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Castle 6×15 “Smells Like Teen Spirit” Recap

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Castle returned after a week break – presenting one of its most swoon-worthy episodes of the season.

Penned by the writing husband and wife writing duo of Chad and Dara Creasey, the episode shows why these two were brought in this season. The Creaseys brought back the banter, the teasing, and the spark to Richard Castle and Kate Beckett.

The 15th episode of season six, Smells Like Teen Spirit, was charged with the task of following the fan and critically well received episode “Dress to Kill.” This episode showed Kate Beckett finding her wedding dress for her upcoming nuptials to her fiancé Castle and had some nice relationship nuggets.

What do the writing team of Creasey and Creasey do to follow up? They pepper even more Castle and Beckett relationship scenes, with a compelling murder case, to make this episode another fan favorite.

The episode itself dealt with the death of a “Mean Girl” type high school student who was seemingly murdered via telekinesis. And of course the “mean girl” had her target, and outcast young girl who it seems has the power to move things with her mind.

This intrigues an opened minded Castle and frustrates the pragmatic Beckett who is always looking for the logic in a case.

More on the case in a bit. First, let’s dive into the richness and reveals of the Castle and Beckett scenes. It seems the writers are checking off fan’s bucket list items this season, a long and daunting list that seems to be getting shorter with each episode.

The first scene with lovebirds has Castle shortening his list to five potential wedding bands. Beckett wants a DJ, saying she wants to hear “Old Blue Eyes” himself, Frank Sinatra, playing their song “Witchcraft.” A song they sang at the karaoke bar at the Hamptons. Castle was shocked saying he thought it was Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark,” after he asked the boss to pull Beckett on stage. Then they both turn to each to each other realizing they don’t have a song as a couple.

We also learned Castle attended Faircroft Preparatory Academy, the school that the murdered girl attended. Castle tells Beckett he was expelled after a senior prank in which he and some friends placed a cow on the school’s roof. The principal that expelled him still works at the school and there were some nice humorous scenes when they reunited.

When the principal calls him Mr. Rodgers, Castle corrects him and says he is now Mr. Castle. The principal states he will always be Rodgers to him, proving sometimes no matter how hard we try we can’t escape our past.

A side note… Beckett introduces Castle as her colleague at one point. Not Mr. Castle, not this writer following me around, or like she did in the first season ignoring his presence all together. It should be noted Beckett just announced to the world she sees Castle as an equal in her world.

A couple of continuity issues to address before we move forward. Castle states he was expelled, unlike the other boys involved in the prank, because they had well connected families and he was a scholarship kid. From previous seasons Castle said he was expelled from various schools, during his high school career, and that doesn’t seem like something a kid with a scholarship to a private school could do. If you lose your scholarship it doesn’t transfer to another school, so how did he keep going from private school to private school? And where did he graduate from, since he was expelled the spring of her senior year, since he said in the season four finale he was only wearing boxers under his graduation gown?

A second continuity issue was when Beckett revealed she didn’t go to her senior prom. She said “Rebel Becks thought she was too cool to go.” But didn’t she talk about going to the prom in season two, and not knowing what her father said to her date because she was upstairs?

The episode was so amazing it was easy to forget these continuity hiccups, not to mention the interaction between Castle and Beckett, the loving glances and the general attention to them as a couple and not flooding the episode with unnecessary scenes with the supporting cast.

Another missing bucket list fan item has been more domestic scenes between Castle and Beckett. Wish granted when the episode shows them having dinner at home discussing the case. It was there Beckett talks about regretting not going to her high school prom – tuck that reveal for later in the episode it comes back.

There were numerous fun teasing moments, including Beckett telling Castle to come into the interrogation room with her, when she talks to the girl who it seems has telekinetic power.  I love when she tells him to come in with her to protect her and Ryan and Esposito chuckle at her comment as Castle begrudgingly follows her.

What I liked about the case is there was an explanation for what appeared to be some of the supernatural events. The girl didn’t really have telekinetic powers, a tech savvy boy who liked her set it up so the mean girl who died, Madison, would leave her alone. There was also a shout out to the movie “The Bling Ring” when Castle and Beckett realize Madison and her two friends were breaking into homes of students at the school and stealing. One of the girls turned out to be the murderer in a nice little twist.

The episode was truly an explanation point on a great episode. After making the arrest while the school’s winter formal is happening, Castle asks Beckett to dance. On the dance floor the song “In My Veins” by Andrew Belle starts playing. “In My Veins” was the song used in the season four finale when Beckett came to Castle and they made love for the first time. They both exclaim they love this song and there it is – they have a song.

Then Castle says something that makes the fans and Beckett love him even more:

“Everything I have done, every choice I have ever made, every terrible and wonderful thing that has ever happened to me, it’s all led me to right here, this moment with you.”

Swoon away….

The episode ends with Castle and Beckett kissing under the disco ball swaying back and forth to their song. What more could you ask for?

  • Q: What more could I ask for?
    A: Nothing!! (Except the actual wedding itself..)
    I have to admit, looking back, the episode wasn’t really in my top 10. I liked the little reminiscing bits and learning about “rebel Bex” and prankster Rodgers, but I feel as if the writers could do way better than a cliche high school drama. Your post is still wonderful, though! I love reading your Castle reviews!