CASTLE Recap: The Luckiest Man Alive

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There were three deaths in this week’s hour of CASTLE, but only one victim. And that victim happened to be alive at the end of the episode. How? Well, Castle tries to argue immortality, but the doctors say it was just luck.

The victim, Allan Masters, drank poison first, and the NYPD was called in just like always. Lanie pronounced him dead and the team searches the apartment when, all of a sudden, Allan wakes up. Rightfully confused, they take him to the doctor, where Castle throws out superhero theories and ideas about super-cell regeneration, while Beckett and the team focus on who tried to kill him.

While Espo and Ryan track down a man Allan recently fired from the waste management plant where he worked, Castle brings Allan back home with a protective detail parked outside the door. However, that protective detail doesn’t stop the rigged electrocution trap on Allan’s bed. Lanie comes once again and this time pronounces him dead for real. Until, that is, Allan jumps up and asks if anyone has been cooking barbecue in his house.

The case continues to confound as the now seemingly immortal Allan tries to think of anyone who would want him dead. They interview another suspect who had access to the poison and two bags packed for Mexico, but it turns out he was worried that whoever was after Allan was after him as well. This man informs Beckett and the team that apparently the mob plays a role in this.  Allan doesn’t care, though, as he finally (with Castle persuading him) gets up the nerve to ask a girl he likes from work out on a date.

While at dinner, a man named Horatio who works for a company that Allan had recently investigated for a big chemical spill shows up. He is Allan’s arch-nemesis, as Castle claims. After vague threats, Horatio makes an offer to protect Allan from further attempts on his life, but Allan refuses, saying he won’t work with Horatio.

The team is finally able to identify two gangs, the triads, usually at war, who have signed a peace treaty for some reason. Allan seems to have stumbled into something he doesn’t quite understand. But, with Lanie’s help identifying a substance Castle recovers from one of the triads’ business fronts, they piece together the puzzle.

It turns out synthetic heroin was being made in the US. This drug is more addictive, has less painful side effects, and is domestically made, which all equals more money for the manufacturer. This is why the traids were at peace and this is why they were after Allan. The chemical plant where they make one of the elements of the drug had a spill and if Allan put together the chemical spill with the news reports of this new drug, they would be exposed.

With this new information, Allan is afraid that the girl he took on a date is in danger. He rushes out to save her, but when she pulls out a gun and reveals she is the head of the drug operation and, consequently, the one trying to murder him, things take a turn for the worse. She puts a bullet right through his forehead just as Castle and the police arrive.

But, because this is the luckiest man in the world, the bullet apparently didn’t puncture any brain tissue or skull fragments. After another visit to the hospital Allan is declared completely fine.

Whether it is believable or not, Allan Masters is one lucky character.

While the case is solved, Kate had her own personal case to deal with. Her IT man was able to ID someone working for Locksat, and this same man comes to visit Kate and threaten her life if she continues to persue this mystery. Kate fires back with a threat of her own, but also an offering of peace if this man will work with her. The final minutes of the episode have him meeting back up with Kate and Castle, handing over a phone with a time and place of where Locksat calls him every month.

This could be the big break that Kate needs to solve the mystery of who is behind Locksat. But, given actress Stana Katic’s recent firing from her role as Kate Beckett, this could spell out a dangerous and painful way to write Beckett out of the show. Here’s hoping Kate Beckett can survive through the rest of the season!

Catch an all new CASTLE on May 2 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT on ABC!

CASTLE Sneak Peek: Superhero Lazarus

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There’s an intriguing case for the team on this week’s CASTLE. When Castle interviews a man hospitalized after a presumed attack, he gets a bit overexcited about the possibility that the man in the hospital gown is a real life superhero. This fantasy is made even more believable for Castle when the man reveals there was a chemical spill that he was exposed to. Now, even though the chemical wasn’t toxic or dangerous to humans, Castle remains convinced he’s right.

There is also a possibility that this man is not only a superhero, but apparently immortal? The sneak peek below shows a scene where, after pronouncing the victim dead, Lanie shows Castle and Espo around the (now deceased) man’s room. That is, until he happens to stand up and ask them what they are doing. Castle talks to the now biblically-risen man about what he saw on the other side, but this particular Lazarus doesn’t have the answers Castle is looking for, claiming to remember trying to call the cable company and then waking up to find his house full of people.

Catch this all new episode of CASTLE tonight (April 25) at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.

CASTLE: A Tribute to Stana Katic and Kate Beckett

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The news of Stana Katic’s dismissal hit the CASTLE fandom hard this week. It is no secret to anyone that the show has been struggling for the past couple of years — more so after creator Andrew Marlowe left his post as showrunner. So we knew things weren’t doing great lately. Most fans doubted that there was even going to be a season 9 after such a rocky season 8, but we never, ever, expected this to happen.

When Deadline first broke the news, the fandom immediately rebelled against it. Tamala Jones was going to be let go along with Katic – while all the male actors stayed – which seemingly reinforces a pro-male/anti-female mentality. We don’t even know if there is, in fact, going to be a season 9, but ABC has made a bad decision with these “firings”. After all, there is no show without Kate Beckett, as evidenced by the ratings this past season.

In the midst of our shock and anger over this entire situation, I got a couple of writers, who are also CASTLE fans and reviewers and we came to the conclusion that Stana Katic deserved so much better than this. So these are our thoughts over this unfortunate, heartbreaking news:

Luciana Mangas: I hadn’t been watching CASTLE in a while. Ever since the show changed showrunners and started going in a different direction (with that that Castle-as-a-PI storyline), I started to lose interest until, eventually, I stopped watching altogether. However, every time there was a rerun from earlier seasons, I would stop what I was doing and catch up on an episode, because that was where the magic was — Castle and Beckett verbally sparring and Beckett being her usual kickass self.

The main reason that I was drawn to CASTLE in the first place was that they had such an amazing female lead character. Katherine Beckett was this larger-than-life force of nature, exceptionally good at her job, respected by her fellow officers and peers, but she was also human. She had flaws; she had a hard time dealing with her emotions and sometimes that got her into some serious trouble; she was tenacious and loving and caring and she was such an amazing role model for women across the world.

I think that’s why the news of Stana Katic being let go hit me so hard. Because, even though I wasn’t really watching the show as consistently as I once had, I knew Kate Beckett was still there and there was always hope that some day they would fix the mess they had made of the past couple of seasons. But now she’s not going to be there anymore, no matter what they do. I don’t know how they are going to write her off, but whatever they do it will never do this fantastic character justice, because it will always be overshadowed by the way her dismissal was handled.

Budget cuts? Really? It is old news that female actors make a lot less than males, so this makes absolutely no sense at all. To simply dismiss a performer that was the shining star of the show and (in my opinion) a big reason the majority of the fans stuck around until now is just beyond preposterous.

Of course we don’t know the particulars of whatever happened behind-the-scenes, but no matter what, Stana Katic deserved better than this. Even though the show is called CASTLE, it was her character, Kate Beckett, that drove the show for the better part of these past eight seasons. Sure, we had supporting characters that did their part, but it was Beckett who pushed the show forward; it was the mystery of her mother’s murder that drove the show for several seasons and – most importantly – it was her character that was handled in a respectful and humane manner.

Richard Castle did his part as the narrator of the story. It was mostly his point of view that we were treated to, but it didn’t matter because he was always watching her. After all, the show started with him shadowing her for a new series of books, and he did fall in love with her in the process, so it was only natural that his entire focus would be on her. No matter what, Kate Beckett was the driving force of this show, with Stana Katic basically carrying seven seasons on her shoulders.

It seems like a lot saying that she carried the show, but it’s absolutely true and she did it on talent alone. Episodes like “Knockdown”, “Knockout”, “Veritas”, and “Kill Shot” – just to mention a few – were among some of her very best work and it is such a shame that she never got an Emmy nod for her performance. Katic dedicated so much to this show, influenced so many young lives with her performance as a kickass detective, that it is truly disheartening to see what is being done to her now, after all these years of hard work.

I can speak for myself when I say that she had a major impact on my life. It was because of her performance as Detective Beckett that I started writing again, that I met so many great people and had some great opportunities, so I will forever be grateful to her for that.

So, Stana, for all your hard work, your fantastic performance, your dedication to the show and the fans and for changing my life, from the bottom of my heart, thank you. You can rest assured that wherever you go, we will follow. Anywhere.

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CASTLE Recap: Hayley’s Past Comes Back to Haunt Her

TOKS OLAGUNDOYE

For those viewers who love Hayley, this week’s CASTLE was a good one. Focusing on her past and the people she knew in her MI6 days, as well as exploring an intriguing mystery that puts Hayley on the FBI’s most wanted list, is a classic CASTLE episode.

The episode begins with Hayley doing a favor for an old spy buddy where she and a new spy break into an office to download some basic spy-wear to catch a cheating husband. While in the office, they see a businessman and a “lady friend” come up for some midnight fun. As soon as the software downloads, Hayley leaves the building, but the next day the police are called in to find the body of the spy that Hayley broke into the building with. At first Hayley hides her involvement in the case, pretending to contaminate evidence to ensure that there is an explanation for her fingerprints and taking calls from her spy friend in secret. Eventually, however, Alexis finds out something is wrong when she walks in on Hayley trying to leave town. Our favorite British spy then confesses everything about that night in the office building to Beckett.

It turns out that the thumb drive they downloaded was not basic spy-wear but a virus that took out half of Manchester’s power source. This is seen as an act of terror, and when Hayley’s long time friend who set up this operation is killed (with Hayley receiving $10,000 in her bank account) it is clear she is meant to be the fall-guy. The team tries to do some investigating while Hayley hides in Castle’s office from an FBI arrest warrant, and they interview the businessman and the woman he was with. It turns out they were hired and coerced to ensure that Hayley was set up.

This leads Hayley and the team to her ex-partner — one who died (apparently) a few years ago after a mission for MI6 went bad, and immediately after Hayley left the Queen’s service. However, he is not dead after all and after evading Alexis and Castle, Hayley goes to meet with him. He has been tortured and confesses to the murders of the two men Hayley broke into the energy office with. Not only that, but when Hayley refuses to jump into his plan of retiring on the money he gave her, he knocks her out and puts a knife to her throat, ready to kill her.

Enter Castle and the team as they tracked the two, knowing the warehouse was an old hideout for them back in the day. Hayley knows the shortcuts her ex-partner will take so she takes off after him with a gun. She catches up to him, they square off, and she pleads one last time for him to come in peacefully. He refuses and — lunging at her — she has no choice but to pull the trigger.

Although killing her partner was an emotional hit, the end of the episode provides hope as Hayley shares a drink with — as she described to her partner right before he tried to kill her — a “family”. Alexis and Castle have given Hayley a home and while Espo, Ryan and Beckett (who didn’t feature prominently in this episode at all) go out for beers, it looks like everyone is happy. This happiness is continued in the Castle home as Rick reveals a refurbished motorcycle he got for Kate, to assuage a misdeed he committed in a dream she had the night before. They exchange ideas about going on a cross-country bike trip and then retreat blissfully to the bedroom.

An all new CASTLE will air April 25 on ABC at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT!

CASTLE Sneak Peek: Hayley… A Suspect?

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CASTLE’s most beloved new character is in a suspicious situation. When an officer from MI6 comes to Castle’s office, Hayley and Alexis stay in the panic room as Rick converses with the British investigator. Apparently he is looking into Hayley for some sort of crime (even a conspiracy of several crimes) and it is at this point that the agent says Castle can’t trust Hayley because she isn’t who she seems to be.

Unfazed, Castle invites Hayley to a crime scene in the next clip below and the banter is back to normal with Star Wars references and jabs at Espo and Ryan’s crime-solving abilities. But, Hayley sees the body and seems to recognize it. And when she sees a pack of mints on the body, a flashback reveals her handing the mints to the now-deceased man. Knowing her fingerprints will be on the case, Hayley picks them up and “accidentally” mishandles the evidence to ensure there is a reasonable explanation for why her fingerprints are on the package.

Its looking like she may be guilty for more than just mishandling evidence. To see if she is innocent, watch an all-new CASTLE tonight (April 18) at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.

CASTLE Recap: Genie in a Bottle

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Do you believe in genies? Well, Castle certainly does and on this week’s episode of CASTLE his beliefs get him into a little trouble. A victim is found decapitated and Castle finds a book open in the apartment that holds an interesting clue: a seal. This seal is the supposed signal for a magical ability to trap genies in a bottle. And the hunt begins — Espo and Ryan (who’s ready any minute for the birth of his second child) are searching for a killer, while Castle is searching for a singing blue cartoon.

Both Team Genie and Team Real Ruspect begin their search with an interesting woman who appears at the victim’s apartment and claims the man’s ex-boyfriend had been yelling at him earlier that week. Espo and Ryan take him in to questioning while the mystery woman visits Castle’s office for a chat. She tells him that she is a journalist and will help him as long as she keeps her exclusive scoop. But, as soon as he turns around, she has seemingly evaporated. He takes her lead and talks with an esteemed professor about the history of the genie myth and a mythical lamp that holds these type of spirits.

Conversely, in the interrogation room, the ex-boyfriend says that the victim was in over his head with a partnership to excavate a particular lamp that supposedly (according to some) holds a genie. When Espo and Ryan go to pick up the victim’s partner, the man is absolutely convinced of the existence of an evil genie. They eventually get enough out of the partner to find a warehouse where the lamp is supposed to be. Convinced at this point that the mystery journalist who lied about her real name is, in fact, a genie, Castle leaves the lamp-less warehouse and chases after a woman who looks like the blonde “journalist.” He catches up with her just in time to realize that she isn’t who he thought, but he then enters a different warehouse where he finds the long-searched-for lamp.

Just as he touches it, three armed assailants appear and, after Castle makes a wish, so does the blond journalist/possible genie to save the day. Once they all get back safe and sound to the precinct, Beckett interviews the woman and it is revealed she is actually private security, hired by a Mr. X (who also hired the victim) to find and protect the valuable lamp. As they track down where the lamp was shipped from, two more suspects crop up, and with a quick police take-down they bring in two Turkish suspects, one of whom was a student of the very same professor that Castle had talked to earlier.

It turns out, after a bit of digging, that the professor had spent her whole career obsessed with finding this lamp, to the point of destroying her marriage. The male suspect the police have just brought in was in her class and they worked together to figure out that the victim had found it. She then murdered the victim and took the lamp, which NYPD recovered from her apartment that same day. The lamp is returned to the prince of its country of origin and, when he comes to pick it up, it is revealed that the blond woman working private security was actually hired by this prince. To make things better, when they leave he says to her “come on, Jeanie”. Coincidence?

All is well in Castle world with the murderer arrested and the lamp placed in Smithsonian, but things take a turn when Ryan calls saying that there has been a complication with Jenny’s delivery. The team rushes to the hospital to wait with Ryan, and Castle even uses his last two wishes (that he believes he has) on making sure Jenny and the baby are safe. After a few hours of waiting Ryan comes back and says everything is fine. Jenny is stable and they have a healthy baby boy — with a middle name of Javier, after the best partner in the world.

Catch an all new CASTLE on April 18 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.

CASTLE Sneak Peek: Make a Wish

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If anyone knows the story of Aladdin, then the plot of this week’s CASTLE might sound familiar. The case revolves around a man who was a tomb raider, and the key piece of evidence discovered was a lamp he found while on one of his excavation. The lamp holds a mythical history about King Solomon’s symbol and its magical abilities to — for instance — hold a genie in a bottle.

Absolutely beside himself with excitement, Castle jumps to the conclusion that genies are real and the reason the victim had a car and lots of money is that the victim’s wishes were granted by said genie. Beckett is as unimpressed as Espo and Ryan, but who knows? Tune in to find out if the genie is the killer, or see if the team looks for a suspect who is a little more human than that.

Catch an all new CASTLE tonight (April 11) at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT on ABC (U.S.) and CTV Two (Canada).

CASTLE Recap: Back to the Academy

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It was as close to a flashback episode as we’ve ever gotten on CASTLE this week. Kate and the boys head back to their old stomping grounds — the police academy — when one of the recruits is found dead with the bullet dug out. Beckett takes over the task of investigating the 7 recruits without alibis for the night of the murder. One of them — a young, smart, and stubborn girl — reminds everyone of Beckett at that age. Turns out the young recruit was fraternizing with the victim.

With video footage recovered of the victim’s whereabouts the night of the murder, it appears that he was meeting with mob boss Lucky Jack Flanaghan. When asked about it, the mini-Beckett reveals that Lucky Mike is actually her biological father, and he tried to leverage her into becoming his spy for the police. Her boyfriend decided to take matters into his own hands and offer himself up in her place, which explains the video, as well as his corpse.

But, after Lucky Jack is confronted by his daughter (and her gun), he truthfully admits that he didn’t have anything to do with the death of her boyfriend. Beckett then has to talk the girl down from pulling the trigger, but she eventually relents and they go back to the academy to try and find some answers. It’s here that Beckett is talking to her old recruit officer when she gets the call from Espo saying that they tracked the car outside of the victim’s last known location to the very officer Beckett is talking to. She pulls her gun and he does the same, but after a quick confrontation he says that he hasn’t driven his car in days — in fact, he lent it to a friend of his.

This “friend” turns out to be a man high up in the pecking order at the academy whom the victim caught siphoning funds. Beckett corners the killer in the recruit simulation and, with the lights out and cardboard cut-outs popping out randomly, it is an intense game of real-life laser tag for a few minutes. But she eventually takes him down and the bad guy is brought to justice. The recruit she has taken such a liking to also agrees to stay at the academy to finish her training.

On a more personal note, Beckett and Castle are finally ready to stop lying to one another. After a close call from Rick’s mom in the morning, the two meet up and Rick (after some persuading by Haylee) tells Kate that he knew about Locksat during his missing time and wiped his memory to keep her safe. He goes on to tell Kate that he doesn’t want to be left on the sidelines in this case anymore, especially now that he has such a personal connection to it. She agrees and says she needs him with her on this. “This is our fight now”, she tells him. And oh what good TV this new fight will give us!

Catch an all new CASTLE on April 4 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.

CASTLE Sneak Peek: Recruit Training

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Kate gets sweaty in this week’s CASTLE sneak peek. It looks like she has taken a trip back to the Police Academy and finds a young recruit working out in the gym, much like a young Beckett would do herself between classes.

Kate takes it upon herself to show the recruit how to properly take down a perp. Low center of gravity, use your hips, carry their momentum down. Beckett demonstrates and the as-yet-unnamed-young women tries herself.  A success! With a “thanks, Captain” the girl seems grateful for the extra practice from our favorite seasoned detective.

Elsewhere in the episode, a recruit officer at the NYPD Academy is killed, which is why Beckett and the team go back to their old training ground to investigate.

Catch an all new CASTLE tonight (March 21) at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT on ABC!

CASTLE Recap: Missing Time

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It was a very Castle-centric episode of CASTLE this week, as Alexis, Haylee and Rick made their way to LA to try and discover more about the 18 months that Castle can’t remember. However, as usual, Castle discovers a mystery on the side.

A body was found in a cemetery and, after being invited to secret, underground, best-of-the-best detective agency (The Greatest Detective Society), Castle must compete with a young private eye (Summer Glao guest starring as Kendal) for a spot at the table because whoever solves the mystery gets a spot. So they track down Philip’s last known location, but on their way Castle gets a flash of the Chinese restaurant that he visited during his last stay in LA. And this is where Castle buys back a watch that he apparently used to pay for his meal last time. 

Moving on, they make it to the film company where the victim was working undercover, as part of the Greatest Detective Society, and Castle runs into the executive producer who ruined his Heat Wave franchise by butchering the movies. They do, however, gain vital information (thanks to Lanie back in New York) about the murder weapon and trace it (with some help and a bit of double crossing from Kendal) to a house of one of the company’s directors. Unfortunately, the blade comes back clean and they need to find one of the other four knives that were produced that match the wounds.

Back in New York, Espo and Ryan are helping by talking to the victim’s sister (in between pranks on Lanie with fake background checks on her new boyfriend) and realizing that he was working on a serial killer case; one where on each coast victims are found with missing body parts, making the murderer very hard to track due to the varying types of victims and the physical distance between crimes. Soon, however, they realize that the work of what they thought to be one serial killer is actually the work of two men working together. They catch the east coast half of the murdering duo, and find with him a script with some very distinct hand-writing.

Back in LA, Castle recognizes the writing as none other than the same executive who ruined the Niki Heat franchise. Placing him under arrest and, therefore, being welcomed into the GDS, Castle graciously turns down the prized position, saying that he already works with the best detective back in New York, and they should give the position to Kendal.

But that’s not all, because the real drama of the episode came from Castle and Alexis trying to piece together what happened 18 months ago. When they see a connection to a dangerous man (an ex-marine), Alexis goes to check it out and discovers that Haylee was connected to the man as well. They go back to the hotel where Haylee explains to Castle that he asked her to keep track of him, lie to him if he ever asked about his memories, and to ensure that he doesn’t go looking for answers because (according to him) it’s too dangerous. When that doesn’t work and he still wants to go looking for answers, Haylee shows him a video of himself from the day he got shot. Past-Castle tells Present Day-Castle that he knows about Locksat but that any further investigating will lead, undoubtedly, to Beckett’s death.

With this new discovery, Castle makes a frightening realization: that the members of Beckett’s D.C. team were killed because he knew about Locksat and did nothing to stop it.

What will Castle do in light of this new information? Check out an all new CASTLE to find out on Monday March 14 at 10 PM ET/PT on ABC!