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‘Castle’ Episode 3 Recap: “Clear and Present Danger”

Castle husband and wife writing duo Dara and Chad Creasey brought the fun, romance and breeziness back to Castle this week with “Clear and Present Danger.” Dare we say they may have righted the ship after a rocky start to the season.

The Creaseys just instinctively know how to write Richard Castle (Nathan Fillion) and Kate Beckett (Stana Katic) as a couple. They know how to bring the flirtatious banter to a committed couple and also know how to build sexual frustration into a relationship that already enjoys a physical one already.

Not that Castle and Beckett have enjoyed any physical activity with each other since he returned from his mysterious kidnapping and amnesia episode. Apparently the engaged couple have been doing a lot of reading and watching movies – both wondering when the other would be ready to make love.

In the immortal words of Kate Beckett: “I am so ready.” And I think the audience is, too. Enough with the new mythology of Richard Castle and forced drama, fans want their old Castle formula back – solving cases and Castle and Beckett enjoying each other. And guess what, they got it tonight.

Kudos to the Creaseys for showing Castle and Beckett as a true couple, working through things, enjoying each other’s company, sharing inside jokes and just wanting to be with each other.

Of course, there is also a case to solve and that is what stops the couple from having sex, and reconnecting at the start of the episode. There are a couple of false starts in the episode with the phone again halting their attempts and then Martha (Susan Sullivan) also interrupts. But for once I wasn’t so worried about a kiss or wondering if they were acting like a real couple – I was just enjoying the ride.

It helped this felt like a classic Castle episode. Castle was back with his wild theories. There was even a scene where both Castle and Beckett seemed to be enjoying a bit of theory building foreplay. And it was nice, it was sweet and it was fulfilling.

As for the case, it was actually intriguing as well. A man was impaled with a pool cube in his apartment where the windows and doors were locked. How did the killer get in? Video footage shows the door to his apartment mysteriously opening and closing and no one on the screen. Castle immediately suggests the Invisible Man much to Beckett’s chagrin.

When Castle and Beckett go to the victim’s apartment to retrieve a key card they need for the case, they are assaulted by a mysterious force. Beckett is even chocked and it seems the assailant has taken off with the key card but Castle says in the struggle he replaced it with his credit card and he still has the key card.

In for the night at the loft, Castle and Beckett try to pick up where they left off before her phone rang with the murder case. I had to rewind the scene multiple times to remind myself this was Castle and Beckett making out on their bed – a steamy scene full of longing and want.

There have been so many complaints by fans about the almost “G” rated representation of Castle and Beckett as a couple it was nice to see the writers finally get it – the fandom wanting to see some passion out of this couple that obviously loves and is very attracted to each other.

Of course they are foiled again from making love – by their own imagination still reeling with their encounter with the invisible entity. Castle uses tricks from his zombie apocalypse survival camp to rig up the bedroom with pots and pans – hoping if someone comes in they will trigger the constructed alarm system. Beckett is into it, getting a glint in her eye and admitting Castle makes nerdy sexy and it looks like they are going to finally have their moment. The lights go off and then the booby trip is tripped by none other than Martha. Denied again.

In the end, the case is quickly solved. Turns out a cloaking suit was being used to render the wearer invisible. The victim worked for some shadowy government facility doing research on high level projects. And the killer was the victim’s former girlfriend who didn’t appreciate being used for his research – using her marine biology background to help him perfect the suit.

There were also some fun moments with Javier Esposito (Jon Huertas) and Kevin Ryan (Seamus Dever). Esposito teased Ryan about working as a bouncer at a male strip club for extra money as he worried about raising his daughter. It was the perfect use of them as supporting cast and not allowing them to overshadow the episode.

Oh and Castle and Beckett, yeah they got their groove back. First Castle showed off his new toy that looks for heat signatures in the room. While wearing it, he turns it on Beckett and declares her hot.

Beckett tells him she will join him in the bed in just a second, she just has to get ready. Castle is hoping she will be wearing last year’s Valentine’s Day present but he gets more than he bargained for when she returns naked – her bare back showing to the audience as the screen fades to black.

All in all, a stellar episode that lulls me back to finally enjoying a Castle episode after the last three – dating back to the Season 6 finale. Can the Creaseys just write all the episodes? Because they get this show and get Castle and Beckett. And they just might have me hooked again.