But it was love that motivated the rescue of Alexis (Molly Quinn) in “Hunt,” the second episode of this two-part story of kidnapping and long-lost family. In the end, the day was saved, and Castle (Nathan Fillion) even got an odd but touching reunion with the father he never knew he had.
In case you forgot
The first part of this story focused on the kidnapping of Alexis and her college friend, Sara El-Masri. Since Sara’s parents were rich and powerful Egyptians with lots of enemies, it was assumed that Alexis was taken solely out of convenience.
From here, things got weird quickly. The girls weren’t where the FBI expected them to be. The initial kidnapper turned up tortured. Alexis tried to escape, only to find herself on a Paris rooftop.
As “Hunt” begins, the NYPD and FBI finally receive a ransom demand for the return of Sara and Alexis. The El-Masris agree to pay 15 million Euros to the kidnappers in order to free the girls, but the bad guys release only Sara.
There is no sign of Alexis.
“Liam Neeson? He’s barely Ashley Judd.”
When law enforcement and large sums of money don’t help, it’s time to emulate TV and film by taking matters into your own hands. That’s exactly what Rick Castle does. The writer-who-pretends-to-be-a-cop flies secretly to Paris and meets with Gaston, a member of the French ministry of defense (and one of Castle’s never-ending supply of sources).
Through Gaston, Castle hires Henri — a fixer of dubious moral character. Henri and a blind guy (called The Mole) manage to track down Alexis’ initial holding location, but the girl is long-gone. All that remains is a bug, but at least Henri can use that to make contact with the kidnappers. It seems that they are willing to trade Alexis for $3 million more in ransom.
The story requires a double-cross here…
You would expect a writer like Castle to realize this!
But Castle is distracted, so we will forgive him for not realizing that Henri is totally going to sell-out his client. The bad guys, you see, are really bad. They’re so bad — and they want Alexis so much — that Henri has to double-cross Castle to stay alive.
Castle, in the meantime, looks about ready to be dead.
But then someone kills every last one of the bad guys, leaving Castle alive.
Meanwhile, back in New York
Since there’s no point in Beckett (Stana Katic) flying off to Paris anyway, she concentrates on the murder investigations. A rather bad-*ss interrogation of kidnapper Roger Henson’s girlfriend reveals that the now-tortured-and-dead kidnapper got the job from men at a specific address.
That address is a very trashed apartment. The only clue as to why someone would do this is an eyewitness description of a man leaving the location. Oddly, this description matches that of a man who was also seen leaving the farmhouse where the FBI expected to find the girls.
The police are looking for a man who will seemingly stop at nothing to find Alexis. He is willing to torture and maybe even kill to find her. Considering what we saw him do last week, this actually sounds a lot like Castle. So who — other than Castle himself — could this man be?
“Richard, I am your father…”
Castle finds out exactly who the mystery man is as soon as the bullets stop flying. A grey-haired man strides out of the forest, gun in hand, happily bragging about killing each and every bad guy. He is not, however, interested in the death of Castle — as evidenced by the fact that Castle isn’t dead.
Gun Guy, aka Jackson Hunt (played by James Brolin, the man admits this moniker to be fake almost immediately), drives Castle to an apartment back in Paris that is disturbingly decorated with Alexis photos.
Or maybe that’s not so disturbing a behavior for a proud grandfather. That’s right, Jackson Hunt is the proud grandfather of Alexis — and therefore he’s also Castle’s mysterious father.
Dad turns out to be a spy (no shocker there) who had to skip town because of a UN mission gone wrong right after Castle’s conception. Hunt never formally got in touch with the son always knew about, but the two did meet one time before. When young Richard was 10, Jackson Hunt showed up at the library to give the kid a copy of “Casino Royale.”
That would be the James Bond novel that inspired the young boy to become a writer.
The sins of the father
Other than his inspiring literary taste, Hunt might not be the greatest dad, even if you ignore his lifelong absence. After all, Alexis’ kidnapping is totally his fault. The mastermind behind everything turns out to be former KGB operative named Volkoff (Yes, Volkoff, “Chuck” fans!) whose wife was killed by Hunt. Volkoff now wants to use Alexis as bait for his revenge.
Of course, the bad guy really just wants to kill everyone. But Hunt has a plan.
The great escape
Instead of walking straight into Volkoff’s trap, Hunt enlists Castle to help him storm the mansion and rescue Alexis from her middle-of-the-ballroom cage (in case this wasn’t enough like a spy film for you). While Hunt readies himself for an attack, Castle goes in below to blow the power to the mansion.
This would be a great plan if Volkoff’s men didn’t show up immediately and capture Castle.
All seems to be lost. The evil Russian now has both Castle and Alexis trapped in the Ballroom of Death, so he calls Hunt to negotiate. If the superspy doesn’t turn himself in by the count of 10, Castle dies.
Or not. Because this is all part of the plan.
Just as Castle warns Alexis to duck, Volkoff’s captured walkie-talkie explodes. Castle then uses some sort of watch key to get his daughter free, and the two escape to the American Embassy. We don’t see Hunt again. Alive or dead, the man is a ghost.
At least we know Castle and Alexis are safe, even if they’re not allowed to talk about what really happened. And Martha (Susan Sullivan) and Beckett are both rather pleased to get the two of them back.
There is just one more surprise — a package has arrived for Castle. In it, he finds a book, “Casino Royale.”