'Castle' Recap: Ryan's Surprising Past Uncovered
'Castle' Recap: Ryan's Surprising Past Uncovered
Morgan Glennon
Morgan Glennon
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
This week on Castle, we take a step away from our main players to spend some time learning about Detective Ryan. And man, has Ryan been holding out on us! Our favorite mild-mannered snappy dresser has a past with the Irish mob. It turns out if you take Ryan out of his signature three-piece suit, he has the capacity to be a pretty dangerous dude.

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While Castle mostly focuses on the working and romantic relationship between Beckett and Castle, the show has a strong cast of supporting characters. Unfortunately, because of the nature of the show's focus, we just don't end up seeing all that much of them. So Ryan and Esposito end up working as mostly supporting characters. The show tends to keep them on the periphery of the action to support the main players. 

But every so often, Castle decides to hand over an episode to highlight one of the supporting players. This episode gives Seamus Dever a chance to show us new sides of Ryan, and he certainly doesn't disappoint. 

In an interview he did with BuddyTV about the episode, Dever talked about how much he enjoyed playing a darker shade to Ryan and it certainly shows. Ryan is usually a pretty happy, well-adjusted and dependable guy. So to see him in such a dangerous setting is definitely a fun change of pace. 

We spend so much time with Castle and Beckett, especially this season as we've delved into Beckett's conspiracy and Castle's father, that it's nice to take a break and learn about someone else. The show usually kicks an episode or two over to the supporting players every season, and they are always enjoyable. Thus far, these episodes have consistently proven one thing: the sidekicks should get more screentime.

Who Is Fenton O'Connell? 

The episode starts at a bakery, but unfortunately the only one noshing on cupcakes is Castle. Doesn't Castle get that eating a dead guy's cupcakes is in bad taste? (I do feel Castle would appreciate that bad pun, though.) 

It turns out Jimmy the baker had ties to the Irish mob on Staten Island, the very same mob with which Ryan once spent 14 months undercover. Espo seems shocked that Ryan held out this information from him, even though Ryan didn't even tell Jenny about his time undercover. Apparently, there's an article in the Bro Code about always divulging undercover identities Ryan never read. 

Jenny, meanwhile, is a little less than happy with the whole situation. Especially after Ryan's old flame Siobhan kisses him right in front of his wife. I'm surprised Jenny doesn't follow Siobhan's lead and slaps Ryan in the face. 

The FBI is soon involved, because both Jimmy and Siobhan were criminal informants hoping to turn over evidence and go into witness protection. The FBI officer wants to send Siobhan back in to get "The Bible" from the Irish mob, their account books with all the evidence needed to put them away. It's really nice of them to put all their dirty laundry in one place. I'm surprised they call it "The Bible" and not "Here's What You Need to Arrest Us: A Story of Crime by the Irish Mob."

Undercover and Under Pressure

To keep ex-flame Siobhan alive, Ryan offers to revive his old Fenton identity and go back undercover with the mob. Esposito is especially nervous about this because of all their guy love, but Ryan says he can handle it. One change of clothes and a haircut later, Ryan is ready to use his criminal accent and quote Bible passages like all Irish mobsters do. 

You know, honestly, this is exactly how I imagine the Irish mafia, though. Beer, pool, talking about Sunday school and wearing sheep's wool. The only thing that would have completed the picture is if Ryan had opened the safe to find a pot of gold and some Lucky Charms inside. 

Also, on a totally shallow note, Ryan's new haircut and Irish hoodlum clothes totally work for him. He-llo, Fenton! Where have you been hiding? 

The team back at home base soon figure out someone is trying to set up Bobby S. for the murder of Jimmy Cupcakes. Back at the "Oh, Danny Boy ... is Ryan in Trouble" lair of Bobby S., his number two Liam is giving Ryan the stink eye. I like to imagine it's because Ryan is coming in between his own bromance with Bobby. 

Right after Ryan shows off some awesome pool moves and lifts the Bible, Liam takes him to the docks. Looks like someone is about to swim with the fishes! And surprisingly enough, that person just might be Siobhan. Bobby shoves her out of the car and tells Ryan he discovered she was a snitch. He offers Ryan a gun to kill Siobhan, but obviously he can't do it, and turns the gun on Bobby instead. 

But Bobby really didn't trust Ryan and didn't put any bullets in the weapon. Behind Ryan, Liam is practically giggling like this is the Irish Mafia Mean Girls and Ryan didn't get the memo that for Monday night murders they wear green.

If there's one thing you can count on Ryan for, however, it's being pragmatic in dangerous situations. Ryan lifted Liam's phone before they got into the car and called Espo. Soon the whole team, including a vest-less Castle, are popping out from behind the docks to back up Ryan. Teamwork! 

But there's another big twist in the case: it turns out Liam wasn't trying to set up Bobby S. after all. It was Liam's wife, Maggie, who wanted Liam to ascend the Irish Mafia throne. It's just like Game of Thrones, only with less incest and more potato products. 

Meanwhile, Ryan says goodbye to his past and Siobhan as she heads off to witness protection. He tells her, in so many words, that his feelings for her were real even if his cover was not. Then he heads home, where he has some good news waiting: Jenny is pregnant! Time to go out and buy some three-piece suit onesies! 

Who is Jordan?

In the Castle and Beckett relationship subplot, Castle is calling out the name Jordan in his sleep and Beckett wants to know why. Castle is surprisingly mum, which is even more surprising considering Castle is not exactly the world's best secret keeper. So Beckett's curiosity just keeps growing. 

At the end of the episode, we find out Jordan is actually not a person, but a memory of the time Castle almost flunked out of school and cheated his way through an assignment. The teacher was so impressed with Castle's purchased paper that he read it in front of the whole class. This is one of the reasons Castle started getting into writing, so he could live up to the expectations set by the phony paper. Poor Castle still looks gutted by the memory, but Beckett says it just makes her like him even more.


Next week is a milestone for Castle: it's the 100th episode! So how else would Castle celebrate than by witnessing a murder through his window? 

What did you think of this week's episode? Did you enjoy learning more about Ryan? Did you like seeing a darker side to him? Sound off in the comments!

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(Image courtesy of ABC)



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