Ahh, the much publicized 21st (or should we say 22nd?) episode. Written by Rob Hanning and directed by Bill Roe, “Still” begins with Castle taking Beckett a tray with coffee, the newspaper and roses to bed. He watches as she wakes up, and the two share a conversation about the case she was working on the night before (someone blew up an apartment downtown) and whether she fell for him at first sight (he says yes, she claims he’s delusional). Castle insists that she asks Esposito to handle the investigation for a few hours so they can enjoy a few guilt-free hours together, but oops, they have a lead and Beckett is called to investigate.

The main suspect is one Archibald Fosse, a man who already did six years for murder in jail and was let out after an appeal. Our team makes the trip to his apartment, where they find him trying to flee the scene. Ryan and Esposito catch him, but Fosse doesn’t seem overly enthusiastic to cooperate with the police. He activates a bomb directly upon which Beckett accidentally stands.

This moment really does give a whole new meaning to “wrong place at the wrong time”, don’t you think?

It turns out that the bomb upon which Beckett is standing is activated by movement. Basically, she has to stand completely still until they deactivate the explosive, not moving so much as a foot lest she ends up blown up to little pieces. However, Castle refuses to even entertain the possibility that she might really be standing on a bomb until it is confirmed to them by the captain of the Bomb Disposal Unit, who urges him to evacuate the building along with the other people in it. He refuses vehemently and stays with Beckett, trying to take her mind off their current situation by goading her into admitting that she wanted him from the very beginning. Thus ensues a series of flashbacks to some of the best moments of the couple over the years: the funny, the sweet, the heartbreaking, and all throughout Beckett debates that really, it was he who wanted her from day one.

In the meantime, Gates, Ryan and Esposito are trying to persuade Fosse to tell them how to deactivate the bomb. He claims for total immunity in exchange, something that doesn’t sit well with the D.A. Once Esposito has had enough, he storms to the cell where Fosse’s being kept, only to find out he’s actually killed himself. Farewell to the chances of getting the bomb maker to help them deactivate the bomb. But wait, there’s more. The BDU find out that there’s a timer on the bomb, a timer that’s set to go off in little over 30 minutes.

Things really get moving by then. The team delves into Fosse’s backstory, which leads them to discovering he was already dying – of cancer. It seems he was targeting those who helped the D.A. put him in jail six years ago. Cut to Beckett making Castle fulfill the promise he made her earlier that day to leave before the bomb goes off. She calls him back, however, and utters the three little words we’ve been waiting months for her to say. After exchanging “I love you’s”, Castle does leave and she remains standing on the same spot she has occupied for hours, thinking about her father, her mother and Captain Montgomery and what they taught her. She calls Jim and leaves a voicemail, by which point I was crying right along with her.

She’s snapped back to reality by Castle’s voice, and opens her eyes to see him carrying two cups of coffee (for when she comes off that thing, he says). He claims that while he did promise to leave, he never promised not to come back. They figure out that what Fosse was really after is his ex-girlfriend and mother of his as of recently unknown child, hoping to get a chance to meet his son before dying. When Ryan and Esposito learn that the name of Fosse’s son is William, Castle quickly inserts the code “Billy” in the handle, which successfully deactivates the bomb. About three seconds before they explode into tiny pieces, I might add.

Gates, Ryan and Esposito arrive quickly after that, in what was a beautiful scene highlighting the bond between this entire team. Captain Gates added the hilarious touch by telling Beckett to “for heaven’s sake, kiss the man!” revealing that she knew about Castle and Beckett all along.

The woman did earn a detective shield, after all.

I find it interesting that “Still” was supposed to air before “The Squab and the Quail”, because the chronology actually works so much better this way. “The Squab and the Quail” was about the issues Castle and Beckett were facing in their relationship, and it opens a whole can of worms to be examined and resolved. “Still”, on the other hand, portrays Castle and Beckett’s relationship as very adult, committed and, above everything else, devoted. The original timeline really makes no sense and it makes Castle look OOC and Beckett worried over nothing in “The Squab and the Quail”: he nearly died rather than leave her alone one episode, would he take her for granted the next?