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CASTLE’S Spring Premiere Hits All the Right Notes

By on February 9, 2016
Castle

(ABC/Richard Cartwright) STANA KATIC, NATHAN FILLION

By Geannie Bastian

First let us all just take a moment to appreciate that Castle is back from its longest winter break ever.

And the fact that next week, fans get two episodes: the usual Castle Monday follows a special Castle Sunday for Valentine’s Day.

This week’s episode “Tone Death” managed to take a common theme  – someone, attempting to right a wrong from their past gets them killed, with shades of Beckett – and put a musical spin on it. A young woman who is connected to a show Martha is doing is murdered. It turns out that she’s an ex convict who wasn’t as guilty as she appeared. And when she figured it out, she ended up the murder of the week. But, the details of this weeks case were pretty fun. First,  it really did seem like a number of decent suspects were guilty this week before we got to the actual killer, and that’s been kind of missing in the show in recent years. Secondly, there were the musical elements. There were stylings from Susan Sullivan, and some crafty work from Jon Huertas and Corbin Bleu, along with several spot on Pitch Perfect references involved in the victims secret a cappella choir for reformed convicts the AcaCons. Plus a not to be missed musical title card. I’ll admit I’m a sucker for when they change the title cards up. I’m a nerd. But this one is better heard than seen.

Caskett Goes for Under Cover (Married) Lovers

So as they hinted last we saw them, Castle and Beckett have decided to turn their break up into a fake up. Good news for Caskett fans. Really good news. From the show’s opening loft sequence, it appears these two have been sneaking around for a while, and are enjoying the high it’s giving to their “private time” – several times over. Don’t worry kids, we won’t judge. We’ll just sit back and enjoy.

Something else that seemed enjoyable in this episode? The vintage snap that their public fights have put on display in an new way. Most Castle fans will tell you one of the delightful things about the early seasons was how Beckett’s annoyed air around Castle hid her secret attraction. Season eight has turned that into something literal. Castle and Beckett are having a perfectly cute phone call, when Beckett informs him she loves him, but has to yell at him now. Her transition from dopey smile to season one style “oh geez not you again, Castle” reaction was hilarious. So was the quote passed on by the boys “maybe we’ll get lucky and he’ll get shot,” if only for the nostalgia of the days when Beckett used to threaten to shoot Castle on a fairly regular basis.

But the kicker of their undercover lover’s game? When Ryan and Esposito assumed that Beckett’s staged anger was her reaction to Castle having an affair. Backed into a corner, Castle admits that he is – with a Russian model named Svetlana. Best moment of the plot line for this viewer? When the boys tell Beckett they know about Svetlana, her reaction isn’t “who’s that?” it’s “He told you about that?” But she doesn’t see the affair angle coming. Suggesting Svetlana the Russian lover is a role she’s played before.

A second little nice touch? Not content to let Castle swing out there alone on the seeing someone else bandwagon, Kate announces she’s seeing someone else too – a Dr. Livingstone, whose name she comes up with awfully quickly. The fun hat tip from the writer’s here? The real life Dr. David Livingstone famously disappeared overseas without a trace, only to be found by explorer Henry Morton Stanley who delivered the famous line “Dr. Livingstone I presume?” Beckett’s last line on the night. Given that the show will soon be returning to Castle’s disappearance, I have to give them credit for giving his alter ego the name of one of the most famous missing persons in history. I cackled, no lie. And since Castle was ready with a stethoscope to play doctor when his “Russian model” arrived, I think it’s safe to say Beckett passed on that little tidbit of information for more private time fun on their hookup. Again, we won’t judge. We love.

Let’s Hear It for The Boys (and Martha)

OK, admittedly for detectives the boys are pretty dense in this episode. But then again it’s not the first time. Lest we all think it’s completely unbelievable that the boys would actually believe Castle and Beckett have resorted to seeing someone else, remember that it took them an alarming amount of time to realize their favorite couple was together in the first place. If it seems unlikely that they would realize that both Rick and Kate leaving simultaneously for “hot dates” is suspicious, remember the time they both announced they were going away for the weekend, and the guys spent an entire episode trying to figure out who Beckett was dating. And that’s after several near misses earlier in the season.

For some reason, when it comes to their best friends’ love lives, sometimes it feels like Ryan and Esposito got their detective badges in a cereal box. But hey, at least they’re consistent. Poor Ryan is pretty heartbroken that Mom and Dad are fighting, but honestly they’re kind of bringing this on themselves, and it’s cute.

But I can’t step away from this episode without mentioning Martha who totally gets the MVP award for this episode. We haven’t seen Martha devoted to finding the bad guys in a case before, and it was sweet and touching the way she stepped up and decided to help the signing group the victim was at the heart of in their competition. And, honestly, her slapping the killer as he tried to blame an innocent girl for her own murder was badass. I’m not a fan of solving your problems of violence, but the guy had it coming, and the timing was perfect.

Overall the episode was quirky, cute, and a little silly with a touch of heartwarming. And most of all fun. Welcome back, Castle.

And Castle fans, I will see you after 8×10 airs SUNDAY.

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