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6x17 was the first Castle episode whose summary I read on Wikipedia, and from the sounds of it I presumed it would be boring/conspiracy-heavy and easily knocked out before I continued with my marathon. NOPE. FALSE. MINDBLOWING. So let me knock out 16 real quick*, and then I need to luxuriate in thoughts of 17 for a couple of hours.
*not as quickly as expected

#16: Room 147

The cultish hypnotism self-help group angle was boring, aside from the Lana del Rey lookalike girlfriend and Kate smiling about how Castle's kinda cute when he's excited -- and was that a Dr. Horrible reference? "you know how I like the weird stuff." But OH MY STARS WHAT IS THAT, is it Alexis getting over her weird Beckett grudge like it never existed?? I think it is! Those beautiful scenes were exactly what I love about these two, and how much I love their dynamic. (is this part of why I don't want Kate to have any babies? Yes. I don't want any distraction from her being a confidante, as-needed life coach and all around non-wicked stepmother)

But even as a person who thinks she should love Kate, I also think that Kate would be the single biggest deterrant to moving back home -- it's one thing to approve of who your father's dating, and quite another to suddenly share your home turf 24/7 -- so I'm honestly surprised she isn't. I mean I'm glad, just...surprised. And it may or may not have been super satisfying to watch all the episodes of idiocy wash away in self-actualization.  I also really liked Kate's comment that what she's doing is just punishing herself, and it's not noble. I fall more on the side of "punishing yourself is totally noble in this case," but I appreciate that Kate is a better person than I, and exactly what Alexis needs. (Plus I am a sucker for "your dad loves you; he worries about you.")

Also AW @ that ending. Even as a person made of stone who wanted Alexis to suffer in poverty as penance for her foolishness, if she had come to me with those big eyes and asked to move back in, I would have said yes too. Luckily her father is made out of marshmallow, and that hug was still the most precious thing I have seen since before she left for college. Especially Castle's "I HAZ A HAPPEE" smile with eye squeezed shut.

P.S. Forgot the pre-ending. I liked her teasing about how it took him three tries to find the right person. And she didn't even have to drug him to get it right...probably. "How do you know what I do to you when you're sleeping?" / "Whoa."

...that is a lot of words and I haven't even gotten o the good one.
-
17, In The Belly of the Beast

Wikipedia said "With no support, no intelligence and no assistance from Castle, she must unravel a conspiracy that leads back to Senator William Bracken and his bid to become President," so I fully expected a redux of "Recoil." Instead I got ALL OF THIS:

Calm Before the Storm
Super adorable morning scene, with Kate gleeful about lounging around in her pajamas until 2pm. "All we have to do is loaf around. There's no work! No goals, other than to waste hours on end..." / "Okay, stop describing my life." Plus, Castle's Evil German accent to narrate the "too severe" font was hysterical. As was their glee in dashing off to the bedroom...almost making it before the phone.

Plotty Highlights

  • Gates backing Beckett up when encouraging her to turn down the undercover op if she likes

  • Her call to let Castle know she'll be gone for a couple hours, ended with a "love you."

  • Beckett randomly being abducted out of sight at gunpoint.

  • Beckett speaking Russian

  • Basically every cool-headed, quick-witted thing she did to keep herself alive, including faking a murder

  • Castle's growing worry back in the precinct. He worries about Kate in a very different way from how he worried about Alexis, which as a viewer I appreciate like double scoop ice cream -- all quiet and dark and internal, for the most part. Less that one glorious increasingly-shouty scene at the incompetent narcotics detective, which was beautifully justified, but still nice to see Esposito have to tell him to back off.

"I hate this. She's out there somewhere, has no idea how much danger she's in, and I can't help her."

  • The most beautiful worst-case-scenario goodbye letter I have ever seen, read in the most evocative voiceover I've ever heard:

Dear Rick,
I don't know how much time I have even to write this letter.
What I do know now is that I'm in this, and the only way I'm going to make it out alive is to see this through. I'm sure everyone is looking for me and if they figure out I was here, CSU's going to search this house. They're going to look for blood, and they will find it, which will lead them to this letter.

Babe, it's your letter. And I hope you never have to read this, that I can tell you all of these things in person, but if something happens and I don't make it, I need to you know that our partnership -- our relationship -- is the greatest thing that has ever happened to me. You're an amazing man, and I love you with all of my heart.
Always


  • The general creepiness of the basement money-laundering operation

  • I do not remember Vulcan Smith but I loved that last scene anyway.

  • So. Much. Torture. Fortunately she has the tenacity of a hellcat, but I have to say, my brain absolutely split off into one of those AUs without Contract Immortality because despite what they said about Bracken orchestrating the whole thing in the first place, I still think the odds were very good on her being drowned right there in that office.

Denoument

  • Dark humor: "See what happens when I leave you alone?"

  • "Babe, I wasn't alone. When they were interrogating me, the only thing that kept me going was thinking about you. About our future, the wedding. You were with me the whole time." May I just say that I approve of this "babe." That's two top-tier OTPs who use it now...does that mean I should follow suit?? (No. Because I absolutely cannot pull it off. And yet Beckett can in a way that feels 100% natural. How does that work?)

  • Very sweet kiss in the precinct

  • + That kiss on the top of her head before suggesting they go to bed. Favorite thing.


The only flaw in this whole episode is that they robbed me of a reunion scene. An epic reunion scene, one that would inevitably involve tears. I nearly choked with excitement the higher the stakes got -- by the time we'd esaclated to drowning torture, I was bouncing off walls -- AND THEN NOTHING. You cut from Beckett in the woods to Beckett safe and sound back at the precinct. There were so many ways to go with reunions and you went with NONE OF THEM?


-------------
In more throwaway news, I waited 84 years for the promised November episode of CSI with Greg/Morgan [Rubbery Homicide]and I got a scene where, with her approval, he updates his Facebook status to "taking a friend out for a beer," then credits. Wow, such shipping. Very romance. Tumblr these scraps are terrible stop hyping them. (also, you're both young and attractive and single and straight, so to quote a sitcomI think is The Simpsons, what the hell is the freaking holdup. Now is not the occasion to bust out the "men and women can be friends" card, show!)

On the bright side, I worried that watching a whole episode would make me miss this show more, and it didn't. I mainly felt nostalgia for when Grissom was still around. I've always thought CSI rolled with the casting changes pretty well (Riley notwithstanding), but taking a good hard look at it last night really emphasized the "New ER" feeling of it all. Same location, strange people -- even with three originals. A different show, an offshoot.

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