Sorry, guys! The lateness of this review is entirely my fault and not Alris's. I got swamped with school and tonight was the first bit of free time I've had since the episode aired.
Anyway, I'm sure you don't want to hear my excuses. Let's get on with the review!
Recap: When Castle and Martha are taken hostage by a crew of bank robbers dressed in hospital scrubs and using classic television doctor names, Beckett finds herself on the outside, desperately trying to rescue them—which proves to be even more difficult with a by-the-book hostage negotiator watching her every move. Castle becomes the de facto leader of the hostages and discovers that the robbery is actually a skillfully orchestrated distraction for an even more sinister plan. But with Castle stuck on the inside and Beckett on the outside, will either be able to foil the bank robbers' plans before it is too late?
Yeah, yeah, I know, I shamelessly stole the recap from IMDB, but frankly it does a far better job than I ever could, mostly because I found the ending to be a massive disappointment. This whole episode screamed out to be made into a two-parter, with the reveal at the end and the murder investigation next week. The whole plot deserved a better pay off than being ultimately a domestic abuse case, especially as once everything was revealed, there were only 10 minutes left to wrap everything up and the end felt very rushed. Almost like they'd crafted this wonderful plot and then suddenly realised they were overrunning, but didn't want to really cut anything from the bank robbery itself. And, frankly, who can blame them, it was brilliant.
For the "robbery" itself, I’d like to say how wonderfully refreshing this change of pace was. It's so nice to have an episode that wasn’t based around a murder. They can’t do it too often, the show, after all, is based around a homicide detective, but changing up the formula occasionally is nice. And they've already experimented with the formula a couple of times this season now to various effects. This was one that definitely worked.
We opened up with a nice display of Castle’s talents, showing exactly how much Castle's power of observation has improved since he started working with Beckett and the gang. Before you object, go back and watch Season 1 again, he used to get way too carried away in the narrative of the case to notice the details. And in this episode, Castle was in fine form, with his trick with the Morse code, slipping the note to Beckett, and just having to piece together what the robbers were really doing. Yet, he also displayed some real gravitas stepping up and becoming the leader of the hostages, keeping everyone calm and reassuring everyone that the police would get them out.
For my last main point before my usual segments, I’m just going to comment on Beckett and Castle. I refuse to squee over it, mostly because by now we’re all very familiar with the chemistry between Nathan and Stana (Maximus: Squee. Go ahead. You know you want to). We know exactly how well the interaction can work when it's good, so this episode should hardly come as much of a surprise to anyone.
There are some points I specifically want to highlight, though. The opening was nice with Castle calling Beckett for once, and I found it amusing how thrown Beckett was at Castle's "Tell me you need me" comment. It's interesting that that her mind seems to instinctively go to something personal rather than professional now. Also, the “negotiating” that Beckett did with Trapper John struck me as a real Chuck vs. the Phase Three moment. I’m sure Maximus will agree (Maximus: While I can see what you mean, it actually reminded me more of a speech Roslin gave in Battlestar Galactica’s fourth season). It's so rare we see that honest righteous fire that we know Kate has; usually what has triggered it in the past was stuff related to her mother’s murder, so it was a nice change to see it caused by something else. Frankly, I want to see more. Beckett is HOT when she's on fire (Maximus: agreed).
Gateswatch - Another week, another episode without Gates. This doesn’t look good for her character. Still, she's back next week so we'll see.
FamilyWatch - Despite Martha being in the bank, the family took a considerable backseat as they have so often this season. We did get to see Alexis do a bit more growing up when she dumped Ashley.
Moment of the episode - SO. DAMN. MANY. I really want to single out Beckett being thrown by Castle's call at the start. Also, Castle's big moment, where he shows the robbers he's worked everything out. However, this week’s moment can only be Beckett, really… Just... Nope, brain melts just thinking about it. So hot.
(Maximus: Kate threatening Trapper John with a bullet to the head wins best moment for me.)
Whilst we wait for my brain to recover, what were your thoughts?