Castle” reaches new emotional heights this week after a retired homicide detective is gunned down just before revealing new information on the closed case regarding the murder of Beckett’s mother.  The team, particularly Beckett and Castle, take their partnership to the next level as they struggle to unwind the decades-old conspiracy. And when a sniper begins following Beckett, who will keep her safe from harm–even if it means risking one’s own life? Find out in our review…

The Players:

  • Director: Thomas J. Wright
  • Writer: Will Beall
  • Cast: Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic, Jon Huertas, Seamus Dever, Molly C. Quinn, Susan Sullivan, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Tamala Jones, Max Martini

Episode Title: “Knockdown”

Retired homicide detective John Raglan contacts Beckett with new information about her mother’s closed case, but he is killed right in front of her and Castle before delivering the information. The proceeding investigation into Raglan’s murder leads Beckett down an emotionally haunting path, causing her to vent her rage on shady suspects, which gets her kicked off the case. Ryan and Esposito work on the case while Castle and Beckett become closer than ever, resulting in life-threatening situations, high-energy suspense, and that infamous liplock between the two that we’ve been waiting for all season.

The Good:

  • Ryan and Esposito: As much as we hated seeing Beckett get kicked off her own mother’s case, it was great to see detectives Ryan and Esposito pick up the slack by doing some investigating on their own. Their interrogation techniques proved efficient and hilarious, and the cockiness with which they withheld information even when being tortured showed an extreme form of loyalty to one another and strength as individuals.
  • The Amazing Kiss: It may have been written off as a ploy, but some real chemistry was unavoidably apparent in the kiss between Beckett and Castle. Not only does this confirm Castle’s place as Beckett’s partner instead of the “plucky sidekick,” it opens the door for Beckett and Castle’s relationship to blossom as friends, lovers, or simply work partners.
  • Care and Concern: Martha tries to put everything in perspective when she scolds Castle for possibly endangering his life. Interestingly, this parallels Castle’s earlier concern from Beckett when he first thought she was shot instead of Raglan. Castle’s concern for Beckett’s safety supersedes his own, which is both touching and informative of his feelings for her. His concern indicates that he loves Beckett the same way his family loves him.
  • A Killer with a Badge: The issue of an authority figure’s unethical past behavior is both frowned upon and given defense, detailing the consequences that can result from one’s choices when in a position of power. The actions of a cop who habitually broke the law over a decade ago have dire consequences for the current homicide team. However, that cop’s defense is given by another retired cop, who describes his breaking the law to be for a better, more ethical purpose: to bring justice to the criminals who buy their alibis and appear to be lawful when, in fact, they are murderers.
  • Calling for Backup: The entire force, plus Castle, step up and help Beckett work on her mother’s case, which is a touching display of how a squad of coworkers can become like family. Ryan and Esposito help out by working on the case; Castle helps by being emotionally supportive and coming up with dumb ideas that actually work. It’s even more touching to see Beckett and Castle return the favor with some quick thinking by backing up Ryan and Esposito when they need their team most.

The So-So:

  • Unsolved Mystery: Beckett’s mother’s case is reopened in light of Raglan’s attempt to provide new information, and Raglan’s case is solved, but the many twists, turns, and conspiracies don’t lead to any further conclusions. Thus, Beckett’s plan to visit the prison every week to relentlessly probe the hit man for more information is filled with the sense of some hopeless, unending chase.

The Quotable:

  • Esposito: “Listen, you’re too late. The cops already know everything…about me and your mom.”
  • Castle: “It’s not about the books anymore.”
  • Castle: “Like it or not, I’m your plucky sidekick.” Beckett: “Plucky sidekicks always get killed.” Castle: “Partner then.”
  • Castle: “Fear does not exist in this dojo.”
  • Castle: “I may not have a badge, unless you count the chocolate one Alexis gave me, but…”

Overall:

This week’s “Castle” was the epitome of drama and suspense, analyzing each character’s role and importance to the group, dealing with the consequences of questionable morals, and examining what makes a successful partnership, making this one of the best episodes yet.

Rating: 10/10

“Castle” airs Monday nights at 10pm on ABC.

Photo Gallery:

Agree? Disagree? Have any idea where the big kiss may lead? Let us know in the comments!