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.


Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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189 Comments
  1. Rick Katze says:

    Liked the show very much. But…

    The problem was the stupid TV credit rules that SAG, etc. enforces. Having Coleman’s name listed in the opening credits totally defeated the surprise twist in the story. He never should have been listed until the end. Would have made for a much better ending

    • JJ says:

      That’s why I always DVR the show and FF through the opening credits. I had to go back and watch the beginning again after reading all the comments about how Coleman was listed in the credits. Cuz yeah, I would have totally known then.

  2. G. says:

    I believed going into this episode that if there was a weak point, it would be Nathan Fillion’s inability to sell the notion that he actually cares about Beckett at all. I wasn’t disappointed. NF was his usual wooden, disinterested self. What a shame that Nathan Fillion, a guy who doesn’t want to work, phones in his performances every week, and couldn’t sell a love scene if his life depended on it, was ever cast as Castle in the first place.

    • DemoRabbit says:

      lol. How do you watch the show if you can’t stand the lead actor? Cause he was cast as Castle long time ago, you know

      • Jul says:

        I can’t stand him anymore but I still watch. You can’t take away my weekly dose of Stana Katic and Rysposito, I can’t help! Honeslty the script and acting ruined Castle for me and Twitter ruined the idea I had of Fillion; So in my head Beckett is banging some hot/young/manly/charming thing and Castle is only dreaming he is with her :)

        Also, I’m pretty sure they left a scene in the cutting room : Castle stopping in front of the murder board with Beckett’s picture on it. Don’t tell me it was not in the script, don’t tell me it wasn’t shoot, I would not believe it for one second!

    • Just one thing says:

      Harsh…

  3. T says:

    This was a tense, way out of character episode for Castle. It was mid-grade for me. Stana Katic is a great actress and she was very good. But she was most of what was good. I normally gloss over the plot holes but since this episode was about the plot it was hard to ignore them. Beckett’s decision to not run when she had the chance at the lawyer’s house was pretty foolish for someone who is supposed to be a brilliant cop. She could have brought in the whole department and got all of the bad guys; instead she got nothing. One of the things I like most about Castle is the lack of overt violence. The torture scene in this episode was a bit much. The episode lost points for that because it did not seem to be absolutely necessary for the overall story. I guess we now know just how tough Beckett is and what keeps her going. Still, there are other ways to convey that message. So, great job Stana but Castle has a lot of work to do to regain its past glory.

  4. Robert Lusch says:

    Remember the Senator’s deal with Kate should anything happen to her or those she cared for? He feared release of the file on him. He HAD to save her out of fear of it being made public not knowing she only had the file number beside the fact he said ” I owe you and you never know when you need a friend in high places. R. Lusch

  5. Christina says:

    So much negativity for a brilliant episode and brilliant performance by Stana. I absolutely love when Castle goes dark and I cant get enough of the Bracken & 3XK storylines.

    Maybe Beckett should have ran when she was ordered to kill that guy, but what if she did? She would have been caught. And as we heard later on in the episode as she wrote in the letter, “What I do know now is that I’m in this and the only way I’m gonna make it out alive is to see this through.” Beckett is not one to quit. She commits to her job 100% and isn’t going to back down – whether it’s a high stakes case like this one or a lighter one we’ve seen in the other 100+ episodes. Beckett is not a quitter and this shouldn’t be news to anyone who has watched Castle since season 1.

    (before anyone says Beckett ‘quit’ chasing after her moms murder case in 4×23 for Castle, her priorities changed.)

    • T says:

      I am not the biggest fan of the dark episodes. I like Castle because it can do a very good job of balancing light and dark. This one was just dark. That does not make it bad, just not my favorite. It is not a negative comment, just recognition of how different people enjoy the same show. I do not enjoy Castle because its plots are so good. Often, they are not. But this story was plot driven so the gaps became more obvious. It is easy to wonder why Beckett did not just capture or shoot her driver and then call in the troops. She knew she was into something way beyond her assignment. A top notch cop would recognize that a dead cop could not do anything and she was in mortal danger. Should have been the time to get help. Simmons apparently killed someone just before he saw Beckett. Why didn’t he do the same to her when he was done? How did Elena show up at exactly the right place and time to kill Beckett’s captor? So I can ignore these and other things just to enjoy the episode. But these plot gaps detract from a plot rich story, for me. Stana was great though.

  6. JJ says:

    I wonder if the people attached to the show ever read all the blogs and fan pages for Castle. (If you are reading this, let us know) Because it’s obvious that the fans are a great source of input and (most of them) are very intelligent where the show is concerned.

    I personally enjoyed the show. I can agree with what a lot of the poster’s said about plot holes, wrapping it up too neatly, not letting us see the happy reunion and a good solid kiss, etc. I do NOT agree with anyone who posted that Stana didn’t do a good job in this episode. I thought she was, as usual, fantastic. But I thought it was a good episode. I am interested in seeing how it all plays out with Sen. Bracken and think it was totally plausible that he let Beckett live because he “owed” her. Still not sure how the Russian hit woman knew how to find Beckett out in the woods at the last second and such, but I guess that’s one of the plot holes I mentioned.

    But what I really would like is to have the show go back to Castle being a best-selling author. That’s the whole concept of the show. We never see him write anymore, he never refers to his book ideas anymore or references his Nikki Heat series, no book signings, no parties, no nothing. Just a casual ‘Maybe I’ll write’ comment once in a great while. I mean come on, he plays poker with James Patterson. I want to see some of the glitz, glamor, and fun that comes with being a best-selling author.
    No, I’m not trying to jump in on all the comments of who has the most air time that’s been going on here. I think the amount of air time is fine. I’d like to see more of Martha and Alexis, but that’s just me.
    I’ve felt for a long time that the writers and creators have totally forgotten that Castle is an author. Bring on the occasional dramatic episodes if you want, (although I personally enjoy the light-hearted ones best) but let’s not forget the premise of the entire show. I love the Castle and Beckett relationship but go back to the feel of Rick Castle being an author as his profession.

    • Manuel Schuster says:

      Hello JJ!
      I absolutly agree with your comment. Stana Katic was, as usual, fantastic and brilliant. The Show must be called BECKETT and not CASTLE any more. The only good Scene with Nathan Fillion was when he went to the 12th precinct to ask where Becket is, because he couldn´t talk to anxbody on the phone. But at the end, as you mentioned it,, there wasn´t a happy reunion when Beckett returnd ( f. e. no kisses, no smile ). My father and I also wondered about it.

      Manny greetings from Cologne / Germany by

      Manuel Schuster

    • Manuel Schuster says:

      Hello JJ!

      I forgot to mention that it is a good Episode. It wass thrilling and exciting. I espacially love the Scene in wich Beckett writes the letter for Castle. Absolutley cute and lovely!

      Greetings from Cologne

      Manuel Schuster

    • DarkDefender says:

      JJ .. When Castle set the original wedding date as September.. It was going to fall right in the middle of next book tour.. So I suspect a new book will be out and maybe we can have some fun with him teasing Beckett over the cover or them appearing as a married couple at the book launch party.

  7. lame says:

    Frankly I loved the episode, in spite of those glaring holes in the plot. What the writers are finally getting right midway through the season is the relationship. The awkwardness of Caskett as a couple is at long last fading away. They are now acting as a couple who’ve longed for one another for years and are now truly in love. I’m also glad to see some of that old wickedly clever repartee, ” We could use a good font.” And I don’t know how many caught it but after Kate rushes off to change, Rick stands there frustrated and shakes the family jewels, That was hilarious!!!!! We need retorts, sarcasm, double entendres, that’s what made Castle the series unique.

    • lame says:

      P.S.: I hope when they do bring Brackens down, that’s it’s done in a believable way. Like after Caskett exhausts all there attempts and are in mortal danger, Jackson Hunts appears and does the real dirty, dirty work. Two people aren’t gonna take down something as massive as Brackens organization.

    • DarkDefender says:

      Not to mention right before Castle announced he may have a “hard” time writing.. And before Beckett kissed him, he looked like he was asking her to “take care of him” as he pointed downwards.. Or maybe it was just me. :D

  8. Red says:

    Loved the episode but don’t go them going with the Bracken story. Too overdone !! Reminds me of the Dead Zone story at the end. Hope they leave it be.

  9. lame says:

    One thing AWM & CO did give us was a look at the total enjoyment of Caskett on an off day with nothing on the schedule. If only TPTB can continue to let us in on these moments maybe we could see them rummaging through Rick’s comic book collection on the living room floor or a Sunday morning air guitar duet, hopefully with vocals included. We’ve seen six years of Caskett at work, how about a few minuets per episode of Caskett at play.

    • lame says:

      P.S.: I hope if and when AWM & CO get the writers poker done, we get to see how much Beckett enjoys being part of the analytical deconstruct of the crime du jour.

    • lame says:

      How about a reprise of the shower scene with Denis Franz and Sharon Lawrence,on NYPD blue, that was simutaneously hot and hilarious.

  10. Janice W says:

    I thought Beckett and anyone she cared about was safe because she and her buddies had the information on Bracken that would ruin him if it was disclosed to the public. She hit him with her gun, leaving a scar on his left cheek bone and told him to think of her everytime he looked at the scar. She and the boys had put the blownup pieces of the document together, like a puzzle, and knew that he had funneled money into accounts for his run for Presidency. I would like to know how the writer’s are going to complete this storyline. I really love this show! So many twists and turns and wonderful acting! Nthan Fallion and Stana Katic are really good together.

  11. Dusty says:

    Episode 6×17: Amazing, Brilliantly Acted, Brava – Ms. Katic, Brava!

    I read recently where Ms. Stana Katic noted that Castle and Kate, “had to get married in season 6,” now, this could have just been a red herring, or an indication of some major drama coming our way with our favorite dual before season 6 ends. Beyond Bracken Another article mentioned Marlowe’ desire for 10 seasons to finish the story line of Castle, although he has inferred that it could go 12. – Someone said, “To leave babies at than end of the final season.” The problem with that is that our dear Kate is 35 years old and the clock is ticking- tick-ticking down, so that makes no sense. The pawns have somewhat always been on the table, so when Doyle presented the fact that Castle and senator Beckett had three children as part of his revelation about their life in the future, I thought at once about a set of twins. Ms. Katic has even spoken of this becoming a very up and coming story line – not twins per say, but Kate being pregnant; let’s face it, their lives will never be perfect, the senator part I can see the last two seasons, but watching Castle trying to keep a rope on a pregnant Kate would be seriously funny, but what would be even funnier is the word “twins” pawns – my money says that Castle would pass out – and then be elated, while Kate would be between over joyed and in panic over the thought of two babies at once, you put this together with all the craziness that happens to them and with them on cases and this will take us happily – I think to a wonderful Castle series end.

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