Romance is a Risky Business but She’ll Always be Daddy’s Girl: S on Castle 3×23 “Pretty Dead”

J, I completely agree with your assessment of “Pretty Dead”, this episode had the quirky murder, strange cast of characters paraded through questioning and witty banter and one-liners to match. This unique cheesiness matched with really well developed characters and relationships is what makes Castle truly special.

This was the calm before the storm of next week’s “Knockout” you know we don’t do spoilers here, but we don’t need to be spoiled to know that it’s going to be a high filled with passion, emotion and action.  The behind the scenes antics of a beauty pageant was the perfect setting to make everything as light as possible before the soul wrenching finale next week.

It was my own private Vietnam, our place smelled like perfume, hairspray and cigarettes
I love the smell of hairspray in the morning, smells like victory

Pretty Dead took us into the nasty world of American Beauty pageants and asked us the question, was Beckett a pageant girl? Okay, that question was asked and answered (negative) very quickly, but in Beckett’s wealth of life experience she spent a year of her life in a flammable dorm with a pageant beauty.

Everybody loves the underbelly

J already pointed out how fantastic it was to see Michael McKean and Teri Polo playing the imitation- Trump family. I got a real kick out of the way they interacted with each other and the demand for the cameras to catch everything because it’s the behind the scenes that people really want.

The insistence on the cameras present to capture everything was kinda neat foreshadowing, it would be an unauthorized camera that would be Mr. Baron’s downfall, at least putting him in the doghouse with Mrs. B.

Neither Baron was the murderer, but it really was their penchant for attracting media attention (and need to keep it quiet) that was the key to the murder investigation after photos earmarked for blackmail capturing Mr. Baron’s fling with Ms. Illinois put everyone in the hot seat.

Have you ever been in love with someone who is determined to push you away?

The look on Castle’s face when those words came out of Ashley’s mouth, and Beckett’s flawless timing as she walks in and interrupts, just pure Castle-wonderfullness.

There is hardly a comparison between Beckett/Castle and Alexis/Ashley, but obviously what Ashley said to Castle caused him to contemplate his own romantic path, the choices he’s made and the fallout of those decisions.

Castle thought about what he wants for his daughter; he wants her to only be happy, but he knows all too well that love always comes with a price and the risk of being crushed. That, and the over protective Daddy he also considered becoming the father-daughter version of Grey Gardens and keeping her all to himself forever. Although after seeing how crushed Alexis was after making the logical decision, it seems that something in his mind clicked otherwise.

Alexis is far more conservative than her father in many ways. At first when Alexis asked for advice Castle told Alexis to look at the odds, he wants her to make a logical decision because logic hurts less than things you stumble into blindly heart-first, which is Mr. Castle’s specialty.

When Alexis broke up with Ashley because of her cool logic that it would be better for both of them despite the hurt of breaking up, Castle’s heart broke too seeing his daughter hurt. But he trusts her to make the decisions that are best for her.

I think that Castle saw a bit of himself in Ashley, the romantic, the dreamer that believes that long distance really can work and love will overcome all, he saw Alexis taking the cautious route protecting her heart against the odds.

When Alexis asked “What if I’m just cutting my losses?” wondering if it wouldn’t have worked anyway, you can see the conflicted emotions in Castle’s eyes. Let her risk the hurt of love, but let her have love because it’s worth taking that shot. Considering where he is in his relationship with Beckett, he knows how much it means for someone to take a chance on you. He also knows that he and Martha will always be there for Alexis if things don’t work out.

One of the ongoing themes that Castle has been handling with such grace since episode one is that of raising a teenage girl for a single dad. The pains of when to let go, when to guide, and when to flat out protect your baby girl; and realizing that she’s no longer a baby at all. Throughout the series we’ve seen Alexis grow up, learning about boys and fights with friends.

We’ve seen Castle grow alongside her as a doting Father, navigating the crazy waters of being the father to a teenage girl. Luckily for Castle he’s had Beckett to step in as a logical female voice once in a while. As I’ve said before, I would love to see more Alexis/Beckett moments although this one, taking risks in love, not really Beckett’s forte. Perhaps Alexis, or Martha have some words of wisdom to share with our dear Kate.

Castle also knows that anything worth having is worth fighting for, but it doesn’t mean it won’t hurt. Castle has been fighting for Beckett for so long and with little reward, he hasn’t completely won her over yet, and remember we know more than he does. He has been shot down more times than we can count [if you’ve been counting please share in the comments!]

It seems like this episode was determined to fit in as much insanely cheesy dialogue as possible. Here are some of my favourite moments & quotes:

  • That’s a pageant of bad choices (a lighthearted gem from Captain Montgomery)
  •  Smart and beautiful doesn’t always mean good judgment [pause] I’m not talking about me
  • Kinda bummed that there was pretty much zero Castle/Beckett this week. We were given a glimmer as Fillion delivers a classic long look of desire in Beckett’s direction when she casually walks off with a “See you tomorrow”
  • I adored Sasha Roiz as the drug addled host. I know J already gave him love in her review, but I have to add my 2cent. ❤ Sasha Roiz who looks as stunning in sequins and a drug addled haze as the badass in fedoras and tattoos in Caprica.  sequins!
  • Quick note on the actual case of the week, I love how crazy complicated and weird the story was, props again to writer Terri Miller.
  • Props also to Jonathan Slavin as the quirky and murderous manager and his hilarious attempt to flee the scene and promptly crashing into a rack of clothes. If you haven’t already, check him out in the sadly canceled but totally awesome Better Off Ted

Will Dr. Motorcycle Boy return next week? Will Alexis stand by her decision to take off to Stanford early? How many tissues will we go through watching “Knockout” next week?

Ladies, just a little something something to tide you over until next week:

Nathan Fillion on Roller Blades

Nathan Fillion on Roller Blades


One thought on “Romance is a Risky Business but She’ll Always be Daddy’s Girl: S on Castle 3×23 “Pretty Dead”

  1. Pingback: Great Guest Stars, Pageant Mayhem, and Hangin’ with the Boys: J on Castle 3×23 “Pretty Dead” | The Viewing Party

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