A Castle Community
ABC (ended 2016)
(There are spoilers for this episode and Castle in general. Be warned.)

This week we got a transitional episode that threw a lot at us. Beckett moving back to New York City, the gang getting back together to solve a case, Castle being involved in a hostage situation with a fan, and Beckett getting her job back. Big-picture-wise, this episode served to move Beckett somewhat smoothly from being unemployed to having her old job back, without it being too easy (even though it kind of was). Below are what I think the top 5 best things were about this episode, as well as the top 5 worst things.

Top 5 Best Things:

5. Beckett didn't immediately get her job back. She had to "work" for it. While in the long run we didn't even get to see an episode in which she didn't have a job through the whole thing, the show didn't do what I thought it would: start the episode with her having magically gotten back on the force with no hiccups. Instead, she spent all but the last few minutes of this episode tagging along with the real cops and assisting in the investigation, without having any official authority. So basically she got to see what it's like to be Castle, which is poetic in a way. And while it did seem a little rushed how she got reinstated, the commissioner was fine with her and Castle's relationship, and everyone was happy, it happened in a somewhat believable way.

After all, this series was originally based on the assertion that being friends with the mayor could allow you to tag along with police officers solving crimes and sit in on (and participate in) interrogations, something which in real life would damage a case's credibility in court. I had no trouble going along with this pleasant and unlikely abuse of power back then, and I have no problems going along with this new bit of minor corruption now.

4. Castle had some quality time this episode with one of his fans.



I always enjoy it when Castle steps away from its normal mold of having its title character follow Beckett around like an excited puppy, observing more than doing. It's fun when he strikes out on his own to find his kidnapped daughter, use some of his contacts to get information, etc. This time around he diffused a hostage situation using his wits and charm. Props to him for getting two of the five hostages freed immediately. Though it certainly helped that the hostage taker was a big fan of his.

3. Gates was a real team player in this episode. For whatever reason the writers have made her very understanding and, well, kind so far in this season. Sure, she still has that constant demeanor of being all business, and she still uses the same generally negative tone of voice even if she's saying a number of nice and supportive things. But in this episode especially was kind to both Beckett and Castle. Castle being the guy who she outwardly despised for the last two seasons. Whereas in this episode she admitted that Castle's crazy theories usually have substance to them, and went along with his suggestions.

I'm personally in favor of this change with Gates. I think it's more honest for her character. When she constantly hated Castle it always seemed forced, and the writers constantly had to come up with silly reasons why she continued to hate him. Like the one episode where she got his Valentines gift instead of Beckett, and thought that Castle was declaring his love to her, a married woman. I'm not sure if this not-so-grudging respect for Castle will continue, but at least the writers aren't keeping Gates a 2-dimentional character in her emotions.

2. The gang was all here in this episode, and they all worked together.

That's right, for what I think is the first time this season, Esposito, Ryan, Beckett, and Lanie were all a room together. And while Castle was busy talking down a hostage-taking fan who was slowly losing her rocker, and couldn't make it to the reunion, everyone was still present and working together in this episode.

1. THE VEST IS BACK!

You have no idea how much I missed this guy. I had no idea how much I missed this guy until he showed up. It was close there when it got wounded in the field, but it saved the day and got some cool bullet bling to remember its heroism by.

Top 5 Worst Things:

5. This guy:



As Savvytvfan91 asked in his review of this episode, why is there always that one d-bag guy in a hostage crisis who comes up with all the bad ideas and risks everyone's life to try and wrestle guns from people's hands in extremely ineffective ways? This week we were treated to arguably the worst of these people, ever. Not only did his hair-brained actions almost result in Castle's death, but he also antagonized the woman holding him hostage at gunpoint a number of times. Seriously, did that guy have a death wish or something? You'd think that the first time he back-talked to her and she yelled and waved a gun in his face he'd get the message. But no, this guy just couldn't be content enough to sit still and let the professionals take care of things. After all, he obviously had no combat skills or common sense whatsoever, as evidence by the fact that he grabbed for the gun in the worst way possible, when he could have easily taken a hard object and knocked her out with it. Yeah, he was bad.

4. The actually solving of the case this week was awkwardly tacked onto the last ten minutes of the episode. This was a very busy episode, what with a hostage situation, Beckett getting used to being back in NYC, and a murder to solve. As a result of this, the solving of the murder almost seemed as if it was tacked on as an afterthought. While they spent twenty minutes compiling clues and information about the victim and his presumably innocent girlfriend, we didn't actually get to see any real suspects until the episode was almost over.

Sure, they did a fairly nice psych-out by introducing the lawyer guy, making him someone you wouldn't really suspect yet not make him devoid of any suspicion whatsoever so it's obviously him, then having him lead to that rich and powerful guy, only for it to end up being the lawyer guy after all. But there were only about five minutes in between when we met the lawyer and when he was revealed to be the murderer. If he had been introduced more toward the beginning of the episode, him turning out to be the killer would have been a far more satisfying reveal.

3. Castle's home life has more than ever become one big joke. Now, I'm myself normally enjoy the scenes when Castle is at home. Whether it's him and Alexis playing laser tag, or the two of them and Martha coming together for a group hug, it brings a pleasant and enjoyable sense of normalcy to the show (I realize that Castle's family is anything but normal, but they don't get shot at on a regular basis or have ever had to face down a tiger). But lately every second Castle has been in his own apartment has been one fraught with irritation and embarrassment.

This episode's sequence with him, Beckett, and literally everyone in his bedroom was the worst to date.


Sure, it's funny when Martha and Alexis (let's be honest, it's always Martha) embarrass him or shake up his life in some way. But lately these gags have been starting to defy reality. Seriously, if aliens had landed a ship in Castle's bedroom and declared their desire to appear in the next season of Homeland, I would have found it to be more believable than what actually transpired. I thought it was only in bad high school movies where viewers were treated to a bunch of people walking into someone's bedroom while they're still naked in bed.

But wait a minute, some of you are saying. I thought that scene was hilarious. Why can't you enjoy a bit of good humor? Okay, it was funny, in a cringe-worthy way. But I have a question for you: where are they going to go now? With the addition of Pi in this season, Castle's morning have gotten more and more unbearable. So after this episode's latest addition, how are the writers going to top that? I mean, in the next episode is Pi going to wake up naked in bed with Castle and Beckett, apologizing and saying that he's been known to sleepwalk before? Is that what's going to...oh no. That's it, isn't it. What has this show come to? All joking aside though, I actually wouldn't be all that surprised if Castle ends up in bed with Pi at some point in the near future.

2. The quality of detective work seemed to be at an all-time low in this episode. There were two points in particular where the NYPD really screwed up this episode. First of all, there was the fact that they should have found Rigg's adoption records a lot sooner than they did. Since the start of the episode they were in the victim's apartment and yet they weren't found until three fourths into it. Apparently Sully had missed them when he searched there the first time because they had been wrapped up as a present? Wait, what? First of all, how is it that he missed something that was literally brightly colored and tied up with a red ribbon? Second of all, why wouldn't he open any wrapped presents he found? This murder happened on or about Emma's birthday, so any wrapped present would be pertinent to the investigation. I'm also assuming that (based on past episodes) it is their normal procedure to look through a number of things that are closed or wrapped up, like locked doors and mail. They do it all the time. Besides, hadn't they already established, about ten minutes ago in the episode, that the adoption records were a birthday present to Emma? Seriously, how could Sully have missed this?

There's also the issue of the video footage which ultimately proved that the lawyer was the murderer. Why hadn't they found this footage until the second time they took the murderer in to be interrogated? The footage was from an hour after the victims death, right outside of the victim's apartment. Now, I'm not a cop or anything, but shouldn't it be standard procedure to investigate the comings and goings of a victim's apartment the night they were killed, regardless of where they died? It wasn't like the footage had previously been withheld from them and they had just gotten their hands on it. I mean, hours previous they had gotten approval to unseal Emma's juvenile records. So it wasn't like they hadn't had enough time to get access to the footage. And in a case where they ran into dead ends at least twice, you'd think that examining some extremely clear footage of the hallway outside the victims apartment would be a good use of time. Right?

Yeah, this case was not the NYPD's finest hour by far. Those adoption records should have been found upon first searching the victim's apartment, and that footage should have been discovered almost immediately afterwards. In fact, the normal MO of these episodes is for them to search the apartment, find a bunch of stuff in it, see the camera in the hallway as they're leaving, ask the landlord/supervisor if they can see the footage, and then have a scene where someone's sleeping going through the footage until they find a suspicion man who shouldn't be there entering with a key. Yeah, this was bad.

1. This guy:

I've got to hand it to the writers. In the past, I've given Pi some flak in my comments because literally all of his lines have alluded to the fact that he's an overly-happy, fruitarian hippie. But in this episode not a single one of his lines had anything to do with these traits. Well done writers. Instead, you made him really annoying. Really, really annoying.




Seriously, Pi is absolutely the worst person on this show. Yeah, I get the fact that he's had a troubled childhood, what with him surviving weeks at sea with a tiger and all that. But not even that excuses his behavior. He is so unreal in how annoying he is. My guess is that at some point in the future he'll be killed in some extremely violent way, and Castle and Beckett need to solve his murder for Alexis's sake. But soon Castle becomes the prime suspect in his murder, and he needs to prove his innocence even though all the evidence is stacked against him. Beckett and Alexis will start to doubt that Castle didn't do it. Even we the viewers will doubt this as well. Because after all, who could blame him? Seriously, who could blame him?

Anyway, regardless of where this show is going, or how good or bad this episode was, we all know who the real villain is. Right?

Yeah, that's right.

Well, there you have it. Let me know in the comments if you agree or disagree with my top 10 good and bad things. Feel free to add any that you think should be up there. By the way, if anyone actually likes Pi as a character, please explain why in the comments. Seriously, I really want to know. Paragraph me. Oh, and if you're going to insist on telling me about how your sister recently got a job on the internet that pays more in a few hours than most people make in a month, then please try and include at least something about his episode. Anything. Please.
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The picked the worst way to bring Beckett back . Completely ridiculous . Deux ex machina , deux ex machine everywhere . I guess things are going back to a season 5 pre Washington status quo situation plus Pi . Nothing changes . The first three episodes of the season were completely useless . All the character development Beckett adquired it's worth nothing . I am seriously worried that the writers and droping the ball here
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I was thinking as I watched the scene with Pi: "Why don't Castle just kick him (and possible Alexis if needed) out!! Can't they get their own place? They are grownups after all". I love Alexis, but not at the price of Pi

Also I was a little dissapointed Beckett still has her appartment in NY. I would have liked her being forced to move in with Castle or her dad, or Laine. It would have added a new dynamic to the story
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Honestly the whole situation with Pi doesn't make any sense. It's literally one of the most unrealistic things that this show has ever thrown at us. Let me count the ways:

1. To start things off, Alexis never gave Castle the heads up that a. she had a boyfriend, and that b. he was going to be staying with them in their apartment for a long time (presumably during whatever break she's on until she goes back to school, right? Or did I miss something and she's taking a semester off? I don't remember). Regardless, he's been there for a long time and it's clear that things will stay that way for a while.

Now, Martha has been known to spring things on Castle last minute all the time. I recall not so fondly when she told her son that for some lame reason she'd be holding her classes in the apartment. And at what time we learned that she'd been claiming his office as her own when she met with clients. All without him knowing. But you know what? That's Martha for you. She's like that as a character; she always been like that.

But not Alexis. No, Alexis is actually a thoughtful, decent person when it comes to these kinds of things. Sure, there was that one time when she stole food from Castle's fridge (which didn't make sense at the time either since some of the things she stole were things that she wouldn't want/need in college, something that Castle himself noticed at the time, but I digress), but everyone (including herself) agreed that it was out of character for her. And besides, she "needed" to do it for some stupid contrived reason invented by the writers. But, almost all the time that we've seen Alexis on this show, she's been the smart, sensible, decent one.

So I find it almost impossible to believe that she wouldn't give her dad any heads-up whatsoever that she was bringing home her boyfriend to live with them for some indefinite period of time. Not when she and Pi first planned his stay. Not a week beforehand, or even a few days beforehand. Not even a few hours before they arrived at the apartment. No, Castle had to meet his daughter's latest boyfriend, for the first time, by walking into his apartment, greeting both his mom and his daughter (neither of which said anything to reveal Pi's presence even then), and then seeing a stranger on the stairway.

The thoughtful, smart, and most importantly decent Alexis that I have come to know and love would never have allowed this scenario to happen. She would have told her dad that they were going to be having a long-term house-guest weeks before they arrived, or at least days before. And you know what, she is so incredibly decent that she just have have asked if her boyfriend could stay with them for a while, before just plopping him in her dad's apartment and hoping for the best. Yeah, this break in Alexis's character really, really makes no sense.

2. Literally everything about Pi seems to be designed to annoy Castle. And I mean EVERYTHING. From their first meeting when Pi hugged him and almost launched into a manifesto on how it shouldn't matter how you spell words (I'm not making that last bit up; I re-watched that scene just now and he totally said that.), to this latest episode when he showed up announced in Castle's room half naked. There is not a single thing that guy has done that has been remotely redeeming, or even neutral for that matter. Every sentence he has said, every action he has committed, has been specifically designed to annoy Castle.

Now, we as audience members know that this is because this show is written by people who invent all the characters, situations, etc. And, to be fair, these guys/gals have been known to write over-the-top, two dimensional characters who have no subtlety whatsoever. But none of these people have ever shown up for more than two episodes, ever. Until Pi, that is. This guy is literally the bane of Castle's existence, more so than Gina or Gates ever was/is. He is a tool that the writers have created to create uncomfortable and arguably humorous scenarios (though some of them are very hard arguments to make) for the show's title character (and Beckett when she's around). But honestly, this has become so over-the-top and ridiculous, that Castle genuinely thinking that Santa could have been murdered is more believable.

For starters, there are some basic ways in which Castle could find even just a little benefit from Pi being around. Namely the fact that this guy seems to find joy in making smoothies for people. Now, on the show this involved Castle being handed something that had an unpleasant mixture of fruits and vegetables (I think kale was involved). And I think Pi had the audacity to call it "Castle's favorite" or "another one of those ones that you love" or something like that. Seriously, though? I mean, why does someone making a smoothie for you have to be so bad, especially when it has been implied that the person making them has asked what you'd like in it. Granted, there's no way to turn a dinner of only papaya steaks and vegetables into a pleasant experience. But Castle (like most people) does like fruit. We've seen him enjoy fruit on the show. So why doesn't he work with Pi to find the perfect fruit smoothie for him? I know this is a minor point, but it's a tough sell on the writers' part to make us think that someone offering to make you a smoothie, when you like fruit, is a bad thing.

Anyway, all long-term characters on this show that have annoyed Castle have had some redeeming qualities, or at least have not annoyed Castle all of the time. The fact that Pi has no redeeming qualities is even a bit much for the writers of this show. Speaking of which...

3. The idea that Alexis could see anything in Pi, much less date him, is absurd. In the past, the people she's dated that we've actually met (which would be Ashley and...Ashley) have all been (I'm only talking about Ashley here) fairly decent people, or at least aware of their surroundings. Since Ashley was Alexis's first boyfriend, it made sense that he'd have to be good enough so that Castle would initially approve of him. More importantly, it makes sense that Alexis would date him, because he was a pretty good guy. When he first met Castle, he knew exactly what was going on, and how important his first impression with his girlfriend's father would be. But Pi is completely oblivious to just about everything. And while he almost inhumanly embodies a lot of causes that we know Alexis would support, he still has almost no personality, and no emotional range. If we're to believe that Alexis would date this guy, then we shouldn't be surprised if her next boyfriend is a untalented stand-up comedian who only writes inappropriate jokes and thinks he's always on stage. Seriously, if Pi is now a thing, then any boyfriend-who's-really-just-a-constant-repetition-of-the-same-running-gag is possible.

4. And to finish things off (I could keep on going but then this reply would be way too long, even for me), the scenarios of this show involving Pi have easily become the most unbelievable, convoluted, parts of this show. First of all, at this point Alexis, or even Martha, would have a talk with Pi about his behavior. Seriously, even Martha would pull him aside and kindly suggest that he maybe tone a few things down. When Pi first suggested to Castle that one of the first things he do was cook papaya steaks for the family, Alexis would probably have suggested that they ease her dad into their new diet. Or better yet (since Alexis has lived with her father practically her whole life and knows what kinds of food he likes), she'd suggest that he get his own meals with meat in them. After all, it's Pi that's staying at Castle's house, and for a very long time at that, not the other way around. It would be in some crazy alternate universe that it be considered "the right thing" for a host change their entire diet for months just because one unannounced guest seems to think that eating most everything (including nuts?) isn't really the way to go.

In many ways, Alexis has really dropped the ball on this one. It's almost as if she's trying to engineer reasons for her dad to blow-up in her boyfriend's face. She's always obsessed about little details and been very self-conscious. and yet at no time has she even apologized to her dad for her boyfriend's behavior. Now, if Pi had some sort of disorder (which, let's be honest, he pretty much has to), then it would explain both his behavior and why no one seems to be commenting on it. But he doesn't. And yet he literally walks into Castle's bedroom without knocking, while Beckett and Castle are still in bed, still wrapped in a towel, and proceeded to hang around as long as he possibly can. And Alexis saw him in the room wearing only a towel, yet neither she, nor Martha, said sorry to Castle and Beckett. I mean, the writers didn't even bother doing that cliche: "Dad, I'm really sorry about Pi. It's just he's a free spirit about these kinds of things and that's partly why I love him. You're not mad at him, are you?" "Oh, no baby, of course not. He's...fine. He really is." "Oh, thanks daddy. I knew you'd understand." Don't get me wrong, I would have groaned loud enough to startle my neighbors (there are really, really thick walls between them and me) if they tried to pull this. But at least that would have gone somewhat to explain how this could happen, in still an admittedly lame and terrible way. But they didn't even do that. They didn't even address this issue.


Now, I realize that a lot of these points are fairly minor, especially since Castle has been bending reality since it first started. Pi is simply the latest in a long line of characters that has had one, excruciatingly spelled-out purpose. With no deviance whatsoever from this goal. But at least these past characters have only bent the bounds of believably. That one reporter woman wanted to have sex with Castle (even though he and Beckett were dating), and she really wouldn't take no for an answer. But at least Castle had (through some admittedly hazy reasons) agreed to go out on a date with her, so her behavior was acceptable in the unreal reality that is this show. You see, those characters and interactions make sense, and it is one of the challenges of a writer to create these crazy characters and scenarios so that they are wild and crazy while still being somewhat believable.

But Pi, and him remaining in Castle's apartment, has ceased to be believable, even for this show. With Pi's escalating escapades, we could very likely find him in bed with Castle due to some extremely questionable sleepwalking. And if we as an audience are meant to believe that behavior like this is possible without it being checked somehow, then we as an audience could be meant to swallow that Martha has been having an affair with Beckett behind Castle's back. Some should be impossible, even for this show. Some things should cause us to raise our eyebrows and question whether hypnosis or mind control is being employed in these situations. And the enigma that is Pi has become one of those things.
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I have to say I agree with most of what you said. At this point Pi is expressly there to annoy and antagonize Castle and it's starting to seem deliberate on his part. But I can also point out another reason for his presence and behavior. And it has to do with us as viewers - maybe I'm off base here but It feels like part of the purpose for Pi is to make Alexis less liked so when she does move out (most likely with him) we actually feel relieved. And that point is not far off the way things are going. Like you said she is the one that brought him to the loft, unannounced no less, and now she is just sitting to the side while he acts like an obnoxious moron and does nothing to clue him in to how abrasive his actions are.
There is one thing I will disagree with and it's something I have disagreed with the majority of the fandom for years now. The idea that Alexis is basically the perfect daughter has a number of arguments against it - from the absurd and disrespectful not to mention baseless blow up in "Fool me Once" (2x04), to her attempt to obliterate any chance of having a decent career by ensuring she can be linked to a crime in "Law and Murder" ( it was sickening to me that they tried to feed us the the crap line of how responsible it was of her to go back and leave money for the stolen stuff, it was stupid and it made her the only person with a direct connection to it, more to the point the note she left could be seen as admission of guilt). There have been other examples both between those episode and since the second one but the Castle fans seem incapable of seeing how far from responsible and mature she actually is. As far as I'm concerned the sooner Pi and Alexis move out the better, at the very least we can stop cringing every time Pi stumbles his way on screen.
Alexis is not the only woman on the show that the fanbase seems intent of not seeing for how far from their idea of her she is but I'm not going to get into the ways Martha has proven herself far from wise, or Beckett is not nearly as good for Castle as just about every seems to think (she has been mostly bad for him since 'Rise').
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I agree that Alexis isn't perfect, and she has had her bad moments on this show. But still, I'd say that this whole Pi thing is really, really not what she's normally about. I can see her being negligent to a point with this situation, but not to the extent that it's gone.

I'm totally with you when it comes to Martha. As a character Martha is mostly there to get in the way of Castle's life. She's flamboyant, free-spirited, and constantly trying and doing new things that always seem to take place in the apartment or require Castle to suffer through something or other. Thankfully, though, she's not nearly as annoying as Pi is, and she has had her moments, few as they have been.

I don't think it'll come as much of a surprise to you that we don't exactly see eye to eye where Beckett is concerned. I personally think that they're a pretty good match, with the exception of the fact that for two seasons the writers came up with the most pathetic disagreements for them to have, as well as the silliest reasons why they would distrust each other for an episode only to realize the cause to be silly and make up. But honestly that would have happened with any long-term relationship between two main characters on this show, as it had more to do with the writers wanting to create tension than it did a result of two particular characters beings paired together.

And I don't really see how Beckett is "bad" for Castle, with the exception of the fact that her being in his life is physically dangerous for him, as he follows her on all sorts of life-threatening adventures. Still, it's Castle's choice and desire to go on these adventures, and he does so like an excited puppy. In fact, even when Beckett tries to keep him out of danger he finds a way to get himself in the thick of it. It could be that I'm missing some part of their relationship which is fundamentally bad for Castle and that being in a long-term relationship with someone else would rectify. I'd actually be interested to know exactly why you think Beckett is bad for Castle, if you'd care to elaborate.

As to your first point, I, like you, think that Pi is simply there to annoy the hell out of Castle so that he can't bear living with the guy and a major change will need to be made. But I don't think that it'll be Pi and Alexis moving out of the apartment. I actually think that it will be Castle moving in with Beckett. I think the writers are pushing for Beckett and Castle to form some sort of autonomy together, and them living together is a way to show that without having to have them marry each other (since they'll want to hold that off to the finale at least, or likely drag that out until next season. Or even their final season, for that matter). But it can't be as simple as Beckett moving in with Castle to his apartment, since they need to have a place all to themselves. Now, they could go with your vision of Pi being kicked out and Alexis going with him. But there's no way that Martha is leaving that place. And it would be extremely odd, even for Castle, to have both Alexis and Martha leave the apartment at around the same time, but for different reasons.

If anything, it seems a lot more likely that Castle will be spending more and more time at Beckett's place. After all, he's the kind of person that is more likely to spend less time at his apartment in order to be free of Pi, as opposed to confronting his daughter's boyfriend and telling him he can't stay there anymore. After all, he has allowed his family to push and prod him around his own apartment throughout this entire series. Just look at this latest episode. Pi trespassed upon the last place in Castle's apartment that is truly his own: his bedroom. Wearing only a towel, Mr. Annoying the Annoyer took away the last ounce of privacy that Castle and Beckett could have in that apartment, and while they were at their most vulnerable too. What's more, the rest of the family waltzed in after him. Martha came to tell her son that his privacy was going to be even less existent that morning. And instead of telling her that such last-minute notice was unacceptable, and telling Pi that he had to leave his room NOW, he just grudgingly went along with everything. And when Alexis said that Gates wanted to see Castle, him and Beckett couldn't leave that apartment faster.

So yeah, I think the writers are using Pi to keep Castle out of his apartment more, not to force him to reclaim it as truly his own. Because that's just not what Castle does, seeing as he rarely stands up for himself and instead just takes everything from everyone.
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Not being the NYPD's finest moment is no different than what happened in the first episode. In the first episode, it's Castle asking Tisdale about his finances to find a motive for his daughters death. Most cops would be looking for any motive, especially financial motives, after they figure out it's not a serial killer or a psychopath. So why wasn't Beckett asking these questions, and why was she getting annoyed with Castle because he was asking them?

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I completely agree with you. With Becket back on the force, it means Sully is leaving? Please say yes! And Pi? I just wish next episode will be his last. Sorry Alexis, he just doesn't belong there. Anywhere!
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Great review, like most fans hate Pi and Sully
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Hate Pi, hate Sully. Please kill them off :/
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Oh good, I just marathoned the first few episodes of this season so I've been avoiding the reviews til I caught up and was worried Pi was some sort of fan favorite. good to see everyone else hates him too. never change tv.com... <3 u guys.
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First, we should get one thing out of the way for all future discussions; this is not a show you want to over analyze and compare too closely to reality. With that in mind, this wasn't a bad episode except for the fact that Pie didn't die.
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Castle is not like The Wire or other shows that do their best to mirror reality and the human condition, granted. And for the most part I let Castle slide on a lot of deviations from reality, the fact that he's able to interrogate suspects included. However, there were a number of breaks from reality in this episode that were bad, even for Castle. Really bad. Like the fact that the NYPD didn't find the adoption records or the hallway footage the first time around.

Normally this show does a pretty good job and presenting us with a somewhat logical investigative procedure. The A Team investigates the scene of the crime, looks into the past of the victim(s), and interviews potential suspects and people of interest. And over the course of an episode they eventually arrive at who the killer(s) actual is/are. Sure, Castle himself (as well as others) will often stir up the pot by putting forth wild hypothesis and using unorthodox methods to solve the case. But what they do not do is a really bad job at basic detective work. Sure, they've been known to not suspect a suspicious roommate here and there, or mate mistakes when it comes to confronting suspects without backup. What they have not been known to do is look at a security camera outside of a victim's apartment and think "Yeah, that's a waste of our time."

Now, as with other shows sorta like this, I'm more than happy to suspend my disbelief if the result is something enjoyable. For instance, Person of Interest is known for being over-the-top when it comes to the situations it puts its characters in, and the methods they employ to get out of them. In tonight's episode someone jumped off of a tall building into a garbage truck without getting so much as a scratch. That's fine. In this episode of Castle someone held a dental office hostage and demanded to speak to a celebrity face to face (if I were her I would have kept on demanding to see celebrities or the hostages would die. Hey, it's one way to meet the President), and the police actually went along with that request with very little delay. Again, that's fine because it allows a very fun and interesting scenario to take place. Whereas having the NYPD be extremely stupid at select times only serves to give them irrefutable evidence that a killer is responsible, once they themselves know he's the killer. As I said, I'm happy to suspend my disbelief (within reason) if it means that I'll be treated with something cool and fun, not if it's so I can turn a blind eye to bad writing.

The reason that I sometimes analyze an episode of Castle a bit more than is necessary (other than being able to humorously pick it apart), is that I remember how good this show has been in the past, and I know that it can be really good. Sure, Castle will never be like Game of Thrones, but past seasons have given us great and fun episodes that bend reality just enough to give us a good time, but don't bend it too far that the decisions that characters make and the events that take place make absolutely no sense whatsoever. So yeah, I'm sometimes hard on Castle because I'm a fan and would rather have every episode be great instead of most of them lately being enjoyable yet mediocre (for Castle, that is).

Oh, and at this point I actually don't want Pi to die just yet. First I want him to get kidnapped and held captive by violent and unpleasant people for a while (I would suspend the hell out of my disbelief for this scenario). Then they rescue him but he gets framed for some crime and has to spend some time in jail (where the people also aren't that pleasant and they don't have any fruit for some reason). And then once he has finally been acquitted for the crime he didn't commit and he is walking out of the courthouse, and only then, will he be gunned down in a hail of bullets. But somehow they don't kill him right away and he spends the next several days suffering in agony while all of his organs slowly fail on him. And in his last moments of life he admits to Alexis that he never cared for her and only dated her so that he could eventually steal her dad's money. Oh, and he tells her that she should have told her dad that her boyfriend was coming to stay with them in their apartment for some unknown time period. Because seriously, who does that? Who would actually not give their dad the heads-up that her boyfriend was going to be staying with them for what could be months, so that her dad has to run into him in his own apartment. She didn't even call him the day before, or even an hour before, to at least break the news to him. Wow, Pi has really messed Alexis up. He needs to go.

P.S. For the most part I enjoyed this episode as well, as I almost always do with this show. There were just some select things that made this episode a lot less enjoyable than it could have been.
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Please don't get me wrong, I pretty much agreed with most of your article and we definitely agree that Pie has to go. We should form a club.
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The way things so easily went back to normal was something I really didn't like about this episode. It was basically like "yay everything is wonderful and even though there's a hiring freeze I get my job back and you can be a consultant and we can stay together even though it's against the rules as long as we don't have sex at work, k?" I think they shouldn't treat us like idiots!
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I think it was a bit much that everyone was suddenly fine with everything in this episode. But honestly this show does this kind of thing a lot. The amount of times that everything has gone back to normal on this show has been staggering. Alexis, nor anyone else really, has had any repercussions from her being kidnapped last season. Castle, nor anyone, has mentioned anything lately about how his father is alive and works for the CIA. Martha will probably never utter the name Chet again. And worst of all is the whole Senator Bracken thing, which has completely gone away even though it really shouldn't have.

I mean, on any other show there would be some sort of mental trauma or lasting consequence from Castle having tortured a guy for information when Alexis was kidnapped. Not...nothing. The truth is that things very easily going back to normal is the norm on this show. At least this time it took four episodes for everything to go back to the way it was before the end of last season, not zero.
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I totally agree with you about there not really being any lasting consequences, but I guess Castle isn't really that kind of show. Yeah it would be nice if there was more continuity but in the end it's really just a procedural. I really really like this show, I think it's really funny and most of the cases of the week are really fun but if you try and make it more than that the holes are really obvious and that's a shame and the show would be on a whole other level if it would keep track of all the different plots from over the years, but that's just the way it is.

I do agree about Bracken though. Beckett looks for her mothers killer for what a decade? Then she finds the guy and instead of finding some way to prove it or having him arrested for some other dirty dealings she just forgets about it?
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Yeah, you're mostly right about Castle not really being that kind of show for the most part. It's not like Person of Interest where a lot of characters go away for a while but then pop back up at all the right moments, and it's very rare for someone to just be forgotten for no good reason. Still, think about how the show stepped up back in Season 3 and (big spoiler but if you're reading this you're pretty much guaranteed to know about it) revealed that Montgomery was part of the conspiracy surrounding Beckett's mom's death. The way they handled the build-up to that reveal, and Montgomery's exit from the show, was top-notch. That was the moment that Castle basically said: "Yeah, we can be a grown-up show if we want to be. We can go to the next level." And every season they have excellent two-parters, as well as select episodes here and there, that stand out from the rest of the season as going above and beyond the call of duty.

And it's not like they have to try and elevate themselves to be super great or anything. I mean, just look at Senator Bracken. I think pretty much everyone (you and me included) agrees that his storyline didn't end anywhere close to the way it should have. It didn't even end, really. It's just kind of floating there, very awkwardly, and we only have the writers' word that the Beckett's mother's murder plot-line was resolved last season. But the point that I'm getting at is that if they did anything with Senator Bracken now, and I mean ANYTHING, to further resolve that storyline it would do wonders to the quality of this show as a whole.

Imagine if in the next couple of episodes a body turns up where the victim was killed very distinctly. Further investigation reveals that this was the work of the "Y" killer (any name will do). Over the course of a multi-episode arc they track this killer down until they find him/her. And under interrogation the killer reveals that they are a killer for hire for a number of powerful people. And one of them is, you guessed it, Senator Bracken. And boom, his extremely noticeable absence from the show will almost be worth it, because no one will expect him to suddenly crop up. And then he goes to jail, Beckett's mom is avenged, and a major chapter of this show is satisfactorily ended. It honestly wouldn't be that hard to do something like this.

And honestly, at this point all I'm asking for them to do is give us some form of multi-episode case. Any form of an arc. I don't want to wait until the mid-season two-parter, much as I'm looking forward to it. They've done it before with the Triple Killer (3XK) and others. Hey, that guy is still presumably alive. Why not bring him back? He always brings a solid boost to any episode he's in. Remember the last one where he (spoilers) framed Castle for a crazy, crazy murder with the sole purpose of making everyone think that he was dead. Yeah, that was fun. Let's have more episodes like that.

Or maybe have someone important die in one episode (Pi anyone?), and then have them slowly solve that murder over the course of this season. Even if they only get back to it every...three episodes or so, we'll have something that at least resembles a season arc.

These are all things that the show can do that won't completely change its identity from the happy, fun, zany show that it is. And implementing even one of these changes won't suddenly make the show's holes really apparent and ugly. You're right, this show is primarily a case-of-the-week procedural, and it mostly does very well at making these cases different and enjoyable. But it would take very little effort for the writers to just add a bit of world-building and long-term storytelling via multi-episode arcs, without having to detract from the case-of-the-week procedural foundation of the show. Because what we don't want is for there to be so much of a focus on each episode as being individual, and any long-term storyline (like Senator Bracken and the AG taskforce) just ends abruptly at some point and is then promptly forgotten. I don't want to be introduced to every long-term storyline knowing that soon I'll be wondering why the writers even created it in the first place.
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I totally agree about some sort of serialized part being added would be good. I'm pretty sure they caught the hit man that actually killed Beckett's mother and then she had to shoot him in the station, if I remember correctly!

The Montgomery storyline was soooo good and sad and yeah I wish they would do more things like that. They obviously have to bring back the 3XY killer. Yeah Braking that's unfortunate, but if they drop pretty much the only long running plots they've done then that's just bad writing.

Until this season I hadn't watched the show as it aired. I started near the end of Season 5 and marathoned the episodes in 2 months or so. Doing it like that made it seem like things were happening a lot faster and tighter then they were I think. So now watching it as it airs it seems a lot slower and I want more!
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This was extremely correct!!! Perfect!
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Thank you. Your review wasn't too shabby either.
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I really liked yours, if you were planning on doing it again next week then i wont do a review. I mean it took me a while to get the review up because i am busy with uni right now and I liked yours better :)
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I was actually toying with the idea of doing proper reviews each week instead of top tens or whatever, but I was worried that would take away from your reviews. Yeah, I'd be happy to "take over" for you in writing reviews. But honestly, it's not like only one person can write a review. In fact, your style of review seems to be basically a recap with some insightful points and questions at the end. I tend to focus less on a point-by-point description of what happened, and instead focus more on analyzing select events in terms of whether they added or detracted from the experience of the episode, comparing an episode to past episodes/other shows, and discussing the implications of certain events and decisions mean for the future.

We both write very different types of reviews, to the extent that if we both wrote one for the same episode they would compliment each other more than anything. They certainly wouldn't detract from each other. So yeah, since you're basically encouraging me to start writing weekly reviews then I'll go ahead and do that. But I don't think that means that you should stop writing reviews altogether. I get that you're really busy with uni and all that (Speaking of which, are you European? Just curious.). But if it's a matter of not having enough time to write a full-on review like you've been doing, you could still post something shorter. Like the most memorable moments of the episode your overall take on it with some accompanying pictures. I don't know, something like that. It would just be a shame for you to stop completely.
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I think I will continue if I have time. I am not European, I am Australian :)
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First of all hippies don't shower or shave anything. Second he just goes into the bedroom like it's no big deal. Really? I hope your right and someone does kill him in a horribly bloody way. I mean pieces of Pi scattered all over New York. Also the next post should be the spam post your looking for. Very funny and sad at the same time.
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They should have a future episode entitled "Death of Pi" so we can all look forward to it. As for the spam posts, I genuinely wish they would just creatively work their add into a genuine comment. For instance, how about saying that Beckett shouldn't have been worried about being unemployed. After all, one of her cousins just got a job on the internet where her last paycheck was $84,999 for only five hours of work. Seriously, if you're a spammer and you're reading this, go ahead and steal my idea. Put some personality into your plugs. Don't sound like a computer that's trying to imitate human speech.
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Holy crap that's funny.
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