'Castle' Fan Columnist: Going Out with a Bang
'Castle' Fan Columnist: Going Out with a Bang
Nicole Bessette
Nicole Bessette
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
Oh. My. God. Castle fans, are you still alive after that unbelievable season finale? Incredibly written by the estimable Will Beall, last night's episode, "Knockout," definitely lived up to all the hype and was  nothing short of spectacular.

In fact, it has definitely become my favorite Castle episode yet, and, in addition to all the stuff that went down in it, I'm deeply saddened by the fact that Beall won't be returning to write for Castle next season.

Although he has penned some of the best episodes to date, Beall has chosen to turn his eye to the silver screen with some impressive projects already lined up, and he promises the release of a new book, The Lionhunters, out soon.

Therefore, I wanted to take this time, on behalf of the entire Castle fandom, to thank Will Beall for all of his tremendous work and to wish him all the best in his future endeavors. Despite our eagerness for your coming projects, Mr. Beall, you will be sorely missed.

OK -- now for the hard part.

I know I tell you every week that if you haven't seen the latest episode of Castle to watch it and then come back and read this when you do, but I'm telling you: this has never been more true than right now. There will be major spoilers below.

Alright, so now that that's out of the way and because there's just so much to cover, let's not waste any more time. Let's get recapping!

The Third Cop

Upon walking into the precinct to announce the new graphic novel that will be released based on Derrick Storm, Castle is surprised to find Beckett missing. Ryan and Esposito fill him in though, telling him that she's making her weekly visit to go see Lockwood.

While there, however, Beckett receives news that Lockwood has been transferred from administrative segregation to general population, and this is immediately cause for concern as she knows he's going to kill McCallister the first chance he gets.

And sure enough, this is exactly what he does. Now, to find out more about who hired him, Beckett and Castle go to Lockwood's arraignment. Only, once there, things proceed to get worse.

Three cops show up to the arraignment as well, but the problem is that they're not cops and they're not there to see Lockwood brought to justice. In fact, it's just the opposite.

After throwing a smoke bomb to buy them some time, they free Lockwood and escape in a helicopter waiting outside, much to Beckett's dismay.

Although it seems like there's not much hope after this, Esposito deciphers a call that Lockwood made to someone only a few days before in which it was said to "continue the mission."

This means that Lockwood was after somebody else besides McCallister, and because he could've already killed Beckett, that just leaves the mysterious and illusive third cop as his target. The trouble is, of course, discovering this person's identity.

Castle does make a bit of a breakthrough though, realizing that some of the reports have been altered, and this sends Ryan and Esposito on a mission to find the man who was in charge of the archives back then.

Yet, once they find him, they're just as shocked as we are as an audience to find out the true identity of the third cop: Captain Montgomery.

Lockwood pays a visit to him at his house and tells him that he has a choice to make: he can save Beckett or he can save his family. If he wants his wife and children to live, he is to call off the protective detail on Beckett and have her meet him at the hangar where they found the helicopter.

So, Montgomery does as he is told, and Beckett meets him there. Yet, right as she does, she gets a text message revealing that the Captain is the third cop, and when he realizes that she knows, he begins to explain it all.

He was just a rookie when it happened, and he believed in what McCallister and Raglan were doing; they were heroes to him. However, it was only supposed to be Pulgatti in that alley that day, so when Bob Armen reached for Montgomery's gun, he shot him.

Although Montgomery didn't kill Beckett's mother, he says that she died because of what they did that night, and clearly feeling remorse, he tells Beckett that he brought her to the hangar in order to lure Lockwood there.

While he has no intention of her dying, he is going to make one final stand, and with Castle taking Beckett away to safety, this is just what he does. He shoots and kills all of Lockwood's men, and even though he is shot himself, he manages to kill Lockwood before he dies.

And so, while we now know who the third cop was, the mystery of who Lockwood was working for still remains a mystery.

He Died a Hero

I don't know about you, but I still can't get over the fact that Captain Montgomery was the third cop. Yet, the thing is that even if I wanted to hold it against him, I couldn't do it if I tried.

Captain Montgomery has been with us since the show first started, and we've all grown to love him because he's always been one of the most honorable and upstanding members of the 12th.

And even though what he did was terribly wrong, I think he did a pretty good job of paying for it. As he told Beckett, she was his second chance. He knew then that he was going to protect her the way he should've protected her mother.

Moreover, whereas McCallister and Raglan tried to drown what happened and pretend like it never happened, Montgomery didn't do this. Instead, he became the best cop he could be, and he put everything he had into the job.  

What's more, we find out just how much the Captain cares about Beckett when he tells Castle how they first met.

While working late one night, Montgomery went down to the archives where he found Beckett with a flashlight studying a file. Since she was a patrol cop then and wasn't even authorized to be there, he asked her what she was doing.

She responded that she was analyzing her mother's case and that she found some things that didn't add up. Captain Montgomery knew then that although he could've written her up, it just wouldn't stop her. She had a tenacity that he clearly admired.

So, yes, while I will acknowledge that he made a bad mistake when he was younger, I definitely think he redeemed himself both personally and professionally.

Really, I think the scene with his two daughters and his wife just said it all, and also, we can't forget about how he sent off the files. Of course, like the identity of the man who hired Lockwood, the issue of to whom he sent them will be something for us to find out as we go into the coming seasons.  

Additionally, you could tell how much Montgomery meant to everyone at the 12th in that Esposito and Ryan started fighting with each other because they were both so distraught over finding out that he was the third cop, and in the end, they, along with Castle and Beckett, agreed to never let anyone else know what happened.

As far as they and the rest of the world are concerned, he died a hero. And in my mind, that's how he died as well. I forgive him, and so did Beckett.

So, from all of us Castle fans, Mr. Ruben Santiago-Hudson, we will miss you very much, and we sincerely thank you for all that you've done for us and for the show.

Meeting the Parent

In addition to all of the other crazy things that went down in this episode, Castle finally met Beckett's dad, Jim.

Concerned about his daughter's well-being and safety, he pays Castle a visit to see if he can talk to her. He's already lost his wife, and he can't afford to lose his daughter as well, but she won't listen to him, and she won't back down.

However, he's heard good things about Castle from Beckett, and he knows that she cares about him. Therefore, he thinks he can convince her that her life is worth more than her mother's death.

Don't you just love how even Beckett's father knows how they both feel about each other?

Don't Waste Another Minute

Wow. There were so many great Caskett moments in this episode it's hard to know where to start.

Well, first off, I thought it was so sweet how Beckett falls on top of Castle to cover him when the bomb goes off, and I really enjoyed the scene with Castle and Alexis when Alexis says she can't imagine what it must be like for Beckett to give so many other people closure but to not have it herself.

Unfortunately, it's not like Castle's books where the wicked are punished and brought to justice. Real life just isn't that easy, and of course, his situation with Beckett and trying to talk some sense into her seems impossible.

Still, I love his attempts to get the Captain to do something about it, and at the same time, I really liked how we got to see Beckett so worked up over the case when she was telling Ryan and Esposito to "check it again," because it showed just how much the case means to her.

But yet, my second favorite Caskett moment had to be when Castle went over to Beckett's apartment to tell her about the third cop. Once there, he points out how everyone associated with the case is dead, and he asks her to walk away from it.

He tells her to think about how what she's doing will affect the people that love her like her dad in particular, but then Beckett counters by asking about him to which Castle responds that of course he doesn't want to see anything bad happen to her because he's her partner and her friend.

But when Beckett questions if that's what they really are, Castle says he doesn't know what they are because they kiss and never talk about it and almost freeze to death in each other's arms and never talk about it. He just knows that he doesn't want to see her throw her life away.

Of course, Beckett says that it's her life, and after Castle accuses her of being afraid and staying in relationships with men she doesn't love even though she deserves to be happy, Beckett tells him that they're over.

Now, have I mentioned before how much I love Martha? Because I do. I really do. After his fight with Beckett, Castle throws a glass at his Heat Rises poster out of frustration which causes Martha to come running in wondering what's going on.

Immediately, she says that there is only one person on the planet that can get him that upset, and she tells him that, for a man who makes his living with words, he sure has a hard time finding them when it counts.

Thus, coming from experience, she urges him to not waste another minute in telling Beckett how he really feels. Go Martha!

Of course, in the next scene, Beckett is telling Captain Montgomery that she wants Castle gone, but he tells her that he kept Castle around all this time because he saw that he was good for her. Before him, she wasn't having any fun. And we all know that Beckett doesn't really want him gone.

Castle obviously cares about her enough to call her 23 times and to even save her life when Montgomery orders him to get her out of the hangar and to safety. Although it isn't easy, he quite adorably picks her up and carries her out, even having to cover her mouth so they won't hear her crying.

And then, at Montgomery's funeral, I loved how Beckett turned to look at Castle when she was quoting the Captain's words about finding someone willing to stand with you, and I only wish this moment had ended differently.

Even though Montgomery said to Lockwood that he secured Beckett's safety before he died, Beckett gets shot while delivering his eulogy, and I have to admit that I was ridiculously caught off-guard here. Lanie's reaction about undid me.

And just when I thought I couldn't be any more shocked by this episode, in the next few moments, while Castle holds Beckett and tells her to stay with him and not to die, he also tells her he loves her.

Yeah, remember that list of the best Caskett moments of season 3? This totally tops it.

Obviously, Beckett can't die because without her there'd be no show, so what we have to ask ourselves now is how is Castle's confession going to play out next season.

Unfortunately, however, that brings me to another one of my points. We won't know what happens until Castle returns in September, and I'm pretty sure I speak for everyone when I say this is going to be one very long summer.

But now that you've all heard from me, I want to hear from you. What did you think of this episode? What do you think is going to happen next season? Do you think Josh is even still in the picture? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

(Image courtesy of ABC)