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Castle - Once Upon a Time in the West - Review: "Or, What Happens After The Wedding"

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“Once Upon a Time in the West” was the debut of newlywed Mr. and Mrs. Castle, and it was cute and great fun. Their relationship has impacted this show in so many ways, and I’m happy to see the being married part only improved their dynamic, the chemistry two leads share is stronger than ever. The episode included enough playful banters and enough eye-rolls to go around, yet we could still see through the Beckett sarcasm’s, they truly love each other and it was beautiful to watch.

Castle’s seventh season has been an enjoyable one, where they dared to do different, and it paid off, though I often finished an episode not really remembering what the murder was about, like for this one. Does it matter? Not one bit, Castle’s never really been about the murders, it was always about the characters, for me at least, about their development, about the chemistry of the ensemble cast, the jokes and the laughs. And this season has been knocking it out of the ball park.

“The Time of our Lives” ended last week, incredibly, with our two sweethearts finally saying “I do” in a very discrete, spur of the moment type of ceremony, surrounded by only close family, aka Martha, Alexis and Jim. One thing I’ve adored these past few episodes, is that every time there’s something I disagree with, something I don’t particularly like, the writers manage to get the characters on the same page as I am. And everything I feel like they’re saying, “Hey, we hear you. We know.” This week, it was with Esposito, Ryan and Lanie. As perfect as that moment was, on the beach, intimate, and beautiful, I was disappointed that Ryan, Espo and Lanie were kept out of it. Turns out, they’re in agreement with me, and it makes sense that they would be disappointed they weren’t there. And now, we have another thing to be disappointed about, and that’s the fact that we’re missing a duet by Ryan and Esposito!

What comes after a wedding? The honeymoon, of course. But when has it ever been easy for this two? Never, that’s when. Beckett has no more vacation days, took them all searching for Castle, when he was missing, which means no paradise island getaway for our favorite duo. They’re having a slightly less romantic post-wedding activity, but so fitting for Caskett, it’s actually perfect. This week, Castle and Beckett hit the West in an episode that started out having me think I was actually watching Grey’s Anatomy, for a murder-solving honeymoon. Mai Tais for murder, seems like a good trade off, don’t you think?

“Saddle up, honey, because we are honeymooning out West. Heehaw.” - Castle

Who else tried the whole eyebrow bit in front of a mirror? It was great, Stana’s great. (It’s really hard to do!) The murderee of the week is poisoned, and when the clues all seem to point to Diamond Ranch, in Arizona, encouraged by Gates, the real life newlyweds, pose as undercover newlyweds for an impromptu honeymoon, leading the episode long debate of Fake vs Real Honeymoon. Not enough time in the bedroom for a honeymoon, am I right?

Their investigation takes place in a living history resort, with the thrill of the old west as they mingle about, trying to gather up information on the victim. Castle’s having the best time playing cowboy, and an even better time looking at Beckett dressed like a cowboy. And I’m having the best time watching them. They don’t have jurisdiction in Arizona, they aren’t cops, and when the identity of the married man the victim was having an affair with remains unknown, they need to approach it a little differently than usual.

“We don’t approach this like cops, we approach this like writers.” – Castle
“So we procrastinate and make stuff up?” –Beckett
“No. Well, yes. But, No. In this particular instance we proceed with the investigation like writers by doing research.” - Castle

Their research basically consists of signing up for a bunch of cowboy style activities, and of course, in typical Castle fashion, he would keep all the good ones for him, he’s like a kid at Disneyland. Even though he signed her up for Hog Tying, he also signed her up for the gun spinning class, fun. (That was me, pausing the TV, so I could see all the activities possible!) Castle identifies the man in the alleged affair, thus begins their adventure with Ryan and Esposito. It’s cut short though, in a romantic scene turned hilarious, the two horses run off, scared of the gun fire. Nathan Fillion is killing it this season with the comedic aspect of the show.

“Well you were right before. This is so not our honeymoon.” - Castle

They do like having Beckett and Castle search for long lost treasures on Castle! Turns out bank robbers hid gold, and the victim was searching for it, so, so are Castle and Beckett. Tracking the litter, (once again a hilarious bit!) they manage to find the entrance to the hide-out, but instead of gold, they find yet another dead body.

The case seems open and shut, and Beckett goes off with the Sheriff to show him the way. I really did think the real killer was the Sheriff too! Trouble follows Castle, and he ends up in an old school shooter showdown with the master, maybe the gun spinning class would have come in handy there, huh buddy? Beckett’s to the rescue, because Castle’s not really one for gun spinning, and I for one, am appalled. It looks like the kind of thing he would practice at his living room, when bored, with a couple fake pistols and a 10 year old Alexis as his adversary.

Once again, I’m loving the new and improved Victoria Gates. She even managed to crack a joke for not being invited to the champagne toast. I would have killed though, to have her call him Mr. Beckett instead of Mr. Castle. His reaction would have been priceless. Lanie, after being promised a land full of carbs and desserts, found it in her heart to be happy for her best friend, Esposito and Ryan, on the other hand are not, they’re mad, dissapointed. I laughed at their attitude, commanding Castle to his wallet, but in the end they were just acting petty. Gates is the one to finally make them realise it.

“What the hell is wrong with you two? You really want to know what I think detectives? I think that the two of you should stop whining like two little school girls who weren’t invited to the dance, and be happy that your friends, your very dear friends, have found a way to make it work. Especially after all the hell these two have been through. And that’s what I think.” –Gates

Amen to that sister! It was a perfect way to end the episode, and the fact that it was Gate’s idea, make it even more than perfect in my opinion. To say sorry for being jerks about the wedding, for not being happy, supportive when they should have, redeeming themselves, they both give Beckett two of their vacation days each so she can stay at the ranch to continue, or start, they’re undercover honeymoon, turned real honeymoon.

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