Castle Cliff Notes: Recoil

Johanna Beckett: It may seem like a simple name to non Castle viewers, but the Castle faithful know the high stakes that come with anything involving her name.  Season after season we gained information about her case and while it sometimes caused tension with our favorite crime fighters it also ultimately brought them closer together. Whenever Beckett’s mom’s case is involved you know the episode is going to be full of intensity, emotion, and drama and Recoil came packed with all three.  If I could I would just say the entire episode was worthy was a spot on the countdown, but this week I should really rename this the Kate Beckett Top 5 because Stana blew this episode out of the water!

Honorable Mention:
First, I have to say that honorable mention goes to Castle walking into Beckett’s apartment mainly because now I’m curious if he had a key or it Beckett had the door unlocked.  I like to think she had it locked considering she lives in the city but maybe that just wishful thinking by me. Thoughts? And onto the countdown…

5.  Opening Up
Later in the episode, Beckett is interrogating McManus and is trying to get him to open up.  In a rare moment, Beckett opens up and reveals some of her personal life stating “I know what it’s like to lose someone that you love, to live with that pain. To feel the rage towards the person responsible for it.  Towards Bracken.”  While she is saying this Gates enters and she hears Beckett say “he took someone close to me, he killed my mother and then he went after my friends, even tried to kill me.”  Slightly confused Gates asks Castle “is she talking about Bracken?” But Castle covers for Beckett saying “she’s just trying to get through to him.” I love that Castle covered for Beckett!  I’m not sure Gates was 100% convinced though, so what do you guys think?  Is she really as clueless as she is coming off or do you think she is onto the “relationship” between Beckett and Bracken especially after their awkward encounter earlier in the episode?  Also, do you think by this point Gates knows something is up with Castle/Beckett?

4.  Keep Your Friends Close and Your Enemies Closer
At the very end of the episode, Bracken asks Beckett to walk him out stating “you saved my life.”  Clearly not pleased with their current situation Beckett says “yea well you can’t win them all can you?”  Continuing with the somewhat forced and awkward conversation Bracken says “I suppose this means I’m in your debt” and Beckett keeping with her no nonsense tone replies “nothing’s changed between us senator.” I would have to disagree here Kate.  Clearly there has been a slight shift because you did just save his life.  I’m not saying its all ok with Bracken but I think there has been a change and maybe she is more motivated now than ever before to find the evidence to convict him. In an ominous but what seemed to be a foreshadowing fashion Bracken ends the episode saying “even so, it’s a dangerous world out there detective, you never know when you might need a friend.” DUN DUN DUNNNNN! Sounds like Bracken might be back in the near future!

3. Dotting the I’s
Trying to match handwriting of the potential killer with threat letters to Bracken, Beckett is seen going through Bracken’s mail with Castle.  In one of the episodes lighter moments, Castle says “considering what he’s capable of, you would think bracken would have more formidable enemies.”  Beckett says “oh, obviously you never saw the letter that I sent him,” but Castle quickly says “oh I did actually. I liked the way you dotted the “I” on kill with a little heart it’s a nice touch.”  Kate smiles a little (which is nice to see during such an intense episode) and says she was “trying to give it a personal feel.”  The lighthearted attitude takes a little turn when Castle asks “so are we really not going to talk about this?” and Kate tries to stop him with “what is there to talk about?”  Castle tries to convince her to talk but Beckett shrugs it off as usual saying “it’s just like any other case.” Is that so, Beckett?  Then why did you just quickly tuck a letter away? Yawning, Castle tries to keep going through the letters but Beckett tells him to go get some rest.  He tries to tell her no but she places a reassuring hand on his harm and says she will call him if she needs him.  In one of the few Caskett moments of the episode Castle says “you really are remarkable you know that?” before leaving. Kate tries to contain a shy smile (that I adore) but then we realize that she actually found the matching letter.  I picked this moment because I loved the little, subtle Caskett moments and I can’t resist the shy Beckett smile.  I mean, seriously… try to.  You just can’t!  Kate Beckett is the queen of all facial expressions.

2.  Withholding Evidence
Ok, so this is more like a series of moments but they all work to get us to the end point of where I want the moment to be.  Beckett continues to struggle with her dilemma of what to do with the letter she found that matches the suspected murderer’s handwriting.  She even goes as far as to talk to Dr. Burke about her dilemma and says that it doesn’t feel like there is a right choice in her current situation.  Dr. Burke suggests that “maybe the right choice is one you can live with,” and we are left hanging with Beckett holding a lighter towards the letter.  Turns out she decided not to burn it though, and almost tells the team about it until they get information on the suspect and eventually find out his location. Arriving at the address, I was super excited to see the return of the Writer/Detective vests but the suspect was not home.  Beckett leaves to question the building owner but McManus, the suspect, steps out of the elevator at that moment and starts to run after Beckett warns him “don’t move or I’ll shoot.”  Well she does shoot, but only after she waits a second and misses potentially on purpose since she may want this guy to carry through with his plan.  Castle turns the corner and you get the idea he can pick up on the struggle she is having internally.  She later admits to Castle that she had him in her sights and he brushes it off telling her that she just missed and it wasn’t a big deal.  Beckett then drops the bomb on him that she found the letter in the threats file and knew it was McManus before they did and almost suppressed evidence.  She reveals to Castle that McManus had previously accused Bracken of murdering his son.  Castle continues to be supportive, telling her she ended up not doing anything wrong but Beckett continues with her internal struggle of thinking she possibly wants McManus to go through with his plan and that’s why did couldn’t take the shot.  I felt so bad for Beckett as she opened up and said she could see McManus’ pain and that’s why she couldn’t shoot.  You knew all the moments surrounding her mother’s death and her journey to find justice all came flooding back during this case and it was intense to watch.  So what do you think?  Did she miss on purpose because she wanted Bracken dead or was it just the raw emotion that hit close to home preventing her from shooting?

1.  In My Dreams…
In my favorite Beckett/ Bracken scene of the episode Gates tells Bracken than Beckett will need a moment with him.  Thrown off guard by this request, Bracken asks “why?” and Gates, slightly confused by his apprehension says “because she’s leading the investigation.”  You can tell she is still slightly confused by the vibe between Beckett and Bracken so she asks “is there some reason why you don’t want to work with Detective Beckett?” You can tell Kate is daring him with her eyes to say something, but Bracken knows better.  Once alone, Bracken says “hard to miss the irony of this situation.”  Beckett tries to not act affected and starts her series of questions.  “Senator Bracken, do you have any enemies? Is there anyone that you can think of that would like to kill you?”  He explains to her that he gets a lot of threatening letters because of his job and that a man doesn’t get to his position “without upsetting people along the way.”  He says that “most of them aren’t crazy enough to want to try to kill me, present company excluded.”  Beckett seemed slightly amused by this remark and she says “you know Senator, I’m not the one you should be worried about right now.”  Seriously Bracken… you don’t want to mess with an angry Kate Beckett so don’t say we didn’t warn you in the future.  Bracken isn’t feeling pressured though, he continues to think it’s a game saying “it’s just us here detective... a shooter on the loose…me in the crosshairs…must be a dream come true for you.”  With a cold, icy stare Beckett responds with “in my dreams I’m the one that gets to pull the trigger.”  I don’t know how he managed to stay calm and collected because I got goosebumps during this scene.  Stana was fantastic with her delivery and I think 99% of the population would have lost it right about there in her questioning if they hadn’t yet.  Daring him to push even further Beckett says that if he isn’t comfortable with her leading the investigation he can step out and tell everyone why.  She then ends the questioning with “when someone commits murder, whoever he is senator... I will bring him to justice no matter how long it takes” followed by one of the most serious Beckett stares I have ever seen.  Something tells me Bracken will eventually see that he is messing with the wrong cop.  Bravo to Stana on this one and let it be known that I never, ever want to be on Kate Beckett’s bad side. 

 Episodes involving the Johanna Beckett storyline never disappoint me but what about you guys?  Think Stana deserves all the awards for her performance in the episode or not one of your favorites?  Excited for the first Valentines Day episode with Caskett as a couple? Join the discussion in the comments section below, tweet me @DenialLove or tweet us at @TwelfthPrecinct!  Follow me, I’ll follow you and we’ll talk Castle! 

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DenialLove Founder, Administrator, Editor and Writer

The moment that I met you, my life became extraordinary. You taught me to be my best self, to look forward to tomorrow's adventures. And when I was vulnerable, you were strong. I love you, Richard Castle. And I want to live my life in the warmth of your smile and the strength of your embrace. I promise you I will love you. I will be your friend and your partner in crime and in life, always. - Kate Beckett The moment we met, my life became extraordinary. You taught me more about myself than I knew there was to learn. You are the joy in my heart. You're the last person I want to see every night when I close my eyes. I love you, Katherine Beckett. And the mystery of you is the one I want to spend the rest of my life exploring. I promise to love you, to be your friend, and your partner in crime and life, 'till death do us part, and for the time of our lives. - Richard Castle

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