I zapped from the 4th episode, Hell Hath No Fury, to this one because its summary intrigued me. Beckett in an evening gown and a corrupted charity ball sounded irresistible and fascinating. As expected Stana Katic looked stunning but the story was far much more interesting than the previous ones. In fact it was captivating and the show desperately needed it considering how boring the others were. Indeed the protagonists chemistry is good and the acting convincing so with a proper story an episode could only be a hit. It's exactly what this 7th installment was.
First the dialog at the beginning between Castle and his daughter Alexis was well staged and it was a very dynamic and original way to learn more about what happens in her life. It was refreshing and a fancy way to probably introduce a new arc. Second the guest stars were excellent. Patrick Bauchau (The Pretender, Carnivàle) portrayed Caine Powell a thief connected to Castle. His performance was mesmerizing and he brought a vibe of mystery and I even found some of his scenes quite spooky. I can't imagine how great it would be if he became a recurring character ! As for the other guest it was quite a charming one. Caterina Scorsone played Joanne Delgado a young woman, daughter of the victim. I appreciated her connection with Beckett and it allowed us to better understand her past even if the development was far too light for my taste.
As for the crime itself it was disturbing and even if the investigation was exciting I was very disappointed by how quickly they wrapped the whole thing up in the end. But Will Beall's writing was excellent because he profiled his characters with multiple layers and even brought tensions to some scenes. In fact an other new character was a suspect and I liked how he put Beckett out of her comfort zone. So Castle had to help her and their team really made sense. They have different skills so they are the perfect matches for each other. At times there was even something "Bondish" about Castle even if he never had to introduce himself as Castle, Richard Castle. As for their snail developing relationship I have to admit that it's easy to get caught by it because they're both charming characters. The funny jokes were also quite numerous and you really have to see Castle shot at a target with Beckett as a teacher. His mother also had her moments and I liked how the episode ended. Happy or sad ? It's Castle, you should know what to expect.
Last but not least I would like to point out again how the show episodic format is lame. I can imagine how great it would be if the writers decided to develop the arc introduced in Flowers for Your Grave, the pilot. It had so much potential and following Beckett and Castle investigating a serial killer the whole season would have been great entertainment. Instead you can skip two episodes and don't see a difference. For me it's like if the previous episodes, A Chill Goes Through Her Veins and Always Buy Retail, never existed. In fact I think you could even directly jump from the pilot to this one. Why didn't they follow the lead of masterpieces like Dexter ? One killer, one season. The dream format.