Castle Recap: [Insert Fire-Related Pun of Choice]

Castle Ryan Jenny BabyThe windchill may be hitting 20 degrees below zero this Monday night in the real New York City, but ABC’s Castle was on fire — literally and figuratively — with its winter premiere.

RELATED | Winter TV Spoiler-palooza! Your Guide to Castle and 30 Other Returning Favorites

THE RECAP | After opening the episode with a frantic and highly pregnant Jenny calling a grim Beckett looking for her husband, the narrative rewinds 12 hours to Kate, Rick and Ryan scoping out a gunshot victim burned to a crisp in a fire. FDNY Lt. Delia Burton (Army Wives‘ Wendy Davis, selling me on the idea of spin-off), upon realizing the vic was her partner, concludes that the fire was the work of a serial arsonist dubbed “The Phantom.” (Alas, once Burton proves to be helpful, Roger Ebert’s Law of Economy of Characters tells us we met the culprit one scene prior. Anyway….)

Ryan and Esposito turn up some notes the vic was keeping on “The Phantom,” then go to scout out the building he suspected was next to be targeted. There, RySpo discover the arsonist’s workshop — but in doing so trigger an alarm/explosion that engulfs the building in flame, trapping them in a sub-basement not on any building plans. So fierce are the flames, the fire department switches from rescue to recovery mode, much to Beckett, Castle and Captain Gates’ dismay. Meanwhile, after Javy manages to leverage a heavy beam off Kevin’s leg, Kevin finds a way to signal that they are alive — using a rotary phone and the yet-to-be-incinerated phone lines.

Gates’ grilling of a fire fetishists’ website owner turns up a clue to The Phantom’s identity, in that he hates to see “sick” buildings suffer and instead prefers mercy fires. That leads Lt. Burton and Caskett to comb the files and confirm that building inspector Kimball is our firebug. (‘Twas either him or conspicuously underused Body of Proof alum Nicholas Bishop, right?) Beckett trains a gun on Kimball, barking, “Those guys in there are my friends — if they die, you die,” and gets the scoop on accessing the basement. New York’s Bravest broach the cellar and rescue Esposito and Ryan, just in time for the latter to mean his newborn daughter Sarah Grace, as Caskett and a reunited Esplanie happily look on.

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THE REVIEW | Guys, this was a very, very good episode — dialing up the drama in a way that, even going against conventional wisdom, you had to worry that one of the boys might not make it out alive. The pacing was tight — no dull moments or too much time wasted on red herrings — the effects were solid, and all of the “right” touches were there.Worried Lanie showing up on scene calling out for Kate and fearing the worst. Ryan volunteering the name Javier if Jenny winds up having a boy. Espo saying he’s not leaving “without you, partner.”  Gates rallying the troops to catch this “sick son of a bitch.” And no overlooked Caskett moments. (Did she call him “Babe”?) It’s be understandable to not be overly invested in the Ryans, who get showcased about 0.75 episodes per season, but this climax had to make you feel if not well up your eyes.

PHOTOS | A Castle Cretin and 23 Other TV Characters Who Won’t Survive the New Year

THE QUOTABLES | “I’m… marrying him”…. “Sillier than ‘the arsonist,’ which starts with ‘arse’?”…. “Javier? You’re going to name a white Irish kid Javier?”…. Castle to the bloody, sweaty, ashy Espo: “You smell great.”

What did you think of “Under Fire” — “hot” enough for ya?

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  1. K says:

    Standing ovation to the castle cast and crew. Under fire was emotional, heartbreaking, fantastic, etc. Seamus, Juliana, Jon and Stana were amazing. Every emotion the character was experiencing I felt as well. Beckett feeling helpless and castle just being by her side. Just being there gave her the reassurance that she’s not alone. Castle has always been Beckett’s light in bad situations. He offers her a sense of hope, safety and comfort. Beckett throughout the episode looked like she wanted to breakdown, but couldn’t because she had to track down the serial arsonist. Honestly there was no need for castle and Beckett to kiss in the episode. There was never an appropriate time. The hug was enough for me because it was so intimate. This episode is definitely one I could watch over and over again.

    • Marie Wilkerson says:

      Even with stomach flu I was watching this great episode! It ranks up there with my favorite first “Flowers For Her Grave”! All the cast was wonderful.

  2. Emmy says:

    Ryan is actually my favorite character on Castle and I find that some of the best episodes have been Ryan-centric. I adored this episode….I think everyone once in awhile it’s nice to have the focus on people besides Kate and Castle. Also, this is probably the first episode I have found Gates tolerable. It was a great episode!!

  3. Jenn says:

    Holy geez, that was amazeballs. Love Castle!

  4. 2nd says:

    Lame and clichéd. Plus, I really wanted to see a white Irish kid named Javier & they just have to go and ruin that possibility too. Pathetic.

    • Kro says:

      Agreed! And those effects…blah

      • Just one thing says:

        I am hesitant to bash SFX, because people worked long hours to make them happen. But… yes, I find that 90% of ABC Studios’ shows have subpar effects. In the world of HD, cinema display monitors, retina display tablets, and 60-inch TV screens, you’d think the standard for TV effects would be higher. It’s still pretty expensive, though.

    • scooby says:

      Suggestion for a New Year’s resolution, you guys: Troll less.

    • Lisa London says:

      I have to agree. I’ve watched Castle since day one but there was zero emotional investment to be had here (we knew no one was going to die, didn’t we). I was a giant cliché; even Nathan Fillion looked bored…

      • Tanker67 says:

        We are in complete agreement, I didn’t know where to start on this ep. You said it quite simply and to the point. I’m a day one’r myself, but they must get better scripts, less Kate & Rick = less interest for us.

      • HAP says:

        Doesn’t Nathan Fillion always looked bored? Kinda his persona, no?

    • Morisot says:

      Meet Sarah Grace.—- I screamed to my DH “What a cop-out!”

      And the instant the fire marshal stepped in I said — he set the fire.

      DH said “They would have been dead already.” (And he LOVES the show.)

  5. Lore says:

    It was a hard episode to watch with all my crying

    • Betsy says:

      ^^^^^ me, too. First time I found Gates tolerable as well. Aside from the obvious fireman-as-the-arsonist (sorry, Chicago Fire), I loved it. And I actually found myself arguing out loud: “well, if one of them was going to die, I’d know, right? Wait, is this the blind Ausiello was talking about?!?! no, wait, that was Brody. Hmm. TVLine would know and would have warned us, right?????!!!”

      • SW says:

        I found myself thinking about Ausiello’s Blind Item watching this episode, too. I thought I’d been sure it was Brody on Homeland, but I second-guessed it for a bit. People are saying they “knew” no one would die, but that’s what people always say right before a show shockingly kills off a character, especially in a premiere episode. Then those same people run to the boards to whine and complain about how they’re “never watching this show again” when it happens. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time wondering if they were actually going to go there and kill one of them. It would’ve been shocking just because everyone assumed they wouldn’t. Of course they ended up not killing either of them, but my point is that just because you think the writers won’t do something doesn’t mean they won’t turn it around on us and do just that for shock/buzz value.

  6. Cat says:

    Sad that Castle and Beckett can’t make me emotional these days like Ryan/Jenny did. Maybe it’s because they’re married in life but damn I felt the connection between the two and that’s totally something i wish we could see between Castle and beckett. Although this episode was great and all, Caskett continue to disappoint– i don’t know what it is but I’m just feeling it with these two anymore, they’ve become very distant and boring. I blame Fillion tbh but that’s another story… Oh well. I’ll continue to watch just because I love Stana, she always brings it too bad someone else can’t do the same :(

    • iammusic says:

      I hear you there, most uninspired performance of the word “there” I’ve ever seen. You’d think there’d be some excitement in it, since you’re seeing your colleagues and friends walk out of a building when you were convinced they would be dead.

      • Just one thing says:

        In his defense, that was a strange choice, both from a writing and directing standpoint. Castle doesn’t have better vision than the 15 people he was standing with, so having him be the one to point it out seemed forced. I doubt there was a way to make that line sound/look/feel better.

        • scooby says:

          Forced? Everybody else was paying more attention to the audio and getting concerned about that. You would expect them to try to respond that way and everyone but Castle was either NYPD or NYFD who are used to waiting for radio contact and following procedures for notifying their colleagues. Not hearing anything could be an indication that there are now firefighters down so they wouldn’t just be hoping for news about Espo or Ryan. The fact that he was squinting at the burning building and trying to will something into happening while also being the only non-pro there (besides Jenny in the ambulence), well it makes sense. That’s all he was qualified to do at that point. He’d helped them find the arsonist, now all he could do was hope for a sign of life from his friends.

          • Just one thing says:

            Right. But they were all looking in the same direction, waiting for visual confirmation. I’m not saying Castle did something wrong or weird. I’m saying that (1) writing it that way and (2) blocking it that way were strange choices, including the melodramatic close-up. I thought it was awkward and unnecessary.

          • John 1138 says:

            Indeed and the others would be focused on “forcing” something out the radios as that’s where team communication comes from, no matter where their eyes were pointing their attention would be on parsing something, anything, out of the radio noise they were listening to. It’s why people turn down their car radios when they search for a street address….

        • Christina says:

          I found it to be a very weird shot as well. Nothing Fillion did could’ve made that better.

          • scooby says:

            What were they supposed to do? As one yell “there they are!”? They were maybe looking at that direction technically but they were hoping for some sort of break in the static so they were distracted a bit. Someone had to see them first. God knows what it was like filming on the night. That could’ve been a difficult thing to get in at that time because their priority was to get the actual fire and stunt stuff (and that would probably qualify as stunt work being around a blazing building) done. How do we know it wasn’t in the wee hours and that was the millionth time they had to shoot that little moment? It could’ve been better but all that would’ve been needed would be to cut the pointing. Make the moment a little smaller and cut to the fire quicker. People are sweating the small stuff so hard. If you’re still thinking about it at this point, it’s a lttle weird. So many folks were griping about some tape Stana apparently had on her fingers. This ep was aired out of order so maybe in one of the eps that follows, Beckett will have hurt her hand, but by all means focus on that.

          • Just one thing says:

            This was literally a three-second moment that didn’t quite ring true in a 42-minute episode, so I’m not quite sure why people are falling all over themselves defending it. :P But yes, there are other ways they could’ve done it. The Ryspo reveal didn’t need verbal confirmation from the characters. There’ve been plenty of moments, both in Castle and in film/TV history, where the characters in peril simply appear safe and sound to an uplifting crescendo. No words or pointing required. :)
            And I guess that’s the last I’ll say about that because, like I said, it was like three seconds long and didn’t take away from the scene or episode.

          • Alan says:

            they are looking for any reason to criticise fillion because they believe he has done something wrong by trying to renegotiate his contract. thats the only reason he is getting criticism for stuff that in previous years would never have even been mentioned.

    • Emma says:

      I wish I could say I disagreed Cat, because it was, over all, such a well rounded episode. But C&B are so non emotionally attached lately. It’s starting to affect my feelings about Caskett..and I hate that…but I agree with every word you said. :(

    • diya says:

      I completely agree with you. Where are the caskett who practically oozed chemistry during the initial seasons. They r so detached now. They r supposed to be getting married. I don’t see any underlying excitement. But yes the episode otherwise was great. RySpo and jenny too. They should get more airtime . And something i’ve been wondering. Have Stana Katic and Nathan Fillion been interviewed together of recent. Matt, Michael are listening? Is there an issue between the lead actors. Is that the reason for the lack of chemistry. Or is it intentional, courtesy Andrew Marlowe.

    • Linda says:

      I agree that the Caskett moments are getting to be more disappointing and a distraction to my overall enjoyment of the series, which all in all I find very entertaining. While this episode had several appropriately subdued Caskett moments (the “babe” comment, the wedding date banter, and the sweet hug at the end after Sara Grace’s birth and the rescue) because of the serious theme, I too have been watching the on-air chemistry seem to evaporate. I do not believe in the “Moonlighting” curse, but I do feel that something has changed “behind the scenes” whether it is on the creative level from AM or whether there had been some change in the backstage environment. The passion we found so endearing and compelling through the first five seasons has given way to the mundane. I would hate to think that this is AM’s comment on a committed relationship. Most of their relationship is now only “alluded” to in comments. Seeing is believing!

  7. c-mo says:

    Well worth the 6 week wait! Congratulations to everyone involved with this episode; the acting, writing, scoring, effects, etc, everything was top notch. This is first episode that actually made me cry. This episode is exactly why I love this show!

    • Dory says:

      I could agree with most of these posts. EVERYONE did a great job. To reiterate would just waste space. I didn’t feel Rick looked bored but more concerned and supportive.

      • Nelmar says:

        Dory,good to see your posting here, haven’t been able to find anybody from our “old” group. Hope Sally is well and the guys also. I loved Castle this week, great episode. By the way Dory, yesterday TNT reran that eps you one time asked about, the one that Kate wears the ugly mask and scars Rick. I will check the eps number and let you know, if you haven’t found it out yet, we haven’t been talking for a while now so I do not know if you still need to know about that eps. Have a great day!

        • Dory says:

          Great you’re back. Rick was on before the holidays bet he’ll be back soon. Coincidentally I saw Final Frontier Tuesday on pm rerun. It was really funny. Hope we stay in touch. We do always manage to hookup.

  8. Teri says:

    So very good! The love the cast has for each other shined through in all scenes. The acting from all never ceases to amaze me and that was a great action scene of the building blowing up and another good guest star(the creepy guy Beckett interrogated). I cried very hard during those last few scenes.

    • prish says:

      Don’t forget the great fire chief guest star, Nic Bishop. Remember him from Body of Proof? We always enjoy his work.

  9. Michael says:

    Never a worry about one of the main characters dying. It’s a non-sweeps month so killing off a main character is anti-climatic. I think ABC should reign in the melodrama, reign in the actors from saying crazy teases and put a quash on the press from teasing up an episode with foolish headlines.

    • Dory says:

      YES and the lovely tech girl and the fire expert .talented ladies.

    • Just one thing says:

      I think it’s a bit short-sighted and close-minded to relegate all “melodramatic” episodes to three months out of the year. The whole “putting main characters in danger” schtick should be used when appropriate.
      Not to mention, it feels like sweeps months have not been utilized in the traditional way in a very long time.

    • Alan says:

      i was sufficiently worried and im one of the biggest tv cynics out there, the writing and acting really made it seem like one of them wasnt going to make it out alive.

  10. Ella says:

    Okay, this episode made me cry. Such a good one. The acting was superb all the way around.

    And I quite agree–Wendy Davis sold ME on the idea of a spin off.

  11. Noah says:

    Would have been amazing, except the actress that plays Jenny is awful!

  12. hannah says:

    The scene in the ambulance, when Ryan and Jenny were on the phone… I just could not handle it! I knew he was going to be okay, but the tears just kept coming! Phenomenal acting job!

  13. 4theloveoffilm says:

    Loved it. Agree that the pacing was good, the emotions were real but not overwrought, and the case was even interesting. Considering the demise and exits of so many characters on TV this season, I believed it at least somewhat possible that they might kill off Ryan–or perhaps twist it and kill off Javier.

    I’ve always held Ryan in high regard. He is one of those rare characters on TV who is a down-to-earth, relatively normal family man and yet is terrifically interesting and layered. Seamus Dever always takes the Ryan-centric scenes and episodes, whether comedic or dramatic, and makes the most of them. I hope CASTLE lasts for years, and Ryan with it, but I’d love to see what else Seamus Dever can do outside the show in his spare (haha) time. He is an underrated talent.

    • Alan says:

      it still amazes me that ryan wasnt part of the original pilot script and was only added at the last minute to fill time, imagine what the show would be like without seamus dever there to be the best part of the ensemble.

  14. James D says:

    very good episode. I solved it with in five seconds literally, but it was more about Ryan and Espo then the COW. I loved the Babe and hope to hear a bunch more in the future. I’m one of the few i think that really enjoy the more serious Castle episodes. Marlowe has a real touch for it usually, I loved the scene with the arsonist whomever played him was very good and super creepy. Can’t wait for next week when James Brolin returns.

  15. lauri5567 says:

    I knew it was going to be a girl from the moment he said to name the boy Javier – too confusing to have two Javiers on the show.
    Otherwise, good episode. I wasn’t paying enough attention to the firemen to have a suspect past “one of them”.
    So Tori is back but Sully has vanished into time.
    I’m just looking forward to the return of Hunt next week. I can see the potential for him to be a “gray” character and how will Rick and Martha handle it?

    • Moochiecat says:

      I can do without “Sully.” I found him to be just OK character, but I like the tech/computer lady, “Tori,” much better. I hope they have her stick around.

  16. Leigh says:

    It was a great way to start the year! I know that everything in this episode probably happened somewhere else but I don’t care. All the acting (okay, except for the Castle pointing “There” which was pretty bad – other than that he was great) was on point. I am looking forward to next week and the bad side of Daddy Castle!

  17. Just one thing says:

    The shows’ strength is, without a doubt, in its actors’ chemistry and the character interactions. As with many Castle episodes since about 2011, if you think too deeply about the plot, the cracks and fissures become painfully clear.
    But the writers know their audience; they know how to evoke a response from viewers. The show, for its lack of airtight Cases of the Week, has a boatload of heart at its core. And I think that’s why the show has been successful, and why episodes like this are so well-received.
    Beyond the great moments between Ryan and Esposito, my two favorite parts were in the ambulance – during the call and at the very end. Seeing those six characters together with that wonderful music was the perfect cap to a somewhat imperfect and implausible episode. It’s that very dynamic that, personally, keeps me coming back every week.

    • Christina says:

      Couldn’t agree more, it’s definitely the character relationships that drive my viewing. They’re great, and I love watching to see how they deal with the cotw. I know they’re going to solve it, so I’m consistently more interested in their interactions while getting to the inevitable conclusion.
      The actors all have great chemistry, but not gonna lie, Stana is the one consistently delivering the best performance. The work she does in the background with the little glances and touches, that’s what I enjoy watching. Plus, she killed it as the worried friend this week. It was SO obvious that she genuinely loves both Ryan and Esposito.

      • Just one thing says:

        I agree! The formula works for the show, even when I don’t always agree with the ingredients and process. :-P
        And yeah, she really sells it consistently.

  18. JJ says:

    This was a very good episode. I actually cried when Ryan and Jenny were on the phone, and I can say with 100% certainty I’ve never cried during an episode of Castle before. Loved it when Beckett called Castle “babe.”

    The only thing that bothered me about this episode was that if Ryan’s legs were trapped under that thing at the beginning no way would he have been able to walk without at least limping. Also, it would have been more realistic if they had to carry them out at the end since they’d passed out from smoke inhalation.

    • DarkDefender says:

      I could get past them walking out..(although I think Kevin’s leg should have been broken, if not from the fall then from the concrete beam that pinned them down)
      We used to let injured people use our air packs all the time. They could have breathed off the FF’s air packs before walking out.. They were only down because of the carbon monoxide. A few hits off the air masks and they would have been ok to walk out.

  19. Mika02 says:

    Amazing epi made me ball like a baby. Really shows why Castle has such staying power.

  20. Marine says:

    Awwww finally some Esplanie love! Love how Lanie was worried about Javi…hope it’s her wake up call :)

    • Peevesie says:

      WHat wake up call. ITs been established that they have been back together since the last valentine’s day episode.

  21. DarkDefender says:

    Best.Bromance.Moments.Ever. RyEspo killed it with their scenes..

    The call was emotional, as the reunion with everyone at the end. I also thought the many Caskett moments were funny, comfortable, playful, and true to character.

    I missed hearing Kate calling him babe.. But I missed it the first time in Valkyrie too.

    .. and for those who thought the FX were not done well.. I can say from having fought fires on the inside.. The inside scenes were exceptionally well done.

  22. prish says:

    The husband said, “Hey, I’d hug those firemen!” We loved the episode, so well done.

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  24. Carlos Alvarez says:

    First episode of Castle that has made me cry. The acting was awesome. Although the scene with Ryan talking to Jenny over the phone picking out a name reminded me of the beginning of the Star Trek movie (2009)! But other than that nitpick it was great

  25. Carlos Alvarez says:

    Oh and Beckett calling Castle babe. Loved it. I kept rewinding that scene over and over lol.

  26. LucyD says:

    I loved this episode. I too love Ryan as a character and love when he gets more than the basic lines to say (one of my favorite previous episodes was when he went undercover in that gang, very strong acting by Seamus in that episode too.) I got really emotional during the trapped scenes and silently cheered when they got out.

    Was Wendy Davis’s character really called Delia Burton? That would be funny as she played Colonel Burton on Army Wives (loved that show!!), maybe Delia is Joan’s cousin?

  27. Emma says:

    i was in tears for most of the episode. i was an emotional wreck…still am 7 hours after watching it. but holy cow it was one of the best episodes of TV i have ever seen. And the amazing job they did with the fire (parts of which are real) they knocked it out of the ball park for real. bravo to all the cast and crew on this amazing show!!!

  28. greysfan says:

    One of the tightest episodes of Castle all season. It was fantastic. Well done to all cast and crew and i was 95% certain one of them was going to die but they didn’t. It was great none-the-less.

    • Dark Defender says:

      just goes to show there can be a great “meal” of a Castle episode and no need for the dessert.. (aka Pi).. :P

  29. A pity the whole pinned leg thing tore me out of that one moment, otherwise I was with it the whole way. That kind of thing where it’s on a leg or waist or whatever just enough to pin them but not enough to break major bone just seems so far-fetched. I mean a lot of stuff that happens in the realm of TV seems lucky but that one’s been one of my sticking points. Still points for realizing they were both affected by the heat and losing air, I’ve seen a lot of shows mess that part up.

    Anyhow, scraping away the thing that always annoys me regardless of what show does it, good episode. The mystery of the killer wasn’t really the point so much as just how we get to the bad situation and then what happens in the bad situation, and those were done darn well. I love how Castle can even call Gates now and she’s not even bothering to be annoyed since, well, lives are on the line.

    • Alan says:

      it did seem like the beam was caught up on a piece of debris so i can understand it not breaking his leg from that while still being enough to pin him.

  30. Mary says:

    Loved everything from this episode, from start to finish! And that´s all:)

  31. lame says:

    Great episode to start the second part of the season, intense,emotional and AWM & CO finally are letting Beckett call Castle “babe”. Only thing missing is for Castle to start calling Kate “Katie”. Really Andrew, were you still calling Terri, “Miller” after a year of being together?
    Thank you for allowing Gates to be the kickass boss who cares about her guys, and becoming an intricate part of the crime solving process. Now let’s see the ice that runs through her veins during a shootout, preferably with Castle by her side.

    • lame says:

      P.A.: It was nice to see Castle as the one who kept Beckett from falling apart. Everytime she came close to despair, it was his words of reassurance and his shoulder she would lean on.

    • lauri5567 says:

      Katie? I went to school with more than one “Jenny” that will chop you into little pieces if they aren’t called “Jen”. I could see only her father gets away with that.
      Heck, I know a Ricky that gets mad when people call him Rick instead of Richard, because Rick isn’t appropriate for an adult.

      • jenferner8 says:

        I’d prefer Jenny, I would probably chop people to pieces for calling me Jen if I could get away with it. (I don’t particularly care for it, and I have never gone by Jen but I get it all the time)

    • Maria says:

      Her dad calls her “Katie.” If Castle did too, it would be too weird. I’d much rather he called her “honey” or “baby” or just “Kate.” But yeah, maybe something besides her last name.

      • Alan says:

        her last name is his pet name for her.

      • John 1138 says:

        Still superior to Booth’s formerly derogatory name for Brennan morphing into his pet-name for her… “Bones”? That still nudges me out of their more intimate moments when he calls her that.

    • Just one thing says:

      To be honest, “babe” really seems like a Stana thing. Sure, she probably had to run it by the duo in charge, but it’s something she’s willing to throw out there.

  32. Nichole says:

    Great episode, with all the focus on Castle and Beckett relationship stuff (ugh), the second tier characters hadn’t been getting much attention last year or this year to date. First the look-a-like episode, then the death row one and now this one, very good episodes focusing less on the main two characters relationship and more on the others. Also glad Pi has been absent the last few, no offence to the guy playing the character, but that’s one TV character I’m glad to be rid of, for the moment at least!!

  33. Apples says:

    Great episode, Some fantastic Ryan/Espo scenes, lovely Ryan/Jenny moments (the phone call) and of course solid Caskett…the early ep banter giving way to the great emotional bits in the second half. Some of the flow of the ep was clunky, but the heart of the show has always between the connection between all the characters. The ending with the whole precinct family was great. We even got a Castle/Gates scene that wasn’t Gates making fun…
    Anyone else feel a LOT of foreshadowing coming on for Castle or Beckett getting seriously hurt towards the end of the season? Between Jenny and Ryan, and the fire lieutenant’s partner being the victim, I just felt this one may have been a little taster of things to come for Caskett.

    • Dark Defender says:

      I hope it only goes so far as his Dad.. and I’d love to see Beckett soften up and be there for him, when he learns his dad is a bad guy.. instead of her just wanting to “take down the fugitive” as the previews seem to imply.
      Also, just think of the great conversation that could happen between them, over Castle’s true feelings about not having his dad in his life. <– Caskett gold. Let us see that "little boy who's scared" that Kate mentioned in Probable Cause.
      I do not want to see Alexis, Martha or Jim dead. period. But Castle getting seriously hurt from 3XK and Beckett being there for him.. I'd be okay with that.. although they had their "Castle in peril" moment in the 2 parter already this season.

  34. Laura says:

    Terrible episode , so cliché . Thank god for the dvds , after this episode I watched a season 2 episode to remember the good times when this show was a funny procedural and not a soap opera. The lack of chemistry between Nathan and Stana this season is killing the show for me , Mr Marlowe need to do something ASAP.

    • Laura says:

      Terrible episode , so cliché . Thank god for the dvds , after this episode I watched a season 2 episode to remember the good times when this show was a funny procedural and not a soap opera. The lack of chemistry between Nathan and Stana this season is killing the show for me , Mr Marlowe needs to do something ASAP.

      • sonnenschein77 says:

        Yeah! Really HOPE they develop the Javi/Kate relationship. it is MUCH better.

        • Mary says:

          Good lord, never! Thankfully, I´m you´ll stay just hoping for that:)

        • frankie says:

          Not Javi, he’s too much her ‘brother’, her confidant, her rock. but I would be able to accept Kate developing a possible romantic relationship with somebody else, she has an innate sensuality.

  35. Tim says:

    What kind of car was it that Esposito and Ryan pulled up in when they checked the old shoe factory building. The Red One?

  36. KC says:

    To me this episode was the weakest of a very good season so far. I prefer more of a balance between the procedural and relationships aspects of the show. This went way too far into the melodramatic for my tastes. There was zero evidence that the building inspector (he’s not a firefighter) was the arsonist. Only that he inspected all the buildings the Phantom was suspected of burning down. That would be a reason to investigate him but not stick a gun in his face and threaten his life. I know the clock was ticking on Ryan and Esposito, but I think he should have been developed as the prime suspect earlier in the show to allow for more evidence to be collected before the showdown with Beckett.
    As for the chemistry between Castle and Beckett, I think it’s as good as ever. It’s changed only in that their relationship has changed. It seems very natural to me for two people that are over a year into an intimate relationship. You still see the sly smiles or rolling of the eyes, but always in a loving way and the banter and teasing is as good as it’s ever been.
    I love the show and I’m impressed with how well they have managed the characters’ development into the sixth season.

    • Kim R says:

      I agree with this review. I have enjoyed this season very much but not so much this episode. It did go too far into the melodramatic for my taste as well. And to add, at the end when they bring Ryan and Espo out after they had been passed out with the smoke and heat, neither of them even had an oxygen mask on. I just found that stupid. I didn’t feel emotionally invested at all because I didn’t believe it. :(

    • John 1138 says:

      He was right there at that otherwise random fire scene, NOT inspecting a building, precisely showing the behavior pattern developed for the arsonist: having to be there (per the other firebug) filming the fire.

      I expect that earned him the gun in his face.

  37. Heat says:

    Good emotional episode – which is hard because we’re all were sure they are not going to kill off two series regulars. I thought the actress who plays Mrs. Ryan need some improvements but for everything that she lacks, Seamus more than made up for it, especially during the phone call. In fact, everyone in the regular was great. They all have tremendous chemistry, so I can’t see where I can complain there.

    Although, I find it hard to believe there’d be a working landline in an abandoned building. And the way the real arsonist was revealed was not that well thought out. But they’re all besides the points for this episode, because the characters are put in this kind of danger to bring out the best of their relationship between each others. I really liked it. I have to say though, this isn’t the first episode this season to make me teary, 6×4 was emotional for me, even when it just involved a character we hardly knew. Now that’s is a harder thing to achieve, and they managed.

    Well done, writers. And welcome back, Castle and co.

  38. Paige says:

    I think this episode was one of the best this season. I loved how it was Ryan and Esposito in danger instead of Rick and Kate, who had to do the hand-wringing on the outside. I really wondered if this was going to be it for one of the guys. Stranger things happen. And they did kill off Montgomery. Well done Castle.

  39. peter says:

    cliche sometimes is a good thing
    i don’t know why there is a lot a bad coments about it
    even castle needs a little bit o f cliche moments and they played very good

  40. LEP says:

    We enjoyed it, and although you thought you knew they would have to make it out safely, it was kind of like rewatching Apollo 13 again and again – are they going to survive reentry?? But the part my daughter and I thought was silly was the lack of physical effect of being in a smoke-filled environment so long – inside and out. No one was coughing after inhaling all that smoke. I can understand how the subbasement was the best place to be regarding carbon monoxide, but I wouldn’t think that advantage would last as long as it did. And I’m no fire rescue expert by far, but I had thought they would come out of the building with oxygen masks on. I know, not a big deal, but sometimes the little things bug ya. Maybe a firefighter could comment and let me know how plausible it was. Overall, we still really enjoyed it.

    • Dark Defender says:

      The building was huge and the fire burned upward (where the wood frame was – as opposed to the concrete basement). It would not have burned down to the basement until the upper floors (and there were many) were consumed by fire. I would have suspected a structural colapse before the fire reached Javi and Kevin… but enough carbon monoxide to make them pass out, wouldn’t necessarily be enough to not revive them, since it seemed only minutes between them pasisng out and being rescued. A few hits off the air masks the FF’s had on them would have been enough to get them up and waking out.
      I did 15 years as a FF and this was a pretty good (TV version) of a fire.. second to the movie version, Backdraft.. which was not perfect but also well done. I can say from personal experience that the shots looking up to the fire above from the RyEspo persepctive were spot on.


  41. Suzie says:

    Did anyone besides me have a Gilmore Girls moment when Ethan Cohn showed up? I flashed on him staggering across the sand toward the restaurant on spring break.

    • scooby says:

      No wonder he looked familiar! Thanks, I didn’t put it together. I forgot to go look up the guest cast. Normally I would during the episode but I was paying too much attention to it to do things I might have before.

  42. Tom says:

    It was a good episode. I enjoyed it. I thought it was a little melodramatic in places, but overall one of the better Castle episodes this season. As usual, there are always those annoying nits about Castle episodes: Like why a long-abandoned building still had working analog phone service? How convenient! And do they use the same fake beam to pin every actor’s leg, or do they make a new one each time? Because if it’s the same beam, it would have to be one of the most historical props in Hollywood history. How many times has that old gag been used? And the woman going into labor at the most inconvenient time possible has been done a few times too! I think the episode would have been better without the trite story elements.

    • James D says:

      Haha I said the exact same thing when i watched that scene. That’s one prolific I beam. you would think that professional writers could come up with a new gimmick by now.

  43. lame says:

    People complaining about the good old episodes, you had better look at the numbers these so called cliche episodes get, their astronomical. The folks bitching about these somber episodes are in the minority, look at the ratings, they tell the full story of what the fans like and want.

    • KC says:

      Ratings don’t reflect if an individual episode is popular or not, it only reflects if a show was watched. You can’t have an opinion of an episode until you watch it and you can’t say I didn’t like the episode so don’t count my rates point. Complaining about people having an opinion and using ratings to justify your opinion is pointless. Castle has a good balance of “serious” and “light” episodes which is the reason it’s ratings are so good. Ying & Yang, you need both to maintain an audience.
      Most people will have a preference which type they like and I enjoy reading those opinions.

  44. Rich Abey says:

    Awesome episode and a hell of a heart-pumper to get the new year rolling!

  45. Rich Abey says:

    Almost forgot. “Under Fire” probably gave us the quote of the week when Ryan decided to name his son Javier:
    “Javier? You’re going to name a white Irish kid ‘Javier’?”

  46. Sarah-Ann says:

    I cried like a baby watching this episode.

  47. Moochiecat says:

    Was this episode believable? No. But it doesn’t matter in the end because viewers are primarily invested in the characters, and are perfectly willing to overlook implausible moments. Now, did Seamus Dever and Jon Huertas NAIL IT in this ep? Damn straight they did! Their performances were outstanding. Well done, gentlemen!

  48. gg says:

    Seamus Dever was very good, but the episode itself was meh. Very cliche, uninspired writing and even directing (that “There!” from Castle was ridiculous). I’m at the point when I’d love for Castle to end already if only for Seamus Dever and Nathan Fillion to get better roles with better scripts.

  49. Susan says:

    This was a wonderful episode -very well-done! Kudos to Seamus Dever’s acting. He is a very talented guy and made the whole episode believable. My husband even had tears :)

  50. Under Fire will go down in Castle lore as one of the best episodes brought to the small screen. I am not a big fan of Seamus Deaver but he stole the entire episode last night seconded only by Captain Gates. I have three children and would like to whisper into Juliana Deaver’s ear about contractions and first babies. I must agree the chemistry between Caskett is lagging a bit. It seems Stana is much more into the relationship than Fillion. When will he seek her out for a kiss, hug or snuggle? All in all the entire cast performed well and if it was Andrew’s intention to fire up the fandom, I’d say he succeeded based on post and responses to Under Fire.

    • gart says:

      You realize that he can’t “seek her out for a kiss, hug or snuggle” all by himself, right? It has to be written and directed that way.

      • scooby says:

        Don’t bring sense and logic into this, gart. We’re supposed to do things like watch the first sneak peek and lose our minds that what was meant to be playful banter about a wedding date is somehow a devastating revelation that Castle is having cold feet. I didn’t realize people could get the vapors and clutch pearls at the same time. Some fans seem able to do that. Here I was just enjoying a really excellent episode of tv, realizing that not everything is about filming fan fiction makeout sessions between Castle and Beckett.

        • gart says:

          I’m OK with people criticising the show, I would only prefer them to see the difference between the show and reality, namely actors and characters. Melody Baker used actors names, not characters, so it looked as if she thinks that most of what characters do is dictated by actors wishes. When in reality, actors just do what they’re told by the writers and directors.

          It’s no big deal, I just noticed that it became fashionable in the comments to Castle articles to pin all frustrations with the show on Nathan Fillion for some reason. I am not thrilled with the writing for Caskett and Rick Castle especially, but I can’t see how it is the actors fault. I can just imagine Fillion (or anyone) go around the set “seeking out kisses, hugs and snuggles” when it’s not in the script. Sorry, just my pet peeve.

          • John 1138 says:

            On that issue I’m fond of the line in “Who Shot Roger Rabbit” where Jessica says she’s not bad, she’s just drawn that way…..

          • frankie says:

            I agree that it is probably being written and directed that way. But, if so, why?

          • frankie says:

            Also. Marlowe has always said that it is a love story first and then a procedural show. We’re getting the reverse. What has changed? Actually, it is simply a procedural show played out by good friends, Javi, Kate, Ryan, Castle, Gates (aka-Sir) and Lanie. I miss Purlmurther, he is so irrelevantly amusing. No love story whatsoever. BTW, F/X was sub-par, but I blame the monetary budget, not the crew. Although smoke rises , the heat, fumes and secondary smoke would have killed them in three minutes.

        • Just one thing says:

          Wow. It’s clear you like the show, scooby, but it’d be far easier to converse and debate with you if you didn’t completely disregard the POVs of ANYONE who dares criticize the show. Not everyone who has issues with the show from time to time is being irrational.
          Conversely, not everyone who adores the show and refuses to point out its flaws is a mindless drone. However, bashing everyone who doesn’t praise it endlessly is a bit annoying.