It’s back! Castle has finally returned for its fifth season with a spectacular episode full of callbacks to previous seasons and season 1-ish banter. In an action-packed, humor-laden and emotional-ridden episode, Castle proves once again why it’s become such a success.
Inner fangirl moment aside, let’s get on with this recap.

After the Storm starts with Castle sitting in bed, looking confused. The why is quickly explained when Beckett walks into the room, wearing his shirt and holding two cups of coffee in her hands, assuring him (and us) that their night together was definitely not a dream. A playful debate about their options for the day is cut short when Martha’s voice informs Castle that she’s home, and he reverts back to sixteen-year-old-boy mode when he makes Beckett hide in the closet. After a failed attempt to sneak out, she manages to leave the house while Castle attempts to distract Martha and Alexis.

Meanwhile, Ryan informs Gates of the progress in the investigation of Beckett’s shooter. They don’t have his real name yet, still go by Maddox, but they do know what he stole from Montgomery’s house- his wedding album, from which he removed a particular mysterious photograph. Ryan has asked for the negatives, but when he requests help, Gates refuses on account of needing most of the force to protect Vice-president Russell and Senator Bracken during a press conference. Ryan isn’t happy.

Neither are Maddox or Smith, for that matter. The latter is being tortured by the former and yet refusing to give him the information he wants. I’m terribly curious now. What are those files?

Cut to Beckett’s apartment, where Castle pops in to apologize for hiding her in the closet. To her accusations of reacting like a sophomore in high school and being embarrassed of being seen with her, he quickly explains that he wants to keep their relationship all to themselves for a little while longer. He offers to make it up to her, which she accepts after deciding that his mother isn’t going to be interrupting them this time. However, they wouldn’t be Castle and Beckett without a steady flow of interrupters, so Ryan promptly knocks on the door and prevents them from going for round two- or, like Castle puts it, round four. This time, Beckett’s the one to want to hide Castle in the closet and Castle the one who refuses (considering his pitiful excuses for being in her apartment, I think he possibly should have hidden after all).

Ryan shows Beckett the picture Maddox took out of Montgomery’s album, and asks if she knows the man in it. She doesn’t, but alas, Castle does. It’s Mr. Smith. Surprise surprise. If they don’t find the information Roy gave him, Maddox will and Kate will never be safe again. Ryan leaves, determined to run the blocked number from which Smith called Castle two nights ago, and Castle is left to encourage a shell-shocked Beckett, who seems to have lost all of her confidence to solve this case. He recognizes a watch that was worth 10.000 dollars back in 1981, a watch that they later find out was given as a gift to the members of a law firm that is easily identifiable.

In the meantime, Esposito goes to a friend and asks him to enter the DOD database to figure out what Maddox’s real name is. Ryan, on the other hand, is still trying to run the number Smith used. He finally traces it back to a place in Wesport, Connecticut that’s registered to a Magellan Yatch Club. Castle and Beckett quickly run over the names of the directors, and come across a Michael Smith. They rush over to his house, where they find him barely alive and the file burning in the fireplace. He’s taken by the paramedics, but not before Smith says “86” to Castle, over and over again. Castle realizes it must be related to the file, and is convinced that Smith must have made a copy.

They look in the drawers, searching for something that might be coded under the number 86. When Beckett tells Castle to stop, arguing that he’s grasping at straws, he retorts, “Yeah, I’m grasping at straws, ’cause if that file is gone, it means they’re coming after you and there is absolutely nothing I can do. So yeah, if there is a straw, I’m grasping”. Aww. Perfect man, thy name is Richard Castle.

In the end, his search proves successful when he finds a file with a Manhattan address on it. 86 Markwell Street. They go there, convinced they’re going to find the file… and they’re not wrong. Only, as soon as they find the file, Maddox finds them. They end up locked in a bathroom, wrists bound, until Esposito finds them- right in time, I might add, to hear Castle’s “We should have done this four years ago” when talking about their night together.

Ah, Rick, what have we fans been telling you?

Moving on. Espo has found Maddox’s real name, Cedric Marks, and tells them that much right before they find him, in one piece and trying to get the file. He doesn’t stay in one piece for long, however: Smith apparently knew Marks would find the file first and set a bomb to get rid of him. Messy job, but undeniably effective. When Gates shows up, she’s less than thrilled to find a former detective, a suspended detective and a writer in her crime scene, and is, ah, unconvinced by their claim of having just been in the neighborhood.

Later that day, Ryan shows up at Beckett’s apartment with a bag filled with the file- yes, the one that was blown apart by a bomb- so that they can put it together. It’s a good thing this team is good with puzzles. They figure out the file is a bank account, probably of some kind of payoff. Esposito puts together the number of the account it was deposited in: 08672241. After running it through the Federal Banking database, they find the account was closed 19 years ago… and that it belonged to William H. Bracken… Senator William H. Bracken.

It turns out Bracken was Assistant District Attorney during the years when Montgomery and the other cops were kidnapping mobsters for ransom. The timeline fits. The team figures out Bracken must have realized he couldn’t prosecute those mobsters or otherwise they’d involve cops, so he decided to join in and, by the time he became Senator, decided he couldn’t allow this scandal to ever see the light. Ergo, all the murders to cover up for it.

From then on, it all happens very fast. They get word that Smith is awake, but he isn’t willing to help them put Bracken behind bars. Meanwhile, the latter isn’t willing to take the risk of being exposed, so he gets Smith killed. Man. This case is responsible for more deaths than J.K. Rowling. Anyway, Beckett comes to the conclusion that A) there’s no way they can get justice for Johanna Beckett’s murder with the absolute lack of evidence they have; and B) her own death penalty has already been signed. While Castle sleeps, she leaves the apartment with a gun and heads over to the place where Bracken’s hosting a fundraiser, leaving him, Ryan and Espo to panic over the possibility that she might have decided to take justice in her own hands.

But Beckett’s goal isn’t as simple as that. She manages to leave a cell phone in Bracken’s pocket and calls him while he’s being interviewed, letting him know in no uncertain terms who she is and what she wants. He meets her upstairs in the same hotel, and tries to convince her that he’s only doing what he thinks is best for most people. Ha. You chose the wrong person to mess with, Senator. Beckett seems to think so, too, because she quickly tells him she has a copy of the file and proceeds to make a deal with him: he stays away from her and the people that she cares about, and the file stays private. He kills her or any of them, the file goes public. He agrees, with the most delightful expression of disbelief on his (now scarred, courtesy of Kate Beckett) face.

Then. She wants her job back. Gates agrees, but under the condition that she serves the suspension she’d originally given her. She also acknowledges that she found out the truth about Montgomery, but assures Beckett she won’t say a word. Have I mentioned how much Gates has grown on me since the fourth season premiere already? After the Storm ends with Beckett showing Castle just how she intends to kill time during her suspension.

Did you enjoy the episode? Has Castle broken the so-called Moonlighting Curse for you?

Caro

Book blogger, coffee junkie extraordinaire, lover of all things storytelling.