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CASTLE Review: The Great Castle Divide

By on September 29, 2015

(ABC/Richard Cartwright) STANA KATIC

By Geannie Bastian

Castle fans are pretty well split today, because there’s a bit of trouble in Castle and Beckett paradise. No, the two didn’t call it quits over Castle’s concerns last week. Instead, a new dark villain has appeared, and Kate Beckett has to stop him. And to keep her loved ones safe, she feels she has to go it alone. But not forever.

So, the final scenes of tonight’s Castle look like the end screen of a Super Mario Brothers game. Just when you think you’ve killed The Boss, it turns out, there’s a Bigger Boss. And the princess is in another castle.

But we open where we left off last week, with Kate Beckett on the run, staring out the window and thinking of the last time she saw Castle. As she turns away, the hit squads arrive. It’s a near thing for Beckett and Vikram getting out of there alive. But they do, with the help of a new player on the field – Rita, who is, wait for it, Castle’s stepmother!

And that’s where the fun really starts.

Search and Destroy

Castle & Alexis are trying to figure out what’s going on, when Martha and Hayley turn up. Hayley feels badly, and wants to help, so she spreads Beckett and Vikram’s photos to high traffic contacts around the city in an effort to find out where they might be. Meanwhile, Rita tells Kate she’s been married to Castle’s dad for ten years. She’s not CIA, but another, highly classified agency. She comments that it’s dangerous to have attachments in her line of work, because the people we love become targets. Then Kate recaps her experience so far for Mrs. Hunt.

When Vikram calls, he gives Kate an emergency, life or death protocol code. Tell no one, come alone. She meets him at the theater where he tells Beckett that her former team at the AG’s office is all dead, someone is trying to kill him, and she’s at the heart of it all. Our first round of assassins burst in and the shootout that will soon be Ryan and Esposito’s crime scene ensues.

Beckett and Vikram escape and she wants to call for help, but Vikram says she can’t. Their phones are being tapped, which is how the bad guys found them. Anyone she calls is likely to be made a target and end up dead. So they go to the dry cleaners, where Kate sews up a graze from her gunshot wound and Vikram explains.

Two years ago, newly minted Agent Beckett ran a document search, using her position to look for intel on Bracken. Nothing came up, until the day before when a recently declassified document linking Bracken and a high placed intelligence official, his name redacted to something called LockStat. And then  everyone with access to Beckett’s old files was murdered because of it.

Vikram and Beckett head to the prison, to ask Bracken what he knows. While we wait, we find out why Vikram identifies with Beckett: he lost a sister many years ago, and has never gotten over it. Bracken doesn’t know anything about dead agents, but the word LockStat has the former dragon looking like he just saw a flaming sword. He tells her she’s so over her head, he’s amazed she’s still alive.

We cut to the guys watching the video of their exchange. Ryan and Espo head off to see Bracken. Alexis and Hayley call Castle because one of her tips paid off. They see video of and Vikram at a Beckett at a bar. Intercut with Beckett’s POV, we learn the two are after a copy of that memo through Vikram’s laptop. But the killers are hot on their trail. Then Beckett recounts finding Castle and works up to meeting Rita.

Rita reveals that whoever the new big bad guy is, he’s Bracken’s former partner, a very dirty highly placed CIA agent Rita has been after for a year. She doesn’t know his name. Just then, she gets word Bracken was killed in prison. This changes things, she says. Beckett and Vikram will have to go on the run while she hunts down Bigger Boss. But Beckett says no, she won’t run, and Vikram decides to stick with her.

Allison Hyde from the AGs office turns up. And she wants to know what Castle knows. What Castle knows, it turns out, is the content of a screenshot of the memo from the video of Vikram’s laptop. And it has a code on it. When the AG and Ryan and Esposito video chat in, they tell Castle Vikram is a mole. Castle and Beckett both figure out that the code on the documents is an airplane tail number. Castle arrives in time to see someone take aim at Beckett. But it looks like Vikram was trying to save Kate from a gunman in the hanger, and she insists he can be trusted.

Castle and Beckett have a nice warm reunion, then have a chat about disappearances and trust. They decide they work better together. Then they make a plan to drag the people behind LockStat into light, realizing if they are exposed, they won’t be a threat. Castle sets up a TV interview, but it’s a trap. They knew that the people behind it would follow them, and the boys take out the assassin tailing them. They get his phone, but then another killer shows up, and the gun in Castle’s desk plus his sharpshooter skills come in handy.

Beckett takes command at the 12th, only to learn Vikram cracked the phone. It leads back to Allison Hyde the assistant AG. Only when they find her, she’s dead. Rita and Beckett realize Hyde is a patsy, but letting that fiction stand will keep everyone safe. Rita tells Beckett to put it behind her, go back to her life. But Beckett can’t. Five good people are dead because she made them targets, and the killer is still out there.

Rita warns if she does this, to do it alone. Involving Castle will get him killed, and that blood would be on her hands.

Kate packs, and asks Castle to trust her, which he says he does. She tells him she has some things to work out, but she’ll be back. She loves him, and she hopes he’ll forgive her. She leaves, devastated but determined to take out the people behind this and reclaim her life.

NEXT: SO WHAT HAPPENS NOW?

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