What a nice way to return from hiatus…a perfect episode of Castle that was absolutely hilarious. Heat Wave (Castle’s first book featuring Nikki Heat) is being made into a movie and the actress playing Nikki Heat, Natalie Rhodes (played by Laura Prepon), is shadowing Beckett so she can get the true essence of the character. I’m not a big Prepon fan. I think she is overrated and I was hoping they would have cast someone else in the role. But she was good and had me laughing several times in the episode.
The case was about a high-end matchmaker who was murdered. Basically she was killed because she was setting up crappy husbands to violate their prenups by sleeping with some sleaze ball named Chloe and therefore having to pay their wives huge amounts of money during the divorces. It turns out Michael Mancini killed her (by accident he says) and when he tries to kill himself, it’s “Nikki Heat” that talks him off the ledge instead of Beckett.
I loved how there was a complete role reversal by the end of the episode. It stars with Beckett liking having her around and playing the part but Castle is incredibly disappointed because he doesn’t think she is very good at acting and she doesn’t recognize him as the author of the book (which she hasn’t read) or the creator of her character. It was priceless trying to see him to come up with lines and quotes for her to use in the movie and she is having none of it from him, but she is writing down everything Beckett says. It bugs the crap out of him, but Beckett is loving it. But then when Rhodes starts standing like Beckett or interjecting too much into the case or changing her hair color to look like Beckett, she doesn’t find it so charming anymore. She finds it very “Single White Female.” At the same time, Castle starts talking to Natalie about her preparation for a character and she talks about how she once spent a month in a crawl space for a role. She wants to pay honor to whatever role she plays and give it the respect the character deserves. Castle really appreciates that and starts to look at her differently. Then when Rhodes asks Castle about the male character in the book who has an intimate relationship with Nikki, she asks about his relationship with Beckett. He tells her it’s just fiction so she makes a move on him to “do more research” and kisses him in the elevator. Just as the doors are closing, Beckett comes out and sees them and she isn’t happy about it!!! Ha!!!! Then the next day when Rhodes is talking to Beckett about Castle and how she can’t believe he turned her down, Rhodes tells Beckett that she noticed they were into each other and asked her if she would give Castle permission to sleep with her. Beckett’s reaction is priceless!!!
Another side storyline that I liked was Ryan deciding on how to propose to his girlfriend Jenny (played by his real life wife Juliana Dever.) It was really sweet how he wanted to make it just right and Castle told him to rent a helicopter while Beckett told her to make it more intimate. But then he bumps into Natalie who is on is “list.” You know, the top 5 freebie list? I actually know people who have those lists. Well he gets very flustered and tongue-tied around her. Jenny shows up at the station yelling at Ryan for lying to her about where he was the night before and since she found out one of his top 5 freebies in at the station, she assumes that’s where he was. So much for it being a “freebie.” She promptly breaks up with him. Later, Jenny shows up again at the station to apologize for her outburst and Ryan asks her to stay for a minute. He runs to his desk while everyone in the station is watching and explains to her what happened. She lied about playing darts with Esposito because he went to Flushing to ask her parents a question. He then gets down on one knee and asks Jenny to marry him. She bursts into tears and cries “YES!” So all is good and the entire station comes over with congratulations. That was awesome. This shows another reason I love this show. Even though Castle and Beckett are the main characters in the show and the driving force on all things personal, the writers have done a good job giving us enough Ryan and Esposito for us to care about them. I was so happy for him last night and if he were just in the background, I wouldn’t have cared.
For the second half of the season, I would be fine if they continue on the path of interesting cases and continued Booth and Brennan type sexual tension between Castle and Beckett. But if I could make one request, I would like to see them revisit the 3XK storyline. The killer is still out there and I think that could be a good source of drama for the usually light-hearted show. What do you think? What do you want to see in the second half for the Castle team?