You know an episode means business when its opening scene is followed by the ominous "12 HOURS EARLIER" frame. This week's episode of Castle
, "Under Fire," is no different. It opens with a scene of fiery chaos and Ryan's very pregnant wife, Jenny, about to hear some bad news before cutting away to a building that was very recently the scene of fiery chaos. They find the corpse of a man who was killed by a bullet and it wasn't arson, but don't spend too much time worrying about that because this guy's untimely death has almost no importance to the episode. His name was Blake McCann, he was a fire investigator, he was tailing a serial arsonist, he was killed by said arsonist when he caught him in the act and he left notes on his investigation that are more important to the plot than his actual life. So long, Blake!Castle Interview: Seamus Dever and Juliana Dever on Baby Episode >>>
No Longer a Family Show
If you're going to take something away from this episode, it should probably be a message about never giving up in the face of impossible odds and the power of love. What I take away from it is that the Internet always has a place for you, no matter how creepy you and your fetishes may be. Exhibit A: Pyrolicious, which is essentially a porn site for people who really like fire. After the suspect Blake highlighted in his notes ends up being creepy but not murderer-creepy, Castle and Beckett's investigation leads them to Pyrolicious. Castle is unfazed by the website's existence and unsettlingly knowledgeable about fire fetishism. No one is surprised.
Videos of the fire Blake's body was recovered from end up on Pyrolicious. They believe one video was recorded by the arsonist, since it shows the very beginning of the fire and features inappropriately heavy breathing. Castle and Beckett interview the site's owner while Ryan and Esposito investigate an abandoned building mentioned in Blake's notes. The owner says that he got the footage from a USB drive that was left anonymously in his drop box. He's received videos from the same source before but insists that he doesn't know who provides them. The interrogation ends abruptly when they get news of a three-alarm fire in the same building Ryan and Esposito had been investigating.
The Roof, the Roof, the Roof is on Fire
This is the point where everything dissolves into terror and chaos. The building had not been a potential arson site, as they first suspected, but the arsonist's workshop. As such, it was rigged with a security system in the form of a bomb that Ryan and Esposito triggered. The fire is so severe that the fire chief can't justify sending anyone in, especially since he believes Ryan and Esposito are probably dead. Beckett, Castle, Lanie and everyone back at the station are distraught and feel completely helpless, and decide to try and identify the arsonist in a feeble attempt at regaining control. On top of all that, Jenny shows up, in labor, and refuses to leave without Ryan. Nothing about this situation is positive.
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Inside the building, Ryan and Esposito have it rough. They were initially knocked unconscious by the blast, and Ryan became trapped under a piece of the building. Esposito manages to free him because he would rather burn to death than leave his partner behind, but they quickly realize that their situation has not improved. They're in a sub-basement with no cell reception and no way of being heard over the fire. In desperation, they do what no one has done since 2003 and use a landline.
By some miracle, they manage to get a call through to Beckett and tell her their location. The problem is that the sub-basement isn't in the building's plans, so the fire department still doesn't know how to get to them. Realizing that their situation is hopeless, Ryan asks to talk to Jenny. They both think this is goodbye, and have a really touching conversation about how much they love each other and what to name their baby. Ryan decides on Javier for a boy and Sarah Grace for a girl, which means the kid is going to be a girl. The call cuts off, and even though Ryan is momentarily invigorated by the thought of his family, he and Esposito pass out from lack of oxygen.They Did Not Name a White Irish Kid Javier
Castle and Beckett have all but given up when they get one last bit of hope. Pyrolicious' owner had previously neglected to mention that he sometimes chats with the arsonist online. He says that, in addition to run of the mill creepiness, the arsonist talked about how "sick and dying buildings need to burn, to be put out of their misery." From this, they gather that the arsonist must have in-depth knowledge of the buildings' workings. They also realize that he probably doctored the plans to make it look like there was no sub-basement, giving him an emergency escape route.
The inspector for the previous arson sites was Mark Kimble, whom they met when they discovered Blake's body. They find him taking his erotic fire shots nearby and let him know that his options are helping them rescue Ryan and Esposito or death. He does not choose death.
The rescuers get there just in time, and Ryan and Esposito somehow manage to walk away from the fire. Ryan rushes to the ambulance where Jenny has just given birth and meets his daughter for the first time. Overall, it's the usual dramatic birth storyline on steroids, but Castle somehow makes it work. Although, it would have been cute to see Ryan toting around a little Javier.
Castle airs Mondays at 10pm on ABC.
(Image courtesy of ABC)