Last night's Castle was one where I was on the edge of my seat for almost the entire hour. We start off with Beckett surveilling someone and snapping some pics of him at one in the morning. She enters her observations into a little notebook and from the looks of things, she's been watching him for some time.
Next we see a yawning Beckett talking to Castle on the phone. His book tour signings and events have been moved to after the wedding so he's coming home early. Beckett tells him about her surveillance activities and Castle isn't too pleased that she went out alone. He wants to involve Ryan and Espo, but she doesn't want to jeopardize their careers and nixes that idea. The phone rings and it's the precinct---they've caught a murder.
And surprise! The victim is the guy that Beckett has been tailing. She has them follow a hunch and track traffic cams in a five block radius. Since she was following him, she would know that, I guess. Hopefully they don't see her van tailing him because that would be bad.
The team does get a hit on the driver of the murder victim. He's someone Beckett knows well---Vulcan Simmons. The guy who tortured her. The drug lord. The guy who had a hand in her mother's murder. Castle says maybe this is a good thing because since Vulcan is being investigated for murder, she can have a full access pass to his life. That sentiment doesn't last long, however, because Gates takes Beckett off the case, saying she's too close to it and it just wouldn't look right. Beckett and Castle go back to the loft to look for links between Vulcan and the murder victim. Ryan calls to let them know they couldn't tie Vulcan to anything and had to let him go.
Beckett can't believe it and decides to find her own link. She goes back over her own surveillance and finds an old truck yard place in the photos. She glances at Castle and decides to go in on her own. Bad idea. It's creepy, it's dark, and she is alone. Of course she finds the bloody town car and Vulcan is there waiting for her. They face off against one another and he dismisses her. She moves forward with her gun, saying not til he answers her questions.
Next scene is of Castle being woken up by a call from Ryan asking if Beckett is there. She's being reinstated on the Vulcan case because . . . dun dun dun . . . Vulcan is now a murder victim as well. (Dangit! I really liked his character, too. Evil, yet had some great lines.)
Vulcan was tortured, shot five times in the knees, torso and then heart. Ew. Beckett is using her police officer blank face as she asks all the right questions. Espo and Ryan tell Castle they have a witness who says someone matching Beckett's description was there last night. Uh oh.
Castle and Beckett talk at the station and she admits she was there. Castle is upset because she promised she wouldn't do stuff like that alone. And honestly, for a crack detective she knew that was stupid to do without a warrant. While they're talking a bunch of Internal Affairs guys come in and talk to Gates and Caskett gets a call from a shaken Lainey who says that the bullet that killed Vulcan is from Beckett's gun. Uh oh. Beckett and Castle realize she's being set up and she high tails it out of there.
Castle finally lets the guys in on what's going on and that leads to a lead on Mr. Smith who was formerly a safekeeper for the file that kept Beckett alive. They realize he must have faked his death and Beckett and Castle (after a sweet reunion at the swings) go to the hospital to talk to the doc who signed the death certificate. He says he can't help them, but as they are leaving dead Mr. Smith calls on the burner phone. They meet him for a pointless meeting in a dark parking garage whose only purpose was to tell everyone that Bracken is looking for a recording and can't find it. And then Mr. Smith leaves with a "don't ever call me again." (Another weird plot point was the guys telling Gates everything. For no reason apparently since at the end she's all, yeah, we can't help her with no evidence. Weird. And waste of air time.)
Anyway, Caskett go to a sleazy motel and Beckett is going to change her hair color. Castle leaves to go get a car. Bad idea in leaving her alone, though. I thought she would leave him behind, but instead she's jumped by Bracken and two of his lackeys. She stands up for herself, tells Bracken to shoot her himself, but he declines, saying he has people for that. He's so deliciously evil, like Vulcan, but Vulcan just made it look good, you know? Anyway, the lackeys drug her and get her drunk so she can shoot herself. Only she didn't swallow the pill and takes the lackeys out quite spectacularly. Not before she's bashed on the head, though. She makes it out to the hallway, bleeding, where Castle finds her. He hightails it out of there with her and heads to Canada. What a smart man.
Only, while Beckett is out of it she remembers her first meeting with Montgomery (man I miss him! And it makes me see why I don't like Gates once we've had someone as amazing as him). Anyway, she remembers him telling her to go over her mom's belongings for tape cassettes and Beckett says she has to go home to get her mom's tapes. Ryan and Espo help her get in, and they find her mom's day book with a little code on the day she died, but then they're all caught and taken to the precinct.
While they're handcuffed, waiting to be taken to booking, Beckett sees the family of elephants figurine she has on her desk and puts the pieces together. That was her mom's. Her mom said the elephants were a family, just like them. She grabs for the figurine, struggling with the IA guys, and it breaks open, revealing the cassette tape. They all listen to it, and it is extremely incriminating against Bracken.
The next scene was one of triumph. Bracken is giving his interview to a boatload of press when Beckett walks in and arrests him. The look on her face was one of sadness and victory. Stana Katic killed it. Once he's taken away in a squad car, she hugs Castle. I loved that ending. And finally, finally, the Johanna Beckett murder storyline can be put to rest! Hallelujah!
Next week's previews is about the wedding! I'm so excited for that. Six years of waiting. I hope the writers don't let us down. *crosses fingers* Did you see it? What did you think?