Recap: Valkyrie

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LISA EDELSTEIN, STANA KATIC

“Valkyrie” — In the sixth season premiere episode of Castle, Beckett and Castle face the consequences of their decisions against the backdrop of a high stakes case.

After four months of waiting, the return of Castle is finally here. Since CTV (Canada) has decided to air the series a day early than its neighbors to the south, many fans will get an opportunity to see new episodes earlier. It is important to note that this early showing will not in anyway impact the show’s ratings here in the United States. It would be a near statistical impossibility for that to happen because of the way the ratings are figured. That being said, lets move forward with the recap.

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What we liked about this episode | A series entering its sixth season has to pull out all the stops. And for Castle, it means not only an answer to an important question that will have a lasting effect on a relationship but also a possible change in scenery for one character.  We liked the way the show progressed into the future once the matters of the heart (yes) and career (yes) were settled. The casting of Lisa  Edelstein as Beckett’s partner was a smart choice. And there was plenty to love in this episode.

Matters of the heart resolved | “Valkyrie”  picks up immediately where the fifth season ended. Beckett stumbles through her answer only because the question blindsided her. But before she gives Castle her answer, she tells him she got the job. And it was very clear that she had decided to take the job long before she got to the swings. Castle tells her he didn’t ask for her hand in marriage to keep her there or that he was afraid of losing her. He asked her because he wants to spend the rest of his life with her. She says yes.

Beckett moves to D.C | It was never a question in our minds that Beckett was halfway to our nation’s capital when she arrived at the swings. And the transition to a federal LEO is a learning curve. Beckett stumbles—not horribly bad—but it shows she has a lot to learn about the job. She has to prove herself so mistakes are going to be made and while the stakes are heightened because the cases are bigger, Beckett does show she has what it takes to be in the job. The thing that surprised us was the arrangement that the newly engaged couple agreed upon. Castle agreed to give Beckett space. In other words, the job is Beckett’s and Castle has agreed to respect that.

New partner and new characters | Lisa Edelstein joins the series for at least three episodes as Agent Rachel McCord. She is Beckett’s partner and it is very clear that these two have a mutual respect for one another. It was fun watching them theorize on the case together. Of course, it doesn’t compare to the original duo. McCord brings a lot of experience to the table that will ultimately help Beckett in her decisions concerning her career. Rounding out the new characters are Yancey Arias as their boss, Carl Villante and Jocko Sims as another agent on the task force, Matt Hendricks.

Alexis brings home more than luggage | Castle returns home from a book tour on the west coast to find Alexis has returned home as well. Pi (Myko Oliver) is the 21st century version of a Hippie. And it appears he will quickly over stay his welcome. P.S. We liked Pi.

It can’t be like it used to | Beckett’s new job means dealing with classified information and casework. It also means the professional partnership with Castle has ended. And it hurts Castle more than we think Beckett but that doesn’t mean Beckett doesn’t miss the working together. She clearly does and she struggles with it through out the episode. Castle can’t keep his hands off and dives into the investigation unknown to Beckett. He asks for help from the boys at the 12th. And it is all with good intentions at least from Castle’s view but those intentions have consequences that not only put him in a bad spot, it could very well cost Beckett her job. He wants to spend time with Beckett and thinks if he helps her they can spend time together. He is caught and Beckett tells him to back-off the investigation. The situation gets worth when Castle is kidnapped by their chief suspect. And when the suspect ends up dead, Castle is arrested. Castle realizes his investigating could cost Beckett the job. He heads back to NYC after cooling his heels in a D.C. interrogation room.

Things go dark | Castle is struggling with the the new arrangement and the feeling is mutually shared by Beckett. Castle seeks out the advice of the boys to how to deal with the situation. It is here were Esposito’s military background provides a clue unknown to the D.C. gang. There is a top secret military base that has been using some bad drugs. And when agents show up at the loft, the reality of the case comes clear.

You have less than 24 hours | Castle is escorted out of his loft by the feds after the task force learns what the thieves were really after and that something has serious implications for Castle. He was exposed to some sort of toxin that will kill him less than 24 hours. It is Beckett who has to deliver the news and she was seriously professional about it.

Things to look out for | Ryan will become a dad at some point this season and he is already practicing his swaddling skills.

Where is the ring | It is on the necklace that has her mother’s ring. It is a conscience decision on Beckett’s part to not wear the ring on her finger.

A surprise visit | After a case disrupts their weekend plans, Castle flies to D.C. to surprise Beckett and he almost gets shot for this visit. Some loving happens. Castle also meets McCord. And there are no secrets here as everyone knows that Beckett and Castle are engaged.

The quick rewind | Castle surprising Beckett after their weekend plans fall through is the top rewind moment of the episode. A close second goes to the cliffhanger ending. And a third place goes to the Beckett-McCord theorizing scene.

What is Valkyrie | Valkyrie was mentioned by the task force’s chief suspect to Castle. The task force has no idea what Valkyrie is but it is clear it has nothing to do with the theft that the team is currently investigating. When Castle returns to the NYC, he mentions this to Esposito who tells him about a secret military base in the Middle East called Dreamworld. The team learns that the theft was merely a diversion by a group of people to steal “Valkyrie”—a topic secret military chemical that was shelved because it was unstable.

The cliffhanger | Houston we have a problem. While we like the fact that it was Beckett that delivered the news and she was controlled and professional (unlike Castle in “Still”), the reality is is that we all know Castle isn’t going to die. And this brings up another issue…

The over hype of the previews | We have to say that the lead up to the episode was filled with a bunch unnecessary hype that allowed for a lot unnecessary angst and rampant fake spoilers. In short, be honest and don’t play with peoples emotions. The over hype of certain “teases” lead a lot of fans to be disappointed (ourselves included) over some aspects of the episode. We hope that previewers in the future remind themselves that hyping up “this will happen to a character” serves no good in the end. At the end of the day, the show will never work if one of the main characters was dead on a slab in some morgue.

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Editor
A happy-go-lucky Castle fan who has 20 years of web management and 16 years of web publishing experience. In a past fandom, the EIC managed a fan website for a popular show and message board. The EIC is an academic with specialization in media and society and modern history and is a media professional.

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