J’s Thoughts on Castle 4×11 “Till Death Do Us Part”: Some Funny Moments but Where’s the Dancing?

I liked this episode well enough, but I wasn’t crazy about it.  Knowing that it was going to be the “Ryan’s wedding episode” I was really hoping for, um, more of the actual wedding…is that weird?  Much as I enjoyed the final scene (which I’ll get into later) I felt it was a case of too little too late in terms of the plot and pacing of the episode.

Castle and Beckett’s case begins when they find a dead naked dude covered with some fruit.  As they dig further into this guy’s life – full of secret identities, espionage, and picking up women – in addition to watching Ryan prepare for his upcoming wedding with Jenny, their conversations inevitably turn to sex, commitment, honesty, and marriage.  While most of these exchanges are light-hearted and teasing, they do reveal how much Castle and Beckett are scoping each other out for that day when they WILL tie the knot for real.  Sometimes they seem perfectly oblivious to the romantic undertones (or overtones – they weren’t that subtle) of their own words.

I think this was largely due to Beckett’s behaviour, which was very chipper, joking, and flirty; she was just having the time of her life on this case!  Why so happy, Beckett?  Hey, don’t get me wrong, it’s sometimes nice to see the lighter side of Katherine Beckett, and it gave Stana Katic the chance to send some of her signature meaningful, adoring looks in Castle’s direction.  There was one in particular glance when Castle demonstrates his knowledge and usefulness in the precinct that made it pretty clear how much she not-so-secretly loves Rick.

But despite some of these moments, I think Castle and Beckett can run the risk of becoming a bit silly when the plotline isn’t really strong, which was my feeling with “Till Death Do Us Part”.  The episode didn’t really advance the wider story arc of the show, and given that, it was not super amazing as a self-contained plot.  The case they were solving wasn’t particularly interesting and while there were some funny jokes and bits I really liked, on the whole I don’t think it was anything to write home about.

To be honest, I was more interested in the secondary storylines that followed Ryan, Jenny, Esposito, and Lanie than I was in the main action of the episode.  Ryan and Espo were both funny in their own naturally ridiculous ways.  Poor Ryan drinking that gross green concoction was of course a target of some taunting by Esposito.  I loved the constant battle over food (mostly donuts) that came to a head when Ryan started devouring a whole lot of Chinese food in the break room.

Esposito’s hunt to find out who Lanie’s plus-one was for the wedding, while simultaneously trying to find his own plus-one, was my favourite part of the episode.  The one time I laughed out loud was when Espo, attempting to impress a lady cop at the precinct, inadvertently sprayed her in the face with steam from the coffee maker.  Sometimes well-placed physical humour is just more effective than anything else!  And the exchange between Lanie and Esposito at the wedding made it clear to me, and probably all you Castle viewers out there, that those kids should just work it out and get back together.  They are so cute!

Everybody looked very dapper at the wedding and I was particularly taken with all the gents in their tuxes.  If you watch closely, you can see Beckett do a double-take when she sees Castle enter the church.  What more can we say: it’s love!  They almost didn’t seem to recognize the import of what they were saying when they decided to go as each other’s plus-ones.  Thus we get another Castle/Beckett “date” that we can add to the ever-growing list.  And I did enjoy their discussion about future marriages on the horizon.  Come on Beckett, we all know you will be the next lady Castle walks down the aisle with (a fact that is reinforced by them walking down the aisle together a few seconds later).  But I was hoping for at least a dance between Rick and Kate.  Plus we didn’t even get to see Ryan and Jenny get married.  After all that talk of the wedding, I think it would have been nice to see at least a little of the actual ceremony.  So basically, I wanted more wedding and less convoluted espionage plot.

Other things:

  • I loved Castle’s punning and rhyming about one of the suspects until he gets stuck on “shiatsu
  • Colette Roth’s Israeli accent could use some work, methinks
  • I was so happy Beckett referenced (and remembered) the ugly tie Jenny got Ryan for their two-week anniversary back in season one
  • All the talk of plus-ones made me think of “Doctor Who”.  I could just hear Christopher Eccleston saying, “I’m the Doctor, this is Rose Tyler.  She’s my plus-one.”  Awww!

What did you think of this week’s episode?  Was it strong enough to make it into your list of favourites, or did it lack a certain something?  Where do you stand on the three couples: Ryan/Jenny, Lanie/Esposito, and Castle/Beckett?  And what do you think will be in store for the team when Castle’s bud the mayor gets involved in a case next week?

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