Think of the most intense hours you’ve ever watched on TV. Yes, I’m talking about Buffy’s “Becoming Part 2”, Supernatural’s “Swan Song”, Doctor Who’s “Doomsday” and all the episodes that had you gritting your teeth, holding your breath and generally being a neurotic wreck. Are you still with me? Good. Now put all those episodes together and you’ll have something similar to Castle’s “Recoil”.

Written by Rob Hanning and Cooper McMains, “Recoil” brought the murder of Johanna Beckett back to the forefront – as well as the murderer. Only, not exactly as one would expect. On the contrary, in this episode, Senator Bracken was the target of an assassination attempt that was kicked into high gear when Melanie Rogers, an engineer from New Jersey, was found dead, burned and teeth-less in a dumpster in Manhattan. On the search for evidence that might lead to her killer, the team finds two interesting tidbits of information: first, a voicemail that Melanie left to her half-sister and in which there was a recording of the murder, with sounds Beckett identified as footsteps in a parking lot and a lighter; and second, that Melanie and Bracken knew each other – that they had, in fact, met several times at a hotel.

Beckett jumps at the chance to put Bracken behind bars, assuming that he’s responsible for Melanie’s murder. He doesn’t exactly help his case by acting as guilty as humanly possible (though that may be because, you know, we are aware that he’s anything but innocent). However, upon finding the parking lot where the murder occurred, Beckett and Co. find a car with a duffel bag containing dozens of pictures of Bracken, as well as the murder weapon. It would seem as though Bracken isn’t guilty in this particular case.

Yeah, that came as a shock to me, too.

Neither Beckett nor Bracken is thrilled to find themselves thrown together like this. In a tense yet somewhat humorous scene, she asks him if he can think of anyone that would like to see him dead. One could practically see her mentally screaming “me!”. She finds it nearly impossible to work towards guaranteeing the safety of the man who murdered her mother, to the point where she almost tampers with evidence and effectively lets the main suspect (and father of one of Bracken’s victims), Robert McManus, escape… right in time to find out that he apparently created a bomb and is intending to blow up innocent lives in order to kill Bracken.

Eventually, however, Beckett finds it in herself to successfully close the case – twice. McManus turns out to be innocent, not that Bracken believes her. When she hears the exact same click that she first heard in Melanie’s voicemail, she realizes it was made by Bracken’s driver’s lighter. Acting quickly, she throws herself over Bracken to protect him from the detonation. Something that a protective Castle tells him he wouldn’t have done.

The episode ends with Castle and Beckett watching the Senator in the news. When Castle mentions that a man like Bracken is going to want to run for President eventually, Beckett calmly replies that she’s aware of it. And when he does, she’s going to be ready.

There were several things worth noting in this episode: first and most obvious, Beckett’s strength and integrity. Stana Katic did an incredible job at portraying her inner conflict and bitterness at the situation. I’m also impressed by how implicitly Castle trusts her, and by the lengths that he’s willing to go to for her. I also look forward to the development of Johanna Beckett’s case, however long it’ll take to get back to it. In the meantime, I shall enjoy the new development promised for Castle’s character (and when I say development, I really mean development. Run to a spoiler site if you haven’t already, you’ll know what I mean. Basically, Richard Castle is getting the arc we’ve always wanted for him).

One last thing: he has a key to her apartment. Can I request a moment of silence for fangirls and fanboys everywhere?

What were your thoughts on “Recoil”? Leave a comment below and let me know!


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