Castle S7 Ep18 – At Close Range

So I guessed correctly that both of the guest stars I know the best from tonight’s ep were involved in the case – but not how they were involved.

CTU Director Michelle Dessler

Look! It’s Michelle, and she’s alive! Okay, it’s not really Michelle. But it totally is.

This week, Ryan is working another protective detail, as a nice bit of continuity about his second job he took to provide for his daughter’s college fund. His brother-in-law Frank, played by Ian Quinn I mean, David Conrad, got him this job protecting Senator Lopez at a charity dinner. But despite their efforts, an assassin apparently tries to kill the senator, killing his good friend and founder of the charity Carolyn Decker instead. Ryan, naturally, takes this as a failure on his part.

Suspicion first falls on a paranoid blogger who believes the government is corrupt and is destroying the country. But it’s not him – and neither is it the rich guy who Ryan heard threaten the senator that he would never be president. Neither is it Lopez’s wife, played by Michelle Dessler Reiko Aylesworth – even though Lopez was having an affair with Carolyn Decker. In fact, it’s Lopez’s chief of staff, who was afraid she was about to be fired at Decker’s recommendation. But as I suspected, Ryan’s brother-in-law was guilty of something: providing the press pass to the blogger so he could make some extra cash on the side. He was only trying to provide for his family, though, so he’s not really slimy.

So Ryan, despite taking all this very personally (especially Frank’s involvement), doesn’t go too far off the reservation in working to solve the case. It’s kind of a nice change. He does point his gun at a suspect, and goes off to talk to his bro-in-law by himself, but that’s the extent of it. Seamus Dever does a solid job portraying Ryan’s betrayal when he finds out about Frank, and his tense but caring interactions with his sister Gwen.

Random note: I think this is the second ep in a row where Esposito has been dressed in a suit. Lookin’ sharp, Espo (not that you don’t even when you’re not in a suit).

Ryan in danger?

I’m really glad Ryan didn’t get attacked when he went to talk to Frank alone in the creepy dark tunnel.

A side plot of the episode is the development of Beckett’s thoughts about her future. She wants to make a difference in the world, like Carolyn Decker did with her foundation. Castle sweetly and genuinely says she does make a difference, but doesn’t push it when Beckett says it’s not the same. And then at the end, Castle sees that she’s studying for the captain’s exam, just to see if that might shed some light on her future. This is after she and Castle have a little discussion about how more politicians should actually care about the country. Hmm. So Captain Beckett, and then later Senator Beckett, and then President Beckett? With her loving, supportive husband by her side? Sounds good to me. I’d vote for her.