Castle season 7 episode 14 review: Resurrection

The 3XK storyline makes a welcome return in this week's episode of Castle...

This review contains spoilers.

7.14 Resurrection

Jerry Tyson has Ed Turner. Sorry, that’s an anagram, as Castle point out in the last minutes of Resurrection. Jerry Tyson has returned.

I try never to watch the previews for episodes on shows I am reviewing so that those carefully edited scenes don’t led me astray when I start writing. As a result, I rarely know what an episode is going to be about until I sit down to watch it. So when it became clear very early on that Resurrection was carrying on the 3XK storyline, I was so surprised and pleased, I actually yelped.

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Because while Castle is really good when it does its fun episodes, my favorites are always the myth arc episodes. Please forgive my exuberance in advance.

The first of two-parts, most of Resurrection is set-up, designed either to give new viewers the back story on Jerry Tyler and his accomplices (as well as an idea of just how slippery he is) or to distract us—as well as Castle and company—from his actual goal. And distraction is what Jerry Tyson excels at.

In this case, it involves the reappearance of plastic surgeon Kelly Nieman, the woman who is helping him to elude Beckett and Castle (and law enforcement in general) in the sixth season (Disciple) by using her skills to create lookalikes of Lanie and Esposito in order to steal all records on Tyson from the NYPD. This in turn alerts Rick and Kate to the very real likelihood that when Rick shot Jerry and he fell into a river far below, Tyson did not, as everyone assumed, die. This suspicion is all but confirmed when that earlier episode ends with the strains of We’ll Meet Again floating menacingly through Rick’s apartment as the couple stand there, frozen in horror at the implication.

This time, as last time, it is Lanie who raises the alarm, quickly recognizing the MO of 3XK in the murder of a young woman who met her end while running from her killer–although frankly, Lanie’s callout is a bit of a stretch: strangled and tossed in a dumpster is a fairly generic murder and that’s all Lanie knows when she first voices her suspicion. Of course, it’s clear that Lanie’s “recognition” of the MO is done in order to later allow her to retell 3XK’s backstory for viewers not already in the know. It’s then that Lanie informs Kate that she recognizes the handiwork of Nieman on the corpse and suspects that she (and therefore 3XK) might be involved.

Which leads Kate to confront the plastic surgeon who, of course, plays it very cool. Further investigation turns up another of Nieman’s patients – Amy – who looks precisely like the murdered girl but doesn’t take the detectives seriously (though Kate all but forces her card into the girl’s hands with a plea to call her if she knows or learns anything about the case. Finding Amy, in turn, eventually leads them to the apartment of Michael Bourdreau where they manage to stop Jerry Tyson before he crawls out the window.

Except he’s not Jerry Tyson, serial killer. He actually Michael Bourdreau, or at least that’s what he claims, saying that he got plastic surgery from Nieman which made him look like 3XK. Since the records on Tyson are missing, Castle and Beckett visit Tyson’s mother to see if she might provide DNA to prove the man they have in custody in her son. But as she is quick to tell them, she isn’t Tyson biological mom. She does however, have a baby tooth of Jerry’s which gives them the DNA they need. But since Bourdreau isn’t giving them his DNA, they run Tyson’s DNA against that gotten from a beer can from Bourdreau’s apartment. No match.

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In a last-ditch effort, Castle confronts their suspect, trying to get him to slip up and reveal his identity while Kate goes to the rescue of Amy who has called her, scared and ready to talk to the cops. The face-off between Rick and Bourdreau is intense and he seems to admit to being Tyson before twisting the knife in Rick and insisting that he’s actually Bourdreau. The police are forced to release him. He is leaving the precinct with Nieman, who had shown up for some questioning “as a courtesy” to the police, when Rick suddenly realizes that everything thus far has been misdirection to get Kate alone. As he tries to reach his wife, she receives a call again playing “We’ll Meet Again” just moments before someone jabs her with a syringe and she crumples.

So, yeah… set-up and lots of it.  And not surprisingly, done well.

Resurrection was written by David Amann, who took over as showrunner this year, as most episodes dealing with 3XK have been. While the myth arc that finished up at the end of last season about the murder of Kate’s mother was far more emotionally compelling, the 3XK arc has been far better constructed all round. Perhaps due to this particular killer’s reputation as “always one step ahead” and basically playing with Beckett and Castle for his own amusement (they’ve rarely actually gotten all that close to him or even understanding him), the plotting has been more complex than we are used to on Castle. So often, viewers may find themselves (when the writers choose not to cheat and actually give us the clues) guessing whodunit halfway through the average Castle episode. But this has not been true with 3XK-related stories. The twists and turns in these episodes are logical but unpredictable, as a good mystery should be, and having only Amann and Andrew Marlowe writing these episodes has ensured a consistency of quality often lacking on the show. With the Joanna Beckett arc wrapped up, I am guessing next week’s conclusion will not be the end of this storyline. And that’s good news for fans.

And on the subject of predicting story outcomes, I’m gonna go out on a limb here and predict that one plot thread we will see ending next week is Castle as a private investigator. The return of Jerry Tyson has opened the door to the top brass letting Rick back in the precinct, but only for this one case, Capt. Gates assures us. I’m not buying it. My guess is that Rick will do such a great job on this 3XK case that his permission to work with Beckett will be reinstated. Part of me hopes that this will not be the case, as I’ve been enjoying watching him at least somewhat out there on his own. So if I’m forced this week to eat crow over my prediction, it won’t be as unappetizing as one might fear.

Read Laura’s review of the previous episode, I, Witness, here.

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