The NYPD needs Beckett to go undercover as a Russian drug courier. What could possibly go wrong?
Everything can and does in this episode that showed us Beckett at her best. Beckett is smart; she is resourceful; she is brave; she is in love. Each of these characteristics were on display and showed us our heroine in a light that we haven’t seen for a while.
Although it was obvious that Beckett was going to get out of the situation alive, the plot kept me guessing. Tightly written and beautifully acted, I believed that Beckett was in real danger. The entire Elena story was extremely well done, each reveal coming at just the right moment culminating in the two women meeting in a scene that made me gasp.
As happens on this show more often than I would like, there were times when we had to go along with the story and not question the logic. Why would such a massive drug ring just allow someone into their compound without even a cursory background check? Beckett’s picture, as Castle’s fiancée, has been in the papers. How was Beckett able to stage a murder that complex in seconds? And, more importantly, why didn’t Harden check for a pulse?
Another trope the show uses a tad too often is the incompetence of any law enforcement department that is not the 12th Precinct. Captain Fowler was beyond ill prepared, especially to send someone in to such a dangerous, deep cover assignment. It is difficult to accept that someone who makes decisions that rashly and that badly would rise to such a level in the NYPD.
The reveal of Vulcan Simmons was exciting, but depended on the viewer being a huge fan of the show. The last time we saw him was back in season three’s episode, “Knockdown.” Way back then, Beckett was still searching for her mother’s killer and suspected Simmons. In one of the great scenes this show has ever done, he provoked Beckett into attacking him so that he could go free. In another callback to that episode, Ryan and Esposito were tortured in exactly the same way with what looked like the same bucket of ice.
It turns out that Simmons is not the Big Bad; he is simply a figurehead. The true BB, arguably the BB of the entire series, is back. Senator Bracken is another guy who has been off the radar for a while. He’s back now, he’s running for President, and he believes that he and Beckett are even. I sense a season ender here.
The heart of the show has always been the Caskett relationship and it was on view here in spades. The letter Beckett wrote to Castle was lovely, and she addressed it to Rick. Beckett only uses that name when she has completely given over to her emotions, a very rare occurrence. The show opened with Beckett leading Castle into the bedroom and closed with him leading her.
It was this closing shot that drove home how much Beckett has changed since we have known her. The woman in season three would no more have been able to walk away from that computer than she would have been able to express her love in such beautiful terms. Growth, thy name is Kate.
In spite of its flaws, this was a very good episode that had me on the edge of my seat. Three out of four hidden letters in heating ducts.
— You know it’s going to be an important episode when it is written by Andrew Marlowe and directed by Rob Bowman. They used the big guns on this one.
— Gates giving Beckett an out was a side of her we don’t see often, especially when she offered to “take the heat.”
— There were several other callbacks to “Knockdown” than those I listed above. It was the first time that Castle uses the word ‘always,’ and it was Caskett’s first and, I am tempted to argue still the best, kiss.
Beckett: “All we have to do is loaf around. There’s no work, no goals other than to waste hours on end.”
Castle: “OK, stop describing my life.”
Castle: “So, what’s Gates up to aside from sabotaging our domestic bliss?”
Beckett: “I need you to know that our partnership, our relationship, is the greatest thing that has ever happened to me. You are an amazing man and I love you with all of my heart. Always.”
Elena: “He sent me because he owed you. He wanted you to live.”
ChrisB is a freelance writer who spends more time than she ought in front of a television screen.