Castle Season Finale Recap: Swing Shift
As the Castle Season 5 finale drew to a close, Rick and Kate found themselves back at the swings, this time seated facing in opposite directions — was “play time” over?
THE CASE | After one resident of a fleabag apartment building takes a literal blood bath (or, well, shower), a fellow tenant is found dead in the rooftop water tank. The vic is at first ID’d as a prostitute dubbed “Crystal Sky,” but in actuality she was Erika, an honor student from Harvard, and she was using the building’s wi-fi to hack the files of a tony law firm.
Turns out, Erika’s friend Pamela — an intern at the firm — had died in a suspicious car crash. One of the firm’s politically connected clients, Colin Rigsdale III, had been driving, but it had all been covered up. Erika was to meet a whistleblower on the roof, but instead had been lured there by Rigsdale’s thug of a half-brother, who killed her just as he snuffed her contact inside the firm.
We pause here briefly to congratulate parents-to-be Ryan and Jenny!
Beckett squares off with the hired killer in the interrogation room. With a million thoughts about the FBI job she’s been offered [see below] rattling around inside her head, she vents, “This room has been my life… and I will not let you sit there and lie to me, in my own home.” Confronting him with damning evidence, she argues — in keeping with the episode’s larger theme — “How many years are you going to sacrifice for someone else’s future?”
Beckett’s “last case” closed…?
THE CASKETT | Where to start? Kate sneaks down to D.C. for the task force job interview that Tony Almeida set her up with, and while she’s at first dismissive of her credentials (being just a homicide detective), she is assured, “The Attorney General wants people who can get the job done.” The interviewer notes, “You know that you’re headed for bigger things [and] opportunities like this come along once, twice in a lifetime.” Her uncertainty quashed, Beckett rebuffs his offer of the door and sticks around to impress his socks off.
When RySpo and Rick catch the case of the water tank girl, Kate arrives last on the scene, keeping her D.C. trip secret, but it visibly weighs on her throughout coming scenes. Ultimately, after learning 1) that Gates gave her the highest recommendation possible to the FBI and 2) that she is on a short list of candidates, Kate confides in Lanie her dilemma: “[Rick and I] are in this relationship but we never talk about where we’re going. But if I get that job…” “You’re going to have to,” Lanie finishes. “Maybe that’s not such a bad thing?” Kate, though, frets, “But what if it is?”
The jig is soon enough up when Rick discovers Kate’s boarding pass, and no version of “It was just an interview” will soothe the sting he feels. Kate contends, “This isn’t about us. This is about me and my life, a chance to do more.” “Without me,” Rick emphasizes. Driving his point home, he says, “You knew what this could mean and it didn’t occur to you to include me. Or worse, it did occur to you, and you chose not to. What’s that say about us? Not much, if you ask me.” And he walks out.
Rick reviews the situation with his mother, but she offers cold comfort: “You want her to put you first with neither of you knowing where you’re going!” Martha points out that her son has never held back in his relationships, except when it comes to Katherine. “Is that because deep down inside, you don’t think this is gonna really work?”
Kate meanwhile confabs with her father, who’s proud as can be of his girl. “If I take this job, there’ll be no time for anyone else.” And if she doesn’t, there’ll be resentment. “Or worse,” she muses. “We’ve been doing this dance for the past five years — what happens when the music stops? What if all we were in love with was the dance?”
Later, after Rick has already said “goodbye” to one of the other women in his life — Costa Rica-bound Alexis, with whom he shares, “There comes a point in life where we have to see things as they really are” [eep!] — he gets a call from Kate, who has just been offered the plum D.C. gig. “We need to talk,” she says, cuing up an intense, emotional sitdown at the swings.
THE CLIMAX | “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have kept secrets,” Kate starts upon taking a seat. “It’s who you are, you don’t let people in,” Rick responds. He then continues, “I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about us, what we have, where we’re headed…. I’ve decided that I want more. We both deserve more.” “I agree,” Kate nods. “So whatever happens,” Rick says, “whatever you decide…
“Katherine Houghton Beckett — will you marry me?”