Despite the magic wands, Castle Season 7 Episode 4 didn't quite have the magic of Castle Season 7 Episode 3, but it was still a lot of fun as Rick went undercover to try and get information out of an unidentified second grade student.
The classroom scenes with the kids were the true joy of the hour as Castle happily set out to immerse himself in their world. Whether it was playing Army men in the grass or donning fairy wings and a tiara for a tea party, no one could say that Castle didn't give it his all and it looked as though he enjoyed every minute of the adventure.
It was easy to imagine Castle playing similar games with Alexis when she was that age, he was such a natural at it. It wouldn't surprise me at all if this was not his first time wearing a pair of fairy wings and adding pixie dust to his magical tea.
As excited as Caste was to dive into this new assignment, Mrs. Ruiz wasn't quite so ready to put all of her faith in Rick Castle...
Castle: Being 90% kid myself, I have an ability to get into the minds of children and I have the perfect plan.
Mr. Ruiz: Trust me, there is no such thing.
Kudos to guest star Michael Hyatt who played Mrs. Leslie Ruiz. I thought she did a wonderful job of playing the protective teacher who was unsure of this stranger coming into her classroom to get close to her kids. Of course Castle eventually won her over, but it wasn't quick, nor should it have been.
And Mrs Ruiz was right, Castle's plan was far from foolproof. There were plenty of bumps along this road. At times the kids were merciless as they made fun of Rick but I had no doubt he'd persevere. As Castle pointed out himself, he's a big kid at heart and even when he ended up chasing a red herring as with Emily, it still turned out to be a connection worth making. I loved that Rick had to remind the girl to only use her princess powers for good after she found her inner strength and punched bully Jason in the nose.
Beckett referring to Castle as jerkface to get Jason to tell the truth was priceless and I never would have guessed that Natalie was really Jason's older sister and the one who had witnessed the murder. I love it when there's a twist in the case I didn't see coming. I also didn't expect that Polkovnic would be hiding under the bed.
But one of the quieter moments that stuck with me was when Castle tried to explain to Mrs. Ruiz why he was having the students write their own stories in this Castle quote...
An experience that powerful is going to find a way to express itself and end up on the page.Castle
It immediately reminded me of 11-year-old Rick Rodgers who witnessed something traumatic in the woods and ended up writing murder mysteries for a living.
That's something that I've appreciated so far in Castle Season 7. Although they've decided to move on, the fact that Rick was missing for two months isn't being ignored. It's still having repercussions on all of the characters, this time most notably Alexis.
I do have to ask one important question...is there really such a thing as potato chip fudge ripple ice cream and am I crazy for wanting to try it?
But back to Alexis, I appreciated how Castle could empathize with Alexis because he had gone through the same experience after she had been kidnapped and taken to Paris. Because of that he was able to acknowledge her feelings but also tell her it was time to move forward. Despite Alexis frequently acting the role of the adult in their relationship, Rick showed once again what a wonderful father he is whenever she needs him.
Perhaps the only downside to the episode was that Rick and Kate spent so much time apart. It couldn't be helped within the confines of this story, but I always find that Castle loses a bit of it's heart when there are fewer Caskett moments to enjoy.
So tell me TV Fanatics, what did you think of Rick Castle's inner child coming out to play?
And don't forget, you can always watch Castle online anytime here at TV Fanatic.
And here's your first look ahead to Castle Season 7 Episode 5, "Meme is Murder."
C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.