Castle Post Mortem: In the Wake of Kate's Huge Discovery, 'The Stakes Are Higher Than Ever'

Castle Spoilers Bracken Drug LordThis week on ABC’s Castle, an undercover assignment gone sideways first brings Beckett face-to-face with a familiar foe — and then gobsmacks her with a shocking discovery.

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As the hour opens, Rick and Kate are fixing to spend the latter’s day off by engaging in, well, the sorts of things couples do. (Apparently they both need a good font.) That plan however is derailed by a call from Gates, asking Kate to get to the 12th, pronto — and alone.

At the precinct, Captain Fowler from narcotics explains how they caught Elena Markov, a low-level courier for a rising drug lord known as Lazarus, whom they have yet to get eyes on. Alas, Elena is now hospitalized after a suicide attempt, but the NYPD wants to keep her next meet — with Beckett assuming her identity. Kate agrees, thinking it’s a simple couple-of-hours gig, yet once on en route to the meet, she is abducted, thrown into a van and driven to a remote location.

Kate’s abductor, Harden, says that Lazarus is interested in giving Elena a permanent position in the organization. Kate accepts, with the stipulation that she gets a face-to-face with her employer. When Harden and his superior, Jones, step outside to mull it over — rather than ask Elena to wait in the guarded hallway, thus conveniently leaving Beckett unattended near a phone — Kate quickly rings the 12th, but her call cannot be traced.

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In the meantime, Beckett finds a block of time to write an “In case we don’t see each other again…” letter to Rick, professing that their relationship is the greatest thing that has ever happened to her and that he is an “amazing man,” signing the note, “Always” — and then hides it, to hopefully never be found.

Kate is told that Lazarus has accepted her terms, if she agrees to an assignment: Whacking some attorney in the ‘burbs. Realizing that Elena was in fact an assassin, Kate carries out the kill, thanks to some quick thinking/staging of a murder scene with her target’s help. (Good thing Frank Ryan had beet juice handy!) Meanwhile at the 12th, Rick frets about Kate’s fate, now that they know she’s trying to pass herself off as a contract killer. Javi, though, reassures that Beckett’s a “damn good cop, so don’t sell her short.”

When Kate gets her meeting with Lazarus, Castle Spoilers Bracken Drug Lordshe is promptly made — because the man across the table is Vulcan Simmons, the Washington Heights drug lord she suspected in her mother’s murder back in Season 3. When Kate, despite some torture tactics, refuses to disclose what they want to know, Vulcan tasks Harden with killing her out in the woods — except Elena shows up in the nick of time to slay Harden and save Beckett’s life. (“He sent me because he owed you. He wanted you to live.”) But who is “he”? “Lazarus.”

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Back at the 12th, as Gates and Fowler report that there’s no evidence to back up charges against Vulcan, Kate expresses to a helpless-feeling Rick, “Babe, I wasnt alone… The only thing that kept me going was thing about you… You were with me the whole time.”

But who was having all these tens of millions funneled into some secret super PAC fund? Turns out, Senator Bracken aka the real “Lazarus” is atop this drug chain, and has been using the ill-gotten gains to fill his war chest — with an eye on the White House. (Meaning Sally Langston’s dead husband will run against her and Fitz? What?) But since Kate once saved the life of her mother’s killer, he returned the favor — thus cleaning the slate between them. “So,” Kate notes with a hint of dread, “the next time we see each other….”

Though Stana Katic, when I spoke to her last week, did not know when this Bracken thread would next be picked up — “I’ve been digging on my own with the producers to find out where they’re going,” she shared — one thing is certain: “They’ve upped the ante,” she attested. “We built up the Bracken character, talking about him as a sleeping dragon that was awoken, and this story re-mythologizes him.” As an aspiring POTUS, “His status now is at another level, which means that the stakes are higher than ever. And so keeping Beckett at bay is more important than ever,” Katic observed. “She’s a bigger threat than she’s been in the past.”

What did you think of “In the Belly of the Beast”? And as always, any scoop-seeking Qs can be sent to InsideLine@tvline.com.


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189 Comments
  1. sigh says:

    Amazing episode, SK such a good actress. Actually everyone was really good. Still somehow the ending was not totally satisfying, but I can’t put my finger on why. Anyway, well done overall… Love eps directed by Rob Bowman.

    • M3rc Nate says:

      I think because once you got to a certain point, you knew it was gonna be him….so it went from a “im confused! Who’s the big baddy? Omg im so excited!” to “Oh, its him again? ok”. But i agree this was a FANTASTIC episode, and so was last weeks…though the teaser for next weeks looks like another typical filler ep…someone kissed castle/kate, “crazy castle story/experience” this time with ninjas. But anyways, one of the best episodes!
      -
      (With all that hype for the SUPER romantic moment with the letter writing, it was all very typical expected stuff…she didnt like gush her heart out, she just said i love you always and your my everything…that much we knew.)

      • sigh says:

        (I know, the letter was kind of a let down, but maybe because of knowing about it in advance. And i think I’m the only one but her calling Castle “babe” has never felt right to me lol. But still a good episode.)

        • LGC says:

          You’re not the only one. I’ve never fully embraced the ‘babe’ calling myself either. (Or Martha suddenly calling Beckett ‘Katherine’) Somehow feels like it’s more Stana than Beckett, if that makes any sense. Maybe because I think of Beckett as a more reserved, less cutesy person. Maybe if we’d had a cute Caskett conversation about nicknames it would have made it work for me. But unfortunately they chose to never write cute learning to know each other as lovers scenes back when the romantic relationship was in its early stages.

          • Emily says:

            The “babe” think doesn’t bother me, I think it’s cute but what’s weird is that it appears this season from nowhere whereas she never called him like that last season.

          • Kelly says:

            I don’t mind the ‘babe’ reference . . . here nor there. However, Martha has always called Beckett, “Katherine” first the very first season. I always thought that was a nice touch and so in character of Martha.

            Great episode. I agree with a writer from above that the ending left me a little wanting, but overall really enjoyed the episode.

          • Just one thing says:

            “Babe” has become overdone now. But I also think “Rick” comes far less naturally.

  2. Apples says:

    I thought the Bracken twist was a) predictable and b) over-the-top. Bracken is so tedious and cliched as this “ultimate evil” guy.
    .
    I actually found myself not enjoying the ep so much- Vulcan Simmons and the letter were great, the torture scene on the other hand was poor. Katic was either wooden, or over the top. I don’t mind some of the dramatic eps that Castle does (Kill Shot was great as was Disciple), but the “political thriller” ones never quite come off (Recoil) as believable. It would be a great episode of some other show (Alias?) but for Castle…ehh.
    .
    The letter sounded almost exactly like vows. We’re not going to get a proper wedding given we’ve already seen the dance, the dress etc.

    • Wendy says:

      How ironic that you said the torture scene was either wooden or over the top. Katic was actually dunked in water (although, not ice water) for hours without needing a take from her stunt double. That is her most natural reaction to being dunked. I, on the other, thought she carried the whole episode superbly.

      Other than that I agree that at this rate, a wedding is sure not happening in a way that involves a white dress and saying the vows.

      • Apples says:

        So she did the stunts herself, so what? Maybe she should’ve let the stunt double do it so she could do the actual acting bits better. I found myself distinctly disconnecting with the character and the emotions they were trying to incite during that scene- I actually found myself cringing with embarrassment when she tried attack Simmons. And she was very wooden during the rest of it.
        .
        Personally I think Katic is usually a great actress, and I thought she was really good in parts of this ep (the scene with the letter, the reunion scene at the end, even the bits before and after the “shooting”), but it all fell apart for me during the crucial dramatic sequence.

    • RBA says:

      From an acting perspective Stana delivered, but again the show just doesn’t now that Bracken story is becoming akin to Red John in the Mentalist in the sense that he is so over the top baddie that you no longer care about him. Also they tidy things up in the end so we know there will be no repercussions in the upcoming episodes.

      Clearly Marlowe intends to keep the Bracken story next season though he says he intends to take another bite at it before season’s end. My guess is that Bracken or a threat by him will be the reason why Castle and Beckett will not get hitch this spring. Somehow both will decide that unless that threat is terminated they will never truly be safe or happy, so they have to bring him down and until they do they cannot proceed with starting their new life.

      To avoid a panic with the fandom over such an outcome Marlowe had to make it clear that Kate is totally committed and in love with Castle, so when they decided to postpone the wedding fans will know that it is for some other reason not having to do how they feel about each other.

      • Really says:

        You’re starting to annoy me. You think you know it all when you couldn’t be more wrong. You’ve no idea what Marlowe’s plans with the wedding are. Your last paragraph reads as if it happened already.

        • RBA says:

          Well after last nights ratings Marlowe has no other choice than to give the fans a wedding or else have no fans to come back to.

          As to the last paragraph… it should have read:

          To avoid a panic with the fandom over such an outcome Marlowe has to make it clear that Kate is totally committed and in love with Castle, so when he decides to postpone the wedding fans will know that it is for some other reason not having to do how they feel about each other

          Unfortunately you can edited the comments after you hit send….

          • S. says:

            “Or else”? Wow you’re ridiculous. There’s no doubt about how they feel, there hasn’t ever been. They were obviously the endgame for one another for the entire run of the series, it was just a question of how and when. Ugh, I swear the fact that you and Apples are posting on this board, both being consistently wrong, it’s proof that two wrongs don’t make a right. Also, the two of you completely miss the layers of why Bracken’s a good bad guy. Your loss. There’s so much that goes into being in a wedding ceremony that bores any sane person off their arse, plus it’s all been done. Show me something different, not the latest fanfiction requests of people upset about kissing or no kissing or whatever the latest gripe is.

      • a worker in the fields says:

        I am sorry, but I think that, that problem will be ended before the wedding! And that Jackson Hunt will be involved in some way or another. My gut feeling, whether or not the story line has been written or not, I have no idea, is that Hunt will contact Castle with some information that Bracken intends to get rid of a problem that could damage is pursuit of the presidency…Beckett. Hunt tells Castle to meet him at some out of the way place and gives Castle some quick CIA training and tells Castle that he has to “Man Up” and do this or all that he has ever done for Beckett will have been for nothing. This includes the possibility of killing another human being, which we all know Castle would rather not do, unless necessary.

        This particular situation turns out to be a kill or be killed situation, and Castle has to grow-up and choose. Mean while, Beckett has to go off on her own, with the undercover help of Javi, Kevin, and little known to her, Jackson, and find who it is who is after her, and bring the guilty party(s) to justice. Which means if Bracken is involved, then he too must be brought to justice! But I am sure it won’t be without a fight of some sort.

    • Lisa says:

      We are definitely NOT getting a wedding and to be honest I am glad. It has all been done. They have walked down an aisle, we have seen the dress, and heard the ‘vows’. In my perfect scene we see them coming out of city hall holding hands and smiling, that is how I would write it.

      Loved the episode and was glad to see Beckett being strong and admitting to using Castle as her anchor. The only thing I would have loved was to see Castle punch the cop in anger over his lack of knowledge. Would have been a good scene.

      The music was also really good, it gave the show a different feel.

  3. Dani says:

    This show should be called Beckett. Stana was amazing, as usual. Rob Bowman once again knocking it out of the park, he really knows how to give each episode he directs the right vibe. A++

  4. James D says:

    Andrew Marlowe out did himself with this one, so good. Stana was fabulous as always. I’ve been saying for weeks that Bracken is lurking around the bend, but what a way to re-introduce him. The letter was very nicely done it wasn’t too much but got the point across in very tender and endearing way. loved the whole episode. Do any of us honestly think Beckett or Bracken are going to allow the other to live in peace. me thinks a wedding crash will be going down, and we will get that trademark Marlowe cliffhanger at the end of the season.

  5. Jules says:

    Yawn. I’m tired of these emotional plots with Beckett while Castle wimps away crying about her. When is Nathan/Castle going to get some meaty episodes, I’m sick of Stana/Beckett with her constant torturing and crying…and blah blah my mommy issues. Ugh. It feels like this show has turned into the Beckett show, we never get anything out of Castle. He’s just the dude there to cheer on Beckett… Castle has been absolutely useless, no storyline for him and makes me sad because Nathan is a strong character. Wish the show would stop pimping Beckett so much, I’m tired of her issues tbh.

    • M3rc Nate says:

      I dont disagree persay, but to be fair, the show while named Castle, is the Castle-&-Beckett show. I would agree if Castle had been the lead that was doing stuff on his own and with different women/detectives until season 3, they introduce Kate, then she sticks around for the rest of the series and the shows starts paying attention to much to her…but thats not how it is.
      -
      From the beginning Castle has been a bored, rich, writer of fiction. He follows Kate around cause hes got nothing going on in his life, SHE is the injection of fun and meaning and meat into his life. Now obviously some stuff has happened with him that has been meaty, ex wives, daughter stuff, his father/CIA stuff. But overall since the pilot the show has been Castle tagging along with Beckett in her world, involving himself in her life, cause he didnt really have one before her.
      -
      I loved this episode but i get what your saying. But this show hasnt lied to us, since the pilot we have known what this show is (like i just said about the lead characters). Also that Kates mother plays a HUUUUUGE fundamental role in her life. More so since she found out everything that lead to her Mothers death so far.
      -
      If your tired of story involving Kate and fundamental parts of her past that make her who she is today, and your tired of emotion, Castle being worried, Kate doing her cop thing…i think this might not be the right show for you or something…cause that IS this show.

      • lame says:

        Okay, I see where this is coming from, but it’s always been Kate the cop, his muse and Rich following her for inspiration, then for love. From the start we were given glimpses into certain skills he had i.e. an ability to write incredibly detailed murder scenes and an incredible expertise with a hand gun. I think fans are waiting to see him reach a crossroads where the threat to his lady love unleashes the DNA that he has from his father. The master of the macabre comes to life, in a way that will even frighten Kate.

        • Jeff says:

          I’d really like to see Castle get medieval on somebody, that would be interesting. He did a little in Paris I think with his daughter’s kidnapping, but not full-on badass.

          • M3rc Nate says:

            Though i agree, heck i think its a interesting fundamental change in the character to have to have him kill someone. Hes never killed anyone…and its a line you cant come back from (show wise) but i think once they are grasping for story lines a season or two from now…they should have it happen. Something happens involving his daughter or Wife (kate) and he ends up killing a guy to save her/them…and the next bunch of episodes are him having PTSD, nightmares, irritable and fighting with everyone (verbally) and eventually coming to grips with that after a big breakdown and everyone (esp Kate and Alexis) making him realize he needs help, and so then for a few eps he is getting counseling like Kate did with Worf (guy who played him on Star Trek).

        • M3rc Nate says:

          I agree id love that. Thats what i want for Deeks too on NCIS:LA…hes the funny, smartass, (just like Castle) who is made fun of for being a surfer with his shaggy hair and a jokester…i want him to go hardcore, shave his head, go off the deep end to find/save Kensi, kill some people that need to be killed, scare Kensi a bit by how truly dark he can be beyond the outside veneer of being the jokester (he did have a horrible childhood where he shot his father at like 10 yrs old). So id love to see Castle do Paris again but to save Kate or something and him like you said, go hardcore.

    • Just one thing says:

      I distinctly remember people making the same comments this time last year, and I suspected people would start again with this episode. I thought Hunt/Target was a great, meaty two-parter last year, where Castle got to go rogue for his daughter. Beckett took a backseat for that arc.
      .
      Just a few episodes ago, Castle also got to have some quality Mom & Dad time when he removed a bullet from his father’s stomach. That episode offered plenty of potential meat in delving into Castle’s relationship with his father. And while that was going on, during/after his father manipulated Castle and left them all out to dry, Beckett was there to support him, too.
      .
      Castle and Alexis also had an entire episode focused on their relationship as they solved a crime together. Beckett took a backseat for that as well.
      .
      I think the show could go even deeper into illuminating Castle as a character. For whatever reason, they don’t. And it’s a shame because, like you, I’d be interested in deeper discovery.
      .
      All I do know is, I see one actor, who’s likely paid significantly less than their co-star and is treated far differently by the network, continue to carry the bulk of the story – which likely means more work. And, since that pattern has been going on since early 2013, I can only assume the network is cool with it.
      .
      Why would the network be cool with a shared and sometimes shifted focus from the title character? No clue. But if they had an issue with it, and if the actor who plays the title character had an issue with it, odds are it would’ve been addressed a while ago.

      • Apples says:

        “continue to carry the bulk of the story”
        .
        I’ve seen this peddled a lot, but never with any evidence. Fillion has exactly as much screen-time as Katic, and it isn’t his fault that the whole series is constructed around Beckett’s myth-arc. A lot of the comic and romantic scenes he does are quite difficult to pull off (that line about how all his mistakes led to Beckett would’ve been incredibly cheesy in the hands of a lesser talent). A lot Katic fan continue to proclaim this without any shred of evidence and I’m quite tired of it going unchallenged.
        .
        To declare my biases I am a fan of both Fillion and Katic.

        • Just one thing says:

          Look, I’m not going to break out a stopwatch and tally their screen time, nor am I going to go through episodes and count scenes. I can only go by how it feels and looks in episode.
          .
          But I think 6×14 (Dresses to Kill) was noticeably Castle-lite, and if one WERE to go back to 6×15 and 6×16, they’d see that Beckett either flew solo on interrogations or had Espo ride shotgun, which means she ended up being in 98% of the episodes.
          .
          You think those interrogation scenes were written Castle-free to focus on Beckett? Doubt it. They were more than likely written to accommodate this season’s shooting schedule. (I am 99.9% certain that the show still shoots on Fridays. There’s no way in hell they could’ve aired semi-continuously this winter without doing so, imo.)
          .
          This episode seemed fit to accommodate a real-life scheduling conflict, too – hence the additional Castle-liteness of this episode. If true, no one compelled Fillion to go on vacation. It was probably on the sched months and months ago, which could be why they went this route with such a Beckett-heavy episode.
          .
          Logically, one would expect 6×18 to be Beckett-lite. I wouldn’t necessarily mind if it is. I don’t know what’s coming beyond that, but I get the impression we’ll see more episodes where Castle simply isn’t involved in scenes he once was regularly a part of. I wouldn’t mind being wrong about that, though. It’s strange when Castle is missing for no apparent reason.

          • Apples says:

            But we’ve had Beckett-lite eps this season too (LFLD, NOF, DC, AMIF was light on both as Katic was promoting CBGB and NF shooting his community cameo). Have we had occasional scenes where there’s no Castle? Sure. The creative team has notably come out and said they want to lighten the load on BOTH their leads and make it a more ensemble show. I have no issues with that- honestly after 4-5 seasons I’m tired of Ryan and Espo continually being information-fetchers for C/B. We’ve had scenes with no Beckett too (B-plots in the first part of the season were Beckett-lite, for example) in otherwise normal eps.
            .
            This ep was written to focus on Beckett/Katic as a vehicle for her to showcase her skills, and we’ve had those eps too in the past (Kill Shot, or Target/Hunt for NF). I don’t think it was about scheduling actually- I reckon the holiday was taken after it was written. Mostly because the odd Beckett-heavy Bracken-mythology ep is very much in the show’s DNA.
            .
            Dressed To Kill had to Castle-lite in the middle for the story to work, much like Like Father, Like Daughter or Deep Cover had to be Beckett-lite.
            .
            I just think there is plenty of countervailing evidence to the claim Beckett/SK “carries” the show.

          • Just one thing says:

            Totally good point. And if someone really counted, it’s entirely possible they’d determine that it all shakes out pretty fairly for the stars. I agree that the shift to making Ryspo info-getters again feels like a regression. But I also think this season is very Castle/Beckett heavy by design, with the occasional ep devoted to someone else.
            .
            I don’t think she necessarily carries the show. I just think that what once seemed like a 50/50 split between them in the scene load has now begun to feel like a 60/40 split in some episodes, or even 70/30 sometimes. And maybe that pattern was short-term.
            .
            This is coming from someone who understood the deliberate attempt to showcase Fillion last year, but who still wanted to see Beckett in the thick of it. Same goes for this year with the ep to showcase Katic. I hope that future eps can showcase their acting chops together. Let the characters tackle their demons together from here on out. No more excuses to write one of them out of big episodes.

    • Wendy says:

      Did you even watch the episode or even the show at all? Since when did Beckett ever “constant crying” over mommy?

    • Alex says:

      Well then Nathan’s centric episodes should be better. 4X08, 5X15-16, 6X07 were in my opinion the worst episodes of the entire serie
      I was 100% agree that they should explore Castle background but they made up the ridiculous daddy spy instead of building an interesting storyling. And honestly, I’m not even sure Nathan wants more job to do given his implication this season.

    • Mary says:

      We aren´t definetly watching the same show! When did Beckett “constantly cry” about something?! Do you even watch the show, for God´s sake?!

    • Really says:

      One Beckett centric episode and Nathan hard core fans are having a meltdown. Hilarious!

    • Kelly says:

      Wow . . . tell me how you really feel. :) With that said, I cannot disagree on the lack of Castle centric episodes. I loved this episode, but Castle needed to be more angry and/or proactive. I mean, couldn’t he have done the “castle” out of the box thinking to find his woman! I’m hoping they give Castle something more to do . . .

    • Christina says:

      It’s been the Beckett show since day one when Castle decided to follow her around (and eventually become her partner) and base his books on her. I’m here for it 100%.

      (and since you want more heavy Castle episodes, look at the two parter from last year, 6×01 and 6×02, and 6×04. Nathan had some serious plot lines to deal with)

    • Flick says:

      P.s. they kinda did the whole ‘Castle about to die, Beckett freaking out thing’ in the opening 2 episodes of this season, so..

  6. Sammy says:

    It was a let down for me. Somehow I just cant seem to connect with Stana Katic’s acting. Or maybe it is the writing. But this episode didnt generate any sort of emotion from me. Not to mention the plot holes which are synonymous with Andrew Marlowe’s writing

  7. Just one thing says:

    I like the Beckett/Bracken mythology, because they’ve added that layer of Batman/Watchmen/pick-your-fave-graphic-novel undertone that’s often a nice break from the silly, comedic, standalone episodes (like… next week’s). Even when there are holes in the plot, I prefer when Castle leans toward drama, so I’ll forgive some aspects of tonight’s episode that were a little too convenient. I’m not sure the story warranted two episodes, but some corners were cut.
    .
    Visually, the episode was pretty cool, from the thousand-mile basement stairwell to the foggy forest trek. We’ve seen that “scantily-clad women counting cash” in many o’ film, but it was still a nice touch. My favorite sequence was the intercut between Beckett in the car and the lawyer sprawled in his living room – with the VO, them cutting back and forth, and then having him slowly raise his bloody head off the floor. So very, very dark.
    .
    The water boarding sequence was also well-done. I’m not always a fan of cranking up the speed in shots, but watching Vulcan twist that chair around was pretty awesome. Kudos to Stana Katic for carrying the episode from start to finish during what to be a pretty exhausting couple weeks. I’ve always believed that her strength is in the silences, which were utilized really well this episode.
    .
    I’ll never understand why they jump from a dark episode like this to something rather goofy and asinine like next episode appears to be. The episode title is great, and we know Castle won’t cheat. But it’s not funny anymore when the act of women throwing themselves at him is used for cheap laughs. I’m all for Castle, Ryan and Espo having fun (and hopefully giving Katic a break), but the idea that Kate just bounces back from that ordeal is hard to believe. Hopefully they’ll touch on it again, even briefly, before revisiting Bracken.

    • RBA says:

      JOT

      You and I have not agree much, but I like your take on the episode. Your last paragraph though highlights the issues I been having with the show this season.

      I fairly certain that the event that transpired in this week’s episode will not be touch upon again in the immediate future, so we will not get any scenes with Kate coping with being torture or a resurfacing of her PTSD nor will we see Castle trying to deal with knowing that once again his fiance’s life is being threaten by Bracken.

      If the Bracken issue is addressed again, I expect for it to be in the season finale where Marlowe will use it as away from keeping the wedding from happening.

      • Just one thing says:

        It’s unfortunate. I’ve said this before, but I’m assuming Castle isn’t “allowed” to be very serialized like the rest of ABC’s shows are. So, they seem to err on the side of caution and NOT reference past episodes unless they absolutely have to. They did a great job of explaining Vulcan and Kate’s connection, but I’m guessing they just don’t have the time/story space to do that in other episodes.
        .
        So, when things happen like Alexis being kidnapped or Castle nearly dying from a toxin, the series just kind of rolls forward once the episode concludes. If this were a different show, I would totally expect Kate to behave differently next episode — nightmares, insomnia, anything that helps tie us from episode to episode. But Castle doesn’t really operate like that, so if Kate’s trauma is mentioned, I’ll be pleasantly surprised.
        .
        And yes, I agree with you. That seems to be build-up for the season finale in a big way. Some more drama to look forward to, which doesn’t involve Castle and Beckett being morons. :P

    • sigh says:

      Well said to everything. Yeah as far as Kate bouncing back…I always feel a little let down when a character goes through an ordeal and then fast forward to them wrapped in a blanket and all is well again.

      • Just one thing says:

        Yeah. Fitting everything into 42 minutes can be pretty tough, though.

        • RBA says:

          I don’t think so. It can be done if you tighten the script and focus more on the emotionality of the kidnapping and hostage taken. To me it is just a matter of the episode trying to do too many things at once. It tried to show Kate’s ordeal, her feelings towards Rick, Rick’s and the precinct’s concern over kate, and re-introduced two characters who the general audience might not be familiar with (Simmons and Bracken). This episode would have worked better if it had not attempted to bring in the connection of this case to the overall Beckett’s mother mythology. Once it did that the episode would have to accomplish many things in a 42 minute span.

    • Apples says:

      Funny because I generally the show does comedy and romance consistently well and has a definitely mixed record with drama (especially with all the plot holes). Each to their own.

      • Just one thing says:

        I’ve enjoyed the last few episodes, which have definitely on the light side. There was comedy in Room 147 and romance in Smells Like Teen Spirit, and it was all entertaining and fun. But yeah, it’s all about preference. The style and tone they’ve chosen for Castle is light-light-dark-light-light-light-dark. And that’s worked for them so far.

        • Apples says:

          Personally I think they do dark and dramatic best when they go small scale (Castle and Beckett versus Tyson, or Beckett fighting her own demons in Kill Shot). Now they’re writing it so that Beckett has to go after Beckett not just for her mom but to save the country from evil, and those kind of big, grand storylines don’t mesh well with the tone of the show or characters (the big two parters, Need To Know etc). They’re my least favourite eps.

          • RBA says:

            I agree with this… Bracken has now become the ultimate baddie that has not only killed Beckett’s mom, attempted to have Beckett kill, but is now on his way to the most powerful position in the land.

            When any show chooses to go this route, it is time for the fans to say “No. We are not ready to follow you there”.

          • Just one thing says:

            Sorry I missed this the other day. I like small scale drama, too. But there’s nothing small scale about Tyson. :-) He’s omniscient, omnipresent and all-powerful, able to fake identities, control technology, steals untold fortune, convert complete strangers, and allegedly fake his death — all because he’s super-duper smart.
            .
            I really like the 3XK storyline for what it offers Castle and, by extension, Beckett. But he’s just as fantastical and unrealistic as Bracken. And Jackson Hunt, for that matter.

    • Kim says:

      JOT – Overall, I really liked the episode. I have practically no self-control when it comes to spoilers, so I think I was my own worst enemy there. I wonder what my reaction would’ve been to hearing Vulcan Simmons’ voice in the basement had I not already been leaning toward his character coming back due to spoilers I read. C’est la vie. I am glad they brought him back, though. He adds a new dimension to the Bracken storyline. Which they ramped up a bit in this episode. I’m glad there’s some movement going on. The stalemate “I owe you one” thing wasn’t going to last forever. It’s nice to see something happening. And though I do like the Bracken storyline, I think it is getting the point where it needs to be tied up. Kate is truly happy at this point in her life. She’s no longer solely defined by her mother’s murder. And, if I’m honest, I’d like to see she and Castle start off married life without this monkey on their backs. Can’t wait to see what conclusion the writers and such have for this storyline.

      .

      For a second, I thought she actually killed the guy in the house. I was certain that she didn’t when the shots were fired. And when she was reluctant to let that goon check to make sure she did the job. But the look on her face in the car, coupled with the guy not moving and how that scene was shot, had my wondering for a split second if she had gone too far. The water torture was hard to watch. Maybe that’s because I nearly drowned as a child, but it was definitely intense and I think Stana played that scene very well. She played the whole episode well. The voiceover when Kate was writing the letter was heartbreaking. They way she delivered the emotion and seeing her leave those breadcrumbs for Castle were so well done. I think Stana did a fantastic job.

      .

      Yeah. I wasn’t loving the promo for next week’s episode either. Clearly whatever happens with the geisha girl won’t damage their relationship. And I don’t think for one second that Castle would cheat. Something is going on in that scene that they didn’t show in the promo. But I have to say I just sighed heavily when I watched it. With how solid they’ve been this season, it’s a bit of a bummer that they feel the need to go this route again (since they already did it once last season). The letter scene and the precinct scene between Castle and Kate were lovely. Watching the promo after those scenes was a letdown. I’m not loving the idea, but watching Kate make him pay for it should be kind of fun to watch. This might just be one of those scenes/episodes that doesn’t exist in my own canon of the show, lol. I also agree about the follow up regarding last night’s episode. I don’t think she’s unscathed after her ordeal. But I don’t think she’s as affected as season one through three Kate would’ve been. Past Kate would’ve bottled it up and the explosion would’ve been atomic. I think present Kate is better at processing things now. I’m not saying everything is sunshine and unicorns. I just think she’s much better equipped to handle this situation now than she was previously. It would still be nice to be given a nugget or two that suggests she’s feeling the aftermath a bit. We’ll see if it happens, I guess.

      • Just one thing says:

        Hey, Kim! I agree that Vulcan was a nice twist, but also that the Bracken story needs to be resolved. Kate’s so-called “leverage” has been threadbare from the start. I always hoped they’re show Kate working feverishly into the night trying to piece together paper that simply can’t be restored. I feel like they’ve backed off on that, either intentionally or otherwise, but the final showdown between them needs to be kickstarted by Bracken’s discover that she has absolutely nada. Then again, maybe with this “we’re even” scenario, they never have to revisit the evidence – or lack thereof – again.
        .
        They’re moving closer to what I still believe will be the final season. Either way, the stage has been set for both a 3XK and a Bracken comeback, so one of those guys needs to die before Season Seven. I don’t care who bites it; they just need to go. :P
        .
        As for next episode, it’s just so frat-like in its attempt to be funny. Their way for Castle to have his cake and eat it too by being pounced on by women without it being his fault. A comedic tactic which, if the roles were reversed, would be interpreted as less funny and more aggressive and perverse for Beckett. But whatever. It’s funnee, so they’ll always go to that well for Castle, just like they’ll always go to the Bracken drama well for Beckett.

        • Kim says:

          JOT – I totally agree that Kate’s leverage was practically non-existent. And that seemed ok with her up until this point. In Rise, she made the deal with Bracken and then there was nothing until Recoil when she saved his life. I really do think she had moved on and accepted how things were. But now that Vulcan Simmons is involved and Bracken is funding a run at the presidency with drug money, I think she’s less inclined to still be ok with it. Especially after the water torture. I don’t think this is as much about her mom as it used to be. Kate absolutely wants justice for her mom, no question about that. But the lack of movement until this point seemed like she was ok with the stalemate. Now, I think she just wants to take the guy down because he’s a tool. And because he had her mother killed. With the way the story was ramped up, it looked to me like they were getting ready to wrap it up. Bracken doesn’t owe Kate a favor anymore. So it’s a level playing field. I’m not sure if we’ll see Kate piecing it all together, but something is definitely coming. And hopefully that something is Bracken’s downfall. I think 3XK is enough of a villain for the show at this point. And he’s much more creepy and much less smarmy than Bracken, in my opinion.

          .

          I think season seven is a lock. Season eight is definitely questionable. I’m more inclined to believe that how this season ends and how season seven starts will determine whether season eight will happen. I’m clearly not in the TV business, so I’m just guessing at this point. But if Castle ends the Bracken storyline in dramatic and spectacular fashion, and they start some new storylines that are firing on all cylinders, I think season eight is a possibility. It all comes down to what they do and what ABC wants. I think seven seasons is a great run. I’d be happy with that, but I wouldn’t say no to eight seasons. I do want the show to go out strong, though, whether that’s seven seasons or eight. And maybe even a flash-foward episode, because I really want to see Senator Beckett, her husband Richard Castle, and their three kids. :)

          .

          Yeah, I don’t understand why they’re going there. I would rather see him go undercover again and have to try to seduce the woman while being all awkward about it, since the woman is clearly into it and he’s clearly not into it. That would be a bit like the Serena Kaye thing, but nervous Castle trying to be nonchalant is funny to me. I don’t find the geisha climbing him like a California Redwood to be all that entertaining, especially since they’ve already gone there before. I do agree that if it were Kate in this situation, it would be far more gross and far less funny. I don’t think Castle really enjoys being manhandled by women who aren’t Kate. I don’t think he’d want to be in that situation. Or at least, I hope not because that’s not the type of man I think Castle is. Or the character the writers have created. He’s so in love with Kate it’s borderline nauseating. In a good way. I can’t imagine that anything other than ninjas attacking would be fun for him in that situation.

  8. Melissa says:

    I hate these obligatory “DRAMA!” episodes. Castle needs to remember what show it is and stop pretending it’s Breaking Bad. Sorry Marlowe, but you have never been able to pull these off. Enough with this convoluted, ridiculous conspiracy nonsense. A supposedly-legit presidential candidate is funding his campaign with a massive drug operation?! REALLY!? I don’t even care about Beckett’s mom’s case anymore, just let it die. The only thing that this particular conspiracy has going for it is it’s slightly less ridiculous than Castle’s dad being a super spy. But it wasn’t just the senator-as-Bond-Villain nonsense– the entire plot tonight was ridiculous– my eyes are tired from all the rolling. And let me guess, all will be forgotten by the next ep. Sure, Beckett was tortured and thought she was a dead woman, but… ninjas! Fun! Get it together, show. If you can’t manage to express Beckett’s feelings toward Castle without their lives being on the line then you’re pretty crappy writers IMO.

    • Kate says:

      Pretty sure we watched different shows tonight…

      • Melissa says:

        So, a presidential candidate funding his campaign with drug money seems real to you? Or this master-villain not killing the one person who knows his secret, because “he owes her”? (How noble!) Or a narcotics squad sending a detective undercover as someone they know nothing about? Or a drug lord who just killed someone in his office letting the next person conveniently be killed in an easily-escapable field? Or a listening device magically malfunctioning because the wearer stepped in an… elevator? Or a detective and a lawyer being able to stage a convincing crime scene in seconds and said lawyer going along with it because… uh… why? All of this rang true to you? I mean, I can forgive a little creative license, but come on, a show should at least nod it’s head to reality once in awhile, particularly in the episodes where they seem to think they’re trying to be oh-so-serious. Dark lighting does not make for a good plot. Let me guess, in next season’s very special episode we’ll learn that Pi is now Bracken’s campaign manager and he’s funding his campaign with the money embezzled from Martha’s acting school. But his plans will be thwarted by a bomb under the stage that can only be defused by Castle’s dad for some reason. And in the closing seconds we’ll realize that the bomb had been planted by 3KX! Or maybe Alexis! Oh look, I could write for Castle.

        • Just one thing says:

          Scandal is the story of how the President, whose election was fixed, manages to have an affair with his campaign manager without ever getting caught – and all of the political machinations therein. Homeland was once about a schizophrenic CIA expert having a torrid affair with a soldier-turned-terrorist-who-could-never-get-caught. The Americans is about Russian spies doing business right under Uncle Sam’s and Hoover’s nose and always narrowly escaping detection.
          .
          Let’s not get started on the rest of ABC’s slate, with an orphaned assassin-turned-billionaire intent on revenge in the Hamptons; a top-secret, military consortium of super-heroes (or whatever); or a town comprised of storybook characters who also live dual realities in an unknown town.
          .
          Yeah, Castle stretches credulity. But they’re not alone on that front. Not by a long shot. Because it’s TV.

          • Apples says:

            To be fair, I don’t watch Scandla, Homeland, The Americans, Revenge etc exactly for those reasons. Some of us prefer our TV with more than a dash of realism.
            .
            My two regular shows are Castle and Brooklyn Nine-Nine, two of the least “fantastical” shows on TV now. So I think it is a legitimate complaint and “the other shows are worse” is not a very good defence.

          • Just one thing says:

            I’m not saying the other shows are worse. Indeed they are popular shows with acclaim and fans. I’m just saying fantasy is part of the television experience, and even on all the crime shows out there, you’ve got to suspend major disbelief in some episodes. Especially since everyone is scrambling for attention.
            .
            I’m not saying Castle should insult our intelligence. I just think it should be held to the same standards as other shows in the genre.

          • Apples says:

            “I just think it should be held to the same standards as other shows in the genre.”
            .
            I don’t see why. I watch Castle as it is BETTER than the other shows in the genre. If it drops to their level then I’m forced to reassess whether I want to keep watching it or not, and I’d rather not have to do that. I hold it to better standards in terms of depicting a relationship more realistically, I hold it to higher standards in terms of continuity and characterisation, and I don’t see why I can’t hold it to better standards in terms of the realism of the kinds of stories told.

          • Eurydice says:

            Even “just tv” has to have internal logic.

          • Just one thing says:

            Sure. And if you’re not willing to “buy in,” then you’re not “wrong” and no one can force you. But it doesn’t mean that those who are ready to suspend disbelief are “wrong,” either. It’s about what our individual thresholds are for being played. Some watch television – even high-quality, much-buzzed-about, critics-approved television – to be played in some way, and sometimes even to be manipulated. That’s part of the television experience I mentioned.
            .
            I prefer Castle to other shows, but I don’t think the show is Shakespeare. I’ll never expect it to elevate storytelling more than any other series out there. But that’s just me.

          • Just one thing says:

            I should add that I’ve complained about a lot in the last year or so, so I’m not opposed to people expressing their criticisms. The show cuts corners all the time, even with the best intentions. And clearly they read comments sections like these, so it’s worth posting,

          • Francine says:

            You’re absolutely right- there is no right or wrong here. I think its interesting to hear how differently people view the episodes and really, the series in general. Personally I have never thought the cases on Castle were ever realistic. Some have been, but there have been just as many outlandish ones, even going back to the very first season. So it really is interesting to me that others look for so much realism in the cases- not because they dont have a right to (they most certainly do) but because I really dont see any difference when comparing them to earlier seasons. They’ve always been like to me. My preference is to see the realism come from the characters, not the cases. I watch because I love the relationship between Rick and Kate. I love that its subtle and not in your face. I love the secondary characters just as much. So when I have a complaint about the show, its normally in terms of character development or lack thereof. But that’s just my personal opinion and my way of watching and enjoying the show. Others feel differently and that’s fine. We all enjoy what we enjoy.

        • Alex says:

          Well Castle isn’t very realistic, especially since season 4 (remember World War 3 …), then the ridiculous daddy spy storyline in Paris or even with 3XK who’s become the ultimate vilain who can do everything. It’s not gonna change now, and this one didn’t really bother me.

        • Angela says:

          So, a presidential candidate funding his campaign with drug money seems real to you?
          Considering some of the crazy scandals real life politicians have been involved in, I actually don’t find this too implausible an idea. Granted, in this day and age I think a politician who did that would be caught rather quickly, but still…
          You raise a very good, fair point about unrealistic storylines, but I’ve seen and heard some real life stories that, if they were fiction, you probably wouldn’t believe they could happen. This world is a weird place sometimes.

        • Mary says:

          “A presidential candidate…”. Yes, sadly, it seems real to me, even if it´s not for my eyes to see:(

    • Mary says:

      Funny, IMO Castle is at its best when they do drama:) To each one their own:)

      • pt says:

        I agree with Mary. Castle is supposed to be a ‘dramedy’, not a comedry’. The writers have turned Castle into a bumbling buffoon over the past seasons. It’s not even Castle anymore; it’s Beckett. Nathan Fillion is at his best when he his working his dramatic chops with just a little comedy thrown in. I watched “Serenity” last night and I miss that Nathan.

  9. Wendy says:

    The beginning and middle were intense and suspenseful, but I feel it just missed the climax. Beckett went on her wit for most of the episode, I was half expecting that she would be the one to help herself out at the end. A bit of a disappointment on the resolution, but the twists were welcomed. Great to see how they have depicted Bracken into a big bad — now that’s more like it. So hopefully, as we are near the season finale, Marlowe is able to give this Johanna Beckett case a grand and fulfilling resolution.

  10. sydney says:

    I felt like it was lacking a climax. Also, I was really hoping they would introduce Volcan Simmons as another big bad instead of just having him be a patsy for Bracken. That story line has really lost my interest and I woupd love to see a Beckett centered episode like tonight’s without him coming up. I guess when I saw Simmons I was thinking maybe we were getting another recurring big bad like 3XK and that that possibly meant that Bracken would be put to rest soon.

  11. Lena says:

    Very intense episode, my heart was beating fast during 42 minutes. Stana Katic was amazing, even better than in Kill Shot I think
    The resolution was a little easy in my opinion … And I wish Castle would have said something else than “See what happened when I see you alone ?” I mean the man isn’t very expressive …

  12. Onche says:

    Don’t worry about the lack of NF, he was very occupied last night tweeting about everything but Castle to have his dose of attention, we wouldn’t want SK to be too exposed !

    • Kris says:

      Hahaha love this comment!

    • rlam says:

      Are you serious? So the actors can’t even tweet on their personal twitters while an episode of their show is on? And how someone’s tweeting detracts from an episode on TV? Just watch it, don’t read twitter, especially if you’re so easily offended with actors having lives.

      • Onche says:

        Yep, I’m very serious.

        • Sammy says:

          LOL @ this comment. Dont follow him if you dont like what he tweets. Not everybody is going to go all gaga over Stana Katic.Its his personal twitter. He can tweet whatever he wants. Dont like, dont follow.

          • Sammy says:

            Sorry, I meant the one by ‘Onche’.

          • Onche says:

            Thanks for the advice my friend.

          • rlam says:

            Usually I don’t interfere in this Stana vs. Nathan ongoing fan-fight, but this one sounds really forced. It’s not even that Onche doesn’t like what Fillion tweets, it’s the fact of tweeting during the episode she is offended with. As if the broadcast was interrupted to show his tweets or something and detracted from Stana’s performance. And yeah, don’t follow him if you think he’s so horrible, what’s the big deal? Don’t torture yourself.

        • Kay says:

          So, does that suppose to mean that every time Ms. Katic tweets something during Fillion’s public appearances or twitter sessions (which she does quite often, btw), she’ also doesn’t like him to be overly exposed and getting all the attention? Never thought about it that way, but maybe I should apply your logic here as well… LOL.

          • Gwen says:

            Awesowe episode, in my top 10 I think but I really really (really) missed a reunion scene between Castle & Beckett. Anyway Stana and Nathan were great.

      • Danyelle says:

        IMO the point is not that NF was tweeting about other stuff, BUT that he not once tweeted about what obvs was an important episode of the series knowing full well it was on last night. Seems a bit passive aggressive to me.
        .
        Also, for those complaining about “all the beckett,” it would seem to me that if NF wanted a greater Castle focus, as the guy who plays Castle he could at least ask for it. But judging the results he must not ever care to ask.

        • rlam says:

          I follow several other Castle actors and I just checked – they didn’t tweet anything about the episode either. It never occured to me to watch for this sort of thing, but I’m not sure that Stana tweeted anything when Like Father Like Daughter or Target/Hunt were airing (more Nathan centric). So to me it looks like you’re just trying to find negativity where there’s none. Sorry.

          • rlam says:

            Also I doubt that all actors who are underused on their shows (there are plenty of them) could solve this problem just by asking. I’d think it’s a little more complicated.

        • mary says:

          Why would he ask that? He got what he wanted, 4 days work week, phonining it in every episode and goes on vacation while everyone else works their butts off. Seems like a pretty sweet deal to me.

          • bebel says:

            I just don’t understand why a part of fans, at least on TV line, always tries to pile all their frustrations with the show on the lead actor. Like he is some kind of Almighty God who is responsible for everything – dialogue, storylines, screentime etc. Frankly, it’s not about actors for me, I don’t give a frak about their issues but all this silly bitching for the sake of bitching annoys me.

            I see it in terms of characters. Is the character of Castle written badly? – Yes, he is, in my opinion, he’s given less and less importance since season 3. I’m pretty sure it’s the showrunners problem, not the actor’s. However less he wants to work, it shouldn’t translate into a crappier written part. I know about the contract dispute between the actor and the studio. But it was at the start of this season, not 3 seasons ago when I first started noticing that Beckett “gets to drive” more and more while Castle mostly reacts and supports, and gets less and less detailed and “deep”. So – may be it’s the other way around? May be the actor noticed this tendency too and decided he at least gonna get more free time out of this creative disinterest for his character? Just a thought.

            And this issue with screentime – I agree with Apples in this comment section, who said that both leads seem to have pretty much the same amount of screentime, and the show turned more ensemble. I doubt Stana Katic worked full weeks in the Alexis episodes or #1 Fan earlier this season. Now it seems to be her turn to “work her butt off”. Overall it seems pretty equal to me. It’s just that Beckett’s screentime is way more “important” and dense with action/meaning than Castle’s. May be Nathan Fillion wants to work less, but I doubt that he tells the show runner: “Yeah, I’m gonna put in all those hours, but be in the background and do mostly nothing. Less important stuff for my character please! and more cheesy lines while you’re at it!”

            Then again, if some here think that it’s the actor’s vacation during the filming of this eppy that prevented Castle from being more central, and not vice versa – him not being featured much and deciding to go on vacay, OK then. Enjoy your black and white world, and play your silly one lead vs. the other lead games.

          • Just one thing says:

            Not going to address most of what you said, because there’s really no point in going back and forth. But I will say that an actor going on vacation or being unavailable for an episode isn’t bad. I think they made Katic’s schedule in the fall work for the Castle/Alexis episode, right? Basically, she probably told them when she’d be gone, and they wrote/scheduled/shot the episode accordingly.
            .
            How would that be any different than what likely happened with the shooting of this week’s episode? It actually is the most logical thing to do when you have a show that’s so heavily focused on two people. If one of them is going to be unavailable, you find an organic reason to write them out of the majority of that episode.

  13. lame says:

    I’m glad that AWM & CO are finally giving Penny Jerrold Johnson the opportunity to display her immense skills. Now it’s time for them to let Caskett fill Capt.Gates in on the full Brackens back story. Even though she knows quite a bit already,let them fill her in on the details. She’s already a force on their behalf, let her become a major player leading to the showdown. Make it a true team effort and thus more believable with many more moving parts working in unison, sharing the danger.

    • lame says:

      I hope Jackson Hunt is there to do the dirty work that an organization that large and that corrupt deserves to receive. He can single handedly build the body count and leave Caskett free of guilt.

    • RBA says:

      It wont happen. Neither Rick nor Kate will share what they know because Marlowe wants this to be an epic battle between Caskett and Bracken.

  14. Just one thing says:

    On another positive note, at the end of the episode, it was nice to see Castle effortlessly sit down and put his arm around Beckett at the precinct. It looked natural, even if it was short-lived. Unscripted movements like those, even if they’re not highlighted in a scene, really help sell the couple.

  15. RBA says:

    BTW can we all agree that Marlowe needs to stop with the Caskett interruptions… Every time something is about to happen someone interrupts. It is getting old now and it is time to move on from that lame attempt to prolong the “will they wont they” dynamic.

    • Emma says:

      Yeah I don’t understand why they keep doing this, even if this one was less ridiculous than the one in the garbage in 6X10 or the one in 6×16 where they are far from each other and move toward each other very slowly like they really not have the intention to kiss the other.

      • Jeunepomme says:

        Because Stana Katic and Nathan Fillion are disgusted by each other and don’t wanna kiss the other.

        • Apples says:

          I really hoped this kind of nonsense would end after the plethora of kisses in recent eps (including one long one with tongue, basically a make-out session at the end of ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit)

    • lame says:

      I represent that!

    • Nurk says:

      Hear, hear! The interruptions are irritating, contrived and tiresome, long past their sell-by date

  16. LGC says:

    The episode was just okay in my opinion. But it was all so very generic and predictable. Engaged my interest on the whole, but didn’t really engage my emotions all that much. Like another poster said, Castle’s not Breaking Bad (nor do I really expect it to be), but there are many dramas out there who could have done this kind of story better, more powerfully, in a darker, grittier way. There was something lacking in the script. It felt flat and very run of the mill. Stana was fairly good, but to be honest, there were parts where I didn’t’ feel as engaged as I should have been and I didin’t feel it was her strongest performance to date. Perhaps it was due to the writing. Wanted to love the ‘love letter’ but it just didn’t wow me. Words were so unoriginal. And I wish we actually saw them having these kinds of intimate conversations.

    Tired of interrupted kisses. Tired of Bracken melodrama and ‘high stakes’. Tired of the show having no problems showing us water torture again, but can’t show us a proper love scene. Tired of yet another woman physically coming onto Castle and him not seemingly able to stop it.

    • RBA says:

      We seen the Blacklist due something like this with LIzzie in the fall, and Mariska Hargitay delivered a powerful performance when SVU had her character beat up and nearly sexually assaulted in this season’s premiere. AJ Cook also delivered in the 200 episode when Criminal Minds showed that her character had been tortured when she was missing.

      So I guess this year is the season for all of this shows to have their leading ladies held hostage and tortured…

  17. Guesto says:

    Ignoring my issues with how stupid it was for Beckett to ever be selected for undercover work in the first place, I find it completely ridiculous that she didn’t try and escape when they sent her into the house to kill the guy.

    She was armed, she could have got the guy to phone for back-up while she fought them off, or she could have attempted to sneak away.

    The episode was garbage and Stana Katic can’t carry an episode as well as her fans would like to believe.

    • LGC says:

      Yes, exactly my issues with that plot hole too. It was quite an unbelievable move for a supposedly smart, resourceful cop. She could have done all that and set off the house alarm and the bad guys would have fled.

    • Ram says:

      Can we talk about the fact that they’re doing the exact same thing last episode than in 5.02 with Cottera ?? A big guy like Castle is not capable of stopping a woman to kissing him ? We’ve had this storyline already … (And yes I know it will mean nothing blablabla but what is the point to do this again, especially now?)
      They are making his character a joke,and I bet they’ll make him act like a complete idiot with “ninjas”…

      • Ram says:

        *next episode sorry

      • RBA says:

        yeap… It is something I been saying all season. For Marlowe Beckett is the story and Castle has been sideline to be the funny sidekick… Sad turn of events IMO.

        • Ram says:

          They’ve ruined his character for me, I find him annoying and even almost pathetic at some point whereas he’s supposed to be a funny and charming writer … I was looking some episodes of season 3 not long ago and there is a huge difference and not in good. They had made him become more mature and now what ? They’re doing the contrary ?

        • pt says:

          Sad to say, it’s true. See reponse to Mary.

    • RBA says:

      Watch out. You just put yourself in the Stanics hit list….

      • Francine says:

        Interesting though that no one has responded to their comment negatively….

        • Just one thing says:

          Indeed.

        • RBA says:

          How could they? The ratings last night were the lowest of the series, so they can’t use ratings to justify their view point.

          • lauri5567 says:

            I think some of the posters don’t realize how bad this season of the Bachelor is and that the Olympics are just over. This winter has not been kind to Castle to encourage people to watch, but I doubt much would have done better in its timeslot.

          • Francine says:

            Nah, there are arguments to use other than the ratings. Perhaps they don’t see the point in arguing with someone or didnt want to take the People will still see what they want to see and think what they want to think…. No matter what someone tries to say. I’m no ratings expert,

          • Francine says:

            Well, forget that posting. Really wish there was an edit button…. I was just try

          • Francine says:

            Ugh. I give up. Seriously, just ignore me at this point. I apparently am having a lovely day and can’t type, so I’m going to throw in the towel on this one….

          • Just one thing says:

            Last night Agents of SHIELD earned a 1.7 and 5 million viewers. ABC is in some serious, Titanic-level trouble right now. It’s clearly not isolated to Castle at the moment, and it’ll be interesting to see how things go tonight.

    • Lulu says:

      Because She didn’t want to flee. What she wanted was to get the chance to meet with Larazus and complete her mission (The purpose of her undercover was to find out and memorize Larazus’s face in the first place). If she had wanted to flee or keep herself safe, she could have just accepted the promotion and found a chance to get rid of them quietly. Instead she asked for meeting with Larazus. With the tenacity of this character shown us during the past years, it’s not unusual for her deciding not to sneak away but carrying on.

  18. Anne-Laure says:

    After this episode I don’t want Castle to end just so I can keep seeing Stana every week :)
    Loved the episode, maybe not very realistic at some point (why she didn’t try something when she was supposed to kill the guy in the house) but still pretty great !

    • Just one thing says:

      I really enjoy Castle and will mourn its eventual conclusion. But I really look forward to Katic’s TV prospects beyond Castle one day. I hope she gets a chance to pay something different – preferably on a different network, too.

  19. Emily says:

    That was a great episode, Castle is back since 6X15 after several weak episodes but the promo for 6X18 is … Let’s say I have an impression of deja-vu.

  20. Mary says:

    I`m writting my toughts without reading any comments before (wich I may survey after) and I believe this episode may have been loved or hated. Personnally I tought it was absolutely GREAT! True, I read some spoilers and knew about the letter and “someone” from her past (so I had tought and read some names and Vulcan Simmons was one of them).
    BUT I tried to think and watch the episode with the eyes of the reviewers who watched it the 1st time without knowing what was it about…and under that state of mind, I never tought I´d see Vulcan Simmons again, I never tought a snake like Bracken would have some twisted ethic – I mean, he saved Kate’s life in order to be even with her for God´s sake! I`m really happy with the way Bracken was broughten back – and I believe next time we see him it´ll be the closure of J.B. case. And the letter scene, IMO, was fantastic! Usually people refer to someone or something as the best thing int their life, but for Kate Rick is “the GREATEST thing” that happenned to her – so beautiful and touching! (actually the whole letter was amazing)! And I also loved when she told him, after reuniting, that he was always with her and the reason why she kept fighting!
    It was a dark and intense episode, but I love those ones as they always bring the best from the actors!
    On a side note, Matt (or Tvline) you have a contender for the performer of the week in Stana Katic:)

  21. Alex says:

    For me they just don’t know how to handle Castle’s character. Everytime they’ve tried exploring him more it turned out to be pretty bad : his ex muse-girlfriend traitor from CIA Sophia which came from nowhere, his ridiculous trip to Paris, his spy dad and even when they explore his relation with Alexis they can’t to it without making her act like a ….. and being hated by everyone.
    It’s the main male character, they should be able to write him good stories !

  22. clara says:

    Really good episode and really well played by Stana especially but it would have been even better if it was a two parter. The end felt rushed for me.

  23. Theo says:

    Wow if you complain that much after an episode like this ..I don’t know what more do you want (yes it wasn’t perfect but there always will be something to complain about if you think like this so just enjoy the show or stop watching :) )

  24. lauri5567 says:

    There’s a reason I still haven’t seen 3×13 all the way through and that is because I don’t need to see water torture. So I was less than thrilled to see it back.
    I hadn’t read cast lists so while I wasn’t surprised about the Bracken tie in; I was surprised at Vulcan Simmons.
    I wasn’t sure I trusted the narcotics Captain to be on the up and up. It would have been nice if Ryan had checked with an old buddy to tell us yes or no on that, but whatever.
    I think my last question is are we supposed to believe Gates isn’t piecing together what has happened. She indicated in season 4 she wasn’t interested in digging up dirt on Montgomery, which leads me to think she knew “something”‘ if not the details. Last season, she overheard Beckett in the interrogation room telling the guy Bracken killed her mother. And then this season, she hears about the super PAC. Personally, when it all comes down I think she’s going to come up with something that could have helped “if they trusted her.”

  25. Maddy says:

    I liked the episode, but seeing Jack Coleman’s name in the opening credits completely gave away the ending

    • CJ says:

      Came here to say the same thing! I enjoyed the episode overall but the reveal of who Lazarus really was came as no surprise after seeing his name in the opening credits. I hats when that happens.

  26. Notsorry4beingashipper says:

    I really liked the episode, I just wish we’ve had a reunion scene between Kate and Castle. There could have had more emotion in the end but it still was great.

  27. aurelien says:

    This episode was just … woah ! And to quote Victor Webster : damn Stana Katic looks hot with a gun !

  28. Lauren says:

    I loved this episode from the beginning to the end, Stana = WONDERFUL

  29. I really loved the episode… lots of suspense, great Stana, emotional Nathan, carefull Gates, supporting Ryan and Espo… yest it was AWESOME !

  30. tvobsessed says:

    I really enjoyed this episode. I thought Stana did an outstanding job, which seems to be the norm. I admit, I kinda thought Lazarus might be Bracken–kinda of a no brainer, but an excellent reveal nonetheless.

    My one problem with the episode. I thought they could have had Castle (and team) be a bit more proactive. I would have liked to have seen Castle at the murder board trying to put the puzzle together. I actually feel like this season, Castle hasn’t been his normal busy body self.

    I do love the Casket relationship. I think it remains cute and believable. Television romance is all about the non-verbal . . . the looks that pass between them.

    Next week’s episode should be good. I actually laughed out loud when Kate accuses Castle of kissing a woman and he inadvertently admits it . . . I’m sure he will accuse her of using her ‘jedi’ mind tricks.

    I do really love this show. I’m late to the party, but it’s been fun catching up and joining in.

  31. psychicleaking says:

    while I knew Kate would live I spent much of the episode wondering how she would get out of the situation. Great way to pull in her mom’s murder & bring back Vulcan Simmons and the Senator. I like the new spin and am really interested to see where it goes… Writing has definitely picked up after a slow start to the season.

  32. Really says:

    This was one of the best episodes in a long time. I went into it completely unspoiled, except for the letter thing when I read Matt interview with Stana, so it was a shock seeing Vulcan and Bracken appear on my screen. Well done, Marlowe. And Stana Katic knocked it out of the park. I just think that this should have been a two parter.

  33. Black Mamba says:

    As a crime procedural Castle is starting to jump the shark. The notion that there was no evidence that Simmons abducted, tortured, and ordered someone to kill Kate is just stupid. They’re trying to push a plot and doing it in a stupid way; a way that has nothing to do with the law. At this point everything about her mother’s murder is boring; especially the way they handle the legal sides of it. Tell Rick to just have his old man bump the senator off and get it over with already.

    • John NYC says:

      With the house sterilized, and with all that money the best would be hired for the job, what sort of evidence would you suggest remain linking him to her abduction?

      • Black Mamba says:

        He abducted an undercover police officer, sent on an assignment, whose standards of assurance in court are higher then an average person’s. You have an victim/eyewitness who is also a decorated police detective. You do not need additional evidence beyond that.

      • Black Mamba says:

        I suppose next you are going to tell me the Russian woman can’t be convicted of murder even though Beckett watched her cut his throat due to lack of evidence too? :)

      • Black Mamba says:

        Do you have any idea how many convictions there are in the court systems around the country based on nothing but eyewitness testimony?

  34. mary says:

    Well done Rob Bowman! His episodes are always special and this time was no exception. Stana did a wonderful job. I was impressed when I read that she didn’t want stunt double for waterboarding scenes, gotta love her work ethic. Hopefully, when Castle ends next year she’ll find a good role on some cable show where she’ll have good writers behind her. She’s grown so much as an actress and you can tell she loves playing Beckett but sometimes that’s not enough. Script for this episode was bad and I’m not suprised Marlowe wrote it.

  35. Linda says:

    Overall, I enjoyed this episode. It had the right amount of action, mixed with just a smattering of Caskett normalcy – the opening “at home” scene was spot on. The ease with which these two characters now relate to each other in their private moments, and even in semi-public ones, is a worthy comment on their future life together. I too felt that the Senator was the villain in this piece, but when Vulcan Simmons appeared in the basement, I was a bit taken back – thinking for a moment that Bracken’s role in the episode would be benign, unrelated to the story’s core.

    My favorite scene was Kate’s letter – it put into perspective the changes that this character has undergone over five+ seasons.

    My favorite line was Rick, after her rescue, saying to Kate “See what happens when I leave you alone.”

    I agree with other posters who have expressed disappointment in the lack of “passion” we are seeing between the leads. There are plenty of adorable moments of affection, but very little approaching the “full-blown” ardor we witnessed in “After the Storm” and “Murder He Wrote”. We get hints of “bedroom action” but most are interrupted in some manner. A loving couple need not be dull. Almost every bedroom scene has Rick in a t-shirt and shorts and Kate in comfortable, non-descript sleepwear – the kind of stuff you might see at a uni-sex slumber party!

  36. Jared says:

    Best episode of the season to date. It was great to see Vulcan Simmons return. I always thought he had the potential to become a formidable recurring villain, and I was pleased to see that potential realized. And of course, we’ve all been expecting Bracken to announce a run for the presidency. With that storyline now in motion, I have to think that the writers are gearing up for the endgame of the ‘Dragon’ storyline – maybe as soon as next season. With the ‘life-for-a-life’ debt settled between Beckett and Bracken and the stakes now so high for both of them, the next time that they clash is certain to be bloody.

    Of course, the best thing about this episode were the moments of love between Castle and Beckett – especially the letter that she wrote him when she believed that she might die. The depth and strength of their relationship is so touching to see. Every gesture, great and small, is imbued with so much love and meaning from their six years of history. Fantastic.

  37. Astrid says:

    I loved it! Great performance from Stana!

  38. Dawn says:

    One thing I don’t understand is why Elena came to the police at all. What was the point? Any thoughts or just plot hole?

    • Dark Defender says:

      I think the police came across Elena, picked her up and she played a role of “unassuming courier”.. hiding her true occupation. The “suicide attempt” was clearly a move to a less secure facility so she could escape. Once Elena contacts Bracken (presumably) and Brackett realizes the sub for her was Beckett.. he protects Beckett. He needs the score to be even – because he believes he is doing good for the people and how he gets there (funding through crime) doesn’t matter. In the ned.. I think he goes down, with evidence to tie him to everything.. As one poster said above – I think Gates should be a big part of that. I wouldn’t mind Beckett’s life hanging in the balance (one more time) as Bracken’s world crumbles – but I’d like it to be Javi who saves her. He has unresolved feelings for her (in subtext) and they need to work that out.

      I want the wedding to be intimate and just a private moment between Castle and Beckett. They can have a party and/or honeymoon later. As for the bedroom heat – I’ll say it again – don’t need to see it, but a shot of one of them taking off handcuffs or CAstle shouting the word Apples! would be all we need to know that they can be spicy as a couple. We saw alittle of that when Beckett said she’d drug him in his sleep and he said wake me up next time you want to do that. They both played the scene well, with a twinkle in their eye.

      My last thought, is I find in another near perfect episode (of their dramatic ones) this fandom actively looks to find a negative – that suddenly after SEVERAL episodes of Beckett calling Castle “babe” that now they do not like it. Beckett is girly a lot, she hides that side of her.. but she has it. babe seesm natural as Keira (the one that got away) called him Rick and Meredith (the deep fried twinkie he bedded often AND mother of his #1 girl, Alexis) called him Richard. Castle is how she got to know him – and for Beckett, she would need something that is hers.. so she calls him babe. Not a stretch people, not a stretch at all.

      Season 6 (bad episodes and all) is Castle firing on all cylinders. It is exactly what this show has wanted to be. I think season 7 will be what we all want it to be, I just hope it continues on – cause I like the lighter fare, I like the goofy comedy and bizzare theories episodes. They “like the wierd stuff” and so do I.

  39. Euan says:

    A definite improvement over recent episodes, but the wedding stuff needs to go and soon.

  40. Jeff says:

    I agree with those that say the plot was weak, with HRG saving Beckett’s life – it would have much better had they have Bracken’s assassin kill Vulcan because he could link Bracken to the drug dealing and not killing Kate just because of the intense police investigation that would bring. Him sparing her life to make them “even” implies some sort of code of honor which the character clearly doesn’t have. Weak story plotting that could have been easily fixed.

    • Just one thing says:

      Vulcan is Bracken’s money mover, and clearly has been for some time. Why would he kill him?
      .
      Bracken and Beckett’s relationship has been complex enough for him to want to mess with her head. A guy who is evil enough to do everything he’s done so far isn’t likely to behave rationally. On some level, he probably likes the idea of watching her squirm.

  41. K says:

    Amazing episode. My mind is blown. The episode was intense from beginning to end. The letter that Kate wrote to Rick was so beautiful because it underlined what he meant to her. Favorite episode of the season. The last scene in the episode was beautiful in the past Beckett would keep her feelings aside, but she wants to let Rick in. It was sweet how castle asked Beckett to come to bed and also when he kissed the top of her head.

  42. Ree says:

    I agree with Dawn about why Elena came to the police – what was the point? I’m a huge fan of this show, but I’m really tired of the plot about Beckett’s mother and Bracken. Someone said it’s like the Red John theme on the Mentalist which was drawn out to the point of it not being interesting when the ending was revealed. Move on to something else already. Maybe the show is ready to see it’s final season.

  43. lame says:

    Saw the ratings for last nights episode and I’m truly surprised that as much hype as was given and the exceptional performance by Ms.Katic the numbers were on the low side. I guess ABC tactics of preemption of episodes, leaving fans not knowing which dates episodes will show is failing not only the studio but the series as well. Nice way to kill a series.

    • Rich Abey says:

      Still nothing much to worry. Despite the post-hiatus minor slump in ratings, mainly due to Castle leading off the Bachelor (mightily inferior ratings & viewer numbers to DWTS) & yesterday off a poorly rated Mixocology, Castle is still on course for it’s most watched season. The slump in ratings is strange though..especially this season cause some high quality episodes were aired in the Jan-March period so far (Under Fire, Deep Cover, Dressed to Kill, Smells like Teen Spirit, Room 147, and In the Belly of the Beast now). Still Castle always recovers after this period.

  44. Rich Abey says:

    Okay this episode might not have been perfect in terms of plot lines what with picking Kate for an undercover stint after she received a lot of publicity following her engagement to Rick being made public (Rick being a semi-famous author and the fact that at least 50% of criminals, with some class, in Castle have read Derrick Storm and would be following some of his activities in public should have deterred that Narcotics head) & that underworld duo allowing Kate access to their phone line? (maybe they knew it was protected & hence didn’t care…still careless criminals for a mightily fluent organisation).
    -
    Still it’s not important in the context of this wonderful & pitch perfect episode. Castle is at it’s best and of highest quality when it switches to drama (not that the comedic episodes are inferior). Knockout, Knockdown, Countdown, To Love & Die in LA, Probable Cause, Target, Hunt, Disciple to name a few were such episodes. ‘In the Belly of the Beast’ is a worthy addition to the finest of Castle episodes, mainly due to Stana Katic’s outrageously good acting, and it’s in moments like this I wonder “what’s all the fuss about Kerry Washington? It’s not like other TV actresses can’t be as good or even better than her. Just watch this episode if uncertain!”.
    -
    Sooo looking forward to the conclusion of the Bracken arch. If the quality is going to be anything as good as this or previous ‘Bracken/Joanna Beckett’s murder’ themed episodes, it’s gonna be one hell of a ride! :)

  45. Tom says:

    Put me down as extremely dissatisfied with this episode. Too dark — literally and figuratively. They seem to have fallen back to shooting the episode in near total darkness. Why not just put the show on radio? Surely there’s enough money in the budget to afford a few lights. Second, the whole “who killed Kate’s mother” story line is boring and stale. There’s no shortage of serious police dramas on television. Castle is not one of them — probably the reason it hasn’t been cancelled yet. I don’t watch Castle to see people tortured. So knock it off or you’re going to have one less viewer. I’m sure this episode foreshadows events in the next ratings sweeps period, and I’m telling you right now, I’m not going to watch the show if it keeps going with this story line. Lastly, did anyone really think Kate wouldn’t survive this episode? There really isn’t much dramatic tension when everyone knows one of the lead actors will be back next week.

    • S. says:

      If Andrew listens to you, I’ll be the one bailing. You’re probably better off moving on and failing to appreciate something else. Great job, Marlowe and Rob Bowman. Can’t please everybody, but if you pleased Tom it would probably mean something went horribly wrong, so it’s just as well.

  46. Kimmie says:

    Obviously in the minority here, but to me Castle is drama-lite. Best episodes are filled with fun and quirks – give me time travelers (best episode this year, IMO) and zombies, reality tv murders and snooty prep school kids. When Castle tries to get heavy, I get bored – I hated last night’s episode, don’t care about Beckett’s mom (she’s gone, nothing Kate can do will ever change that). Some of the slightly heavier episodes (The bank robbery episode) are good, but the super spy/super-over-the-top-can’t-be-stopped-villain (like the BIGBAD who keeps getting away – so now we have two long running ridiculous dark and heavy plotlines) takes away from what Castle started off being – a fun pseudo-drama, not a heavy drama.

  47. Juju says:

    Huge props for the Frank Ryan reference! I love Daniel Hugh Kelly. His ex Delia is over on General Hospital now, too. In terms of this episode, I don’t understand why Beckett’s own testimony that Vulcan kidnapped her and threatened her and ordered the other guy to kill her isn’t enough to arrest or charge him. She saw it with her own eyes. That’s called EYE WITNESS testimony right there. Are we suggesting that a judge or jury wouldn’t believe her? Or did they just ignore that because it was convenient for story purposes?

  48. I have several problems with this story, All of them are story based.

    1. In the age of social media, Bracken’s scheme would not work. Money sources are too closely looked at, at least at that major sum.

    2. I’m tired of worrying about Beckett’s back story. She’s dead. Get over it. You essentially should have let it go when you met Bracken and discovered the truth. He will eventually meet his maker.

    3, They jump from her shivering in the pond to her in the office. We need a reunion scene. To just hear how she feels in this case is not enough. We want to see her hug him in relief. We want to see her cry for joy.

    • S. says:

      “Get over it”? Wow if someone murdered your parent, you’d never get over it, esp. if the guy responsible is not only wandering around but is trying to get more power and put other people in danger. Killing people to get what he wants, creating more victims. Yeah, get over it Kate. *biggest eyeroll in the history of eyerolls* Also, people can’t launder money? Riiiight. No white collar crime is happening y’all. Shut down those prisons. Guess we have nobody to occupy’em. Guess there’s not even more people in powerful positions not getting caught. As for the reunion, they don’t write fanfiction. We already know there was a tearful reunion. It doesn’t move story along, it doesn’t grow the characters. She’s just gonna tell him the stuff she wrote in the letter which we already heard. If you wanna see Castle make sad and moved faces, I guess good for you, but there’s a story to tell.

    • Mary says:

      “Get over it”? Get over a parent being murdered?! Wow, what a sensitive person you are! (sarcasm mode on)!

    • Jul says:

      “my mother bled to death all alone in a pile of garbage”; that’s what Beckett said to Bracken in After the storm, and that’s when I understood how deep her pain is. I think she mourned her mother but can’t never accept how it happened and that no one was ever punished. When she says that she’s not looking at her own pain, she’s looking at what her mother went through. It’s called empathy and you should try it sometimes (granted we are talking about a TV show…so if you don’t feel like it… ;) )

  49. barbara says:

    an excellent episode from start to finish. always figured bracken was the top bad guy!!!!! beckett was superb when she wrote that letter to castle and at the end when she told him how he was with her in thoughts during her ordeal. now that was romantic

  50. David4 says:

    Great episode, I was wondering what was going on with her mother’s killer, and glad the creep is running for president.

    But does that mean it’s not 2014 in the show? Because it’s way early to be running.