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Castle 5-16: Hunt

Last week, I said that the February two parters often become more about some big adventure than they do a traditional mystery. While I was right – the mystery took a back seat – I felt like the story held together pretty well overall. There were no glaring plot holes, anyway. And it was certainly a fun ride.

I’m jumping right into part two here. If you need a refresher on part one, head over to last week’s recap first.

The episode picks up exactly where the last one left off – Alexis is being dragged off the roof of the building in Paris where she and Sarah were being held. We see three men were up there dragging her off, too.

And then we’re back in New York. The FBI agent is talking about the diplomatic hoops they have to jump through to continue the search for Alexis and Sarah. He also says they’ve narrowed the phone call down to the entire city limits of Paris. That’s a big help. Castle is very frustrated about how long it is going to take when Sarah’s parents get a ransom call. Her parents insist they will get back both Sarah and Alexis, and the kidnappers agree. They set a drop in Paris. Fortunately, Sarah has relatives there and the drop is in a location where we can tap into some cameras to see what is happening.

The man shows up to make the drop. Another car shows up, and men jump out with guns, forcing him to his knees. They take the money and run. He gets up, runs off camera for a few seconds and then runs back on camera with Sarah.

And only Sarah.

I mean seriously, didn’t the characters realize they hadn’t even reached the opening commercial break yet? Did they think they’d get Alexis back so early?

Sarah does reveal that after the escape attempt, she and Alexis had been separated.

Castle is clearly crushed, and Beckett promises they will continue to work hard to get her back doing what they can – follow the trail of the murdered kidnapper. While doing that, they get a sketch of a man who had been at the cabin where he was found. No clue who he is, but it is a new lead.

Castle has headed home to fill his mom in on the latest developments. But when Beckett heads over there to fill him in at the end of the day, Martha has heard nothing from him for hours. His passport is gone. And they call him. He claims to be at the precinct still, but Martha gets a confession – he’s gone to Paris to track down Alexis himself.

And he has a connection that has a connection. This connection uses a recording of the video call from last episode to pin point the location of where Sarah and Alexis had been held. They arrive to find an empty room, but there is a bug and a phone. Castle’s connection uses it to make contact with the kidnappers who agree to meet. And then they agree to a ransom for Alexis.

Meanwhile, Beckett and crew have finally tracked down the murdered kidnapper’s apartment. And they find a wall of pictures of Alexis. This confirms what I was theorizing about last week and said to my roommate after Sarah was freed. Alexis was the real target.

Castle goes with his contact for the ransom exchange. But he gets out and the men pull guns on them. He feels that something isn’t right, and it’s confirmed when his contact holds a gun to his head. He says, “If I had known who Alexis is, I never would have gotten involved.” The men they were meeting grab Castle and force him to the ground. He’s cringing, knowing he’s about to be executed. And shots are fired, but none of them hit him. Everyone, including his contact, is dead.

Naturally, Castle freaks out since he doesn’t see anyone. And then the man does walk into the clearing, he doesn’t help matters any because he doesn’t want to explain who he is. He just wants to get them out of there. He does convince Castle to go with him (after shooting Castle’s phone and then reminded Castle to take back the ransom money).

Back in an apartment, we learn who Castle is with – his father. I must admit, I had read a spoiler that Castle’s dad would show up in the two parter. Even if that wasn’t the case, I predicted this back in January (and before I read the spoiler). They were just setting it up too much.

Castle and Dad have a nice talk where we learn Dad is a spy, so he’s kept his distance for years as a result. Still, he has always checked in on his family. He steered a young Castle to a copy of Casino Royale, the book that made Castle want to be a writer. And he pulled strings to get Castle into the CIA for research for his early novels.

But Dad is also why we are here. Alexis was kidnapped by one of Dad’s enemies. Dad killed the man’s wife, and the kidnapper is going to kill Alexis if Dad doesn’t turn himself over to be killed. But Dad has another plan if Castle will help.

Castle’s up for it, so they are going to try an assault on the location where Alexis is being held. Castle’s job is to turn off power to part of it.

Only he’s caught, and brought into the room where Alexis is being held in a cage. The villain takes the walky talky that Castle and his Dad were using to communicate and calls to Dad with it. He walks away from Castle and Alexis, and Dad triggers the explosives in the walky talky, killing our villain. Castle’s watch is really a gadget that includes explosives, and he uses it to open the cage. While Dad fights off everyone at the front of the building, Castle and Alexis run out the back and straight to the American consulate.

And now we’re back in New York. Alexis and Castle are talking about how they have a cover story and can never reveal what really happened, but they wonder what happened to Castle’s dad. They open the door to the loft where they are greeted enthusiastically by Martha and Beckett.

And we see that Castle has a package. He opens it up, and it’s a copy of Casino Royale. He smiles, knowing it’s a sign that Dad made it out alive. “Mom, I have something to tell you.”

Fade to black.

As I said, a great ride. Not a mystery in the traditional sense, but the characters did a good job of following clues and figuring out what was really happening.

I realize that this show doesn’t have strong story arcs from one week to the next. Frankly, that’s one thing I love about it. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the strong story arc shows as well. I do recap Once Upon a Time after all. But it’s nice to also have shows where what happens from week to week isn’t built upon right away.

Anyway, I’m wondering how long it will be before this comes up again on the show. How will it affect the characters? I’ll be curious to see the fallout from this for the rest of the season.

I’m a bit surprised they didn’t reference last year’s two parter where the double agent told Castle that his dad was a spy. Castle didn’t know whether to believe her or not, but obviously she was right.

So, what did you think? Did you enjoy it as much as I did?

Looks like we’ve got two weeks off, but when we come back it’s our horror spoof of the season with a take on The Grudge and slasher films. Should be fun.

4 thoughts on “Castle 5-16: Hunt”

  1. Ha – she was the target. I was telling my daughter (a big Castle fan and the person who turned me on to this show) that I thought it was Alexis that was the target but she wasn’t buying it … until we saw she was. Nicely played says my daughter :)

    And Rick’s dad – it’s JAMES BROLIN! How freakin cool is that?! Yes – I liked the episode.

    1. I was thinking about it last week, but I called it as soon as Sarah was released but Alexis wasn’t. My roommate didn’t believe me yet, but I was right. Considering he’s seen several twists coming that I haven’t in stand alone episodes, it’s about time.

  2. My only real disappointment was the early spoiler that James Brolin was going to play Castle’s dad. I wish I hadn’t seen it. I still enjoyed the episode, but I think I would have enjoyed it more if I had had a few more minutes of wondering what was going on. I did enjoy the twist after Castle also got captured that it was all part of the plan. Nice. I didn’t even remember teasers/set-up you mentioned from last year. I, too, enjoy ongoing stories (Grey’s Anatomy, Nashville) but crime shows just work better going show to show and only occasionally putting in the longer story arcs. I generally don’t think too much when I watch Castle so things like this are nice surprises for me (unless, of course, I read a spoiler…pah).

    1. Yeah, I wish I hadn’t seen the spoiler myself. All told it was a well done episode even with knowing the spoiler.

      And it is very nice to have some shows that don’t require you to remember every plot point for weeks on end.

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