the far too short-lived Journeyman couple years ago (C: and is now a main character on Dollhouse, I believe?).  The wife, played by The Parent Trap‘s Elaine Hendrix, has been a, um… well, a female dog in a lot of things.  From the moment I saw her I expected her to be the murderer.

E: Ditto.  It was certainly surprising to see her turn to be a basically good person. But him – I don’t know, aren’t his eyes set awfully close together for a good guy?

M: So, wait, good guys can’t have close set eyes?  WHAT?!?!

E: No.  (Cause that has a lot to do with a person’s relative goodness, right?)

M: Sometimes you really baffle me.  Putting my confusion aside, and returning to the review, the plot raced through mostly irrelevant stuff to get us to a baby-swap, and reveal the Diamond as the killer, while giving us too little of Castle’s family and the wonder twins.  We did get an enjoyable scene at the book signing, especially when Castle pulls a Happy Gilmore and autographs a woman’s cleavage.  Stay classy, San Diego.

E: Classy is his middle name.  I have to say I was much more affected by the mystery of the week than I usually am – the whole swapping of the sick baby thing, and the poor woman doing so much behind-the-scenes work to figure out what happened to her child.  Although – well, I don’t know who could have told the detectives this, but don’t you wonder why she suspected the baby wasn’t hers long enough after his death for the (ex) husband to be ignorant of what must have been an obsession?  And I know you think all babies look alike, C, but I just don’t think there’s any way someone could have given me another kid without me noticing.  (And I’d have had my handy digital camera to back me up, which, fine, perhaps the immigrant parents might not have had, but wouldn’t the rich couple?) Still, I cried.

C: BIG surprise.

M: Yes, quite the shock there, she never cries.  But I do agree about the baby-swap.  No chance in hell I wouldn’t know the difference.  Heck, I’m pretty sure after just the birthing room I could tell the difference between twins if they were mine.

C: The wording they used implied the mother hadn’t really seen the baby yet – passed out or something maybe?  We’ll pretend that’s the excuse.

E: Moving on – we haven’t touched on my favorite exchange of the episode yet – Castle congratulating Beckett for correctly identifying an instance of irony.  “It must be your great grammatical influence over me,” she snarks.  (Ah, grammar, diction, what’s the difference?) “I may be going, but I’m leaving something of myself behind,” he replies glowingly.

Or perhaps you prefer Beckett referring to Bond as the “British secret agent who must not be named?”

M: I liked the irony barb, because Alanis Morrisett’s song bugs me in the same way it bugs Castle, but preferred his quip on the Slavic lollipops: “Ooooh, tastes like soap.  I like it.”  How do you top that?

C: For my money, you don’t.

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12 comments on “Castle Review: “When the Bough Breaks”

  1. Krizzzz says:

    On the twins thing? You’d be surprised. We used to label the bottoms of my sisters’ shoes with their initials when they were very small, and believe me — it wasn’t so we could tell the shoes apart.

    • M says:

      Oh, I know, I’ve had friends that were identical twins that used to mess people up confusing the two of them. However, when I was in the delivery room, and first got to hold each of my children, I was so mesmerized by them that I studied every little aspect of them. I don’t think I could have been given another baby and not known instantly it wasn’t mine.

      Now, maybe not everyone was like that, but I still find it incredibly implausible, while TV shows (including fam fave Veronica Mars) seem to find it very commonplace.

  2. Krizzzz says:

    Oh, in general I agree. Of course, I also remember being terrified that in my not-so-coherent post-labor/pre-e/c-section state, I might not have paid enough attention to what MY baby looked like, smelled like, felt like, etc. Then again, I’m fairly sure I was not quite Right in the Head at that point. 😉

    • E says:

      I may have delusions of – what shall I say, perceptiveness? – induced by the digital camera. Even though c-sections are hardly the optimal birth experience, I still would like to think we’d know.

      • Krizzzz says:

        Agreed. Not trying to argue this too hard (esp. since I didn’t see the show in question, nyuk nyuk nyuk). I also remember that I didn’t get to see James after the c-section until…sometime late-ish the next day, and that was after seeing him once, for a few minutes, right after delivery. By that time, he probably didn’t even look like the same baby, what with the enormous cone-head and the ensuing enormous bruise. Now, once we’d established contact later, sure. But again, my parents might have known both twins were theirs, but that doesn’t mean they could always tell which one was which. For real. We have photo Christmas ornaments that we can’t identify. My sisters and mom, for some reason, fail to be amused when I point out that maybe Sister A is really Sister B all these years later.

        • E says:

          Well, considering your sisters, I’m not so shocked by that! I admit it might be possible without the camera, but looking at those pictures, I think they’re all recognizable. Telling girl 1 and girl 3 apart as babies might be a different story, though.

          • Krizzzz says:

            The trouble we had with the photoes came many years later. We had never bothered to label them because, dude, we know how to tell them apart. Duh. Until one Christmas when I took the ornaments out of the box…and couldn’t tell. I asked my sister, and she got STEAMED that I couldn’t tell her from her twin, and I said, “Here, YOU look.” She looked. And looked. And looked. And stormed out of the room!

        • E says:

          BTW, this isn’t really the sort of plot you can dip too deeply into. The idea is that the husband (doctor at the childrens hospital) saw the amnio report, realized his son was afflicted with a tay sacks like fatal disease, didn’t tell his wife, and then switched babies in the nursery. Because the ob would never talk about this with the wife later? So many holes in this idea…

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