‘Castle’: Can Beckett and Castle Weather the Storm of a Secret Relationship?

Castle (ABC)

Castle (Nathan Fillion) and Beckett (Stana Katic) spent four years getting together. Now that they are a couple, what does “Castle” the show look like? Based on their first post-hook-up standard issue whodunnit, the tension that makes them interesting is still there, thanks to the writers decision to maintain some tension  in the relationship by opting to have them, for now, choose to keep the relationship a secret. Once the truth inevitably comes out, they will still have wit, charm and chemistry to rely upon as they work their way through the familiar procedural formula. It worked for Nick and Nora Charles. Why not Caskett?

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Monday’s episode opens on Beckett trying to find an outfit that doesn’t make her look like she is having sex to wear to her first day back for work. Does she have a pair of “I’m getting some” pants? Or is she just paranoid? Beckett doesn’t want anyone to know that she and Castle are together because the NYPD has an anti-fraternization rule. Castle, still in the phase where he is excited to see her body, uses this as a way to get her to change shirts in front of him. This manages to be charming, not crass. For a couple of investigative geniuses who work with a bunch of detectives, the two are not particularly adept at keeping it on the down low. Lanie (Tamala Jones) immediately deduces by Beckett’s demeanor, that she’s having sex, though she has no idea with who. Esposito (Jon Huertas)  notices that Castle has not brought Beckett a cup of coffee the way he always has for the past four years.

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The body of the week belongs to a local news weather girl. Their visit to the TV station where she works sets up the episode’s theme: can a secret relationship last? The victim initially appears to have had one with an NBA star, but they turn out to be just friends. She was actually dating a fellow reporter. Nobody knew because the station has a similar anti-dating policy to the NYPD. The reporter says that at first secret relationships are hot, but in time it grows difficult. The anvils are raining down on Caskett.

The station’s entertainment reporter flirts with Castle and wants him to appear on her show. During their interview the reporter asks him to dinner and he accepts, to Beckett’s consternation.  What the hell kind of local talk show is this? That is sub Andy Cohen-level professionalism. Castle tells her it’s the perfect cover, planning to go on a very public date that will end up in the gossip columns. She pretends she is fine with it, even though she is totally jealous. It’s cute. The reporter turns out to be totally nuts. She shows up at Castle’s apartment, hot to trot. Castle butt dials Beckett and she hears glass breaking as the reporter strips down to a bikini and literally throws herself at Castle. Beckett, concerned for Castle’s safety, bursts into his place with her gun cocked. She finds the reporter straddling Castle. Castle cheerfully says that he knows who the killer is. Beckett is not amused, and seems to be realizing the potential pitfalls of hiding their relationship.

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It turns out that weather girl was investigating a legitimate news story about a baseball field that was contaminated with chemicals that was giving kids asthma. The reporter who claimed to be dating her was actually working with her. He killed her because she wanted to go the EPA instead of letting the reporter advance his career with an exclusive. That is the stupidest motivation for a murder ever, but it invalidates all of his claims about the downfalls of dating a coworker.

The show’s other great pairing, Ryan (Seamus Dever) and Esposito, also reconcile during the course of the case. The NBA player’s bodyguard gives them both black eyes when they try to arrest the star. When a fan’s cellphone footage of the incident goes viral, Esposito realizes that during the melee Ryan took a punch for him. In the manner of real life guys, they are instantly bros again.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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