You have to appreciate how two weeks before her wedding, Beckett is out at 1 a.m. spying on a funding conspiracy masterminded by her mother’s murderer. When they attempt to set her up, it’s not the truth that conquers all in “Veritas.” It’s up to the family of characters on Castle to bring Senator Bracken down.
- Director: Rob Bowman
- Writers: Rob Hanning & Terence Paul Winter
- Cast: Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic, Jon Huertas, Seamus Dever, Molly Quinn, Susan Sullivan
Episode Title: “Veritas”
While Castle’s on his book tour, Beckett been keeping tabs on Vulcan Simmons and the drug ring that seems to be funneling money into Senator Bracken’s presidential campaign. However, the man she sees getting into a car with Vulcan ends up dead, with our homicide team on the case. Because of her history with Vulcan, Gates takes Beckett off the case, and Castle warns her to be careful. But she goes to confront the drug kingpin anyway. After she leaves, Vulcan too ends up dead, with a bullet from a gun Lanie can pin to Beckett. She’s being set up, and goes on the run to find a way to strike Bracken, who happens to be in New York. Castle, of course, goes with her and brings Ryan and Esposito in on the conspiracy. Our couple track down Smith, a guy who once helped Beckett get closer to knowing the truth about Bracken and faked his own death to avoid the consequences. He hints that there might be an incriminating cassette that would bring Bracken down, but offers no other help. Beckett’s confronted by Bracken and his cronies later that night. They try to drug her and stage her suicide, but she manages to fake them out; although one does break a vase over her head before she kills him. Castle grabs the injured Beckett and makes a run for the border, when she realizes her mother had the cassette all along. They try to search her apartment but get busted. Just as they’re about to be booked, Beckett realizes the elephants on her desk, which were her mother’s, might contain the tape. She finds it, and puts the cuffs on Bracken. It’s about as nice a wedding present as you can give a girl.
- High Gear: Credit to Rob Bowman, the episode looked great. A lot of its due to the sharper and varied lighting that was very complimentary to Stana Katic’s bone structure. People are lit by the blues of their iPhones bringing unwelcome news, or shrouded in the damp darkness of sketchy parking garages. It’s something that’s not immediately appreciable, but is a tangible shift into thriller territory. We loved it.
- Elephants on Parade: It’s fitting because this isn’t Castle as we know and love it. It’s the Kate Beckett Power Hour. She rocked every part of this: From the awkward, fresh-faced Officer Beckett in flashbacks to putting two extra rounds in a particularly loathsome hitman. When Castle’s jumped into straight drama territory before, it usually isolates the complex backstory of one particular character. So it was great to see Castle along for as much of the ride as he was. The two of them listening to the same phone together was a repeated visual of how in sync they are at this point, without dropping the tension an inch.
- Secrets and Sepia: Castle struck an okay balance between the mechanics of the plot and what everything meant to Beckett – there’s a lot to catch up on and it’s all very fraught history. The exposition flashback Beckett has to the hint Montgomery gives her was well done, if weirdly graded through amber glass. But there might’ve been a more elegant way to drop the info about the cassette than bringing back a character like Smith who needs so much explaining. He’s clearly there to bolster the second act.
- Personal Politics: Confession time: We’ve always seen Bracken as kind of a stuffed shirt. Which is probably a compliment to an actor playing a politician. But the showdown between he and Beckett in her hotel room wasn’t written or visually heightened as much as everything else. If he really is as cunning as the show claims, he wouldn’t have risked going to confront Beckett; and if he’s as dastardly as the show says, he would’ve shown a lot more teeth. His stump speech breaking down when he sees Beckett again, though? That was great.
Much like its hero, the majority of Castle operates in this jocular, enthused mode of clever crime puzzles. We appreciate that when it wants, it can physically transform itself into a brooding conspiracy drama of cool cobalts and Fincher hoodies. “Veritas” is a clear departure from most of the show, which means an undue amount of time is spent catching us up to all the odd bits of mythology about Beckett’s mother. Still, the effort involved and the joy of seeing Castle and Beckett in a Man on the Run context were very rewarding.
Castle airs Mondays at 10 p.m. on ABC.
Most badass Beckett moment? Let us know what you thought in the comments.