Castle, S4 Ep15 – Pandora

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Hello and welcome to my first Castle recap! If you haven’t been watching the show before this, first of all, why not? The lead character is played by Nathan Fillion! Second of all, don’t worry: you don’t really need a lot of backstory — certainly not for this episode.

Okay, down to business. The case of the week opens with the first victim being thrown out an apartment building window to land (of course!) on a car parked below. He was also stabbed in the neck with a pencil, shot, and choked, according to Lanie’s preliminary examination at the scene. A security camera near the apartment building reveals the murderer kidnapping a woman as she tries to hail a taxi. When Beckett and team track him down at the woman’s apartment, the guy seems less than alarmed to have been caught. In fact, the guy — Thomas Gage — is rather irritatingly smug during the interrogation, saying that whatever they have on him is “all going away.” And so it does: the John Doe victim vanishes from the morgue before the autopsy really gets started, the team discovers Gage isn’t even the murderer’s real name, and ‘Gage’ himself somehow manages to escape from holding. The team finds that he used his time in the precinct to look up a woman’s address. When Castle and Beckett get to her house, climate scientist Tracie McGrath is already dead. But before Lanie and the rest of CSU arrive, Beckett and Castle are forced out of the house at gunpoint, with hoods over their heads! Gasp! Okay, how many times have these two been kidnapped just in recent memory?

"I had a hood over my head, okay? So don't mock my frizzy hair."

The next thing we know, the two are in an underground bunker, being greeted by the beautiful Agent Sophia Turner of the CIA (more on her further on). She and her colleagues make sure Castle and Beckett know that revealing any of what they’re about to learn is a treasonous offense, punishable by death, blah blah: Thomas Gage is a highly trained, highly skilled rogue asset — like Jason Bourne but a bad guy, as Castle says later — and the John Doe was an operative who failed to bring him in. Meanwhile, Esposito and Ryan learn that Tracie McGrath skipped work yesterday for something she called “PANDORA” in her schedule. Way to leave something obviously classified in an easy-to-access place, Tracie. According to Turner, “Pandora” is the code name for Gage’s mission. Based on its name and on who Gage is, it can’t be anything good. In fact, it seems to be plans for a catastrophic event of some kind. The CIA wants Beckett and company to keep working to find Gage; they’ll share information as freely as they can with Beckett as long as she shares everything with them, and only reports to Sophia. Castle is more than fine with this arrangement. Beckett? Not so much.

Anyway, while revisiting Tracie’s house, the duo discover a set of car keys for a classic car. This leads them to some cute flirting about Beckett’s knowledge of classic cars, as well as to a long-term parking garage. The trunk of the classic car holds a mysterious metal briefcase. Despite Castle’s warning that this could be the real-life version of Pandora’s Box and that she shouldn’t open it, Beckett does so, revealing a “military-grade cell phone” and a scrambler. But before the two can try to figure out what number Tracie called last, Gage shows up. He grabs Beckett’s gun, takes their phones and the super spy phone, and orders the two investigators into the trunk of the car.

Beckett makes short work of breaking them out of the trunk of the car (as I mention in my favorite moments), just in time for the CIA to bring them back to their underground lair. One of the agents returns Beckett’s gun to her — a good detail, especially since we’ve already seen this season what bad things can happen when a law enforcement officer loses his weapon — and the resources of the CIA allow them to discover who Tracie called yesterday, even without the phone or number. It’s Virgil Incanto, the fat-sucking vampire from the X-Filesepisode “2Shy”! Don’t ever talk to anyone in a chatroom, folks, or they’ll track you down and try to kill you by eating all the fat in your body!

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