Castle, S5 Ep15 – Target

This is the first half of a two-parter, and you guys, it’s a hard hitter.

I think that even if I hadn’t seen some promo-type stuff about this ep before I saw it, I’d have started to guess what was coming pretty early on, what with the beginning scene of Martha and Rick discussing how much they miss Alexis, and then of course the girl who goes to Columbia gets kidnapped. Also, it kind of had to happen sooner or later that Alexis would be put in real danger. But I appreciate that it doesn’t seem to be Castle’s fault at all that his daughter was taken along with poor Sara; I think going that route would have been cliched. Another thing I appreciate: so far, at least, Agent Harris from the FBI (played by Dylan Walsh) is businesslike, competent … and not either condescending or evil.

This ep was the first time NF has made me cry.( Not that I didn't think he could.)

This ep was the first time NF has made me cry. (Not that I didn’t think he could before, but still).

Although it was more than a bit heavy-handed to set up Alexis’s kidnapping by having Castle watch Sara’s grieving, terrified parents – and listening to the father emphasize how Sara is his only child and he’ll do anything to get her back – I couldn’t help but be affected by his empathy. In fact, this ep was (and the next one will be, I’m sure) another excellent opportunity for Nathan Fillion to remind us all that, while he has wonderful comedic timing, he can do drama very, very well, too.

One other well done element of this episode: the little moments where Beckett supported Castle at the precinct, even though this meant they were in full view of Captain Gates. In these moments, it’s clear that Gates saw it and recognized it as more than just a partner caring for a partner. But she didn’t bust them. What’s more important is getting a daughter back to her father, and Gates knows it.

And now, probably my favorite part of the episode: Castle’s confrontation with the getaway driver of the van that transported Sara and Alexis from the site of their abduction. It might be completely cliche, but I don’t care – I love these kinds of scenes. (For instance, I enjoyed Taken not only for Liam Neeson being awesome, but for Liam Neeson as a father hunting for his daughter and taking vengeance on those who took her). So, when Beckett left the room, leaving Castle alone with the man who refused to give them the information he had about Alexis, the lovable, buffoonish Rick Castle disappeared for a moment, to be replaced by a father who will do anything for his loved ones. You could call him Captain Malcolm Reynolds right then, and you wouldn’t be wrong.

Mal's here

You might say he aims to misbehave. You’d be right.

So, the episode ends with Alexis having proved her grandmother right: the clever, resourceful young woman manages to get herself and Sara out of their locked cell – only to discover that the cell is in a building in Paris, somehow – just before being recaptured. What happened to Sara? Will Castle, the FBI, and the precinct be able to use the Skype call Alexis made to track her down now that they know she’s in Paris? (The answer to that is yes, I’m fairly certain). Will Mal/Castle go all Liam Neeson on the kidnappers’ collective asses? And will Gates confront Rick & Kate after this is all over? We only have to wait a week to find out…