Devika Syal ’18 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Monday night’s episode of Castle had one redeeming point: a character that may never be seen again. Caught in an elevator with a supposed murderer, Mia Laszlo (Stephnie Weir) became key witness number one. While trying to help Richard Castle (Nathan Fillion) with the case, Mia opens up and receives help with her personal life. See, Mia has hyperosmia, meaning she has an extreme sensitivity to smell. Because of this, she cannot stand to be around other people because it overwhelms her. In the episode, Castle gets her to get out more to experience the world, and he forms an unlikely friendship with her.
It’s obvious that this episode was meant to be more about the characters than the murder, which is a shame because it was a fascinating topic. The episode deals with a murder centered on a Van Gogh painting with a dark history. The writers could have constructed an entire story around the painting; however, they chose to go with the path of how the characters worked together to solve the case, especially Castle and Mia. It was a good choice. As the episode showed, Castle and Mia were the only pair who were able to work together and forge a good relationship throughout the duration of the episode.
The episode continued the Caskett struggle introduced in the season premiere. Throughout this episode particularly, there were many strong hints given that indicated that Kate Beckett (Stana Katic) obviously still loves Castle so much, whether it be her subtly calling him “babe” at one point, Mia reassuring Castle that Beckett’s pheromones were in full throttle when he walked in, or the very sad scene at the end of the episode when she’s alone in their apartment to get the rest of her stuff and picks up Castle’s coat to smell.
The problem the writers need to fix regarding Beckett’s solo storyline is that they are making her a very difficult character to relate to. Viewers cannot sympathize with her because they haven’t been given enough background as to why her leaving Castle was so necessary. Most of the people watching Castle are dedicated viewers who have been watching from the beginning and have grown to love the characters, especially Beckett. The problem with the way her character is written now is that she isn’t likable, yet the audience can still forgive her because they have loved her for eight seasons. However, if somebody were to start watching the show from the beginning of season eight, her character would be detested.
This is also so frustrating because Beckett flips and flops throughout every episode so far. It’s a constant cycle. She sees Castle, refuses to let him help with the case, ends up working with him, has a sentimental moment where things seem to be back to normal, then runs away again leaving her husband helpless and heartbroken thinking that his wife doesn’t love him. This isn’t the Beckett fans know and if given more access into her mind and the pain she is experiencing rather than only seeing Castle’s side, fans might care more instead of being bored with the story. Castle always likes to have multiple major storylines running during a season to keep viewers interested and leave a few cliffhangers. This cannot be one of them if it continues to demolish an already very well-established character who has been built up perfectly over the past seven seasons.
Another character conflict that’s been introduced and is completely unnecessary is that between Kevin Ryan (Seamus Dever) and Javier “Espo” Esposito (Jon Huertas). It started last week when Ryan and Espo were going to sign up to take the Sergeant’s exam together, only for Ryan to take the last spot. Beckett, as captain of the precinct, managed to get them both a slot, and this week it was revealed that Espo got the promotion and Ryan didn’t. Later on, Ryan accidentally shoots Espo in the butt, earning him the nickname “Assposito,” and the friendship is bumpy from then on out.
Lastly, one thing viewers learned from this episode is that if they want Martha Rodgers (Susan Sullivan), they can’t have Alexis Castle (Molly Quinn) too. Alexis was only in the episode for a good minute after being featured heavily in the past few episodes. Martha was in there for a good chunk of time and reminded everyone why she is so lovable and why she was missed so much. What happened to the good old days when the entire Castle family was together and talked to each other and spent time with each other? Please, stop trying to introduce new characters until it is figured out what to do with the main ones.
Castle is taking a two week hiatus and will return on November 3.
It airs Monday nights at 10/9c on ABC.
Episode Grade: B