“Castle” went behind the music last night in “Swan Song”, making for an episode so very unique and unlike all the others. If “Probable Cause” showcased the cast and crews’ prowess in a dramatic format, it’s the likes of “Swan Song”, much like last week’s “The Final Frontier”, that shows just how versatile and talented the cast is in the comedy department. It’s easy to see that everyone had plenty of fun with this episode, which allowed for an inordinate amount of adlibbing from the cast and gave a whole new perspective to the characters they play. Quite literally, too, seeing how the entire episode from start to finish was shot from the documentary crews’ point of view.
I’ll be the first to admit that it was the little moments that shined for me in this one. I was not very drawn into the case and procedural aspect of the episode at all this time around, but the comedic moments (of which there were plenty) more than made up for it, especially in the end. The hilarious one-liners, facial expressions (I’m looking at you, Stana Katic), and the way that each member of the team interacted with the cameras, which essentially took on lives of their own, becoming characters in their own right, made for a highly entertaining and so very funny experience.
“These cameras, they’re not going anywhere. They’re gonna see something. I just want them to see what I see.”
Can we just talk for a minute about the fact that Rick Castle basically spent the entire episode trying to show the world how amazing his partner slash girlfriend is? Sure, the guy hams it up for himself throughout it, too, like the shameless plug for the latest Nikki Heat book “Frozen Heat”, but he always went out of his way to throw a nod to Beckett, making sure to highlight how great she is at her job, the very aspect of her that attracted him to her from the beginning; “Have you met Nikki Heat’s inspiration Detective Beckett?”, “Interrogation, it’s really an artform. I mean, Detective Beckett here, she is a master.” While Beckett initially shied away from the cameras, it was Castle who was the catalyst to her warming up to them by the end, with his unfailing quest to get the camera crew themselves to have a little faith in her, all the while encouraging her to strut her stuff and own her job. Which she eventually does, complete with a confident little smirk in the interrogation room while she’s workin’ it.
“Detective Beckett is not an unfriendly person. She’s just got walls. Let’s call them layers. Layers upon layers of uh, well, walls. But once you scale those walls, the effort is worth it.”
The above line made me crack up and is probably my favorite of the episode, second only to the sex tape moment, with Gates and Beckett’s quips of: “I hope you’re not going by the timestamp on this video. That could be faked, you know.” “That’s not the only thing on this video being faked.” Honorable mentions: Esposito showing off his “guns” to the camera in the car as Ryan asks if he changed his shirt, and the entire scene of Lanie all dolled up and calling Beckett down to the morgue just so she could get her 15 minutes. For what little of Lanie we got in this episode, Tamala Jones sure made her character’s appearances golden.
All in all, I did really enjoy last night’s episode, even if after a second watch I was still not finding myself invested in the murder plot, or the victim’s cult upbringing and the like. But perhaps that’s to be expected given the styling of this episode. Seeing as how the episode was shot from the point of view of cameramen, it’s more about catching the little details and subtle exchanges; stolen moments when they don’t think anyone is looking, or exaggerated moments when they know the spotlight is on them and they can’t help but ham it up even more.
That all said, the final scenes were simply perfect. Jon Huertas shows off those golden pipes of his with Esposito singing, Gates rails on Castle and Beckett for inappropriate workplace behavior that is not what they thought it’d be (and frankly, they’re simply not at all sorry for) and Beckett finally comes out of her shell completely, making for an ending to “Swan Song” that is both really funny and super cute. Isn’t it great to see Beckett being so bright and playful? It just brings a certain light back to the episodes that the darker seasons of the past couple of years didn’t have.
On a side note, if you enjoyed the music at the end of the episode, the song “Back Out On The Road Again” featuring Jon Huertas is available for free download on ABC’s Castle Music Lounge. Grab it while you can!
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