Let’s get the elephant in the room out of the way before continuing onto the recap of the episode. Kate Beckett was fired from her Attorney General’s job in Washington DC. She did the right thing, following her near black-and-white code that she lives by and paid the price.
This was foreshadowed in the previous episode when Beckett learned the General was going to get away with his past crimes. Many can live with this, but not Beckett. All she sees is the need for justice. And that narrow-minded focus works great for her as a New York City police detective, but not so much for a federal job in the corruptible city of Washington DC.
So this question is poised. What was the whole point of the DC story-arc?
If in the end Beckett didn’t get to leave on her on accord, doesn’t that make her look like a failure? Cracks in the job were showing on Beckett in the season premiere as evident in her never truly unpacking her apartment in DC and not to mention her going against the director when Castle was in danger.
But to have her fired? The audience knew Beckett would return to New York – the show couldn’t sustain a split cast. And if the writers fired her to go against the audience belief she would quit, then it was shock writing for the value alone.
The only saving grace would be in the next episode where we learn of Beckett’s struggle after being fired – maybe have her reveal she never failed at anything in her life and being fired is a failure for her. I just don’t want to see her automatically get a free pass back into the NYPD.
After all that, now on to the case-of-the-week and “the return” of Kate Beckett to the 12th precinct as a federal agent – even if her absence did turn out to be shortlived.
No one can really focus on the case-of-the-week until talking about the opening scene between Kate Beckett and Richard Castle. Showing how they are getting by with the distance between them truly is refreshing for the fan base – they really are completely in love with each other and it’s nice to see it. FaceTiming each other in bed, both truly missing the each other, with Beckett teasing her “favorite position” is in person as the camera pans to reveal they are talking to each other on their phones.
Beckett has to sign off because work is calling and she promises she will try and get away for the upcoming weekend. You can see Castle mentally crossing his fingers. He misses her and she misses him. They are partners in every sense…
Castle is still dealing with the unwanted houseguest, Pi, who seems right at home in his loft. His mother Martha advises he can’t push his daughter Alexis too much about the situation unless he wants the boy to be a permanent fixture.
Just as Castle is looking for a way to escape his crowded loftm he sees an intriguing case on his television screen. A former 90’s sitcom star has been murdered in a gruesome manner, his torso hanging from a construction hook, and then he sees his “boys” Javier Esposito and Kevin Ryan in the background. Castle is on the case.
He does get shut down momentarily both when Esposito denies his call and then when rookie detective Grant “Sully” Sullivan tries to keep him out of the crime scene. Castle gets the boys attention, lets them know Captain Gates is out of town and she would never know, and he is back assisting the NYPD.
Just as Castle and the boys are starting to dive into the case, Gates comes out of her office. She has come back a day early from her conference and informs Castle that he has no reason to be at the precinct now and is about to tell him to hit the pavement when she is interrupted. Agent Rachel McCord and Agent Kate Beckett arrive and inform Gates they are taking over the case and the NYPD can assist.
The looks on Castle and Beckett’s faces are priceless. Both are so excited to be in the same room, in the same city. When Beckett tells Castle she didn’t say anything about coming because she wanted to surprise him, he smiles a big goofy grin and states “well done.”
So, Beckett is on the other side of the fence. For five years when feds and agents came in to take over the case she was working on, Beckett was livid. Now it is time for Esposito and Ryan to adopt her indignation.
As all entities dive into the investigation, the story begins to unveil itself, but Esposito and Ryan want to know what McCord and Beckett have in regards to the investigation. So, they send in their secret weapon – Beckett’s fiancé, Castle. He tries to back out saying he can’t do that to his fiancée because they made a deal he wouldn’t stick his nose into her investigations anymore since DC. He states that there are boundaries and Ryan pipes up that Castle’s relationship with Beckett is all about crossing boundaries.
Beckett rushes into the break room after Castle texts her and her face is full of love. Castle offers her a latte, including his signature heart design, and tries to get information out of her. With a devilish grin, Beckett states, “Castle, you aren’t going to Castle me out of this one.”
She teases some more nodding her head, when he asks to nod once or twice to his question, never revealing anything and then exits slyly when McCord calls her away.
Ryan is fanboying all over the place with the case since he was a huge fan of the show “2 Cool for School” and saddened that the geeky star, Charlie Reynolds, was murdered. Castle and the boys even visit the set of the comeback movie for the show and this is where it is revealed the “Nikki Heat” movie became a direct-to-DVD release.
As is par for the course in most Castle murder cases, the murder is never what it seems. It is soon revealed the victim, Charlie Reynolds, was actually a CIA operative and was trying to take down a Russian mafia ring that was smuggling guns into the US.
Soon, all the parties involved are told to back down – the case is closed as the CIA is looking at the bigger picture. Reynolds was just a casualty. Beckett can’t accept this and slips Castle a USB drive with footage that may reveal who had been following Reynolds. This re-opens the investigation, pleasing Gates and enraging McCord.
McCord, Beckett, the boys and Castle find out Charlie Reynolds had a relationship with the Russian mob leader’s niece, Svetlana, and the couple planned to run away together.
Ironically, it wasn’t the Russians who killed Charlie Reynolds but his former co-star, a washed up actor who became enraged when Charlie was going to walk away from the project. They argued and he pushed Reynolds off the building and killed him.
The CIA looks to salvage its operation and tries to force Sveltana into going under cover to inform on her family – it is something Beckett can’t stomach. McCord just shrugs it off and says it is what it is. For Beckett, that is not something she can live with. As Beckett is saying goodbye to Esposito and Ryan, a TV report reveals Sveltana’s connections to Reynolds, thus outing her and making her useless to the CIA.
At the close of the episode, Castle and Beckett are lounging together on his couch in the loft. Castle tells her he loves her a little bit more for what she did. Then Castle tells Beckett they need to talk. It isn’t working, he states – living in two different cities and never seeing each other.
Let’s just say Castle needs to work on his delivery because the look on Beckett’s face rivals the look she had in the season five finale when she thought Castle was breaking up with her. Just like when he offered her the engagement ring, he has another surprise up his sleeve – this time a key to an apartment in DC. It has a small home office because he can write from anywhere and he just wants to be with Beckett.
Beckett grabs him and kisses him, holding tightly. The sacrifice he is willing to make again solidifies, for her, that Castle is in this relationship for the long haul just as she is. A knock on the door interrupts them and Castle goes to the door, telling Beckett it better not be Martha, Alexis, and Pi because he sent them on a Yoga retreat for the night.
Castle opens the door and it is McCord on the other side. She says the powers that be know it was Beckett who leaked the information on Sveltana. She continues to say that, although Beckett is a great agent and she respects her for what she has done, Beckett is fired.