17 April, 2012

REVIEW: Castle 4.21 -- Headhunters

It took all of two seconds of screen time before we got a Casey grunt/snarl!

Not only did Monday's new episode of Castle make me think of 'Chuck', but it also made me think of how fun this show can be when everything is "clicking" for a lack of better term.

We had Castle being goofy (playing with "action figures"), we had Castle even further out of his element with a new partner, getting into fights, holding a gun and getting messed with by Slaughter, Ryan and Esposito. We got to see Beckett more in therapy and Castle coming into the precinct with a suspect, set to music and a tissue up his nose.

And for you 'shippers out there (yes, I'm talking about you, Maryploppins), we got to see Castle and Beckett working separately, working together and talking about each other with somebody else. This episode re-establishes their working connection moving forward after a brief falling out and moves the storyline forward as something is expected to happen between them in the Season 4 finale. Who knows what it'll be, but should be interesting. What are your predictions on that front?

Per the usual, and for the better, the actual case takes a back seat this week. It wasn't about who killed the kid, it was about further separating Castle and Beckett and then bringing them back together. It was about making Beckett jealous and getting her to worry that she waited too long and messed things up with Castle. It was about Castle realizing, no matter the hardships, that Beckett is worth it to him and that he'll keep fighting for her. Wow, that sentence was lame. Did I really just write that?

But "Headhunters" was also simply about having fun. And it's hard not to have fun when you have Nathan Fillion and Adam Baldwin together, isn't it? And any time you can slip in a few nods to John Casey and "Chuck", well, that's pretty awesome too, isn't it?

People tend to either like "Castle" for the Castle/Beckett relationship or for just how fun this show can be. I admittedly like both aspects of the show and thought this was a good mix of the two overall.


CASEY/SLAUGHTER: "Rule No. 1, do not use the word awesome -- you're a grown man."

SLAUGHTER: "Man needs a friend, he gets a dog. A woman like that you storm the beaches or die trying, come on!"

SLAUGHTER: "Do you have a skirt that says writer on it too?"

RYAN: "I feel like he's cheating on us."

CASTLE: "They rejected you and you feel betrayed."
ALEXIS: "How am I supposed to get over that?"


--I'm sure at some point there was an episode with a better first segment before the commercial break, but I cant remember it. I mean, severed heads, Casey, Castle with a gun, Castle in a fight and Castle playing with dolls! Great stuff.

--Loved Slaughter trying to convince Castle to help him get out of excessive force complaints, while stashing someone in the truck and doing doughnuts.

THE SCORE: 88 out of 100


  1. I loved it. And you know me... I am pretty tired of this show. But that was a lot of fun.

  2. Very entertaining.

    Castle works best for me if I don't watch it every week. This was my first episode in a while. Throwing Castle in with a different cop was a fun idea given how formulaic this show can be and having it be Adam Baldwin was just fantastic. They should have him come back next season.

  3. I'd love to see Adam back on the show. You can't deny the chemistry between Nathan and him. But then the Chuck producers never brought Cole back and that was an obvious character to bring back.

    1. I wouldn't call Cole and "obvious" character to bring back. He would have been cool, but not "obvious".

    2. I disagree with both of you. An obvious character to bring back is someone whose absence is odd. Sarah's father was an obvious character for season 4 because having her get married without some explanation for why her father wasn't there would draw questions. I can't think of a plot where we said, "why isn't Cole here?".

    3. An obvious character to bring back is someone who the audience likes and wants to see. Cole was a great character and many people loved him.

      And who said Sarah's father wasn't an obvious character as well? Or a bunch of others? You seem to be taking a stance against something as if not including another name means we don't think that was "obvious" as well.

  4. HAHA I got a shout-out in the review!! I feel so honored. Anyway I'm with you Eli, this was a perfect example of what this show SHOULD be every week. Lots of hilarity, PLUS some good movement on some larger story arcs (Castle/Beckett in this case, which is of course my favorite). ;-) I don't understand why it seems like it's been so long that we got a classic (in a good way) Castle episode like this. It's about damn time!

    Oh and also, I LOVED the fact that the case-of-the-week took a back seat in this episode!! They need to do more episodes like this, because it's extremely rare that the case of the week is all that interesting. And it gets boring as hell when they use the exact SAME formula and story structure for EVERY damn episode.

    Nathan Fillion was downright HILARIOUS in so many of the scenes last night ... the scene where Casey ... err ... Slaughter goes into that building and tricks Castle into thinking that he shot and/or killed someone was just hysterical. The look on Castle's face throughout that entire sequence, from the incident itself to the point where he's freaking out back at the precinct while talking to Esposito, so damn funny.

    p.s. As our (bad) luck would have it, I learned from Twitter last night that the writer of last night's episode is leaving the show. Great.

    p.p.s. The goodness of this ep was almost enough to make me forgive Adam Baldwin for blocking me on Twitter a couple years ago (after I told him that some stupid article he posted was bullshit) hahahaha. That was probably a blessing in disguise though because his heavy feed of crazy tweets tried my patience daily. I think it's better to just enjoy him on my t.v. only. ;-)

    1. Adam blocked you? You should be proud of it. :)

    2. LOL yup but I actually didn't even notice he had blocked me till a full month later. I must've been thinking I was just in some sort of Twitter dream land for that month, where my feed wasn't cluttered with crazy tweets. I only noticed it when I saw someone else RT a tweet of his one day, and I suddenly realized that it was the first tweet I had seen of Adam's in a month haahaha. At first I was like WTF!? But then I realized later that he says he blocks people who swear, so I guess it was my use of the word "bullshit" that gave me my ticket into Twitter dream land.

    3. Blocks people who swear? This is a grown man, right?

    4. LOL yep, but if you look at his Twitter profile description, he says, "American Individual: RT ≠ Endorsement; Deletions = Disregard; Blocked = Liars, Intransigents, Intellectual Morons, the Irrational & Profane."

      I guess I fall into the "profane" category. I actually didn't even notice that description until like several months later I think. It was only then that I realized what his excuse was for blocking me. Initially I thought he blocked me just for arguing with the ridiculous article he posted (it was something about Obama's half-brothers in Kenya so you can get an idea of the dumbness of it), and I thought that was really damn hypocritical. But then later I saw the "profane" thing and figured it out. Still pretty hypocritical though, considering the fact that practically every character he plays has been pretty profane ... I can't imagine that he is the perfect model of good manners in real life all the time ... but who am I to say. ;-)

    5. Heh... I could tell you stories about him... but I'll maintain the circle of trust. :)

    6. HA shee-it ... I guess I'll just have to use my imagination. ;-)

  5. And I'm going to break away from everyone else and say it was meh.

    Yeah, Baldwin and Fillion were great together. As always.

    But, I didn't care about the case, and I am SO SICK of the Castle/Beckett storyline that I want to strangle it with something. And I know it's the contrivances of the last two episodes echoing into this one souring my opinion.

    Kate shouldn't need to see her therapist to figure out why Rick is acting like a jackass. He's running around with blond bimbos on his arms? Who is the opposite of a blond bimbo, Kate? He's shadowing another cop who is reactionary and skirts the rules? Who's the exact opposite of that, Kate? Even if she didn't know specifically, it should have been obvious to her that it had something to do with their dynamic.

    Just put them together so they can deal with "The Case", which is a storyline a very much want to see and he haven't got shit on. Fucking Marlowe.

    1. "Kate shouldn't need to see her therapist to figure out why Rick is acting like a jackass."

      I actually agree with this, but sadly I've given up all hope of the writers ever putting any logic into that part of the storyline at all. :-\

    2. The therapist is a device for exposition. It's a way to have Kate voice what's going on in her head.

      Since Kate has no friends or confidants voice what she's feeling, they need her to talk to the therapist.

    3. MediaSavant, I agree that they need to use Lanie and the therapist for exposition (and I'm glad they do that), but that's not the issue from my perspective. The issue is that it has taken SO long for Kate to piece it together in the first place. She should have known or at least suspected IMMEDIATELY when she saw that Castle had come into the precinct in "47 Seconds" when she was interrogating that dude. She should have been like "Oh shit, what if he heard me??" (which she could have said out loud to Lanie a couple episodes ago). That's what any normal person would have suspected. It shouldn't take 3 or 4 more episodes for her to FINALLY realize what was going on (and she STILL hasn't figured out that Rick heard her in the interrogation room!! Has she? I need to watch the scene with the therapist again but I think she still hasn't figured that part out).

      This is the contrivance that is allowing the writers to stretch this freaking thing out over 5 full episodes, and what is driving the audience insane.

    4. Mary touched on exactly what I was talking about. It wasn't that they used the therapist as a device for exposition, it was that they thought it was necessary for Kate to need said exposition to figure out what the base problem was. She still doesn't know that he knows.

      They're making her look stupid so they can stretch a plot line out for more episodes than anyone wants to wait through. They're also making Castle look like an immature douche for the same reason.

      At least it looks like Marlowe is going to have them act like real people and not caricatures of themselves from now on.

      But, this arc is laden with either bad or lazy storytelling. Which is a shame because Marlowe can write. Just look at the pilot. One of my favorites.

      I've noticed that problems like this usually arise in network shows more than cable. Is it because those particular executives like to interfere? Is it just the curse of network television?

  6. *A story line I very much want to see, and we haven't gotten shit.

    Grammar went crazy there.

  7. The first quote you wrote it made me think of Captain Awesome and him saying awesome in the episode.

  8. Well, I love Castle. But I find it hard to have romantic aspirations for Castle and Beckett when the writers make "Castle" too goofy to be sexual. It's all fun. I get it, but I am left wanting a fraction more masculine.

    1. Great observation... I feel the same way as you. He just seemed so "dorky" (I think this is how you spell it) in this episode (and other ones as well). He needs to "man-up" quicky or I can't see Beckett going for him anymore. IMO, one of the things that has attracted Beckett to him is that he is funny, playful, etc., but this is different. I felt sorry for him in this episode... he just seemed so lost and was taken advantage of by Slaughter, Expo and Brian... it was sad to watch. I would like to see him more as "kate's equal"... IMO.

  9. molly looks hotter by the day

  10. Did anyone notice that Adam Baldwin looked real scraggly in the episode.

    As for the episode it was the best one in a long time.

    I could definately see Adam coming back next season if his schedule permits.

  11. I watched half of it but got bored and fell asleep. :D It was still nice to see Adam in another show, he did a good job as usual. This was my first time watching this show. I didn't do much for me.


  12. Castle gave Slaughter his Brown Coat !!!

  13. I just love the characters in this show, especially Beckett! She is just so "smart, confident,savy and fierce." I loved the way she stood up to Slaughter in this episode. She stays so calm when she's up against someone, but she looses it when it concerns her emotions and Castle.

    I love to see her when she gets jealous... she really gets mean and fierce! It was great to see her so fired up at the therapist's office. These scenes are great and they give us an insight into what Beckett is truly feeling.

    By the season finale, I just hope that these two will get together. It will be a great disappointment if they didn't! My only concern is that there is soooooooooooooo much material to cover in one hour (actually less considering all of the commercials)that they are not going to have enough time for the scene where C&B, "lay their cards on the table" (whatever that means). IMO, AM is going to leave this scene for the end and will leave us hanging until next season.

    Still, I can't wait to see the last 2 ep.