Castle: Dreamworld

Tonight’s episode of Castle, “Dreamworld,” picks up where last week’s cliffhanger left off: Castle’s been poisoned with less than a day to live, and the only antidote is presumed to be with the unknown person who killed Bronson.

Beckett, of course, vows that she will find the murderer and antidote – “I’m not letting you out of our engagement that easily” – and she does. Esposito’s ID of “Dreamworld” as the name of a secret base leads them to Defense Secretary Reid, who they find out personally led a mission to kill a big-name al Qaeda terrorist, and Bronson was involved with the mission as well. “Valkyrie,” though, was the code name of an American security operative who was killed because Reid refused to delay the mission long enough for Bronson to get her to safety. Her reporter boyfriend pieces together the story and kills Bronson, then makes it look like he’s going after Reid when he’s in fact going after Reid’s wife – an eye for an eye. Luckily, Castle and Beckett, assisted by Beckett’s DC team, figure it out just in time to save both Castle and Mrs. Reid.

Given that we knew Castle wasn’t actually going to die, I have to say that I’m really impressed by how much tension the show managed to inject into this episode. A lot of that, of course, is due to the fine acting: the characters don’t know they’re on a show called Castle, so they have no reason to think that Castle can’t die, and the actors sold it. The scene in which Castle hides the truth while on the phone with Martha and Alexis (who can of course tell something’s wrong) was simply heartbreaking, and Beckett and Castle each trying to stay positive for the other even in the face of really bad odds was touching. At the end, when Beckett says that “this” (her job? their relationship? both?) wasn’t supposed to be so hard, Castle ditches his trademark levity and goes totally sincere, telling her that difficult things are generally the ones worth doing. Aww.

I was worried that Castle’s near-death experience would be what prompted Beckett to return to New York, but it looks like her actual reason will be more about her career and her personal ethics than her relationship, which makes me happy. While Beckett is obviously happy that her team found the murderer and saved Castle, she’s not happy when she realizes that Secretary Reid won’t face any sort of investigation or consequences for his actions that led to the death of the American operative. When McCord tells Beckett that things just aren’t that black and white in Washington, Beckett has disillusionment written all over her face, and it no longer seems like such a leap for her to give up what she thought was her dream job. But I think she’ll miss McCord, at least: “You backed me up without even knowing my play.” “That’s what partners do,” McCord says, but even as Beckett is acknowledging how well they work together, McCord’s words are clearly making her think about working with Castle.

Other thoughts:

  1. I know we have to get back to New York, but I still really like the DC team. Can we keep them?
  2. I also love that Chief Villante wants a mention in Castle’s next novel. Fans popping up all over!
  3. Of course Castle will pause in the middle of an investigation for a very necessary lecture about proportional fonts. While dying.
  4. Ryan to Esposito: “I just always thought that you and I would have kids together.” Oh, boys. But the idea of them co-coaching Little League IS adorable.

(Trying out a slightly different format, as you may have noticed. Good? Bad?)

(Image courtesy of ABC.)

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