Season 3, Episode 13 (Witch Hunt)
The Wicked Witch makes her formal introductions in the past and present, albeit the latter in disguise. In the past, Regina sneaks into her old castle (with Robin Hood along as her backup, much to her annoyance) and intends to help Snow White and Prince Charming get in and then put herself under the sleeping curse until Henry would someday find her. Her plan is thwarted by the Witch, who claims to be Regina’s half-sister. Despite the fact that the Witch was able to get past Regina’s “blood magic” and thus has to be related to Cora, I am not convinced that she is telling the whole truth. According to the Witch, she is the daughter of Cora – unloved, un-favourite, and abandoned to Oz – and a former pupil of Rumplestiltskin. Thus, she is jealous of Regina and aims to destroy her. In declaring this, however, she gives Regina something new to live for. Perhaps without realising the ironic parallel, Regina is to the Wicked Witch what Snow White was to her.
In the present, Emma and Regina unite to figure out who is menacing the town with flying monkeys. They make a formidable team, despite being as of yet unsuccessful in capturing the Witch, and in their relationship, one can see what the relationship between Regina and Snow could have been. Of course, they are all virtually the same age now, so their friendships are not what one would necessarily expect.
Nonetheless, Snow White and Regina could have been close and shared fun experiences together instead of being mortal enemies.
This episode itself was primarily one of solving clues. Very little plot development seemed to take place, as the primary storylines consisted of Regina breaking her way back into her castle in the past and of Regina and Emma investigating the strange disappearances in the present. It was a typical case of the Chapter Two Exposition Syndrome, but it managed to be entertaining and intriguing.
While I know that Regina had always considered herself to be alone, I was surprised that she did not clue into the fact that her “blood magic” spells being broken was strong evidence that said intruder was related to Regina and Cora. Not one “Strange, I don’t have any relatives left” to either Robin Hood or Emma. Relatives tend to come out of the woodwork – I might have guessed that some extended cousin or such might suddenly make an appearance. Did Regina really have no family left? No third cousins?
I am enjoying the mystery element of the storyline this latter half of the season. It harkens back to the first season when Emma was reluctantly searching for clues to humour Henry. The writers really seem to have finally locked down decent story arcs.
Season 6, Episode 18 (The Way of the Ninja)
Firmly in the “funny Castle” episode category, this week’s adventure had Castle investigating a modern geisha club with Ryan and Esposito, getting attacked by ninjitsu fighters, and reassuring Beckett that their lives will not become boring once they get married. Considering the last sentence, it seems odd that Beckett would ever think that marriage to Castle would be boring! All was well at the end of the hour, but the road getting there was an enjoyable blend of humour, well-choreographed fights, and romance. Not particularly memorable, but something one could re-watch on DVD later for a good laugh.
I have to admit that the over-abundance of Asian (primarily Japanese) stereotypes was somewhat distasteful. There were simply so many of them! Some of the actors had atrociously-forced accents. The geisha club was extremely Orientalist – not to say inaccurate, of course. Furthermore, Castle and the rest of the precinct continuously referred to ninjas as though they were a separate species rather than mere martial artists. Really, there are no such thing as ninjas? Ninjas are not elves or gnomes or zombies or ghosts. They have always been mere martial artists and assassins. Hearing Castle and Beckett debate the “existence” of ninjas quickly grew tiresome. For a writer who prides himself on being highly knowledgeable and keen on research, Castle considering ninjas to be supernatural stretched credibility.
Regarding Castle and Beckett’s relationship, I was glad to have the writers discuss fears and issues that would exist after their wedding. The conversations about whether or not they would get boring definitely made the characters seem more normal. Castle, having been married twice, does know what it is like to get bored, but Beckett does not. Her fears are entirely justified.
It seems that weddings have been turned into endings for stories. Instead of being the beginning of a new life together, they are the “happily ever after” in the last chapter of a book or in the final scenes of a film. They are big days that have to be perfect or the bride’s life is supposedly ruined. That is not what marriage is about. Hopefully, the show is renewed and Castle and Beckett get married and continue to have crime-solving adventures next year. There is life after marriage, after all.
And certainly, this life won’t be boring.