Confused by the lines above? Here, let me explain: that’s a visual representation of my heart rate as it raced, shattered, picked up the pieces, and straight up flatlined as a thrilling hour of “Castle” occurred on television tonight. Andrew Marlowe wove such an intricate story and gave us such a riveting episode that you simply could not look away. “Castle” at it’s heart is a comedy, but it’s episodes like “Probable Cause” that remind us that this show can just as easily knock it out of park when it comes to drama. And oh, did it ever.
Each of the main cast members got some screen time in “Probable Cause” and all of them brought their A-game, but that said, special kudos to Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic for the emotional roller coaster Castle and Beckett were both on tonight. Through the ups and the downs, they nailed every scene with their continually astounding chemistry and more. Nathan did a fantastic job portraying Castle’s confusion, fear, and that badass side that we all knew the writer has deep down inside. And as for Stana, I said it back in “Kill Shot” and now I’m saying it again: Emmy-worthy performance. The scene with Lanie, and reuniting with Castle in the library were among some of my favorite moments for the character tonight, but Beckett’s badassery hit an all-time high in the final few minutes of the episode. Stana did a wonderful job of portraying Beckett’s protective side in “Cops and Robbers”, but watching the girl let off eight shots into Tyson was, in a word, breathtaking. Stana Katic, you are rockin’ it this season and it’s been a pleasure watching you bring the character of Kate Beckett more to life than ever before.
“They say dogs can smell fear. Did you know that some humans can as well? You reek of it.”
Now to the nitty gritty: the return of 3XK. If you had been chatting with me on Twitter after the promo aired for “Probable Cause” two weeks ago, you’ll know that myself and some other Tweeps already had some theories spinning that 3XK was framing Castle for murder. First, because a certain TV news outlet teased about a “big return” in November sweeps, and also because “Probable Cause” was originally going to air as episode six for the season (which would have it airing next week and in November instead.) If you’ll recall, the past two 3XK-centered episodes were the sixth episodes of seasons 3 and 4 respectively. “Castle” sure loves its parallels (more on that in a bit.)
Even despite our speculating though, I did jump in my seat a little bit hearing Jerry Tyson’s sinister voice when he first appeared. I was expecting Beckett to be walking into holding, or really any number of other people in the 12th Precinct, but not Tyson, and the guy was sporting a “J. Rook” nameplate to boot! (That’s a reference to Castle’s character “Jameson Rook” in the Nikki Heat books, if you’re unaware.) The Triple Killer not only pulled off a complex murder and elaborate scheme to frame Castle for it this time, but he’s disappeared yet again. Is he dead? Of course not. He’ll be back. But the question is…when? And will Castle start to obsess over the lack of a recovered body in the future? He always wants to know the full story, after all.
“Castle, whoever is behind this, whatever is going on, I will figure this out. I promise.”
The full story is what Beckett was after through the bulk of this episode, and the detective wasn’t stopping until she got it. Because of the circumstances, their secret finally came out to all their friends, as we expected it would have to. The boys handled things quite well on that front, reassuring Beckett that their secret was safe, but as far as reassuring her that Castle was innocent? The more the evidence mounted, the less supportive they appeared to get. Even Lanie had her doubts. But Beckett never wavered. Despite all the evidence piled up against Castle; the fingerprints, money trail, jewelry, emails and video footage, all indicating not only that Castle was a killer, but that he was being unfaithful to her as well…Beckett never stopped believing in her man. In the heartbreaking scene where Beckett tearfully confides in Lanie about the content of the emails, it almost looks like she’s been convinced that Castle actually betrayed her, much like everyone else around her was convinced that he had. But it’s at the end of that conversation that we see that she’s not upset over evidence pointing to an affair; she’s distraught that the man she loves is innocent, and she might not be able to clear his name and keep him from going to prison.
“He said that the emails were faked. He said he never wrote that story and that he was being framed. You should’ve seen him, Lanie. He looked like a little boy, he was so scared. I know him, Lanie. He is an immature, egotistical, self-centered jackass sometimes, but he is not this.”
In fact, Beckett is so determined to keep Castle safe that she even goes so far as to asking Esposito how secure holding is. She was prepared to throw everything on the line and break him out before being persuaded otherwise. To quote Martha from Season 3’s “Anatomy of a Murder”, “That, my boy, is true love.”
In addition to the above mentioned, there were so many parallels and throwbacks to past episodes in this one that it’d take up far too much space to list them all, but here are just a few favorites:
- Beckett promising to get him out (3×05)
- The first time she cuffed him (1×01) and alluding to already having had that next time without the tiger (4×10)
- “Richard Castle believes you and I believe in him.” (3×15) mirrored with “I never stopped [believing in you].”
Oh, and here’s a little bit of trivia for you: the man playing Castle’s look-alike? That’s Nathan’s stunt double! And while we’re on the subject of look-alikes, who else caught the Nikki Heat reference when they showed a look-alike of Rook’s buddy Bono? For all the drama and tension in the episode, was it not refreshing to get these numerous little moments of comic relief? Certainly helped to calm the racing heart every time the show went to commercial and it felt like I was going into cardiac arrest from all the tension. Whew!
In closing, I’d just like to say that there’s a phrase the Castle fandom has come to use whenever things start looking grim on the show: “In Marlowe We Trust”. Back when “47 Seconds” hit, and the two episodes after that, the angst that ensued had many of us downhearted and wondering how Castle and Beckett would ever patch things up again. Our little mantra that saw us through to the season finale has never been more relevant than it was tonight. Despite all the evidence the promos and interviews gave us, some that lead to a great deal of people believing Castle and Beckett were headed for turmoil again, Andrew Marlowe never lead us astray, and gave us a phenomenal hour of television. This one is definitely going down as another fan favorite.
“Probable Cause” gets an A+ from me.
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