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Gold Stars: Castle “Knockdown” 

Photo Credit: ABC/Adam Taylor

I don’t know about knockdown, but I sure was knocked out by this week’s Castle. So much so, I feel the need to hand out gold stars for the episode. Before I do, I just want to say as much as I love when Castle is more light and comedic, the show really knows how to up the drama. There were some funny moments, but I really felt the seriousness of what was going on.
It’s been a while since we visited Beckett’s mom’s murder. We finally did and it wasn’t even a sweeps episode, but it felt like one, you know? First great thing Beckett did? Bring Castle with her to meet that retired police detective. It showed she trusted him completely. The vibe between the two has been on point lately. The Castle trifecta of “Nikki Heat,” “Poof, You’re Dead!” and now “Knockdown,” has really connected the partners in a way I haven’t felt before. I just feel they are traveling the same wavelength right now. It’s really a beautiful thing.

But I digress. I loved everyone in the episode. Captain Montgomery had to be tough with Beckett, but that’s his job. It was nice to see Ruben Santiago-Hudson. Susan Sullivan was a welcome presence as Martha conveyed her worry over her son. After all, he was sitting with the person who was killed. That’s too close of a call for any mother. And there were a lot of great guest stars. Unfortunately, I only have three gold stars to give. Although, I may have cheated a little bit. Sue me.

Photo Credit: ABC/Adam Taylor

1. Stana Katic. Wow. Wow. Wow. Beckett loves baseball, so here’s an analogy the character would enjoy: Stana hit a home run with her performance. Beckett can be a bulldog when it comes to investigating a case; when it’s her mom’s murder, she gets even more dogged about finding out the truth. We saw her crying in her apartment (by the way, have we seen her new apartment since her old was blow’d up but good? I can’t remember.); Beckett’s vulnerability really came through in that scene. I was glad Castle showed up at her door. She showed trust and faith in her partner, once again, when she let him see the wall where the contents of her mother’s file were displayed. She was scared for Ryan and Esposito. Beckett tried to get the truth, but she fell short from finding out who ordered her mom’s murder…again. And that kiss. Can we talk about the kiss? At first it started out as a ruse to take down the guard, but we were instantly able to see when that kiss became real. Stana did a fabulous job playing the different facets of Beckett and all the emotions she went through in one hour. That’s why Stana tops the list.

2. Nathan Fillion. Just when I don’t think I can love Castle more, Nathan finds a way to make it happen. Castle’s by his partner’s side as much as he can be the entire hour, Beckett’s faithful sidekick. Plus, he put aside the incessant joke-telling because he realized the significance of their latest case. He was integral in tracking down Ryan and Esposito; he came up with the “dumb idea” that let the partners get the best of the guard. Back to the kiss. Did you see the way Castle grabbed her and then intensely started kissing her? His “amazing” remark was definitely about the kiss. Two more scenes stood out: 1) When Castle jumped the bad guy and started wailing on him. Nathan had the chance to display a bit more of the badass Castle we’ve been getting this season; and 2) In the ambulance, Beckett helped Castle wrap the bandage around his injured hand. As much as I loved the kiss, the ambulance scene may have been my favorite; their chemistry was palpable. I love how Nathan can be all puppy dog-like and then mix things up by going practically pugilst on the guy trying to kill his partner in the same episode. He’s awesome that way.

Photo Credit: ABC/Adam Taylor

3. Seamus Dever and Jon Huertas: These two have recently had their own opportunities to shine because of the personal lives of their alter egos, Detectives Ryan and Esposito. It’s their on-the-job personas I was in love with during “Knockdown.” First, Kevin and Javier had Beckett’s back without question; they had no problem lying to their captain about having back-up at the meet-and-greet with the retired detective. When Montgomery refused to let Kate investigate any part of the case, they stepped up, but not without protest. And how great were they after they were captured? They knew torture awaited, but that didn’t stop them from being smart asses. I think I fell in love with those two even more by the end of the episode. Dever and Huertas have been killing it this season.

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