Hello, fellow Castle fans! I hope you’re all doing well despite surely not getting any sleep after this latest episode. Today’s post will follow a slightly different format to account for time constraints on my part and the open-ended nature of the first part of a two-part episode. I hope you find it to be a good starting place for discussing this chilling hour of television.
Two-Sentence Summary When a blonde woman with a connection to Dr. Kelly Neiman ends up dead, Castle, Beckett, and the whole team at the 12th precinct fear that the dangerous serial killer Jerry Tyson, aka 3XK, could be involved. However, Dr. Neiman’s plastic surgery work, the lack of DNA records for Tyson, and multiple cases of copycat identities allow the pair to continue to torment everyone at the 12th, including Castle and—in a very dangerous way—Beckett.
Favorite Line “I never forget a face, especially if I cut it.” (Dr. Neiman)
Episode M.V.P.: Nathan Fillion
Fillion always rises to the challenge when it comes to Castle’s dramatic episodes, especially episodes dealing with the 3XK storyline. While Stana Katic got to show off her dramatic chops during episode dealing with Beckett’s mother and Senator Bracken, 3XK has always been a more Castle-centric—and, therefore, Fillion-centric—storyline. These episodes have been building since Season Three to create a layered portrait of a man carrying the weight of years of guilt and fear on his shoulders because he didn’t stop Tyson and instead has become the killer’s favorite target for psychological torment.
Fillion once again did so much with subtlety in this episode. There were no emotional breakdowns (Those seem to be coming next week, which means I will need lots of tissues for my tears.) and no melodramatics. Instead, so much of Castle’s journey in this episode was told through Fillion’s face. It began with radiant joy and adorable hope when Beckett mentioned thinking about having kids, but that changed all too soon. As the case went on and Tyson was brought back into the precinct, Fillion made me feel every bit of Castle’s need to finally have this nightmare behind him and feel some sense of absolution for being too late to stop 3XK all those years ago in that hotel room.
Rick Castle is generally a lovable character, but we’ve seen glimpses of a man who can also be terrifying when the situation calls for it. And Castle is at his scariest when he’s alone with someone he has a personal vendetta against and is acting completely calm (his solo interrogation of Tyson in this episode, his moments before getting information out of the man who played a role in Alexis’s disappearance back in Season Five, his admission to Bracken that he would have watched him die…). Kudos to Fillion for choosing subtlety and restraint instead of overacting because it makes these moments so much more compelling. When Castle finally played his hand with Tyson and with the audience, showing the pictures of Tyson’s mother and the women who looked so much like her, it felt like I needed to hold my breath because the tension in the scene was so palpable. Fillion has such a great rapport with most of his scene partners on this show, but the stuff he does with Michael Mosely as Tyson is some of his best work in any given season.
Fillion was able to give such depth to Castle’s desperation in this episode. Through his scenes with Katic, we could see that it came from a sense of horrible guilt. The weight of it sat heavily on his shoulders and in his face throughout the episode, and I can’t imagine how much more painful it will be to watch next week. If his guilt over 3XK is bad now, I’m not emotionally prepared for what he’s going to feel now that Beckett is in his clutches. His rising panic at the end of the episode was tough enough to take; next week is going to emotionally destroy me in the best possible way.
Favorite Scene: Neiman and 3XK go free, while Beckett gets caught
“Resurrection” was creepy from the start, but as I watched, I kept feeling like it wasn’t coming close to the nightmare-inducing stuff in last season’s “Disciple.” That all changed, however, with the episode’s final scene, which was as chilling as it was captivating. I think we all knew from the moment Beckett left to save Amy that she was walking into a trap. (Seriously, why does anyone on this show ever go anywhere alone?) But even I wasn’t prepared for how disturbing that trap would be.
The setup was perfect, and it harkened back to the conclusion of my personal favorite Castle two-parter: Season Two’s “Tick, Tick, Tick/Boom!,” with Castle suddenly figuring out that Beckett was in immediate danger and frantically trying to call her. I thought it was brilliant (evil but brilliant) for Tyson and Neiman to set the whole thing up to give them an alibi for the time when Beckett was taken. The quick cut from Castle calling Beckett to Beckett picking up her phone was a nice bit of TV trickery. It made the song on the other line feel even more unwelcome and frightening as it started to play. And then Beckett was jumped and injected with some kind of sedative. The image of Katic’s open eyes and slumped body as she was wheeled away is going to haunt me for the rest of the week.
All of that would have been disturbing enough, but the final shots of Neiman and Tyson in the elevator were even more chilling. Her smirk as she received the phone call stating, presumably, that Beckett was theirs was outdone only by his wink at Castle before the doors closed. There’s not a doubt in my mind that this terrible twosome is the best pair of villains to ever be featured on Castle, and I’m both eager to get to next Monday to wrap up this two-parter and completely emotionally unprepared for it at the same time.
• Kudos to Seamus Dever for perfectly conveying Ryan’s guilt and desperation to see Tyson behind bars. The tension in his demeanor was palpable throughout the episode, and it came from such an honest, unforced place.
• I loved that Lanie got a chance to shine, making the connection between this episode’s murder and the ones in “Disciple.” The women of Castle are so good at their jobs, and it makes me love them even more.
• As a general thought, I really liked that all of the characters, especially Ryan, Castle, and Lanie, were allowed to show how deeply affected they were by the mere mention or idea of 3XK. The actors all did such a good job of showing the emotional scars their characters have from their dealings with Tyson.
• I think we all predicted after “Disciple” that Beckett would be the next to be targeted by Tyson, but did anyone think it would be this awful? I’m genuinely scared for her, which I haven’t felt for a fictional character in quite some time.
• On a happier note, my intensely positive reaction to the idea Castle and Beckett having babies surprised me, if I’m being honest. I’m normally not one to feel a need to see my favorite TV couples with kids, but I actually think it would be a great storyline for these two characters. I’m hoping that putting that scene in this episode means that Beckett will come out of this ordeal ready to start a family of her own with Castle.
• I really loved the shot of Neiman and Tyson walking out of the precinct hand in hand. It visually reinforced the idea that these characters are foils for Castle and Beckett. It was like looking at a twisted version of Castle and Beckett’s partnership in some kind of creepy funhouse mirror.