Castle Recap: Subway Fare

This week on ABC’s Castle, Detective Esposito found himself on the wrong track, held hostage on a subway train by a man with a mysterious agenda.

Because of news preemptions at the top of the hour, I was not privy to the catalyst for Espo’s subterranean ordeal — something about someone who was killed for investigating a lab? — but the gist of the episode remained largely decipherable. Besides, the main question here was how Espo (and his new transit cop friend) might extricate themselves and the (oddly scant number of!) other riders from this tense standoff, while at the mercy of a man in a suicide vest and holding the always-trusty “dead man’s switch.”

Thanks to a “secret”/test surveillance camera on the train (an actual pilot program is underway here, FYI), Beckett & Co. are able to keep an eye on Espo’s sitch for part of the episode, until the bomber almost magically deduces its presence just as Espo was about to make a grab for the guy, in concert with the HRT squad (their plan communicated via pizza box).

Lanie, as she fretted for her beau(/love?), wound up contributing to the investigation, having noted on the surveillance video that the hostage-taker was sickly. As it turned out, he had purposely and unwittingly been exposed to a volatile flu strain, for the purpose of sparking an epidemic and making the aforementioned lab rich, thanks to their conspicuous stockpiling of vaccine.

Espo and his transit cop friend ultimately think fast and jump the guy, using a shoelace to secure the dead man’s switch. There’s a brief bit of drama surrounding Espo’s exposure to the flu strain, but by episode’s end he is back at the 12th hugging those near and dear to him — Lanie included, after the cute transit cop nudged him to go after what’s real (i.e. the woman whose name he mouthed before risking his life) versus fantasy.

I don’t ride the subway often enough these days to speak for the readily available cell phone signal that Espo was getting, not near a platform but decidedly in a tunnel, but I invite my more familiar New Yorkers to chime in! Also, those subway seat patterns seemed a bit festive.

All told, this episode was “fine,” though not the least bit Die Hard-like (as I had hoped). Having the bomber be misguided/oblivious seemed too pat, and the “release a virus to sell vaccine” plot has been overdone in recent years. I’d rather they had, like, set aside a two-parter to do a proper, highly intense riff on The Taking of the Pelham 1-2-3, featuring a lot more derring-do, rather than burn through the premise this way.

What did you think of the Espo-centric “Kill Switch”? Will these events prompt Javy to invite Lanie to explore something more “real” with him?


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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  1. I caught the whole thing, and dramatic convenience aside with the camera thing (thanks for pointing out it does have some basis in reality, it helps) it was alright. No idea how it is in New York specific but the last subway I rode (I think Seattle but I could be wrong, haven’t ridden in about two years) I did still have enough of a signal for calls and texts.

  2. Teri says:

    Enjoyed the feeling of past seasons with the whole gang working together. Castle and Beckett were really in sync with the case and loved Espo and Ryan’s talk on family.

    • There is a silver lining to the creatively sinking ship that is CASTLE:
      I aim to enjoy the hell out of the main characters’ various interactions along the way. As a whole, they never fail to make it work, writing aside.

  3. Hell I don’t get service on some surface streets in New York never mind the subway tunnels.

  4. Tolo says:

    I felt more chemistry between the cop and Espo than him and Lanie. It was an alright episode.

  5. Luli says:

    Not their best episode, but as I’m not much of a fan of Espo I thought it was going to be worse. I enjoyed it. As always I love Caskett, and the Ryspo chat on the car was nice.

  6. Irina says:

    this episode is criminally BORING. it worries me that david amann wrote it. if he can’t even write an episode, he can’t run the show. might explain season 7. not that marlowe’s episodes have been any better. not god.

  7. Tahonia says:

    Okay, I need to watch this, but I’m not sure how one can be “purposeful” and “Unwitting” at the same time.

    • John NYC says:

      Some one else purposely infected him and he was their “unwitting” dupe to spreading the infection that he didn’t know he was carrying.

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  9. James D says:

    good episode not great. enjoyed Javi getting a little more of a story this week hope that continues he’s one of my favorite characters, I kind of wanted him to start something with that transit cop she seemed to have more in common with him, but thought it was cool that she said to stick with Lannie. Castle’s puns were fun at the end. the COW was predictable and too convienent for my taste. I love this show but come on guys you need to work on your locals a little more having lived in both NYC and LA I could easily tell that was an LA subway. the whole getting service in the subway was a little much too but it moved the story along so i guess it is what it is.

  10. lkh says:

    OK! Someone didn’t get the “act goofy, silly and the fool” memo. Was this a focused, suspenseful crime episode? I think it might have been. Who’d thot it! That rascal H5N1! I say break out the antivirals.

  11. Kendall says:

    No mention of the Turner and Hooch callback? Somebody was watching some season two episodes.

    • Viv says:

      I actually didn’t like this callback. Although it was funny in season 2 because Beckett was being snark to Castle, now that they’re maried, I think it’s insulting.
      I thought Beckett’s quips in this episode were more insulting than funny : “You remind me of Hooch”, “a conspiracy thoery? what’s new?”, “got any proof?”)

      • Yes, the Turner and Hooch callback seemed more insulting (esp. given his reaction) than endearing in last night’s ep. And it only worked in season two because of the nature of their then-fledgling relationship.
        At the end of the day, comparing one’s spouse to an animal is not cool… unless you mean he’s animal in bed, of course.

      • Agreed. If Castle had insulted Beckett in this way, this many times in a single episode, people would be calling him a dick, a misogynist, and etc. etc. etc. …

    • John NYC says:

      I liked it, a sweet referral back to their early days. Played as a fond memory for both.

      • Just one thing says:

        Fillion didn’t play it as a fond memory. And I can’t exactly blame him for that interpretation…

        • lkh says:

          Hi JOT! SK didn’t really deliver it like she really wanted to–kinda mumbled. It was funny before, and I think he was the one who mentioned Turner and Hooch, he set that one up–probably the difference.

          • Just one thing says:

            Hey lkh! How’s it going?
            I have a theory I wanted to run by you: I haven’t read through all the comments, so someone may have mentioned this already, but I feel like they’re setting it up for Esposito and Lanie to get pregnant around Christmas, based on the topic this week and the small spoilers released for the Christmas episode. And if that’s the case, I cannot imagine how pissed people are going to be about that.
            I could be way offbase, and it could just be that they move in together. But there were so many baby and family hints dropped off in this last episode…
            Think they just might be crazy enough to give Espo and Lanie a kid before Castle and Beckett? Because I do. LOL

          • lkh says:

            Hola JOT–just checked back today. I dunno. Seems we’re due for a pregnancy…Heard SK being interviewed and someone asked her if Beckett would soon be pregnant and she said, kinda off the cuff, ‘why stop at one…’ That might have been a misdirection tho. As far as Lanie/Espo are concerned, she was pregnant in the AU episode. They seem to be struggling a little with making the relationship more than it currently is…may be the writer’s way of handling their commitment or lack thereof. Espo was discussing this with Ryan–but then pretended like he wasn’t serious. Could be.

          • lkh says:

            ps and maybe, :}, they’ll have a huge wedding, with lots of formaility, big reception, everyone included and the announcement of a baby. The fans of Caskett would be in Crazy Town.

  12. You know says:

    Guess those must be the new standard desgin for public transport, we have them here in Australia for the trains and trams.

    Think I read it somewhere about some of the larger stations were testing some new technology which extending signal coverage to the tunnel, to whatever range, without the need to actually laying yards of cable into the tunnels. And the artucle was going on and on about how happy they are with the testing results, especially how cost effective they are.

  13. jj says:

    I wish I don’t have to say this coz I love the show but this was one boring episode. The whole hostage thing, could have been resolved by Espo and the transit cop in the first 5 minutes of the “lockdown”.

    • A fan says:

      I think it’s time for me to stop trying to watch this show. It used to be entertaining but lately has tended to just be silly. Too bad!

  14. Mary says:

    Seems this season Castle is always preempted – when it isn´t football, it´s something else…btw, was it only ABC or were SoA and NCIS:LA delayed/interrupted too?
    Anyway, this episode was just ok to me – I´m not a big Espo or EspLanie fan (prefer Ryan), but it was entertaining enough:)

  15. GhostWolf says:

    Watched bits and pieces since I’m not a major fan of Epso either (Ryan yes). Only managed to tack on the last 15 minutes after noticing the credits started later in the hour. Too bad the DVR doesn’t get triggered to expand when shows start late.

  16. Donna MaMa says:

    yeah, I kinda thought Espo was going to get involved with that cop as well. I guess this episode was meant to move along the Javi/Lanie story? what with the conversation in the car with Ryan

    • Laurel says:

      Yes, it was an odd conversation that Ryan/Javi had in the car, wasn’t it? Especially with Javi mentioning that LANIE is the one who likes things the way they are, as opposed to HIM not being able to commit.

      I think that Lanie is (already) pregnant on the show, but not telling Espo, and possibly the actress is pregnant in real life as well. I have noticed in the past few episodes that the camera angles they keep choosing for her conveniently conceal her belly, so I’m looking forward to that possible story line.

    • John NYC says:

      Yes the car conversation and the obvious connection the two ex-service people had led me the same direction. And the transit officer cleaned up real nice….

  17. Paul says:

    It’s Javi, not Javy. Just sayin’.

  18. jm says:

    I ride the 2/3 everyday. There are places between 72nd street and 34th street where you can get a signal in the tunnel. The subway cars look nothing like that. They took an LA subway car and put a 2 on it. Ok ep.

  19. LEP says:

    Ugh – went to watch the episode this morning only to learn that the first 15 minutes were pre-empted. Ugh again. Had I known, I would have recorded the news to catch the rest of the show. Now I have to wait over a week for ABC to post it. For whatever reason, DirecTV isn’t one of the log-in/day after subscribers. So annoying. Got the jest of what happened through this recap, but wish I had been able to see the ending. My recording literally cut off just as Espo and cop started to jump the guy when he did his inhaler puff. My daughter & I were like, “really”?

  20. lame says:

    It was okay, but how can you have empathy for a guy who was ready and more than willing to throw Castle under the bus not to long ago. It’s going to take more than this story line to resurrect his tarnished image.At the moment Espo is in the A hole catagory.

  21. LadyBug says:

    As a New Yorker I will tell you that there is no service inside a subway tunnel. Sometimes you may get lucky and get one bar but if you are in a tunnel you ain’t gonna have service.

  22. lkh says:

    People! Enough about the subway–at least it was in reality a subway car and not something made out of bubble wrap and sheets as per usual. Aren’t you the ones who liked the invisibility cloak? of course, that worked for Harry Potter…I know I saw that idea and many others that have been in these episodes. I care less about flu than I do that Castle has Dengue antibodies, but, of course, we’re letting that 2 month disappearance stew–maybe it’s not even stewing. Not everyone has the sweet, naive personality–I like that Espo doesn’t and please, doubting Castle’s story(wouldn’t you?, blindly accepting it) and abandoning him aren’t the same thing. And the real issue is that they keep talking about infectious diseases and it’s often nonsense which bothers me more than getting a signal in a subway car.

  23. John NYC says:

    The cell signal? The HRT people were said to be gaining access to the car from above via street ventilation grates: the grates open mesh would allow radio signals to get down to a car immediately below them. A moving car wouldn’t have the connection last but with it stopped… And along some routes in NYC there’s a fair number of those grates on the sidewalk…. easy to hear the trains as the travel through below.

  24. M3rc Nate says:

    My problem with this episode? If you are a brand new viewer (never seen a ep of Castle in your life) and I watched this episode with you, and told you that they (Castle/Beckett) were brother and sister (obviously id skip the first few minutes where they mention being married), the person would believe me. How sad is that? Two extremely flirty, fun, sexy newlyweds who have only been married….a week? 2? Dont hold hands, kiss, flirt, have any chemistry ONCE in this episode (just two episodes since their wedding).

    Before you say “shut up, you just want more sex scenes!” or w/e….a show that did it right, with amazing chemistry, with great “implied sex”, with great flirtation and holding of hands and kissing and all of that, was Chuck, which was on at 8pm (important because Castle is on at 10pm, they are allowed to do even more than Chuck could at 8pm on network TV). Never did you not see the chemistry between Chuck and Sarah Walker, every single episode pre-dating, while dating, and while married they had chemistry that if you just watched one episode you would know they are in love.

    Why is that even more sad? Because Chuck wasnt about him and Sarah…it was about Chuck, his parents, his life with the intersect, yes him and Sarah was a huge part of the story but still…there was a LOT of plot that spanned the series that wasnt him+Sarah. Now Castle on the other hand….its about Castle and Beckett. They have to do episodic “cases” every episode (required by network) but really this show is the Castle-Beckett love story show with the B plot being her mothers murder for the first 6 seasons and now his back-story for the next ___ seasons. But those are B-plots, the one A-plot that has been in every single episode and will be until the series finale is Castle and Beckett’s relationship. Yet they show it so poorly.

    • Mary says:

      The show is, and always has been, about Castle and Beckett working together and solving murders, and that is still the case! Them becoming a couple and after that a married couple is “B-plot”. “Castle” has always been a procedural!!
      Do you really think that a married couple, even a newlywed one, working together, is always flirty, sexy, touchy?! Let me tell you – NO, no way, because at work they just can´t! And since the 42/43 minutes are still about solving murders and not about showing a couple being touchy (thank God!), of course you won´t see what you want!
      But I don´t expect you to change your opinion, since you always say the same thing:)

      • M3rc Nate says:

        Lol cases….who cares? Really are you really into those poorly written “who did it this episode” story lines? Who cares why that guy had a bomb on him, who cares that some lab wanted to make the vaccine…that plot has been done SOOOOOOOOOOOO many times on SOOOOOOOOOOO many TV shows that its mind boggling…and thats the thing, they recycle and go over the SAME cases…all of these procedural shows…its the CHARACTERS that are interesting, and you’re telling me the super flirty and pining after her for YEARS Castle, having just gotten married, would not kiss, or hug or flirt with Beckett once that entire time? PLEASE.

        This show since the first scene they see each other is about their attraction, is about their relationship, is about CASTLE and BECKETT…not the stupid cases that most shows wish they werent FORCED to do by the studio….yet again, Chuck somehow found a way to have episodic episodes and at the same time show that Chuck and Sarah had chemistry, that they loved each other, never was there a episode where you could believe they were brother and sister.

        Lol “Thank God” they dont show a couple being touchy? Damn someones lonely or got some PDA issues…from what we know about Castle and how hardcore he is into Kate, he would be touchy and he has been in the past. But really? Thank god they dont? Lol damn are you watching the same show as me? This show is Rick and Kate..the best parts of the episodes are the parts not “case” related…when they are at home, when they are at the “dude ranch”, when they are getting married, when they are at his Hamptons mansion on vacation together, when they are in DC in her apartment..etc.

        • Mary says:

          I was going to answer you, but @Fran has already done that for me:)
          And no, I´m not “lonely” nor have “PDA issues” – probably I should have said “Thank God they don´t show a couple being touchy ALL THE TIME:)

      • lame says:

        I used to think that Caskett was the driving force behind this series until “time of our lives”, when their relationship was relegated to just another story line. Instead of the “event” we had all been lead to believe would be extraordinary was set in the least expensive, inferior set since Bozo the Clown kid show. I was hoping for it to evolve to more than just a procedural ,the intimate look into two completely different people trying to make their day to day differences work. The question is where is this series headed.

      • Fran says:

        I’m watching the same show as you Mary. I don’t fault anyone who watches strictly for the relationship stuff, but I fell in love with the show for all its aspects. I’m a very touchy-feely person in real life but I’d be bored silly watching it all the timw. And you are right, its completely unrealistic to expect them to act this way while they are working. Plus they were trying to help Espo and I think they had more important things in mind :)

        • lkh says:

          I agree. As Castle says, what counts is the story–not the romance necessarily, but the mystery. Their romance does develop overtime while working together. If you think of it, Espo is a version of Beckett, while Ryan is a kinda version of Castle. Lanie is a doc, and a medical examiner at that–they’re always a little bit off center. Plus both Javi and Lanie have lived a certain style and they are just trying to protect themselves just like we saw B and C do. It wasn’t until the end of season 5 that Castle finally said he wanted more and asked Beckett to marry him. Up to that point Beckett seemed willing to accept his breaking up with her. They all seem very protective and reticient to make commitments. So many times people want them to show more attention/affection to each other–this can’t happen at work. I noticed that Beckett was wearing the wedding ring and not the engagement ring. This is most appropriate at work especially for a woman cop. Sounds like some of you would like to almost dismiss the stories, but really they can be quite clever and entertaining. Plus agree, constant attention to one another would get tiresome.

  25. Emmy says:

    I would have rather had a Ryan-centric episode…the last one was really good. Honestly, I find Ryan a lot more interesting the Espo for some reason.

    • Ryan is interesting and funny. He’s got quirks that are humorous, but also endearing.

      Esposito is a boorish dick. Including to his “friends”. He’s the kinda guy who was a bully in high school, all grown up — not very interesting to watch on TV, or anywhere else.

  26. MaureenM says:

    As I ATP around NYC (see what I did there Matt? :), I have found cell service sporadic on subway. It’s getting better, but not crystal clear as portrayed in last night’s episode.

  27. the episode weak and with many errors !
    I hate it when I see it in Castle … I love this show so much !

  28. Matthew Weber says:

    I liked it, but it wasn’t the best episode this season. But that is to be expected after the great episodes the last few weeks. Castle always has a few episodes that are just okay instead of spectacular, and it has always been that way going back to S1

  29. Teri says:

    I’m so upset with Dancing w/stars CRAP! I DVR and DID NOT get the last 10 minutes because of that STUPID dancing show running over. Where I live there’s no decent internet to get the ending….. STOP LETTING THAT SHOW RUN OVER!! Or take it off the air. What a stupid show.

  30. DarkDefender says:

    Liked the throwbacks.. ..Turner & Hooch, conspiracies! And punny, puns (too soon?) but overall not a bad filler EP.. Seems clear why the show is not titled ESPO. I’m digging the comfortable, less self conscious, married, Caskett vibe.

  31. anonymous says:

    I thought the episode was a lot better than I thought it was gonna be considering it was an Esposito centric episode and the last one was incredibly boring but I liked the beginning scene with caskett it was funny to me anyway and I liked the car scene with Ryan and Espo it was interesting and funny. I am so over Esposito and Lanie they just don’t have that spark anymore and they are really uninteresting to watch now so I don’t watch their scenes now. I loved Esposito and the transit cop Marissa I think her name was they really had awesome chemistry and the spark that’s missing from between him and lanie. I also really liked how Esposito was talking to Ryan about wanting to have a kid and at the end of the episode we find out that the transit cop has a five year old son. I hope that the writers put Esposito together with the transit cop Marissa because he needs a really nice and solid and good woman to settle down with. My airing also got delayed 15 minutes by DWTS BUT luckily I put my tv on the channel at exactly 10 so I knew that it was delayed and then waited to see how long it would be delayed then I just set my DVR to end 15 minutes late so I could record the whole thing. and what’s worse is DWTS took away some of Castle’s ratings which really annoyed me to no end grrr

  32. i just… it could have been so good

  33. geralyna says:

    There isn’t a 7th Ave station on the 1 & 2 line, they run along 7th Ave – stations are street names. We don’t have upholstered seats either. That pretty much wasn’t a rush hour crowd, but you can find a train with that few people in it. It’s shot in LA I think, so it makes sense. But the writers could’ve gotten a real station name maybe? Thanks for the recap. DVR missed the last part due to the preemption.

  34. geralyna says:

    And some people do seem to have connection in some tunnels but not my service.

  35. phyllis cook says:

    i loved the series and lanie was good.espo did great.but they need to keep castle on the air.i luv stana as det beckett.and luv nathan as castle.the castle show should stay on and run about 3 more seasons.or more they just got married dont end it now let det beckett find out why castle was missing for 2 got more on the 3xk killer cause now there is a woman working with him.let becketts father be in it more let ryan and espo,and lanie get more involved.let castles daughter be in it more beckett should start bonding with the daughter and rick and kate should start a family castle has so much more to offer keep it on with the whole gang.same people stana and nathan luv castle