Every Monday from now until the season premiere in September, we’ll be feature a random episode of the week. There’s no method to our madness other than we won’t select an episode twice and it won’t be a recently aired episode on ABC (in the last four weeks). So without further delay, this week’s episode is:
5×13 – Recoil
Logline: While investigating the murder of a young woman, Castle and Beckett find evidence that links her death with Senator William H. Bracken (guest star Jack Coleman returns), the man responsible for Beckett’s mother’s murder. Determined to finally bring Bracken to justice, Beckett soon realizes that things are far more complicated than they seem.
Original air date: February 4, 2013
Written by: Rob Hanning & Cooper McMains
Directed by: Thomas J. Wright
Jack Coleman as Senator Bracken
Michael Dorn as Dr Burke
Brett Rickaby as Robert McManus
Erin Krakow as Julie Rogers.
Matt Kaminsky as Chief of Staff Evan Howard
Darren Dupree Washington as Security Aide
David Grant Wright as Ben Moss
What we liked about this episode | What would you do if you were faced with leading the investigation into the assassination attempt of the person who was responsible for the murder of loved one? Most people would stand by and let it happen. But Kate Beckett isn’t like most people. And that is what makes her an extraordinary person and a detective. She does the right thing, even when it hurts. This is one of the reasons why we liked this episode. Faced with the murder of a young woman who has connections to Senator Bracken, Beckett finds herself having to protect the very man who murdered her mother when it becomes known he’s an assassin’s target. Castle and Esposito would have let the assassin complete his mission—but for Beckett? It’s about getting justice for the victims. And it’s about making the choice you can live with in the end.
Beckett’s moral question | A season three Beckett probably wouldn’t have thought twice about burning the letter that would have led the team to the would-be assassin Robert McManus. But a season five Beckett is conflicted when getting justice for mom and doing what is right—getting justice for the victims. Her internal conflict is so big that she has to pay a visit to Dr. Carter Burke to help her sort through her problem of suppressing the evidence or bringing it into the light. As she tells Burke, if she reveals the evidence someone much worse than the assassin is going to get away. He tells her that sometimes the right choice is the one that you can live with. She struggles with the decision into the next morning. And it isn’t until Beckett sees the victim’s sister with Gates that she remembers why she became a cop. Regardless of what he’s done to her, Bracken is a victim in all of this. He deserves justice just as the sister does. Just as her mother does. This question is followed through to the end of the episode where Beckett realizes that the evidence doesn’t add up—McManus was being framed. At great professional risk, Beckett again does the right thing and saves Bracken’s life. He owes her, big time.
Best moment | The best moment in the episode comes when Beckett asks Bracken in the witness interview room if he had any enemies, anyone who wanted him dead. She’s not happy about the arrangement nor is he. Bracken is stuck with her and she’s stuck with him.
Best line | “In my dreams, I’m the one that gets to pull the trigger.”
Sweet moment | When Castle and Beckett are searching through the threatening letters sent over from Backen’s office, Beckett tells Castle he should have seen the letter she sent Bracken. Complete with a heart over the “i” in kill.
“It’s a dangerous world out there detective, you never know when you might need a friend.”
How does this play into season six and beyond | Beckett is gonna have cash in the favor that Bracken owes her for saving his life at some point in season six. The how and why of how she would cash that in is really up for grabs. But the Bracken issue will resurface again in season six. I think that Andrew Marlowe has a fairly good idea of how the resolution to Johanna Beckett’s murder is going to play out in the end. Does Beckett’s job offer to work on this mysterious federal task force a play by Bracken or is it Bracken’s opponents setting him up to take him out the picture by using Beckett’s obsession? We’d like to think that Marlowe is a bit more creative than that and we think he is. However, something had to entice Beckett into thinking the task force was something she wanted and it was something that was going to give her a “chance to do more.” We aren’t privy to the interview that occurred in “Watershed.” With the way that Marlowe writes at times, we can assume that a lot was discussed in that interview.