This week we are treated to an outstanding episode that was six years in the making. Any Castle fan worth their salt knows that Beckett has been hell bent on catching her mother’s killer ever since she joined the NYPD. Finally we get the big payoff after years of patiently waiting as fans of the show. After a few duds this season, particularly in the last month, Castle roars back to life like a phoenix as we get back to the gritty crime drama and mystery that is the staple of the veteran show. I like that they have kept this particular thread open all these years because it built a great deal of momentum as we eased back into the plot line. We even get to see the return of Captain Montgomery in a flashback sequence! An excellent episode on all accounts. Finally Beckett can move on. So exactly what happened in this jam packed hour?
After years of investigation and dead end leads we learn that Kate has been doing some moonlighting and continuing to obsess and track possible suspects in the case. Sure, its dangerous, but Beckett has never been one to back down from a challenge. She will not rest until someone answers for her mother’s death.
When she tracks political consultant Jason Marks getting into a town car, she logs it into her detailed journal after taking a slew of photos. Kate is surprised the next morning when the fresh body the gang is inspecting is none other than Mr. Marks. Besides the driver of the town car, Kate was the last person to see him alive but she has to keep it quiet. A traffic cam caught the driver on tape and it is none other than notorious drug lord Vulcan Simmons who we have seen on the show for years (most recently back in March).
When Beckett figures out where the town car might be, she goes rogue again and finds it with blood all over it and Vulcan Simmons waiting in the wings. She leaves him alone but is found dead the next morning. Hmmm…While she shares what happened with Castle, things take a turn for the worse when Lanie reveals that the slug found in Vulcan is from a gun registered to Beckett. With Internal Affairs looming, Kate makes a run for it and is now a fugitive.
With Castle in tow, Beckett is on the run and her face is all over the news. Cloaked in a hoodie, Beckett is running out of time and needs to make her move ASAP. Desperate for leads, Caskett discover that the elusive Mr. Smith is not really dead and is living in the shadows. They set up a cliched meet in a parking lot where they try and get any intel they can.
As you may remember, Smith was the one that Montgomery sent the package of evidence to before his demise back in season 3’s finale. We already know that soon-to-be Presidential candidate Senator Bracken is behind everything but it is a matter of proof. Smith discloses that there still may be a tape floating around out there that has a recording of Bracken admitting to murder as well as a bunch of other crimes including the murder of Johanna Beckett. Whoa! Not only that, but Bracken’s entire political operation is being financed by drug money. That’s a lot to take in but it plays out nicely.
While Esposito and Ryan regale Captain Gates with the whole story behind Johanna Beckett’s murder, Caskett check into a shady motel. When Castle leaves to borrow a car, Bracken and two of his thugs enter the room and Beckett is face to face again with the man who figuratively killed her mother. Beckett practically pleads for Bracken to personally pull the trigger but he leaves his dirty work to his men. After being tied down to a chair, drugged and force fed booze, they are setting her up to make it look like a suicide. However, Beckett, always the tough cop spits out the pill they gave her and shoots and kills both men but not before passing out from having a lamp slammed over her head.
While out cold and headed to Canada, Beckett has a very telling dream/memory of of her first meeting with Montgomery that may just be the key to cracking the case. With this new information, the pair turn around and head back to NYC to search Beckett’s apartment for the elusive cassette. Before they could do a solid search, they are arrested and brought back to the 12th for booking. Just then Beckett has a revelation and figures out where to look for the tape. It was a little bit of a longshot for me to buy, but it was time for this six year long storyline to end. And it ended in satisfying fashion.
I watched the episode twice to really take in all of the events that have transpired for all of these years come together. Seeing Beckett slap the cuffs on Bracken in Washington, D.C. was truly rewarding especially for die hard fans like myself. It is hard to keep a storyline like this one alive for such a long period of time and Castle really handled it well, weaving it into the underlying narrative. You always knew that no matter what case Beckett cracked it was one step closer to becoming the cop that could catch her mother’s killer. Well done.
Next week: A very Castle wedding!