Castle opens this midseason premiere with a bang… or more aptly, a blaze and intense heat. A heat of something gone wrong and possible people incinerated… but who?
[Note: If you are confused by last episode’s promo, “Limelight” was moved to episode 13’s spot showing on Jan 20th.].
Castle, Beckett and crew get called to a murder, a murder in a building recently consumed by an arson fire. A roasted body is found shot in an abandoned torched building. Lanie (the M.E.) works out, with the help of the female fire inspector, who’s body it was. It was her partner Blake McCain, whom had been on the trail of a serial arsonist called “The Phantom” for the last 10 years. Looks like he found his arsonist.
Blake’s apartment was tossed by, presumably, the arsonist trying to cover any evidence that might lead back to them. When Blake’s car is found not too far from the last crime scene, files lead Kevin (expectant father) and Esposito to another building. Jackpot… except for the boogie-trapped lab and massive explosion. Meanwhile, Castle and Beckett get leads from surfing the internet for clues that result in finding a website for firebugs/fire obsessed browsers.
I thought it was interesting how arsonism was delved into by the team and investigator. With procedurals, arson will usually com up at least once, but I felt the story gave me more insight (I’m not saying a Ph. D) into folks drawn to setting fires.
As for bros “Kevs-posito” (or “Espo-vin”), they woke up in a sub basement after the blast with a blaze of timber above them and no doors. Castle and Beckett only find out about the explosion and fire while interrogating the firebug website creator at his place. The fire-obsessor has alerts on his phone for late-breaking fires.
Castle and Beckett race to the scene, with fire crews predicting the worst. That is where we pick up from the opening of the show and the very pregnant Jenny (Det. Ryan’s wife) freaking out (apparently for good reason) because she hasn’t been able to reach Kevin.
This is when- I don’t know about you- I started humming the McGyver theme music as Det. Ryan jury-rigs an old phone and some wiring to call Beckett’s cell phone. This makes for some serious drama with the arrival of the going-into-labor Jenny and the possible dying words of Det Ryan. I liked how this episode focused on Ryan and Esposito without getting overly teary, a bit of Germanic ribbing as they were gasping last gasps. I don’t normally look at the clock, but there was like 5 min left and I was thinking, “They’re going to kill both these characters?” And,”Is this going to be a two-parter? That building has already been burning for half the show.” I was almost reminded of the kids cartoon “Super Friends” (DC; Superman, Batman etc,) where everything was fixed in the last 2 min. Castle and Beckett figure out the arsonist, who was at the site because he is a fire inspector for NYC. Knowing he knows the buildings he burns, and that he’d have an escape route, Beckett gets the info the NYFD need to save Ryan and Esposito.
I was thrown for a bit when this episode turned into an arson case with no resemblance to last episode’s media spotlight on Caskett promo. I thought for a bit that it was going to be a weird “B” plot line to go with Ryan and Esposito burning to death in a fire. My guess is the rhythm of the back half of this season worked better this way, with a fun/humorous episode on the 20th testing Caskett a bit and then… Valentine’s wedding episode in February?
I’m just glad Castle’s Detective buddies can still attend in tuxes rather than in something smaller… umm… shall we say “urn-like.”
On a final note, Sarah Grace Ryan was born on-site of the burning building in the back of an ambulance, completely avoiding any hospital cliches.
Castle: Pick a date for my wedding? I was planning on bringing her (points to Beckett).
Beckett: Really, when is that? I might have plans (big smile).
Castle: (Loud rumble from above) What was that?”
Inspector: The building… you guys should probably go.
Castle: Sounds good to me…See ya! (Bolts from the room like a little scared child).
Beckett: I’m…marrying …him.
Next week: A favorite familiar face is back, time to me the in-laws, James Brolin is back as Castle’s father.