Alynda Wheat's Beat Cop: Having fun storming the 'Castle'

There was a book? All this time there was an actual, buyable, readable Castle book and nobody told me? I mean sure, I could’ve read this post from Jeff, this one from Mandi, or this one here. But Jeff and Mandi are all the way across the country in the New York office! You and I are, we’re right here. All I know is, if Beckett gets to read that book, then I’m getting my hands on it too. But—and let me know if this is a step too meta—what I really want is a book about Beckett (Stana Katic) and Castle (Nathan Fillion). Or maybe I mean less meta, because Heat Wave, featuring Nikki Heat and Jameson Rook, is basically Beckett and Castle, but one level deeper into the fantasy. I just want to stay on the surface, with our beloved cop and her dashing mystery-writer partner. Besides, the names Nikki Heat and Jameson Rook make me giggle.

But so many things about Castle are amusing in all the best ways. Take last night’s debate about con movies (one of my favorite genres). It’s no wonder Castle had a yarn-spinner’s respect for the grifter Fletcher (Will Beinbrink). Not only is the guy the kind of character we imagine Castle writing, but as a man with friends in high and low places, Castle seems to dabble in shadiness, himself—not a lot, just enough to make him interesting. As he puts it, “When are you going to learn I’ve got a guy everywhere?” And this guy was shadiness itself. First, it looked like the poor sod took a bullet in the North Pole. Maybe some of you clued in earlier than I did that the North Pole is something of a long way to go to off a dude, but at any rate, we soon discovered he wasn’t at the North Pole, he was in his apartment. Because he’s a con artist! Yes, but one with a heart of gold! No, he wasn’t a grifter at all, he was a spy! No, wait, not a spy, just a creep! And he’s alive! No, dead! Okay, okay, he’s definitely dead, possibly a creep, and undoubtedly a very good con man…with really bad taste in partners. No wonder Beckett and Castle came down to a split decision on the case (Her: “I hate this case!” Him: “I know, isn’t it great?”)

As much as I love the vertigo-inducing he is!/he isn’t! aspect of this episode, what I really appreciate is the fact that Beckett is a Castle reader. The writers established Beckett’s little secret early on, with the hint that she might even comment on Castle’s fan site. But what’s cool is that they haven’t used that to diminish her in any respect. Instead of Castle using her fandom against her, Beckett actually uses it to tweak him. This also gives me hope that the writers know how to draw out the slow burn of this showmance (in spite of some of the Internet rumors about an impending Castle/Beckett smooch). We know that eventually, say season 7, Beckett and Castle will realize they’re meant to be. But with scripts in lesser hands, that could happen as early as season 4—and that would be a shame.

See, Coppers, this is what our procedural-hating friends are missing out on: a justice league of terrific characters who truly look charmed to be in each other’s company.

House

You want to talk about people who don’t look charmed to be around each other? Look here. Who knows if Olivia Wilde’s 13 may actually be out the door (scanning upcoming credits doesn’t help, and the show’s made no comment), but one thing’s certain: They desperately need to end any hint of romantic entanglement between 13 and Foreman (Omar Epps). These two are the very definition of the phrase “lacking in chemistry.” Watching their scenes together is excruciating, as they break up and get back together, with neither actor making it look real. I’m sure both actors would claim to be the friendliest of colleagues, but they sure don’t seem like it. Hopefully, last night’s breakup was Foreman and 13′s last tango.

Curiouser is how they’ve implicated Foreman, Chase (Jesse Spencer), and now House (Hugh Laurie) in the murder (and cover-up) of James Earl Jones as a brutal African dictator, when it’s Jennifer Morrison who’s leaving. Unless they’re springing a surprise on us with Spencer also exiting, I’m puzzled as to how that will play out. Since Ausiello hasn’t given any hint that Spencer’s out, I’m taking it as gospel that he’ll still be on the payroll when the dust settles. It’s just all such an odd way to go, since fans have been clamoring—for years—for more Cameron and Chase. Letting go of Morrison just doesn’t seem wise. Let’s at least hope they give her an exit worthy of the character…and the actress.

The rest of the slate seemed a bit of a yawn. In spite of the threats that Larry (Peter MacNicol) might be leaving, Numb3rs seems to be fairly rote thus far this season and Lie to Me was a touch far-fetched. Put it to you this way, if I’m ever pissing off the locals in a Mexican bar to the point that they’re circling and forming a posse straight out of the “Beat It” video, please, for the love of cerveza, get my butt outta there.

Oh, before we go, Beatniks, one programming note: Beat Cop will now run Tuesdays and Fridays so we can take better advantage of the TV schedule. And now I put it to you. Have you completely given up on CSI: Miami? Did you catch how Van Buren (S. Epatha Merkerson) completely blew off McCoy (Sam Waterston) on Law & Order when he made the mistake of assuming familiarity in asking how she was doing? Could you be more psyched at the news that Southland might be moving to TNT? And has anybody actually read Heat Wave? Let’s talk about it (but no spoilers, please). And as always, let’s be careful out there.

Comments (79 total) Add your comment
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  • Ceballos

    I’m guessing the idea behind Morrison leaving the show is that Cameron will find out what Chase did and leave him (and PPTH).

    Either way, Morrison’s exit is still confusing for the reason you brought up (people clamoring for more Cameron and Chase).

    • leo

      I’m wondering if someone connected to the (basically) murdered political madman, figures out the cover up and takes aim at avenging the murder by taking what is most precious to Chase – namely, killing Cameron. I hope I’m wrong but it is quite possible.

      I also wonder if Cameron’s departure is more due to real life difficulties working so closely with her ex-fiance.

      • Khristina

        No- it’s been said that her exit will leave the door wide open for “guest episodes” in the future.

      • leo

        could the guest episodes be dream sequences, though? They’ve done that many times before, its kinda part of the show that it happens…

        I don’t know. Otherwise the storyline makes little sense!

      • maddie

        Didn’t they break up, like, four years ago though?

    • Boomer

      I think it’s more twisted. If you recall, Cameron was the first to be opposed to treating the dictator. I’m thinking she did something ELSE during treatment, knows she’ll eventually get caught, and leaves before she does. How’s that for a theory!
      Oh, and did I miss something? Isn’t Taub coming back? I know in the first or second episode, he said he wouldn’t stay if House wasn’t there, but once House’s license is reinstated, do you think he’ll come back? I kinda liked him.

  • Stacy

    I had no idea there was a real book until I saw the little ad for it last night after the ep ended! I looked it up at B&N.com right away.

  • Nerwen Aldarion

    Yep Castle has a book, Heat Wave which actually has reached number 26 on the New York Times list it’s first week out! It’s really good and is a great prop for the show, any Castle fan will love it! This weeks episode was my favorite by far, such a fun wild ride! Castle and Beckett were at their best, bantering back and forth. If you have yet to see this show, you need to!

    • Nikkido

      I would not go as far as really good. It’s a nice little romp of mindless reading. I would have thought Castle would have written better than the book they put out.

    • elr

      I have to agree with you, this was the best episode of the series so far. My favorite was “I hate this case”, “Yeah, isn’t it great”. I’m laughing as I type this.

  • Stewey

    I have to agree, I like Thirteen and Foreman as individual characters, but as a couple not so much. I remember watching Epic Fail and fastforwarding through 13 and Foreman scenes! Im pretty sure the season will soon pick up once House,Wilson,and Cuddy gets back on the forefront of the show. For now I still enjoy the old team’s antics, but I need my House, Wilson, and Cuddy story fix soon!

  • Cheryl

    Fool Me Once was the Best Episode Ever! (stealing a little from Castle’s hyperbole) Really, it was a fantastic episode, great case, great back and forth between Castle and Beckett, Castle and Alexis, everyone. Heat Wave is a great book on two levels, the little fantasy aspect of imagining Castle and Beckett in the characters and getting to “hear” her thoughts on him and secondly just as a mystery novel. The last half of the book really gripped me like a good mystery novel should and I couldn’t put it down.

    • Melinda65

      I understood Molly’s anger and embarrassment over Castle’s checking out her violin instructor, but I thought that Castle shouldn’t have meekly taken her rant. Just what he saw in that episode alone was enough to make him cautious, and he should have told her that as her father, it was his responsibility to make sure that anyone who came into her life was only planning to help her. It’s not as if the coach dumped her as a student in outrage.

  • Alynda Wheat

    Cheryl and Nerwen, I just ran to the bookstore to pick it up and I am embarrassingly excited! But it’s thin, no? Oh well, the better to finish on the plane, I suppose.

  • David

    Ceballos is right, Cameron will leave PPTH and Chase behind when she finds out what Chase did. Pretty stupid, IMHO. I doubt they’re going to give Jennifer Morrison a worthy exit, the writers are too focused on Olivia Wilde/Thirteen prepping her faked exit when we all know her exit and her absence from the team is just temporary, but who cares!, right.

    • leo

      Is thirteen wanting to go to Thailand to committ suicide before her Huntingtons gets too advanced? I didn’t get why she was so firmly decided on going…
      Also didn’t understand why House wanted to keep her around.

      • alex

        As much as I cringe at the thought, I think TPTB are setting up Thirteen/House for later on this season.

  • Big D

    I’ve been trying to resist adding Castle to my viewing schedule, but you are pulling me back in.

    • mjryan

      Don’t resist, Big D. Every week, the show makes me smile. How many shows can boast that? Not many.

      • leo

        I agree, its a not so guilty pleasure. Their chemistry is fun and flirty and occasionally runs quite deep, hinting that there will be much more to come (but not too soon I hope!!) I’d love if their characters had to kiss for some reason (such as a cover for an investigation) but I don’t want a real kiss – yet!

    • talkin’

      resistence is not so much futile as…pointless.
      It’s a witty, fun show with great chemistry.

  • mjryan

    Alynda, I have to disagree on keeping Castle and Beckett apart. I think this is the perfect show and pairing to once and for all refute the Moonlighting curse on tv relationships. This is a great couple. I want to see them together and dealing with the obstacles that a relationship brings instead of seeing how many obstacles the writers can fabricate to keep them apart. I say hook them up! I hadn’t heard the rumors about a kiss. Glad to hear it, though. I’m hoping for next week. It looks like it could be pretty steamy.

    • Alynda Wheat

      MJ, name a procedural couple for whom it’s worked. Didn’t work for David and Maddie or Mulder and Scully. The writers on House and Bones both did “it’s all in your head” fake-outs. I’m telling you, man, people are afraid of it for a reason.

      • mjryan

        I seriously hate the Dave and Maddie comparison. Moonlighting was on its last legs anyway. They did it to get people to come back and it was so poorly done that no one cared anymore. You could honestly say the same about The X Files, too, that it was on the downhill slide. I don’t think they did the mulder/scully things to keep fans, necessarily, but the show didn’t tank in the final years because of Mulder and Scully having a baby. It was already a mythological mess and Duchovnay leaving was the death knell.

        You’re right: I can’t name a procedural couple that it’s worked for because they never do it. No one can name a show where they’ve legitimately developed a romantic relationship from the beginning, gotten the couple together early in the run and then explored the ramifications. Hollywood doesn’t do that. Ever. They tease it out for so long that by the time TPTB do put them together – usually as a ratings saving ploy – the show is long past its prime. The romantic subplot isn’t the dooming factor but, because it was teased for so long and ended up being a Hail Mary, it always gets an unfair amount of blame.

        I’ll give you a very successful on screen couple that I wish people would remember: Hart to Hart.

        My original point is that I think Castle has the right ingredients to make a romantic entanglement between the two leads successful. I hope they step out of the box and try it.

      • mjryan

        Alan Sepinwal had a great column last week about Hollywood’s misguided reliance on UST. It focuses on comedy, but is applicable to any tv show, IMO.

        http://www.nj.com/entertainment/tv/index.ssf/2009/10/the_office_why_jim_and_pams_we.html

      • JenR

        Hart to Hart?

      • JMB

        Hart to Hart was one where it def. worked. But I’m guessing that MOST of the people posting here won’t remember that show. However, the Harts were already married when the show started… perhaps the question is more applicable to partnerships that start off as unmarried, not dating. Thus we get UST, and thus we get poorly written coupledom because the writers can’t make the transition.

      • mjryan

        You’re right, JMB, most people don’t remember Hart to Hart. Shame, tho. They were a crime fighting, rich married couple, much like Nick and Nora Charles (another obscure reference that a lot of people won’t get.) Yes, Hart to Hart (and Nick and Nora, not of the playlist variety, btw) were married, but a couple in a relationship on tv can work, and well, if the writers would just give it a shot. (Look at the couple on Medium.) Of course, it might take a little more effort than writing the same on UST scenarios that *every show* uses. Huh, that probably explains why it never happens.

      • Alynda Wheat

        I remember Hart to Hart! Loved it (and man, I miss Max!). I think the difference, though, is that if I’m remembering that show correctly they were already married when the show started. I think that establishes a different chemistry. You’re not asking the audience to go through the stages of courtship (and all the awkwardness therein) while also trying to solve crimes. I’m not saying that hooking a couple up can never work on a true procedural (as opposed to NYPD Blue, Hill Street, Third Watch–more character-based shows), but it’s a really tricky balance, and one that writers don’t seem to have nailed yet.

  • DanOregon

    Castle is one of those shows that isn’t original, but it is obviously written with great care. Who doesn’t like The Sting?
    I realize some shows drop pop culture references to be cute and hip – but I think Castle’s reading of a case like a book or movie plot. Obviously viewers enjoy TV and movies, it’s nice to watch a show where the characters enjoy them as well.

  • Rachel K

    Loved Castle last night!! And I couldn’t be more stoked that Southland might be moving to TNT. Fingers are crossed! If only another network had recognized the value in Life and kept that around…Damian Lewis, I miss you.

    • Alynda Wheat

      Don’t make me cry about Life, Rachel. Dangit, too late!

  • DanOregon

    And what’s going on with The Mentalist? It’s just plain odd this year. They have Lisbon going to therapy after a shooting for a couple of episodes and it turns out the therapist drugged her and killed a guy to set her up for $1 million dollars? Huh? The guy already cleared Jane – so you’d figure he would know about Jane’s abilities, and he was on the police-approved list – so, he just decides to chuck his career for $1 million? Lame. Seems being last season’s number 1 new drama was more about time slot than quality. The Good Wife is the top rated drama this year in the same slot.

  • therealrach

    All this focus on House’s old team isn’t working for me. I need House/Cuddy/Wilson–stat!

    • sally

      I don’t care for Cuddy, for me the show has always been House, his team and Wilson. I hope they continue like that. And since Cameron obviously will come back (according to the latest TV guide edition), I have high hopes we’ll get that after having to sit through a couple of episodes with Huddy torture (sorry, I don’t like that at all).

      • therealrach

        To each her own, but I find Cameron boring. JMO, but there’s a reason she was regulated to the backburner in the first place. This season seems to be going nowhere fast.

      • Sarah

        Sally, did you really believe Shore this time? He said Jen was still under contract and that her exit is temporary but he didn’t say if she would be back as series regular, and that’s the key. She will come back as a guest star I guess in the season finale, and that’s all.

  • Julz

    How can you not love Castle? I’ve watched the episode twice already because it makes me crack up. I don’t care if it’s not the most original show, I just enjoy watching it. Nathan Fillion does the role perfectly and the writing is hilarious. “That was awesome!”, “Best case ever! Shut up.”

  • Nancy

    Finally a Castle re-cap. Yea!!!!

    And there really is a sex scene on page 105 of the book. When he said it I had to look, havent’ read it yet, but it really is there.

    • Alynda Wheat

      Ooooohhh. Thanks, Nancy!

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