TV Review: Castle Episode 801 “XY”

I decided to do this one as a recap with my comments sprinkled throughout. I think this will be the method I use most often for my show review/recaps from now on. My comments, obviously will be in italics.

A woman in a fancy bar is drinking a martini. A man walks over to speak to her. He asks why she is following him. She says “so I can do this” and she climbs in his lap and kisses him….as she stabs him in the heart. When he is gone she leaves.

Beckett is getting ready for work. It’s her first day as Captain. Castle gives her a cake with a jewelry box in it that she has to dig into the cake to find. It’s a bracelet with the word “always” inscribed on the inside. They also discuss why he isn’t going to work with her. “What am I going to do? Sit outside your office and fetch things for you?” he says. She thinks that idea sounds fine. He tells her he needs to take some cases so he can write off the remodeling in his PI offices.

Who even knew he still had his PI offices? But Yaay! I liked the idea of Castle as a P.I. I think that works great as a story thread and changing the dynamic between the characters will keeps things fresh and avoid the stories getting boring or contrived like some other shows have (*cough*Bones*cough*). I hated that the P.I thing wasn’t developed more last season when it first was introduced. It felt like such a waste of good story potential.

She gets s phone call (while her hands are covered in cake). So, Castle answers her call. The man asks for Beckett. She says, “Uh huh. I’m not interested. So, take me off the list” and then hangs up and says it was a telemarketer. She leaves saying she has a meeting at One PP.

At the precinct Esposito and Ryan fight for Beckett’s desk. Esposito ends up with it. Ryan becomes more concerned with why everyone is moving up but not them. His wife is pregnant again and he is worried about money.

Castle arrives at his PI office to find a man leaving. The man acts like he knows him and talks about his wife cheating with his brother and thanks Castle for solving his case. Castle is confused..

He goes into the main office. Alexis is there. She’s been working PI cases for him. She them distracts him by showing him the cool things the contractors did to the office. Pulling an Edgar Allan Poe book opens a secret room in the back with couches and a bar. Pressing a button on the desk causes a gun to spring out (Castle misses it but the idea is to catch it). It’s a cool office. Castle is excited but still questions Alexis about her working behind his back. She brushes it off and mentions discussing her profit participation.

Castle gets a call from Esposito and Ryan. They’re at a crime scene but can’t get Beckett on the phone. They need an authorization for more officers at the scene. Castle tells them she is at a meeting. They ask him to come down. He says he is busy but Alexis says all the cases are closed. So, he says he will come down since they’re desperate.

Arriving on the scene, Castle asks questions about the case. There are three bodies in the middle of a building that is under renovation. None of the men had reason to be there that they are aware of and all were carrying high caliber guns. All they know is that gun fire was heard around 9pm and continued for a minute or so. The men were all shot at a downward angle and they find the position on the balcony where the shooter was. There are 9mm casings and a bloody piece of cloth or clothing. Poking around the bloody clothing Castle finds a bracelet…the bracelet with the inscription that he gave Beckett that morning.

Castle tells the others that the bracelet is Becketts. “She was here,” he says.

Back at the precinct, Esposito tells Castle that the blood was a match to Becketts. Castle infers that Beckett must have shot the three men and their associate(s) must have kidnapped her.

This feels awfully familiar…..

Esposito says all three men had fake IDs and their prints aren’t in the system. He asks if Castle has any idea why she would be there in that building. Castle says she was supposed to be at that meeting. Espo tells him that they contacted One PP and there was never any meeting there. Beckett lied to Castle. Ryan interrupts them to tell them they found something on one of the IDs. One of the men rented a short term apartment. They all race out to go the address.

The burst into the short term rented apartment. It’s trashed. When Espo and Ryan go to check another room. Castle opens the curtains and a woman jumps him. She is about to run out when Esposito and Ryan come in and stop her.

The woman is waiting in interrogation. Castle watched from the two way mirror. Ryan and Espo come in to question her. They know her name, she says to call her Hayley her first name, and that she is from East London. Where she grew up doesn’t match her accent, which sounds more “posh” than the rough East London accent does. Her mom is in prison at the end of a 20 year sentence. Hayley was a police officer but was fired because she had a tendency to break regulations and the law. She hung a drug dealer out a window to get a confession. They circle back around to why she was in the apartment. She says she was lost. She won’t say anything else. They won’t let her go and she finally reveals that she is a freelance security specialist. An insurance agency hired her to track down stolen social security numbers. She tracked 5 stolen numbers to the area and flew in to track them down. The 5 numbers were for 4 men and 1 woman. She traced them to that apartment. They question where she was that morning. Her flight didn’t land until after the time of death.

Ryan talks to Castle. They know Hayley is hiding something but they have to let her go.

Castle approaches her as she is leaving. She snaps at him but softens when he tells her the missing police captain is his wife. He tells her Beckett is missing and injured and he says he knows she is hiding something. He is sincere and kind but firm. She insists she doesn’t know anything about Beckett. He tells her he will pay anything to just name her price. She says she doesn’t know anything.

Espo and Ryan come in with news of a stolen van found near a dry cleaners. A woman was locked in the back of the cleaners and bloody clothes were left there. They rush off to check out the scene and question the woman.

The woman tells Castle, Ryan and Espo that a lady and a man burst in. The lady said she was a cop. She was bleeding badly. She told the man to lock the woman in the bathroom. He did. The man was late 20s, East Indian with a beard. The bleeding lady was clearly in charge. The hostage identifies a photo of Beckett as the lady. The hostage woman continues saying that the man wasn’t in good shape either. He was dizzy and had a headache. He said he hadn’t eaten. Beckett told him he should have gotten breakfast instead of calling her. Castle realizes that was the call she got that morning and had claimed was a telemarketer. He gets more confused.

They think she was kidnapped then it turns out she was voluntarily staying away from them…Yeah this is definitely familiar. This is the exact same thing that happened at the beginning of last season. Only then it was Castle missing of his own volition. The writer’s of this show are not usually lazy, repeating the same trope two season premiere’s in a row. So, I’m assuming it’s intentional….but I don’t know why they would intentionally repeat this. It doesn’t seem likely to be linked to his reasons for being missing but it could be as simple as them wanting to see Castle in a similar position to the one Beckett was in before, I guess. It could also be as simple as Stana Katic being unavailable to shoot for most of the first episode. So, they wanted to use it as a plot point instead of just having her out of town for some reason.

Castle tries to figure out what happened. He assumes that she met the man at that building. They were ambushed, she was shot but took three of their attackers out. Then her and the man escape. They don’t know who the man was or why Beckett was meeting him, though. They want to focus on that. Identify the man and find him and that will also lead them to Beckett.

Castle gets a call from Alexis telling him to come to the PI offices right away. He shows up to find Hayley there. Hayley says she can help him but no cops. They have different agendas she says. The cops serve and protect the city, she only serves and protects herself.

Alexis didn’t know Kate was missing. So she is upset to find this out. Castle fills her in on the basics. Then they discuss the details. Hayley says that hundreds of thousands of social security numbers were stolen but they were grouped into smaller bundles to sell. One of the identities she traced was used recently to rent a storage locker. Castle and Hayley start out the door to go check it out. Alexis stops them to ask Castle if he noticed anything with sugar – candy wrappers, fruit juice etc – at the dry cleaners. He says he thinks he saw a soda can. Alexis thinks the man may have been having a diabetic incident but he would need insulin soon. The sugar would only be a temporary fix. Castle brushes her off but Hayley runs back and tell Alexis is she has a lead follow up on it.

Castle and Hayley have to break into the storage unit. Meanwhile Alexis traces a bogus 911 call that occurred near the dry cleaners. She lies to the EMT and tells him an inventory needs to be done. When they’re going over everything 2 vials of insulin are missing and the cameras show Beckett stealing it. Then it shows  Beckett and the man getting into a cab.

Hayley and Castle find the storage unit full of guns, including the same guns the dead men at the building had on them. Castle texts the cops about the guns. They hear a noise outside and then a woman starts shooting at them. Hayley pursues her. They fight but the woman escapes. Hayley is injured.

Alexis calls her Dad to tell him what she discovered. Beckett and the man took the cab to a prison. Beckett visited William Bracken, the former senator that was responsible for her mother’s death. They fill Hayley in on the backstory. Castle believes Bracken is somehow behind all of this. He blames Beckett for his disgrace and imprisonment (even though, Castle says, he deserved it).

They go to the prison and Hayley says she won’t be there when he comes out. She said no cops. She tells him he will have to change the way he operates if he wants to be a real P.I. He can’t involve the cops all the time. Hayley says “nice guys don’t just finish last in this business, they die”. She also comments about how he really loves Beckett. After he gets out of the car she calls a number on speed dial and tells them she is coming in with something for them to test (the blood on her jacket which is apparently from the woman that attacked her).

Hmm. That was an odd comment. What does how much he loves Beckett have to do with him being a P.I. or anything else they were talking about? Weird…..

Castle talks to Bracken. He threatens to start a college fund for the children of the first inmate that kills him unless he talks to him about Beckett. Bracken doesn’t think he is in danger but he seems unable to resist talking to him now. He tells him he doesn’t know his wife. not really. He says she was obsessed with solving her mother’s murder for 16 years and you can’t turn off that kind of obsession. The rest is vague but he seems to be saying that Beckett will chase danger and won’t ever be really safe or able to settle.

I really doubt that. I’m 80% certain they will be introducing the idea of Beckett being pregnant during this season. They kept hinting at it last season. Castle loves kids and Beckett seemed to also want them. It makes sense. Once this story thread is done I’m sure she will either start trying to get pregnant or just end up accidentally pregnant at some point this season.

Esposito and Ryan check out the storage locker. They find out that the locker was rented with a stolen ID and they figure out that Castle is working with Hayley. They’re worried he is going to get himself killed. They think a professional hit squad are the ones that own the locker but they don’t know Beckett’s connection.

When Castle leaves the prison the woman from the storage facility meets him at the door and holds a gun to his side. He is glad to see her. hoping to get leads to Beckett no doubt, but she puts him into a van injecting him with something that knocks him out.

Alexis rushes into the precinct yelling to Ryan and Esposito that her Dad is missing. She tracks his cell phone ever since he went missing before and it went dead out of nowhere. She is convinced he is danger. She tells them where he went. They believe her and quickly start the steps to track him, including finding Hayley (even though Alexis already talked to her and she said she left him at the prison).

Castle is still faking being drugged but the woman sees through it. His hands are tied. She has him at gun point and handcuffs him to a chair. A man comes in and tells him to either tell him where Kate Beckett is or they will kill him. He tells them he doesn’t know but wouldn’t tell them if he did. They don’t believe him and they won’t answer any questions he asks them. They bring out a box of spiders to try to entice him into talking. They put the spiders on him. He doesn’t know where she is so he can’t tell them even if he wanted too.

I’m sorry but how exactly will a box of non-lethal spiders get someone to talk? Whoever wrote this episode must have a huge fear of spiders. I mean, I wouldn’t love letting them crawl on me but it would be more annoying and gross than actually scary. Spiders are not scary. I hate how crawling things feel on my skin because most people do. It’s an ingrained survival instinct. However it would not get me to give up my loved ones location when I knew someone wanted to kill them. I would hope it wouldn’t work on anyone unless they had a severe uncontrollable pathological fear of spiders. They’re spiders….I mean…come on? It’s like something a little kid would consider as a torture method in a story. Spiders and nails on a chalkboard and eating candy in front of someone but not letting them have any. Minus the real arachnophobia, that not everyone has (even lots of people who think they’re truly afraid of spiders really aren’t as afraid as they think and wouldn’t qualify for a diagnosis), it’s not scary.

Esposito and Ryan question Hayley. She doesn’t know anything. They press anyway. They insist that Castle is one of them and if she doesn’t speak all the cops in the city will be working against her. It doesn’t work. She insists her clients trust her and she can’t just roll over every time a cop presses her. Alexis bursts in and tells Hayley she has to tell them if she knows anything. She tells them about the woman at the storage facility and the fluid (not blood apparently) she had tested from her jacket. Its some kind of grease from a railroad tie. She shows them the lab report. They determine it isn’t from the subway. Ryan thinks its from a new tie. They leave to find out where new railroad ties are stored.

They continue to press Castle for Kate’s location. He continues to tell them the truth, he doesn’t know. He also slowly works at the zip tie he is bound with. The man dumps the spiders in a plastic bag and puts the bag over his head. He still insists he doesn’t know. The man finally believes him but says it’s time for him to die since he doesn’t know anything. Castle breaks free and jumps the man and runs away. He tries to escape through a window but the woman finds him. She injects him with the drug again and her and the man are about to shoot him but they are shot and Beckett comes into his view. Castle asks her where she has been and why she is shutting him out. She can’t tell him anything. She says it’s “because she loves him”. She hears sirens and says she has to go. She kisses him and runs away.

Castle tells Ryan and Espo that Beckett was there. Alexis hugs him. Ryan tells them there is no sign of Beckett and the building is secure.

At the precinct the woman from the storage facility is in custody and waiting in interrogation. Castle asks Alexis, who is with him waiting on the other side of the two way mirror, why Beckett doesn’t trust him. Alexis assures him that she does. He doesn’t understand why she is keeping him in the dark. Alexis reminds him that he is a writer. He doesn’t have Beckett’s training or skill set. He DOES need to be protected. Alexis tells him to trust Beckett and trust that she has reason for doing what she is doing.

Ryan and Esposito come tell Castle they have a positive ID on the man Beckett is on the run with. He was a low level analyst at the attorney generals office in DC. Castle wonders if Beckett knew him from her time with the FBI but they say the man was only on the job for a few months. There is no record of their paths ever crossing when she worked in DC two years ago. Castle mentions Beckett’s former partner but they already checked on that, her former partner is dead – killed in a car accident the day before. They assume it can’t be coincidence.

Castle goes in with Ryan and Esposito to question the woman. The woman has nothing to say. Castle tells her he may have known nothing before but he is figuring it out. They threaten her with prison. She says prison is nothing compared to what happens to her if she talks. Castle points out that now with 3 dead and her in jail there is only one man left against Beckett. The woman says “What makes you think there’s only one team in play?”.

The man from the warehouse meets a group of what appear to be mercenaries. He looks around at them and says “Alright” seemingly satisfied with what he sees.

Esposito informs them that he has spoken to the AD in DC and she is on her way to take the woman into custody, As she is being moved the woman attacks the officers holding her and steals a gun. She starts shooting up the precinct. She doesn’t run. She just shoots wildly until she is shot multiple times to take her down. Alexis asks why she did it when she knew she couldn’t escape. Castle tells her she wanted to go out on her own terms.

Kate hides in an old building on a deserted street. An SVU pulls up outside and the mercenaries get out and break into the building.

To Be Continued.

I love Castle and this was a great episode. The suspense isn’t super suspenseful. I mean we know Beckett will return and be fine. Castle will trust her and understand why she lied. It’s still an interesting twisty and turny episode to watch, though. It never gets boring (and I watched it 3 times – once to watch and twice to write this). I admit though that I prefer the stand alone episodes to the big conspiracy episodes. I look forward to the episodes about the PI business the most, now.

Castle airs on Mondays on ABC

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