James Brolin guest stars, reprising his role as “Castle Senior” (character Jackson Hunt) seasoned expert CIA spy. Is he still in the CIA or has he gone rogue? And what does he have to do with a dead hacker/used-record seller?
Last time we saw Jackson Hunt, he was in Paris helping to save Alexis Castle from kidnappers and he was dropping the bomb on Castle that he is his long lost father from an “amazing” one-night stand with his mother, Martha (S5E16; “Hunt”).
This time, Castle and Beckett have been called to a body that had been shot and then put into a shower with the water running. The kid, a Ted Rollins, is a used-record salesman with an apartment above his pay grade. How could he afford that? Also the M.E. examines the body and it shows that he was killed hours before and not in his apartment. His clothes are stained with grease and red paint flecks… that even the shower couldn’t wash off. Castle finds some loose floor boards that contain a secret compartment and a laptop. A laptop which Tory the precinct tech “Genus Bar genus” can’t even open due to it’s mega encryption. All the while, Castle and Beckett need to pin down a wedding date to avoid ending up not marrying until 2015.
Tory was able to find some data in the registry of the computer that leads the team to a Universal Banking Solutions (UBS) company, headed by a Anderson Cross in Manhattan. Were they hacked or in business together?
In the office Castle gets a phone call and a shock of a blunt message from the caller… “Don’t react.” And then his Father appears as the aforementioned Cross. I really enjoyed this cloak and dagger, with Castle left in a lurch to figure out what is going on and what to do. Perplexed and confused, while keeping his father’s identity secret for now, they interview Cross. All completely normal, except for the fact that Anderson Cross is not his name and he is a killer who gets the covert jobs done for the CIA that other’s can’t do, keeping the country blissfully unaware, but safe.
Leaving, Castle mimes seriously, “Call me!” in a whisper. They meet like in the espionage movies of old, back to back on back facing benches in Central Park. Castle has a million questions, but Hunt has only one question,”What has been found out so far about the murder?” Repeating this until Castle gives some key and confidential information up to his dad. Evidence about an Iranian rail coin marking that was found on the dead body’s heel. With that, Hunt was off, leaving more questions than answers. Questions that leave Castle between a rock and a hard place: keep being evasive with Beckett his wife-to-be, or betray his father who rescued his daughter in Paris last year?
The grease and paint flecks lead to Coney Island and it’s repair shop under the roller coaster, when the maintenance investigate, they find blood- bam said the lady- the crime scene. A lone security video recording places “Anderson” at the crime scene shortly after Ted was seen on the video entering the park from a back entrance. Unfortunately for the 12th Precinct, everything that was UBS is now gone. Website, offices and lead suspect, Anderson. At the same time. Beckett finally places the face. She dug up police drawings of a man that had been spotted all over Paris at the time of Alexis’ kidnapping. And where ever he was spotted, there was a dead body. For me, James Brolin seems to elevate the story and crime mystery. He says something, you listen. At this point, I really felt Castle’s dad was up to no good and completely playing him for what Hunt could get out of him. Would you/did you think the same?
Castle gets stood up trying feverishly to meet with his father to get some explanation, only to have Hunt show up at his door… shot and bleeding from the gut. “Sorry I missed our meeting,” he says as he limps in. Hunt, while getting operated on by Martha and Castle, explains that he had recruited Ted (ex-hacker) to recover a vital list of names stolen from the CIA. Names and aliases of agents in the field, whose undercover operations and lives would end if that list got sold to the highest bidder. A hard drive- which Hunt got shot while retrieving- convinces Becket and Castle to intercept the transmission themselves. The transmission of the list is to be at a meet point for a wi-fi transfer of the list- the meet point found by Hunt in the encrypted drive. They go as Hunt can apparently barely walk.
Then, a showdown at the NYC public library. Castle is downloading the file as Beckett tracks the signal to the library’s upper deserted book stacks. TRAP! “Gemini,” the original hacker, transferred the NYC telephone book to flush out Hunt, but instead got Castle at gunpoint in a deserted library dead end hallway/construction area.
“Lucky” for Castle, Hunt recovers fast or- more accurately- although hurt, Hunt opted to use Castle and Beckett to flush out the flushee. And with lightning speed, Hunt knifes Gemini in the ribs, disarms him and knocks him to the floor. As Castle is about to go to get an ambulance, Hunt says, “Don’t bother.” And Hunt dispatches the international criminal and hacker with a silenced shot to the head. “Why would you do that????” Castle asks. “That was the mission, that’s what I do,” Hunt replies.
Castle goes to get Beckett, and in that fleeting moment, both Gemini’s body and his father are gone. But the killers gun is there. Which is later found to have been registered to a Tony Blaine, who’s picture matches Gemini’s. So Hunt gets his list and kill, and the 12th Precinct gets their murder cases solved. In the end, Ryan and Esposito say that Tony will get picked up, not knowing that Castle and Beckett know who Cross really is and that Tony is more than mostly dead.
I can really see a difference in Beckett. Two to three years ago, I don’t think she would have kept the above information from her long-time partners. Now though, she has Castle. And it would be loads of trouble to try explain Cross and the body. It’s her father-in-law to boot. Albeit a father-in-law who, in retrospect they figured out, moved the original body from Coney Island to Ted’s own apartment and into the shower. Putting the body in the jurisdiction of Castle and Beckett. Pretty handy to pump internal NYC Police information from his son grasping for answers about his dad. An excuse to see Castle, an asset that was used for practical purposes, or both? Either way, it finalizes how important Becket is to him, and he sets the wedding date’s month within this year. The month that Beckett had originally suggested. Eliciting the below reaction.
Above: Reaction shot to last/3rd quote from below. Such a girl,…a girl who’s a detective with a gun who can blow body parts off you if you commit a crime and then she can throw you in jail.
Possibly a bit strange way of doing things, but Beckett got to meet Castle’s dad. Martha got some closure from seeing and taking care of Jackson for a time. And Castle knows that even though he can’t speak to his dad due to his father’s profession. And Martha let him know that despite the brevity of the time Martha spent with Hunt, he gave her the greatest gift in her life: Castle.
As I mentioned above, I felt this was a really strong episode with James Brolin and the cast. Martha had some great moments of story revealed with Hunt. Moments with Hunt and Castle that let Susan Sullivan (Martha) show her always stellar acting chops, having us feel the near 40 years of mystery and heartache in the lines of her scenes. More and more, Castle and Beckett are a well-synced pair, not only with their “shared brain” moments during the cases that they have done since they met, but in really backing each other up without much thought when each needs it most. More than a partner, more than a friend… now true kindred spirits.
Becket: “Maybe we should consider the spring of next year?” (Regarding the wedding date)
Castle: “I thought you didn’t want to wait that long?”
Beckett: “I know, I just want to be flexible.”
Castle: “You already are…flexible… (sh*t-eating grin from ear to ear and a deep chortle). See what I did there.”
Esposito: “What’s so funny??”
Castle: “We’ll actually do you know Beckett can lift her… .”
Beckett:”No, nothing, hello… .”
Castle: “I’ll tell you later.”
Jackson Hunt (James Brolin): “I AM the back up!”
Castle: “I keep making the mistake thinking he’s family, but he’s not……you are (Beckett gushes). September, we’re getting married in September. It won’t be too hot, it won’t be too cold, it’s in the Goldilocks’ zone. It’s perfect.”
Beckett: “But wait a minute, what about your book tour?”
Castle: “Screw it… September.”
Also, here’s ABC’s congratulations for the show and Stana’s big wins at this years 2014 People’s Choice Awards last week!!
NEXT WEEK: “Limelight,” an episode about the ups and downs of being a devilishly-handsome and FAMOUS mystery writer, having to deal with a famous teen (Miley Cyrus inspired)… who doesn’t know who you are.
To catch this episode and/or the earlier episodes for this season, check out ABC’s website or app.
What did you think of this episode? Did you think it was going another way? What did you like most? Let us know in the comments below.