Castle S5 Ep23 – The Human Factor

This week’s case could be justifiably called ripped from the headlines, but it did a pretty decent job of touching on just a small part of the controversy surrounding drone strikes. Which is to say, if you haven’t already thought of some terrifying implications of the whole drone thing, this episode could help you on your way…

Men in Black

C’mon, Beckett – did you really think the badge would do the trick here?

Beckett, Castle, and the team find themselves in a frustrating spot when their murder victim, his blown-up car, and all the evidence they’ve gathered from the crime scene are confiscated by Homeland Security before they even have a chance to begin investigating the murder. It turns out the victim, Dale Tanner, is a whistleblower who has dedicated his whole life to exposing corruption in the government, the military, and big business. Beckett, of course, does not stand around and let Homeland Security take the case away from her. So the team continues their investigation, and then they run into Tony Almeida! I was very glad to find out that Carlos Bernard’s character wasn’t actually a bad guy; I liked Tony and was saddened at how he went bad on 24. Anyway, in this role, Bernard plays a special investigator for the attorney general, tasked with being an objective investigator into Tanner and his murder. Unlike the Homeland Security agents, though (and by the way, that was some truly stellar acting from the one HS guy who actually got a line), he’s willing to cooperate with Beckett – to an extent, at least.

In the end, I was not very surprised to learn that it was Tanner’s son who stole a copy of the drone-hacking software and used it to murder his father. Well done to the young actor who played him, though. (Also, would Warburg, the guy who developed the hack, really not have thought of the implications of making the software available to whomever wanted it until Tanner pointed them out?)

It was also not too surprising that Tony Almeida would be impressed with Beckett as an investigator and give her the “Come work for us” talk. I think the theme of “Where do we go from here?” has been building up well in the past few (chronological) episodes. While I’m not too worried they’re going to break up the dynamic duo permanently in the season finale by having Beckett go work for the attorney general, it is an opportunity that Kate Beckett as we know her would have trouble ignoring.

It's Tony Almeida! But alive, and a competent, non-evil agent again!

It’s Tony Almeida! But alive, and a competent, non-evil agent again!

On a Castle/Beckett note, I loved Beckett making the toy tank and helicopter attack on Castle after all his declarations about the Rise of the Machines. Hee! Further evidence of just how well she knows him by now. The North by Northwest scene with the two of them in the field was nicely done, too. Now, to wait to find out when Castle will find out about the job offer, and exactly what will come of it, in next week’s season finale…


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