Castle, S4 Ep15 – Pandora

Not a vampire

This time, he's just scruffy and paranoid, not evil. As far as we know.

No, actually, this time that actor is playing Dr. Nelson Blakely, a genius former CIA consultant mathematician, who was supposed to have died in 2002. (You might also recognize the actor, Timothy Carhart, from recurring roles on CSI or 24, by the way.) Blakely had been instrumental in developing models for the CIA to “create geopolitical change”. They used to give him a problem, like regime change in a certain country, and he’d find a way to make one small change that would lead to the larger change, which he called his “linchpin theory.” Sophia and the other main agent whose name I’ve never bothered to remember think that this means Blakely is involved with Pandora, as a hired gun like Gage. This is a very, very bad thing, if true.

After the superspy tech people interpret Blakely’s lip movement on the surveillance video, they discover he spoke to Tracie in code — code made up of a series of chess moves. What the moves are isn’t that important. What’s important is that the CIA, for all its code-cracking resources, doesn’t know what it means. The CIA and our dynamic duo part ways for the time being. Beckett wants to track down Gage, but Castle wants to break the chess code. Beckett says he’s welcome to focus on Blakely, but that means that he’s now on Sophia’s team: “because the way you look at her, you sure as hell aren’t on mine.” Oooh. Castle looks crushed but determined.

Back at his home, Castle and his mother come to the conclusion that the two bishops and the pawn involved in Blakely’s code might not have to do with a chess game at all. Uh, guys, you know I love you, but I thought of that almost immediately. Guess I’m smarter than some CIA analysts, crime novelists, and stage actresses. At the precinct, Esposito has discovered the connection between Tracie and Blakely: he was her professor at grad school, and she and some other students were on a whitewater rafting trip with him when he supposedly drowned. Castle decides to man up and bring his chess discovery to his real partner, Beckett, instead of Sophia (yay!). She graciously accepts his information, and with the idea in mind that the three chess pieces might represent a place for the meeting between Tracie and Blakely, they quickly decipher the message: Brooklyn Bridge Park.


A beautiful view - unless you're rushing toward it in a car and you can't stop.

After a wait, Blakely shows up, looking very paranoid and tense. He agrees to go with Beckett after she tells him about Tracie’s death, but he demands to be driven to Pier 32, after which he’ll tell them about Pandora. On the way, he informs them that he knew the CIA would never let him leave, so he faked his death to get away from them. He is terrified when he hears that the people trying to implement Pandora killed Tracie, saying that the situation is even worse than he thought. At the pier, Blakely confesses that “Pandora” was the name of a paper he wrote for a think tank about vulnerabilities in the US government. He says he found a linchpin tied to the economy that would cause everything to collapse and fail — and then Tracie found out that the think tank for which he wrote the paper never really existed. Uh oh. But of course, before Blakely can tell our duo what the linchpin is, he gets spooked, runs out of the car … and is shot in the back. Then the shooter’s SUV pushes Beckett and Castle off the pier into the water, as the two call each others’ names in terror. To Be Continued!

That was a pretty good episode. I look forward to part 2, and seeing whether this Pandora business is in some way tied to the overarching conspiracy surrounding Beckett’s mother’s murder. I suppose if that does turn out to be the case, we can expect Gage to recur as a villain for a while. By the way, if the name “Thomas Gage” sounds faintly familiar to you, it may be because that was the name of the British governor of Massachusetts at the time of the Boston Tea Party. According to Wikipedia, his actions helped spark the Battles of Lexington and Concord, and he was in command of the Redcoats at Bunker Hill. The latter fact led to his removal from command. I wonder if we’ll see some similarities between this historical Gage and the rogue agent of these episodes.

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