Castle Review: “Boom!”

C: This week’s Castle episode, “Boom!,” was the conclusion to last week’s dramatic cliffhanger, which ended with a bomb decimating Kate Beckett’s apartment with her inside.

E: I was totally convinced that she couldn’t really have been in her apartment – but there she was, hiding in the cast iron bathtub.  Huh.  The gratuitous shower scene from last week?  Actually saved her life.

C: Yeah… it’s not quite surviving a nuclear bomb by shutting yourself in a refrigerator, but it did strain my credulity a bit.

M: Cast iron bath tubs being indestructible and bomb-proof have been a Hollywood staple for decades, so I was fine with it.  What I couldn’t figure out at first was how the explosion didn’t just explode into the top of the tub, but they wrapped that up neatly with the door being blasted off the frame and onto the top of the tub.  Not as convincing, but certainly not as bad as Sam Jackson happening to see Bruce Willis getting shot out of the sewer as he’s driving by at 80 mph in Die Hard 3.

E: Wouldn’t you guys agree that it was an unusually serious episode?  We got some funny banter while Beckett was looking for clothing (the towels are on fire, her bathrobe is on fire), and when she asked him to recount his fantastic entrance to the burning apartment (which was really quite impressive, breaking down the door like that) but otherwise, there was very little wisecracking until the very end.  And yet they didn’t put any serious dialogue in its place. They didn’t use it as an opportunity to be more intimate with the characters, more vulnerable – just less funny.  Interesting choice.

C: I wouldn’t go so far as to say there wasn’t anything serious in its place.  It was just understated, which isn’t Castle‘s usual M.O. for sure.

E: Yes, that’s right – I mean the dialogue wasn’t more serious.

M: Half of this ep was right out of the movie Se7en, from the papers (substituting for pictures) that the serial killer hung from the ceiling, to him not having any finger prints, being a chameleon and observing the investigation while hiding “in plain sight.”  But you know what, they pulled it off.

E: They did.  I enjoyed it.  The villain was suitably creepy, and I was genuinely scared for Agent Shaw’s safety.

C: I was going to be really upset if they killed her.  I’d like to see her guest star again, maybe in another season.

E: Me, too.  She’s a good character, and there’s no reason they couldn’t have her back if they (and she) wanted.

I like that Martha now has dual citizenship in Chet/Castle worlds.  That’s cute.  And it was so sweet, how much Alexis missed her.

M: One of the few funny moments of the week was when Alexis came and hugged her and Castle mouthed to Becket “It’s been one day.”  I was thinking the same thing, it was good to see a show acknowledge something silly like that.

C: This is a convenient way of keeping Martha on the show but giving Castle a little more space.  If Alexis goes off to camp or something, maybe he’ll even have the place to himself now and then.

E: Yeah — so is Kate still going to be living in Castle’s guest room?

C: I’m wondering that too.  It didn’t seem like she went home with him again after the case ended.  I can imagine great hilarity coming out of that set-up though — but maybe they’re afraid to risk turning this into a Mismatched Roommate comedy.

M: I think that if they are going to delve further into an actual romance between the two of them, her staying at Casa de Castle will be their intro into it.

E: I’m also curious where she got those completely awesome clothes – including the black leather jacket – if all her stuff burned in the fire?  Also, how the heck big was her apartment, anyway?

I liked that Shaw made Beckett wait in the car, as if she were Castle.  And that she didn’t stay in the car, just like Castle.  Perhaps I have to take back what I said earlier – their intimacy was increased.  Just not with words.  Beckett let Castle back her up.  With a gun!  And he used it!

M: With heroic and yet hilarious results!

C: I’m with you on Beckett letting Castle back her up, but I was actually pretty annoyed with many aspects of how this episode went down.  We’ve said before that the show isn’t lovable for its plot, but usually the plot holes aren’t big enough to divert me from enjoying the episodes.  Last night they were driving me crazy.  Allow me to put my quibbles in list form:

1) Jordan was right to take Beckett off the case.  She was the target, which meant that every move she made, the killer watched.  Which meant they could never get a step ahead of him.  STUPID.

2) The writers are addicted to the gag where all the cops go in the front door and the criminal goes out the back way, making it necessary for the person who’s been told to wait in the car to chase the criminal.  I didn’t question this the first time — I haven’t bought it since.  Time to shelve that device!

3) Police and FBI agents wear handy-dandy communication devices which for some reason did not get used in this episode.  See the criminal going out the back way?  Radio the agents who just went in the front.  Figured out your agents are walking into a trap?  Radio them to get out.  Technology!

4) When your suspect makes it onto a subway train and you don’t, there’s nothing you can do.  Oh, unless you’re the police.  Go straight to the booth and tell them to hold the train in the tunnel, radio your FBI team that’s just upstairs, and go fetch the guy while he’s a sitting duck!

M: I agree, each of those annoyed me.  As did the yelling match with the captain: “I’m not gonna let you be put in danger again!”  I felt like I was watching a bad Lethal Weapon knock off.  I was yelling at the TV when the guy jumped off off the roof and there was no one left in the surveillance truck and no walkie-talkie, and when Beckett didn’t have them stop the train or at least go to the next stop, and that she didn’t call for backup in the final showdown (or at any other point).  Like the Wonder Twins wouldn’t have been there to back her up?  Really?

E: I can’t decide whether I’m more annoyed at the train idiocy or the fact that Beckett was in the damn truck and didn’t call the other agents. I mean, seriously.  Isn’t the truck supposed to be the place they issue all commands from?   That’s assuming she didn’t have a headset, which she ought to have.  And I’m sure it’d be a hassle, but you feel like the FBI could hold a subway train in the tunnel to catch a serial killer on the rampage.

C: Exactly!  The argument that it might put bystanders in danger wouldn’t really apply here, since he’s killed four people in as many days and is a definite threat to random civilians already.  That, and all of those things you guys mentioned, bugged me.  It felt like they were trying too hard to make it Beckett’s case, to have the symbolic moment where Castle and Beckett – the two halves of Niki Heat – take down the killer, without earning it through legitimate plotting.  It was an exciting episode… but also a frustrating one.

9 comments on “Castle Review: “Boom!”

  1. Gina says:

    Castle lost points with me for not thinking to give Beckett his jacket right away. All the best TV men (see Burke, Agent Peter) hand over the jacket without even having to be asked. 🙂

    But he got most of them back for shooting the gun out of the guy’s hand, even if he did miss his head!

    I didn’t catch all the plot holes, but one or two of them were pretty glaring. When Beckett was saying something like, “Why would I leave my people in that building when I knew you were in this building?” I was thinking, “Yeah, why WOULD you?”

    • M says:

      Gina, I’m right there with you on Castle not offering his jacket right away. I was talking to the TV telling him to do that before they even showed the burning towels and bathrobe, and then they had Beckett tell him to give it to her, he didn’t even offer it on his own. Ugh.

      • thepresidentrix says:

        Forget the jacket, give her your shirt, man! The building’s on *fire*! What are you, cold?

      • Meh, maybe it’s Nathan Fillion’s consummate adorable-ness, but I forgave Castle on the jacket thing. I mean, he had just watched Beckett’s apartment building explode (which did surprise him), busted down the door to get to her (which was *awesome*!), and I honestly think he was simply in shock that she was still alive. And relieved, to be sure. And hopped up on adrenaline, which presumably affected his ability to think clearly. (Not to mention finding Beckett naked, hehehe!) Yeah, there were plot holes in this ep, but I don’t think Castle was being genuinely unchivalrous at all.

        • E says:

          I concur – I was thinking “just give her your jacket, stupid!” but to be fair I think he was just in shock at the whole situation and not thinking clearly. Which probably happens when you’re not used to seeing your friends houses blown up.

  2. sapience says:

    The best line from the whole thing for me was when Castle quoted Jayne from Firefly about his shooting ability: “I was aiming for his head!”

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