M: A big episode for Wonder Twin #2, aka Ryan, aka some other Irish name that I keep wanting to call Finnick Odair.
E: Oh, because it’s very similar, actually.
M: Exactly. Okay, it was Fenton O’Connell. No, I couldn’t remember that, and yes, I had to search about 15 web sites before finding even one that mentioned it. It was only a pivotal part of the episode, why the heck would other recappers mention that?
C: I found it very memorable. Primarily because of the woman hurling herself across the police station at Ryan, crying “Fenton!” …But we’ll get to that in a moment.
E: I have to say, I know it was a departure for them, and some of it was alarmingly tense, but I really enjoyed this look into Ryan’s past. How much did you love the FBI agent saying “Kevin Ryan? THE Kevin Ryan?” Excellent.
C: I know!! For once he’s the famous one!
M: That was great, but while I loved it, it also struck me as a bit wrong. Espo and Beckett would know about Ryan’s past assignments before he became a detective, not just because he’s an open guy and would have shared about it with them, but because they’d have known his history when he joined the precinct or when they partnered up with him. Still, I loved Ryan getting the hotshot treatment!
C: Admittedly, it wasn’t the most convincing of retcons. I too think they would have know if Ryan had been in deep cover. For one thing, there would be certain places in the city he couldn’t go for fear of being recognized! But he was so darn good at being Fenton O’Connell, and it was so much fun seeing Seamus Dever have a chance to flex his acting muscles, that I didn’t really care. I loved this episode.
E: Right, how much did you love seeing Ryan go back undercover to take down the Irish mob on Staten Island? Give him a leather jacket and a hair cut and he’s a whole different guy.
C: It really was a remarkable transformation.
M: As I said to C last night, I absolutely loved his entrance into the Irish bar. I’m planning on adopting the “Didn’t any of you Irish bastards miss me?” line when entering rooms as often as decorum allows.
E: I’d love to know when that’ll be. Good luck!
C: I vote for all the time. Forget decorum.
M: Okay, I’ll do what I can, just keep the kids away from the door the next time we’re all at mom and dad’s. 😉
E: I’ll do my best!
M: Seriously, though, there was one thing I was disappointed by. After the initial “death by chocolate” comment, there was nary a mention of confections, and no other bakery related puns. I know it was a bit more serious, and there wasn’t nearly as much Castle as usual in the episode, but still.
C: You know, that’s true. After an opening straight out of an episode of Pushing Daisies, I expected the cupcake jokes to keep coming, but there was hardly a mention after one very dirty joke. Please tell me you guys caught that, because I will feel gross if it was just me.
E: Oh no. Not just you. I totally turned to Mr. E and squealed, did he just say that?!!!!
M: Agreed, soooo bad.
C: Ryan’s wife Jenny implies that he’s about to go, er, prepare a sperm sample for the fertility doctor, then we cut immediately to Castle overpronouncing the words “MASTER BAKER…” in talking about the murdered man.
E: That still makes me snicker.
C: We also get a bizarro scene back at the precinct where Esposito and Castle very awkwardly ask Ryan if his, um, test preparation went okay. M, you’re a guy. Would that conversation really happen?
M: Not necessarily the test prep, but guys would definitely ask what the results were and what the latest was. And the wording in that conversation would absolutely be complete awkward. Now, let’s change the subject… I loved that Wonder Twin #1 couldn’t pronounce “Siobahn.” Seriously, it took me years to figure out that that spelling and the name that sounds like “Shivonne” are the same thing. I’m glad someone else publicly acknowledged how nutso Gaelic spelling is.
C: Also, it’s spelled Siobhan. Guess you need a little more time on that, bro.
M: Huh, not sure what happened there. I had it spelled correctly, even looked it up to make sure. Not sure how it got transposed. Still, makes the point even more, no?
C: Suuuuuure 🙂
E: Well, yes, it’s definitely a puzzle, but I was probably in high school when I first met a Siobhan and figured out that I didn’t know how to spell the name at all. I couldn’t help thinking he was a little old never to have seen it spelled out before, especially as a cop in NYC who must encounter a lot of names.
M: I don’t know, I could definitely buy it. Even among the Irish immigrants and families I know it’s not that common a name, and you don’t see it spelled out that often.
C: Speaking of Irish names, I loved when he revealed his true identity to Siobhan, “Kevin Ryan,” and she was relieved that at the very least, he was telling the truth about being Irish.
E: You know, I should have known better, but I couldn’t help fearing that Siobhan — Ryan’s tough, bar owning girlfriend from his undercover days — was going to have a 7-year-old kid named Fenton stashed away someplace. What with all the issues Ryan and Jenny were having conceiving. I’m so relieved they didn’t go there.
M: And that they didn’t have him, frustrated with all the conception drama, stray from his marriage. They put him and Siobhan alone too many times, and definitely made it look like they were going to kiss several times.
C: That made me so uncomfortable! To back up a little, it’s obvious even before Ryan tells her so that whatever else was fake during his undercover days, his feelings for girlfriend Siobhan were real. For the past seven years, Siobhan has believed that her boyfriend fled town to avoid arrest when (in fact, thanks to Ryan) half the crew was locked away. She’s furious with him for never contacting her, then even more betrayed to learn that he was a cop. Only now Siobhan herself’s an informant for the FBI, putting them on the same side. The scenes with them alone made me squirm, because of course there are going to be leftover feelings from a relationship that never properly ended. But Ryan’s too good a guy to cross the line.
E: Agreed. There was definitely a lot of unresolved emotion there.
M: Which brings me back to the first scene, when she flies across the precinct and kisses him. If you were abandoned by a significant other, never even got a goodbye from them and hadn’t seen them in 7 years, then stumbled across them in a police station, would your first move be to plant a kiss on them? And if you had become an informant for the FBI, would you slap them for being a cop? That scene was fun, but doesn’t hold up to scrutiny.
C: I don’t know; I believe that one’s instinctive reactions in that situation might be a bit messy.
E: Agreed, it’s a crazy tangle of loyalties and betrayals.
C: The rest of the plot was about who murdered the man in the cupcake batter; at first it looked like the leader of the gang, “Fenton’s” old buddy, but we soon find that he had an alibi. The second-in-command who doesn’t trust Ryan (which is in fact very smart of him, but makes him come off as a jerk) is the obvious suspect.
E: Was it smart of him, or just his paranoid self-interest and fear of a rival? Just because he was right doesn’t mean he was reasonable in thinking it.
M: No, it was smart. Someone showing up after complete silence for 7 years? When their disappearance somewhat coincided with half your crew getting pinched? That’s not someone you just trust.
C: Quite. But I liked that it turned out to be a Lady Macbeth thing in the end. Probably should have seen it coming all along, but I was caught up in the story of Ryan’s endangerment.
E: When it happened I wasn’t too surprised; I’ve seen Lady Macbeth/Maggie in other things. (BTW, anyone else watch Covert Affairs? Because Mr. E and I went nuts all episode over how like Anne Dudek the actress playing Siobhan was. Not the same woman, but yikes.)
M: I didn’t think so, but my take on her was weird. When she was in the precinct she looked like a completely different actress than when she was in the bar. To the point where I didn’t recognize that it was her.
C: It took me a bit, too!
M: Also, I had seen the actress that played Maggie in a bunch of other things, so my antennae were up with her, but like with C my focus was more on the Ryan-takes-down-the-mob plot than figuring out who the real killer was.
C: This was an unconventional episode in so many ways, the whodunnit didn’t matter so much.
M: Speaking of taking down the mob, other than Ryan’s tough guy Finnick Odair entrance, my favorite moment of the episode was when he was calling out the team as they came to save him at the docks. Specifically, when he called Castle, who responded with a surprised “Really?!?! I left my vest….” Loved that!
E: Quite possibly my favorite moment of the very enjoyable episode.
C: That was great — the perfect comic cap to a nicely dramatic scene where Ryan, trapped and about to be shot along with Siobhan, reveals that he stole a phone and dialed the team, who he assumes with absolute confidence have by now arrived to save him. Which of course they have. Aww.
M: That was great, and exactly the kind of thing we complain that they don’t do in “serious Castle” episodes. I thought this one was a template for them to use for later serious episodes.
C: And then, of course, the end… baby news! I feel like you probably take a pregnancy test before you pay to visit a fertility doctor, but you know, whatevs.
E: Not if you’ve been trying that long with a heartbreaking lack of success — I know people in real life who’ve had that happen to them.
C: Yes, although if I dared to quibble with you on this subject I might point out Jenny and Ryan have only been married a year, and just started “trying” this fall.
M: Either way, There’ll be a new Ryan in 8 or 9 months. I wonder if they’ll name him Fenton?
C: Fenton Ryan. A good Irish name…