“Still” was supposed to air before “The Squab and the Whale,” so I’m recapping them in that order, because I’m insane like that. (Because of the bomb theme in “Still,” the order was switched after the Boston Marathon bombing.) But “Still” is an odd episode of Castle to start with: ABC ordered an extra episode relatively late in the season, so the partial clip show nature of this episode saved them some time in production, though I must admit that I found it quite delightful anyway.
We start the episode with an adorable domestic scene in which Castle makes Beckett breakfast in bed and they start cutely arguing over whether she fell for him right away when they met – which sets things up for all the flashbacks later in the episode. But they’re soon called away to the apartment of Archibald Fosse, a suspect in an explosion the previous night. The cops catch Fosse after he goes out the window, but he remotely triggers a bomb in the apartment that becomes active when Beckett steps on the floorboards covering it – so she can’t move until the bomb squad figures out how to disarm it, or it will blow up the entire building.
The bulk of the episode happens while Beckett’s standing there on the bomb and Castle is trying to keep her distracted. The cops try to evacuate Castle along with everyone else, of course, but he refuses to go, and they “argue” about different aspects of their past, each of which leads into a clip sequence. (They even get to the point of calling up their friends to demand to know who was interested in whom first.) I know some viewers were annoyed by these clip sequences, but I thought they were a nice way to celebrate the series and how far the character have come. And they were framed to alternate between Castle’s and Beckett’s points of view, which was a clever way to show how people can remember the same events very differently.
Meanwhile, the rest of the team rushes to solve the case and save Beckett. It turns out that Fosse was going after people who were involved in his conviction for a previous bombing as well as cops in general – hence the bomb in the apartment. There’s a disarm code for the bomb, but Fosse won’t give it up unless he gets amnesty, and the cops (reasonably) cannot put Beckett’s one life above the lives of all the other people Fosse might kill if they let him go. Once Fosse kills himself in prison, they realize that he was dying of brain cancer – and that he was trying to find his child before he died.
The bomb squad puts a camera in the floor to get a look at the bomb, only to realize that it’s on a timer and will go off soon whether Beckett moves or not. Beckett makes Castle promise to leave if it gets to that point, rather than die with her, but he comes back – and at the very last moment, they try Fosse’s child’s name as the disarm code, and it works. Phew. We never seriously thought they might die, of course, but it was an effective episode anyway. And of course: Beckett: “Thank you for staying with me.” Castle: “Always.” Aww. And one important fact comes to light in the aftermath of the bomb scare: Gates has known about Castle and Beckett’s relationship for some time and was just trying to maintain plausible deniability. That’s not a surprise, and I’m glad it’s out in the open now.
(Image courtesy of ABC.)