12.06.2011

Castle Review - 4.10 - Cuffed


When Castle and Beckett wake up in bed, handcuffed together, in a locked room with no memory of how they got there, they must piece together the mystery of where they are and why, all while trying to escape. But as the two of them adjust to being shackled together, what's the biggest threat they face...the people who abducted them or each other? Meanwhile, Ryan, Esposito and Gates are left to investigate their disappearance in a case where all is not what it seems.

It's The Hangover meets Saw in this week's Castle, as the show returns after a week off with a strong episode. Read on after the jump to see why I liked this episode.



Like that opening? I was shooting for a real minimalist style with this review. Mostly because I'm too tired to do anything else. Let's see if I can keep it up.

Good:
- Tiger! They are endangered and majestic. Or so I've heard. I have to give kudos to the show, I did not see the tiger coming. When I first saw it, I thought it would just be a gimmick, but I was surprised at how much screentime they actually gave to the tiger. That was some good stuff right there, and Castle and Kate's reactions to the tiger were awesome.

- Esposito messing with Ryan's mind. I mean, Esposito is always messing with Ryan's mind, but it was especially funny here as Esposito educated Ryan on the pitfalls of the road trip with a significant other. It's a wonder Esposito and Lanie didn't work out with his huge breadth of relationship knowledge.

- Competent police work by Ryan and Esposito. I always love seeing that R&E can hold their own even without Castle and Beckett.

- Oh right, Castle and Kate. I guess I have to mention them too. They were funny and the chemistry was really working as they tried to figure out how to get out of their cell. This is when Castle as a show really excels, when Kate and Castle are allowed to flanter (flirty banter) and play off each other. Also, the totally not subtle grunting and moaning and interesting positions they got into were hilarious. Not a whole lot of forward progress made in the relationship, but at least it was entertaining.

Bad:
- Gates. Always with the negative waves, Moriarty. I thought she was doing so well until she started randomly blaming Castle for everything that went wrong. Her shtick is getting old.

- The bad guys. The old woman was decent enough, but they were totally cliche. I expect better.

Ugly:
- Exotic animal trafficking. Really, show? I guess it might have worked a little better for me if Hawaii 5-0 hadn't just done a recent episode about exotic animal trafficking. Is this a new thing for procedurals now? Can I expect NCIS to do an upcoming episode on white rhinos? I'm not saying it was bad, after all, it did give us the great stuff with the tiger (who was a hell of an actor!), but not exactly the most thrilling of cases of the week.

Overall:
I think this was probably one of the best episodes this season. It was just damn entertaining. When they let Castle and Kate play off each other like they did here, the show really shines. Missed Alexis and Martha, but you can't have it all. That's two really strong episodes in a row. Let's hope they can keep up the momentum after they return.

Oh, and best part? Kate's wardrobe didn't suck. It's a Christmas miracle!

What did y'all think?

6 comments:

  1. It was OK. The temporary memory loss as a device to use flashbacks was weak and an artificial attempt to pump up the tension.

    Rather would have seen the episode played out in sequence given what the reveal was for them being cuffed together in the room.

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  2. I will never be able to unsee the Diane Keaton/Kate Beckett comparison that Yokaputo sent my way, so I'll agree that Kate's wardrobe actually being pretty good was a Christmas miracle.

    I will, however, disagree on Gates, though. She was annoying a little bit, but I liked that she's bringing one thing to the department that throws a monkey wrench in Castle and Beckett's hijinks: accountability. Ryan and Esposito's annoyed "Yeah, thanks for that," was perfect at the end because that's the typical reaction, but Gates was right. They should've already been checking in with a dispatcher anyway and the fact that they don't is a major thing that Gates needs to clean house on. And I'm going to overlook her blaming everything on Castle because she did call him one of her people and she's coming around. I think by the end of the season, we'll be in a good place with her where there's some looking away while the detectives play, but more accountability than some of the stunts they pulled under Montgomery's nose.

    Since I don't watch Hawaii 5-0, I am perfectly fine with an exotic animal traffic ring. Especially since it brought the words "Tiger Kibble" into my conversation. And the shot of Esposito and Ryan opening the trap door to see the tiger licking its chops, obviously clean of blood and Caskett flesh, had me cracking up hard enough that I missed Castle and Beckett's next lines.

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  3. Anonymous6.12.11

    Everyone should be calling dispatch. Parts of the Castle fandom have been complaining about that for two seasons. It's a poor plot device often used for dramatic effect. In Kill Shot, did anyone think Beckett could check a sniper rifle out of evidence and transport it across town with on Esposito knowing what she was doing? Of course this problem will still happen the next time they go rouge after being kicked off a case (like Setup/Coundown).

    Most of the season Gates has been a characterture of the angry boss who enjoys berating her team even when they are not doing anything wrong. She shouldn't get credit for snipping at them when they screw up because that is her baseline. It would be like Casey growling at Morgan when he went nutty with the Intersect.

    Gates is also a glory hog who takes credit for others work and doesn't admit her own mistakes (Heroes and Villains, Heartbreak Hotel) -- more signs of not being a good leader. I like environments of accountability, but would not want to work for Gates. I'd be waiting for her to stab me in the back.

    I just hope they start having her look qualified to lead a homicide division. I'm getting tired of Ryan and Esposito explaining everything to her.

    This episode was great, though. Second best this season, second only to Cops and Robbers.

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  4. Daggumit Max, here you go doing something productive to make me feel even more like the least useful member for the CIA. Hmm, I need to think of something I can review for the site. Like College Gameday Final, or Glee (sadly the only shows outside of Fringe, Chuck, and Castle that seem to be on my radar of late, haha).

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  5. @Wep - Dude, Glee is so hilariously bad it might be worth a column on the blog just so that everybody else can share in its awfulness. And with your sense of humor, you'd be the perfect person to do that. The only thing worth discussing on the show is obviously Santana and her relationship with Brittany anyway. :P

    @Frea/Anonymous - Sorry, Frea, but I think I fall more on Anon's side of the Gates issue. Accountability is great and it's nice to see her take the team to task for that, but it's like her one plus against a column of negatives for me. I hope you're right and that she will improve for me by the end of the season, but right now, my hopes are not up.

    Other than that, I thought the episode was awesome. So many quotable lines too.

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  6. Crumby7.12.11

    I liked the episode. One of the strongest this season for me.

    Castle and Beckett's interactions were great. I've enjoyed Ryan & Esposito a lot more this season than I'm used to, and this episode was a great R&E one as well.

    Gates doesn't bother me at all. She's their boss, I don't expect her to go soft like Montgomery did. It would be nice to see her bring more skills to the table, though, but she did look for her team, and was proactive in that sense.

    I was entertained, and for once the episode surprised me.

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