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Castle’s two parter ends with a wimper, not a bang

The first half of this 'Castle' two parter was pretty darn good. Unfortunately, things didn't end as strongly as the started.

- Season 4, Episode 16 - "Linchpin"

In the first installment of Castle’s two-part story, the writing walked the fine line of stretching credibility successfully enough to craft an interesting story. Unfortunately, this episode stretched things just a little too far. I’m not sure when the line was crossed, but I was a little disappointed how things came together in the end.

When, in the closing minutes of a story, someone turns out to be not what they seemed, it throws all of their previous actions into question. In the case of Sophia Conrad, the obvious facet of the story is everything CIA related. It might be fun to re-watch both episodes knowing that she was a double agent to see what tells might have been there, but I think the turn raised more questions than it answered.

Primarily, at least to Castle/Beckett shippers, was the conversation she had with Beckett. What was the point of sowing the seeds of doubt in Beckett’s mind if she was planning on executing them both? What about her previous relationship with Castle? Her affection for him, both current and when referring to the past, seemed real enough. Or does it even matter?

I am pretty sure one thing she said did matter a great deal. Her mentioning Castle’s father, in relation to the CIA, has got to have greater relevance than simply the ramblings of an “evil genius.” Castle has been peeling back the layers of Beckett’s mother’s murder for four seasons; I guess now it is time to add another mystery to live on the periphery of the overall narrative.

There’s one thing we should all be afraid of, however. Castle is not above being cute. In fact Rick Castle himself rocks the bad pun as well as anyone on television. Given that tone, it wouldn’t be completely outside the realm of reasonability that the two mysteries could somehow find themselves merged together. In fact, there’s a certain Mystery Man that we’ve met several times whose namelessness has been a more than a little suspect.

But, I hope the Castle writers are smarter than to go to cliché that hard. Right?

Usually, exposition heavy scenes don’t bother me, but this episode had one that was just over the top. Not only did Sophia have a comprehensive understanding of the players in the China/US economic dynamic, but also Beckett chimed in with a fairly impressive grasp of the implications of geo-political change worldwide. I get that they had to get that information across, but that was a little much.

Notes & Quotes

  • “Weird. Fake deaths, car in the water. Don’t you think now is a good time to tell us what the hell is going on?” – Esposito
    “Uhhhh.” – Castle
    “I’m sorry, Havi, it’s classified.” – Beckett
    “I was Special Forces. I used to eat ‘Classified’ for breakfast. And yet, Writer-Boy can know?” – Esposito
  • “You’re sorry? We’re on the verge of the next 9/11 or worse. This isn’t one of your damn books, Rick. This is real life. And when things go bad you can’t just rewrite the ending like you did with us.” – Sophia
  • “So you slept with her?” – Beckett
    “Yeah, I slept with her.” – Castle
    “Have there been others?” – Beckett
    “Women?” – Castle
    “Muses.” – Beckett
    “No, why?” – Castle
    “I just wanted to see how big the club was, that’s all.” – Beckett
  • The minute Castle said, “… because I’m never going to see her again” you had to know Sophia was hiding in the apartment somewhere.
  • I wasn’t sure if they’d announced more Rick Castle graphic novels yet, but “announcing” it on the show would be a cool way to do it.
  • “Who’s out there? Who are they?” – Castle
    “You can have answers, or you can live.” – Gage
  • “Wow, I have no idea what they’re talking about but this is very exciting.” – Castle
  • If the building was “locked down” how could random CIA tech/hostage activate the elevator?

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Photo Credit: ABC/Colleen Hayes

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2 Responses to “Castle’s two parter ends with a wimper, not a bang”

February 21, 2012 at 8:43 PM

I knew she was dirty in the first episode. Whenever Castle brings on higher ranking agencies, they typically start out aggressively but eventually work well with Beckett and crew. However, Clara became increasingly more aggressive and divisive as the first episode progressed. Seriously, that speech trying to psych Beckett out about top secret knowledge was unnecessary. And, MANY other things in the first episode.

I considered mentioning my suspicions last week but everyone seemed to love Clara’s character (especially the guys ;), so I figured I’d see wait and see. But, this week, as the episode progressed, Clara grew more evil to the point I wondered why Beckett never called her out. Seriously, that interrogation and her meeting Castle alone? Really? If she truly wanted collaboration (albeit off the books), she’d still talk to Beckett first (regardless of her Castle relationship).

Even though Clara sowed seeds of deceit, I feel she told the truth regarding her relationship with Castle. But, it looks like Beckett decided otherwise.

What it does mean for Castle and Beckett when Castle is increasingly distracted by shiny female objects (Selina, now Sophia, hmm, all ‘S’ women). He and Beckett are essentially in their relationship’s home stretch, so his sudden distraction at this point seems odd. Plus, whenever his friends appear he always takes their word over Beckett’s (i.e. his old school friend, the mayor, Sophia) or urges Beckett to go against her common sense. At the end of a day, she’s still a cop, and it’s her job to evaluate all leads. Even when it comes to her old acquaintances, she’s still pretty strict (remember her old trainer?) However, Castle doesn’t seem to understand that (especially in the tiger episode where he wanted her to let him take the lead).

So, they’ll get together, but will they stay together? Did Sophia sow seeds or just foreshadow?

Side note: Their discussion of Asiatic countries purchasing US debt was pretty surface and is old hat at this point.

Side, side note: in the graphic novel, Storm’s dad is a covert CIA operative.

February 22, 2012 at 1:14 AM

As long as I don’t think too much about it, it was a fun episode. Poor Esposito, knowing that Castle is in the loop and he isn’t.

Call me naive but I didn’t guess that Sophia was going to be the bad guy. Josh Stamford was the second biggest name in the guest cast so I was totally satisfied he was the mole until we found out he wasn’t. (For a minute, I was expecting Beckett to talk to Sophia in Russian.) I guess that’s a good thing, because it kept me interested till the end.

I don’t think that Sophia sowed the seeds of doubt in Beckett’s mind unless Beckett was looking for an excuse to push Castle away again (please, no). At the end, Beckett told Castle that Sophia lied about a lot of things.

If the Mystery Man, who Castle met through Montgomery, turns out to be his father, I’ll scream. It’s too circular.

I think it’s time to put Castle and Beckett together now. We all know they will end up together and I think that the contrivances to keep them apart are getting more and more threadbare and are pulling down the overall quality of the show.