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Castle 4-23: Always

I am still basking in the afterglow of last night’s Castle. I was worried they wouldn’t really deliver on the promises of the previews, but they did in a perfect way.

Of course, since it was a season finale, we had to bring Beckett’s mother’s murder back into the mix. Honestly, I’m not sure I follow what’s happening with that any more. If they mentioned it more than once or twice a season, it might help. But I actually like the fact that this show doesn’t have something they advance every week. I can only handle so many shows with advancing every week arcs, so it’s nice to have some shows where I can just enjoy the show when it’s on. And I certainly enjoy Castle.

Anyway, as Castle and Beckett meet up at the crime scene, they are discussing Alexis’ upcoming graduation. Castle says he plans a double feature for after the ceremony and invites Beckett, who actually smiles as she says yes. Then she has to prompt a stunned Castle to actually come to the crime scene.

The victim is a former gang member who joined the army to get away from the gang. Since getting out, he’s been attempting to get a job, but hasn’t been having much luck. But his girlfriend insists that he hasn’t gone back to the gang. He wants to keep his son away from that life.

The victim had been shot twice before dying with two different guns. And his car was missing. They find his car a couple blocks away from where his body was found. In it, they find his phone with a call to a burner phone and a GPS with an address in it – the address of Captain Montgomery’s house.

They head over there to learn that someone broke into his house last night and the Captain’s widow shot the person in the shoulder. The victim was the intruder, and he got away with all of the Captain’s files and his computer.

So the team starts looking into Captain Montgomery’s old cases to see if there was any connection. None with the victim, but someone in the gang is currently in prison thanks to the Captain. And an eye witness description of someone in the vicinity of the murder fits the brother of that man in prison.

So Beckett goes right out and arrests him, but the guy claims to be innocent. He finally confesses that yes, he’d heard from the victim, but it wasn’t about a job. In fact, the victim had asked to come back, but he wasn’t trusted any more.

About that time, Lanie makes a DNA match with the skin under the victim’s fingernails. It matches the DNA of an outstanding case – Beckett’s sniper from last year.

She is energized and swears the rest of the team to secrecy so that Captain Gates won’t pull her off the case. Castle, meanwhile does everything he can to discourage her from doing more, but she insistents they continue forward. Meanwhile, Ryan thinks they should go behind Beckett’s back and tell Gates, but Esposito refuses.

They find out the victim had received a large deposit and confront the girlfriend again. They finally learn of one place the victim met the man who hired him, and they manage to get the guy on video. He’s holding a keychain from a rental car company, so they have a lead they can follow.

Just as they get a lead on the man, Castle shows up at Beckett’s. He finally confesses about the secret that he’s been hiding all year – the deal he made with the mystery man to keep Beckett safe. As she gets angry with him (and understandably so), he confronts her about her secret of the year – knowing he said “I love you” after she’d been shot. Honestly, this may be my favorite scene of the show ever. The acting was spot on, and it wasn’t played to make one or the other right or wrong. They were both right and both wrong. I think they knew it, but they didn’t want to admit it. It ends with Castle walking out and saying goodbye. If she is going to risk her life like this, he can’t watch.

Back at the precinct, they have finally found the hotel where the sniper is staying for the time being. Beckett and Esposito head out, leaving Ryan behind. He wants them to take more back up, but Beckett is worried about dirty cops finding out and spreading the word, a legitimate concern from what they’ve learned. As they leave, a worried Ryan calls Castle, who ignores the call.

Castle, meanwhile, heads to Alexis’ graduation, where she gives the valedictorian speech. Honestly, I was a bit worried that Castle would miss this because of the case, but he saw the whole thing. And after worrying about her speech all episode, Alexis did great talking about how exciting and scary change can be, but how it’s part of life. Since Castle has walked away from Beckett at this point, it took on a different meaning.

Beckett and Esposito arrive at the hotel room to find it empty. They do a quick search and discover that among the things taken is Montgomery’s wedding album. A picture is missing. Figuring they need to learn who is in the picture, they start to leave only to have the sniper come back. He knocks out Esposito, but Beckett chases him to the roof where they have an epic battle until she winds up hanging from the ledge by her fingertips.

She starts to slip. And that’s when she hears Castle calling her name. Just as she loses her grip, someone grabs her hand. But that someone is wearing a wedding ring. Yep, it’s Ryan who has shown up to save the day. He’s got another couple cops with him as well as a very angry Captain Gates.

No, they haven’t forgotten about her even though we haven’t seen her for several episodes. And she gets a great scene back at the precinct where she chews out Beckett and Esposito for their actions. Then she puts them on leave only to have Beckett resign. As Esposito storms out, Ryan tries to apologize, but Esposito will hear none of it.

Beckett, meanwhile, goes out in the rain thinking about all that has happened.

Meanwhile, Castle is trying to figure out what to do with his evening now that his double feature doesn’t appeal to him. Alexis calls, but he tells her to have fun at her overnight party and don’t worry about him. He gets a call from Beckett, but he ignores it. He goes to his computer and deletes the file on her mother’s murder.

And then there’s a knock at the door. It’s Beckett. “What do you want?” “You.” And she starts kissing him. He’s not as thrilled to see her as you might think. She apologizes and explains what happened when they followed the lead. Then she says, “The guy got away, and I don’t care. As I was hanging on the ledge, I realized how much I want you.” Okay, it’s not a direct quote, but it’s close enough. When they kiss again, Castle is as much a part of it as Beckett. After a minute, she begins to lead him to the bedroom.

But no, we can’t stop there. Instead we flash to Montgomery’s friend who has made the truce with the villains to keep Beckett safe. The sniper is at his place demanding the file that Montgomery sent before he was killed. The friend attempts to explain the deal, but the sniper stops him, saying they are no longer interested in being blackmailed. They are going to get the file, and then they are going to kill Beckett. Fade to black.

So, Beckett won’t be safe even if she gives up the case, which it sure sounds like she is ready to do to be with Castle. Meanwhile, she’s off the force and Ryan and Esposito are on the outs. Plus Beckett and Castle are together, although that probably still won’t be smooth sailing. Lots to explore next year.

Now I will admit that Beckett’s change of heart seemed too quick in some ways, although it didn’t feel that way as I was watching. And facing death has a way of putting things into perspective. Ultimately, it left me very satisfied. I can’t wait until September (although the show hasn’t been officially renewed yet), but for now I have a smile on my face.

What about you? Were you happy to see them get together? Wondering where the story goes from here? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

And if you are looking for some good mysteries to hold you over until the show comes back, take a gander at my mystery reviews.