Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Castle 8x05 "The Nose" (Change in the Air) [Contributor: Hope]

"The Nose"
Original Airdate: October 19, 2015 

I have very mixed feelings about this episode. I liked it, and yet something wasn’t quite right about it, either. I feel like we’re headed in the right direction –– or maybe continuing to head in the right direction, depending on how you feel about the show at the moment –– but we’re just not there yet. I realized that I’ve been worried it would go off the rails. That something would come off as wrong and this balance between the relationship drama and the individual characters would falter. Because if there’s one thing that bugs me about a show, it’s character inconsistency. So far we’re five episodes into this season of Castle and there’s been slight progress that has been made... and possibly a light at the end of the tunnel?

I appreciate that they brought Hayley back in "The Nose," because she adds a sense of humor that the show has been lacking. She wasn’t shoehorned into the episode –– she just popped up, and I could see this happening again in the same way. It might be nice if the show gradually made her a series regular in this way.

Hayley also brought up a really good point without actually bringing up anything at all: When they hit a wall with an oddball question only Castle could possibly know the answer to, Hayley picked up the phone to call him. It’s this wonderful moment where you can see it register on Beckett’s face that she simply can’t do that anymore. And that maybe, by avoiding Castle, she’s at a disadvantage and is essentially sabotaging her own cases. And with Beckett being Beckett, that’s just not something her conscience will let her do. I was really hoping this little scene would amount to something by the end of the episode, but it just wasn’t meant to be. But it’s a start.


There were also some lovely moments between these two, which give me hope that maybe this storyline about their separation won’t stretch on for as long as it might have... or at the very least, won’t drive us all crazy by lasting for the whole season. Three moments in particular stood out to me:

First, the hug. It didn’t last long, but there wasn’t any awkwardness and IT HAPPENED. Beckett was happy Castle was okay, and let’s face it, he was just happy she was there at all, even if she was supposed to come by to pack up the rest of her things...

Wait. Now, this bugs me. Because next to characterization issues, lack of attention to details are my top pet peeve. She doesn’t have her (awesome) apartment anymore, so everything she did have there was now at Casa Castle, because THAT’S HER HOME. She could not simply pack up a few boxes of clothing and consider herself gone. On top of that, the apartment didn’t look sparse –– as if she had previously carted out her things. So "getting the rest of her things" really wasn’t realistic and that bothers me. I know, I’m picky. I’m just saying.

However, that did lead us to moment number two, which I like to call "Sad Apartment Reflections," which, obviously, was sad. But also really encouraging, especially with Mia’s voiceover. Something has to give, and from the looks of it, it’s only a matter of time. There are only so many reflective montages a show can have until the writers bring a couple back together. As for moment number three: the parking garage evidence. Only Castle and Beckett could make finding a strand of hair stuck to a grimy parking garage wall a top three moment. They were just so excited to have found it that they looked up at each other and beamed like nothing had happened between them.

On the other hand, there was one scene that I didn’t like: the one where Beckett announces she’s going to come over to the penthouse and grab the rest of her belongings (...) Castle goes from so thrilled to be in the same room with her to being crushed in the span of a minute, and it was a hard scene to watch, because they’re both so pained. Look, Castle does drama, and it does drama well –– some of my favorite episodes have been the action-packed two-parters. But at its heart, this show is a dramedy, and with the original will-they-won’t-they long gone, what the show needs from these two is their brilliant comedy.


I shouldn’t have spoken so soon in my last review –– the Ryan/Espo drama was not over. It just morphed into a new fight. Ryan was hurt that he didn’t pass the sergeant exam and Espo didn’t rub it in –– actually, Castle was the one who popped in with bottles of wine. Espo even asked Ryan if he was okay, and Ryan said yes, but Esposito knew. Ryan simply became very touchy about failing the test. So touchy, in fact, that he accidentally shot Esposito, who then walked around with a cane for the duration of the episode. It concluded in Ryan begging Esposito to shoot him back, in the middle of the precinct, shouting "Get your revenge!" until Beckett had to put a stop to the madness. They had, just moments before, made up –– Ryan simply asked: "Could you find it in your heart to forgive me?" and Esposito quickly said yes. If this is how it’s going to be from now on –– these two cycling back and forth between peaceful and hostile... I don’t know how I feel about adding more angst.

Anyway, it did give Beckett the opportunity to tell them, "If the two of you can’t figure this out on your own, then you’re doing it in therapy." MAYBE that’s foreshadowing, planting an inkling in her mind? Fingers crossed.

Anyway, I thought this was a solid episode that seemed to advance the break-up storyline a bit, and as we head towards the winter hiatus, hopefully this makes for a good sign. All around, the acting was great and the episode itself was very, very good. Not my favorite episode of all time, but a solid and enjoyable one.

  • Lucy –– aka the Siri-like device from the third episode this season –– totally ratted out Rick (I see what you did there, writers) to Martha and Alexis. Continuity, for the win!
  • "Oh, you should change your name to Captain Obvious." This Mia was hilarious. Props to the actress for playing such a crazy role so well.
  • "Are you always this unpleasant?" "YEP."
  • I need to mention how wonderful it is that Castle, even after episodes of being shot down, is continually so happy to see Beckett and to have the chance to help her out and impress her. He's not holding a grudge yet, and it's so refreshing. I know that at some point he'll finally get aggravated, but I'd love to see the show try to pull off never having him be truly bitter about the breakup.
  • "Fine, but you have to be decontaminated." Castle’s reaction to the hurricane-simulator-level machine was hilarious.
  • "I was uptown walking my cat." Sure you were, buddy. Keep telling yourself that.
  • "If word gets out that I authorized a smell line-up...?"
  • I want Beckett and Hayley to be friends. They hinted at it a little in this episode, but this needs to happen.
  • Somehow Castle and the witness popped their suspect right into the trunk of that car in such a graceful manner, and it was really cool.
  • "I love it when there’s a twist!" META!
  • I appreciate how they had Castle help bring Mia back into the world and start living again. She was a psychologically complex character, and I’m a little sad she was just a one-off.
  • Speaking of one-offs –– Carl the Chemist was nowhere to be seen. I’m just saying.
  • I am creating a system of measurement for The Annoyingness of The Caskett Breakup. It’s going to measure on a scale of one to ten, with ten being off the charts JUST STOP and one being... okay, wait. Why should I even define what one is when I know I won’t use it? Let’s just say that 5 makes for a pretty good episode.
  • ... This week’s score? 6.


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