'Castle' Fan Columnist: Time Is Running Out
'Castle' Fan Columnist: Time Is Running Out
Nicole Bessette
Nicole Bessette
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
Oh. My. God, Castle fans.  That was one of the most intense episodes of Castle I've seen since the conclusion of last year's two parter, "Boom." But really given that last night's episode, "Countdown" was written by series creator Andrew Marlowe, should we have been expecting anything less than epic?  

In an almost 24-esque episode, this week's follow-up to last week's "Setup," saw Beckett, Castle, Fallon and the rest of our favorites at the 12th working overtime to find the bomb before it exploded, wreaking havoc all across New York City.

Now, if you have not yet seen this week's episode of Castle, "Countdown," I highly recommend you do so before you read on. But, for those of you who have, get ready because things are about to get crazy.

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The Clock is Ticking

Picking up right where last week's episode left off, "Countdown" begins with Fallon clearly upset that the bomb is not in the truck they have located. He realizes then that that particular truck was just a diversion, and so he goes back to square one, thinking that they must find Jamal.  

Of course, as Beckett and Castle well know, Jamal is obviously not their guy because he's dead and more akin to a Popsicle than anything at the moment.  Yet the question remains: Why would his killers want to preserve his body?   

Well, for Castle and Beckett, it seems the answer is obvious: They wanted his body in the van so that when the bomb did go off, they would have his DNA and could thereby easily frame him.  

However, just when it seems like Castle and Beckett will never be able to share this news with the others, Ryan and Esposito bust in to save the day, and all is temporarily back to normal in the Castle world.  

Castle and Beckett are then cleared to go back to work on the case, and they reveal to Fallon the information they learned about Kevin McCann. He visited both the storage facility and the warehouse -- that's obviously fishy, right? Well, Fallon seems convinced, so he orders the gang to find out everything they possibly can about him.

Yet, this is where things get interesting. When looking back through his military service record, Fallon discovers that Kevin McCann died a few years ago due to wounds he suffered during combat, so this means that their Kevin McCann stole the real one's identity.  

Of course, Castle wonders why he would steal McCann's identity and not someone else's, and this leads him to believe that maybe McCann was someone he knew or needed to be. And luckily for Castle, he gets to prove his theory right when they go to talk to McCann's sister, Charlene.  

According to Charlene, the man that they have known as Kevin McCann is actually Radford Hayes; he and her husband were best friends who served in Afghanistan together.  

Charlene says that after her husband died, she and Radford went out for a drink, and he talked about how angry he was that everyone had seemingly stopped caring about the war, thinking that perhaps what the country needed was another wakeup call just like 9/11.  

For Fallon and the others, this is definitely enough to go on, and using the GPS in his phone to get a lock on his location, they find Radford and bring him in for questioning. However, because he was trained according to Special Forces tactics like Esposito was, he refuses to talk, and they must find another way to get the information they need.

And once again, Castle comes through for the team, recognizing that with Jamal and Amir now out of the way, the bombers are going to try to pin the attack on someone else close to them: Amir's wife, Nazihah.  

Having taken her baby, two old friends of Radford who are working in association with him kidnap Nazihah and demand that she do exactly as they say. They claim it's the only way to ensure the safety of her baby, so, of course, she gives in.  

Now, if it weren't for having been tipped off by Syrian consulate member Fariq Yusef in regard to Nazihah's location, however, Castle and the others would never have had a shot at stopping the bomb from going off.  

However, given that he had surveillance on her, he tells them exactly where to go, and in a flash, Beckett, Castle and Fallon arrive on the scene. After getting Radford's co-conspirators to talk, they discover that Nazihah has already started driving, and so the car chase is on.

Although Beckett and Castle do manage to make it to her on time and get her to stop the van, the timer on the bomb is still counting down, and Beckett and Castle have one minute to defuse it.  

Calling Fallon in the hopes that he will be able to help them, they are suddenly delivered a sobering truth: Because he isn't there and can't see the bomb well enough, he can't help them diffuse it. And so, Castle and Beckett join hands in what they believe are the final moments of their lives, and they wait for the explosion.

Yet, in an act of utter heroism, Castle rips out all the wires connected to the bomb right when the counter reaches zero, and in addition to saving both himself and Beckett, he also saves the entire city of New York. Way to go, Castle!     

Oh yeah, and as for Radford, he will be charged with multiple accounts of conspiracy to commit terror. That's what you get for being a terrorist, buddy!

The Real Mark Fallon

So, how did you guys like the big reveal? Do you think it lived up to its hype?

Well in case you don't know what I'm talking about or you just happened to forget, it was revealed in this episode why Fallon is the way he is: His wife was killed in the 9/11 attacks.  She was in the second tower, and they were on the phone together when it happened.

And really, I think Agent Fallon himself said it best when he said, "Listen, what I do is not who I am." Also, I think Castle himself got a taste of this when he had to send Martha and Alexis off to the Hamptons and told Alexis she couldn't say anything to Ashley. As he told Beckett, "That must be some kind of hell, feeling that all the time."

And so, sure, Fallon could go overboard like he did first with Nazihah and then again with Radford, but the fact is that, again, like he told Beckett, "[His] job isn't to make friends. It's to stop bad things from happening."

So, if that's the way he has to do it in order to keep America safe, I guess I'm all for that.  Also, I'm a huge Adrian Pasdar fan, so I kind of hope that we see him again in the future, only under different and better circumstances.

Ryan and Esposito to the Rescue

Oftentimes, I think these guys are really underrated, so I love seeing episodes like "Knockdown" and especially last night's where we really get to see them stepping up to the plate and driving it home.

I mean really, if it hadn't have been for Ryan and Esposito, Beckett and Castle would have frozen to death in that freezer, so these two amazing gentlemen deserve some serious recognition.  

Even though Captain Montgomery told them that he was sure Beckett and Castle were fine and could take care of themselves and were probably even out having a cold one (oh the irony), these two didn't let up and instinctively knew something wasn't right, especially when they received a call from Alexis saying Castle didn't come home and she couldn't reach him on his cell.

Also, after calling Josh and learning that Beckett wasn't with him, they sent patrol units out everywhere and eventually found Beckett's car parked at the warehouse which then led them to the freezer where they ultimately pulled them out. Seriously, mad props to you guys!    

Always There

So, was it just me, or did anyone else find this episode absolutely heartwarming and heartbreaking all at the same time?  

To begin, we had the amazing freezer scene where Castle and Beckett were snuggling up to each other to stay warm, and Beckett thanked Castle for being there for her, which is something she confessed to wanting in the previous episode.  

Then we had Beckett almost saying how much she loved Castle, but she unfortunately passed out before she could form that oh so important "l" word. So close yet so far!  

But then, unfortunately, we had Castle waking up in the ambulance to none other than Dr. Motorcycle Boy himself, who decided not to go to Haiti but instead to stay and give his relationship with Beckett a shot. Stab in the heart right there.

And, what's more, we had Beckett seeming extremely grateful that he was there and essentially throwing Castle under the bus. Was anyone reminded of Demming and the Season 2 finale, "A Deadly Affair"? I mean, come on, even Fallon thought they were together! 

Now, after this, our next great Caskett moment did not come until the closing of the episode when Castle and Beckett stood holding hands in front of the bomb thinking it was going to explode. However, when it didn't all thanks to Castle's genius instincts, they engaged in a ridiculously sweet embrace which had me smiling like a fool.

Next, we had Beckett's adorable recounting of the entire incident to Captain Montgomery, Esposito and Ryan, and in both of their eyes, you could just see how content they were. In fact, they were back to their fun-loving selves, what with Beckett joking, "I was doing my job.  I don't know what the hell he was doing."

But alas, we have now come to the heartbreaking part. Using his oh-so-famous line, Castle begins an entirely different thought than the one he ended up saying with, "You know, I was thinking ..."

However, seeing Josh walk up behind Beckett, he quickly deviates from his initial intention and simply says that he should go home, saying goodbye to her and then getting on the elevator.  

Still, you can tell that Beckett senses that that was not what he was going to say, and while she hugs Josh, she watches Castle walk over to the elevator, clearly dealing with some conflicting emotions.

Then, we see Castle's face as the elevator doors begin to close, and it was in this moment that I nearly lost it. Did you see how sad and defeated he looked? I mean, it's so obvious to everyone else how he feels about her; why can't she pick up on that too? She is a detective after all.  

Of course, that's just the shipper in me talking, and I realize that they have to throw these things at us because they can't get them together too soon and lose out on all the amazing tension and anticipation they've built up so far.  

Still, this did seem like quite a radical shift in Beckett's feelings from the last episode until this most recent one, but I suppose her watching Castle leave was a good sign; and I look forward to the next few lighter episodes which will return our favorite crime-fighting couple back to their normal bantering selves.    

The Next Episode

Unfortunately, though, the next new episode of Castle, "One Life to Lose," will not air until March 21, and although this is much too long a wait for my taste, I strongly suggest re-watching some of your favorite episodes from this season such as "Nikki Heat," "Knockdown" or even this week's episode to hold you over until then.

So, all in all, what did you think of this season's two-parter? Did you like it better than last season's? Oh, and did you notice that even the logo for Castle was frozen this week? Comment away, my friends!

(Image courtesy of ABC)



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