I’m pretty much on the same page as J when she says some kind of sparkle has escaped Castle in “Head Case”. I hate to agree but there seems to be something missing. I enjoyed the episode, we got a wacky cool crime with gadgets and chases, meaningful looks, banter, and Castle being a dad, something besides writing and trouble making that he excels at.
I think what we’re missing is spark, and not just the romantic kind, and it’s not only missing from Castle/Beckett. The tension between Castle and Beckett is still there but it’s changed, the relationship sits in a strange purgatory with no signs of changing. They continue to riff off each other like crazy, the scene with Lanie trying to get a word in edgewise over their theorizing was the highlight of the episode. They exchange knowing looks when the case delves into the romantic bits but they’re holding back now. Perhaps afraid that if they let themselves slip and have too much fun they wont know how to get back to “behaving like adults”. It’s kind of amazing they’ve been able to hold it together so well as friends, I can see this breaking down sometime soon when it just is no longer enough.
I think part of the spark is missing in the team, and I don’t want to point fingers, except I’m completely pointing fingers at Captain Gates. The serious tone with which she runs her squad seems to put a damper on the usual fun and joking around that goes on between Ryan, Esposito, Castle and sometimes Beckett. Instead everyone seems to be trying to be on best behaviour, which lets face it, isn’t quite the same. I certainly hope the vibe in the precinct loosens up a bit and we get some of the usual dynamic going again.
It’s great to see that Beckett is still Castle’s number one go to girl about basically everything, especially his daughter. It’s nice not only because it’s always a nice exchange that isn’t about romantic tension but about friendship and caring. It really grounds both the characters. It also makes us wish for more scenes where Alexis and Beckett interact!!!
As the series has progressed we’ve seen Alexis grow up and encounter what are probably the most realistic problems any TV teen faces. After getting a rejection letter from Stanford, kind of becomes a headcase herself, completely breaking down. She had based her whole life on getting into any school she wants, and the one she wants doesn’t want her. After freaking out that he raised her wrong, Castle gets in there and gives his daughter an entirely cheesy but completely applicable speech about how rejection isn’t failure but giving up is. Let’s face it, Castle is a cheesy dad, so these speeches are okay.
Now case of the week. I love when Castle goes outside the box to offer wacky and different cases with fun twists and turns (although J and H are always proud to be able to guess the baddie within the first 10 minutes), I enjoy being taken on the ride. As soon as I saw that the previews included cryogenics I was kind of sold. This is the kind of sci-fi stuff is what Castle lives for!
Given the near death by freezing thing that Castle and Beckett went through last year I was surprised there wasn’t more visible reaction to the warehouse full of frozen bodies. Luckily, twitter to the rescue, while no on screen reaction Castle made sure to tweet about it saying “I was almost frozen once, not sure I’d be up for it again. Even after death. Thoughts?”.
We’ve got a romance, a dying doctor (which I called as soon as the “but why such a hurry” bomb was dropped), a secret operating room in a seedy hotel, different kinds of life elongating technology, stolen heads and a girls gone wild type sleaze bag. That’s enough material for a novel right there.
It was a fun juicy tale full of fun and weird science. Not to mention the hilarious back and forths about who gets custody of the body and negotiating for the head. I couldn’t help myself but absolutely gleam at the cute flirting between Castle and Beckett when he talks about how she should get the weird life elongating implants because he will too and she’ll want to be on the same page, because of course they’ll be together 10 years from now and many more after that.
A couple little things I loved:
- “Are you sure?”
“No, I just sit down here and make stuff up all day”
- Of course Castle subscribes to Skymall!
- “That’s what the great love stories are about, beating the odds”
This episode had so many great ingredients but was missing that “thing”. I still loved it but wanted that extra bit. The previews for next week look super exciting, and heavy on the Ryan, I can’t wait to see what that’s all about! I was thinking the same thing as J – has the Triple Killer struck again? Or some other vast conspiracy for Castle to sink his teeth into?
Did you think this episode was missing spark, maybe too few fun exchanges between the team, or maybe it was the lack of Martha. Tell me what you thought of “Head Case” in the comments!