Frustration Builds in “47 Seconds”: J Reviews Castle 4×19

We were all looking forward to “47 Seconds”. It was to be the episode in which something finally happens between Castle and Beckett. And while I suppose something did happen, it’s certainly not anything I am pleased or impressed with. I’m waiting until the end of the season for the writers of Castle to convince me that the events of this episode were justified, because right now they seem like yet another contrived device to keep the two main characters apart.

Allow me to clarify. I’m not talking about Beckett’s secret coming out, because (a) that was bound to happen and (b) it is kind of a big deal. Beckett heard Castle say “I love you” after she was shot in last season’s finale, and neglecting to mention it to him for almost a year is on the list of things you probably shouldn’t do to the man you’re clearly in love with. Thus the main drama of the episode is established, with a bombing setting the stage for Castle and Beckett to ponder how precious and uncertain their time is. It seems like the perfect opportunity for the couple to finally act on their feelings, make out, make babies, do all those things Stana Katic keeps advising for the characters.

Alas (or should I say, “of course”), it was not to be. After some great advice from Martha, Castle decides he’s going to once again tell Beckett how he feels. Here’s where they started to lose me. Castle sits Beckett down and begins his preamble about how the bombing showed him that nothing is guaranteed. When he starts with the line, “I’ve been thinking…” it’s pretty clear that he’s never going to get through the speech. Sure enough, Ryan pulls a Josh, interrupting them at precisely the wrong moment. Some words of advice for Castle and Beckett on this score: lead with your thesis statement, and then elaborate on it! Say “I love you” FIRST and worry about the rest after you’ve gotten those words out. They should know by now that something always appears to stop them from finishing a confession of love: another person interrupting, a phone call, a progression in the case, a bullet wound.

So after the adoring looks and promises to continue the conversation after the case, Castle accidentally overhears Beckett admitting to a suspect that she remembers everything about the shooting and its aftermath. There was some pretty cheesy writing as Castle puts together what Beckett is really saying (“all this time…you remembered?” to himself) but that wasn’t what really bothered me. I can understand his reaction of hurt and upset, I really can. But I felt like that wasn’t all it was. He was acting like a petulant child. After Martha very wisely tells him that he can’t just switch off his love for Beckett, he huffily says, “watch me”. Really, Castle? You don’t want to maybe talk to Beckett about this whole situation? But he goes from being sulky to being downright hypocritical when he condemns a suspect for “sinning by silence”. Yes, Beckett concealed something from you. Yes, you have every right to be angry and pained. But now you are doing the exact thing that irked you so much: sinning by silence.

Just tell Beckett the whole story! It is much better to air these things, work through them (or not), and try to move forward with or without her. Obviously I want Castle and Beckett to get together as much as the next fan, but that’s not going to happen if Castle puts himself in an unhappy state of limbo, working the case while being snappish and rude to Beckett. And I know, this is a device being used by the writers to make Beckett see the error of her ways and confess her feelings for Castle TO Castle. Great! I’ll be over the moon when I see it happen. But for now I find this constant toying tug-of-war kind of annoying.

Another thing I don’t buy: Castle assumes incorrectly that Beckett didn’t say anything to him because she doesn’t feel the same way. After an entire season of googly eyes, partnership, long stares, handholding, meaningful conversations, and family time, I honestly don’t see how Castle can think she is indifferent. Plus she explained things pretty clearly at the beginning of this season! I get how Castle would be insecure about it since she never mentioned her memory of his confession, but their relationship is longer and stronger than that. He must know they have a deeper connection, even if he is confused and hurt. But this is all the more reason for him to talk to her about it! After all they’ve been through together, she at least deserves that much, even if he assumes the worst about her.

A few things redeemed this episode a little bit for me, one of which was Martha. I know I continue to rave about her, but “47 Seconds” is an example of her being a great mother and giving Castle excellent advice. She, like the rest of us, is getting sick of watching Castle and Beckett avoid their obvious love for each other, and tells her son to act on it. I also appreciate that she thinks Castle should fight for Beckett but not forever. It makes sense. However, she also sympathizes with him when he finds out Beckett’s secret, and doesn’t think he can give up on her so easily. Way to go, Martha!

The other thing that I liked was Beckett (when don’t I, really?). She is ready, even eager, to hear what Castle has to say about seizing the moment. In fact, she seems about to spill the beans first toward the beginning of the episode until Espo interrupts them. See what I mean about that device being overused? Let’s not even get into the previous instances of it. In order to drive home the unfortunate turn of events, Stana really plays up Beckett’s love for Castle in the little things she does: beaming when Castle brings her coffee, laughing at his ongoing battle to get Gates on his side, noticing his absence when he’s away from her even for a short while. Also, her small looks of pain and confusion when Castle is curt and unfriendly were well-played. The end of the episode, when she asks what he wanted to talk about and he responds that it was nothing important (ooooh, that hurts!) is made all the more upsetting because of her luminous eyes and subsequent puzzlement as Castle leaves abruptly.

I do hope that Castle’s little fit prompts Beckett to tell him that she loves him. That would be the best possible outcome after this, and it’s an understatement to say that I would be extremely happy! I guess I just find this latest installment frustrating, unnecessary, and somewhat unbelievable. All I can say is that I hope I’m proven wrong in the remaining episodes of season 4.

Other things:

  • I liked how they reconstructed the story of the bombing from different people’s points of view.  As the truth unfolds, we start to recognize suspects and witnesses.  I particularly liked the Beethoven guy and how he factored into the story from various perspectives.
  • Alexis and Castle’s father-daughter bond is still strong and sweet, and it’s pretty obvious whenever Beckett sees it that she wants to be part of that family too. I loved the pancake exchange!
  • There was some pretty prominent Battlestar Galactica-esque wordless singing/wailing that played in the background of a lot of scenes. All “47 Seconds” needed was rhythmic drumming and possibly the reappearance of Demming to make it a full BSG experience.

How did you feel about “47 Seconds”? Do you think my impatience is warranted or way off-base? Were you happy with the way things progressed? What do you hope for in the rest of the season? Please share your thoughts below!

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4 thoughts on “Frustration Builds in “47 Seconds”: J Reviews Castle 4×19

  1. I agree with your assessment completely. You are right on. I am getting tired of the adult attention deficite petulant brat with interuptions approach to keeping them apart. Makes exactly no sense as written.

  2. I reget to say this but I’m getting fed up with AM and his team of writers. I have been with ‘Castle’ from the first episode of Season 1, having all the DVD’s and all episodes from this season on my beloved DVR, but since the latest episodes I begin to dislike the way AM treats us. Teasing your viewers is probably fun, but you have to stop on the right moment. Otherwise it’s a mindgame. We’re not stupid you know. When Ryan came up with the 100th interruption (does he gets a medal for it?) of the two on the verge of confession their true feelings, I gave up. This is getting annoying. ‘Castle’ has been praised for its intelligent writing and for the steady growth of characters. The reaction of Rick (have you noticed that Fillion looks ten years older since the start of the series three years ago?) is here totally unbelievable. He falls back on his season 1 & 2 behaviour. I don’t know if I’m longing for a season 5, when this goes on and on and on and on……..

    • I see where both of you are coming from. I too am an avid Castle fan but I watch for the relationship far more than the cases. I’m hoping that by the end of this season some real progress will be made, otherwise it just becomes a bit too unbelievable for my taste. I’m not sure if people are still worried about the Moonlighting Curse but I actually think now there’s a “Worried About the Moonlighting Curse” Curse. It’s okay to let two people in love get together – there are lots of great stories to tell after that happens! Just listen to Stana! The creators/writers seem to be aware of this in interviews, so I’m hoping they follow through in the show before their audience gets too fed up.
      -J

  3. Pingback: Lanie is the Star of “The Limey” (If Only Someone Would Follow Her Advice): J Reviews Castle 4×20 | The Viewing Party

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