“Dreamworld” – Continuing from the season premiere episode, Beckett races against time to find a stolen toxin capable of killing tens of thousands of people. To make matters worse, Castle was exposed, leaving him with less than 24 hours to live.
What we liked about this episode | The strong start to the season continues with the exciting conclusion to “Valkyrie.” The episode picks up immediately with Beckett telling Castle the bad news about being infected with the deadly toxin. And Castle and Beckett do get to work together on the case. But we can also see how the D.C. Arc will be resolved. Plus a little kickass and badass Beckett doesn’t hurt either. Mix that in with a little Beckett and Castle crime-solving, you got the makings of a great episode.
The case | It is fairly simple, find out whole stole the toxin and get the antidote. Beckett argues for Castle to be involved in helping find the toxin and McCord signs off on it. They learn that Bronson had talked to a reporter about a military op that killed a top level terrorist. That reporter’s article was killed by none other than the defense secretary had the article killed. But there is more to the story. A lot more it turns out. And that’s the twist to the story.
Is it a foreign terrorist threat or something more | This episode felt more like something straight of an episode of 24 than a regular Castle episode. However, the job is still the same. They learn of a relative is in the country and they suspect him of carrying out a potential attack. But that is not the case, he tells them about what happened the night of the attack. And that leads them to…
Who is Valkyrie | As it turns out, Valkyrie is nothing more than a code-name for an American operative who was killed in the attack on the terrorist compound and she shares a special connection to the reporter.
Homegrown threats | Beckett goes rouge when she confronts the defense secretary but it was all apart of her plan. She suspects the secretary is behind the theft but it turns out she couldn’t be more wrong. Sure, he’s guilty of something but just not against the U.S. Turns out, the asset is the reporter’s fiance and he wants revenge.
Castle doesn’t tell his family | In a scene that is similar to Beckett’s call to her dad in “Still”, Castle doesn’t tell his family he is dying—he doesn’t want them to worry. It is a heart wrenching scene. However, nothing gets by Martha and Alexis because they know something is up. Later on, Martha tries calling Beckett but she doesn’t pick up the call. Martha then heads to the precinct where she asks the boys to find out what’s going. They call Beckett only to be told that everything is fine. And it’s for good reason—she knows the boys. She knows they’d try to help out and that was the last thing she needs at this point.
She a lot of potential | Castle and McCord share a moment in the break room. Castle asks how Beckett is doing and McCord tells him she’s doing good and has a lot of potential. Castle knows that if he dies, Beckett will be okay. And McCord tells him she’ll be great. In a way, this probably Castle telling McCord that when that moment comes, she’s gonna need someone to lean on and she gets the hint. And she perhaps realizes what Beckett sees in him after all.
Badass Beckett returns | If the D.C. Job doesn’t work out, Beckett may have a shot as a defensive tackle for the N.Y. Jets. Plus, the tough interrogator returns when she goes toe-to-toe with a suspect and the defense secretary to get the truth. Beckett owned the interrogation room and she owned both times when she went up against the defense secretary. When the people she cares about are at stake, Beckett doesn’t hold back. She go to any length to protect them. But she’s also at risk too and will make mistakes. If wasn’t for McCord figuring out Beckett’s play at the end, both her and Castle could have ended up dead.
Beckett and McCord | It was hard to get read on the partnership this time around but the relationship is moving forward. McCord understood Beckett’s situation and had her back all the way. But McCord is perhaps realizing that Beckett is still a cop and sees things in black or white and that will always make up the core of Beckett’s character. But Beckett also is beginning to realize that she can perhaps rely on McCord as a partner. However, there is only one person she can completely trust and that is Castle. That is especially true Beckett finds it difficult that some people just get away with things. Beckett is a seeker of justice and that doesn’t work in D.C.
Not cut out for this | It is safe to say that Beckett is slowly realizing that the job is not what she wants, and she shares this with Castle who tells her sometimes you have to do the hard things to find out.
[pull_quote_left]She’s good. She has a lot of potential, — Agent McCord[/pull_quote_left]It’s what partners do | I have two schools of thought on McCord’s comment to Beckett about this is what partners do and Beckett’s subsequent reaction. Beckett has always had only one partner for the past five years—Castle. They are always in-sync with one another. They know what each other is thinking and they back each other up. But they also have the same goal—justice for all. They refuse to settle for anything else. For Beckett and McCord, however, they don’t appear as in-sync, at least not at first. And for the first time in five years, someone else had her back. But could they continue to work as partners? Doubtful. They have different goals. McCord may have believed that the wicked are always punished but years of being on the Beltway have corrupted her. And that’s something Beckett can never make peace with in the end. McCord is an ally but not her partner—Castle is her partner.
Lack of emotion, really? | As a writer, I can tell you that you have to pick and choose your emotional moments wisely with your characters and they have to serve the purpose of the story. Since “Valkyrie” a growing number of people have scoffed, bickered and felt there was an emotional disconnect from Beckett concerning Castle’s dire situation. First, it wouldn’t have served either episode if Beckett shown to be emotional. And second, the situations in “Target” and these two episodes are very different. Castle needed someone and Beckett recognized that. So those touchy-feely moments at the precinct were expected and needed. But with “Valkyrie” and “Dreamworld,” Beckett had to keep her emotions in check, not only for her sanity for also Castle’s. Her appeared lack of in-difference was to keep her mind in the game and Castle wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. Castle couldn’t be her rock and the relationship with McCord isn’t (and probably never will be) at the point where she could lean on her new partner. It might have been different had this been set in New York and Beckett had the boys to lean on. She was alone and she had to do whatever it took to keep calm because if she was upset, Castle would have been as well.
Where do they go from here | Beckett returns to New York and it will put her into conflict with her friends at the 12th in the next episode. It is also where Beckett will probably make her decision and if body language is any indication from this episode, Beckett will return to her roots.
The rewind moment | Beckett and McCord pay a visit to the defense secretary and confront him about the base and Valkyrie. Beckett shows what made her a top detective. She doesn’t play games.
Favorite quote | Castle: Sometimes, the hardest things in life are the things worth during.