A Castle Community
Monday 10:00 PM on ABC
(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.


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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