Monday's episode of Castle, "Den of Thieves," was excellent. Not that it's any surprise; the show's last three episodes have all been great. This week, a new love interest for Beckett came on the scene, and the team's latest case brought back a piece of Esposito's past. Here are the highlights:
1. Castle (Nathan Fillion) and Alexis (Molly Quinn) wore matching Texas Hold 'Em outfits
From their little red ties to their green plastic visors, the pair gave a whole new (and especially cute) meaning to the notion of "Like father, like daughter."
2. Beckett (Stana Katic) found a new love interest, Det. Tom Demming (Michael Trucco)
What's hotter than watching Castle and Beckett battle it out with witty wordplay? Watching Demming and Beckett battle it out. With their fists. On a mat.
3. Castle admitted that he doesn't like to lose
Especially not to a guy like Demming, who probably subscribes to The New Yorker but doesn't actually read it. Beckett's potential suitors have made Castle jealous before—like when her ex, FBI Agent Will Sorensen (Bailey Chase), came back into her life—but his behavior around this Demming dude seemed different. He didn't compete for Beckett's affection like I expected him to, which leads me to think that he really believes he might lose her to this guy. And that would explain why he's probably going to do something about it in the season finale.
4. Det. Javier Esposito (Jon Huertas) got some major screen time
Castle himself played second fiddle to Esposito in this episode, which revealed a lot about Esposito's time as an officer in the 54th Precinct—and gave Huertas a chance to flaunt his serious acting chops. Esposito learned that his former partner, whom he presumed was dead, was actually alive and kicking—and in pretty deep with a dangerous dude. But Esposito's buddy-cop instinct kicked in at just the right time, and he was able to take down the bad guy and save them both.
5. Scott Cohen played the bad guy, Lt. Stan Holliwell
I've loved Cohen since he played Rory's dreamy English teacher Max Medina on Gilmore Girls, and I haven't seen enough of him since. Watching him put his hands up at the end was just as disorienting as seeing Fred Willard confess to a murder during last week's episode, but it doesn't change the fact that he was goooooood.
What did you think of last night's episode?
Follow TV.com writer Stefanie Lee on Twitter: @StefAtTVDotCom