This week’s episode of Castle, “Time Will Tell,” was all about the passage of time in the characters’ personal lives – and potential time travel in the case? Hmmm.
Our victim of the week is parole officer Shauna Taylor, and her stepbrother, Dr. Wickfield, tells the team that Shauna had recently been confronted by a seemingly crazy man who told her that the lives of half the planet were at stake. The police catch him when he breaks into Shauna’s apartment after the murder, and he tells them that his name is Simon Doyle, he didn’t kill Shauna – and he’s from 2035. He tells them a wild story about energy wars that will happen in the future, and says he’s a temporal anthropologist searching for someone who made an unauthorized time jump to 2013 and changed things too much. Beckett thinks he’s crazy and Castle is intrigued, but Lanie concludes that Doyle is not actually the killer.
The investigation leads the team to an ex-con named Garrett Ward, who paid a prostitute to get into Shauna’s apartment and steal her keys and then presumably went back and killed her. The team can find no record of Ward’s experience until six years earlier, when he tried to bomb a conference at which Wickfield spoke, so the team realizes he was trying to use Shauna to get to her stepbrother – but by the time they get to Wickfield’s house, he’s already dead. And according to Mrs. Wickfield, the killer was yelling “Where’s the child? How can I find the child?”
It turns out that Wickfield was a theoretical physicist, trying to isolate new energy sources, and though Ward claimed to be working with an eco group when he bombed the energy conference, the group’s leader says Ward was actually paranoid and obsessed with apocalyptic energy wars, just like Doyle had described. Castle and Beckett trace Ward to the abandoned power plant where he’s living, and Ward attacks them – but Doyle stops him, and tells the pair that he had been tracking Ward too, using a tracking beacon from the future. Because, of course, Ward is supposedly the rogue time traveler Doyle mentioned at the beginning.
Among Ward’s things, they find a copy of a letter to Wickfield from a teenager, six years ago, and manage to get the original from the widow. It turns out to be from someone named Paul Deschile, and that name is what Ward was saying, not “the child.” Doyle claims that Deschile becomes an important scientist whose team makes an energy shield that prevents the fascists from winning the energy wars. Ryan and Esposito find Deschile at a planetarium show just as Ward shows up trying to kill him, and they get Ward into custody but he won’t talk. Eventually they figure out a non-time travel connection: Deschile was the one who noticed Ward looked suspicious at that conference and turned him into security, and Doyle was in the room next to Ward at a psychiatric hospital years ago. Beckett’s pleased with this non-sci fi explanation, but then she spills coffee on Deschile’s letter – and realizes that the stain she’s just caused matches the stain that was already on Ward’s copy, suggesting that the copy is indeed from the future. I know Castle is generally a realistic (well . . . you know) show, but I enjoy these occasional nods at ambiguity it leaves. And I liked that it’s Beckett who ends up doubting, despite herself, at the end – it was a nice change from the “Castle will believe anything and Beckett never wavers” format the show has used several times before.
Elsewhere, Castle finally runs out of patience with Pi’s presence in his house and tells Alexis that her boyfriend has to leave – and he’s shocked by Alexis’s announcement that she’s going to move out too, to live with Pi. He’s upset and thinks she’s too young, of course, but Beckett tries to talk him down, saying that when her father tried to talk her out of moving in with a boy, it only made her more resolved. Beckett also points out that Alexis has been dealing with the big change of her father having a fiancee, and is probably trying to figure out how she fits in to this new version of her family.
And might the family change even more? Castle is definitely misty-eyed over the thought of Alexis’s early days, so you’d think the question of whether he wants more children would be on his mind. And then Doyle gives Castle and Beckett a glimpse of their future, in his version of 2035 – Castle switches to writing “serious” literature, and a later book jacket says he’s married to “Senator Beckett” and has three children. Aww. They’re still dubious about the whole time travel thing, of course, but now they’re definitely thinking about this potential future. And in a very Castle moment this episode, Castle suggests “Maybe we should put something in our vows about following each other into creepy places.” Yeah. You should probably do that.
(Image courtesy of ABC.)