Castle takes us to Paris to conclude the two-parter involving the kidnapping of Alexis in “Hunt.” While tracking down her whereabouts, Castle’s unaware that someone’s following him. He gets a helping hand from a man he never expected to meet –his father.

The Players:

  • Director: Rob Bowman
  • Writer: Andrew Marlowe
  • Cast:  Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic, Jon Huertas, Seamus Dever, Penny Johnson Gerald, Molly C. Quinn, Tamala Jones, Susan Sullivan, James Brolin, Christopher Heyerdahl

Episode Title: “Hunt”

The El-Masris pay a ransom for Sara and Alexis’ restitution, but only Sara returns. Castle’s overcome with grief, while the FBI and NYPD trudge through protocol to further their investigation. Castle takes matters into his own hands by traveling to Paris to get Alexis back. By the time Beckett realizes Alexis was the original target, Castle’s ambushed. Posing as a mysterious stranger named Jackson Hunt, Castle’s father saves his life. After revealing his true identity, they work out a plan to save Alexis. Hunt then returns to his obscure life as a spy while Castle and Alexis return to New York.

The Good:

  • Old Plot, New Twist: Castle’s known for its tendency to pay homage to other TV shows and movies. We’re glad Eposito mentions the most obvious, which is Taken. Castle, like Liam Neeson‘s character, travels across the world to find his daughter. Also, several elements hearken to the series Chuck, a show where people aren’t what they seem. Castle’s Volkov, is similar to Chuck’s resident bad guy Volkoff. Last but not least, you can’t ignore the reference to Star Wars (“I Am Your Father”). This method of borrowing gave “Hunt” the emotional weight of several popular stories.
  • Bonjour, Paris: The episode is predominantly filmed in Paris, which takes Castle out of his element. His resourcefulness is inspiring. Usually we see him consulting old friends and trusted sources. It’s refreshing to see how he acts when he must start from scratch.
  • Badass Beckett: Beckett’s interrogation techniques reach a new level of intensity when she kicks the chair out from under a suspect. She remains calm during the extent of the case. Her dedication in helping Castle find Alexis packs the biggest punch in this scene because her actions are unexpected. Beckett isn’t dealing with simple drug charges; she is searching for a missing person.
  • All in the Family: We meet Castle’s father. No spoiler alert necessary because it’s been promoted all month. Castle’s meeting with his dad is short but sweet. We appreciate the theme this presents of fathers saving their children. We’re touched by the moment he gets to share with his dad. It’s great to know that Hunt’s made efforts to be an influence on his son without Castle knowing it.

The So-So:

  • Too Much Information: Due to the multiple plot twists and new info, it could have been separated into a three-parter. Getting the most out of this episode takes a second watching. The details we missed in the first viewing didn’t leave us confused, but we were still a bit overwhelmed.

The Quotes:

  • Castle: “A day? They need our help right now!”
  • Martha: “What the hell are you doing?” Castle: “Getting my daughter back.”
  • Ryan: “Oh what, he’s Liam Neeson now?” Esposito: “Liam Neeson? He’s barely Ashley Judd.”
  • Beckett: “My partner’s daughter is missing and you’re in my way!”
  • Castle: “That was a two hundred dollar phone!”
  • Hunt: “Given how you’re so broken up about that two hundred dollar phone, you might want to pick up the $3 million briefcase.”
  • Beckett: “She wasn’t hurt, Castle. That’s what matters. That’s what we’ve got to hold on to.”
  • Hunt: “I’ve always been proud of you. Always.”

Overall:

“Hunt” is another hard-hitting episode of Castle. We’re pleased with the allusions, the acting, the location and the conclusion. However, such drama deserves more time to unfold.

Rating: 9/10

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

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