Recap: The Time of Our Lives

CASTLE - "The Time of Our Lives" -- A murder investigation launches Castle into what seems to be an alternate universe where he's never met Kate Beckett. Castle has to convince Beckett, Esposito and Ryan -- now complete strangers -- to let him participate in their investigation so he can find his way back to his own world. This inspires Castle & Beckett to finally take a trip to the altar, on "Castle," MONDAY, NOVEMBER 10 (10:01-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/Richard Cartwright) STANA KATIC, NATHAN FILLION

A few things first | After 133 episodes, a derailed wedding that ended in flames and a two month disappearance brought us to this moment. The moment many fans have waited for all those episodes. They’re married, at last, and now we can move on from that to whatever the Castle writers come up with next.

The case | A Swiss courier carrying a mystical medallion and his driver are gunned down. The killers take a brief case that was attached to the couriers hand and bolt from the scene. At the loft, Castle and Beckett are talking about where they would be if they hadn’t meet. For Beckett, it would captain of her own precinct, and for Castle it was working on his second Pulitzer winning novel. It’s perfect foreshadowing into what happens next. As Castle and Beckett are tracking down leads, they find the case with the medallion inside. Staying true to Castle form, he picks up the medallion. But when the bad guys show up and toss a flash-grenade toward Beckett and Castle, they get separated. Castle’s knocked out and when he comes to, the medallion is gone and so is Beckett.

The parallel world | Castle, not realizing what’s going on, heads to the precinct where everything is decidedly different. When he tells the boys something happened to Beckett, they’re confused and they call for their captain. That’s Captain Beckett. At first, Castle thinks it’s a joke, something they’re doing to mess with him, but other things don’t match up.

Everyone in this world is different. Esposito doesn’t patch things up with Lanie. Ryan never marries Jenny. Beckett is a bit frosty and detached, and she doesn’t have what Castle gave her, insight and to not always follow the evidence. She’s also never solved her mother’s case.  Especially at the loft where Martha is an awarding-winning stage actress and Alexis not only has dark hair but is also living in Los Angeles with Meredith.

The mystery novelist is determined to help on the 12th’s current case which is the same one as “the real world one.” Castle quickly realizes the way back to his world is by solving the parallel world’s case.

The parallel world had a few laughs, the first time around. But it was pretty much standard in terms of storytelling. There were a handful of scenes that were throwbacks to earlier seasons. The biggest one comes at the end where Castle jumps in front of a bullet to save Beckett’s life. As he’s “leaving” the parallel world he tells her he loves her.

What threw Castle into this world | Castle hasn’t been sleeping, a result of what has happened over the past few months. It’s wearing on him that he literally left Beckett at the altar. It becomes very clear when she tells him she doesn’t want to go Will’s wedding (Will Sorensen, the FBI squeeze from season one) because she can’t be a part of someone else’s perfect day right now. Castle has hurt Beckett and he realizes that he can’t make up for what he did. He begins to let his mind wonder that maybe he was bad for Beckett overall. So when the explosion happened, this propelled his subconscious into this other world.

A few problems and more | In season five, fans complained about them not talking. It ended some off-balanced episodes that culminated with the proposal in “Watershed.” In season six, the communication problems (or so we thought) were seemingly solved. But yet in season seven, the lines of communication become somewhat blurred again. In “Montreal,” both agreed to talk about the wedding in a month. This is a minor problem for the story overall for the episode. But the bigger problem, at least from a production standpoint, stems from the wedding scene itself against the “blue-screen of defeat.” They were going for a surreal feeling for the wedding, which would have been fine had there not been about 35 minutes of parallel world. The end result was a poor-man’s attempt at CGIing a beach scene in the background. But they’re married, so what did it matter. There were no feels for the wedding. It was fairly anti-climatic.Oh those wedding vows | I don’t get giddy about this romance stuff. But the vows were “perfect” for the characters. To Beckett, the wedding was perfect. And that’s all that matters at the end of day.


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