The best ‘Castle’ episodes to enjoy while you consider ‘Take Two’
Take Two came and went on ABC last year. We weren’t entirely sure how we felt about Rachel Bilson & Eddie Cibrian teaming up as a mismatched crime-fighting duo. It hailed from Castle creator Andrew W. Marlowe and executive producer Terri Edda Miller – Castle was and still is one of the greatest crime dramedies in TV history.
The Hollywood Reporter described Take Two as “Castle in a blender, but not a very efficient blender, so it’s just big, gloppy, easily recognizable chunks of Castle, genders reversed.” We also point out there’s a giant Nathan Fillion-shaped hole as well.
So yeah, expectations weren’t too high for the show, and that explains its poor ratings. Instead of wallowing in pessimistic regret, let’s look back to happier memories when Castle was still on the air by ranking the top ten episodes from ABC’s hit show. And Nathan Fillion (Firefly): let us count the ways we admire thy nerdy silliness.
S6E5: “Time Will Tell”
There were a bunch of strong moments in the sixth season, including the birth of Jenny & Ryan’s daughter, an Old West-based honeymoon, and Brecken’s arrest. However, we’re all about this batshit episode in which a grisly murder investigation leads Castle and Beckett to a suspect who claims he’s traveled back in time to stop terrible events from unfolding (a la Terminator). Is he simply a deluded killer, or is it possible that he’s telling the truth? You decide!
S3E11: “Last Call”
Filled with hijinks and hilarity, “Last Call” sees the death of a bar owner taking Castle and Beckett back in time to the prohibition era, making great use of New York’s fascinating history.
S5E9: “Lives of Others”
In another of Castle’s many movie references, we see the titular character stuck at home in a wheelchair after a skiing accident. Channelling Rear Window’s Jimmy Stewart, Castle witnesses what he thinks is a murder across the street, yet the NYPD team can’t find any proof. Castle becomes obsessed, Beckett worries and sets out to find the truth, and that’s when things take a surprising and shocking turn!
S2E6: “Vampire Weekend”
The Fillion fandom did a collective cheer when this episode hit the screens back in 2009, involving Halloween themes, Buffy the Vampire Slayer references, and Fillion donning his Firefly “Space Cowboy” costume. Dat butt tho! Basically it was every nerd’s wet dream and we’re still totally living for it.
S5E1: “After The Storm”
After four long seasons of will they, won’t they, Castle and Beckett finally give in to their mutual desires and get freaky in the S4 finale. Season five picks up on their boning sesh with a morning after sequence filled with banterous humor, with Castle & Beckett facing new questions – was it just a fling, or are they now a couple?
S1E1: “Flowers For Your Grave”
More or less the perfect pilot episode, “Flowers For Your Grave” introduces us to our protagonists – a famed writer who’s completely out of control (Fillion’s Richard Castle) and a murder detective who’s a total control freak (Stana Katic’s Kate Beckett) . . . you get where this is going. Castle is asked to consult with the New York City detective about a serial-killer case in which the murderer is reenacting scenes from his books.
S1E5: “A Chill Goes Through Her Veins”
In this early episode, a frozen female corpse discovered at a new construction site transforms a five-year-old missing persons cold case (in every sense of the word) into a current homicide investigation. It also marks the first moment Beckett turns to Castle to help her with a case. The show really started to find its legs by this point, mixing humor with the serious matters at hand and heating up the relationship between our two lead characters.
While investigating the death of an Irish mobster, Beckett and Castle uncover a local turf war that may be connected to both a late-night infomercial guru and an international drug smuggling operation. But more importantly, it opens up new evidence surrounding the murder of Beckett’s mom, adding another layer of intrigue to the conspiracy that’s continued throughout the season.
Although “Knockdown” will always be remembered as that infamous first kiss moment (OMG, folks!) there are so many more layers to it. Picking up where “Suckerpunch” left off, this is the episode Castle and Beckett establish a level of trust with each other we had not yet seen, and there are some truly great moments from Ryan and Esposito too. But most of all, it’s the first time the word “always” is used in place of “I love you”, which went on to become the #1 Castle catchphrase.
What a season finale this was! The episode saw arguably Fillion’s best performance thus far in the show, as Castle must decide how much he’s willing to sacrifice to keep Beckett safe when the murder of an Army veteran puts her on the trail of the man who shot her. Secrets are revealed, feelings are laid out, and the lives of the detectives at the 12th Precinct are changed forever. Phew!