Oh, Richard Castle, such a hypocrite! A lovely, lovely hypocrite. When imparting some words of wisdom to his daughter Alexis at the beginning of this week’s episode, “Demons”, he sagely says that in any healthy relationship, one person should not simply jump at the other person’s every beck and call. Cue the cell phone ringing: it’s Rick’s favourite NYPD detective, of course! And he’s out the door faster than you can say, “you smell like cherries”. I’m sorry, Castle, did you say “beck and call” or “Beckett call”?
This exchange set the ball rolling for a fun-filled ghost-themed episode of Castle. While we didn’t get to see Rick and Kate decked out in costumes, as in the Halloween episode of season 2, we did get some funny one-liners, some ridiculously cheesy-but-awesome spookiness, and some great hair. It’s not a secret that I haven’t been crazy about some of the season 4 episodes so far, but I feel like “Demons” and last week’s episode, “The Eye of the Beholder”, represent a return to the old-style Castle that gives us love-filled banter, outrageous scenarios, and the right amount of longing glances to make us hungry for more.
One thing I really liked and appreciated about this episode was the way they fit in numerous throwbacks and parallels to previous episodes. We’re all familiar with the Beckett-Castle argument about the existence of supernatural forces from “He’s Dead, She’s Dead” (in which Beckett is sceptical about psychics) and “Close Encounters of the Murderous Kind” (in which Beckett is sceptical about UFOs) – and here we have Beckett being sceptical about ghosts and demons – another one for the books! There was also a great link to the scene in “Vampire Weekend” when Castle spins a gruesome tale about where his fascination with death and murder comes from…only to reveal that he’s pulling Beckett’s leg. In “Demons” the tables are turned as Beckett totally plays Castle, reeling him in to believe a story about a mysterious childhood encounter with a ghostly voice. Castle, engrossed, completely falls for it. Which also proves just how well Beckett knows Castle – she spins a story that she’s sure Castle won’t be able to resist.
And this leads me to my next point, which is that it was nice to see Beckett laughing and joking and generally acting a bit more casual. Obviously we know Beckett has deep layers, trauma, and demons (not the supernatural kind), but it’s also really fun to just watch her and Castle having a good time together. They’re familiar with each other in a way that allows for a new kind of humour. The character progression of both Rick and Kate is clear from the way Beckett lets Castle simply walk into her apartment and then indulges him by exploring the haunted house immediately (and by saying, “I ain’t afraid of no ghosts”!). Where she might have been irked before, she’s now amused and – let’s face it – mostly in love. And she seemed pretty comfy with the idea of Castle massaging her neck, even though it turned out to be a rat crawling on her. About the rats and corpses, I’m with Castle: eewwww!
“Demons” also shook up the usual pairings of investigators, with Ryan and Castle tracking down the ghostly leads while Beckett and Esposito pursue more concrete evidence. I really enjoy seeing the team mixing it up (I loved the Beckett-Ryan duo in “Kick the Ballistics”); in separating Ryan and Esposito, it also set up the debacle of the double-date nicely. Everything about the dinner was going so well until Jenny asked Lanie and Esposito the taboo question about marriage. Esposito making fun of Jenny afterward was perfectly understandable (and funny!) although it’s too bad that he and Lanie are putting their romance on hold. While Castle and Ryan were the recipients of a serious glare from Beckett, I actually think Lanie wins the prize for fiercest glower after Castle asks her how the double-date went. If looks could kill, Beckett would be investigating another murder!!
And I must quickly mention the final parallel I saw, which was in the very last scene of “Demons”. When they get on the elevator, Beckett shoots Castle a mischievous grin, and I couldn’t help thinking of similar looks of roguish glee on Castle’s face at the end of “Poof! You’re Dead” (when Beckett gives him flowers), and “Law and Murder” (when he pretends not to have seen “Forbidden Planet” so Beckett will take him to the movies). In short, I love parallels and I love that in this episode most of them came from Beckett – she gave us throwbacks to things Castle did in previous episodes. Which obviously equals romance in the world of Castle! I look forward to next week’s tense bank robbery/hostage episode for more of those feelings to come to light. I’m hoping for a declaration of some kind from Beckett…anyone with me?
Other things I liked:
- Beckett’s hair and clothes (especially the curly braid and the jacket with red buttonholes)
- Beckett teasingly calling Esposito “Castle”
- A small moment in which one of the suspects talks about how he remembers every detail of the night a loved one was killed – we see Beckett betray a tiny hint of emotion and Castle glance over at her as if he knows she’s thinking about her mother’s murder
What did you think of “Demons”? Was it spooky enough for you? Any opinions on the progression of the Castle-Beckett, Ryan-Jenny, or Lanie-Esposito relationships? Share them in the comments!