Until I saw last night’s episode of Castle, I didn’t think anything could fluster Detective Kate Beckett (Stana Katic). I mean, this is a woman who kept her cool while investigating the death of her own mother. But “Nikki Heat” revealed her kryptonite, and it’s... herself.
Well, not exactly. The actress who's been cast to play Beckett in the forthcoming Nikki Heat movie is really what's got Beckett reeling. Natalie Rhodes (guest star Laura Prepon) began the episode a blonde, box-office bimbo, but ended up helping Beckett and the gang solve a murder while teaching Beckett a thing or two about herself. My reaction to Prepon was kind of like Castle’s (Nathan Fillion): Initially, I just didn’t see the resemblance between her and Beckett, but I warmed to her as the episode wore on. Meanwhile, Beckett bathed in the attention and compliments from Rhodes, only to grow weary of her constant presence at the precinct, her keen powers of observation, and her mesmerizing control over Castle. It seems Beckett wants to be queen more than she thought.
Due to Beckett’s fuming jealousy, we were able to see this always-poised character in several amusing (albeit heartbreaking) states of unrest. When Natalie pointed out subtleties in Beckett’s posture, voice, and clothing, Beckett became a bumbling, awkward mess. And when Natalie confronted Beckett about her feelings for Castle, Beckett couldn’t even give a straight answer. It turns out that her feelings for Castle still linger from last season—and that eternal single-girl Beckett might even be the marrying kind. Did you see that look on her face when Castle fake-proposed to her at the start of the episode? Priceless.
And how about Ryan (Seamus Dever) proposing to Jenny (played by his real-life wife, Juliana Dever)? That was one of the sweetest, simplest scenes of the whole series. Last fall, Seamus Dever told me that things were going to start happening for Ryan, and I’m glad they did.
Anyway, back to Castle and Beckett. Things are Heat-ing up between them, though as far as we know, they’re both in other relationships. Yet—spoiler alert—this kiss is scheduled to happen sometime in the next four weeks. Will it be real? And will it mean the start of a relationship between them?
Follow TV.com writer Stefanie Lee on Twitter: @StefAtTVDotCom