And the show does all of this well. It’s going to be a good season on “Castle.”
Beckett says …
Yes. She says yes! Woo!
Of course, this “yes” answer comes with no dates and with the caveat that Beckett is totally taking that job down in DC. But who cares about all that — she says yes!
Whatever happens after that, at least audiences don’t have to endure a season of “But I loved you” “So why did you say no?” “Because I loved you too much!” “Maybe I stopped loving you when you said no …” That’s always a big pain on television.
Even if Castle and Beckett are facing a rough road, they’re at least facing it.
A few months later
The premiere then picks up a few months later, apparently after everyone knows about Castle and Beckett’s future plans. That’s good.
Unfortunately, the two lovers have mostly been separated for all that time. Castle has gone off on one of his book tours. Beckett is down in Washington, kicking federal butt with a brand-new partner, Agent McCord (Edelstein). Actually, Beckett is struggling a bit in her new job.
But mostly she is doing fine.
Papaya steaks anyone?
Beckett and Castle are lonely though. It’s only Alexis Castle that doesn’t have this problem — she’s home from Costa Rica with a new boyfriend, a guy named Pi.
Castle does not like Pi. Mostly this is because the dirty hippie is totally sleeping with Alexis. But the papaya steaks offered for dinner by this passport-less young man probably don’t help.
Because of loneliness and because of Pi, Castle gets the heck out of New York and shows up to visit Beckett after she has to cancel their weekend plans in the city. Once the two are past the “You scared me, I’m going to shoot you” moment, it’s very sweet.
It’s sweet until the next morning, that is. That’s when Beckett leaves in such a hurry that she forgets one classified photo. In a move that surprises exactly no one, Castle takes a peek — and he’s intrigued.
He doesn’t even restrain himself from investigating. With a little help from Ryan, Esposito and their techie friend, Castle learns that the dumpster came from a location close to some top-secret contractors. At least one of those contractors has just been robbed.
Because Castle is smart and tends to reach the same conclusions as Beckett, he figures out — just like the feds — that an escape through a golf course was necessary.
That’s where Beckett and McCord find him, investigating a case he should know nothing about. Whoops …
Can Castle stay out of anything?
Alas for Beckett’s job security, Rick Castle is incapable of staying away from murder, even when he tries. He does, to his credit, try this time. However much Castle wants to solve crimes with Beckett, he isn’t one to sabotage things on purpose.
It’s just that it’s hard to stay separate when the prime suspect in the investigation kidnaps you.
That is just what happens when Castle is minding his own business, trying to get a salmon home for a romantic dinner. The suspect, a former special-ops guy, forces Castle into his car and starts questioning him about what the feds know about something called “Valkyrie.”
Although Castle protests truthful ignorance, it doesn’t really matter. That would be because the suspect suddenly drops dead at the wheel, crashing the vehicle in the process.
Castle is not injured, but his presence in Washington is not exactly desirable at this point.
Now for the twist!
With Castle back at home and dealing with his papaya-related domestic worries, Beckett and McCord focus on the case. They finally manage to track down their dead suspect’s girlfriend — she’s heading toward the train station.
But when they find her, the woman protests innocence for herself and her boyfriend. The whole thing is actually a frame job. Even the supposed theft is nothing more than a cover-up for the real crime.
Not good. Not good at all.
What was that real crime? It seems that another company in that same robbed area was a manufacturer of deadly toxins. The electronics theft for which the military guy was framed only hid the true crime.
Not only is the toxin out in the world, but it’s also been used. Remember how the suspect keeled over dead before Castle’s very eyes? That was the result of nasty toxins in the air-conditioning system.
This would be the air-conditioning system of the car in which one Richard Castle crashed.
Castle inhaled the toxin. He inhaled so much, in fact, that the government believes that the man will be dead within a day.
A death would really mess up all those engagement and eventual wedding plans. Uh oh …
About that “Valkyrie”
Thanks to Esposito’s knowledge of special forces stuff, we at least know that Valkyrie is the name given to a fabled black-ops site. Maybe it really exists, maybe it doesn’t. But whatever strange work goes on there, Castle and Beckett are all caught up in the middle of everything.
Hopefully, their investigation will lead to an antidote to that toxin. “Castle” just wouldn’t be the same without Castle in it.
And his death would be a real buzzkill after the happiness of the Castle-Beckett engagement.