Castle Cliff Notes: Bad Santa

I think I speak for most of the Castle fandom when I say WTF!  I think we all expected a little cliffhanger out of the fall finale but I don’t think any of us saw this coming!  It started off like a normal Castle episode with a touch of the mob and Christmas and turned into a season changer.  Esplanie breaking up and more importantly Castle not being able to work with the NYPD?  Judging off of initial twitter reactions, Castle fandom appears to be split on if these changes are going to be for the good or bad.  I even saw a few references to “jumping the shark” floating around.  But let’s all take a deep breath and remember how many times we have panicked after an episode!  Let’s have some faith in the Castle writers and see how this is going to play out before going crazy.  I remember I wasn’t too thrilled with the whole DC story line but that worked out in the end!  That being said, choosing top moments was hard because I didn’t necessarily like the outcome of some of these moments but they were pivotal to the show.  So let’s get this countdown going before we end up sleeping with the fishes (sorry… couldn’t resist).

5. Will You Be My Fiancé?
                Lanie calls Esposito to the morgue to go over some evidence, or so he thinks.  He immediately thinks something is going on since Lanie never calls them down until the evidence has been looked at by the lab and it turns out his suspicions are right.  Lanie explains that her parents are coming into town from Louisiana and want to get together for dinner. Espo nervously asks “so its meet the parents?”  Lanie asks if he is ok with that and Espo says “yea why wouldn’t I be?  That’s not even a favor that’s just me stepping up.”  Lanie then explains that the actual favor is he has to pretend to be her fiancé because she accidentally told her parents they were engaged.  Espo is not happy that he has to lie to her parents the first time he meets them but Lanie tires to reassure him by saying that she will also be lying but she’s been doing it longer.  This doesn’t quite convince Javier but when Lanie says he will make it “worth his while” seductively Espo is in. While it obviously sounds like a terrible idea from the start, can you really blame Espo for going along with it?  I don’t think he could ever resist seductive Lanie! I also loved it when Espo said he was just “stepping up.”  Leave it to him to try to be the macho manly man.  I always love a little Esplanie (while it lasts...)!  

4. Chica Chica Boom Room
Beckett and Castle are discussing the victim’s possible ties to the mob.  Castle reveals he knows the head of the Carlucci family, Dino, from previous book research. They learn that Dino’s office is at a strip club called “Chica Chica Boom Room” and Castle suggests that they go talk to him. Castle, amazed, goes “field trip to a strip club” and quickly runs out of the office. At the strip club, Castle is watching two girls dressed as slutty Santas dance while Beckett stands next to him.  She says “Castle if you keep staring like that you’re going to have to pay for the two drink minimum.” He looks at Kate for a few seconds and then says “I’m sorry what did you say?” obviously distracted by the dancers.  Beckett continues to talk to Castle about the case and a dancer walks by trailing her hand across Castle’s back causing Kate to go “really?” I loved how excited Castle was about the strip club field trip and his typical male reaction to the dancers.  Even with the beautiful Kate Beckett beside him he couldn’t keep his focus (which is crazy!).  I also loved Beckett going into jealous mode when the dancer walked behind Castle.  Jealous Beckett is always good for a top 5 moment!

3. Esplanie Friendship
                Talking at the Christmas party, Lanie thanks Espo for going along with the finance charade and Espo reveals that it made him think seriously about their relationship and where they are.  He tells her that being fake engaged to her made him realize how great they are together “but not the way that your parents are, or Castle and Beckett, or Ryan and Jenny.  Lanie says she feels it too but they both agree that they are still crazy about each other but they both deserve what those other couples have. Now I won’t lie, initially I thought Espo was really going to propose to Lanie and was very excited.  Then, I switched ends of the emotional spectrum and was devastated to hear the discussion switch to how they didn’t have the same type of relationships as the other couples.  My emotional spectrum leveled out though when I heard their rationale.  It takes a huge level of maturity for a couple to realize when they might not be the best options for each other but are still able to have a friendly relationship.  The fact that they want the best for each other was also great to hear.  Maybe Espo can start with the transit cop and we can find a nice guy for Lanie!  Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m going to miss Esplanie but at least they didn’t just break up because of an argument.  This way our 12th precinct family is still together and the potential for them to realize they are right for each other is still there.

2.  “Dad” and The Proposal
                Lanie’s parents arrive at the precinct and Lanie introduces them to Espo.  Lanie’s dad goes in for a hug and he explains “we’re huggers in the Parrish family son.  And go ahead, call me dad.” Obviously not ready for that Espo stumbles on his words saying “oh…Ok.”  He then tries to win over Lanie’s parents by saying Lanie got her beautiful eyes from her mom and her medical smarts from her dad.  Lanie’s mom states she wants to hear their proposal story, which catches Esplanie off guard.   As they struggle, Ryan walks up behind them and goes “this guy!  You should have seen him.  He rows Lanie out into the middle of the Central Park boat pond.  He gets down on one knee, so nervous he nearly capsizes the boat, almost sends them both into the water!” Lanie’s mom gasps and Ryan continues “that’s just what Lanie did when she saw that ring!”  I loved watching Espo stumble his way though his encounter with Lanie’s parents and how about Ryan coming in with the save?!?  I’m not sure if Espo had told Ryan about what was going on before hand, but Ryan jumped in without missing a beat (and with a good proposal story to go with it!).  You have to love the 12th precinct family helping each other out and although they aren’t technically engaged, at least the Parrish family seems nice for potential in-law (I can continue to hope for Esplanie!).
1. Castle, P.I.
                Talk about Bah Humbug.  Also, at the Christmas party, Gates asks if she can speak to Castle.  She reveals that Detective McBride was shot and killed while being transferred to central booking.  The DA learned that Castle was working with people who may have wanted him dead during his investigation and the DA spoke to the mayor and he is “no longer permitted to work with the NYPD.”  Gates walks away, replaced by Beckett (unaware of the exchange that just happened) who wants to share her poem with him.  She reads “This has been an epic year; life’s been full of joy and tears. Solving crimes and catching killers, just like Castle’s famous thrillers. We share a passion every day, as partners go we’re here to stay.”  Castle tells her its great and Kate asks if anything is wrong but he says it can’t be because she is there.  I know what you’re thinking; how the heck can you make this your number one moment?  Well, let me start by saying I too am nervous for this whole private investigator story line.  That being said, Kate’s poem made it for me.  Yes, I wanted to cry like a little girl when she said “as partners go we’re here to stay” but just like with the vows, I loved to hear words coming from Kate’s heart.  She was so nervous about the poem at the beginning of the episode and she delivered it so shyly slightly worried that it would be good enough.  Also, Castle reassuring her that he was fine because she was there lets us know that he doesn’t think their relationship will suffer without their work partnership because they have so much more.  So, while it was a sad moment it was well executed by Penny, Nathan, and Stana and still had a great moment within it.   

Did you see that ending coming? Are you excited for the Castle PI potential or not thrilled about it? Will Castle ever work with Beckett again? Join the discussion in the comments section below, tweet me @DenialLove or tweet us at @TwelfthPrecinct

Xo Always ~DenialLove
DenialLove Founder, Administrator, Editor and Writer

The moment that I met you, my life became extraordinary. You taught me to be my best self, to look forward to tomorrow's adventures. And when I was vulnerable, you were strong. I love you, Richard Castle. And I want to live my life in the warmth of your smile and the strength of your embrace. I promise you I will love you. I will be your friend and your partner in crime and in life, always. - Kate Beckett The moment we met, my life became extraordinary. You taught me more about myself than I knew there was to learn. You are the joy in my heart. You're the last person I want to see every night when I close my eyes. I love you, Katherine Beckett. And the mystery of you is the one I want to spend the rest of my life exploring. I promise to love you, to be your friend, and your partner in crime and life, 'till death do us part, and for the time of our lives. - Richard Castle

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