Castle gave us a really suspenseful episode with a bit of a cliffhanger. It was enjoyable on all levels. In previous Castle two-parters we’ve gotten great guest star turns from Dana Delany and Adrian Pasdar. Now it’s Jennifer Beals‘ turn. The case is pretty intriguing — and a little bit scary. Even Alexis gets her to turn to venture out of the house and into Castle’s world, much like Martha did earlier this season in “Cops and Robbers.” Some truths about “Pandora”:1. Alexis interning at the Medical Examiner’s office is a good thing. While a bit of a stretch, I don’t mind. It gets Alexis more involved in the show. And it also means more time for Lanie. Hopefully. I wonder how long this story will last? Is it just going to be for the two-parter? Or will it extend past that?
2. Thomas Gage is badass. He’s stealth-y and shady and unpredictable. The rogue CIA agent escaped from the police precinct. And he was able to get the best of Beckett and Castle. He easily took Kate’s gun away from her. Too easily. So scary. I love when there’s a good villain that keeps you guessing and provides a major challenge for our heroes. Gage does just that. That is, if he is the villain. It doesn’t seem like he’s the big bad. More like a foot soldier. But you just never know. David Chisum played Gage — I know him best from his time on the late daytime soap, One Life to Live. He played Mitch Laurence’s brother, Miles. I think Chisum may have been on the show when Fillion briefly returned as Joey Buchanan for Asa’s funeral.
3. Jennifer Beals and Nathan Fillion have chemistry together. Don’t get me wrong. I’m all about Beckett and Castle. But, the chemistry between Sophia Conrad and Rick Castle is undeniable. You can tell they share a past. And it may have been the kind of relationship that Beckett and Castle have yet to share. Although they need to share. Sooner rather than later, if you ask me. Anyway, I think Beals’ character was utilized perfectly in “Pandora.” Not too much, not too little. She looked at Rick like she knew him well, didn’t she? Usually Martha, Alexis and Kate look at him like that. So it was different seeing someone completely different act so comfortable with him.
4. I don’t mind a jealous Kate. First of all, I don’t blame her for being a little thrown at this turn of events. This is a huge thing to get used to — Kate wasn’t Rick’s first muse. Sophia Conrad was. Sophia was, in fact, the inspiration for his CIA Agent, Clara Strike. Castle clumsily tried to deflect the situation so he wouldn’t have to answer how long he and Sophia had worked together, but it didn’t work. It turned out to be a year. I liked the conversations between Beckett and Castle in this episode. Kate would pretend she didn’t care about what went on between Sophia and the novelist, but she did care. When Kate and Rick are trapped in the trunk, Beckett takes it upon herself to get them out of their predicament. She says “I am not going to be rescued by your girlfriend.” Ouch. Beckett probably doesn’t feel as special as she did before. However, if being jealous will get her to eventually admit to Rick she heard his declaration of love after she was shot, then bring on more jealous Beckett. More satisfying was when Castle came to Beckett with an idea about the chess pieces after their fight. She was skeptical about why he was coming to her with this intel and he summed it up in a succinctly awesome way: “She isn’t my partner. You are.” Castle rules.
4. The secrecy of the CIA was a fun element to the episode. Kate and Rick had to wear hoods every time they were brought to the CIA lair. Rick was jonesing over being in on the special assignment and being in the CIA office or basement or wherever they were — it made him feel like Jason Bourne meets James Bond. And how great was that scene when Conrad narrowed down the cell phone call using the CIA technology? I geeked out over that as well.
5. I enjoyed the Captain being out of the loop as much as Castle did. She’s been giving Rick such a hard time this year that when Sophia told Beckett and Castle they were part of a “special assignment” that they could not talk about, I was happy Iron Gates wasn’t in the know. Her boss, the Chief of Detectives knew all about the assignment, but she didn’t. And she wasn’t happy about it either. And I think Beckett got a little enjoyment out of it too. To me, It seems like she might have been amused at how much happiness Castle got out of telling Gates this was a need-to-know kind of thing. I sort of like the captain but she needs to learn to be more accepting of Castle. Just saying. I didn’t think it would happen right away, thankfully, but we’re well into Season 4. We’re growing close to the finish line, actually.
6. Sometimes watching the previews for the next episode sucks. After that killer cliffhanger with Castle and Beckett (and their car) being rammed off the pier and into the water, I watched the previews and everything was fine. Of course, I knew that they would be fine. These are the two leads, after all. But I think I wanted to remain in a delusional yet suspenseful haze for the next week. I guess I should have known better than to watch the sneak peek. The suspense was killed. I’ll know better next time there’s a two-parter. They do it every year on this show.
Castle airs Mondays at 10/9c on ABC.
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