I’m going to be honest here, I was skeptical about how much I would be able to enjoy this week’s episode of Castle. Probable Cause promised to be an intense episode, yes, but also the introduction of a wedge between Castle and Beckett, and I’ve seen similar storylines done badly in too many shows to feel confident about it.
It was intense, all right, though I was pleased to note it was more of an emotional kind of intense, rather than an action packed episode. However, Marlowe and Co. surprised me by actually using this case to emphasize the strong bond between Beckett and Castle, as well as the one that exists between Castle and the rest of the 12th.
Let’s start from the beginning. The episode starts with the weekly murder victim being found by her roommate. Tessa Horton, a 29 year old insurance broker, was strangled to death and then left hanging from the ceiling with a symbol engraved in her forehead. However, who the victim was is hardly relevant to this particular case. What knocks Beckett and the rest of the precinct off balance is the increasingly overwhelming evidence pointing out to none other than their very own Richard Castle being both the murderer and the man Tessa was secretly involved with.
Starting from the fingerprints found in the hallway of Tessa’s apartment, to incriminating emails apparently exchanged between the two, to financial records proving that he purchased a piece of jewelry for her and even a camera shot of what looks like Castle himself in the jewelry store, it all adds up to have Castle arrested for the murder of Tessa Horton. What I love about how this storyline was handled is that all Beckett, Ryan, Esposito and even Gates came together to prove Castle’s innocence. Ryan and Esposito struggled with whether to believe the evidence or their friend, but they still had Beckett’s back throughout the entire episode, especially once Ryan let Espo in on the secret he was keeping for the couple. Beckett, on the other hand, believed in Castle all throughout. There was a soul-crushing Beckett/Lanie scene in which the former laid her heart bare to her friend, telling her that Castle is “an immature, egotistical, self-centered jackass sometimes, but he’s not this.” Major props to Stana Katic in this scene. I knew she was a great actress already, yes, but this… this was something else entirely. One could practically feel her pain. It was perfectly delivered and just altogether some of the best acting I’ve seen on TV in a very long time.
Back to the case. It all got easier to understand when we found out just who was framing Castle and why. We’ll have to take a little trip down Memory Lane here and go back to the sixth episode of the third season, one in which Castle uncovered the identity of a serial killer who’d have slipped under the radar otherwise: Jerry Tyson. Tyson managed to run away, though, and we never saw him again… until last night, when he showed up in the precinct and told Castle he had people waiting to kill him as soon as they made the transfer to prison.
Once they have this information, the team tries to delay said transfer, knowing that no cop in New York would be able to stop Tyson from murdering Castle. Their attempts are fruitless, however, and Castle is sent off to prison. Or, so it seems. In actuality, he used his resources to get himself shipped off from the precinct and allowed to conduct his own investigation. Beckett figures out where he’ll be based on a hint he drops just before leaving (“what I wouldn’t give to be there now” referring to New York’s Public Library) and meets him there. They manage to solve everything, even the Castle look-a-like who turns out to be a double, or so it seems. Either way, all charges against Castle are dropped by the DA.
Back to the ‘so it seems’ part. Castle and Beckett are ambushed in a bridge by Tyson, who ends up full of bullet holes (from both of them) and falling into the river, where he’s given up for dead. Castle does not agree with this opinion, on the contrary, he thinks that it was Tyson’s plan all along to be thought dead so he could start killing people again. Clearly, we can expect Tyson to pop up in our screens again sometime in the future.
One more thing that caught my attention this episode is how it seems to focus on Castle again. Last season was very Beckett-centered, what with her PTSD and the investigation of her mother’s murder, but this season seems to go back to the roots and split the storylines evenly. It’s an interesting change, and I’m looking forward to seeing more of it.
All in all, this episode gets an A- rating in my books