'Castle' Recap: Where in the World is Alexis?
'Castle' Recap: Where in the World is Alexis?
Morgan Glennon
Morgan Glennon
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
This week on Castle, Alexis is in the wrong place at the wrong time and ends up kidnapped. This leaves our team working against the clock to try and bring Alexis home. But as the last few minutes of the episode convey, bringing Alexis home safely is going to end up being an international affair.

Maybe they should tap in Liam Neeson? He's sort of the expert when it comes to kidnapped family members.

Castle loves playing up its film and television homages, whether it's reality shows or the recent zombie craze. So it seems reasonable to point out this episode is the show's stab at Neeson's film franchise Taken. Thankfully for us, though, the hour is action-packed, highly emotional and leads to great performances by the whole cast.

Nathan Fillion is a great actor with a truly terrific range. Anyone who's seen his work, from sitcoms to the brutally conflicted space captain at the center of Firefly, can attest to that. On Castle, however, his primary mode tends to be more charming and light-hearted.

Which is not to say the show doesn't give Fillion enough to do, since Richard Castle has had plenty of great emotional moments. Most of them, however, have occurred in the sphere of the Beckett-Castle relationship. Unlike Stana Katic, whose Kate Beckett often has to grapple with the murder of her mother, Fillion's main job is often to keep the mood on the show light.

Not so in this show-stopping episode. When Castle realizes his baby girl has been kidnapped, all bets are off. From the heartbreak when he thinks the blood in the van is Alexis' to torturing the driver for information, this isn't the charming and chipper Richard Castle we're used to seeing. The writers gave Fillion a big episode and a great emotional arc, and unsurprisingly, Fillion knocks it out of the ballpark.

While the whole cast brings their A-game, it is really Fillion and Molly Quinn who shine the brightest this week. Castle and Alexis have one of the best father-daughter relationships on television, and therefore, we're automatically invested when anything threatens our favorite daddy-daughter duo.

"I didn't think you had that side to you," Beckett says to Castle after he tortures one of Alexis' kidnappers for information. As a viewer, it's exciting to watch Fillion get to explore more dimensions as Castle is pushed to the edge.

Alexis is Taken

The episode starts out poignantly, as Martha makes Alexis' favorite pancakes because she misses her. Castle explains that his new philosophy is to let Alexis fly on her own without obsessively checking up on her. Which is more easily said than done, but he's trying.

The team is trying to figure out the hit-and-run death of a man run over by a van, but not before letting loose with a lot of firepower. They soon track the man back to Columbia, Alexis' school, where he was threatening flirtatious weirdos like Bram Stoker.

Castle really does seem to be letting go, at least marginally, because he doesn't immediately look for Alexis upon learning her school is full of vampire-named sleazeballs and murder-threatening pistol packers. Progress?

Soon the team realize their victim was actually trying to stop the kidnapping of a girl named Sara. Sara's father is very, very rich and also very, very hated back home in Egypt. On the lookout for the last place anyone had seen her, Castle and Beckett discover she had gone to a global warming lecture with a friend. That friend? Alexis. Once again, Castle doesn't seem to be freaking out as much as you would think upon learning your daughter was the last one to be seen with a girl who was recently kidnapped.

Of course, the freaking out commences when he tries to call Alexis for details on Sara and her phone rings in the conference center. Soon enough, the gang realize Alexis must have been taken too as collateral damage.

How did her kidnappers know Sara and Alexis would be at the science lecture? Well, Alexis' video blog, of course! It's a nice touch that the writers wove Alexis' blog from a few episodes before back into the plot. That episode seemed like a lesson in helping Castle to let go from being an overprotective dad, but now it will just seem like foreshadowing for Alexis' kidnapping.

They track down the van, and thankfully the blood isn't Alexis', though Castle's fear results in a really emotional and heart-stopping moment. Later, they manage to track down the driver of the car based on his MO of car improvements and his blood type. But he refuses to give them any information on where Alexis might be.

So Beckett leaves the room and lets Castle "talk" to the kidnapper. This means Castle goes full Neeson on him. "What I do have are a very particular set of skills, skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my daughter go now, that'll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don't, I will look for you, I will find you and I will kill you," Castle sort-of says. That's more or less the gist of it, anyway. And then there is some torture!

Another nice touch about the episode is how obvious the Castle and Beckett romance is. When Beckett hugs Castle, he worries that everyone can see, but she doesn't care. Later, she holds his hand in the precinct and the camera catches Gates staring at this sign of affection. Does Gates now know there's something going on between the two?

Finally, Father-Daughter Lockpicking Time Pays Off

Meanwhile, Alexis and Sara wake up in a strange, locked room and realize they've been drugged. Alexis, because she is Alexis, goes full-scale honeybadger as soon as she realizes the predicament they're in.

While Sara is freaking out, despite her years of hostage training, Alexis is stomping on the floor and pounding on the walls and trying to deduce her way out of the situation. If I'm ever in a hostage crisis situation, I think I'd like Alexis to be my wing-lady.

For a hot second, it looks like the girls will be saved when the FBI approaches an out-of-the-way farmhouse. But the farmhouse isn't where they've been holed up, it's just a stopping off point where the kidnappers stopped for some light refreshments and torture. Then on to the main destination!

When Sara starts freaking out about the fact that the kidnappers are speaking Arabic and therefore may not be after money, Alexis decides it's time to Scooby-Doo their way out of this hot mess. So she borrows a bobby pin and puts her 10-year-old lockpicking knowledge to good use.

The two split up to increase the chances one of them will make it out to get help. Alexis manages to find a phone and Skypes Castle, but she doesn't have much information to give him. When she hears voices, she makes a run for it, while dropping the phone and allowing the team back home to trace the call.

She bursts out onto the roof at about the same time the team back home informs Castle that Alexis isn't in New York, or even in the US, anymore. She's in the city of lights. From the roof, Alexis can see the Eiffel Tower in the distance. Free trip to Paris! Score?

Adding in an international element makes it both more Taken-eque than ever and also more difficult for the team to find Alexis. You have to hand it to Castle, they know how to get us to tune in next week!

What did you think of this week's Castle? Were you on the edge of your seat? What do the kidnappers want with them? And how will Beckett and Castle get Alexis back? Share in the comments!

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(Image courtesy of ABC)