Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Castle Review 8x16 Review: “Heartbreaker” (Where We Left Off) [Contributor: Hope]

Original Airdate: April 4, 2015

It was Esposito’s turn to have a character-centric episode, and this one didn’t disappoint, even if it gave us a literal ton of backstory that felt like a bit much at times. He and Ryan’s dynamics shone, and Castle and Beckett had a lighthearted episode with zero angst and zero LokSat news. Nothing really happened to move the storylines forward, seeing as the Espo/Sonia storyline was nonexistent prior to this episode, and Lanie remained out of the picture, but who needs plot movement when you have jealous computers as your B-plot?


We learned this week that about ten years ago, Esposito was engaged to a Sonia, a woman he later had to arrest and who has been in jail ever since. She ended up being the only person who could help them find the suspect, so they got her out of jail for the day.

However, even though Espo claimed that he didn’t have any feelings for her (over and over again), he obviously was still very much affected by her walking back into his life, as if he had arrested her yesterday. Instead of taking her right back to the prison at the end of the day, he brought her by his family’s house for a home-cooked meal and a shower, the latter of which was a huge, gigantic mistake because she had been playing them all and escaped out a window. It turns out she had staged the murder in order to escape so she could steal her gold coins back from her ailing father. There is nothing right about that sentence. Then she and her partner in crime, a guy who went by the name Hammerhead, kidnapped Esposito.

Yet, when Hammerhead decided to kill him, Sonia wouldn’t let him because she said she still loved Espo. And when she realized she was caught and would go back to jail for even longer than planned, Espo told her she could do it since he had been “strong enough to walk up those steps and arrest the love of [his] life.” They then parted on amiable terms, with him promising to visit her this time around.

First of all: WHOA. Not only was he engaged before, but she was and presumably still is the love of his life? This is a huge side of his character that hasn’t been part of the picture for almost eight whole seasons. Maybe the other characters were just as in the dark about it as the audience, but this was a little intense (however, major credit to Jon Huertas in that scene for such a heartbreaking, tearful expression.) He never even told his family that she had gone to jail – instead, he said he had been in the wrong and they had simply broken up. He almost gave up being a cop to make a run for it with her, until he realized he didn’t deserve her if he gave up his dream.

Secondly: What does this mean for him and Lanie? I’ve always been rooting for those two, but I don’t think it was until this episode that I realized how much I had taken it as a given that they would eventually end up together. Now… I’m not so sure, because while this episode could have set something into motion, it showed no sign of planning to do so. We could trace his reservations about his relationship with Lanie to his failed engagement. It’s true that neither of them were ready to be engaged, or to even be together anymore, but I did think they loved each other. When she had a boyfriend for all of two minutes, Espo didn’t think twice before meddling where he didn’t belong, and as I said then, I don’t think it was just a prank. I think he cared, and I think he was a little jealous and protective. Now that Espo already has a “love of his life,” in the picture, I’m terribly confused. Are we supposed to think that he was secretly still hung up on Sonia and that’s why he and Lanie aren’t together?

There were some similarities between Lanie and Sonia, and that is the only hint I can find, seeing as Lanie was barely in the episode. They both are stubborn and strongly opinioned, but unlike Sonia, Lanie does have a good heart. It’s not hidden, it’s right there for anyone to see – and certainly Espo must have seen that. Maybe he will realize it in an upcoming episode, because the end of this one simply had him and Ryan walking off to spend the rest of the day together.

At the very least, Espo’s best friend was completely supportive and had his back every step of the way. The moment Ryan realized Espo had gone off on his own, he sprang into action and shouted at the entire room of detectives to start figuring out where his partner had gone. Whatever spat they had in the fall, that is gone and these two remain a constant.



This episode opened with our favorite adorable dorks having breakfast, complete with balloons and French-toast-and-sausage kabobs. The occasion? Kate had moved everything back into the apartment. Not that I think it’s possible that she had removed ALL of her belongings to begin with. I can’t really believe she would have lugged that gigantic statue (see above gif) off with her to wherever she was staying (… her secret crime-fighting lair?) when it’s about four feet tall and probably pretty cumbersome to transport.

During breakfast, Castle/the writers (you decide) made this observation:

“We can simply pick up exactly where we left off.”

Can they? They can. The breakup didn’t impact their relationship in the long run at all, to the point that things are completely normal. I’m just going to put this out there: if you write a storyline and by the end of it nothing has changed for your characters, then said storyline was extraneous and didn’t contribute anything to the story as a whole. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that every scene in a novel/script/short story HAS to be necessary and move the storyline forward. Those that don’t are the scenes you’re told to cut. They’re often nice little scenes, to be honest, but I believe it was Faulkner who said you have to “kill your darlings.” Was this storyline a darling? God, I hope not. Either way, it was an entire arc that spanned a good portion of the season and not just a scene.

Anyway. Not much happened with these two, and everything that did happen was sweet and funny. The case came up and Castle went to go find the guys while Beckett went off to a meeting. Castle rode with Ryan and hacked Sonia’s ankle bracelet microphone so they could spy on Espo. Castle and Beckett had a welcome home gathering with Martha and Alexis, which was really sweet. I would love to see more of these three women interacting.

Beckett and Lucy clashed, and when the only drama directly involving Beckett is between her and an artificial intelligence device, you know that either we needed this break, or something else big is waiting in the wings. Probably both. This plot was cute and hilarious and a nice little bit to keep going back to. Lucy would cue untimely music, turn out the lights, and tell Beckett to go get her own coffee. That is, until Beckett reprogrammed her into “Linus,” who I hope will give Castle some problems in an upcoming episode.

I’m glad Castle pressed pause on some things and let a supporting character take the spotlight for a bit, while giving Caskett the chance to settle back into a happy state. This episode didn’t lead to what I thought it would Lanie/Espo-wise, but at least it was unpredictable in that sense. Altogether it made for an entertaining hour with plenty of drama in all the right ways.

  • “You, me, and a crime scene: just as nature intended.” I feel like this should be a tagline for the show, especially Season 8, Part Two: The Better Half. 
  • A quick Google search reveals that French toast and sausage kabobs are a real thing. How have I gone this long without knowing such a thing existed? And where can I get one?
  • “Now do a solid and don’t mess things up with her again.” What was the story Lanie had been told about the breakup? 
  • “I’m telling you we need a dog!” Truer words were never spoken. 
  • “Kevin, I fixed you your own plate.” “Thanks Mami.” Ryan with the Esposito family was adorable. I wish we could just have an episode where there wasn’t a case and the characters could just have dinner and be adorable. 
  • Caesar from Gilmore Girls is Esposito’s brother, and that makes me very happy. 
  • *Horror movie music* Beckett: “Lucy, what the hell, turn it off.” Lucy: “Language, Kate.” Beckett: *puts Lucy in the fridge* Alexis: “… She certainly can’t be jealous.” *lights go out* Beckett: “You were saying?”
  • “I’m not going to pretend I haven’t done the same thing. But I’m captain now, so I have to suspend you for a week, no pay.” “Yes, ma’am.” “[pause] You did the right thing.”
  • “Hey Linus, let’s get this bromance started.” Or not. Fillion’s delivery of “Beckett…? BECKETT!” was a funny little note to end the episode on.


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