Castle 4-19: 47 Seconds

Last night’s Castle featured two bombs and a near miss. Of course, only one of those was a literal bomb. Along the way, the episode reminded me a bit of Vantage Point as Beckett and Castle had to piece together what happened with bits and pieces of what others saw at the scene of the literal bomb.

It opens at the scene of a TakeOver Wall Street protest. This show rarely seems to draw stories from the headlines, so I was a bit surprised to see this story in the show since it was obviously a version of Occupy Wall Street completely with 99% signs. Anyway, our first shot is of a reporter and her cameraman who are ready to go live with a broadcast about the protests. They’ve just started the report when a bomb goes off. In the aftermath, 5 people are dead.

Our usual gang shows up, but they are sidelined. Since it involved a bomb, the FBI are the primaries, but they do ask the local police to help them. Helping them starts with interviewing friends and relatives of the victims to find out if one of them was a target. One was a man on vacation, another a mom with two young kids. The third we learn about was one of the founders of the movement. But that doesn’t seem to be the motive.

So we start in on the witnesses. Two sisters were bumped by someone right before the explosion. And the homeless man nearby (holding a “Will protest for food” sign) says that Beethoven came and played a symphony right before it happened. Obviously, really helpful stuff.

That’s when Captain Gates pulls in a favor with someone in Homeland Security and gets cell phone tracking data for the area. They’ve already narrowed the window that the bomb was planted to 47 seconds with the help of a picture that had been taken just before the explosion of the blast area. Nothing was there, yet 47 seconds later the bomb went off.

Anyway, one person’s phone moved to the lamppost where the backpack containing the bomb was and then away almost immediately. The man is a leader in the Anti-TakeOver movement and just happens to be in the station to give his statement.

Beckett goes in and tries to bate him into confessing, but while he is obviously a whack job who thinks it would be patriotic to do something against the protesters, he claims he was innocent and that his phone was stolen. Yet when they track down the e-mails that had been threatening the movement, they find they came from him. Case closed.

Wait, we’re only half way through the episode. There has to be some other twist, right? Fortunately, there is because if it were that clichéd and political, I would have been very upset with them.

While the suspect is now being questioned by the FBI, our gang continues with the witness statements. Up next is the outdoor drummer. He’s hesitant at first but eventually says that yes, he saw the face of the man who left the backpack. But when shown a picture of the suspect, he claims it isn’t him. So they get a new sketch of someone different and begin trying to track him down.

At this point, the Captain asks Castle to reread the witness statements and see if they can find anything that will confirm either of these men as the bomber. He goes to Beckett and crows, “She’s beginning to like me.” But Captain overhears, “No, I’m not.” It was a much needed moment of levity in the serious episode.

There’s a huge break in the case the next morning when someone not only identifies the suspect but knows where he lives. The police quickly arrest him, but he denies any knowledge of the bomb.

Castle came in after Beckett was already questioning the suspect. As the suspect denies and denies, even claiming he forgot, she launches into him. “I was shot last year, and I remember every second of it.” Castle responds as you would expect from this bomb. He heads out and talks with Martha, in fact, who warns him that it will be impossible to work with someone he loves who obviously doesn’t love him back. But he is determined to make it work. Mind you, the bombing almost made Castle tell Beckett about his feelings earlier, but now he feels like she knows and doesn’t feel the same way back.

As Castle arrives back at the precinct, we’ve learned the suspect is a pickpocket. With that out in the open, he confesses that he stole the first suspect’s phone and then spotted a backpack hidden between two dumpsters. He snagged it, but someone started yelling at him, so he took off, dropping the backpack at the light post along the way mere seconds before the bomb went off. The guy who was chasing him? The founder of the movement – one of the victims.

At this point, Castle starts going over people and their locations and begins spinning a theory. Unlike his usual theories, this one seems to make sense. The founder wanted to do something to create new interest and media coverage for the movement, so he built the bomb but put it in a place where it wouldn’t hurt anyone. Then the pickpocket comes along and moves it. It’s too late, and the bomb goes off.

The catch is finding the partner in this scheme. The detonator had to be close. The founder had received a phone call just before the backpack was stolen and given the all clear signal. (His ringtone was a Beethoven piece and he was wearing a Beethoven shirt, so even that fits.) Then he tried to call this partner back, but it was too late. The range was small, so it was someone in the crowd.

Or someone near the crowd. Castle and Beckett are able to track it down to the reporter. She and the founder go back to college, and as she began covering the story, they reconnected. She thought this was her ticket to the anchor desk. Instead, it’s her ticket to jail.

Frankly, I found this an interesting way to end a story with potential political ramifications without getting into whether one side was right or wrong. It was just an entertaining murder mystery, and that’s what I turn into the show for.

Of course, it was more serious than many of the others they do. Even Alexis’ scenes were serious, especially the one where she is dealing with the victims in the morgue and starts to cry a little at the lives cut short. It was a good reminder not to waste our lives. On the other hand, I loved the scene where she made the cheering up pancakes with the chocolate chip smilies in them. Castle’s line that “these are reserved for breakups or Dancing with the Stars eliminations” was priceless.

Looks like next week Castle’s going to starts acting out as he tries to bury his feelings for Beckett, which is just going to confuse her. It’ll be interesting to see how that thread develops now that it’s front and center in everyone’s minds.

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