Castle returned from its winter hiatus with a bang (yes, pun intended), as Beckett, Castle and crew investigate a murder tied to an arsonist. The episode opens with Esposito and Ryan stuck in a building on fire before we flash back to 12 hours earlier. Nothing good ever happens when a television show flashes back.
The episode was a pretty intense hour to come back from winter break on. In fact, it got pushed up in the episode order, replacing a lighter episode dealing with tabloid magazines and gossip mongering. It is also noted that the episode was co-written by Castle creator Andrew Marlowe.
The episode was case heavy with a few relationship moments peppered in between. Any well-versed television viewer knew Ryan was in trouble because his wife, Jenny, was due to give birth any second. He was checking his phone numerous times waiting on the call.
There were a couple of fun Castle and Beckett moments early in the episode – including Ryan asking Castle when he was going to set a date for his and Beckett’s wedding. Castle quips that he was planning on taking her to the wedding, nodding to Beckett, and she shoots back wondering when that was because she might have plans.
Also, as Ryan, Beckett and Castle are observing the charred dead body in the burned up building, the fire investigator warns that the building is unstable. After doing their initial investigation, the building begins to shudder, and Castle sees that as the sign to exit the building. Beckett shakes her head and mutters “I’m marrying him” with Ryan silently agreeing in disbelief.
The rest of the early part of the episode sets up the big final act which is Ryan and Esposito being stuck in the burning building they went to investigate. Turns out it was the arson’s lair and he booby-trapped it to explode – trapping our bromance heroes in the sub-basement of the building.
The rest of the episode has some tense moments, but is also a bit cliché. Kate Beckett goes all badass when arguing with the New York Fire Department Chief to get her guys out of the building. The audience for Castle is totally behind saving Esposito and Ryan, but think how they would feel if it was a fireman procedural instead of a cop show? We’d be made to think – how dare this cocky cop tell our guys to go back into that fire?
Then of course Jenny is trying to call Ryan. When he doesn’t answer, she calls Kate who has to tell her what is going on. She rushes to the scene and shock upon shock she goes into labor. Lanie urges Jenny to lie down in the ambulance as the contractions continue to come.
When Ryan finds a way to connect a phone line, Beckett gets to talk to him and then hands the phone to Jenny. This was a very powerful scene between Ryan and Jenny as they are facing his possible impending death and the reality that he may never get to see his child. He tells her if it is a boy to name it Javier and Esposito, gasping for breath as the fire is sucking all the oxygen out of the small area, still has enough to harass him about naming an Irish white kid Javier.
Beckett and Castle are still trying to work together the pieces of the case to figure out who the arsonist is – because if this building was his lair then he would have an escape route. When it is revealed that the arsonist is a building inspector, Beckett goes after him and turns on badass Beckett again to get him to tell her about the emergency escape route.
In the end, Esposito and Ryan are rescued. Ryan rushes to the ambulance to find Jenny holding their new baby – a girl named Sophie Grace after Jenny’s grandmother.
Let me just say I was holding my breath hoping it was a girl. I am just a bit frustrated that a supporting character is doing all the things I want to see Castle and Beckett do – date, get engaged, marry and have a baby, before they do. I envision Castle and Beckett having a son – so I didn’t want Ryan and Jenny to take that too.
Honorable mention goes to Captain Victoria Gates who, no matter how hard she is on her people, has their backs. I really liked the scenes at the precinct with members of the 12th worrying over two of their own.
This recap can’t close out without mentioning that Beckett called Castle “babe” for the second time this season – this time in the precinct.