Watching “The Dead Pool” was one of the few nights that we were lucky to have all three Castle fans of The Viewing Party together on the same couch (and continent!) We were all enjoying another great, yet slightly clunky, episode of Castle winding down, and we had already started chattering about how we’re excited for some big developments coming in when Castle returns for May sweeps with “To Love and Die in LA” (May 2! So far off – so excited!) when BAM!
We’re slapped to attention by a whole complete conversation between Castle and Beckett about the state of their relationship. A sentence in J exclaimed (rather loudly) “Oh my god what’s happening to my heart” and we’re all with her. All that talk of a “one writer kind of girl”, and of course he’s jealous continued on as us three Castle fans sat squeezing on the couch! Admittedly the scene took a few re-watches for us to actually hear all the words.
J already gave a pretty in depth write up of the final scene (read it!) and I agree with her whole heartedly, so I’ll leave that be for now. BUT, for all of our benefits I’m going to include that scene before I dive into the rest of my recap.
The rest of the story…
Alex Conrad, the kid being declared the next Richard Castle after only one novel bursts onto the scene causing confusion and disarray at the 12th Precinct…well that’s sort of an exaggeration, but he’s seriously cute and shakes things up in a pretty serious way.
I’m ruggedly handsome aren’t I
I like how disarmingly handsome Alex Conrad was, how clunky his titles were “Seriously Dead”, “Deadly Serious”. With looks and books like those it’s hardly surprising that Castle saw a younger version of himself in Conrad.
Occasionally Castle’s illustrious costume designer live-tweets along with the episode, lucky for us “The Dead Pool” was one of those occasions. Luke Reichle (@RedCarpetLuke) explains that he designed Conrad’s outfits to mirror what Castle was wearing, and what Castle usually wears. Or as Luke tweets “@NathanFillion and @BrendanHines were designed as visual opposites.” I love that the people who create Castle work such wonderful detail into the show down to the (amazing) clothes they wear. They don’t just look fantastic, but the costumes help tell the story in a more layered and nuanced way.
I can’t say how thrilled I am that Alex Conrad was the catalyst that pushed Castle & Beckett into their real, honest conversation about how they feel about each other that capped off “The Dead Pool. (finally!). I’m happy that it wasn’t viable romantic entanglement on either part, or a life and death situation. Just something real.
Castle’s jealousy is different than it would be with Josh, or another real boyfriend that Beckett might parade through the squad room. He isn’t a viable romantic rival, but Beckett is clearly using Conrad to make Castle jealous, a move Castle knows is calculated but works none-the less.
Castle sees Conrad as a younger version of himself, a young aspiring mystery writer who wants to draw on real life experience from Castle’s own muse. Castle can see what Beckett is doing, flaunting her time with Conrad clearly to make Castle jealous (and my, was that a sexy stretch at her desk!).
Because Conrad was never really a threat to Castle for Beckett’s love and attention (like Josh) all the pressure she felt to express her feelings to Castle came purely from her feelings for him, the desire to be honest came from her love of Castle instead of any outside pressures. She saw him squirm when she flaunted Conrad in front of him for kicks, and then decided to put him out of his misery.
Oh, and the swim team/car thieves/fancy drug guys
The case of the week was pretty weak, and not in the sitting in the background kind of way, it was however, kind of a fun ride. We (and Beckett) did get the chance to check out some sexy swim bods on the way.
A young up and comer from the wrong side of the tracks is going to make it out of the neighbourhood through swim team. He is of course, a good kid who doesn’t use drugs, only y’know steals cars. When his partner in crime happens upon some super designer steroids in a fancy car owned by the fancy rich swim team guy things get out of hand. Friend blackmails rich swim guy without wrong-side-of-the-tracks knowing… in his name. Long story short, swim guy ends up dead before he could get out of the neighbourhood and make his grieving mother proud.
Oh, and the murderer, a retired swim guy who was also using fancy designer steroids and killed to keep him secret safe and his name in the record books. Scandal! I think this would have been a fun episode to watch closer to Olympic season.
Other Amazing Things about “The Dead Pool”
- – @RedCarpetLuke on Lanie’s adorable scrubs “Okay let me put it this way: if one is an ME and one is as FINE as @tamalajones then you couldn’t NOT have your scrubs fitted like that? :D”
- Richard Castle’s coffee mug at the beginning of the episode is a branded “Richard Castle” mug
- Castle updating his website taking off his recommendation of Conrad’s book in a fit of jealousy that Conrad will usurp his position as a writer, and in Beckett’s heart. Website can be found here: go to it
- Beckett’s very obvious “stretch” meant to make Castle drool
- Guest star from ABC Family’s “Make it or Break it” Josie Loren, playing the Irish ex-girlfriend with a lot of angry brothers but really coming off more like she’s straight off the boardwalk on the Jersey Shore. … usually bad acting isn’t an issue for Castle, but there’s a first (and last) for everything
- LOVED the mystery writer poker game & Conrad getting picked on at the table
- Ryan often wins my best dressed award so when he returned from interviewing the ex’s brothers with a ripped suit I was so sad for him.
So after that amazing ending, where do you think we’ll pick up in a few weeks in “To Love and Die in LA”? Will Castle and Beckett continue with this forward momentum?
Arg, May 2 is so far off! I’ll be watching that video of the last scene on repeat.