The episode opens up with a different twist because we know who the killer is immediately which gives way to the idea that it is not so much who the killer is but the reasons behind it that sends viewers on a big journey.
At the end of season six, Castle’s executive producer Andrew W. Marlowe said the new season would explore Castle’s mythology. It was pretty well drummed out in the interview after interview that the seventh season would focus on the title character’s history. They saved it for the finale, apparently.
The episode starts off with two network executive stalking about the boss only to find the boss drop in on them from the elevator. The case takes off from there with Beckett, Castle and the team from the 12th investigating the death of the boss-man. And there’s no shortage of suspects.
The episode kicks off with Castle and Alexis en route to London for a book tour when Beckett “calls” her man to check in. She tells them they wrapped up the case and just when things seem to be going swell, the call drops because of turbulence.
Prior to his episode, fans were fed a lot of intel about Castle and Beckett. If you watched the episode, it was “hero” Castle and “inept” Beckett trying to figure out the mysteries of Castle’s two month disappearance.
This episode is one those episodes that takes all the banter between the two characters and throws it out there knowing that some viewers, they won’t care of how silly the case is or anything else that felt off, as long as its there they’re happy campers. The banter serves a distraction. And for someone like me, I can see right through it.
“At Close Range” delves into Detective Kevin Ryan’s second job as a private security guard. We find out he’s been working for his brother-in-law’s company and this latest gig has him protecting Congressman Alex Lopez (Ricardo Chavira) and his wife, Mia (Reiko Aylesworth) at a party. And since it’s not a Castle episode without a murder, the murder victim is the congressman’s “friend”, Carolyn Decker (Annie Little).
After three week hiatus, Castle returned with the first solo offering Chad Creasey. The promo for this that followed “The Wrong Stuff” didn’t do this episode any favors because almost immediately, people were moaning and groaning. In way, they were right to mumble. I don’t blame this on Mr. Creasey. Instead, I view this as a systematic failure of the leadership overall on the show. Once again, this was an episode where they had to change character histories to fit the plot. Writing to plot has become the norm this season and it was ever present in this episode.
I’ve rewatched the episode a few times since it aired to get another feel for the episode and each time I’ve walked away with a different feeling. It’s not entirely bad but this episode speaks to the problems with season seven over all: repetitiveness and the need to throw in call-backs to get fans all giddy.
It’s time to give credit where credit is due. Everyone brought their A-game in this episode. From the set design and music right down to the writing and acting, “Reckoning” had that feel of a season three episode. All the elements needed to make a great episode were clicking and all the cylinders were running in sync.