Seamus Dever is a rock star. I have always been a huge fan of his and Jon Huertas and their renditions of Ryan and Esposito but “Kick the Ballistics” took Det. Kevin Ryan to another level. Remember that pesky, annoying, cunning, devious serial killer known as 3XK? You knew it was only a matter of time before that storyline kicked back into gear. Also, Andrew Marlowe mentioning that the storyline would be coming back in S4, did help solidify the presumption of a return to 3XK. Well, it reared its ugly head on last night’s Castle.
A young woman, Jane, is found shot to death in a pile of cement. According to Castle, they have already found some “concrete” evidence. He makes a “ta-da” gesture at Lainey who rolls her eyes. I found it to be quite funny….more for the delivery than the punch line. I love Nathon Fillion!!! Anyhoo, the immediate suspect is the creepy ex-boyfriend who was last seen on The Chicago Code and as it turns out, while not directly responsible for killing her, he was involved. While Ryan and Esposito are interviewing Finn, the ex-boyfriend, ballistics comes back on the murder weapon and it isn’t good news. Beckett pulls the boys out of the interview and tells them about the report. The ballistics reports match Ryan’s missing Glock 17 that was stolen from him by 3XK. Ryan’s mood completely changes and his worst nightmare has come to life…his service weapon was used in the murder of an innocent girl.
My husband and I went back and forth about this last night. He doesn’t see what the big deal is and why Ryan would be blaming himself. In his mind, Jane was going to be murdered no matter what. Whether it was Ryan’s gun or something else, this girl was going to be murdered and it was the fault of the man who killed her, not Ryan. While common sense tells you that my husband is 100% correct, Beckett sums it up perfectly in 3 words and a contraction….”it’s a cop thing.” Ryan will always blame himself because in his mind, he was irresponsible to let his weapon leave his person and be taken by a serial killer. So no matter what happens as a result, he will always blame himself. As a result, he is not only on a mission to bring this girl’s murderer to justice, but to track down 3XK and make him pay. A really pissed off Kevin Ryan/Seamus Dever is a ridiculously hot Kevin Ryan/Seamus Dever. Sorry, it had to be said.
The thing that makes Castle, as a show, work so well is the strength of its characters. Wow I bet you never heard me say that before! You could feel that what was happening to Ryan, was happening and impacting all of them and each person handled the situation differently. Esposito, being his partner (and could possibly argue BFF), had his back no matter what. He knew exactly how he felt and was going to do anything to help Ryan with this dark cloud that was hovering over him. Beckett was mother bear protecting her cub but in a very respectful way. She also knew how Ryan felt and wanted to help him anyway that she could. You could tell her heart was breaking for him the entire time and she always had the right thing to say or was able to put him in a situation to channel his anger to be protective in solving the case. When he did lose his temper (in the case with the narc detective) she broke up the fight, and calmly told him to go cool off. She never yelled at him or berated him. She always had his back. And I like how Ryan would get angry and driven but he never became out of control or psychotic. And sometimes, characters can cross that line in situations like this…but he never did.
Finally there was Castle. While he has a special connection with Ryan regarding this situation (he was with Ryan in the hotel room when 3XK knocked Ryan out and took his weapon and badge) there are still parts of this situation he can’t possibly understand. It also reminds us that while he’s been a huge asset to the 12th precinct, Castle isn’t a cop. It’s moments like this that not only remind us, but remind him as well. He gets so wrapped up in helping his team and giving them support, that he forgets he’s writer, not a detective. He says he’s Beckett’s partner, but technically, he isn’t. He is the writer permitted to shadow her to assist in his character development, but he’s not her equal. It’s in episodes like this that Martha (Susan Sullivan) always shines. She typically has a 4-5 minute scene with her son but she usually is the voice of realism and consolation. As quirky as Martha is, when it comes to being there for son, she is as solid as the iceberg that sunk the Titanic. But I love seeing an intelligent, confident guy like Richard Castle question his capabilities and where he really fits in with this group. He never should because they really respect and admire him but I get it.
Ultimately, the group solves the case. Turns out, Jane was a tutor and she was tutor a student by the name of Ben Lee. Ben is a member of the Lee family that has mob and drug ties in Chinatown. Ben and Jane fell in love and Ben wanted to get out of the family business, so he and Jane decide to run away together. Finn, Jane’s ex-boyfriend, catches wind of this and doesn’t want Jane to leave. As a result, he calls Ben older brother Phillip, to help make sure Jane doesn’t leave. Turns out, Phillip is the one who killed her but Beckett and the boys didn’t have any proof. Ryan goes undercover with Esposito and are able to get to Ben and tell him that if they help the police, they can help him get the life he has always wanted. Ben consents and agrees to wear a wire. He confronts his brother and at first his brother won’t go there with him. After Ben keeps pushing, Phillip becomes aware of what is going on and asks him if he’s wearing a wire. He pulls a gun on him and it gets very dangerous for Ben. The police bust in to help him and they arrest Phillip. As Phillip is being arrested, Ben pulls a gun and they beg him to put it down. He gets shot by one of the sharp shooters and Ben is dead. Or is he?
Back at the 12th, as the close out the case on Phillip, there is someone who wants to see Ryan to thank him…it’s Ben!!! He’s alive and well and the whole thing was a set up so that he could escape his family with them thinking he was killed. He is going into witness protection to start his life again in L.A. He thanks Ryan profusely and, of course, I am tearing up. In the end, they all toast Ryan and Jane with some Johnnie Walker Red and the case is solved and Ryan’s Glock is no longer out there.
So how did Phillip get the Glock to begin with and how is this whole thing connected to 3XK? When Jerry Tyson (3XK) was in prison, so was Phillip. But Phillip Lee was in prison under his Chinese name, which is why they couldn’t make the connection at first. Tyson and Lee became friends in prison but before that, they were enemies and Lee did something to piss off Tyson. In Lee’s mind, Tyson and he put their differences aside and became friends. Tyson, a sociopath, was using him. Once Lee was out, he and Tyson hooked up and Tyson gave him Ryan’s Glock as a set up. So when Lee was arrested and looking at life in prison, he wanted to make a deal with the cops. He would give him 3XK’s new alias and his location in exchange for 20-25 years with the possibility of parole in 10. Beckett brings this deal to Castle to get his thoughts, and Castle tells her not to make the deal. Castle tells her that 3XK is a liar. How do they have any proof that what he told Lee was the truth. If anything, he would have thought that far ahead, knowing Lee would want to cut a deal, and most likely made everything up to throw the cops off his trail as well as give a convicted felon a much better deal. Beckett agrees and tells him that he’s really starting to think like a cop which makes him (and me) smile.
I want to wrap up by commenting on one particular thing I noticed in last night’s episode. Does anyone else think that Castle may not believe Beckett when she says she remembers nothing about that day? Because I think he doubts her. That feeling was confirmed when they went to go see the body, he gives her coffee and she tells him that he read her mind and seemed a little flirty with him, in my opinion. It was then that Castle asked her, “are you sure you don’t remember anything from that day?” She responds, after a slight hesitation, “nope, nothing.” She walks ahead and the camera stays on him and he has this sheepish grin on his face. Now, I took that to mean, that he doesn’t believe her and that he thinks, she may actually remember. Hmmmmmm. If that’s the case, I wonder where this is going. Will it be Castle admitting to his family that he thinks Beckett knows but he doesn’t tell her? So you will have 2 people knowing what really happened that day but not admitting it to one another? It’s very possible!!!!
What do you think? Did you like the return of the 3XK storyline and the idea that it’s still out there to be solved along with Beckett’s mother’s murder? What did you think of that little scene? Do you think Rick is doubting Kate’s story? Let me know what is on your mind!!!!