Castle Recap: Thanks for the Memories

Castle Rick Remembers Vanishing

If you have been wondering why Rick was abducted on his wedding day and not a day sooner or later… and why he ultimately resurfaced with dengue fever antibodies… ABC’s Castle filled in the blanks for you this Monday night.

And you thought Oliver Queen had far-out flashbacks! My head is still spinning from this information download. And while I can see how some may come down against this (partial) reveal, I’m going to give it a qualified thumbs-up, if only because it was just b-a-n-a-n-a-s enough to be entertaining.

I mean, this was a lot to process. You could really tell that in the final scenes, where Bilal is talking a mile-a-minute just to get it all out. Let’s see if I can sum it up succinctly, ha:

Rick’s prep school classmate Bilal Khan, with whom he shared a debate champion trophy, had gone on to join Al-Qaeda and rose up the ranks some before calling it quits and arranging to turn himself over to American intelligence. But when the first hand-off went sideways, Bilal refused to reconvene unless it was to meet someone he could implicitly trust and be of such a stature that someone killing him would be too risky. So he asked for his old pal Rick Castle, now a best-selling author.

Because Bilal had extremely time-sensitive intel to trade about an imminent Al-Qaeda strike, Rick needed to be “recruited” right there and then, wedding day or not. Once in Thailand for the trade-off, Rick and Bilal were targeted by Ilya, a Russian assassin hired by Al-Qaeda to prevent the defection. Ilya failed, but put a non-fatal bullet into Bilal. Now Bilal busses tables at a Pakistani cafe as “penance” for his time with the terrorist organization. (And yet it seemed like a lovely enough eatery!)

After helping Bilal, Rick’s memories of the Thai adventure — and of even ever knowing Bilal — were not just “erased” but replaced, Total Recall-style, with memories of some other prep school pal. With his CIA handler now dead, Bilal headed into hiding, after expressing to Rick his gratitude for what he did (albeit somewhat against his will). Just as Bilal leaves, Ilya shows up to pop Rick, but Not Henry Jenkins emerges from the shadows to rub out the Russian first. NHJ scolds Rick for picking at this scab, as he was warned not to, but Rick responds by popping him in the nose, for making him miss his wedding day. NHJ swears Rick to silence, though Martha and Alexis get an edited account of how groom-to-be Rick helped saved tens of thousands of lives, while Kate gets a fuller version.

All of that said… some questions remain unanswered, including how Rick himself had been shot during his disappearance and why he was missing for two months, since the Bilal thing probably only took a matter of days, maybe a week with “memory modification” at Rekall and such.

A few other thoughts on “Sleeper”:
* I enjoyed how the episode parsed out information as Rick recalled it, thanks to Dr. Burke, in a way that — admit it — had you thinking Rick had gone a bit bonkers, what with the Chuck Norris of it all.
* While I “get” where she was coming from, having to oversee the expenditure of efforts and resources, I was surprised Gates wasn’t sufficiently compelled by this unraveling mystery to give Beckett & Co. more slack.
* While not the most flattering trait, I was glad to see that Espo retained his measured skepticism of Rick’s explanations.
* In case I only said it two or three times above: Good golly, this was a lot of information to process! As such, would have preferred to see it divvied up across two episodes instead of this crash course. And we didn’t even get the entire story! Maybe in Season 8…?

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. Matt says:

    If we get a season 8 ya we probably will get more answers Amman said there would be more questions

    • ER1986 says:

      Amann has been fired, and Marlowe if reports are correct is out as well

      • S. says:

        You seem awfully sure that there was firing. Marlowe’s got another show to develop/run if it works out (it’s rarely a sure thing) and Amann might’ve decided he preferred being an EP but not a showrunner. Maybe he’s going with Marlowe. You have no idea so let’s not peddle gossip, shall we? Amann’s been with Castle for years. I doubt he drove it into a ditch as far as they’re concerned because they pretty much knew what to expect from the work he’d done thus far. Showrunning is also an administrative job, not just creative, so maybe he really hates doing the ‘paperwork’ part of it, the part Beckett does when she sends Castle home.

    • Kim R says:

      The term “jumped the shark” sprang to mind part way through last night’s episode. I can’t believe I’m saying that about Castle. What the heck?? That has to be the stupidest explanation I’ve ever heard of! Castle is a crime writer, for goodness sake! And they brought him in on a covert op involving terrorists?! I’m still shaking my head. So disappointed in the writing.

      • Kristine says:

        Thank you! I enjoyed the first half and was actually intrigued by the whole thing and then BAM! jumped the shark with terrorism plot. Stupid.

        • Nan says:

          My big takeaway of the episode was how lovely Molly Quinn is and how perfectly cast she and Susan Sullivan are. All in all, the regular cast members are terrific. That doesn’t say much for the plot.

      • Dj says:

        I could buy it if they had said his father had something to do with it which is why he couldn’t contact his family. But this felt like it was them trying to wrap up the missing plot and say hey well that’s over it’s time to move on.

        • John NYC says:

          This wasn’t a wrap up, just a first installment. The 2 months, the bullet would etc. plenty of room for Dad to come strolling out of the shadows. Though with the school connection a family connection wouldn’t be necessary.

  2. John NYC says:

    Yes, I kept expecting a “continued” conclusion to tonight’s episode. That it delivered as much as it did was a surprise, especially given how long other story arcs have been.

  3. Elle says:

    that episode sucked….hard.

    • Heather says:

      I completely agree. What a terrible episode, that was the best the writers could come up with? Seriously?

    • JBKD says:

      Castle has officially “jumped the shark”. Amann should be fired. And Stana Katic should run for the hills!! Who would blame her.

  4. Melinda says:

    I found it completely ridiculous.

  5. leigh says:

    Ummm…no. I’m sorry but this was such a cop out. I have so many more questions about this and am very upset at how they tied this up. I’ve seen every episode of this show, didn’t complain with that non wedding scene at the end of last season and now they give us this to wrap it up? I am trying to process all this but I keep coming back to why would the writers write such an awful resolution? I am so disappointed right now in a show I love so much.

  6. K says:

    It would suck majorly if we don’t get a season 8 because then we are left with all of these questions of what really happened to Castle and why. The only thing standing in the way of season 8 is Stana’s contract being up in the air. Will she be back or will she not be back? I want the writers to explain how Castle got from The Hamptons to Thailand, how he ended up in the boat floating at sea and then found by the coast guard and also why he threw that cash into the dumpster to have the black escalade crushed

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      Ah, right — the dumpster cash. Why would Rick have to handle disposing of the SUV if the CIA and its many resources were involved?

      • skrable2 says:

        Especially if time was so short that they wouldn’t let him get married first. But he has time to be an errand boy?

      • Matthew Weber says:

        They probably did that so Beckett would think he was involved and not look for him. Though admittedly that would mean they don’t know Kate Beckett.

    • ER1986 says:

      I’m betting the new showrunner won’t revisit this story. The way it played out it is obvious the network told them to kill this mythology and asked them to find new jibs next year.

  7. JeffDJ says:

    It was indeed a lot to process, almost in a let’s-wrap-this-storyline-up-already kind of way. It was also nice to see Michael Dorn back on the show.

  8. Betisa says:

    I am going to pretend that episode 1, 2 and 20 of season 7 never existed.

  9. ER1986 says:

    Sorry Matt…. this was hirribly bad

  10. TeeOh says:

    Okay, I had to wait eleven months for the most far fetched, even Rick wouldn’t have come up with explanation, for him being kidnapped on his wedding day and missing for two months. It really must be 4/20 because the people over at Castle have to be high if they think this is even remotely up to the quality of that this show has shown over the years when it comes to a continued storyline. The resolution to 3XK this year was rushed, but I let it slide, but this way just hackneyed and stupid. Probably the worst episode since the Lyle Lovett X-Files mess from season three.

  11. Tj says:

    If it was so bad he chose to forget, why did they wrap it up happy like he saved so many people? Odd.

    • Annie says:

      I wondered about that too!!

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      Because… maybe… he had been made privy to top-secret intel about an terrorist attack that almost happened…?

      • Annie says:

        Or Maybe there was a rift in the space time continum and Worf was sent back to save the day and this was the best the Federation could come up with?

        • Ro says:

          Now that’s funny. The best things about this episode was the Chuck Norris reference and the return of ‘Worf’. This show has been very entertaining, but I’m afraid it’s on its last leg…

      • DarkDefender says:

        I did think Rick was gonna call that gut “Not Henry Jenkins”..

      • Badpenny says:

        Just a few Seasons back he pulled the wires on a dirty bomb about to blow in Manhattan. This is not his first go-round with terrorists. :)

    • John NYC says:

      Perhaps because that’s not the bad part? The bad part left the gunshot scar and the rest of that missing time.

    • DarkDefender says:

      Perhaps he was fed a lot more BS (of a happy reason) to keep him from snooping around.. And not finding out how bad things really were. I think Espo might end up being the skeptic who breaks the truth, eventually.

      I Don’t like the cash in the dumpster plot hole mentioned above.. But I hope it is explained when we find out why he was gone for 2 months.

  12. Annie says:

    No, did not like. Ive been a fan since the beginning,but this season has been lackluster. I want more Alexis and his mom, who are now bit actors. I want a redo like Bobby coming out of the shower on Dallas redo. This season haseen strained and I do not like this new direction. If this is what we have to look forward to for next season, then maybe there shouldnt be a next season.

  13. mika says:

    Everything was moving along in a pretty interesting direction, and I liked the gradual build, but then around 45 minute mark we met Bilal and everything went off the rails. It just got too convoluted for me, half as much information might have been sufficient, maybe then the writers could have come up with details that filled in the remaining blanks in a more logical way. What they gave us just came out of left field and it left me unsatisfied with the explanation. Maybe if they’re given a chance to expand on it in an eighth season? I can only hope.

    • Chloe says:

      I felt pretty much the same way. The first three-quarters were interesting but when Bilal started explaining, it seemed as if the show was running out of time & they were trying to wrap it up ASAP. Bilal was talking so fast that he seemed to be on fast-forward. And not explaining the gunshot wound? Really?

  14. T says:

    Wow, the only thing missing was to actually see Castle himself standing on the back of the shark and riding the waves. Giving something a “…qualified thumbs-up, if only because it was just b-a-n-a-n-a-s enough to be entertaining…” is the same as saying it was so bad it was fun. Before this I kept hoping the (ridiculous) memory wipe would not actually be a memory plant (…”Recall, Recall, Recall…”) but I lost. Wrap it up this season

    • John NYC says:

      Or flip the switch yourself?

      There’s a couple of shows this season I’ve done that with. You do it quick and it hardly stings at all.

      • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

        Yep, the TV remotes are quite nifty that way!

        • lila1star says:

          My dvr is full of Castle episodes and so far only 1 from this season. I find that really sad. I love NF and Castle was my favorite show but imo they would have been better off leaving the “where did Castle go” story line un-done. No one really seemed to care. What irks me is Marlow who may go down in TV history on how to ruin a top rated show in 42 min.( Speaking of 6-23) Then came the attitude that he knew best and we must trust him blah blah. Seriously Matt–what could he have been thinking?
          With each new ep I keep hoping to see a reason Castle should have a S8 and so far. Nada
          So happy with VB

  15. Fran says:

    I found it… Interesting. Far-fetched? Sure, but this show has never been steeped in reality when it comes to the storylines and cases. I don’t know, I’ll have to watch it again to fully process it I think…

  16. Kaz says:

    I hate to say it but this episode makes me think that cancelling Castle after this season would be kinder than dragging it out for another year….especially if they can’t get Stana to stay. More and more it feels like the story has pretty much told itself and that’s OK – 7 seasons is a fantastic run. I sort of understand why Stana Katic may not see any point in continuing.

    It wasn’t good.

    • Jennifer says:

      I agree with you Kaz, I wouldn’t blame Stana for not wanting to come back if this is the direction the show is going in. They need to get back to the orginal program and stop making Castle look like an idiot and stop having Beckett question her life.

      • John NYC says:

        This ep happened to have neither of those things, Castle was working the puzzle and Beckett did no “questioning” that I recall anyway.

      • DarkDefender says:

        On that theory, NF should have bailed years ago.. What you do not like about Beckett’s secondary status, is exactly what Castle has been to her for the better part of 7 years. If SK really believes in the “art” of it all (and not the $$) then she should re-sign and take the lighter work load being the great supporting character to NF as he has been to her all these years.
        I am neither a Stana hater nor a Nathan supporter. I am neutral and like them both equally.
        Also, even though Matt (and TVLine) did a great job teasing the contract situation.. (So many comments posted!) There really is no doubt that SK will be coming back. Seriously people, it will be a shock if we don’t get the news she re-signed before the official “renewal” posting. A steady paying acting job is better than not working at all. If I am wrong – so be it, but I cannot believe SK is not coming back for at least as many seasons as NF is willing to do… And I only say it in this way, becuase he plays the main titled character and there cannot be a Caslte show without him. (Though admittedly they could rename it Beckett and not re-sign NF).
        I wish the fan base would spend more time spreading the Castle love, than arguing over which lead is better. But maybe that’s just me.

        • Cassie says:

          Nathan was phoning in most of his scenes when he was playing the supporting character, there was nothing great about it.

          • DarkDefender says:

            Cassie’s, then my point is.. Maybe Stana should give it a turn now that they seem to be ramping up Nathan’s character’s story after giving her character all the juicy stuff for years.

          • S. says:

            They’ve implied Kate’s got stuff coming up career wise that’s more thought out than the DC thing she jumped to try. It fell into her lap and wasn’t the right path. If there’s more to it, I’d hope Stana would do it. She just got married so who knows what she’s planning on doing. It’d be a real shame if there’s all of a couple episodes to stage a departure.

        • Beckstle says:

          @DarkDefender The whole point of 6×23 and most of season seven was to let Katic be the supporting character and give more to NF. You’ve seen the ratings. This was not a good formula for the show. That’s why Beckett suddenly got a storyline of sorts after the two-parter. In season’s 1-4 I’d say they carried things equally. I’d like to get back to that.

  17. Teri says:

    Matt, I agree with you on this one..a lot to process and very twisted writing. I liked it! Could have and should have been a 2-parter. Somebody made the comment if they could have wedding in the last 5 minutes, they could wrap up that ending in 5 minutes! Yikes. There is more to come with this mystery and Season 8 would serve well to keep bringing us answers.

  18. CMG says:

    What I’m hoping: this whole idea of Rick’s “replaced memories” ends up being utter nonsense (which it is). They (whoever “they” are) threw Castle just enough information in this episode that it would placate him for a while, so that he wouldn’t look any further into what *really* happened. The idea of Rick’s memories being replaced was something “they” knew he’d go for, given his willingness to swallow some tall tales.

    Unfortunately, that would mean this entire episode would have been a giant waste of time, because very little of it would have been real.

    • mika says:

      I was actually thinking much the same thing. That the idea of the “replaced memories” is something thrown at Rick to keep him off the real trail. And I hope they find out that this was done because he was getting too close to something. I enjoyed the first 45 minutes or so of the episode and I think they were really onto something, so I don’t think the entire episode was a waste of time. I just didn’t care for the whole”reformed terrorist” and “memory replacement” thing that came at the very end.

  19. Teri says:

    This episode needs a rewatch. I already like it better the second time. Give it a try.

  20. Lena says:

    Sorry but imo this episode was a complete mess, one of worst ever. But to be honest, I wasn’t expecting anything of it, it was obvious from the beginning that Marlowe and co had no idea what they were doing with it, they just came up with anything to destroy the wedding but didn’t manage to create a believable story to do it. At least let’s hope it’s over and they never talk about it again.

  21. BetsyBoo says:

    did anyone else notice that the signature on the police seal on the apartment door was clearly and legibly “Roy Montgomery”???!!!

    And when Castle finally realizes his time with Bilal was CIA-related, the FIRST question out of this mouth wasn’t “Is my father involved?” ?????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    These are only two of the incredulous points in tonight’s ep.

  22. lauri5567 says:

    Prep school friend that has never been mentioned suddenly needs help in a life or death situation on his wedding day. Bizzaro. Maybe in Season 8 that was just the fake story to satisfy Rick in case he started looking?
    I found Ryan and Esposito true to character, which was good.
    As for the contracts – it goes along with the impressions I’ve had from the interviews I’ve watched.

  23. veronica says:

    can season 8 just be kate and rick having twins…that’s the mythology I want to see.

  24. ndixit says:

    The episode was pretty ridiculous but that’s not out of norm for Castle with multiple hit men, a presidential candidate who is a drug kingpin, a father who is a secret agent, a lynchpin whose death can cause WWIII and the collapse of America. The problem is they made the mistake of telling and not showing. They basically did an info dump in the last 15 mins of the ep. The least they could do was actually show the entire flashback while the info is being told. So at least we can get a visual sense of what Castle did.

  25. Melissa says:

    So so so so stupid. My eyes hurt from all the rolling. I’m done with this show. Should’ve stopped watching years ago.

  26. DarkDefender says:

    Overall “Sleeper” was well paced. I liked that we got enough of what happened to Rick to satisfy (for now) … even if it was a tad bit too much as exposition. Hopefully the plan is for the whole story to unfold over time like Beckett’s mom’s murder. It will be nice to see Beckett assist Castle away from the rabbit hole that is probably coming.
    [Let’s hope it isn’t an exact mirror of Beckett’s journey – ie: lazy writing]
    It was nice foreshadowing about Rick revealing he does not like introspection. If we go to Season 8 (and hopefully beyond), there are at least 3-4 seasons of unpeeling the Castle layers as we got with Beckett in the first 4.
    This really was a great episode.

  27. Jooshua says:

    Maybe they didn’t give us enough answers because season 8 will be about Castle’s missing time. Makes sense, if Stana Katic doesn’t return.

  28. Seth Kane says:

    And if it was the CIA, who would clearly have a reason to make Castle forget, why is it he chose to forget? They would have let him remember?

  29. JImN says:

    For a dramedy they have done comedy much better than they do straight, and I use the word reluctantly, drama.

  30. Kim (@AD76) says:

    This just felt so off and rushed, like there’s more to the story. As someone else mentioned, why was Rick throwing money in a dumpster and getting rid of the SUV? Something just doesn’t jive. If this is truly all there is to his disappearance, I’m severely disappointed.

    Although I nominate the following line, delivered superbly by Nathan, for the Quote of the Week feature: “I was in Thailand, getting shot at… with Chuck Norris.”

  31. lkh says:

    I felt like saying–‘what?’, ‘what did he say’, ‘huh?’. Anyway, too much to cover in a short period of time. When it got to be 10:45 we still had a way to go, so we must have decided on fast forward. Even so, and even though there are numerous questions still unanswered (why did he go to Canada to that bank? and that nasty banker up there? and folks have already mentioned the cash drop in the dumpster, and being at sea, why? what about the camping stuff? I could go on) I did enjoy it because it wasn’t the silly Castle and I generally like that more. And it was fast paced and didn’t always follow but for some reason I intensely watched it in between saying ‘huh?’ The best thing was the psych doctor was back-sigh (by the way, why did that young woman have to die?)

    • lkh says:

      at the end I said ‘why did he go to Thailand?’. I guess they used dengue fever antibodies to imply that he had been somewhere out of the country even though we have it along the Texas Mexican border, along the Gulf, Mexico, S. America, Central America,SE Asia, S. Asia, Africa–anywhere were we have Aedes aeypti or A. albopictus the vectors for the virus. Certainly not in Connecticut though. Same family virus is related to Yellow fever and West Nile and other hemorrhagic fevers.. Best not to be bitten by mosquitoes in any event. Just an idea:} Thailand had something to do with the whole secret-I do not know what it is.

      • John NYC says:

        His school friend had escaped to there before losing his handler. So that’s where the next meeting to bring him out of the cold was going to take place. The guy had been with Al-Queda so he could have wound up anywhere and there’s lot’s of trouble stirred up in that general region, Indonesia, Myanmar etc. his being Pakistani would logically have him operating around there rather than further West in hot spots like Yemen…

  32. lkh says:

    Matt–I think you missed a chance. You should have said “Thanks for the Memories?” you left out the question mark.

  33. Carrie says:

    No one is mentioning that Rick’s memories were triggered by a hired assassin that walked through a TV news telecast?!? Only one of the issues I had with the way this whole story was “handled”
    That said, I was entertained by the initial memory’s attempt to make me think Rick fell asleep watching too many Chuck Norris movies..

  34. Lame says:

    Cheers to Nathan,Stana and the cast for a job well done. This would have been perfect as a double feature, 7.03 & 7.04 with the season finale as 7.05. Now it feels like an absolute rush to tie up loose ends, a force feeding. In that respect it lost the excitement that it would have generated earlier this season. We were for all intents and purposes strapped to a chair, our jaws held open by a metal vise and a tube inserted down our throats. Lord help us for whatever devise AWM & CO intend to insert into us , I dare not ask where, for the season finale.

    • lkh says:

      In some respects I guess it could be a response to all the questions and complaints from the fans about the Castle disappearance and this was their idea of how to deal with it and get it over with. They sure wanted to get past it fast. But again, it kept my interest and was happy it was intense and there wasn’t a lot of silliness. Becket seemed very muted and not too involved-she says very little and there seems to be a quietness about her voice that doesn’t seem true to the character. The character doesn’t seem to have the spunk she usually had and the energy. She’s even changed her makeup. Does this add up to lazy writing Jamming everything in to a short people of time and really not do much more that just quickly tell the story. Again, even so, I was very focused on what was being said.

    • John NYC says:

      Dense but then it still is only the tip of the iceberg since it explained why he didn’t get to the wedding but not anything about why those months went by and when and why he was shot (it wasn’t getting his friend out).

      The memory wipe/replacement might have been for Rick’s protection? He’s a well known face and so he could have been recognized on the mission (or a background check of his friend would have him pop up) so when he returned to public life a very well publicized and thoroughly vetted determination he had no memory of the events would mean neither he nor any of his loved ones would get grabbed to try and leverage where his friend was being hidden. And that concern was supported by the fact the killer was still hunting for him and either in NYC because of Rick or because some trail was left of his target (really he should have “hid” in a burger joint or steakhouse not something ethnic!)

  35. ShelbyPilot says:

    Honestly, the entire ep had me wondering what was coming around the next corner. I liked that, and I had no problem keeping up. However, I have to think that it’s very possible that (a) the writers had NO idea when they created this story arc how they were going to conclude it. Unless they did, and (b) the uncertainty of an eight season created tonight’s alter-arc-ending offering. I’m glad Rick punched FHJ, because I felt like I had gotten popped too when the whole terrorist thing got revealed. Al Quaeda? REALLY?! Whaaaaatevs. Dumpster cash stash, bullet scar, dengue fever, memory wipe, dinghy, Montreal…too may unanswereds if you ask me. Overall, I liked it. I told,the whole thing to my hubs, and he says this: “Ever heard the term ‘jump the shark’.” I said “It’s so funny you should mention that!” Go figure.

    On a side note, if SK didn’t return, I’d still watch Castle. Yeah, the dynamic would be different. Rick’s strong, could go,on without Kate, and maybe we’d REALLY figure out why he became a mystery writer. Forgot about that, didn’t you? Peace.

  36. Matthew Weber says:

    I love Castle, so damn much. But this has to be the most unbelievable story line I’ve ever seen from them, and that’s saying something (time travel episode was more believable, really).

    I mean it was fine, but it was pretty disappointing. I honestly hope we hear nothing more about his disappearance if we get a season 8 because at this point I just don’t care that much.

  37. Mary says:

    A, I knew those revelations had to be “partial”!:)

  38. GeoDiva says:

    Really? An Al-Qaeda terrorist plot? I thought the fake Mars mission episode was the worst! I am done and don’t care if this show comes back. I’ll stick to the TNT reruns for my Castle fix.

  39. LaShawna says:

    Is this REALLY the mythology the writers were always looking to set up for Castle, or did they just pull this out of their ass, because they couldn’t think of anything better/more plausible. I kept thinking of Criminal Minds ridiculous episode “200” for most out of left field use of al Qaeda as a plot device.

  40. CM says:

    So, this is why we didn’t get a wedding at the end of last season, when everyone was whipped up in a frenzy and super excited.

    From where I sit this disappearance story wasn’t worth all the fan discord. Not even close.

    It would have been better never to talk about the missing months again then to try and convince fans this is why it happened.

  41. ljd213 says:

    Glad I didn’t record, the Scorpion season finale was much better and that show now holds my interest the way Castle did. Better yet, Forever has a new ep tonight and may be that show should take this Monday night slot next season.

    New show runner with Marlowe’s apparent blessing has taken a much loved show and made it unrecognizable.

  42. Alex says:

    Awful episode. I’m scared of what they’re going to come up with in 7.23, to explain what supposedly happened in Castle’s childhood. Ironic how the “season of Castle” is the one which destroyed Castle’s character for me.

    • JBKD says:

      And Beckett’s…

      I hardly recognize the Kate Beckett we (and Castle) all fell in love with. Just…plain…sad.

      • DarkDefender says:

        Really? Beckett (as a character) has evolved from someone wholly driven to solve her mother’s death (to the point she was serious, mechanical and having no fun) to someone more even keeled, light hearted and able to support and accept help from others. Castle is the eternal optimist, but that has come at the price of bottling up everything and not really dealing with it. They each bring out into the other, qualities they had, but lost sight of. The one thing I enjoy most about the writing on this show is that the characters have all changed over time due the interactions (and impact) they have had with each other. Like real life, people change and reactions are fluid. Nobody remains exactly the same from moment to moment moving forward in time.

  43. Jake says:

    Seriously? They couldn’t have waited one hour, allowed Castle to get married, read Beckett into the mission (especially since she’s ex-FBI) and then wisked him off, no questions asked? And Castle could be trusted with the mission, but couldn’t be trusted with the memory?
    If this show was a horse, they’d shoot it because it’s so lame….

  44. I read this and I’m like “Huh? This was the plotline to an actual network TV show in primetime?”

    The show is now a soap opera. Has been since the end of season 5.

  45. Sheila says:

    I’m all for suspending disbelief, but come on! This was the stretchiest of stretching! Seriously couldn’t have been more ridiculous. We’re really supposed to accept that all of that happened to a writer?

  46. Missy says:

    How does Montreal figure in? That’s another one to add to the list. Rick was fully aware of what he was doing when he was in Montreal, so where does that fit in the timeline. SO MANY QUESTIONS. So few answers… that were sufficient :D

  47. R says:

    Beware, this will be LONG.
    “Sleeper” was, unequivocally, one of the worst episodes of Castle I have ever seen. I don’t care about recency bias; as it stands, it is tied with TSATQ and FBOFW for worst Castle episode ever. I’ll readily admit that my interest in Castle has been waning for the last couple of seasons. Seasons 6 and 7 are, without a doubt, the worst seasons in my opinion. However, despite my feelings about Castle’s downward trajectory, there have only been two times I can say I’ve been embarrassed to be a fan of Castle. Unfortunately, they both have to do with Castle’s disappearance (FBOFW and Sleeper).
    There is absolutely no way anyone can convince me that Marlow & Co. came up with this storyline as a legitimate way to introduce a grand Castle storyline. Let’s call a spade a spade here. Castle’s kidnapping was a delay tactic because they had no intention of ever letting C&B get married during Season 6. That way they could have the wedding during Season 7 sweeps and have additional time to make up the reasons for Castle’s abduction.
    Honestly, that storyline is what professional writers actually came up with after nearly a full year? I try and stay away from criticizing the writers because I know how hard their job is. Unfortunately, I can’t help but feel like they didn’t even try to make this story believable. I’ll paraphrase somebody from Tumblr; it’s as if Amann knew he was on the way out so he just said, “CIA did it, whatever.” After watching the episode (some parts multiple times), I am so glad that they chose to ignore Castle’s disappearance for as long as they did.
    I have heard some chatter and pontification that nothing Castle was told about his abduction was true. I choose not to believe that is the case solely because it would be in such poor form. Unfortunately, I’m starting to realize that my standard for the writing on this show needs to dramatically shift downwards.
    During Seasons 1-4 I would defend Castle to the death. I always believed Stana and Nathan deserved more recognition for the way they brought C&B to life, and I truly believed that Castle was a smart, fun, engaging show that had a creative vision for the future. Kill Shot, for example, was a brilliant piece of television. I understand things get harder the longer a show is on the air, but I can’t help but feel that Castle is just a flat out a bad TV show as it stands.
    Season long story arcs are increasingly nonsensical, overwrought, and the characters’ motivations for their actions are constantly changing to fit plot points. I actually had to rewind a part of the episode because I couldn’t’ believe what I was hearing. During the opening scenes Castle is telling Kate how he doesn’t want his dreams to force him to go digging into the past because everything is perfect as it is. Then, literally two minutes later he’s in Dr. Burke’s office telling him how not a day goes by where he doesn’t think bout what happened. Are you kidding me? This example is on a relatively small scale, but it highlights a huge problem that is plaguing the show.
    Anyways, here are just some of my other musings about this episode.
    1- So the reason Castle was abducted was because some foreign exchange student he knew from the 11th grade, who was defecting from Al Qaeda (lol), needed Castle to get safely into the U.S.? That’s correct, right? Yep, I’m at a loss for words. And this just happened to be on his wedding day, and Castle just happened to be the only high-profile person this guy knew who could do it? Talk about contrived.
    2- Chuck Norris? Russian Spies? Thailand? CIA? (as if spy-daddy wasn’t bad enough), Al Qaeda? It’s as if they made a bet to see how many terrible TV tropes they could shoehorn into one episode.
    3- So apparently the CIA actually can wipe people’s memories and insert them with different ones. Did they think they were being clever by mentioning their blatant ripoff of Total Recall? Because all it did was highlight how unbelievable that part was.
    4- Why the money drop after Castle was “abducted”? Why did they even need to wipe his memory in the fist place?
    5- Why did the whole operation take two months? (They specifically said the extraction was urgent). Why couldn’t Castle contact Kate after the immediate threat was neutralized? Why did the CIA just dump his body in the middle of the ocean? Why did any of these completely random things have to happen?
    6- How many times are we gonna have Castle go AWOL by himself this season? How come no one gets to call Castle out on this behavior? Beckett should have been livid for the crap that Castle pulled. She rightfully put a security detail on him because a Russian hit-man was trying to kill him, and he thought it would be okay to go off by himself? If Beckett did something similar the fandom would burn her at the stake. At least when Beckett did dumb stuff in earlier seasons regarding her mothers murder, Castle and the gang got to call her out for her reckless behavior.
    7- Why does everything about Castle need to be over-the-top?
    8- They actually went with the explanation that the reason Castle had to miss his wedding was because he was off saving the world. I sound like a broken record here, but again, I have no words. And the way they had everybody, specifically Beckett, lapping it all up will have me rolling in my grave for eternity.
    9- Oh, and we get to follow up this episode with Castle and Alexis taking center stage next week… yay! Complete sarcasm if it wasn’t obvious enough.
    My last random bits on Season 7, and the way C&B, mostly Beckett, have been written this season.
    The lack of Beckett is so startling when they do high-stakes episodes like this one. She doesn’t even feel important to the story. Castle needs answers for HIMSELF. He goes off to investigate a theory by HIMSELF. Worst of all, Beckett literally has no reaction to any of Castle’s reckless behavior.
    It’s becoming painfully obvious, for as much as some parts of the fandom bemoaned it, that the Johanna Beckett story arc was for the betterment of the show. Even at its worst (Recoil ~ ITBOTB), it was still light years better than overarching story lines we are getting now. This just highlights how badly Castle (the show) needs Beckett at the forefront. What they’ve been experimenting with this season just doesn’t work… at all.
    Feel free to agree, disagree, criticize, or whatever. However, since this will inevitably come up, spare me the notion that I’m not a true fan or that I should stop watching the show. Castle is the only show I’ve ever loved, and to see it going down in shambles like this is devastating. I take little pleasure in pointing out the flaws that are sinking this show faster than the Titanic.

    • Alex says:

      Amen. This was perfect.

    • Cassie says:

      You read my thoughts.

    • JPNS says:

      Wish I had put such an great post together myself : I am thinking the writers have been boxed into a ‘try-to-wrap-it-up’ mode because of all the uncertainty for another season pickup. Problem is, they’re doing it badly !

    • lkh says:

      This is very well written! You sound so much like many of the fans who have become so disappointed to downright disgruntled with what has occurred with a show we all loved. I didn’t dislike this episode as much as some of you did–guess the story was a bit of a stretch but I kinda liked the pace, and I always prefer the more drama centric shows to the silly, goofy ones. Of course with the pace, I thought I was getting a lecture, only about half that I could understand, reminds me of school :[. Unfortunately, as you say, I think the show is past where it should have been done. What I mean, is I always thought the original story was about an annoying writer following a determined police detective and writing about those experiences. I think the whole concept was driven by Beckett’s underlying impetus to find the murderer of her mother. So I believe that Marlowe and company conceived this story to end at the solution to that crime. I think the original concept was over at Veritas, but, alas, they kept going for whatever reasons, I won’t say the word money. Too bad that this extension to the program has changed the Beckett character so much, so that now she is just essentially a prop that stands by him and quietly says a line or two. I agree, we (meaning Castle and Beckett) wouldn’t have had this discussion 20+ weeks after that disappearance, this would have been something we talked about starting episode 2, and probably in a loud voice on occasion. I agree with many that SK should probably not re-sign, but I think she probably will. Next season’s Castle will, I think, be unfortunate from a story and even acting perspective.

      Thanks for all your thoughts–they were very well expressed. It’s for not me to be sorry, ’cause I’m unhappy too, but you do sound so much like a fan who has lost hope in the great show we all used to enjoy.

    • Missy says:


    • Namu says:

      well said

    • lila1star says:

      Agree with everything except the need to have Beckett at the forefront. They need both Castle and Beckett at the forefront.

    • sigh says:

      Absolutely correct on all points.

    • Nancy says:

      Could not agree more! Stana Katic is the show. She and Seamus are able to raise the bar every time they are featured. Sorry folks, but NF has coasted for two seasons now. Without Stana there really is no reason to watch seasons 6 or 7.

    • KCC says:

      While I disagree with much of what you said, you are obviously a fan and your disappointment in the direction the show as taken is well stated. I won’t tell you to stop watching, it’s your hour to spend as you please. The most encouraging thing you said is Castle is the only show you ever loved. I envy the options you have with all the great TV that’s been produced over the decades. While I too love Castle and never missed an episode, there are so many shows better than Castle on so many levels and apparently you don’t watch them or saw them and you get to discover them for the first time. TV life does not begin and end with Castle. Go out and try some other shows, you might find something else you can love. One last bit of unsolicited advice, loving a TV show is not like loving another human being, it’s not till death do us part. You can give up on a TV show and no one will think the worst of you.

    • Pat B says:

      Right on point.

  48. Jennifer says:

    Ok, after watching last nights episode is any indication of where season 8 would be going I don’t blame Stana Katic for not renewing yet. The story lines for this past season have really been off the mark. First he gets kidnapped on his wedding day, then he is missing for 2 months, then he becomes a P.I., then they revisit his kidnapping on and off, then he finally goes to see the doctor that helped Beckett, he finds out he saved 10’s of thousands of lives and now we go into the woods to find out what he saw or did when he was 11 yrs old. Come on writers, get back to the basic of Castle and Beckett solving everyday murders. Stop with the spy crap, stop making Castle look like a goofball and stop making Beckett look like she doesn’t know what she is doing with her life. If you keep it simple the show could go on with the whole cast but keep this crap up and Stana will be gone for sure. I don’t blame her for not wanting anything to do with the stupid story lines here of late. This cast is to talented to make them look this stupid. Also if ABC would just go ahead and say YES we are renewing Castle for another season who knows maybe Stana would go ahead and say yes I’m onboard. It doesn’t do any good for NF and SK to renew if ABC doesn’t pick it up. Why go through all of the contract signings and headaches if ABC says no we are ending it now. You just wasted their time and engery and make them possibly loss out on other shows or movies they could have done. I really hope there is a season 8 and the entire cast is back but if not, I still have my DVD’s of all 6 seasons and I’ll also spend my money on season 7 just to have them all. Plus I have all the books with the 7th one on preorder. I won’t watch Castle though if Stank doesn’ return. It will not be the same and the show can’t survive without her anymore then it could survive without Nathan.

    • geordie boy jimbo says:

      i agree with jennifers comments as above lets hope stana katic returns to castle season eight the story lines need to be improved there for last year our television network in the uk ITV decided to rest law and order uk after eight seasons after the lead actor bradley walsh reportly quit the show ITV may go back to law and order uk at some point in the future it may not

  49. Karen says:

    This show sounded like it was the first copy of another Rick Castle novel. Fictional and fanciful. I,too, was waiting for a “to be continued” disclaimer.

  50. JImN says:

    A number of people have mentioned how they were into the episode, thought it was interesting and then at about the three-quarter mark (when Castle went to the restaurant) the wheels came off the wagon. Yeah, me too. Seen it in lots of books as well where the writer needs another 100 pages or 10 minutes, but that resources isn’t there. At that point the writer starts telling you about things rather than showing you. That is always bad and uninteresting. Taints some otherwise decent work.