J was thrown back to vintage Castle while enjoying plot progression in Lucky Stiff – read her review here.
I really liked “Lucky Stiff”. It was a great change of pace from the incredibly heavy “Knockdown” from a couple weeks back. It was nice to have an interesting case of the week (The butler did it, seriously!) in a relatively stand alone episode so soon after an episode that was so long-plot driven. It’s getting difficult to write this review because J already touched on so much of what I wanted to say about the episode. I loved the fast and flashy NYC flare we got in the music, the opening shots and in Beckett screeching down the street in a Ferrari to a hot nightclub.
Now that I sit back and think about what happened in this episode, it was actually fantastic for reintroducing our characters to a first time viewer through the “What would you do if you won the lottery” thread through the episode. It allowed the show to communicate subtly with us long term viewers while having the same scenes be enjoyable for a first time viewer.
We know that Castle was an overnight success, so his reaction about the lottery wasn’t so much a surprise as a confirmation about what we already know about him. It reminded us that he got rich fast when he was young from his first novel and while he is still quite whimsical he has grown more responsible with his money and the rest of his life.
Ryan’s response that he and his new fiancée would like to own a vineyard carried on the continuity of his new engagement while introducing this fact, and that he is sweet, kind and is more three dimensional than your average TV cop with no life (or characterization) outside of the squad room.
Esposito…well he says he’s buy a Ferrari (a toy that Castle already owns, of course). His big reveal was also one of my absolute favourite moments of the episode: His “secret” relationship with Lanie, the medical examiner that everyone knows about… even Castle and Beckett.
We even got to weave Castle’s mother into the story as she deals with her inheritance of a million dollars from her recently deceased boyfriend. An inheritance she deals with in fabulous Martha Rodgers nature in opening an acting school named after none other than herself.
Beckett’s answer to the money was also a big one for new views and long viewers in two very different ways. New viewers learn about her mother’s murder, something that is pivotal to Beckett’s character. For us, we see a the continuity in her character development, instead of shutting Castle out when he once again pries into her personal life, she lets him in, and after “Knockout” she damn well better stop shutting the man out.
J, you say that this episode brought you back to “Tick Tick Tick”, I’m going to rewind a bit further to “A Death in the Family” at the end of season one. This is where Castle investigated into Beckett’s mother’s murder without her knowledge or consent. She was furious and wanted to have nothing to do with him. By “Lucky Stiff” all the way in season 3, she wants him there, and is grateful of his thoughtfulness, and ability to know her so well as to guess what she would do with lottery money as he tells her that he’s begun a scholarship in her mother’s name.
J – to answer your question about the consistency of Beckett’s character I’m going to go two ways.
The first is H’s voice of reason as I scream things at the television such as “see , see, but he would never have done that in season one”. Here is where she reminds me that in the first season the writers are still working out the kinks, still figuring out for themselves what works for the characters and the dynamic of the show.
Me, I like to indulge the character. I think that yes, Kate may have been written as a little more stiff [just noticed this in editing, pun was so not intended!] in earlier seasons, but I do like to think that her whole past that is revealed to us bit by bit was always under there somewhere. Working with Castle as well as Ryan and Esposito over the course of the time we’ve been with them has made her more comfortable with revealing previously unknown aspects of her personality.
Also J, you were right about H & I watching Martha & Kate interact. We LOVE when Beckett gets to be part of the Castle clan!
That was much more long winded than I had anticipated; I hope it was worth it.
Until… tomorrow – move that ass fellow partiers!
p.s. I wonder if things will get steamy on Castle for Valentine’s Day tomorrow on “The Final Nail”?