Worth the wait, Castle fans?
After 139 days and the “occasional” piece of reporting from yours truly, Season 5 of the ABC drama arrived Monday night, and the first order of business was a bit of monkey business — until, that is, mama Martha came a-knocking, bring to a halt what would have been, by Rick’s count, “Round 4.”
We then got some terrific physical comedy from Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic, as Beckett most begrudgingly hid in Castle’s closet, and again moments later as she tip-toed out of his place while he distracted Martha and a hungover Alexis with a dissertation on, what was it, the evils of OTC pain relievers?
Regrouping at Kate’s place, Rick explained himself — “I was operating on instinct,” “I want to keep what we have together to ourselves” and all that. Still, “It wasn’t your finest hour,” Kate scoffed. But when Ryan came knocking on Kate’s door, she urged Rick to pull a similar disappearing act, but as Rick argued, “I have my pants on,” so there’s nothing to hide.
CLOSING IN ON A KILLER
On Ryan’s mind: The target of the season-finale break-in at Montgomery’s was a photo album, and the missing pic — reproduced via the negative — is the guy Castle had been secretly meeting to secure Beckett’s safety from the conspiracy behind her mother’s murder. Through some impressive-slash-remarkable-slash-OTT observation and compilation of clues, Rick, Kate and Ryan ID the guy as Michael Smith. Alas, they arrive at his place too late, after Cole Maddox has tortured him within an inch of his life.
Before heading to the hospital, Smith gasped to Castle a clue that led to an (of course) abandoned building where Smith once had an office. Thing is, Maddox was there too, and he promptly zip-tied Caskett while he went to crack a safe. Rick labored to free him and Kate to no avail, at which point he grumbled, “If we got murdered right now, I’d feel so ripped off!” Then: “At least we had last night…. We shoulda done that four years ago!”
“Done what four years ago?” Espo asked as he came through the door to the rescue.
Beckett got the drop on Maddox, but before justice could be served and the file retrieved, he went out with a bang, as the safe had been booby-trapped — and its contents turned into confetti. When Gates shows up and grills the suspended Beckett on what happened, Ryan plays it down the middle with his version of events, then later does the gang one better, delivering the file shreds. After some puzzle work, they glean the account number that a money order/pay-off was deposited to — and, thanks to Espo’s ability to recall a password he once used years ago, they learn it belongs to one William Bracken aka Senator Bracken.
Smith comes out of surgery and lives long enough to fill in some blanks for Beckett, but refuses to testify to what he knows. (As he put it, he owed Montgomery, but “I don’t you.”) Before Caskett can convince him otherwise, they step away from his room long enough for someone to silence the old man for good. And that leaves Kate fearing for her life. “Let me take you someplace, Kate, someplace where you’ll be safe,” says Rick. She frets, “I’ll never be safe.”
ROCKING THE VOTE
The next morning, Rick wakes in Kate’s bed (Kate’s bed!) to find her gone and on Bracken’s trail. Through the deft planting of a cell in his pocket, she leads the politico to a very private meet-and-greet. She wants him to admit to his treachery and the trail of bodies left in its wake, but he argues that it’s not about who has the gun, but who has the power — and with her being a suspended cop obsessed with her mom’s murder, he, an upright politician, has that power.
Au contraire, Kate says. Bluffing that the second file was found intact, she lays out her terms: The deal Bracken had with Smith, he now has with her. And no one near her gets even a scratch. “Whoever it is you think I am… you have no idea what I am capable of or how far I will go,” she growls. “I am done being afraid; it’s your turn now.” One nasty pistol-whip later, her business is done.
Back at the 12th, Beckett asks for her job back, but Gates forces her to sweat out her full suspension. But what ever will she do with that free time, Rick asks. “I’m sure I’ll think of something,” Kate said with a mischievous smile… and an apparent grab at her guy.