I was really looking forward to this episode of Castle. Like, a lot. Gina Torres was set to guest star, and my Firefly loving self couldn’t wait for the chance to see Captain Reynolds and Zoe share a screen one more time. The fact that it was a Valentine’s Day episode, the first that Castle and Beckett would spend together as a couple, didn’t help diminish my expectations. So I was more than a little impatient when I sat down to watch “Reality Star Struck”.

The episode was hilarious, as we’ve come to expect from David Grae, and the acting was spectacular. Plus something happened – something that I’ve been looking forward to for months, and for which I was beginning to lose hope. What happened, you ask? Well. Keep reading and find out.

The case was pure Castle: the star of a reality show was murdered, quite literally stabbed in the back, and we’re left wondering who, among the other people involved in the show, was responsible for her death. The initial suspect is Penelope Foster, Torres’ character, an ambitious fashion designer whose husband had apparently had an affair with Hannah Green, the victim. However, Penelope has an alibi for the time of death. So do subsequent suspects: Margo Cowan, Hanna’s employer; and Peter Monroe, the show’s producer. But things begin to get more complicated as the investigation goes further.

Residues under Hannah’s fingernails show that she was in contact with a substance that, after much research, turns out to be used in construction. There are also abrasions on her wrists, showing that she was tied up for about 24 hours before the time of death. After putting two 1and two together, Beckett and Castle realize that she was held hostage for an entire day prior to the murder. Upon discovering the building in question, they walk in to find Penelope and so-called ex-husband Bob having sex.

I’m pretty sure that defeats the point of separation.

But wait! Apparently, they were never separated after all. Penelope planned the whole thing out and paid Hannah to go along with it, in order to regain the screen time she had lost. But eventually Hannah got sick of being perceived as “the other woman” when it was not true, and told Penelope and Bob that she would come clean. Panicking, the pair had no better idea than to tie her up and keep her hostage. Once she was safely – for them – locked up, they went to Monroe and explained the whole thing, asking for his help. The producer untied her and offered every incentive he could think of to make her play along with them, but Hanna was determined. She got into a taxi and left… in search of her real boyfriend, Margo’s son Stone, to ask him to leave with her. His mother told her to leave, and he didn’t stand up for her. Despite the fact that he changed his mind quickly and went after her, Hannah told him it was too late.

Margo wasn’t the only one unhappy with the relationship. Stone’s fiancée, Ashley, saw the two kissing and went after Hannah with a kitchen knife. And why, you ask? Because she went crazy with jealousy? Try again. She was afraid of losing the spin-off that she would get after the wedding.

But the case was not the most prominent part of the episode. Right from the beginning, Castle tried to find out what Beckett would give him for Valentine’s Day – as well as figure out a way to give her his present, a pair of fabulous earrings, in a surprising way. And hey, it was surprising, alright. He slipped the box into the pocket of her jacket… only, it wasn’t her jacket after all. Long story short? Castle presented Captain Gates with a beautiful present and a note asking her to be his Valentine.

That’s what happens when you don’t add the name of the recipient, Rick.

Then again, and considering how worried Castle and Beckett are about Gates finding out about their relationship, lest she makes them stop working together, it might have been a good thing. Embarrassing and yet one more reason for her to hate Castle, especially once they had bonded over the reality show, but a good thing nonetheless. In the end, Castle promises to give her a better present and Beckett gives him hers: a drawer at her place.

With the exception of the stubbornly chaste and infuriatingly darkened kisses, there’s not a single thing I would change about Castle and Beckett in this episode.

However, Castle and Beckett weren’t the only happy couple to celebrate Valentine’s Day: Ryan and Jenny put the baby-making on hold in order to spend a more romantic evening, Gates and her husband had what sounded like a quiet evening at home and Lanie and Esposito had a date. With each other. Yes, people, they are getting back together. It only took them, oh, entirely too long.

What did you think of the episode? Did you catch any Firefly/Serenity references?


Book blogger, coffee junkie extraordinaire, lover of all things storytelling.