What we liked about this episode | This is one of those episodes where you like the crummy and hurtful parts because you know there’s an upside to it all at the end. It’s time for dinner with the parents—Jim and Kate with Martha and Castle. This is where the differences between two families start to emerge—they come from different words. One is very traditional middle class (Beckett’s) and one is more upper class (Castle’s). Aside from the two coming from vastly different worlds and the pot shots at one’s leisure activities, Jim and Martha coming together over a mutual concern over their children—with Mama Gates thrown into the mix—was heartwarming.
But above all, the best part of this episode is that this really the first time in which Castle and Beckett actually talk about their relationship. If only there were more moments like this, then perhaps the set up at the end of the season wouldn’t have been so awkward.
Dinner with the parents | This is a big step in any relationship. The moment when the couple invites their parents to dinner. Martha belittles Jim’s love of baseball (and by default, kind of putting Kate down since she loves baseball as well). He follows up with a pot shot at acting. Castle and Beckett are saved by the bell when there’s been a murder downtown.
We come such different worlds | If we map out when the big doubts about not living up to standards our friends and lovers establish for their significant others, then “After Hours” is clearly one of those episodes. From there Castle and Beckett’s conversations revolve around their parents but it’s really about them in the end.
First, they fight about their situation. They are jumped outside of Leo’s apartment—after being forced to turn over their phones and Beckett her gun, they’re forced to flee. Out on the streets with no means contacting the outside world Beckett sort of unloads on Castle. And him on her. They blame each other for their situation—which is true.
There’s a few more squabbles between the two until they take shelter in the basement of a store. Leo quickly comes to the conclusion that the fight isn’t about their parents but rather about the two of them. And he’s right.
They actually talk about their relationship, something that never really happened again the rest of the season.
Worried parents, all three of them | Gates is clearly worried about Beckett and Castle It’s a stark contrast to the previous season where she would have said “what did Castle get her into.” Now, she expresses motherly concern for both of them. Esposito calls Martha to find Beckett. Martha calls Jim who can’t reach his daughter. They end up at the precinct. Gates has to downplay the situation saying there’s no cause for alarm. However, only a mother and only Martha could talk to Gates the way she does. Neither refuse to leave the precinct until they know their kids are safe.
Jim and Martha quickly bury the hatchet—their concern over their kids and the recognition of their relationship supersedes any sort of issues that the parents have with each other. Because if they can’t get along, then that might affect the relationship between their kids. And neither one of them want that.
Funniest moment | There must have been an Ashton Kutcher fan in the writer’s room when this scene came. After Castle and Beckett track down Leo, their witness they have to escape from Dolan’s men. Well, they get into the alley and this happens:
Castle: Dude, where’s your car?
Beckett: Where’s my car?
Leo: Where’s my car?
Check out the hilariously stupid film DUDE WHERE’S MY CAR for more antics.
Castle, you should have given the phone to Beckett | Castle, the smartest thing to have done would have been to hand the phone to Beckett. All it would have taken for her to do would have been to give out her badge number. But then that would have gotten them out of their situation and the episode would have fallen flat… guess we can’t win them all.
Best quote | In the basement, Castle and Beckett have a serious talk about their relationship. Rather, it’s all Beckett. Which is important because she normally dodges the tough relationship questions. Beckett questions Castle about his comment about their parents coming from different worlds:
“You said they were from different words and that we should just expect it. And then I started thinking about us. You’re like this world famous best-selling author and I’m just a cop. And we’re in this relationship which makes absolutely no sense on paper. And sometimes, I just start wondering are we just kidding ourselves? What if this bubble bursts? What are we then?”
How do this episode line up with season five | The conversation in the basement and the one later at the precinct highlights the fact that these two can talk when the problem isn’t about them on the surface. The biggest problem in this relationship is the fact that these two do not talk to each other when the problems are completely about them. It is through outside forces that ultimately get them to talk.