Nothing clever to open with this time, sort of half asleep right now, so lets dive right in!
In true Castle fashion we open with something light hearted, in this case, Castle and Beckett trying to pin down a date for their wedding, and not having much success. This scene is short, fun, and gives us a great Martha moment, which is something we were sorely lacking last week. With little luck in narrowing down a date, our favorite couple puts the planning on hold to go out and solve a murder.
This brings us into our CoW, a young man found dead in his apartment, the twist being that he was killed somewhere else and dragged back to his apartment. Finding a computer with a highly advanced encryption software, Beckett and team dive into trying to crack this puzzle. At first this runs in usual Castle fashion, family member’s interviewed, leads followed, and potential suspect questioned, and at this point things go off the rail when Castle sees that their only lead is none other than his CIA agent father, last seen in Paris, helping him to rescue Alexis.
Seeing James Brolin back in his role as Castle’s dad, Jackson Hunt, was a delight to see. His appearance in the previous season was honestly one of my favorite episodes, and I am pleasantly surprised to see him back so soon, honestly didn’t expect that to happen so soon. With his appearance we see a Castle torn between Beckett and his team, and his sense of loyalty to his family. We primarily see this play out as Castle being awkward and jumpy around Beckett and the others, being unused to having to withhold information from his team like this, makes total sense, and was honestly fun to watch. Fillion did these scenes well, and while he is always able to bring some quirckyness to the show with his character, it is nice to see him act a bit out of the normal every once in awhile. Best of all, it wasn’t something that was dragged on before leading to a huge fallout between Castle and Beckett. Instead we got the reveal roughly halfway through the episode with minimal fallout. Beckett of course doesn’t full trust Papa Castle, and rightly so because at this point all the evidence she has discovered points to him being the murderer, but when presented with the full story, including a shoot out and high speed chase that we sadly did not get to see on screen.
At this point the full extent of the CoW is revealed, the victim was brought on by Castle’s dad to help him track down a rogue CIA agent who is planning to sell a list of deep cover operatives to foreign nationals. However, Hunt is benched do to coming down with an unfortunate case of bullet-in-the-sideitis, and has no choice but to send Castle and Beckett in his place. This was great because we got see Castle and Beckett break from traditional police work and dip their toes into the pool of spycraft. While not something that I would want to see regularly on the show, the occasional playing in another sandbox is always good to spice things up. In the end, it is revealed that sending Castle and Beckett was just a ruse to draw out Gemini, the killer, so that Hunt could dispose of him and then disappear. We close out with Beckett, Ryan, and Esposito closing up the case and Castle having a heart to heart with his mom about his dad, both wondering if he will ever be seen again, while Hunt stands outside, staring up at Castle’s apartment with a look that can only be described as longing.
There was a lot great about this episode, and a few things that were less than great. Again, seeing Brolin back as Jackson Hunt was just amazing. Hunt is a great character that Brolin portrays beautifully. He nails every one of his scenes to a T, and I can only hope that we will see him again soon. His best parts would definitily be his interactions with Martha. And speaking of Martha, it was great to see her back after her absence last week, she was amazing as always, her lines at the end, telling Castle about the importance of Hunt to her was one of her best moments in the show.
As for the downsides, there are really only two. The first being the lack of Ryan and Esposito. While they did have some fun bits here and there, the joke about Ryan’s newborn baby looking like Esposito, and later Esposito walking into the crime scene with a funnel cake, fun to watch but ultimately rather pointless. They don’t do much to help with the overall plot of the episode, instead they just seemed to be around to remind us they were there. But, after getting blown up and dropped into a basement last week, I guess we can give them the day off. The second, and bigger one, was the lack of Alexis. In an episode that focused so heavily on Castle’s family, it was upsetting not to see his daughter having some role in this. We have been suffering from a severe lack of Alexis, and that needs to be fixed soon.
Overall, great episode, the return of Hunt and a bit of break from the usual were a great way to spice up things up mid season and keep things a bit fresh.