Recap: The Squab and the Quail

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STANA KATIC, NATHAN FILLION

Every Monday from now until the season premiere in September, we’ll be feature a random episode of the week. There’s no method to our madness other than we won’t select an episode twice and it won’t be a recently aired episode on ABC (in the last four weeks). So without further delay, this week’s episode is:

5×21 — The Squab and the Quail

Logline:

When Beckett is assigned to protect Erik Vaughn, a charming billionaire entrepreneur whose life is in danger, she’s forced to reflect on her relationship with Castle which has begun to plateau. Meanwhile, consumed with jealousy, Castle goes to extraordinary lengths to solve the case and separate the two of them.

Original Airdate: April 22, 2013

Story by: Jason Wilborn and Adam Frost

Teleplay by:  Jason Wilborn

Directed by: Paul Holahan

Guest Cast:

Ioan Gruffudd as Eric Vaughn
Russ Bain as Bruno Toft
Andy Wagner as Lucas Shaw
Jamie Hill  as Petra Visser

What we liked about this episode | “The Squab and the Quail” gets a bad rap from fans because it seems so out of place and it has a relatively handsome guy with a killer British accent that kind of temps Beckett to be unfaithful. And it also features a scene that has become a thorn in so many fans—Beckett nearly kissing the lovely Eric Vaughn. Figuring out what we liked about this episode was a little more difficult than we anticipated because we found it difficult to say that something didn’t work. There’s some good dialogue, some good scenes and funny moments. The fact that this episode aired a week earlier than what it was supposed to probably didn’t help, either.

Will Mr. Yummy please stand up | Ioan Gruffud as the billionaire Eric Vaughn was nice to watch on screen.  Maybe we’re a bit swooned by his accent, or maybe we just like the character in general. He wasn’t the threat to Caskett that people made him out to be. Instead, he’s almost the foreshadower of things to come in both the professional (i.e., “the job”) and the personal (“where we going?”) fronts. He tells Beckett things that Castle said to her when they first met in “Flowers for Your Grave” about her abilities as a detective. In fact, Vaughn’s assessment of Beckett kind of mirrors Castle’s. Is it strange? No. He provides a third party observation of the seemingly happy couple’s relationship that neither of them are seeing or want to see. He’s not out to break them up. To the contrary, he’s there to make them see each other but more importantly, for Castle to see Beckett. One of the things that struck us and it struck Beckett, considering her reaction, was that Vaughn complimented Beckett on her abilities. When was the last time we saw Castle do that?  Vaughn’s last comment was “…that’s an extraordinary woman you have there.” Castle says he knows and Vaughn answers back “do you?”

Where we going? | We’re going to assume that this episode aired after the bonus episode of “Still” as it was originally intended. We’re also going to assume that the first time that Beckett says “I love you” to Rick comes in “Still.” And when someone makes a statement that it changes the dynamic of the relationship. It brings up things in a relationship that the couple better start talking about it or its going to falter. That being said, Castle’s brushing off of Beckett early on in the episode and his jealous streak, starts opening the cracks in the relationship. Beckett wants to know, Castle turns it into about him, not about them. And that wipes the happiness from Beckett’s face as the scene fades to black. In looking back, it’s almost the same expression she had at the end of “Significant Others.”

The status of Caskett | Castle’s ignoring of Beckett’s striptease, his almost second thought of his last supper list and his taking Beckett for granted ruffled a lot of fan feathers. But it was by design to set up the final two episodes. Poorly set up, mind you. But it was a set up none the less. We could even say manufactured on some levels.

Jealous Castle | We’re not huge fans of writers using jealously as a plot twist or character emotion. Jealously is a bitter trait. But jealously can also bleed into trust issues. We’ve already seen this before with “Cloudy with a Chance of Murder” earlier in the season. It doesn’t help that Ryspo add fuel to the fire when Beckett is tasked with being Vaughn’s personal body guard. Castle acts like a buffoon most of the episode. It was irritating to watch. No wonder why Beckett is confused. If Castle can’t trust her to carry out an assignment then how can she expect to do her job? Hmm…

The kiss | For the last time, Beckett DID NOT CHEAT. She didn’t. She pushed him away. You can’t spin it any other way. She pushed him away. Yes, she tried to hide it from Castle initially. But most probably would knowing how your current boyfriend is standing just feet away and knowing he’s already acting like a jealous idiot. And she was probably embarrassed by what happened.

Best dialogue | “At least Gretzky knew how to score.” Beckett to Castle when they arrive at the restaurant.

Best scene | Captain Gates being sympathetic to Beckett and Castle about the Vaughn assignment. Again, remember, Gates knows about the relationship. This episode was supposed to air after “Still.” She didn’t like ordering Beckett to do something knowing about Caskett.

The takeaway moment | We’re going to go with the final scene of the episode where Castle cuts the video game cord and tries to “not take Beckett for granted.” If only he listened to the meaning behind her question.

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