Castle, S5 Ep13 – Recoil

It’s a return to the overarching mystery of Johanna Beckett’s murder this week, but thankfully, it’s not as overly angsty as it could have been. It probably helps that it’s not sweeps or the season finale. In fact, the ep strikes the perfect balance of plot and character development, continuity, and justified angst, as well as setting up some interesting things to come. (Just, please, writers, do not take this whole Bracken-is-going-to-be-president thing in a similar direction as the show Dead Zone took it in its later, crazier years.)

The case that starts it all this week is the murder and attempted disposal of a young woman who turns out to have been seen in Senator Bracken’s company before she was killed. Of course, our gang immediately assumes the slimy Senator was having an affair with her and had her killed when she became troublesome – but it turns out young Melanie actually got in the way of an assassination attempt on the Senator during a pivotal conference.

Whoa. Beckett's blouses might be a little low-cut sometimes, but there's no need to go to the opposite extreme!

Whoa. Beckett’s blouses might be a little low-cut sometimes, but there’s no need to go to the opposite extreme!

This causes Beckett some understandable conflicted feelings: she still deeply wants Bracken dead, but her duty to her job and to herself means she must prevent Bracken’s murder. I enjoyed most of the scenes between Bracken and Beckett, for the simple pleasure of watching the simmering, mutual loathing between the two of them. Also, Jack Coleman is great. This is a good role for him so far.

When there were still ten minutes left after they caught the schizophrenic would-be assassin and found the bomb he had supposedly planned to set off at the conference, it confirmed my suspicions that someone close to Bracken was actually the one trying to kill him. I assumed it was going to be his chief of staff, since we’d already seen him on screen and we knew he had access to the death threats. So well done on not going the more obvious route there, show. Although it was not at all surprising that Beckett would end up saving Bracken’s life – somewhat against her wishes – that was handled well, too. The fact that Castle made sure Beckett was okay after the bomb blast, and then tackled the guilty driver himself, was very true to how he has grown as Kate’s partner in both senses of the word.

I’m glad that Beckett was hesitant over revealing the death threat, the handwriting of which matched that of the note they found in the trunk. That rang true, but it would have rung less true if she had actually decided to burn it, and especially if she hadn’t told Castle about it. Plus, her distress over the right course of action gave us an opportunity to see Dr. Worf (her therapist) again, which is always a good thing.

What is this feeling? (Answer: loathing.)

What is this feeling? (Answer: loathing.)

One random question: was the interrogation room always that huge? It seemed to me like it grew to twice or three times as large as usual, in the scene with Beckett interrogating McManus. Anyone else notice that?

Anyway, now Bracken’s in Beckett’s debt, and although she’d definitely rather not be in that position, I’m sure it’ll provide some interesting results in the future. Hopefully it’ll provide some good Jack Coleman screen time, too.