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Castle 6×14 “Dressed to Kill” Recap


ABC released an early screener to the press for the Castle episode “Dressed to Kill,” and it got such positive reviews they moved the air date from January 27 to February 3.

To the chagrin of the Castle fandom they had to wait an additional week for the highly touted episode, while ABC is hoping all the positive reviews will equate to advertising dollars as it falls in “February Ratings Sweep.”

Having seen the episode early, thanks to a screener, I was one of the reviewers who offered up an early teaser for the episode. After watching it multiple times, I stand by my belief it is one of the better episodes of Castle’s sixth season.

It made me stop and think why I liked this episode so much, and then I realized why: the episode touched on Kate Beckett’s past – a part of her history that didn’t center around her mother’s murder. It really touched on her hopes and fears as she prepared to marry the love of her life – Richard Castle.

The opening scene with Beckett and Castle’s mother, Martha, looking at bridal magazines was a nice vignette into their wedding planning. When Castle and Beckett seem to have found the perfect wedding venue, thanks to an article on a place called “The Cordova House” it seems the couple have finally found a place they can both agree on. Castle makes inquiries about the venue and the latter half of the episode is peppered with them trying to get a slot to look at the place and thinking they might have found the perfect spot.

There is a scene mid-way through the episode when Castle reminds Beckett they have to leave and go look at The Cordova House, but Beckett looks regretful citing she can’t leave because of work. She sends Castle to look at the place, pleading with him to take Martha with him. I liked the transition of Beckett in this scene. She goes from hopeful bride, and I adored Castle kissing her on the head as he left, back to the lead detective quickly asking Ryan and Esposito where they are in the case as Castle leaves her side.

“Dressed to Kill” centers around the murder of a fashion magazine editor’s assistant. This dip into the fashion world allows the audience, and Richard Castle, a peek inside a little known time in Kate Beckett’s life – the time when she was a model.

Of course the audience remembers the little nugget earlier in the series about her fashion model stint. Kevin Ryan and Javier Esposito found out about her modeling background and she threatens them with bodily harm if they told Castle.

Well, the cat was out of the bag when Castle and Beckett go to interview the murdered fashion editor assistant’s boss, Matilda King. It was King whom Beckett modeled for all those years ago, and it was Beckett who was the only person to ever tell King no when she offered Beckett the January spread of the magazine in 1999. Of course, when the viewers heard the date and the year it was clear why Beckett declined – that was the month and year Beckett’s mother, Johanna, was murdered.

There are some amazing scenes in this episode. On the top of my list – that doesn’t include Castle and Beckett, that is – is the one between Castle and his mother Martha. When Castle finds out The Cordova House won’t have an opening until the fall of 2015 he reveals to Martha he doesn’t want to wait that long. After the numerous times each has almost lost the other, Castle realizes he doesn’t want to waste another second not being married to Kate.

My other favorite scene is late in the episode when Matilda King asks Beckett to model a dress for her, when her regular model has to cancel. The dress turns out to be a wedding dress and when Beckett comes out in the dress she looks like a princess. Matilda King tells her if she ever had a daughter she would want her to look like that in the wedding dress.

Beckett is in awe of herself in the wedding dress looking longingly in the mirror, practically glowing. When Castle calls her excitingly telling her the Cordova House had a cancellation and they can have the place this spring if they act fast. A look of despair crosses Beckett’s face.

To the audience’s frustration and Castle’s confusion, Beckett tells him not to book the spring 2014 date. She just needs more time.

The murder of the week was truly overshadowed by the key snippets of revelation in the episode and the personal interactions between Castle and Beckett, Beckett and Matilda King, Castle and his mother and Castle and Beckett with Martha.

I think the episode was balanced beautifully and it again made me hopeful for the series. My hopes have been dashed numerous times before as the series continually counters a beautiful episode like “Dressed to Kill” with a monotonous episode that tries to pour the supporting characters storylines down the viewer’s throat.

The ending is what ties the episode up in a bow. The frustrating moment is when Beckett returns to her apartment – apparently she still lives there. When is she going to move into Castle’s loft full-time? Waiting for Beckett, in her apartment is a huge silver box. In the box, is the wedding dress Beckett tried on – a gift from Matilda King.

Beckett goes to Castle’s apartment and tells Castle,

“Babe, we have to talk.”

I agree with Castle that usually those statements bring forth bad news. But, it really wasn’t. Beckett admits to Castle when she tried on the wedding dress she half expected her mom to be behind her. She was preparing for her wedding, and in doing so, it made her realize more than ever her mother wasn’t going to be there for her.

In what would best be called a true fanfiction line, Beckett then says her mother would have liked Castle:

“She would have loved you,” she exclaims.

It seemed a weight lifted off her chest as she could finally share this with him.

Castle, always aware of Beckett’s feelings, admits if she needs more time before they marry he would understand. That opening at times allows a series show-runner to back-pedal on the lead couple, but kudos to Andrew Marlowe for continuing to move Castle and Beckett forward.

Beckett tells Castle she doesn’t want to wait – going even further to say she doesn’t even want to wait until the fall. She is sure they will find a venue for the upcoming spring.

So, it seems Castle and Beckett is shooting for a spring 2014 wedding. The question is, will they really get married or will cliffhanger drama get in the way?