Castle‘s Season 7 premiere delivers the most twisty troubled plot I’ve seen in a long time. By the end of the 60 minutes you will have as many doubts about Castle and Beckett’s future as do Beckett herself and her crew at the precinct. Rife with time changes and dangling question marks, this premiere sets the stage for an arc that could very well span the remaining 22 episodes, though I hope not because that would be dismal, dismal, dismal.

When we left off at the end of last season, Kate Beckett and Rick Castle were on the brink of tying the knot in the Hamptons when Castle was driven off the road by a black Escalade spied an ominous black Escalade in his rear view mirror, ready to mow him down. Jump to a worried Becket receiving a call two hours later to learn that Castle’s car had been found totaled and in a ditch. That’s where we pick up in “Driven”, this seasons premiere airing Monday September 29 on ABC.

Spoiler Warning: One could made some deductions about what really happens in “Driven” based upon the comments below, so read at your own peril!

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Is Rick Castle Dead or Just Missing?

And which would be worse given the circumstances? When we last saw Castle he was tuxedoed-up and on his way to the Hamptons to tie the knot with his lady love and muse, the beautiful Catherine Beckett. After hanging up with Kate and assuring her he was on his way, Castle is anonymously run off the road by a big black Escalade. After the team, in horror, witnesses the assumed mortal carnage against Rick, not once but twice, it’s eventually established that it’s not as bad as it looks, it’s (potentially) much worse.

Why Does Beckett Lose All Hope and Put Her Job On the Line?

As Beckett and the team search exhaustively for what happened to Rick, each team member questions if they ever really knew the Nikki Heat mystery writer at all. Beckett is the most devastated by everything uncovered as they examine Caste’s last couple of months prior to his accident. Oh, and in the process of the investigation she beats the stuffing out of a suspect. 

Why is the Government Interested in Castle’s Case?

Almost immediately following Castle’s accident and disappearance, federal agencies descend upon the precinct and  Beckett must examine her own past enemies. However, the investigation’s geography is expanded worldwide when damning evidence points back to Castle himself, and Beckett faces the devastating possibility that Rick’s past associations may have more to do with his current situation than her own do.

Where in the World Has Rick Castle Been?

By the close of the episode, we still don’t know what happened, but we are just as disturbed as Kate Beckett is. Plot wise, I’m wondering how in the world they are going to get themselves out of the corner they’ve painted themselves into with this polarizing storyline and if Castle could ever be the same going forward? This plot twist is not completely new, but it does provide a plethora of possibilities for the future of the franchise. This quandary could take them all the way through to the end of the season, if they can risk stretching the rubber band of believably without breaking it. In short, Castle has its work cut out for itself.

What Will Become of Kate Beckett?

Assuming all her answers get questioned (and all her questions get answered) Kate Beckett is going to have a wickedly difficult time moving forward personally and professionally with whatever she learns during this investigation. It has me wondering if this has all been a dream … and if it has, does that dream go all the way back to the swing set marriage proposal or just back to the wedding in the Hamptons? I guess we’ll just have to stick around and see! 

Need more Castle to hold you over? Check out the season 6 gag reel, deleted scene and best bromance moment: 

Castle’s season 7 finale premiere will air Monday, September 29 at 10pm on ABC.

(Image courtesy of ABC)

Catherine Cabanela

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV