By Alynda Wheat
October 13, 2009 at 06:55 PM EDT

There was a book? All this time there was an actual, buyable, readable Castle book and nobody told me? I mean sure, I could’ve read this post from Jeff, this one from Mandi, or this one here. But Jeff and Mandi are all the way across the country in the New York office! You and I are, we’re right here. All I know is, if Beckett gets to read that book, then I’m getting my hands on it too. But—and let me know if this is a step too meta—what I really want is a book about Beckett (Stana Katic) and Castle (Nathan Fillion). Or maybe I mean less meta, because Heat Wave, featuring Nikki Heat and Jameson Rook, is basically Beckett and Castle, but one level deeper into the fantasy. I just want to stay on the surface, with our beloved cop and her dashing mystery-writer partner. Besides, the names Nikki Heat and Jameson Rook make me giggle.

But so many things about Castle are amusing in all the best ways. Take last night’s debate about con movies (one of my favorite genres). It’s no wonder Castle had a yarn-spinner’s respect for the grifter Fletcher (Will Beinbrink). Not only is the guy the kind of character we imagine Castle writing, but as a man with friends in high and low places, Castle seems to dabble in shadiness, himself—not a lot, just enough to make him interesting. As he puts it, “When are you going to learn I’ve got a guy everywhere?” And this guy was shadiness itself. First, it looked like the poor sod took a bullet in the North Pole. Maybe some of you clued in earlier than I did that the North Pole is something of a long way to go to off a dude, but at any rate, we soon discovered he wasn’t at the North Pole, he was in his apartment. Because he’s a con artist! Yes, but one with a heart of gold! No, he wasn’t a grifter at all, he was a spy! No, wait, not a spy, just a creep! And he’s alive! No, dead! Okay, okay, he’s definitely dead, possibly a creep, and undoubtedly a very good con man…with really bad taste in partners. No wonder Beckett and Castle came down to a split decision on the case (Her: “I hate this case!” Him: “I know, isn’t it great?”)

As much as I love the vertigo-inducing he is!/he isn’t! aspect of this episode, what I really appreciate is the fact that Beckett is a Castle reader. The writers established Beckett’s little secret early on, with the hint that she might even comment on Castle’s fan site. But what’s cool is that they haven’t used that to diminish her in any respect. Instead of Castle using her fandom against her, Beckett actually uses it to tweak him. This also gives me hope that the writers know how to draw out the slow burn of this showmance (in spite of some of the Internet rumors about an impending Castle/Beckett smooch). We know that eventually, say season 7, Beckett and Castle will realize they’re meant to be. But with scripts in lesser hands, that could happen as early as season 4—and that would be a shame.

See, Coppers, this is what our procedural-hating friends are missing out on: a justice league of terrific characters who truly look charmed to be in each other’s company.


You want to talk about people who don’t look charmed to be around each other? Look here. Who knows if Olivia Wilde’s 13 may actually be out the door (scanning upcoming credits doesn’t help, and the show’s made no comment), but one thing’s certain: They desperately need to end any hint of romantic entanglement between 13 and Foreman (Omar Epps). These two are the very definition of the phrase “lacking in chemistry.” Watching their scenes together is excruciating, as they break up and get back together, with neither actor making it look real. I’m sure both actors would claim to be the friendliest of colleagues, but they sure don’t seem like it. Hopefully, last night’s breakup was Foreman and 13’s last tango.

Curiouser is how they’ve implicated Foreman, Chase (Jesse Spencer), and now House (Hugh Laurie) in the murder (and cover-up) of James Earl Jones as a brutal African dictator, when it’s Jennifer Morrison who’s leaving. Unless they’re springing a surprise on us with Spencer also exiting, I’m puzzled as to how that will play out. Since Ausiello hasn’t given any hint that Spencer’s out, I’m taking it as gospel that he’ll still be on the payroll when the dust settles. It’s just all such an odd way to go, since fans have been clamoring—for years—for more Cameron and Chase. Letting go of Morrison just doesn’t seem wise. Let’s at least hope they give her an exit worthy of the character…and the actress.

The rest of the slate seemed a bit of a yawn. In spite of the threats that Larry (Peter MacNicol) might be leaving, Numb3rs seems to be fairly rote thus far this season and Lie to Me was a touch far-fetched. Put it to you this way, if I’m ever pissing off the locals in a Mexican bar to the point that they’re circling and forming a posse straight out of the “Beat It” video, please, for the love of cerveza, get my butt outta there.

Oh, before we go, Beatniks, one programming note: Beat Cop will now run Tuesdays and Fridays so we can take better advantage of the TV schedule. And now I put it to you. Have you completely given up on CSI: Miami? Did you catch how Van Buren (S. Epatha Merkerson) completely blew off McCoy (Sam Waterston) on Law & Order when he made the mistake of assuming familiarity in asking how she was doing? Could you be more psyched at the news that Southland might be moving to TNT? And has anybody actually read Heat Wave? Let’s talk about it (but no spoilers, please). And as always, let’s be careful out there.