Religion and (mob) politics meet in tonight's episode, as a Catholic priest is killed by a professional assassin. A nun close to the victim reveals that he had had a longstanding relationship with known mob boss Micky Dolan, and that the two had recently had a public falling out. Javier and Kevin investigate the pair's history, while Castle and Beckett track down a key witness.
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Their pickup doesn't go too smoothly, however: when Castle and Beckett arrive at the witness' building, they're confronted by Dolan's men. They manage to escape with the witness in tow, but when their car is promptly stolen, they're trapped in a bad neighborhood with no means to contact the precinct.
Their relationship doesn't seem to be going too smoothly, either. After a nightmarishly awkward dinner party introducing their parents, Castle and Beckett spend much of their time on the run confronting the fact that they really are from two different worlds.
They manage to put their petty squabbling aside, however, when Castle is intercepted by Dolan. Fortunately for Castle, Dolan is only interested in interrogating the witness to find out who killed the priest -- Dolan was the clergyman's oldest friend, and his crew had nothing to do with the murder. Beckett is in far more real danger: her witness reveals himself to be a hired gun for a rival organization and the priest's killer.
Castle and Dolan rush to intercept the hitman and trick him into emptying his clip on a decoy car. Though Dolan had planned to kill the hitman, he's moved by the memory of his priest friend to let the authorities have him. Castle and Beckett realize that they care about each other enough to make their odd relationship work, and their parents even start to get along in light of the stressful ordeal.
After weeks of tepidly working their way into a sturdy relationship, tonight's episode seems like a big step toward cementing and normalizing the Castle/Beckett romance -- fighting over family is, of course, a crucial step for any couple. That could all change -- having the pair question whether their relationship can work and then answering "Yes" has been a favorite subplot this season -- but for now, they seem to be settling into a groove. The next big test will be revealing their relationship to the precinct; not such a relatable milestone, but an important one, nonetheless.
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