Castle Recap: Private Practice

Castle Season 8 Nathan Fillion Staying

This week on ABC’s Castle, Rick — with a shiny new P.I. license in hand — pitted himself against wife Kate and her team at the 12th, as he adjusted to his “break-up” with the NYPD.

As I was saying to some followers on The Twitter and as covered some during my most recent Inside Line column, Rick’s first foray into private investigation, chasing the same case as Kate & Co., was highly entertaining and downright sexy at times (as the marrieds bartered intel or worked themselves into quite a lather assembling clues).

There were so many fun little things to watch for, like Kate’s smile of pride as Rick relayed some clues he himself dug up. Rick noting that he arrived at a key location first, “So, really, you’re following me.” Kate waving her ring finger in the air when arguing that husbands tell wives when they rent a P.I. office. The phone call where Beckett over-cheerfully starts, “Hey babe!” and proceeds to try to coax clues out of  her man

There was that whole sequence with the filled-to-the-rim wine glasses, and the afterglow scene it ultimately uncorked. (“It’s been forever since we tried that. I forgot how creative you can get.”) Kate stating how much Rick impressed her with his independent work on the case, and her look of giddy anticipation as he opened his Sherlock-ian gifts.

Beyond the “Caskett” of it all, you had Ryan playing “the C-card” by doing his best Rick impression at the murder board, or Espo having the last laugh by beating Rick to a tell-tale coffee cup. (“Sorry, Sherlock. Not this time.”) Perlmutter blocking Rick’s view of the corpse with his clipboard, and then freaking upon finding his frenemy foraging inside the M.E.’s office.

As for Rick himself, the episode reminded us of how keen a mind he has, piecing together clues (or how a “serviceable falsetto” can gain access to credit card statements!) on his lonesome. And that’s a big plus for the character.

The question, though, is how many of the above amusing themes/beats can be repeated in any way, as Rick continues on “separate” from the NYPD. Or was much of the aforementioned enjoyment born of the “first time” nature of the rivalry?

In the next, telenovela-set episode, I understand that Rick has an actual client, so that could offer a variation on the above, by having (a perhaps guilty?) someone to answer to. So, I could see this “Castle, P.I.” arc feeling sufficiently fresh for another two, maybe three episodes. But perhaps it’s the events of the February sweeps two-parter that pave a way for Rick to rejoin the team at the 12th?

Or does anyone think his solo act could possibly stretch on further, even to the finale?