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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A Very Castle Christmas: Secret Santa (S5Ep9)

So, that's it until January folks. The final pre-winter hiatus episode of 'Castle' has aired.

It's doing very well on Hulu this morning, but actually fared very poorly on TV last night. The show hit an all time low (1.7 in the 18-49 category). Yet another example of how Nielsen ratings aren't the be all end all anymore. There's some interesting commentary about last night's 'Castle' and it's ratings HERE. I think the takeaway message is that we can maybe kinda sorta blame that Blake Sheldon Christmas special for the low numbers.

"Secret Santa" (S5Ep9) was a tad reminiscent of a 2007 episode of 'Bones' ("The Santa in the Slush"). However, this was mainly because both episodes were Christmas-themed, they both included a not so jolly Santa, and they both had their main characters stand under mistletoe. However, that's where the similarities stopped.

While 'Bones'' 2007 episode (S3Ep9) allowed us to gain a deeper understanding of our characters, and even provided us with one of the first kisses between Booth and Brennan, 'Castle' instead went for holiday nostalgia.

Sure, we learned a little bit more about Beckett's background, but weren't we honestly all expecting that reaction? Of course her mother's death would hit her harder around the holidays, and of course she would throw herself into work, and of course Castle would be totally and completely obsessed with the holiday season. Anyone who's been watching the show for more than a hot second could tell you that all of these things were going to happen.

Although I doubted the writers were going to do it in a Christmas themed episode, there was a brief moment where both Beckett and Castle regressed and it seemed like a break-up was imminent.

Beckett lied and told Castle that she couldn't see him during Christmas Eve anymore because she needed to work. She even played the Gates card to cover up her lie, making Castle feel guilty for complaining when she told him she couldn't exactly ask for the holiday off when Gates thought she was single, now could she? 

Castle had already discovered that his mother and daughter had changed their holiday traditions. They were both postponing present opening so that they could spend time with their friends (or, in Alexis' case, a brand new boyfriend. Who better not be as annoying as Ashley). Since he'd already admitted how upset he was about this to Beckett it seemed a little cruel of her to lie.

Oh wait, she was shot in the chest and he told her he loved her and she lied and said she didn't remember. For about a year. Nevermind.

Speaking of the shooting/declaration of love...remember how Castle realized that Beckett had lied to him and then didn't tell her that he knew she was lying and continued to hang out with her acting all weird (and angst-y in private?). Yeah. Well...

Gates tells Castle that Beckett asked for the Christmas Eve shift. And so he knows that Beckett lied to him and then he doesn't tell her and he starts to act all weird.

i.e. She tries to sit next to him and he gets up and moves, she asks if he's okay and he ignores the question (oh where oh where have we experienced this before?).

But after basking in misery Castle apparently decides that regression isn't the theme of this season and confronts Beckett.

And, as we all knew she would, she reveals that it has something to do with her mother's murder. Because doesn't it always. (I'm not trying to be facetious here, though I know with me it's hard to tell...I really do think that almost everything that's high-stress in this show has to do with Beckett's mother's murder).

Because this episode had a case that wasn't terribly hard to figure out, I assume that it's main purpose was to repeat the angst-ridden parts of season four with a better (okay, not better, that sex was fine...cheerier?) conclusion. And with Christmas good cheer.

Now, that's not to say that it wasn't an enjoyable episode. I'm a sucker for holiday themed episodes, and the fact that all of the characters were acting exactly how I wanted them to was just icing on the cake. I may not have been surprised (like I was with that Booth/Brennan kiss), but I was pleased.

A hint at a Lanie/Esposito reconcilliation? Pleased.

Ryan having a baby with Jenny? Pleased.

Castle and Beckett having a misunderstanding? Not pleased, but expected.

Beckett revealing more personal information to Castle re: her mother? Pleased (and expected).

Castle and Beckett making up because it's Christmas? Aww. And pleased.

 So, what did you guys think? Were you forgiving of the sappiness of the episode since it was a Christmas themed one? And did any of you immediately wonder if Esposito was going to hook up with the neighbor of the murder victim after she invited him in for dinner? (Okay, okay, I know it was supposed to be a nice "no one should be alone at Christmas and look, now Esposito isn't either!" moment, but I couldn't stop my brain from going there).

Castle will return on Monday, January 7th (2013!) at 10/9C on ABC.

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