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Castle “After Hours” 

Photo Credit: Richard Cartwright/ABC

Wow, what an unexpectedly great episode of Castle. The show continues to solidify why it was wise to put the detective and the writer together.

What I liked

  • Castle and Beckett were able to be open with Espo and let him know they had just had dinner with their parents — and it didn’t go well . It was so refreshing. I hate when secrets linger too long. I’m cool with Gates not finding out for a long time. But, the ones Kate and Rick are close to — they needed to know.
  • The inherent drama over having the parents interact over dinner and baseball talk made for some awkward and uncomfortable moments. Castle and Beckett were so happy to have a murder to solve.
  • Watching the two not let their parents’ differences affect their relationship was interesting as well. They struggled. But they figured it out. They were forced to look at what they have and appreciate the fact they are totally different people and that’s okay.
  • It was good to see Gates showing concern over Beckett and Castle’s disappearance and not wanting to tell their parents they don’t know where their kids are. I’m liking Penny Johnson Jerald on this show more and more.
  • I think Castle actually thinks he is MacGyver. And maybe he is. The guy’s highly resourceful. And his wacky hijinks are successful at times. Not all the time. But some of the time.
  • I like how the two (Beckett and Castle) worry about each other — after Leo shot up the SUV Castle was supposed to be in, we got a great scene. When everything was settled and the man who killed the priest was arrested, Kate ran to Rick and put her arms around him and said: “I thought I lost you.” I live for moments like that. It was cute how he gave her her gun and badge back too.
  • Even though it was predictable, it was so cool how Martha and Jim bonded over worrying about their kids. I think I actually felt some chemistry between Susan Sullivan and Scott Paulin — they were cute there at the end of the episode.
  • The case was pretty heartbreaking as the mobster and the priest were the best of friends and the rival family put an end to that friendship. Leo being the killer and not the witness was a great twist I didn’t see coming. I just didn’t see him as a badass. And he kind of was one. I probably should have seen this twist coming but I was hardcore paying attention to the awesomeness that is Beckett and Castle. Sue me.

What I’m conflicted about

  • Now that we’ve seen more of Martha in “After Hours,” I’m putting it out there in the universe that Lanie needs an episode. It’s frustrating only seeing her for a scene here or there or not seeing her in an episode at all. It’s season 5 and we still don’t know much about her. This is getting to be like Astrid on Fringe, except Lanie actually got a love interest for a tiny bit. Speaking of which, some movement needs to be made on the Lanie and Espo front. Their romance has to pick up again, right?
  • I was a little wary of the whole strict Catholic school nun bit. TNT’s Rizzoli & Isles recently had a story where a sister started working at the precinct. I think it was supposed to be more for comedic purposes than anything but it didn’t work for me. So when I saw Ryan get afraid of having to question the nun and compare going to Catholic school to going into combat, I was worried. It turned out, Sister Mary (couldn’t they have come up with a more original name?) was strict but she wasn’t too over the top. Let me tell you, I attended Catholic School from kindergarten to when I graduated college. And, yes, there was the occasional strict nun but there were also totally warm and nice sisters. And even the strict ones had your best interest at heart. So maybe this is my issue but I had to put it out there.

Guest Star Goodness

Photo Credit: Richard Cartwright/ABC
  • Loved seeing Tony Denison as the mobster, Michael “Mickey” Dolan. Denison is a TV vet whose longtime character, Lt. Andy Flynn, most recently made the transition to TNT’s Major Crimes after The Closer aired its series finale earlier this year. Over the last few decades, Denison played crime boss Ray Luca on the 80s drama, Crime Story; he was Joey Buttafuoco in The Amy Fisher Story; and he’s guest-starred on JAG, Prison Break (he was Michael and Lincoln’s dad), NYPD Blue and Cold Case.
Photo Credit: Richard Cartwright/ABC
  • Patrick Fischler was Leo. This guy is always guest starring on one show after another, having done stints on everything from Nash Bridges to NCIS to Franklin and Bash as well as Grimm. Consider him one of those in demand TV character actors. He was in a very recent episode of ABC’s Scandal — he was a whistleblower that ended up being more shady than anyone realized. Fischler was Phil, a member of the Dharma Initiative, on several episodes of Lost. He played Jimmy Barrett on four episodes of Mad Men. Loved his Southland character’s name — he was Detective Kenny “No Gun.”
  • When I first spotted Bonita Friedericy as Sister Mary, she looked familiar but I couldn’t quite remember from what show. And now I’m kicking myself for not recognizing her. She was General Diane Beckman on NBC’s Chuck! I loved her on that show. Always thought she should have been used more. She was such a badass as the National Security Agency Director. The actress has been on The Nine, The Starter Wife and Veronica Mars and so many other things but her project I care about the most is Chuck, a show that had its final episode last January. RIP, Chuck.

Castle airs Mondays at 10/9c on ABC. No new Castle next week. However, on Monday, December 3, it’s a Christmas episode!

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