'Castle' Fan Columnist: Taking It to the Next Level
'Castle' Fan Columnist: Taking It to the Next Level
Nicole Bessette
Nicole Bessette
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
Oh. My. God. My favorite episode of Castle ever. Beckett is yet another step closer to finding out who ordered the hit on her mom, Ryan and Esposito proved how totally badass they are, and, oh yeah, did I forget to mention that Castle and Beckett kissed?

For those of you who missed it or merely want to bask once more in the epic-ness that was "Knockdown," I adamantly urge you to read on, my friends!

Piecing it Together

OK, guys, just a warning: This is about to get very complex.

Beckett gets a call from John Raglan, the lead detective on her mother's homicide case 12 years ago, revealing that he has new information for her. He instructs Beckett to meet him at a coffee shop alone without any cops, but she conveniently decides to bend the rules on this one.  

Taking Castle with her because she trusts him, the pair meet with Raglan at the coffee shop where he reveals that he has lymphoma and only six months left to live. Thus, he feels it is time for him to confess that he wrote off the murder of Johanna Beckett as random gang violence even though he knew it wasn't because he was told to by someone who he clearly fears.

Before he can reveal any more than the fact that this whole thing began 19 years ago when he made a bad mistake, however, Raglan is killed by an unknown gunman, and given the shot, it was clearly done by a professional and someone who wanted to keep him quiet.  

Thus, we now enter back into the murder of Johanna Beckett, which Montgomery clears Beckett to work on as long as she does not get too involved.  Yet, when an old drug dealer named Vulcan Simmons is brought in for questioning and calls Beckett's mom "trash" and a "rich bitch," she loses it and throws him up against the glass.  

Although I personally loved seeing Beckett put this guy in his rightful place, Capt. Montgomery certainly has a different opinion, and, as such, he tells Beckett and Castle that they're off the case, leaving it up to Ryan and Esposito to find Raglan's murderer.

Thanks to surveillance footage and a fingerprint on the arm of a very talkative woman, Ryan and Esposito identify the shooter as Hal Lockwood (although this is a cover ID) and subsequently go to the corporate suite he is staying in to bring him in. Although Hal is not there when they arrive, a bunch of creepy pictures of Castle and Beckett are, meaning that this certainly is their guy.     

Meanwhile, Castle and Beckett conduct an investigation of their own and gain a pivotal piece of information. The alleyway that Beckett's mother was killed in was not random; it used to be the back entrance to a club called Sons of Palermo, an old mafia hangout. As it turns out, a former undercover FBI agent named Bob Armond was killed there several years ago, and Det. Raglan convicted a man named Joe Pulgatti of the murder.

Seeing this as suspicious, Castle and Beckett go to question Pulgatti and learn that he did not kill Bobby Armond and was in fact the only witness of his murder. Pulgatti recounts that three men in ski masks pulled up in that alleyway and tried to take him, and when Bobby tried to stop them, he ended up on the wrong end of things.  

However, given that that was a blind alley and no one else was there, yet Raglan convicted him of the murder, this leads Pulgatti to believe that Raglan must have been one of the kidnappers. And therefore, we have a breakthrough.

Raglan and at least two other cops were kidnapping mobsters for ransom back before Beckett's mother was killed, but things went south when they tried to snatch Joe Pulgatti and later pinned Bobby's murder on him. Then, seven years later, when Johanna Beckett, a lawyer, and a group of her colleagues tried to put together an appeal for Pulgatti, the crooked cops hired Dick Coonan to kill them all, and Raglan wrote it all off as random gang violence, knowing that if the case got overturned, they would all be exposed.

Now, putting two and two together, Castle and Beckett find out that Raglan's oldest and only friend, Gary McCallister, was another one of the cops involved in the ransom scandal, and they deduce that Hal Lockwood, the man who shot Raglan, must have been the third and final guy involved. He obviously killed Raglan to keep the story and his involvement in it from getting out.

However, thanks to some heroics by Ryan and Esposito and even Castle, which I will discuss momentarily, Lockwood is caught and put away. And with this, Beckett resolves to visit him week after week until by some miracle he finally reveals who hired him.   

Men of Action

Wow. How awesome were Ryan and Esposito in this episode? In my opinion, they're two of the key ingredients that make Castle so great, and just in case the rest of the world didn't know that, they certainly proved it tonight.

At first respectfully declining the case of Raglan's murder and by extension the murder of Beckett's mom out of loyalty and respect to Beckett herself, Ryan and Esposito then take it upon themselves to not let Beckett down, working harder than I've ever seen them work to make sure that they find that shooter.  

And, once they do, they manage to put up with extreme torture, what with Ryan constantly being dunked into and held under ice cold water while Esposito is forced to watch. Yet, they still refuse to give Lockwood any information and even manage to crack a few jokes in the face of extreme danger.  

There is absolutely no doubt about it. These guys rock!

Laying Down the Law

Although Capt. Montgomery had to make some tough decisions in this episode, like telling Beckett she was off the case and then that she needed a security detail after finding the photos of her in Lockwood's suite, Montgomery did what he had to do, and I definitely respect him for that.

In retrospect, he was just looking out for the safety of Beckett and Castle, and I must say that it was nice seeing so much of him in one episode. Here's hoping it happens again very soon!

A Partnership Redefined 

OK, finally we have come to the moment I have been waiting to talk about since I started writing this. I would just like everyone to know that I will be re-watching this episode again and again just for all the amazing Castle and Beckett moments. Now, where to begin?

Well, first, I have to say that Beckett stopping by Castle's apartment after getting the news about her mother and then taking him to the coffee shop with her because he's someone that she trusts was so moving to me because it shows just how much he really means to her.  

Also, along those same lines, I think seeing how strongly Castle reacted when he thought it was her who had been shot definitely opened Beckett's eyes as to how much she means to him. Oh, and the two of them calling each other by their first names? Yeah, that's huge.     

Honestly, how sweet was it when Castle brought Beckett flowers and stayed to comfort her after she'd been kicked off the case? He had even already devised a plan to break into the precinct and get the files they needed and everything. In other words, he was not willing to give up on finding who ordered the hit on her mom, and I think this too really struck a chord with Beckett.  

And now, this brings me to the part where Beckett finally confirmed Castle as her partner rather than just her "plucky sidekick," as you could tell that she was genuinely concerned with him being in harm's way.  

Similarly, this is why she was so appreciative when Castle saved her life at the end, but even more so that he was OK. Did you see all the tenderness she put into wrapping his hand for him? Yes, my friends, I think we're on the verge of seeing a new dynamic between Castle and Beckett.      

The Aftermath  

Finally! Castle and Beckett kissed! Did you cry? Did you scream? Well, whatever the case, now we're left wondering what it's going to mean. How is this going to develop in future episodes and also be readdressed?  

Unfortunately, I do not have these answers, but I do see a favorable outcome between the two in our future, and I will tell you why.  

Castle broke up with Gina in the previous episode because their relationship was just ordinary, and he told his mother that his following Beckett is "not about the books anymore."  So, from the Castle point of view, we clearly know he feels. He's in love with Beckett and has finally admitted it to himself!  

But, then there's Beckett, and she's still in a relationship with Josh. Well, given the fact that he's never there, and he doesn't even know anything about her mom, I find myself wondering how in the world they even have a relationship in the first place. And when I think about things like this, it truly makes me think that what they have cannot last for much longer.  

Now, although I am not ecstatic about the fact that we will be seeing Josh again in the near future, I'm choosing to hold out hope that maybe this is when we will see the two break up.  Maybe he will see what Castle and Beckett have and realize that he and Beckett have not and cannot ever have that. It's totally possible, right?

So, for those of you who are still with me, thank you, and I certainly hope I didn't lose you along the way. Now, I want to hear your thoughts! What did you think of this episode? What do you think is in store for Castle and Beckett in the future? Comment away!  

(Image courtesy of ABC)