Castle Nathan Fillion Adorable

Before Castle goes on holiday for the rest of 2013, we have a little Thanksgiving dressing, a big question for Richard and Kate, and a foul murder. “The Good, The Bad, And The Baby” isn’t a power-number episode, and that’s fine by us. It’s a funny, heartfelt sendoff for the midseason.

The Players:

  • Director: John Terlesky
  • Writer: Terri Miller
  • Cast: Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic, Jon Huertas, Seamus Dever, Molly Quinn, Susan Sullivan

Episode Title: “The Good, The Bad, And The Baby”

A dying man stumbles into a church in the middle of service, holding a child. You’d think CPS would have more protocols to hand over babies to NYPD homicide or to let mystery authors take them home. But that isn’t nearly as fun. For comedy effect, dad-to-be-Ryan tries out his not-so-mad skills on the baby. Castle dubs him Cosmo, which earns him a lot of goodwill in the short-term but would’ve made Alexis’ teenage years difficult had she been a boy. Beckett is a little bit removed and uncomfortable. She’s focused on the limo getaway driver. He, along with other employees at a local TV station, were coerced into a Lotto-fixing scheme. But after enough diaper-changing and adorable faces, Kate warms up and so does the case. The driver’s, Cam’s, boss is going for a particularly lo-fi way of rigging the game: with ping pong balls and hostages. Cam was mortally wounded trying to save the baby when the shooting started. The plot is uncovered, the day is saved, and turkey’s had by all. Yum!

The Good:

  • Bringing Up Beckett: When it comes to Castle/Beckett relationship dramedy, the writers have been stretching through the back-half of these very plotty episodes. This week, we reached the land of plenty. The script was particularly sparkling for  Nathan “I suppose you hate rainbows too” Fillion. But Stana Katic’s unease with children wasn’t the object of the Cosmo-minding comedy. The show made an important distinction between mocking the situation she found herself and in and mocking her. Katic did a fantastic job, and her talk about ‘Uncle Rick’ was inspired.
  • Pilgrim’s Progress: Surely a Castle costume tradition would be known to Beckett, who was already Castle’s girlfriend in seasons of yore?
  • All in the Family Molly Quinn and Susan Sullivan didn’t have much to do, but when they did, they were aces. Alexis’ comment that if she were to have a child soon, that kid and the Castle/Beckett child would grow up together was the best “oh wow it’s true!’ laugh the show’s had in a while. Meanwhile, that blue apron Sullivan had on in the final scene looks like she lifted it from Grace Kelly’s closet.

The So-So:

  • Balls in the Air: Speaking of comedy, the Lotto was ripe with it, even if Ryan’s sudden fixation on the game felt a little weird. The Lotto broadcast set the case into motion and led to many merry double entendres.
  • Dumpster Diving: They weren’t really dumpsters so much as very comedically convenient clue repositories. Everything about the case this week felt more conspicuous than usual. But we can’t complain too much. Ryan and Esposito jumping out with literally a bag full of baby stuff and interrupting a heartfelt moment between Castle and Becket was pretty great.

The Bad:

  • Communism’s Just a Red Herring: Actually, there were several red herrings and shifty characters related to the case that were very obvious. Just bad timing and bald line-readings. But even in a New York lottery-fixing scheme, why would you name someone Jimmy Wolfinsky? We’re surprised the baby’s mother wasn’t called Fallgerl.

Overall:

This episode wasn’t as concerned with the case as much as Castle and Beckett’s relationship comedy. That’s a great choice. It made for a good change of pace, and was charmingly acted by our two leads. We wish an episode titled “The Good, The Bad…” would’ve had a more Western parody bent, but the Thanksgiving theme gave fans much to be grateful for.

Rating: 6/10

Castle airs Mondays at 10 p.m. on ABC.

How do you think Castle and Beckett did on their parenting test-drive? Let us know in the comments.