Castle has held up its end of the bargain this season with more fun episodes and the added plus of our favorite fearless writer and sexy female cop in the Tri-State area finally being together. With still no word yet on whether there will be a sixth season, diehard fans, like yours truly, are clinging to what could be our last call with Castle, Beckett and the gang. Why they would sink the ship at this critical juncture of five scant seasons (not that long in the scheme of hit shows), I do not know. For this second to last episode of the season, I am holding on tight to what could be the last installments of one of my Top 10 favorite shows. I’ll tell you the truth…I am this close to starting a web-based petition to keep the show on the air. Because I got nothing else going on come Monday nights. I NEED the show to stay put!
This week, our fearless heroes step into the world of corporate whistleblower Dale Tanner, who runs a website calling out business big shots for their gross maleficence. When Mr. Tanner walks to his car, just after eight in the morning, it explodes in what appears to be a routine car bomb. By the time Caskett and company arrive to the scene, they are puzzled to see that there are all sorts of Men in Black and mysterious suits taking control of the area. Never to be usurped, Beckett takes the investigation by the throat and arrests one Jared Stack (24’s Carlos Bernard), a government spook who has been assigned the case by the U.S. Attorney General. Now the higher ups know that something is up and Beckett and the team join up with Stack to try and crack just who exactly was operating the drone that blew up Tanner’s car.
Naturally, Castle believes that this is Skynet and the Rise of the Machines taking over and that Drones. Missiles and robots have achieved consciousness! You gotta’ love Castle’s crazy theories, no matter how hackneyed they may be. When push comes to shove, the Feds will not divulge what they know about the mysterious whistleblower that has been blown to bits. But after a visit to the victim’s wife and son, they find out that the government, big business and major firms that he’d exposed were tracking Tanner. While it is a pretty vague lead, the team gets on it immediately and soon discovers that this goes way above their pay grade. When Stack is finally onboard with the NYPD, he shares compelling evidence that the government has gathered. It turns out that the drone was on a routine training run over Long Island, of all places, before being taken over by someone. After the Armed Forces lost control, the drone struck Tanner’s car with a missile clearly set to specifically take out the designated target. Someone has hacked the drone software and the Feds were picking up an encrypted signal that was sent out the second that the pilot lost control of the unmanned aircraft.
Only a small number of people could have taken over that drone and Stack is done sharing information…for now. While their usual hijinks ensue, Castle and Beckett head upstate to Woodstock where a mysterious man named Warburg resides. The man is a brilliant programmer that overcame severe OCD to become a top tier hacker. Before meeting the man in person, they have a real life North by Northwest moment as an unmanned flying vehicle shoots at the intrepid duo. It could be considered lucky that Beckett shoots it down, however the drone was only firing blanks. Warburg believed that drones were going to be used against our own people and that they would become progressively more advanced. First scout drones, then traffic drones, then defense drones and finally…well, Rise of the Machines! Castle was not so far off.
Yet, it turns out that Warburg is not behind Tanner’s death. As much as he fits the profile of who they are looking for, the extremist does not have the makeup of a killer. Caskett get as much as they can from Warburg after he divulges just exactly what he knows.
The tandem of Castle and Beckett investigating crimes together makes them that much more likable. So, they are sleeping together? Big deal. It was a natural evolution of their relationship after four long seasons of buildup. And the payoff was better than I expected. When they finally get down to brass tax, it seems that they did not have to look that far to actually find the killer. I totally did not call this one, despite being good at guessing the killer. It simply did not play out the way I expected. Sometimes, the person closest to a victim is someone that is involved…at least by television dramedy standards. But what I feared would happen did: the case was neatly wrapped up in a nice bow.
Agent Stack asks to speak with Beckett at the end of the investigation. He divulges that he too was once a homicide cop in the Windy City before getting tapped to work in D.C. To say that he is impressed with what he has seen in Kate is an understatement. Although Beckett is standoffish, Stack lays out what could be the next step in her career: working for the Department of Justice and the Attorney General. However, the job is in Washington and Beckett is a New York City kind of gal. More importantly, NYC is practically a character of its own on the show and Castle lives and breathes Manhattan. You can tell that Stack gets under Beckett’s skin when he asks if she wants to be interrogating perps five years from now. We are left hanging as she dances around an answer. I will say this: the preview for next week’s season finale has Caskett come to a crossroads in their relationship. The good news is that it is billed as SEASON FINALE and not SERIES FINALE. Maybe we have dodged a bullet for now. Hopefully, we can squeeze one more year out of the 12th Precinct and everyone’s favorite mystery author.
Den Of Geek Score: 4 Out Of 5 Stars