Castle: Countdown

We’re finally in the second half of this two-parter! Will Castle and Beckett make it out of the freezer alive? (Um, probably. The show has already been renewed, after all.)

We jump right back into the Mystery of the Week when Fallon’s team finds the missing truck. There’s no bomb in it, and they realize it’s a diversion. Meanwhile, Castle and Beckett are stuck in the freezer, and Castle figures out that the actual bombers kept Jamal’s body on ice so they they could later put it in the van with the bomb. Then the police would find his DNA adn assume he was the terrorist. There’s no cell signal in the freezer, and no way out from the inside; Castle and Beckett estimate that they’ll only survive for a few hours at most. Luckily, Alexis is on the case and calls Ryan when she can’t get in touch with her dad.

Ryan looks into Jamal’s employees at the moving company, but doesn’t think they make sense as terrorists – they’re Middle Eastern, but they have no criminal records and are mostly citizens. Meanwhile, Fallon tries to figure out the bombers’ target, suspecting that it’s a large event and/or something to do with politics or government, like the UN. Once Castle and Beckett are rescued (more on that later), they add even more urgency to the investigation with their announcement that they saw the bomb and that it’s set to go off at 4 pm.

When Esposito determines that Kevin McCann didn’t show up for his shift at work or answer his phone, Fallon sends him to McCann’s address, but it’s a dead end. They look up McCann’s military service and find that he did six tours in Afghanistan – but that the real McCann is dead and therefore someone has stolen his identity. McCann’s phone is found in a dumpster, wiped clean, and pulling prints from the cabs he drove would take too long because of the multiple drivers and passengers involved. Castle theorizes that the actual bomber knew McCann, and that there’s an Afghanistan connection.

The real McCann’s sister identifies the fake McCann as her brother’s best friend, Radford Hayes. She says Hayes was angry at how the troops in Afghanistan were politicized and ignored, and said that the country needed another wake-up call and “maybe next time we’d get it right.” She gives the cops the phone number she has for Hayes and they find his location by triangulating from cell towers. Fallon and the police find Hayes on the street and take him into custody, but he won’t say anything, and Fallon sends Ryan to look into guys Hayes served with in hopes that one of them is working with him. Fallon and Beckett interrogate Hayes but don’t get anywhere, and Esposito says they won’t break him in time because of his Special Forces training. In interrogation, Fallon pulls a gun on Hayes, and so Beckett pulls on Fallon, but Hayes just says that he’s prepared to die for his country, and no one shoots anyone.

Meanwhile, Castle realizes that Hayes and his associates will need someone else to frame now that Amir and Jamal are dead, and tells Beckett to track down Amir’s widow Nazihah. Beckett and Castle go to Amir’s house and find the surveillance guy shot dead and Nazihah and her baby gone. A note left on the table makes them realize that the bombers are going to force Nazihah to set off the bomb. Back at the station, Esposito discovers that Hayes’s fellow vets Bauer and Cochran are supposedly on a fishing trip. We (but not any of the cops) see two guys – presumably Bauer and Cochran – tell Nazihah that in order to keep her baby safe she must drive the van to where they tell her, park, and walk away. There’s a camera in the van so they can watch her.

In an effort to find Nazihah, Castle gives Fallon Yusef’s card, and Fallon tells him to make the call. Yusef comes to the station, technically to get his pistol back, and Castle gets him to admit that he had Nazihah under surveillance for his own purposes. Yusef finally gives them the address of an industrial building. The cops break in, secure the baby’s safety, and see the live video of Nazihah driving. Fallon gets Bauer and Cochran to tell him that the target is Times Square, and everyone splits up to find the black van. Castle insists that he and Beckett take a detour, because Amir was a cabbie and therefore Nazihah would know a better route. (I didn’t really buy this – I don’t assume people know information specific to their spouses’ jobs.) They find the van, eventually make Nazihah stop, and convince her that her baby’s okay.

When Castle and Beckett open up the back of the van, though, they discover that they have less than two minutes until the bomb is set to go off, and the bomb squad won’t be able to get to them in time. Beckett tries to send Fallon a picture of the bomb so he can tell her what to do, but it doesn’t work. Beckett and Castle hold hands as they think they’re about to die – and then at the last second, Castle uses his other hand to grab all the wires and pull them out of the bomb, therefore saving Beckett as well as a whole lot of other people. He dismisses his heroism: “I figured one of them had to be the right one.” Way to go, Castle.

Castle and Beckett have another strong emotional scene together when they’re trapped in the freezer. Beckett, who so often wishes that Castle could be more practical and reality-based, here looks to him for a silver lining, and all he can say is “I wish I had one.” And now I’m going to quote ridiculous amounts of dialogue, because it’s just so good:

Beckett: “I just wish this was one of your books and you could rewrite the ending.”
Castle: “I’m sorry.”
Beckett: “For what?”
Castle: “For being me. Going rogue, getting you into this. If we hadn’t gone rogue …”
Beckett: “Sh, Castle, sh. You were right. We found the bomb. We were just too late, okay?”

Then she turns toward him and thanks him for being there, and he, of course, says “Always,” the way he did last time she thanked him for being there. And one of these times she has to actually let this sink in, right? As she’s about to lose consciousness, she says “I just want you to know how much I …” There’s a vague “L” sound as she trails off, and she was obviously going to say “love you”, right?

When Castle wakes up after being rescued, his first word is “Beckett”, and he won’t relax until he’s sure she’s okay. Unfortunately Fortunately, Dr. Josh – not actually in Haiti! – was the one to save them, and Beckett says that his presence means they have a chance. You keep telling yourself that, honey. Even Fallon, The Most Unsympathetic Man In The Universe, is on to you: “You know, it’s funny. When I first met you two, I thought you were together.” Castle is quick – but not quite quick enough – to disabuse Fallon of this notion, and boy, does Fillion do “wistful” well. When Esposito agrees with the Captain that Castle and Beckett don’t know how lucky they are, Castle looks directly at Beckett and says “Actually, I do.” And at the end of the episode, ‘shippers screamed as Castle promisingly started saying “You know, I was thinking. I was thinking maybe …” but then finished with a sudden “I should go home.” Beckett looks completely disappointed, but then she (and the audience) realizes that Castle changed what he was saying because Josh is right behind her. Beckett hugs Josh but watches Castle leave over Josh’s shoulder. I’m still loving the way they’re developing this relationship, and I can’t wait to see what they do next.

The Rest of the Force: At the beginning of the episode, everyone else is convinced that Beckett and Castle are fine, but of course Ryan and Esposito are the ones who are worried and take Alexis seriously when she calls about her missing dad. Aww. I also really liked that the pair got to be the ones to rescue their friends.

Esposito (to Castle): “We thought you were with Beckett … until Josh called.”
Ryan: “We thought you must be out there doing SOMETHING incredibly stupid against orders.”
Castle: “I’m glad my stupidity is predictable.”

Oh, boys, never change. (Anyone else catch that weird look between Josh and Castle when Esposito said they assumed Castle was with Beckett?) Later, Ryan gives some humanity to the often-antagonistic Fallon when he finds out Fallon’s wife was killed on 9/11.

The Castle Family: As you may remember, Castle had sent Alexis and Martha out of the city, but they come back from their trip early because Alexis was obviously anxious about something. Martha thinks it’s the “physics test”, but of course it’s actually the way her father had made her leave so abruptly. And it’s Alexis who gets worried and calls Ryan when she can’t get in touch with her dad. Once he’s back, Castle sends his family away again; he admits to them that there’s something going on, but won’t tell them what, and won’t let Alexis call Ashley to warn him. When she protests, Castle has one of his great, serious dad lines: “Fair has nothing to do with it.” Martha wants Castle to leave the city with them, but when he tells her “I will when I can,” there seems to be an unspoken understanding that he will only leave if Beckett is safe.

Next time: Murder on a soap opera set! I hear there are ‘shippers involved. Good times.

Photo Courtesy of ABC

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