This episode did what no episode of Castle has done for quite some time. It made me cry.
Right from the start, we knew that Ryan was going to be in danger. As I have recently learned that beloved characters do not always survive, I was concerned that I was about to lose another. When Ryan and Esposito were trapped together, I knew that not both of them would go; but, it wasn’t until they both walked out of the building that I began to breathe normally again.
There is a great deal to nitpick about this episode. The timelines were absurd, the fact that both men walked out the building without oxygen masks took the suspension of disbelief a bit far; but, my personal favorite was that Jenny gave birth in minutes and managed to not muss a hair on her head.
Finally, however, this episode was not about the fire or the person setting it. Good thing, too. Once again, it was the person who showed up briefly at the beginning who was the guilty party. I must admit that I did not call it this week. I was convinced that it was the partner Delia, but the odd Milo and the incredibly creepy Adam Ferguson made great red herrings.
This episode was about the people of the 12th and the bonds they have formed with each other. As I watched each of them either deal with what they saw as their impending death or the death of someone they loved, I was moved by how much each rose to the occasion, literally under fire.
Castle figures out the story; Beckett does everything she can to protect her boys, up to threatening murder; Gates scares the hell of a suspect to get information; Ryan and Esposito stick with each other and save each other’s lives; Lanie does what needs to be done without comment.
My heart broke for Lanie during Ryan’s phone conversation with Jenny. The man she cares about (loves?) is in exactly the same predicament as the man Jenny loves. Not only does Lanie not grab the phone away from Jenny to talk to her man, she stays with Jenny and delivers her baby. It was a great beat for a character that, recently, hasn’t had much to do except deliver exposition.
For an episode that was so dramatic, there was a fair amount of humor to keep things from getting too maudlin. One thing in which Castle excels is being able to make us laugh and then make us cry. This episode was the gold standard. Even facing certain death, Esposito and Ryan banter. “Javier? You’re going to name a white, Irish kid Javier?” made me laugh out loud. Moments later, I was crying as Ryan looked at his wife and new daughter.
The final moment was, I hope, foreshadowing for the end of the series. Each of our characters is paired up with someone; each is happy; they are all together as they witness the next chapter in one of their lives. It was lovely and it further convinced me that this series is reaching a natural conclusion.
I’m knocking a half point off for the technical problems, but this was the best episode is a while. Three and a half out of four doctored building plans.
-- A fun little fact. Castle was the ninth most googled television show in 2013.
-- I’m really, really happy that the writers did not try to shoehorn Martha and Alexis into this episode. It was unneeded and would have felt forced.
-- I have to agree with Beckett, “Pyrolicious.com? Really?”
-- It was great to see Ryan, usually the comic relief, get to play MacGyver.
-- Sick and dying buildings is a pretty cool motive.
Castle: “May I suggest… Cosmo?”
Ryan: “No, you may not. And, rather than pick a name for my kid, you should pick a date for your wedding.”
Castle: “Pick a date for my wedding? I was planning on bringing her.”
Beckett: “Really? When is that? I might have plans.”
Esposito: “You just need to chill.”
Ryan: “And, you know this from your vast experience of having zero kids?”
Esposito: “All right, you know what? You’re all emotional right now. So, I’m gonna let that go.”
Jenny: “Kevin, I’d like you meet Sarah Grace.”
ChrisB is a freelance writer who spends more time than she ought in front of a television screen or with a book in her hand.