Episode Review: Castle 1×07 – "Home is Where the Heart Stops"

The seventh episode, written by Will Beall, offered another glimpse at the emotional life of Detective Kate Beckett. While investigating this latest murder, Beckett makes a promise to the victim’s daughter that she will find the killer. This obvious allusion to her own past would be tedious as would Castle’s needling to get her to open up about it, if Beckett didn’t call him on it right away. This immediate give and take is what keeps the show, and the Castle/Beckett relationship (are we calling them Caskett?) from being derivative.

A few things that made this episode different and more interesting involved the Chief, Esposito and Ryan working their own lead. By allowing these characters to operate independently of Beckett, we as the audience have a much better chance of growing to like them and in turn, wanting to follow their stories. This will give the show longevity and give the audience a break from Castle and Beckett when the cute-but-snarky back and forth grows tiresome … probably sometime around the end of season two.

However, the writers are doing a disservice to Tamala Jones’ Laney Parish and I just can’t let it go unnoticed. Not only is her character marginalized in every episode, but the forced nature of her “girlfriend” relationship with Beckett is uncomfortable to watch. I don’t buy that these two would socialize outside of work. I actually don’t buy that Beckett does any socializing outside of work. And while the scene with Laney attempting to aid Beckett in selecting a dress for last night’s undercover scenario was meant to be fun, it was just out of place. And a little weird.

The things that made the show work in the pilot are still making it work seven episodes in. Castle is still charming and Beckett is still the tough cop (her roughing up of the suspect last night and “you wanna play? Let’s play.” dialogue were pretty fantastic). Alexis and Castle’s relationship is still fun and engaging and I love watching them interact. Last night’s sword fighting scene, complete with live accompaniment just made me giggle. I like to giggle on occasion.

The intricacy of the cases has remained consistent from the start and I’m okay with that. I’d be interested to see them deal with a long-term issue, like a serial killer, but again, that might be more of a season two device. At this point, the cases are interesting enough that I’m intrigued, but do not and probably won’t overshadow the true beauty of the show that is Beckett and Castle (and yes, I’m going to call them Caskett. It has a poetic ring to it, don’t you think?). 

It concerns me that “Castle” is considered a bubble show for ABC (i.e. threatened by cancellation). Considering everything else they have on the air, I would assume that a procedural like “Castle,” that can’t be all that expensive to make would be a shoe-in for next season. Here’s hoping I don’t have to start a letter writing campaign. Although, I think flooding the ABC offices with fountain pens would be fun.

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