We don’t know if you’ve heard, but there just might be a wedding this week on Castle. The title “For Better Or Worse,” suggest nuptials of some sort, but Castle’s been set on a space wedding, so maybe it refers to something else.
- Director: John Terlesky
- Writer: Terri Miller and Andrew W. Marlowe
- Cast: Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic, Jon Huertas, Seamus Dever, Molly Quinn, Susan Sullivan
Episode Title: “For Better Or Worse”
The wedding is upon us. Castle and Beckett go to get their marriage license and the clerk informs them that Beckett is already married. Turns out a Vegas trip she took in college did not stay there. She tracks down her spouse of 15 years, a degenerate barman named O’Leary. O’Leary’s got quite the reputation in upstate New York among womenfolk, yet when Beckett tells him he isn’t available, he hesitates to the sign the divorce papers. He wants her to break into his ex-girlfriend’s car and snatch her laptop, which she eventually does. Turns out it has incriminating pictures of the girlfriend, a stripper, getting it on with a pastor. Even as Beckett figures this out and Castle drives up to help, an armed biker gang sets up shop in O’Leary’s bar. They want $5,000 of the blackmail money he was getting from the pastor. However, O’Leary’s been abducted by different armed men. So Castle and Beckett track him to a farmhouse, where his pissed off ex got an ex-mafioso to hold O’Leary captive. Beckett and Castle end up in the middle, but Castle cleverly offers to lead the mobster to the laptop, and takes him straight into the middle of the biker gang. Gang captures mob man for a fat reward, and lame-ass barman signs divorce papers. There’s a poignant moment between Beckett and Martha – who’s been busy moving the wedding to their Hamptons house – and we’re out, right? Not quite. Castle, on his way back from getting the marriage license, is pursued by a sinister-looking SUV. An hour later (and late for the wedding), Beckett gets a phone call, and arrives at the scene of a fiery crash. Thus, Castle finishes out this season on a literal cliffhanger.
- Something Blue: We really liked that bit between Beckett and Martha at the end of the episode. Gorgeous earrings, and a great sentiment. “Only women of substance have worn these,” Martha tells her, and after such an insubstantial, stalling, murder book bad trope romp of an episode, it was a welcome compliment. Also, Lanie looked fabulous.
- Drive-Thru Chapel: While we did roll our eyes at the long-lost husband storyline, a lot of the humor in “For Better Or Worse,” was tipped to the bright side of the scale. Castle’s expression upon hearing O’Leary’s pet name for Beckett – “Kit Kat” – is worth the price of admission alone. But Nathan Fillion’s patented, quick n’ easy ribbing of Beckett was flawless throughout the episode. Excellent service, sir.
- Say Yes To The Dress: Also, that’s a much better wedding dress than whatever the weird silvery, alien arch-priestess gown was that only Stana Katic could pull off. Plus it’s Beckett’s mother’s dress, so awws all around. Honorable mention to Lanie for rocking a fabulous dress and being excited – two of our favorite looks on her.
- Something Borrowed: We knew there would be stalling and complications and general wedding-related shenanigans in this finale – none of which would be particularly innovative or add shades of nuance to the characters. But golly, mister, it don’t seem possible to conceived a lamer plot to keep delaying resolution than “Beckett’s already married to a sleazebag who says ‘for realsies.’” It was light and silly, but mostly silly, and we would have much rather had more groomsmen adventures with Alexis than all this sneaking about on farms. That said: The talk Castle gives to Beckett when she gets fed up with the plot was quite romantic and almost redeemed the entire affair. Almost.
- The Cliffhanger: Get it, everyone? Because Castle’s car fell off a cliff and we have to wait a year to find out what happens? It reminds us of the second Lord of the Rings movie when Viggo Mortensen’s character also falls of a literal cliff; and everyone thinks he’s dead; and Gimli says, “He fell,” which is kind of hilarious in the Arrested Development sense. There was absolutely no suspense as to whether or not he was really dead. The third movie is called Return of the King. It was just a stupid scripting choice to make more plot where there didn’t need to be more plot. We’re sure the great and definitely still-beating heart of Richard Castle would approve of this comparison.
We went into this with open eyes. It’s not as if we don’t accept you for what you are, Castle. Remember Pi? We remember Pi. Sometimes you do really stupid, frustrating shit and then you drop it like heavy groceries in a trunk. Sometimes you’re just too comfortable and predictable and it drives us nuts. But you’re still so fun to be with and sometimes surprisingly emotional. There hasn’t been uniform quality to this season of Castle. Some episodes shine brighter than others, some vary wildly in tone – from gently funny to Fincher-dramatic to whatever the hell this wedding finale was supposed to be. But that’s one of the great things about television: The variation. What remained consistent was that the characters of Castle are endearing, capable people we loved spending an hour with each week, including “For Better Or Worse.” Even though it does matter what they do or why they’re not dead in a car crash, we’re happy to complain about all of that next season, when they come back to play again.
Castle airs Mondays at 10 p.m. on ABC.
What did you think of Castle’s fiery finale? Let us know in the comments.