In case you didn’t get to watch Castle’s second part of the two part premiere live on Monday night: We were left off wondering if Castle would gasp his last gasp, smirk his last smirk, and solve his last case due to the poison that was running through his veins giving him less than 24 hours to live…
Oh wait, I read that wrong in my notes, he lived. I’m explaining that Castle lived to you from the start because some of you might be nervous. Well, maybe at least a little bit concerned. I know that’s not the same thing. Because we can stop now if you want…if it is too intense. But I think we should go on. Back to the beginning of the episode…
It turns out that the rather large, gun-toting, ex-marine Castle-jacker (last episode) had been framed. Bronson (the Castle-jacker), we find out, had been made to look like he had broken into the Cybertech Transnational Building, then poisoned by a sample of the chemical- a toxin stolen from that building that night. The name “Valkerie” still remains a mystery. Castle’s life hanging in the balance made Castle and Beckett work to remain focused on solving the case with the short amount of time they had, which for me, really drove the urgency of this episode well. The Feds allowed Castle to help from their HQ for good reason.
I think the plausible splitting of Castle and Beckett to work in different locations worked to differentiate this DC episode from the past seasons. And besides, if your job was to solve a case to save your recently engaged-to fiance, one could easily be conflicted whether to spend that short amount of time with him/her or focus and work the case to save their life (good tension). Every time I saw them split up to work on a lead, I felt I could see in their eyes “Is this the last time I’m going to see him/her?” Speaking of leads, “Dreamworld” -the title of this episode- is their new best one. Searching databases comes up empty though. They track down a reporter who tried to write about “Dreamworld,” as it turns out a possible secret U.S. government base in Northern Afghanistan for covert operations there, lead them to the U.S. Secretary of Defense. It works out that all the intrigue and mystery centers on an operation in the middle east to take out Anwar Zawari (Al-Queda’s number two).
Meanwhile Martha (Castle’s mother) and Alexis (the daughter) have been left hanging since last episode as to why Castle was whisked away by federal agents from his NYC home with no explanation. Castle decides to keep his impending doom from anyone, including his family. Which I can agree with. Martha’s “spidey-sense” is tingling. She goes to the NYC precinct to get help from Ryan and Esposito. Dare I say it, π or Pi, did add a bit of comic relief at a needed spot or two in this episode. It made me realized why he was added- at least to the premiere two-parter- to help with the heaviness of a main character being poisoned and given a short time to live.
Chasing their leads down takes them to a Waqas Rasheed. He is the second Cousin to Zawari, who had five of his other cousins killed in the airstrike in Jalalabad that kill Zawari AND he is a student of electrical system design engineering for building constructions. Giving him a motive and making him a really nice suspect for the break-in for this case.
Through a few twists and turns…it turned out that the bad guy was the reporter all along. When the strike on the Al Qaeda operative’s house occurred, a woman (codenamed Valkyrie—Oh I get it!) posing as a servant at the home was killed. She turned out to be a U.S. intelligence officer (who died because the Secretary of Defense didn’t want to miss his target window on the strike), and also the fiancee of the reporter. This case was about revenge, meaning that this reporter (who, as was mentioned in a throwaway line, had some military training) managed to stage this multi-tiered heist, wrangled a chemical weapon for his own nefarious purposes, and set about trying to kill various people in the government he believed were responsible for his fiancee’s death.
With all that wrapped up and the antidote secured, Castle survived. Beckett understandably wanted the secretary investigated for obstructing their investigation, but McCord gently reminded her that things are very different in D.C., and that she has to be able to let certain things go. This, unsurprisingly, rubbed Beckett the wrong way, perhaps sowing some seeds of doubt in her mind as to whether she really wants to stay in D.C.
All we can tell for the direction of the series right now is that Castle’s back in New York next week, and Beckett and McCord will be along for the ride in what looks like, on the surface, a NYC Castle-brand murder case. I’m guessing that by the end of episode three, we’ll have a pretty solid idea of where things are headed for one of our favorite Whedon-ite related actors and his character.
Before this episode played on September 30, that Monday night Whedonopolis was in the press line for the Castle Season 6 panel at the Paley Center in Beverly Hills. We got to see the panel afterwards. Check out the interviews we got from some of our favorite Castle crew: http://www.whedonopolis.com/castle-paley-event/
Also, to catch this episode and the first part of the two-part premiere click here at the ABC’s website and/or app: http://abc.go.com/shows/castle
Timothy Barone: Opera singer, Bio-chemist. Writer of the New England column “Uncommon Common Sense” under one of the chief editors of the Bostonian Magazine and book publisher, Keith Botsford.