Castle has always done a fantastic job with any episodes involving Johanna Beckett’s murder. Last night revisited that story line and honestly, this was a weaker episode. It’s hard to compare it to some of the other nail-biting, edge of your seat episodes they’ve had in the past, but since it’s not really about who anymore but when, it didn’t seem to pack as much punch. Having said that, there were parts of the episode that were really fantastic.
Jack Coleman plays a great baddie. Senator Bracken sure fits that bill. As we learn, not only does Beckett have a major beef with the Senator, but apparently so do a lot of other people who claim that he is responsible for their love one’s death. In this case, a woman is murdered and she has ties to Senator Bracken so immediately Beckett and the boys think he’s guilty. But as evidence is revealed to them, it turns out that Bracken was not the perp, but the victim. Someone is planning to take out the Senator, this young woman found out and was killed.
The investigation leads to a man named Robert McManus, who we learn his son was murdered and he blames Bracken. In their hunt for McManus, they find his apartment and Beckett, finds him. She sees that he is a broken man and let’s him escape by “missing” when she shoots at him. This really messes with Beckett especially when she finds out that he has C4 he is planning to use to attack Bracken. Now innocent lives, not just Bracken’s, are at risk and this crushes Kate. They track down the vest loaded with C4 and other evidence linking McManus to the crime and they arrest him. None of this sits well with Beckett. The vest was too complex for McManus to have rigged and there were too many pieces of the puzzle that didn’t fit. Eventually, she comes to the conclusion that the bomber is going after Bracken where he is giving a speech on energy conservation. She orders the evacuation of the building and after a quick sweep, nothing was found. The Senator is furious for her blowing his big campaign speech and threatens to take her down. Just when this is looking really bad for Beckett, she starts hearing a pinging sound. It’s the same sound she heard on the cell phone recording the night the young woman was shot. She realizes the bomb is in the car and runs to the Senator to keep from getting into the limo. Just then, the detonator is activated and bomb explodes. Castle tracks down the bomber (who was Bracken’s limo driver for years) and the Senator thanks Beckett for saving his life. The real bomber is captured and McManus was just the man the bomber was framing do deflect attention away from himself.
I loved seeing how this affected Kate. She’s always been a no-nonsense cop. Things are very black and white with her when it comes to the law. In “Recoil” we saw that line blur for the first time in her career. We all know why Kate hates Bracken and that she’s just waiting for the chance to take him down. And we learn in this episode that his criminal acts aren’t limited to just the Johanna Beckett case. Turns out, if the claims against him are true, this man is pretty evil. I give Kate so much credit because, like Castle said, if it were me and this is the bastard that had my mother killed, I’m not sure I would have saved his life. And she did it twice. The first time, she let McManus go because this is a man who is planning on killing the person responsible for her mother’s death. It would certainly keep the blood off her hands and rid the world of an awful human being. So would it really be so bad if she let him go and enact his plan? She realizes that yes it would. Especially when she finds out that this went from a sniper rifle attack, where just Bracken would be killed, to a bombing attack where innocent people would be killed. She could never live with herself if she thought she let a killer go who was now going to destroy innocent people’s lives. So she find McManus and stops him. Only that’s not the right guy. The second time is when she hears the clicking of the cigarette lighter and sees that the bomb is in the Senator’s limo and therefore, she runs to block him from entering the car. So she saves him, twice. Ok technically, McManus wasn’t a killer but in her mind, she wasn’t sure so she just went on the information she had. So from a decision standpoint, where she could choose to let it happen or stop it, twice she chose to stop it.
I think the best part of this episode is seeing Kate struggle so much with this. And it’s completely understandable. The daughter in her wants her mom’s killer to pay for what he did no matter how that happens. But the cop in her says it has been done through the right channels and the right way. She doesn’t have the luxury of allowing someone to commit murder. Well, really no one does, cop or no cop, but the dilemma is slightly stronger when you are an office of the law and you have sworn to always uphold it. Kate’s integrity is a huge part of her makeup. She is incredibly ethical and the lines of right and wrong are always very clear to her. That’s why to see her start to blur that line was really eye-opening from her character’s perspective because she’d never done that before. She would never even think of doing something like that. But cops are not machines and I can’t blame them when a case is personal, that emotions, at times, can cloud their judgement. But Kate stays true to her character and eventually choose the right path. In the end, while watching Bracken on the news with Castle, she tells Castle that eventually he’s slip up and that when he does, she’ll be there to make sure justice is served. I, for one, am really looking forward to watching Kate bring him down.