Arms Folded: Nathan Fillion, Jon Huertas, Seamus Dever, and Juliana Dever

This week’s Castle delves into the dark past of Detective Ryan in “The Wild Rover.” It involves reigniting his friendship with the notorious Bobby S. and working with an old girlfriend. Can Ryan–aka Fenton O’Connell–solve the case and take on the mob single-handed?

The Players:

  • Director: Rob Hardy
  • Writer: Terence Paul Winter
  • Cast:  Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic, Jon Huertas, Seamus Dever, Juliana Dever, Cara Buono, Jeremy Ray Valdez

Episode Title: “The Wild Rover”

When a cupcake baker’s found in an industrial mixer, shipments of money from the bakery lead to an Irish mob that Ryan once worked. He must go undercover again, only this time there’s more at stake. Taking them down becomes complicated once an old flame gets involved. Ryan depends on the team to back him up when his cover is at risk of being blown.

The Good:

  • Cakes and Layers: There were several layers of storylines and references that played off one another nicely. Not only was there playful banter between Castle and Beckett, their discussion about a meaningless secret from Castle’s past related to Ryan’s situation. Even the title of this episode, “The Wild Rover,” is a great choice due to its reference to the Irish folk song. The lyrics jest about having enough money to pay the bartender/landlady. Ryan’s old girlfriend, Siobhan O’Doul, runs the bar where the Irish mobsters hang out. This also mimics the way Bobby S. tricks Ryan with the empty gun magazine. Most of all, the song concludes with the “Wild Rover” becoming the prodigal son, seeking to do right. This speaks to Ryan’s main intention in all aspects of his life of being a good guy. 
  • Fenton O’Connell: Ryan is the only one who kept following orders at the precinct when Beckett and Esposito got suspended. He’s recently had some relationship issues, and has been placed on the back-burner when it comes to being a badass. While we’ve enjoyed recent looks into Esposito’s past this season ["Under the Influence" and "Significant Others"] we love seeing Ryan get a chance to kick butt and show a new side of himself. This was the perfect time for him to confront his past and consider his future.
  • The Writing Life: We’ve got several stories about Castle’s decision to pursue writing coming into focus. Most recently, he remembers in “Hunt” that his writing career sprang from the book his father suggested he read. This week’s story about a different catalyst in his decision to become a writer makes sense and adds another element of doing-the-right-thing. Also, it’s a pleasantly mediocre memory. We’re glad there was no dramatic [or traumatic] event haunting him. We’re pleased he doesn’t plagiarize, though the very idea of it can’t be mentioned without a tip of the hat to the ghostwriters behind the Nikki Heat series.
  • Luck O’ The Couples: The reason Jenny and Ryan have such great chemistry is probably because Seamus and Juliana Dever are married. The way they work through his mysterious past, the pregnancy issue, and her opening up to Beckett made for good writing and good acting. We’re pleased!

The Bad:

  • None: Not in this episode! We loved it all.

The Quotes:

  • Castle: “It’s nothing.” Beckett: “I’m a good friend of nothing. And this is not nothing.”
  • Beckett: “Do you want to grab a bite to eat?” Castle: “Actually, it’s not food I’m craving.”
  • Castle: “Talk about death by chocolate.” Lanie: “Ew! You’re eating a dead man’s cupcakes!” Castle: “They’re free samples!”
  • Ryan: “I can explain.”
  • Ryan: “See you on the other side, brother.”
  • Ryan: “I don’t need you to tell me what’s at stake here.”
  • Ryan: “There’s only two things to do at the docks; kill someone or go fishing. It’s a little late to go fishing, isn’t it?”
  • Castle: “Seriously? I didn’t bring my vest!”


“The Wild Rover” gave us a great chance to explore Ryan’s character with an episode that had it all: action, suspense, morality, and laughs.

Rating: 10/10

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

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How’d you like this Ryan-centric episode? Let us know in the comments!