Castle: Home Is Where The Heart Is

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Castle has been charging through its seventh season with a slew of memorable, eventful and remarkably compelling episodes, showing no signs of slowing down or slipping in its longevity as a series. But in a season that has presented a new mystery, a joyous Caskett wedding and a hilarious honeymoon (along with a handful of other stories and episodes that have fast become some of the most popular and well-received of the series), it would be easy for fans to overlook the importance of what’s woven in between. Such as Monday’s action movie-inspired installment. Of course, with the classic Castle mix of comedy and pop culture references, the banter between Castle and Beckett as their differences were brought to the surface, and a remarkably meaningful and heartfelt personal storyline, Monday’s episode was both wildly entertaining and also beautifully poignant.

Written by the wonderfully talented Christine Roum and directed by the brilliant Paul Holahan, Monday’s aptly titled “Last Action Hero” found Castle and Beckett investigating the mysterious murder of a well-known Hollywood B-movie actor, best known for his roles in the action-movie genre. While filming his latest movie, which was set to reunite the most infamous action stars from the ’80s (a hilarious parody of “The Expendables”), Lance DeLorca was found murdered, prompting Castle and Beckett to delve into a world that Castle grew up idolizing. What ensued was an hour of clever pop-culture references that both hilariously poked fun at the action-movie genre while also keenly paying homage to it and its importance in the entertainment industry, all with a plethora of memorable scenes, quote-worthy lines and classic banter between Castle and Beckett.

Cases like these that pit Castle and Beckett against each other and showcase their fundamental differences are always enjoyable to watch, presenting numerous opportunities for the couple to challenge themselves, trade hilarious quips and engage in the type of verbal swordplay that has always been one of the most compelling aspects of their relationship. Not to mention a key component to the chemistry between stars Stana Katic and Nathan Fillion. With Castle living out his boyhood fantasies and meeting his childhood idols, there were plenty of classic moments for Beckett to roll her eyes and toss out some clever quips along the way, yet there was also a slight change in the usual dynamic as Beckett seemed to feed Castle’s joyful indulgences more often than not, a slight yet visible change from her usual methods of trying to keep him focused on the case and not on living out his boyhood fantasies.

Guest stars Ted McGinley and Krista Allen added a great deal to the episode, as did the entire supporting cast of action-hero stars, each of whom played their roles perfectly and did a great job emulating the stereotypical ’80s action heroes while also portraying them as being much more than the brainless brutes they were typecast to be. It was an interesting take on the genre, showcasing that regardless of the role one plays, there may be much more under the surface, including sharp intelligence, masterful skills, brilliant acting talents or a deeply caring heart. Sometimes the image that Hollywood presents is nothing more than a mirage, something that was rather compellingly presented in Monday’s episode.

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Speaking of discovering more than what one sees on the surface, “Last Action Hero” delved into a deeply personal and remarkably heartfelt storyline throughout the hour, one that delivered a great deal of meaning and impact despite its limited screen time. While this is a hallmark of any great Castle episode, it came as something of a pleasant surprise given the tone presented by the case itself. But this unexpected storyline proved to be a gem, showcasing the rather momentous yet heartbreaking event that fans have long been waiting to see: Beckett giving up her apartment to commit to Castle’s loft as her permanent home.

While many have questioned why she held onto her old place for as long as she did, Monday’s episode shed some light on that and also presented it in a way that would be difficult not to understand and relate to. In fact, the vital scene at the halfway point in the hour between Beckett and Lanie was perhaps one of the most heartfelt and meaningful ways to present Beckett’s point of view, even though the words themselves came from her best friend instead. Tamala Jones and Stana Katic delivered a memorable and deeply poignant moment, as Beckett lamented over why letting go of her apartment was so difficult for her and Lanie provided her with the clarity she needed to grasp the gravity of this step in her life: “This is where you rebuilt your life, where you solved your mother’s murder, where you fell in love.” Home is where the heart is and the loft is where Beckett belongs, but saying goodbye to a place where so many memories were formed is never an easy thing to do. Monday’s episode brilliantly toed that fine line, allowing the audience to see Beckett’s struggle to say goodbye yet also her dedication to making the loft her home from now on.

In the end, Castle hilariously got to play out his own action-movie role as he joined Harmon’s band of stars to retrieve the evidence needed to solve the case. Despite his “semi-illegal behaviour,” as Beckett cleverly called it, the pair were able to use the evidence to lead them to their killer, Allen’s Naomi Duvray. And while Beckett lovingly offered to give Castle what he had long been hoping for, sharing a viewing of Lance’s “Hard Kill” to honour his memory, she had one final thing to do before heading home to the loft. In the closing minutes of the hour, Beckett returned to her apartment one last time. After carving her initials into a wooden panel, cementing her legacy in that home, Beckett said her goodbye, as did we all, to a place where her life changed and where so many memorable moments occurred along the way. With that, she closed the door on her past, taking with her those memories and saying goodbye to the walls that would forever hold them, and made her way back home.

What did you think of Monday’s Castle? Did you enjoy the action-hero storyline? What were your favourite moments or lines? Were you surprised that Beckett had a hard time saying goodbye to her former home or did you relate to how she felt? Did you enjoy the scene between Beckett and Lanie? Share your thoughts with us below!

Castle’s midseason finale airs Monday, Dec. 8 at 10 p.m. ET on ABC and CTV.


QUOTE OF THE NIGHT:

CASTLE:  “We’re starting to think alike now!”
BECKETT:  “That is horrifying…”

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