'Castle': A Father, A Daughter, A Time Traveler, And A Coffee Stain

This week's Castle deals with time. Some debate whether or not time is actually a social or human construct, but most of us do accept that clocks could and would continue to tick without us. Time doesn't depend on us. We depend on it. Castle encounters two time-related themes: time travel and aging. He uses the seemingly ludicrous time-traveler to occupy his mind. He knows the time travel is impossible, but there is a part of his creative, imaginative mind that is open to the adventure. The alleged person from the future is a welcome distraction from the reality that his daughter is growing up. Castle battles with the reality that life progresses at its own pace, and the tighter we hold on, the harder we make it for ourselves.

Beckett doesn't buy into time traveler Doyle's story, but she does encourage Castle to accept that Alexis is and will continue to transition into adulthood. Castle has struggled with Alexis's new boyfriend, Pi, all season. Free-spirited Pi has set up camp on Castle's couch, and after stepping on the prong of Pi's presumably hemp belt, it is the last straw. Castle tells Alexis that Pi needs to leave, but Alexis throws a curveball: she and Pi signed a lease together and will be moving out.

Castle, a man who is brilliant at anticipating any outcome of every situation, might have seen that coming were he not dealing with his own daughter, but his denial got the best of him. When he tells Alexis she is too young to move out, she responds that she isn't too young to sign a lease. Clearly, Castle thinks she'll always be "too young" to move in with a boyfriend. He's her father, and he's not ready to let go. He wasn't "too young" at her age to move in with a girlfriend, but that's irrelevant to Castle. Time is different for him now.

On the flip side, Castle is more that willing to dive into a case that involves a supposed time-traveler. As a novelist, it is easy for Castle to get caught up in the wildly improbable tale of Doyle. From the get go, Castle tells Beckett that this is already his favorite case. Doyle claims he is from the year 2035. He tells Beckett and Castle that they will have three kids in the future. Beckett reacts slightly unfavorably to this "news," but Castle seems a little excited about the prospect. Perhaps the Alexis conflict gave him baby fever? Eh, I could've been reading into the reaction. I just saw Room 237, and now I'm worried I project my own made up meanings onto everything I watch.

After the actual case is solved, the detectives find out Doyle has been committed before, so they write him off as just another crazy guy in New York City. However, he forgets his strange remote at the precinct. Castle hurries after him to return it, but Doyle seemingly disappears into thin air. And then, Beckett spills a cup of coffee on a copy of Deschile's letter. She looks up and sees that the coffee stain matches the original stained letter in the photo. Naturally, she has no idea what to make of this. Even if you accept the possibility of "time travel," it's unclear how that happened.

That night, Castle returns home to find Alexis packed up and leaving home. Castle is not ready to let her go, but he realizes time is not in his control. He has Doyle's remote, but he can't use it to stop Alexis from moving on, as hard as it may be.

I'm a new fan of the series, but this was a wild episode. Weird, supernatural moments are my jam, but what the hell was that coffee spill scene?!

Photo: ABC/Randy Holmes