Castle Recap: 'Ready to Play Spy?'
This week on ABC’s Castle, Rick went rogue in the name of tracking down Alexis — but what he found instead was someone who’s been missing from his life for decades.
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‘I’M GETTING MY DAUGHTER BACK’ | As Rick tries to process last week’s big reveal — that Alexis and Sara are being held in Paris — FBI agent Harris says the next step is to acquire the necessary “permissions” from the U.S. embassy there to continue their hunt abroad. And that does not fly with Rick: “Our daughters are out there right now, they need our help, right now.” When Rick relates to Kate how scared Alexis sounded on the phone, she grabs his hand to assure, “We’re not giving up yet.” A ransom demand comes in: 15 million Euros, which Mr. El-Masri’s brother-in-law will hand off in a drop. Rick, Kate, Harris et al watch via security cameras as the exchange is made en Paris… though only Sara is released. When Kate reports that the girls were separated after the escape attempt, Rick assumes the worst: Alexis is of no value anymore. As he goes to (allegedly) share with Martha the news, Harris tells Beckett that with one girl released, his job now is to “manage expectations.” Au contraire, she retorts — I have a murder to solve.
Kate, though, is at a loss where to start, so Espo sends her to be with Castle, saying, “He needs you.” Thing is, Castle never went home, his mother says. Martha rings Rick, who lies about being with Beckett, as she realizes his passport is gone. “I’m getting my daughter back,” he declares, from Paris.
MOVING TARGET | “Liam Neeson? Dude’s barely Ashley Judd,” Esposito quips about Castle’s mission to find his Taken, Missing daughter. Beckett says she is going to stay put rather than expend time to travel to and rummage around a city where she has no jurisdiction. (For Caskett fans, unsatisfying, yes; but logically? Surprisingly sound for a TV show.) Castle uses a Paris contact to enlist Henri, a jack-of-all-trades to find Alexis. Henri has his tech guy analyze the Skype call, narrowing its source to a building above a restaurant within eight blocks of a certain church. With that lead, they find the vacant office space — as well as a hidden mic that Henri uses that to get in touch with the kidnappers and arrange a meet in the forest.
In NYC, Beckett interrogates kidnapper Henson’s girlfriend, who’s obstinate to say the least: “Listen bitch, I don’t talk to cops.” Kate uses a swift kick to send the snot-nose flying, bellowing, “My partner’s daughter is missing, and you are in my way!” Led to Henson’s apartment, they find a computer on which there were surveillance photos of Alexis. “She was the target,” Beckett realizes.
HOW I MET MY FATHER | In the forest, Henri double-crosses Castle, explaining, “I wouldn’t have taken the job if I knew who your daughter really was.” A confused Castle is about to be executed when several shots ring out, leaving all the baddies dead. The grey-haired man seen in sketches from the farmhouse and Henson’s apartment approaches Rick, saying they need to get going. Rick starts to take a call from Kate, reporting that Alexis was the target, when “Jackson Hunt” grabs and shoots his cell. “I’m the good guy,” the stranger insists, reminding Rick, “You might wanna pick up your $3 million briefcase.”
At his apartment, “Jackson” is contacted by the mastermind behind all of this — a
Carmichaels Industries foe KGB legend named Volkov. “It is time to end things. A life for a life,” the Russian tells his enemy. “So,” Rick asks, “this is about you?” “[Alexis] is my granddaughter,” the man reveals. “Rick, I’m your father.”
Castle’s dad relates how he and Martha met, immediately after which he got called away on his next mission. He also shares that he and Rick met before, when Rick was 10 and his dad handed him a copy of Casino Royale at a library. “That book made me want to become a writer,” Rick shares. Dad also “greased the wheels at the CIA” when Rick needed access for his novels, and has kept tabs on the fam all these years. But now Volkov, escaped from prison, wants to avenge his wife’s death.
SPY GAMES | Noting that the only way to free Alexis is via direct assault, Castle’s father asks for an assist: “What do you say, kid? You’ve been playing cop for years…. Ready to play spy?” Soon into his leg of the plan, Rick is “caught” by Volkov’s men, then brought upstairs where he reunites with Alexis. Volkov takes Rick’s walkie and taunts his adversary on the other end. Rick’s dad has the last laugh, though, triggering an explosive in the walkie that kills Volkov and creates enough commotion for Castle to blast open Alexis’ cage with a cool gadget watch and then “never stop running,” as diretced by his dad in a flashback to them plotting all of this out.
But at the end of that prep session, Rick realized his father will then be in the wind. “We just met… I have a lot of questions,” he laments. “I need more time.” Alas, there’s no time to be had. But before they part ways to launch their attack, Dad says, “I want you to know, son, I’ve always been proud of you. Always.”
Back in NYC, Rick and Alexis are met with hugs by Kate and Martha. “I’m so glad you’re OK,” Kate tells her man. Then: “Please don’t do anything like that without me again.” “I won’t,” Rick warmly avows.
Just moments after Alexis wondered if her grandfather made it out OK, Rick is pointed to a package, inside of which he finds a copy of Casino Royale. Turning to Martha, he smiles, “Mom, there’s something I want to tell you….”
What did you think of the thrilling “Hunt”? Did you like James Brolin as Castle’s dad? Anyone else feel this should/could have been a three-parter?