This week, Castle took an unexpected turn in “Probable Cause.” When all the evidence for a brutal murder leads straight to Castle, the real victim might be the Caskett relationship. Will Beckett follow the facts or follow her heart?

The Players:

  • Director: John Terlesky
  • Writer: Andrew W. Marlowe
  • CastStana KaticNathan Fillion, Jon Huertas, Seamus Dever, Tamala Jones, Susan Sullivan, Molly C. Quinn, Penny Johnson Jerald

Episode Title: “Probable Cause”

Alexis comes home from college to do laundry. Everything seems normal when Castle goes to the crime scene of his latest case. But the brutal ritual killing puzzles the team when the only trace of evidence on the scene is connected to Castle. As the evidence piles up he becomes the prime suspect. They must question how well they know their mystery writer friend. More importantly, Beckett wonders if her lover and partner of four years is capable of such horrific acts. Meanwhile, Castle discovers he’s been set up by a notorious killer from his past. The team races the clock to prove his innocence before he’s locked away for murder.

The Good:

  • Trust Me, Trust Me Not: Trust is the most important part of a relationship. Nothing irks people like accusing them of murder (as we learned in “Murder He Wrote” last episode). This episode tests more than just Caskett, it tests the friendships Castle has with Esposito, Ryan, and even Captain Gates.
  • 3XK: He’s back! In lieu of the “Halloween themed-episode” that some series undoubtedly make, we got a break from the masquerade party with a different kind of nightmare. This serial killer’s use of high intelligence for evil emphasized the good we see in Beckett and Castle. Bringing 3XK back from the dead so-to-speak was a clever surprise. It caused us to reminisce of times when Beckett and Castle consoled each another in a similar life-threatening situation.
  • Twists and Turns: Suspense, suspense, suspense! Every new development was a new layer to a nearly impossible mystery. Every word, every snippet of evidence is refreshing and unexpected. It’s great to see that in the fifth season. It keeps things interesting. They push the limits of the murder mystery genre by tackling “the perfect murder” with grace and intrigue.
  • Resolution of Caskett’s Secret: This episode laid all of the cards on the table without negativity arising between the close-knit group of detectives. Castle and Beckett can stop hiding their love for one another (except from Captain Gates still), and no one has to pretend like they don’t know what’s going on between them. They handled the situation professionally and humorously without unnecessary drama.

The So-So:

  • The Setup: *SPOILER ALERT* It should be addressed that we already know Castle will not die. Any number of circumstances can believably befall him, but death isn’t one of them. Seriously, the show is called Castle. He’s the main character! So here’s our critique: Why reveal the setup so early? Why miss the opportunity to leave us in suspense longer to make us question Castle’s innocence? It would have better highlighted the fact that Beckett chose to believe him the whole time. The scene was decently heartfelt, but it held the potential to be a real tearjerker.

The Bad:

  • The End: Beckett believes the notorious 3XK is really dead? He evaded police for years and now he’s staged an elaborate set up against one of their own — that almost worked. Sure, Castle shoots multiple bullets into his chest, but a bulletproof vest would have ensured his survival, right? The water was probably an easy swim to shore (it is just off the bridge). Maybe it’s just us, but Castle has a point with his theory. It’s strange on several levels that Beckett disagrees with him. She knows the capabilities of 3XK, and surely she has no more plausible explanation for the reason of the setup. After all, she is just as interested in case-solving and motive-finding as him. If she’s just playfully pretending like his theory is outrageous, it seems an odd time to do so.

Overall:

Looking for suspense? Look no farther! “Probable Cause” kept us on the edge of our seats with a series of brilliant plot twists and genuine foreshadowing. We had trouble accepting some minor aspects of the plot. But we found the resolution of the ongoing conflict originating from Beckett and Castle’s secret relationship believable and interesting.

Rating: 9/10

Castle airs Monday nights at 10 p.m. on ABC.

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What kept you on the edge of your seat? Let us know in the comments!