@DjSoundBiteThere were a lot of pills we needed to swallow in the penultimate series finale of Castle. Leaps of logic, DeusExMachinas, and general ridiculousness that could take you out of the story if you let it…however this was a very good episode and I found myself enjoying it right to the credits! As a side note, this story is all about Becket’s mother’s murder, Senator Bracken, and almost 6 season’s story arch’s. If you are not familiar with it, they give you a helpful recap at the beginning but this really is an episode for the fans. Becket is doing surveillance on a man she identifies as Jason who goes into and alley and then gets into an unmarked car. She opens a diary which has “Jason Marks” on a page and all her surveillance notes… …which is interesting that she has the time to do this, as we always see her working tirelessly on the cases… Back at home, she is going through the surveillance photos and she gets a call from Castle who is in Chicago on a book tour and is now on his way home. Castle knows about the surveillance and she says she has been being careful. We are also informed it is 2 weeks before the wedding… …when did that happen?!...meh…anyway… Becket gets called in to work and Jason Marks is found dead in a back alley, shot in the chest (between 12-2am) 5 blocks away from where she was. After checking the street cameras the driver in the town car was with Vulcan Simons (Vulcan was the big bad guy a few reviews ago who is working for Bracken and tortured Beckett.) Nobody knows she is investigating Bracken and she says to Castle she has to move quickly if Bracken is trying to erase the dots. Before she can get involved, Gates takes Becket off the case due to her history and to ensure his lawyers can’t say it is a personal vendetta. She goes home but then gets told by Ryan they had to cut Vulcan loose because there is no evidence Vulcan owns that car. Becket looks over her photos and finds a potential location, leaving Castle sleeping in bed. The place has the car and there is blood in the car seat. Vulcan appears out of the shadows very confidence as she came without a warrant but she is hold a gun to him. We then cut to Esposito ringing Castle wondering where Becket is. He is calling from the warehouse as Gates wants her back on the case because Vulcan is dead. Becket and Castle rock up to the crime scene. Vulcan had been tortured and there are no ballistics and no shell casing. R&E say to Castle a witness saw Becket leave the scene and she says she didn’t kill him. Back at the precinct Castle encourages her not to tell anyone. Just then a Captain Donovan, head of Internal Affairs, walks into the precinct. Lanley calls Becket and says they found a bullet in Vulcan. Ballistics got a match and it is her. Becket says she has another gun at her case at home, she is being setup. Donovan comes to arrest Beckett even though Gates doesn’t believe Becket didn’t do it but Donovan wants her. When he comes in she is already gone… …ok so here is the problem. We the audience know Beckett wouldn’t commit murder, yet instead of showing evidence and building a case, she runs. She is in this mess because she didn’t follow procedure in the first place. As a final nail in the coffin, we never find out who killed Vulcan or how they got her gun…so it IS possible she did kill him… …anyway…on with the fantasy…. Donovan says she is the subject of a manhunt. They kick Castle out and R&E ask Castle what this is all about. Turns out Michael Smith is back and might have faked his own death. Castle tells R&E what is going on. Castle and Becket meet up in a park and he gives her a burner phone. She says Bracken must know she doesn’t have the file anymore; otherwise she wouldn’t have had to go after Vulcan. She found out Bracken is in New York and wants to take him down vigilante style, Castle says there is another way… …oh NOW she wants to go kill him, when she had perfect opportunity beforehand at the end of Season 4?! It takes a special kind of stupid to be THIS stupid! Esposito finds the most likely doctor to have helped Smith fake his death and tell Castle and Beckett. They go to a hospital to see a Dr. Presin. He says he can’t help and they turn around and Beckett’s picture is on the news. As they make their way to escape, someone rings on Castles burner- it is Smith. He says to meet in the usual place in 20 minutes (the underground car park). He appears from the shadows and says he got to one of Brackens men and found some dirt, a recording made which Bracken admits to murder. He and smith have been looking for it. Smith was working with Jason Marks who was going to expose Bracken’s finances as corrupt but since his death they are back to square one. He suggests they run and disappear as there is nothing they can do for the moment. …ok…another difficult pill to swallow…they are pulling characters back from the dead to try to explain away plot holes, yet in doing so create more plot holes. In real life there isn’t ‘One more McGuffin’, they destroyed the file that had the evidence that should have been it. Case closes, they are screwed. Plus since when did Smith become the Bourne Identity? Sure he is rich and sure he might have contacts, but the ability to call someone on a burner phone without having the number and knowing when people are looking for him? The pills are getting harder and harder to choke down… Gates wants to why Beckett is being set up and asks R&E. They tell her the whole story. Becket and Castle are in a motel and he wants them to get out of town. She doesn’t want to but agrees reluctantly. As she is about to dye her hair she hears a noise and Bracket is in the room with 3 thugs. Bracken says they had an agreement, a ‘live and let live’ and he even saved her life. He wants to know why she couldn’t just let it go. He says he admires her but he is going to kill her. She says she wants him to pull the trigger but he says he isn’t going to leave physical evidence as he is smarter than that. He says goodbye and leaves the room with the 3 guys. One of them is gives her a pill (which is a sedative). They tie her up and force her to have a drink. They get a gun and are going to force her to pull the trigger, but she kicks them and manages to shoot them, then spits out the pill. One of them smashes her over the head with the bottle and she shoots him. But now she is bleeding and concussed. Castle finds her in the hall and carries her away… …How did Bracken find them? Why didn’t the thugs check to see if the pill had been swallowed? Why didn’t they use an injection instead? How come Beckett is public enemy number one yet Castle (who is well known and is constantly identified with her) not the subject of news reports? ...I’m getting a headache… We have a flashback with Montgomery (and it is noteworthy that this is a new scene, not recycled footage) with Beckett as a rookie police officer talking about her mother’s case. He mentions to look through her personal belonging
;he mentions files, books, and cassette tapes. She comes to in the car and tells Castle they need to go back. Montgomery is the one who made a cassette tape. He says they won’t get near her place and she says with some help they might. NOPE! I’m sorry, despite how much I loved seeing Montgomery back in the episode, this is just bullshit! There is no way after being hit over the head with the bottle you would suddenly remember a conversation you had over 15 years ago which was said so off hand. Yes he was trying to tell her, but I have trouble remember what was eaten at breakfast 2 days ago, let alone what was said. I call BS on this! R&E relieve the cops on duty and Beckett sneaks in. Through a few more lucky leaps in a diary, we discover her mother had the tape on her the day she died and wanted to hand it over to her ‘family’. Just then a SWAT breaks in and arrests them. We get a touching moment at the precinct with them all in cuffs and thinking this is the end. Then Becket looks at her desk and sees the Elephants that use to belong to her mother and the “Family” is the elephants. She opens the elephant and finds the tape. Everyone listens in- Montgomery and Bracken admitted to blackmail and murder on tape. Bracken is giving an interview and Beckett walks in and he starts stuttering. He says you can’t be here and she says she found the tape. She arrests him with all the cameras and photos going. He is taken away by R&E and Castle says her mother is proud and they embrace. While I enjoyed this episode, this final part was what made me realize how far Castle has gone regarding realism. How is it a police officer with probable cause can’t enter a building with a murder location, yet a 20 year recording without any evidence that it is the person (with the only witness dead) is enough to arrest one of the most influential politicians in the show? LOGIC?! WHY YOU NO MAKE SENSE!?!?! I have often said I can forgive ‘DesExMachina’ and ‘McGuffin’ devices provided I am entertained with the story. Too often with Castle the story has been very lack luster or ‘just OK’. THIS episode however is the kind of story telling that got me interested in the first place. It is clever, it draws on past characters, and right up until the end you wonder if they can prove it- because every encounter they have with the killer, he gets away. Despite its flaws (and there are a fair few) I give this episode a 4/5. While revisiting it for the recap I started looking at the logic and scratching my head, while watching it for the first time I was completely engrossed. Now if only they can work back 3XK back into the final story I will be a happy man ;-) Keep Up With PopWrapped On The Web!