Castle, S4 Ep15 – Pandora


One theme of the week is Castle’s discomfort with Alexis’ new internship with Lanie. He hides this feeling from Alexis but reveals it to everyone else to varying degrees. Other than that Alexis already has several other internships, his main stated reason for this discomfort is that he wants to keep his work life and his home life separate. But his real objection lies in the worry that Alexis’ presence at crime scenes might somehow upset the balance between him and Beckett — even undermine their “unit cohesion”. (Beckett is not worried about this possibility at all.) Meanwhile, Alexis seems to be enjoying her work, calling it “equal parts gross and cool” — that is, until the body of the first victim goes missing from the morgue under her watch. Lanie does her best to convince Alexis this isn’t her fault, and mostly succeeds. We’ll have to see how the rest of the internship plays out.


"Hey! It's supposed to be *me* finishing his sentences!"

Another theme is Beckett’s jealousy and mistrust of Sophia Turner, the CIA agent played by Jennifer Beals (Lie to Me fans will recognize her as Lightman’s ex-wife). Sophia was a former fling of Castle’s and served as the inspiration for a character from his Derek Storm novels. Not only does Beckett not take the CIA at face value in what they say regarding the case, but she is also clearly very bothered by the shared history between Sophia and Castle. This comes out in several ways, one of which makes it to my list of favorite moments below. Other than that, there’s the scene where she busts Castle and herself out of the trunk of Tracie McGrath’s car. Even though Castle pushed the panic button the CIA installed on his phone so they could have simply waited for Castle’s “girlfriend”, as Beckett calls her, to show up and rescue them, Beckett refuses to allow this. There’s also their conversation at the Brooklyn Bridge Park; Castle promises to answer any question Beckett might have about Sophia, and after first denying she cares enough to do so, Beckett finally asks him, “So, how close were the two of you, anyway?” My guess? About as close as physically possible. Castle is saved from answering by the arrival of their suspect, however, so this must remain a mystery for us.

A few favorite moments:

Talking about their feelings

The subtext here rapidly became text, to borrow a line from Giles.

-Beckett’s conversation with Castle after they leave the underground CIA bunker for the first time. It’s obvious that although she phrases her unhappiness with the situation in terms of her dislike of having to report only to Sophia, there’s something else in the not-very-sub subtext. At one point, Castle insists that Sophia is on their side, and Beckett shoots back, “And that doesn’t concern you? You don’t think that will ‘undermine our unit cohesion’?” Interestingly, Castle doesn’t deny this, but he does say he’s willing to let it slide in the interests of national security. Of course, Beckett has to agree with this. Then she admits, “I might have been a little bit taken aback to find out that you had … researchedwith someone else.” Castle hastens to assure her that “it was never the way it is with you and me.” It was just a brief moment a long time ago, and besides, Nikki Heat is far more complexed and nuanced as a character. Beckett can’t help being a little bit pleased by this, and I can’t help being pleased by the obviousness of the possible double meanings.

Espo & Ryan are displeased

Don't worry, guys. Beckett still loves you.

-Esposito and Ryan trying the puppy dog eyes at Castle after Beckett reluctantly refuses to tell them about her top secret ‘special assignment’. When that fails, Esposito says to both of them, “I’m going to go on record and say that this sucks,” which Ryan emphatically echoes. That’s their best scene this week, and almost their only one, but in such a jam-packed episode, you can’t have everything.

Most yawn-inducing moment: when Sophia and her techie crew use their special CIA equipment to narrow down which of the cell phone calls made yesterday was the one placed by Tracie McGrath. It was supposed to be impressive, I’m betting, but guess what? If you’ve seen any spy movie or TV episode made in the last ten years, you’ve seen something very like this before. Boring.

Thankfully, the next episode looks like it will be anything but boring!

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