C: Going by the second episode of season five, I’d say that Castle’s on form, but not quite at the top of its game. A fairly standard episode, weakened by a total lack of Martha and Alexis, and with not quite enough sizzle to the week’s mystery. Still, not bad.
E: I don’t know. I missed Martha and Alexis, of course (jaunting through Europe to celebrate Miss Castle’s high school graduation) but I like the relationship stuff, and I was genuinely baffled over the mystery.
M: Baffled? Really? It was classic Castle, one of the first people you see, and the most recognizable guest star.
C: The victim is Mandy Michaels, referred to as a weather girl though much is made of her being in her mid-thirties and therefor “past her sell-by date.” I hadn’t realized till now that the word weatherwoman does not, at least in common use, exist. But Castle’s in heaven, of course, with all the puns her profession opens up possibilities for.
E: Meteorology buff Mr. E was bothered that the show made no distinction between a “weather girl” and an actual meteorologist. He practically choked when the dead woman’s rival claimed the victim made her own forecasts, rather than simply reading what the staff meteorologist gave her.
C: First of all, that’s a fantastic thing to be a “buff” of. Cheers, Mr. E.
M: And since we have a friend who is a meteorologist, a remarkable practical one, too!
C: And I’m glad he pointed that out—the remark about her poor forecasts definitely felt off somehow. But Mandy, according to the show, was not respected for her weather prowess so much as her figure. As usual, the corpse is displayed as sexily as possible, so the viewers can all be inappropriately turned on by the dead like Castle is. Ogle-Cam getting a lot of use here.
E: Really gross. We don’t even see her face, just her boobs.
M: She had a face?
C: Yeah, ugh. In any case: Mandy Michaels’ death was made to look like a mugging, but of course it’s not really.
M: No way!
C: Naturally, Lanie finds some makeup on the body which could only come from a TV station, so they’re able to narrow the field to Mandy’s co-workers.
M: Because, of course, TV stations use make up that no one else uses. And each station uses proprietary make up. But you know what, as much as I poke fun, when watching it I had no problem with this, because they didn’t dwell on it and moved quickly through this part of the plot.
C: Castle’s practically giddy when he learns the name of the other weather girl: Rebecca Fogg.
E: Well, that is rather wonderful, if silly for an actual meteorologist.
C: The running subplot of the episode is, of course, Beckett and Castle’s ongoing relationship, which they have both agreed to keep a secret not just out of embarrassment, but because they fear Captain Gates will kick Rick to the curb and reprimand Kate if the “office romance” is discovered. Having just flown through seasons three and four of Parks and Recreation, these conversations sounded very, very familiar.
M: Having seen the “hidden office romance” plot done a hundred times on TV, it seemed familiar to me, too. Having had to deal with the fall out of actual, non-hidden office romances in the past, I can see the point of the rule. On the other hand, I’ve seen plenty of “good” office romances, too, so you never know.
C: It’s a clever enough way to keep tension alive while still having the leads together—but how long can it possibly last? As Beckett points out to Castle (and as M mentioned last week), they are after all surrounded by detectives. It’s Lanie who proves the most suspicious this time though, telling Beckett: “You’re having sex. There’s a glow.” (You know, you hear this on TV all the time, but I’ve never picked up on said glow in real life. Maybe I’m just unobservant?)
E: Sometimes you can tell, I think, though I wouldn’t call it a glow. More like a loosening of tension. But that’s rare, and I didn’t see that Beckett had either a glow or any kind of relaxation.
M: Not buying it, E, it’s a myth. No glow (not even Soul Glow) in reality, and no one can just spot that someone’s been having sex.
C: It was a bit clunky, in my opinion, to have a character they were interviewing give them the “Here’s the thing about a secret workplace romance…” speech. Come on, for real? That’s on-the-nose even for this show.
E: I agree completely. Especially since it turned out that it was all an attempt to mislead them. Speaking of which, suspect Miles was played by the blandest “Hey, It’s That Guy” ever.
C: Do you mean you recognized him? I didn’t.
M: Seriously, you two? You’re slipping, and your family credentials may be taken away. The actor, Josh Randall, was in Ed (wonderful show, before it’s time) and in episodes of virtually every show over the last 10 years, from LOST as one of the tailies, to Scrubs, to a couple episodes of your beloved Pushing Daisies. And the character was bland, he’s been plenty not bland in other things.
E: I didn’t say I didn’t recognize. I just said he’s bland – and I’m sorry, but I do find him consistently boring.
C: I didn’t recognize. I’ll admit it. Anyway, some of the best moments in the episode—though they were sadly few—were when the new cute vibe between our leads was allowed to come to the surface. For instance, Castle playing in front of the green screen at the TV station without realizing (or caring) that anyone was paying attention? Hilarious. But Former Beckett would most likely have been exasperated. Now, although she’s trying to have a serious phone conversation, she can’t stop smiling.
E: Love. Love love love love love.
M: Agreed, that was a clear distinction between couple-Kate and “original” Kate.
C: Of course, they decide that to keep their secret they must pretend to be “very single.” This backfires almost immediately, when Castle accepts a date from a broadcaster who’s interviewing him. “Isn’t she the reporter that shows up to cover stories in her bikini?” asks Beckett in disgust. In this case I don’t actually blame Castle for saying yes on the woman’s show—talk about being put on the spot—but even he should have had the grace, when the Bikini Reporter showed up at this apartment for sex, to say: “Hey, I didn’t want to say this on air, but there’s someone else I have feelings for and I really can’t do this right now.”
E: There are a thousand ways to have turned her down which would have been easier than turning away the full bikini press.
M: Three points, and you are not allowed to even discuss the last one. First, he should have said no on the show, and could have very easily bantered it away, celebrities flirt without actually taking it seriously all the time on puff piece talk shows like that. I actually think that if he wasn’t secretly dating Beckett he would have much more easily. Second, the Wonder Twins reactions to it was one of the best scenes in the episode. Over the top living vicariously! Third (the one you’re not allowed to respond to or comment on), after the build up, I have to say that the bikini wasn’t very impressive.
E: Am I allowed to say I agree? No? Fine.
C: At the end of the episode, Beckett lays down some ground rules. She proposes they agree to talk about dating other people in public, but not actually date other people. Castle agrees. “Okay good,” she says, “’cause I have a gun, and you don’t really have a choice.”
E: How much did you love that? I wanted to reach through the screen and hug them.
M: Yeah, that was pretty awesome. Now let’s wrap up the plot.
C: The plot twist, where Mandy Michaels turns out to be working on an Erin Brockovitch-style exposé of pollution that’s giving kids asthma, seemed sprung on us rather late in the game but did provide one gem. Mr. Cazuli, the carpet factory owner with a long record, I recognized as the brother from My Big Fat Greek Wedding.
M: He was fantastic, if type-cast.
C: He refuses to talk without his lawyer there, so Beckett and Castle open his file and go over all the points of the case against him aloud. He steams in the background until he can’t take it anymore, and admits to threatening the victim. One of the most entertaining interrogation scenes this show has done.
E: And their interrogation can be a lot of fun, so that’s a high (and deserved) compliment.
M: That was great, a classic “Hey, I’m standing right here!” scene that the two of them played to perfection. And the plot twist was weak, the murderer’s motive was flimsy, and I saw it coming a mile away, but it was fun, light Castle, so it didn’t really matter, because that’s not what the point is with these episodes. We got witty banter and good time with the main characters, and that’s why we love the show.