When it comes to Castle‘s Ryan-, Esposito- or RySpo-centric episodes, the reactions tend to be mixed — those who judge the episode based on its own merits versus those who bristle against anything that steals Caskett time. But given how Season 8 as a whole has been a, um, special animal when it comes to Rick/Kate interactions, perhaps this look at a romantic blast from Javy’s past will be assessed more fairly.
Because once you get the past notion that in all their years as partners, that during all their travels and late-night stakeouts, Espo never mentioned to Ryan (or onetime girlfriend Lanie, for that matter) that he was once engaged, Jon Huertas was here to sell you on the rush of emotions his character was experiencing with ex-fiancée Sonia (Constantine‘s Angélica Celaya) thrust back into his orbit.
The set-up for the reunion: Investigating the murder of a guard during a heist, it is discovered that the thieves used the same (goofy?) security countermeasure that Sonia’s crew used back in the day, before fiance Javi got wise to her illicit activities and arrested her himself. To help suss out the leader of this new crew, Sonia angles to be let out of prison with three months left to go before making parole.
Her first stop is a bar in Spanish Harlem, so she promptly rejects the idea of being paired with Ryan for the look-see. Instead, Espo agrees to hang with his ex some, and soon enough sparks are flying anew. First chance she gets, Sonia appears to make a(n ill-fated) break for it, though she claims she was just racing to phone 911. But later, just as evidence emerges that connects Sonia to the crew that murdered the guard, she gives Espo the slip, ducking out the bathroom window at his mother’s apartment where she was being offered a proper meal and shower before returning to the clink.
Throughout it all, the question looms: Why was Sonia in such a rush to orchestrate a prison furlough, give the cops the slip and seek out the stash of ill-gotten gold she left behind before being arrested? Turns out her father was actually her crew boss aka Great White, and he is on death’s doorstep — and he is the only one who knows where their haul is hidden. With Espo as a hostage, Sonia and a goon head to the abandoned ConEd facility where the coins are hidden. When the henchman goes to snuff Espo, Sonia stops him, saying, “I cannot let you do that…. Because I love him.” Javi then overpowers the henchman (with some sweet moves) and beseeches Sonia to surrender.
What followed was a helluva bit of work by Huertas and Celaya, as Javi revealed how years ago he came thisclose to letting Sonia skate, and running away with her instead. He, however, loves the badge just that much more. (“If I threw that away, I wouldn’t even deserve you.”) He then gently deflects her invitation to be with her now, on the run, rich and in love. “If I was strong enough to arrest the love of my life, you’re strong enough to face what comes next” — including an additional two years added to her sentence. After Javi is suspended for a week without pay (for letting Sonia pull one over on him), he and Ryan head out to soothe the assorted stings with a night of drinking.
Elsewhere in the episode, Kate sensed some hostility from Rick’s household AI, “Lucy,” so by hour’s end she has reprogrammed the gizmo to “man up” — as in, he now goes by the name “Linus.”
What did you think of the episode “Heartbreaker”?