The third DC-related Castle episode featuring Lisa Edelstein, “Need to Know,” was a good bit lighter than the first two, but it blended a lot of the trademark Castle fun and goofiness with an interesting case and some important developments in the characters’ personal lives.
Our victim of the week is Charlie Reynolds, the former teen star of sitcom 2 Cool for School, whose body is found by a jogger – he was pushed off the roof of his apartment building and landed on a giant hook. Castle, a little bored and annoyed about Pi still being in his house, sees Esposito and Ryan at the crime scene on a new report and shows up and talks himself into being included, even though the new detective who replaced Beckett, Sully, is dubious. And just as Gates is ready to make Castle go home and mind his own business, Beckett and McCord show up at the precinct with a letter from the Attorney General putting them in charge.
Reynolds’s agent tells the cops that Reynolds had some sort of secret new source of income; she was upset at presumably being cut out of her commission. And Reynolds’s former 2 Cool for School costar Ramon Russo admits that they were working on a reunion movie, financed by Russian superfans. A number found in Reynolds’s pocket corresponds to an invoice number of a camera shipment from Russia, and since it’s weird that the movie would buy equipment from Russia rather than just rent it locally, the boys and Castle track the shipment to a warehouse and discover it was actually a cover for shipping illegal guns. Beckett and McCord show up too, but just as the two factions are arguing over whether the guns are federal or NYPD evidence, the “jogger” who found the body shows up – he’s actually a CIA agent who tells them that Reynolds was being used as an asset against a 2 Cool for School superfan Anton Renkov who was also a Russian mob boss.
The CIA wants everyone to stop investigating the murder because the national security issues are more important, but of course this doesn’t sit well with Castle or the team – or with Beckett, who slips Castle some satellite footage that leads them to Renkov’s niece Svetlana. But Svetlana claims that she knew Reynolds was a spy but wouldn’t tell her family – they were in love and planning to run away. She also says Reynolds was planning to give his apartment to his costar/friend Ramon, and it turns out that he’s the one who killed Reynolds after all, rather than something to do with Russians or spies – Reynolds wanted to start a new life, which meant the proposed sequels to the 2 Cool for School movie wouldn’t happen and Ramon would be out of a job.
As in the last case, Beckett is doing a good job in her new role but clearly chafing at the way the larger concerns of her federal bosses mean she can’t always seek the justice she feels is so important. “We don’t always get the whole picture. Comes with the territory,” McCord tells her, and this may not really be Beckett’s territory. She reaches a breaking point when the CIA threatens to tell Svetlana’s family that she’s a traitor if she doesn’t start working for them, which would basically be a suicide mission, and Beckett gets Svetlana out of it by leaking a fake story to the press designed to keep Svetlana safe.
This was a fun case, but the developments between Castle and Beckett were even more important. At the beginning of the episode, they’re starting their days in their respective cities with some adorable video chatting, but it’s clear they’re not thrilled with being apart indefinitely. When Beckett shows up in New York, Ryan and Esposito try to get Castle to use their personal relationship to find out why the feds are interested in the case. Castle doesn’t want to push boundaries, but Esposito insists “Your whole relationship is built on a foundation of your boundary-pushing.” So Castle makes a very transparent fishing attempt with Beckett, but he doesn’t do anything underhanded or sneaky. Good boy!
At the end of the episode, Castle reveals that he’s rented an apartment in DC so they don’t have to be apart anymore – and then McCord immediately shows up and fires Beckett because of her leak to the press. I was pretty happy with this resolution: Castle moving to DC is the reasonable thing to happen here, and I’m glad their relationship is mature enough for things to work out that way. But obviously the show isn’t moving to DC, so Beckett couldn’t stay at her new job. And I’m so happy that she’s returning to New York because she was fired for sticking to her principles, rather than anything to do with Castle. (I’ll miss the DC team, though – I liked them!)
(Image courtesy of ABC.)