Castle: Til Death Do Us Part

Love is in the air in “Til Death Do Us Part” as Ryan gets ready for his wedding – but let’s face it: this is Castle, so death is in the air as well. The murder plot this week was certainly not one of their more complex or intriguing cases, but since this was an episode focused on a big event in the characters’ personal lives, that worked for me.

Let’s get a quick recap of the murder plot out of the way first. The police find the victim, Michael Bailey, when he falls from a window, but he was actually poisoned and moved after he was already dead. The team soon discovers that he was a pick-up artist, so it seems like there are scores of women who might have wanted him dead – but for the past month, he had been living under a different name and not seeing any of his conquests. It turns out that his boss had discovered his lifestyle and was using him for corporate espionage, and the murderer was one of the women he targeted as part of that manipulation. She claims that it was all about business and that she didn’t care about the romantic drama at all.

Everyone seems to expect Ryan to freak out in some way as his wedding approaches amidst this sort of case, but he stays admirably calm and confident, if a bit frustrated by the cleanse Jenny has decided the two of them should go on before the big day. But Castle, Beckett, and Esposito freak out when they learn that Jenny had been one of the pick-up artist victim’s conquests a few years ago, right after she and Ryan started dating. Castle thinks they should tell Ryan, which leads to this gem of a conversation:

Beckett: Castle, if we were getting married, would you want to know about all the guys that I’ve slept with?
Castle: All?
Beckett: Seriously. You sign women’s chests at book readings. You cannot be shocked that I’m not a virgin.
Castle: Just the word . . . all . . . suggests . . . a lot. How many are we talking, exactly?
Beckett: Are you really asking for my number?
Castle: You show me yours, I’ll show you mine.
Beckett: Men. You all want to know, but you don’t want to know. Listen: every woman has her secrets, including Jenny, and sometimes, for the sake of a relationship, it is better not to share.

Well. That should be an interesting conversation for them to revisit at some point. Esposito finally tells Ryan, but it turns out that Jenny had told him and he didn’t care, because it was before they were exclusive. Ah, healthy relationships! So refreshing!

It’s a good thing the case of the week wasn’t all that complex, because Esposito spends much of the episode trying to figure out who Lanie’s date for the wedding will be. Ryan finally gets the name from the reception place cards, and when Esposito looks the man up, he’s completely intimidated by his looks and credentials. So he shows up with his own hot plus-one – his cousin. Lanie’s date? A gay friend she invited because she didn’t want to be alone watching Esposito hit on Jenny’s sorority sisters. Oh, those crazy kids. Luckily, they figure all this out before the wedding starts, so we can only hope that they manage to get in a dance or two at the reception.

Lanie and Esposito aren’t the only ones with plus-one drama, though. When Ryan announces that Castle has also RSVPed with a plus-one, Beckett is not amused – until Castle quickly confesses that his date is Alexis. (Aww.) When Martha takes her shopping for a dress, though, they end up on a double date with the dress store owner and his grandson, and the grandson invites Alexis to a formal benefit concert featuring Lady Gaga – the same night as Ryan’s wedding. Poor Castle winds up dateless again.

As the wedding’s about to begin, it’s actually Beckett who suggests that she and Castle should be each others’ plus-ones. I briefly panicked about them messing up the seating arrangements at this late date, but then I realized Jenny would have surely seated them together anyway. And perhaps I am worrying about the wrong things. ANYWAY. Now, Beckett doesn’t mean this romantically, but it has to be a sign that she’s making progress toward accepting her feelings for Castle, because she knows about his feelings for her and she’s too decent a person to suggest going to the wedding together if she didn’t at least sort of mean it sincerely. I had hoped to get a shot of them dancing together at the reception, mostly just because I love dance scenes, but the exchange Castle and Beckett have at the end more than makes up for it:

Castle: I gotta say, I kind of envy [Ryan].
Beckett: Well, who knows, Castle? Maybe third time’s the charm.

Say it with me: Awwwwww.

Next week: We’re back to a case that might rip the partnership apart. No one really believes there’s any chance of that at this point, but if it makes Castle and Beckett confront some of the things that are still standing between them, I’m all for it.

(Photo courtesy of ABC.)

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