In “Recoil,” the latest investigation leads the team to long-time enemy Senator Bracken. On this week’s CastleBeckett gets the chance to bring her mother’s murderer to justice. Will she be able to prove his guilt? How far will she go for revenge?

The Players:

  • Director: Thomas J. Wright
  • Writer: Rob Hanning, Cooper McMains
  • Cast:  Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic, Jon Huertas, Seamus Dever, Penny Johnson Gerald, Molly C. Quinn, Tamala Jones, Susan Sullivan, Kristin Carey, Jack Coleman, Brett Rickaby

Episode Title: “Recoil”

While investigating the death of engineering student Melanie Rogers, the team’s led to Senator William Bracken. He’s the man responsible for her Beckett’s mother’s murder. Beckett hopes this is her chance to catch him, but he becomes the target of a murder scheme she must solve. Faced with a difficult decision, she must choose between revenge and justice.

The Good:

  • Set-Ups: Bracken considers himself a ‘friend’ to Beckett. Castle mentions nonchalantly that Alexis has a boyfriend he needs to meet, and Beckett brings up that Senator Bracken’s responsible for her mother’s murder in front of Sir. The latter is the most interesting as we’re not sure if Capt. Gates will dismiss it or approach Beckett about her claim. All of these unanswered scenarios have us looking forward to future episodes.
  • Values: This show’s never shied away from moral issues. The central storyline with Beckett is rooted in ethics. But she seeks revenge by becoming a police officer.  She tells her therapist it’s difficult for her to make decisions about the case “because this time it feels like there is no right choice.” Her therapist tells her, “Maybe the right choice is the one you can live with,” and his advice seems to be the tone of the episode. Beckett’s decision makes her smart and daring. She weighs her options, her duties as a cop, and emerges the victor due to her integrity.
  • The Ultimate Irony: Beckett’s obligated to protect a man she wants dead? Brilliant irony. **SPOILER ALERT** We are especially satisfied with Castle’s conclusion that he wouldn’t have saved Bracken the way Beckett did. Castle speaks to the majority opinion. The only victim in the car bomb would have been Bracken; no innocent people would have been harmed. And yet, Beckett still risked her life to save his. Why?

The So-So:

  • Unsatisfying Conclusion: With a crime drama, we expect certain things from each case. A satisfying ending where the murderer is caught would be nice. It speaks to our desire for the good guys to prevail. McManus’ son’s death won’t be investigated, McManus himself was last seen in handcuffs even if we assume he’s freed. Plus, Benjamin Moss may or may not be wrongly accused. Where’s the closure?

The Quotes:

  • Senator Bracken: “It’s a dangerous world out there, detective Beckett. Never know when you might need a friend.”
  • Beckett: “He’ll slip up eventually, and when he does, I’ll be ready.”
  • Castle: “I wouldn’t have done it, you know, what she did. I would have stood and watched.”
  • Castle: “You really are remarkable, you know that?”
  • Esposito: “Bracken’s got it coming. I say let it come.”
  • Bracken: “This must be your dream come true.” Beckett: “In my dreams, I’m the one that gets to pull the trigger.”
  • Esposito: “You know, I was really hoping the next time I saw this guy it would be down the barrel of my gun.”
  • Beckett: “This is it, Castle. This is my chance to finally make him pay.”


“Recoil” is a well-written episode that brought us closer to our heroine. The case itself lacked resolution, but it left opportunities to be addressed in the future.

Rating: 9/10

Castle airs Mondays at 10 p.m. on ABC.

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Did Beckett make the right choices? Let us know in the comments!