Castle Recap: Gone Girls

STANA KATIC, NATHAN FILLION, DYLAN WASHThis week on ABC’s Castle, Rick’s worst nightmare came true when a murder investigation evolved into the search for a Middle Eastern businessman’s daughter, who, it turns out, was abducted with Alexis.

GONE, BABY, GONE | The episode opens with Rick and Martha missing Alexis, yet knowing they must let the Columbia freshman have “her own time in the world.” Rick is continuing that thought, touting his (measured degree of) selflessness as a father, as he and Kate come upon their case — Hasim, a well-armed Saudi who’d been mowed down by a van after shooting at it. Discovering a trove of weapons and surveillance gear in Hasim’s apartment, the team speculate that he was a spy, or he was stalking the college-aged girl, Sara, whose place he was bugging. Security cam footage shows that Sara was abducted by the van, and Hasim — secretly hired by Sara’s extremely rich father to act as a bodyguard — tried to stop it.

Rick and Kate visit the last place Sara was seen, a hotel where she attended a speech on climate change. When Castle discovers that Alexis was also in attendance, he calls her to see if she knows anything — only to hear her cell phone ring from inside the hotel’s lost-and-found box. “They took Alexis, too,” he worries to Kate.

Rick and Kate review the facts as known with FBI Agent Harris, Castle_0219_hugwho suspects that Alexis was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time, and that Sara’s abduction may have been a politically driven act of revenge. Distraught to see how rough a crowd may be involved in this, Rick is pulled into a hug from Kate. “Gates will see…,” he cautions. “I don’t care,” Kate defers. “We’re going to find her, Castle. We will.”

LOST GIRLS | As RySposito narrow down the getaway van’s location to 20 blocks in Queens, Rick watches Alexis’ website videos, where he realizes that she had revealed where she and Sara were going that night, to the speech. Rick phones Kate to track the IP addresses of whomever accessed that video. Kate starts to say something reassuring, but Rick stops her, barely getting the words out: “Don’t… promise me you’ll find her unless you can do it. Because I’ll never forgive you, anymore than I’d ever forgive myself.”

Rick meets up with the team in Greenpoint, where they’ve found the van — and a lot of blood. But it matches neither Alexis nor Sara. And it looks like the kidnappers switched cars. “What have you brought me into?” a highly concerned Rick asks Sara’s father. His answer: “I wish I knew.”

Somewhere, in a windowless room, Alexis and Sara come to, then take stock of their captivity. Alexis finds a bathroom, with clothes, meaning they’re meant to be kept alive. They also deduce that they’re in an old building, not in a cellar, and not in the city. After failing to “build a relationship” with the Arabic-speaking grunt who slides them food, Alexis grabs Sara’s bobby pins and sets out to pick the lock.

‘MY LIFE’S ABOUT TO CHANGE AGAIN’ | Espo IDs the getaway driver, Stevens, who’s obviously been shot and is probably holed up with his nurse sister. Beckett & Co. find him there, but he’s not talking. “I’d like a minute with him,” Rick says icily. In private, Castle explains, “The girl with the red hair… I’m her father. So it’s just you… and me.” After the desperate dad fails to get Stevens to volunteer info, we cut away and hear Stevens bellowing in anguish.

“Tell me what happened in there,” Kate later asks Rick, as Harris’ team storms the farmhouse address Harris gave up. “I ‘appealed to his humanity,'” Rick responds. When Kate remarks that she didn’t think he had that side to him, Rick specifies, “When it comes to people I love, I do.” (Watching Beckett, I can’t tell if she’s chilled in general or more specifically startled to have uncovered this side of her lover, as Meredith’s warning still bangs around in her bean.)

Rick reflects on when he first held Alexis as a baby and felt that “instant, inexplicable love” you only get with a child. “I knew my life had changed forever… and now it’s about to change again.”

THE FRENCH DISCONNECTION | When the farmhouse invasion only turns up the dead kidnapper, Harris comments that cracking this case “may be more complicated” than previously thought. Back at the precinct, Kate offers to Rick, “There are hopeful signs here” — to which he can only counter, “How? Our main suspect is dead, we have no idea who we’re looking for… We’re back to square one.” Kate responds with a Castle-ism: “We’ve done it before with less to go on.”

Meanwhile, Alexis has picked the lock, and she and Sara split up to search for exits. Alexis finds a cell phone in an office, but it won’t dial 911. So she Skypes her relieved dad briefly, until she hears the guard frantically searching for them. She drops the phone, allowing the FBI team to trace the call to…

“This can’t be right,” the FBI tech observes, before reporting on the girls’ location: “Paris, France” — as a bewildered Alexis bursts out a rooftop door to see the Eiffel Tower in the distance. What the frog?!
Castle_AlexisFrance

What did you think of Part 1 of the February sweeps two-parter? Did Nathan Fillion blow you away with his steely (confronting the driver) and/or anxious (awaiting the blood-type testing) performances? And does anyone else suspect that Alexis was actually the primary target here?

Want scoop on Castle, or for any other show? Email mattmtvguy@gmail.com and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.

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277 Comments
  1. SL says:

    It was a great episode, totally unexpected. I guess the promo showed us that it’s about Alexis not her friend anyway.
    As an Egyptian it was a bit disappointing to see abc cast Persians and Indians as Arabs yet again…I wish someone would explain to them the difference. But I guess i’m not exactly abc’s standard audience..

  2. mike says:

    so where was merideth? and the boyfriend alexis has? shouldnt he have been questioned? (even though i know he has nothing to do with it – this is a castle’s father thing) but from a procedural accuracy view – the boyfriend should have been brought in…

  3. jamie says:

    anyone read the latest castle book? because in it ‘rook’ and ‘nikki’ end up in Paris where they discover that her mom was a spy. replace her mom with his dad and you seem to get a similar story line here.

  4. Susan says:

    Unfortunately, until they split the Emmys into cable and network drama categories, the show will never get Emmy nominations. It’s like comparing apples to oranges. How can you compare an HBO 10 episode season with a network 22-24 episode season. The cable networks have twice the amount of money for their series. Everything is skewed toward the cable drama shows. There should be separate categories for cable dramas and network dramas.

    • Bianca says:

      Or a separate category for Crime Drama cause they generally get ignored. I’m a Castle fan and Nathan has had some Emmy worthy episodes but I’m also a NCIS fan and some of the things they did in 10 years without ever getting any Emmy recognition for it is insane!
      I’m sure there are other Crime shows that never had a chance just because they didn’t fit into that usually very soap-like category.
      (And how could anyone ever compete with killing your husband/boyfriend/whatever, discovering you’re really a lesbian, getting married again, big dramatic and completely unrealistic accidents ripping everything away from you again, going back to guys, and falling hopelessly in love anyway? There’s no chance a normal show can pull that off and solve a crime…. [note the sarcasm, I know that's not how it happened on GA])

  5. Teri says:

    Nathan and Stana both deserve Emmys..hands down. Best acting I have ever seen.

  6. Beatrice says:

    Am I the only one who noticed the reference to Castle’s father in the teaser for next week? I think he is the reason she was kidnapped. Or he will be the reason she will be saved.

  7. lame says:

    AWM & Co. always writes great two part episodes. The second parts are just as thrilling as the first, except TPTB have pushed the line of believability the last two season. This year it’s close to home, personal and intense, and if AWM kept it personal the second part should be the best since “boom”. Loved the fact that we’re seeing the darker side of RC, the side where he wanders when writing the macabre stories he’s famous for. I wondered when AWM would begin to show that hidden side of Rick, well now it’s here and it seems to have unnerved Kate a bit. This is so refreshing, till now we’ve only been allowed to see the playful, foolish mystery crime solver, the darkness is out and I hope it hangs around on the periphery for a while. Suddenly Rick has depth, let us see where that darkness takes us.

  8. Lisa says:

    Blown away. Just a great episode, especially Nathan and Molly, who absolutely killed it.

    The end scene was amazing. Can’t wait to see how it turns out.

  9. Lilu says:

    HOLY FRACK !!!! I almost got an heart attack!! I swear it !!! what an episode!

  10. moon says:

    Beckett was stepping back because it is personal.
    I

  11. moon says:

    I. Called of being about he Castles early on.
    Nathan did an amazing job.

    And I bet pt 2 is when gates learns about the relationship of Caskett.

    Because the FBI will probably figure it out and tell her.
    In murder and kidnapping everything comes to light.

  12. Claire says:

    Since Buffy and Firefly, I have always been a fan of Fillion — he’s my go-to-guy for fluff — always squeezing in the comedy. Last night though, brilliant! Well done Fillion! As for the Emmys? Emmys shmemmies … Look who has been overlooked —> Joss Whedon, NCIS … When will the Emmys go through an overhaul?

  13. yuka says:

    The paris ending could be best “WTF” moment of the yeat!

  14. Great episode! Can’t wait for part 2. Should be very revealing and epic. On thing I wanted to add to the discussion about how dark Rick got in the episode….did anyone notice the forshadowing of just how cold and vicious he could get in the “Recoil” episode (5×13) when Beckett had to protect Senator Bracken. Remember when Beckett saved him from the bomb and afterward Castle was talking to either Ryan or Espo (can’t remember) and said ” I wouldn’t have done it, what she did. I would have stood and watched.” Then he told her how remarkable she was by being the better person and not letting revenge get in the way of doing her job as a cop.

    I thought then that was a little foreshadowing on just how far Castle would go in a situation like that. I think the thing to take away from that moment and from this episode is that even though it might seem like Castle is the rock and person of reason in most situations…its kind of an illusion so to speak.

    In those situations where Castle has been the voice of reason its because its not him personally thats in that situation. Beckett has always been the center of those “protect/avenge someone you love in a life or death situaion” type scenarios. In this case the whole dynamic has changed. This is the first time someone in his family has been in true danger. Yes Beckett has been, but she has the ability to defend her self in most situations because she’s a trained cop, having your daughter kidnapped is a totally different situation.

    This is why you see for the first time Castle is the one going off the rails and although Beckett is being an emotional rock for him she seems helpless in the situation because its always been her in this scenario, not him.

    Its going to be really interesting to see if this finally brings up real emotional reservations, the ones that Meridith eluded to, on Beckett’s part.

  15. May says:

    That was an incredible episode. Nathan Fillion is just incredible, and Stana Katic is not too far behind. The supporting actors were also remarkably good, and the plot was just incredible. And yes, from the beginning, I thought Alexis was the primary target. Castle is also very rich, has ties to the FBI and works with the police. Though I did not see the “Paris, France” thing coming, it was a great twist, and Castle seems to be getting back on its track.

  16. Mikeyk says:

    I’ve only recently started watching this show but I’ve caught quite a few episode thanks to TNT’s marathons so I’m not up to speed as much as most of you but it kind of seems to me like Castle himself may have some sort of spy training that he has never revealed. The things that stand out are that time he shot the gun out of that guys hand (can’t remember the ep) & in another ep he tackles Lockwood who is a professional killer & in 3 punches beats the snot out of him. Have they ever said what he did before he was a writer? Just wondering

    • Suz says:

      Always a writer. Lots of first hand research.

    • Alan says:

      yeah first hand research. we know he shadowed sofia, a cia agent, for a while like he shadows beckett, not to mention the various times weve learned about castle having a weird skill thanks to research (safe cracking, lock picking and escapology spring to mind)

      • Mary says:

        I also remember a scene from the episode with Alyssa Milano (season 2) when he asked Alexis to tie him to a chair and tape his mouth because he had done that to Nikki and wanted to know how she would solve it, it was so funny!:)

  17. perkiomen says:

    Fillion=Emmy and ABC better push it

  18. skrable2 says:

    A follow-up comment to Alexis’s mother being on a trip to France. In the same ep, she talks to Beckett about Castle’s mysterious father. I’m not saying there’s anything more there than foreshadowing, but it’s interesting considering how it played out.

    A final thought on those who are upset at the “lack” of a romantic relationship … haterz gonna hate. How anyone could have watched the scene where Castle explains to Beckett about holding Alexis as a baby and not thought of them as a romantic couple is beyond me … and I’ve been watching TV romances for 50 years.

    All season there have been close-ups of Beckett reactin to moments where Castle shows his devotion to Alexis. It’s THAT relationship that informs her that Castle is far deeper than the wiseguy playboy she first met. They’re building a relationship in this series, not being outfront involved to satisfy viewers who want a soap opera

    • Alan says:

      not to mention the fact that she just grabbed him into a hug in the middle of the precinct and didnt care what anyone saw, that was a real couple moment, you can do all the make out scenes you want but without stuff like that its meaningless

    • Mary says:

      For me, no matter how many makeout scenes they could make, I always stuck with the ones of the “kissing by hanshaking”, or how she jumped to his arms with her hands tied when she tought she had lost him, or how he hugged her wanting to take her to some palce to be safe, and stuff like that…

  19. Kate Garner says:

    Nathan was so spot on = Emmy.

  20. Jul says:

    Nathan Fillion certainly doesn’t deserve any nomination for that! I think he used to be better in dramatic moment (Firefly and Buffy) but lately I find him “overdoing” it constantly, even in comedy. I just couldn’t relate to his feelings and found his acting lacking a “je ne sais quoi”!
    They should let the heavy work for Katic and maybe the guy playing Esposito.
    I’m really disapointed in that episode and I know it’s apparently not a popular opinion but no need to bash me if you disagree ;)

    • dom says:

      I find Stana Katic “overdoing it” in heavy dramatic moments on a regular basis, and I happen to think dude playing Esposito has only one expression for comedy and one for drama. But yeah, different strokes

  21. John Moshier says:

    I think alexis is the one they wanted to kidnap and it has something to do with castles past

  22. ollie says:

    loved it!! nathan was great in this ep, glad he got to show more of his acting range. everbody was great. I agree with others, if alexis was the target then it would be bc of his dad. I dont know why people are complaning about a lack of caskett. they had moments( loved the hug and that kate didnt care about gates seen them) but wasnt the right ep for anything more. likes that kate let castle have alone time with the driver, he did what any parent would. I think kate was startled and hope they are not the couple in the blind item even though I dont think next season would be their last.

  23. Savanna says:

    Honestly, if Gates is as good of a detective as she claimed she was, she figured it out a long time ago. But now is not the time to screw up Castle’s life even more by taking him away from the precinct…and honestly I don’t think she’d remove him even then.

    • Alan says:

      i think its been subtly implied that she has known for months, she doesnt give castle as much crap as she first did. she has realised he works well as part of the team and their case clearance rate is clearly high, she doesnt want to have to split up a well oiled machine by acknowledging she knows

  24. Goran says:

    Best episode of the season, and probably the best of the series, after the last episode of season 4 (which was a knockout!)
    Like some others, I also suspect that Alexis was the target. If that is true, it might mean a rather sinister twist to the whole series.

  25. skrable2 says:

    As tense as the episode was, and kudos to the great intensity by the bit player who was the bodyguard, the most frightening moment was the shot in the promo of Alexis in that cage, surrounded by captors

  26. MJO says:

    That whole scene at the van, where Castle is pleading with Lanie, with tears streaming down his face, totally got to me..Totally different Castle, then we normally see, and I agree with all of you on Fillion’s nod to get an Emmy..he was perfect in those scenes, and if he isn’t nominated, there is something wrong

  27. Alan says:

    so if this was the first half of taken does that mean next week nathan fillion get to do his best liam neeson impression and destroy half of paris looking for his daughter? because i would totally watch the entire of taken reshot with nathan in the role.
    it was great to see not only castle and beckett in super-pissed off, ultra serious mode but ryan, espo and gates all felt it like it was one of their own family too, it was a really nice moment for all them.

  28. Jenny says:

    Tv line performance of the week goes to Nathan Fillion!!

  29. dom says:

    I haven’t been watching Castle regularly for quite some time now. The writing IMO has been getting worse and worse for a couple of years or more. But I caught this episode and actually found myself being moved by it. Don’t get me wrong, the writing and plot twists are still cliché and predictable with rare moments of capturing genuine feeling, the only thing selling this drab is, as usual, acting. So this episode went something like that for me: boring — boring — boring —- omg Nathan Fillion —- dumb — silly —- lost chance for quality —- omg Nathan Fillion etc. I thought Fillion was phenomenal in this, and am not ashamed to admit I actually teared up several times, which is pretty incredible for grumpy sarcastic me. I don’t know what it was – the missing child angle or acting, or both, but Fillion and the girl who plays Alexis kind of blew me away, pardon the fanspeak. Especially Nathan Fillion. I’ve always like this dude and thought he’s being terribly underused by Castle and show business in general, but he surprised me here. I will be rewatching his scenes from this episode, that’s for sure.

  30. Cucut says:

    Makes sense now! Remember in episode launch pin, castle get to shadow a cia agent n she said smthing about because of his father?! I think castle father is a cia! N as castle went to paris to save alexis, castle father being a cia step in to help castle?!!

  31. okra says:

    Funny that EXIT is Paris is not SORTIE but still exit.
    Did not Alexis feel that she goes up? In the States as well as in France exit is usually not from the roof.
    Anymore goofs like that?

  32. Eden says:

    In regards to the Emmy comments, you can’t judge an actor or that “single nominated performance” by the quality of the show

    Firstly, Castle is a very well written show. However, it’s a very victim of its own popularity. When the studio extends the season to 24 episodes, your going to loose quality. Granted, that will impact the shows chances of winning Best Drama or Best Writing etc. However it shouldn’t impact on the Best Actor category because Fillion’s performance in “Target” was ridiculous. I can honestly say the layers of emotion he achieved was as good as anything I’ve ever seen… on any size screen

  33. Joe says:

    so… when’s he gonna bust out the Liam Neeson monologue from Taken? lol nah I’m just kidding, this was a good episode.

  34. Eun says:

    Not a fan, this is basically Liem Neeson’s movie series “Taken”, almost literally, the foreign kidnappers, the trip to Paris, the dad going after and getting assistance from a French official….Castle’s writers basically got lazy and stole a storyline. Sad.

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