Castle Episode 5×23 “The Human Factor” – Recap/Review – A Bright Future




Next week is the finale of Castle season five!  I can’t believe there’s only one episode left! After last night’s episode I’m sure some fans are worried!  It certainly looks like it’s trouble in paradise.  Still, I don’t think Andrew Marlowe is setting us up for total heartache.  Some interesting questions have certainly been raised though….

Castle 5x23 sized

COMING UP - SPOILERS FOR “THE HUMAN FACTOR” 

I can tell that there’s a lot more interest in what’s happening with Kate Beckett (Stana Katic) and boyfriend/partner Richard Castle (Nathan Fillion) than the case, but I do think the case is worth looking at, because the subject matter is relevant to current US affairs.  Besides, between the opening and the ending, I’ll bet half of you don’t even remember the case!

“The Human Factor” was written by the brilliant David Amman  – which immediately put Castle fans on notice that the case would not be your “normal everyday” murder.   He’s done six episodes for Castle – including this season’s After the Storm” & “Target” – all of which have dealt with large issues or government conspiracies. “The Human Factor” is no exception.

Even if you didn’t know who the writer was, the opening would  have clued you in. It starts out innocently enough, to the tune of a Robert Duncan arrangement of sad wistful piano and strings, a child’s toy glider plane sails through the air to land with a bump against a man’s shoes.  The man, (James Stellos) picks up the plane, hands it to the child and smiling, watches him skip away with his mother. As the man continues along his way, he notices a black car with tinted windows that causes him some concern. He walks to his car, gets in, looks in his rearview mirror at the black car again, and then his car blows up.

It cuts directly to Nathan Fillion saying, “An explosion! Is this incoming artillery fire coming from above?”  He’s lying on the floor, playing with a remote-controlled tank on a realistic-looking playfield of desert sands on top of his plush pile rug.  It’s a fantastic transition from the crime to Castle’s loft, for many reasons.

The playful mood continues as Castle maneuvers his remote-controlled tank – complete with a camera hookup so he can see where the tank is even if the tank is out of view –  into his bedroom, just as Kate Beckett walks out in nothing but a leopard print cami and black undies.  He watches her (so we watch her)  toss a shirt on his bed, where there are several other shirts lying, as she holds one against her, Castle yells, “If you’re to decide what to wear, just keep wearing what you’re wearing now…or…less.”  Beckett quickly figures out that he’s watching her with the tank and calls him a “pervert” before throwing a shirt over it.  Before much else can be say, Beckett’s phone rings in the living room with Castle.  Beckett yells for him to answer it.  It’s the precinct about the car bomb.

The crime scene is unusual because it’s crawling with military people in helmets and machine guns.  For the record, in NYC they could get there that fast as they’re a low-key but active military presence in the city ever since the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks.  Even more unusual is the sight of the blown up car being hoisted away on a lift.  Detective Javier Esposito (Jon Huertas) is already on the scene, and tells Beckett Federal agents have seized the vehicle   Beckett tries to get information from the person in charge, an Agent Guerrero from Homeland Security (Jed Bernard), but in the words of Esposito – they are “iced out.” Detective Kevin Ryan (Seamus Dever) comes up to tell Beckett (and Castle) that witnesses saw the black car staking out the one that blew up, but Homeland Security won’t let the detectives talk to them either.  Not that it would matter, as they wouldn’t say anything anyway, not even when Castle tries to joke with them.

Beckett, as we know, is impossible to deter, so even with no body, crime scene or witnesses to the crime, she’s not going to stop trying to solve the murder.  She takes note of a dark-haired guy wandering the crime-scene, but before she can pursue asking him any questions, Esposito comes up with the victim’s wallet – blow half a block clear from the car.  Dale Tanner – whose last act of kindness was giving a kid back his toy plane.

Dale Tanner turned out to be a government whistle-blower who ran a website where he’d post sensitive information that he felt the public should know.  Obviously, the government was not happy with him and according to his wife Beth (Catherine Dent) and son Sean (Shane Coffey) Dale was often under surveillance   Recently, it had gotten so bad he’d moved to their rental place in Queens because he was concerned for their safety.  Sean is an angry teen who tells his mom they shouldn’t even be talking to the police since the government killed his father.   Back at the precinct, Beckett figures out that the bomb had to have been placed in the car earlier and discovers that a motorcycle was seen leaving his garage at 1am.  They quickly track down the owner, a Monica Lane (Amanda Tepe) who works for one of the companies Dale Tanner had been able to discredit.  She seems to be a likely suspect, but alas, Monica L’s only crime was having an affair with Dale.   It’s not the wife either, who had just learned of the affair, but failed to mention it in the interview with police.  Well, there’s the reason for the wistful look he gave the mother and son.

At that point, Ryan interrupts the investigation with some intense news. Despite all the feds blocking and stone-walling,the police Crime Scene Unit (CSU) uses what little evidence they’d gotten – a few very specific type of metal fragments, and the placement of the explosion – to figure out that the car wasn’t blown up. It was hit from above by a missile launch from drone – a remote-controlled military airplane.

I’m going to stop with the scene-by-scene recap for a bit, because within these three scenes – less than 10 minutes in – are all the major talking points of the case.  Now I can point out the levels of foreshadowing David Amman has set up:  the toy plane landing at his feet, Dale Tanner giving the plane to the boy and smiling wistfully at the mother and son, Castle playing with a remote-controlled military vehicle and asking if the bombing came from above, and then using said vehicle for something inappropriate.  I also want to take note of how Red Carpet Luke dressed the victim in a black shirt with a bright red long tie, which looked like a red slash down the middle.  Talk about marked for death!

After a useless trip to a military base, orchestrated to find out where the police evidence was – so the federal government could seize it, they identify the man Beckett saw at the crime scene as Omar Dixon (Hrach Titizian).   With some questioning of Dale’s son Sean, Beckett is able to meet up with the guy in the park.  The results…are more fun to watch:

It turns out the guy following Omar is Agent Jared Stack (Carlos Bernard) he’s a special investigator with the Attorney General’s Office in washington D.C..  While Beckett is forced to release him she actually bargains with the attorney general so that Stack has to answer her questions.  Stack, who had said she wouldn’t be getting any answers from him, seems to actually admire the move, explains who he is and why the situation is of great concern.  They are aware that it was a drone that took Tanner out, but the government didn’t do it. Castle suggests the drone had developed a mind of its own – which gets an Esposito “you are insane” look.  Stack informs the group that although the drone that killed Dale Tanner was government-owned, during a routine testing flight someone had managed to take control of it and used to kill Tanner.

Agent Stack isn’t about to let them help with the investigation, but he does say the only person known who could create that kind of software is a guy named Simon Warburg (Eric Lange) who’s been in hiding for the past year.  Of course, Beckett and the guys look him up.  It turns out Warburg actually designed the drone software, but then sabotaged it.  Castle weaves a story about Warburg creating a thinking drone army and that he was planning to take over the world.  Esposito does a classic face-palm.(Jon Huertas is hilarious in these little bits!)

Instead, Warburg is concerned about his own invention being turned into a drone army and being able to kill US citizens. The topic has been a hot one in the US, as drones have been used increasing in overseas military situations and the argument involving a possible attack of US citizens on American soil, has been heated enough to have delayed the conformation of CIA director John Brennan.  Currently there is no US policy that directly prohibits such an attack.  Warburg outlines a scenario where the government could in fact have its own drone army patrolling the US.

Castle and Beckett are able to find Warburg by realizing the significance of the books behind him in his webcast.  They are all rare first editions, so they track down the sales, which eventually leads them to where Warburg’ been hiding.  In a nod to the famous 1940’s film “North by Northwest” Castle and Beckett are attacked by a drone aircraft buzzing and shooting at them.  Beckett takes the drone out – although Castle insists that he did in order to make up for the fact that he ran the night before when Beckett made him think his own remote-controlled military toys had come to life and were attacking him.

Warburg sabotaged his software because in fact, Castle really wasn’t far off.  While current drones are in fact controlled by a real person – like Castle’s toy tank – the software he’d been working on wouldn’t have human pilots.  They would be completely run by artificial intelligence (AI).  The story he tells is compelling.  A drone strike had been ordered on a car that intelligence operatives said held three enemy combatants.  However, the drone’s pilot noticed that the back of the car had a row of red dots on the back and aborted his mission.  The car was the wrong one and instead held a couple who’d just gotten married.

In his quest to stop the USA drone program, Warburg created a software that could hijack control of a drone.  He’d wanted Dale Tanner to post it on his whistleblower website and had sent him a copy, but Tanner said it was too dangerous to have “any idiot with a computer” able to hijack a drone and had sent it back.  After Tanner wa killed he checked the flash drive he’d gotten back and realized someone had made a copy of the software.

From here things wrap pretty quickly.  Stack had used Beckett to find Warburg, which Beckett realizes after the fact, but she tells him Warburg didn’t kill Tanner.  They think it’s Omar, Tanner’s assistant, who’s now on the run.  Stack is able to use his fancy federal facial recognition program to spot Omar at JFK getting on a flight to Beirut, and then uses his fancy federal connections to have the plane that took off an hour prior turn around and come back to New York.

Stack let’s Beckett do the interrogation, since she led them to Omar.   As he watches her through the one-way mirror, he remarks to Castle on just how great Beckett’s technique is.  Castle laughs and says, “you don’t know the half of it.”  He turns to look at Stack, but Stack’s eyes are glued to watching Kate Beckett do her interrogation…

The problem is – it’s not Omar either. Beckett believes Omar when he says he didn’t even know what was on the flash drive, and asks if anyone else had access to the flash drive. The only other person was Sean Tanner – Dale’s son. The angry teenager, who resented what his father’s work had done to him and his mom, completely snapped when he learned about his Dad’s affair. He’d taken the software, found out where his father was, and killed him. Dale’s concern about any person with a computer having access to software begin dangerous turned out to be prolific, as was Ryan’s earlier comment asking if they were looking for a 14-year-old with a computer.

That’s the end of the case – but not the story.  It’s the end of the story that  has  Castle fans absolutely terrified about the season finale.  “The Human Factor” ends with Stack telling Beckett about a job offer, doing the same work he does – in Washington D.C.  Beckett plays it cool, but the agent does has Beckett pegged right.  Here’s the ending, it’s worth watching because it’s good to realize just how torn up Beckett is over this.

I love how Stana played this, and to me it held a certain continuity. The last guy who asked her questions about her future ended up kissing her, so when Stack starts with his “where do you see yourself in five years” Beckett is like ice. That kind of situation she had with Eric Vaughn would not be happening again!  It’s after he says that he used to work homicide that she stops to listen to him.  Throughout the episode, Beckett’s been having it thrown in her face just how much more you can get done if you’re law enforcement with the federal government rather than the state.  Hearing him say he used to be a police officer peaks her interest, even though she’s keeps her guard way up.  It’s a great scene, and the tension Stana brings to the room was intimidating to me – and I was just watching.

Both actors did a terrific job in the scene, I can see the exact moment Stack correctly reads that Beckett is not trusting his intentions and thus decides to change tactics.  However, it’s not just the actors that make it work.  When you look at these intense one-on-one Castle scenes – there’s a good chance it was directed by Bill Roe, who has among his Castle credits last season’s “Undead Again” and most recently, last week’s episode “Still.”  Enough said.

Now, I am not discussing the promo in this article, but I am going be going over a lot of Caskett and why it’s best to not flip out over this episode’s ending.  First of all, just like last week, it appears that Beckett has moved into Castle’s loft.  Especially with that opening where she’s got a bunch of her clothes on the bed while trying to figure out what to wear!  She also has no problem with him answering her phone anymore.  However, the episode’s ending says that technically she has not moved in. Castle says, “How about a glass of White Zinfandel when we get back to my place.”  In other words, Beckett still has her place.  I think it is safe to assume that she’s not spending a lot of time there – since half her wardrobe has migrated to Castle’s loft.

Beckett not being officially moved in, but, basically moved in, points to the kind of limbo she mentions in “The Squab and the Quail.”  Stack’s job offer makes the issue even more urgent, because while another man wouldn’t make her consider leaving her current situation, someone offering her a dream job might.  What Martha said about the ring on her finger still applies . If she was engaged to Castle, if they’d talked about the future, about having kids or not, etc, this offer might not tempt her, (unlikely it wouldn’t though, I’ll get to that) and even if it did, she wouldn’t have the kind of hesitation about talking about it with him because she’d have a sense of stability that existed beyond the day-to-day.

This isn’t to suggest that Beckett is considering leaving Castle.  It’s that she’s unsure of what that suggestion of change in the status quo would do their relationship.  In theory she and Castle could keep dating if she took the job.  It would mean leaving the precinct, not working with him any more, and having a commuter relationship, but it’s certainly doable.  After all, Castle’s rich and can basically do his work from anywhere.  Plus D.C is just 4 hours by train and a hour by plane.  Nevertheless, it would be a huge change, and she has no idea what he’s thinking about them for the long-term.

After Castle makes the comment about how one person sees roses and another sees a chance to move on from a past life – he heads off for a shower, inviting Beckett to “join him.”  Why the heck did he say that?  My thought is is Castle is a observent man.  He saw how Stack was watching Beckett work.  His causal comment asking what Stack wanted to talk to her about – right after that statement – makes me think he has an idea what Stack wanted to talk about.   Meanwhile, watching Kate sitting alone on the couch you can tell she’s miserable about the whole thing.  The offer has stirred up parts of herself she hasn’t thought about in a long time.  She’s not ready to talk about it with Castle because really, she doesn’t want to think about it at all. Look at how long it took for her to admit she wanted to be with Castle.  Ironically, if not for Castle, Beckett would never even be considering Stack’s offer.

Before Kate’s mom was killed, she wanted to be a U.S. supreme court justice. She was that smart and that ambition.  After her mother’s murder, she narrowed her world down to one thing: finding her mom’s killer and bringing them to justice.  It’s Castle who helped open her back up to the larger world, and set her on the path to let go of her mom’s death.  He’s also been the one that has helped her get a lot of actual closure on the case.  She now knows exactly what happened and other than Senator Bracken, everyone associated with the Johanna Beckett murder is dead, including Dick Coonan, whom she herself had to kill in order to save Castle’s life.

Now that she’s let her past go, and opened up to loving Castle, all that she was before her mom was killed, is available to her – including her ambition to make a big difference in the world.  The thing is, until Stack made that job offer, I don’t think Beckett even realized that she wanted and needed more jobwise.  She became a police-officer to help victim’s like her and solve her mom’s case.  The latter is pretty much done, and the former is very much like her Christmas tradition of working Christmas Eve: a penance for a crime she didn’t committed and a balm for a wound that has largely been healed – only she hadn’t noticed.

The question is, now what?  Realistically speaking, if Kate’s not at the precinct with Castle following her around there’s no more show.  Likewise, if they broke-up it would be a hard sell to have Castle still following her around – he tried that last season and it definitely wasn’t working for him.  It’s safe to say Beckett isn’t moving to Washington D.C. and Castle will still be following her around on cases for the 12th.   

Now this part is all just speculation and theory.  Show creator Andrew Marlowe has done a lot of episodes involving federal agents,spies,etc.  We’re got Bracken owing Beckett a favor, Castle’s dad as fancy CIA agent and Marlowe talking about the finale “opening up a lot of complex interesting storylines.”  What if Beckett does become more than a police officer, but not by moving to D.C.?  For instance, what if Gates is actually an undercover federal agent investigating police corruption in the NYPD and Beckett ends up working under her in that capacity?  I say that because Gates is always talking to some federal agency and getting information.  In other words, what if there’s a way to expand Beckett’s job without her permanently leaving NYC or the precinct?  I mean at this point Castle and Beckett have saved the city from a nuclear explosion and saved the world from starting World War III – how far-fetched is it to Beckett to become an undercover fed?

Marlowe likes to work with the complex questions of relationships, and this work one definitely qualifies.   I think the question of the finale will be what Stack asked Beckett: “Where does your heart lie.”  Well, we know Beckett’s heart lies with Castle, and Castle’s is with Beckett.  Vaughn tested Beckett emotionally and woke Castle up to realizing that he’s been taking Beckett being around for granted.  This issue will challenge their working relationship – and ask make them both talk about what is it they really want from their personal one. Really, this is what Marlowe’s goal has been throughout the run of Castle – showing a more honest road to creating a permanent loving relationship. It’s a road that is challenging, even though it is always moving forward.  Speaking of “Always,” I suspect this season finale will likely be even more of an emotional rollercoaster than last year’s – but look how that one ended.  As Castle said a long time ago, “The heart wants what the heart wants.”

Any thoughts about “The Human Factor” and where we could be heading next week?  Do share them in the comments section – but no spoilers please! I’m so excited for next week’s finale – and also really sad.  It’s the last new episode of Castle until the fall and season six!  We all know that there’s going to be a season six.  The show gets over 10 million viewers a week!  Both Castle and Caskett have a bright future ahead of them!

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  • Elaine

    By thw way, congratulation for consistently getting the most comment – if I am reading the numbers right on the entries for the other shows. Well done.

  • Elaine

    Don’t get me wrong – I love Castle and there were many moments during this season that were fun and some serious moments – in Target, Hunt, and Still especially – but I have been disappointed in the development of the Castle/Beckett relationship. I’m watching old episodes on TNT and there’s a gravitas to his caring for her and her connection to him that is essentially gone this season. Whatever happens on Mondat, I hope it lives up to the depth of feelings we saw in earlier seasons. Castle, Beckett and their fans deserve that.

  • soleil_lu

    Great review! I have mixes feelings about this ep – I normally love Amann/Roe eps, & the XF side references were fun. What really disturbed me was not the job offer itself or Kate’s reaction to it as such – it was the fact that she flat-out lied to Castle! She sat there with the perfect opportunity to tell him & she lied to his face. That is going to hurt him when he finds out. I can understand her being reticent about discussing it deeply until she has made her own mind up, but she clearly is interested & if her relationship with Castle means anything, surely it means openness & honesty! I was really disappointed in her – it’s another instance where I find myself thinking I don’t like what Beckett is becoming

    • Joy D’Angelo

      Thanks for posting! I see it more as her being in denial – and she’s good at that. She said it was nothing because she WANTS it to be nothing. She would like it to disappear and stay in the bubble with Castle. Of course, the job thing is something she’s interested in and will have to confront – the same way she had to admit to herself that she had feelings for Castle in the first place.

  • GuppyintheOcean

    Personally, I think Beckett is a ‘big fish in a little pond’ kind of girl. I think she likes having her team of Espo and Ryan, and likes the autonomy she has with NYPD. Especially true under Montgomery and she is working back to a good place with Gates. Remember in the S4 CIA 2-parter when Castle wanted to speculate that they had saved the world and it was enough for Beckett to save a little girl. I also see Beckett as someone who gets frustrated with the political and the rule keeping, and I believe she knows this about herself. And I feel (perhaps from personal experience, LOL) that the Stack character is trying to pull her into something that is NOT all glamor and a bed of roses. Beckett should be searching for balance in her life, not a lonely job that demands 110% or more of herself and leaves her with no personal life and no satisfaction outside of work. To me the question is NOT whether Castle can follow her to D.C., it is how relevant to her new life would he be (vs. being just a follower or a hanger-on type person) and how difficult would it be for them to keep from growing apart. Personally I think that oftentimes Beckett takes Castle for granted and does not truly respect all that this wonderfully generous and caring man brings to her life and to the relationship on a daily basis.

    Beckett needs balance in her life, and light in her life, and a sense of a full family life that she hasn’t had since her mother died and I sincerely hope that she understands this about herself. On Castle’s part, he needs to realize that, for a career woman, having a boyfriend or a lover is for many women, not at all the same as having a fiancee or a husband. It can just be easier to follow someone across the country or conversely to reject a job offer for a husband (or fiancee) than for a boyfriend. It may be Beckett’s pride but Castle needs to give her the relationship ‘status’ she needs to make career choices more comfortable for her to make.

    For future seasons, I believe there’s lots of fun to be had (all while solving murders!) with developing the Castle/Beckett extended family relationships (Kate/Alexis; Kate/Martha; Jim/Rick; becoming Ryan baby godparents, perhaps even losing an aging parent, etc) and with having Beckett navigate and embrace Castle’s world of book parties, celebrity status, book tour separations, etc. Could be lots of fun and now that Gates knows, it’s time for the Caskett relationship to truly come out in the open.

    I really struggled with Kate saying “Nothing” at the end of the episode. For me, it is time for some more honestly in this relationship, and I don’t see this at all as the same thing as Castle saying ‘to the bedroom’ when answering Kate’s question in S&Q. Could she have said “Oh, he talked about his work…” or “Oh, work stuff.” and left it there until she was ready to discuss more? I hope her lack of sharing and being forthcoming with Castle is because she thinks she is not interested in pursuing the offer, at least at this point of time and in her head. Also, let’s remember that Rick has already turned down a similar offer, to write Bond novels and leave Kate in the dust, back in what, Season 2 I think, and he choose to stay with Beckett, at that time for only a remote possibility of having a life with her. The heart wants what the heart wants.

    I oftentimes see Beckett as immature relationship-wise, and understandably so. At the young age of 19 she closed herself off from any truly meaningful adult male/female relationships (both feet in and moving forward and in it for the right reason rather than just because a guy–Sorenson, Demming, Josh–was attracted to her). So, she’s secretive, she fights mean, she’s flighty and feeling her way and Castle oftentimes has to talk her down (such as in “Cloudy w/a Change of Murder” and “Murder He Wrote”. So when I see Castle as childlike with joy or intentionally immature as if challenging people to like him anyway, I see Beckett as being very immature or inexperienced in managing the day to day of a relationship. Still, her joy and smiles when feeling IN love are awesome!

    So finally, I so agree and appreciate your insight that perhaps Beckett’s team could hold a second status and purpose while still being NYPD, with the Attorney General steering some cases to the Beckett team for investigation and resolution. So many possibilities, which can all be good. Turning the cases on topics of interest in our real world is a compelling way to keep stories fresh and shows relevant for years to come, with the cherry of top being the ongoing character developments and personal story lines and lives of the characters that we all love so much.

  • https://twitter.com/LordofKavaka LordofKavaka

    Interesting speculation, though I find Gates being an undercover Fed a little far-fetched, same goes with Beckett becoming one as well. As for their relationship still being do-able if they do have her move to DC and take the job, I personally don’t think it would. From how I saw it, the kind of job Stack seems to have and is offering Beckett doesn’t really seem to leave much time for a personal life. It would be a job where you are constantly on the move and hardly in the same place for very long. So even if Castle was willing to follow her to DC, it’s not like she’d be able to see him much, let alone talk shop like they do, since all her work would probably be classified. Plus, she’d have to keep secrets and lie to all her friends and family about what she’s doing. So, with that in mind, it seems to me that the decision they are setting up for Beckett is going to quite literally be what is more important to her in the long run… the job or her relationship. And I, personally, am not entirely sure where her heart lies right now (as she’s really conflicted over everything, IMO), so as I see it, it could go either way. That being said, I don’t think a break-up is coming, but maybe a brief separation, like them being apart for the summer or maybe even longer. Like maybe Beckett takes the job and works it on a probationary period, so she has to go back and forth from New York and DC or something, that would make for some complex stories (that’s what I might do if I was running the show, so you all should be happy that I am not LOL). And, unlike a lot of finale speculation fanfics, I really hope they don’t have Castle propose, b/c then that proposal would be tainted by the “did he just propose because of the job offer”.

    As always, though I don’t comment often, I enjoyed your take on the episode.

    • Joy D’Angelo

      Thanks for commenting! I don’t see Beckett moving to D.C. – it’s more about the road the discussion could take, because she doesn’t want to end things with him. There has to be a way for her to discuss it without it being “I’m ending. our relationship to goto D.C.” What I see is them going through all the possibilities – but the question coming back to “where does your heart lie.” where would she like to be five years from now? I think it’s married to Castle – but they haven’t had the conversation yet. I do think that there’s a bigger surprise Gates that will play into all of this. I wish it were Monday – and then the next day was September! LOL!

  • mya

    I am simply perplexed. I have no theories. The only guide I now have is Tamela Jones said the ending will snap your head back and make you question… What just happened? Molly Quinn said almost the same thing. Neither of them indicated weather fans would be sad or pleased. So, for my part, I am looking forward to good story telling and good acting, especially from Stana. The girl is simply good. She disappears into the role of Beckett. This comes from a person who often forces myself to overlook the acting in order to enjoy a movie. Sometimes I can’t. The more I watch Stana’s acting and the nuances she brings the role , I am reminded of what Daniel Day Lewis brings to a role or, Meryl Streep/ Jodie Foster. They disappear into the role. “There Will Be Blood’ would have been just another nice movie w/o DDL. I.E. interesting but not captivating. ‘Sophie’s Choice’ would have been a snooze w/o MS. I probably would have abandoned Castle long ago but Stana always bring a little something extra. I guess you tell I am easily bored.

  • Letícia

    wow, I just have to agree with you on everything. you said some things that I didn’t even noticed! the case was really good and in the end, in the kate-stack & kate-castle conversation, stana just nailed it, specially her reaction & saying ‘nothing. it was nothing, i thought it was a little bit of a cliffhanger already. can’t wait to see what Marlowe prepared for us. and then again, i agree with you when you say that if beckett accepts this job, there’s no show basically. and should just chill, because in Marlowe we trust;)

  • Kasey Frederick

    TF – you said what I was thinking so eloquently I feel like I am wasting space – particularly the last half of your response.
    I think I feel kind of jerked around. 4 years of waiting for a year together where the relationship has developed so slowly that it allows AM fall back on old behaviors that Castle and Beckett had that kept them apart for so long. Castle being insensitive and clueless and Beckett being secretive and reserved. “Squab” and “Human Factor” did a lot to dampen my investment in the characters and the future of the show – getting jerked around for too long can do that.

  • TF

    Great Re-cap Joy, (As Always)

    If Only , more time could have been spent peeling back the Castle Onion, I would have felt better, you can see the parallels between this case and RC own life, but it is almost like OK Dad showed up and rescued me and Alexis so back on the shelf. If I recall that ended when RC said to Martha, Mom, there is something I want to tell you, The only time he has not called her Mother that I can recall. We also have PaPA Ryan hanging out there for a time TBD, so there is some loose ends in the story arc that needs work.

    As far as you idea about Gates, Not buying it for a minute, contacts with the uppers are probably from all the time in IA. I see a long summer for us with No Official Break Up, BUT KB taking the job for her chance to nail Bracken. Seriously as the Shrink put it, Are you afraid he won’t wait for you or he will. I think the writers have just about worn this arc out, no matter how bad the heart wants what the heart wants, there is a limit. RC has lost at love before, Kyra, he did not follow her, Mercedes, Not stated but could have taken her back after her fling, and Gina, wanted more than ordinary, wanted magic, not Heart Break. So my question is how to mend some deeply hurt feelings on RC part, and if KB takes the job flash back to Sorenson, moving to Boston, about the same distance away as DC, Double Standard?? Going to be interesting, but frankly the last two episodes, excluding STILL which is my number one all time, have left me bland, and disappointed in all the AM hype. I don’t think either of the sub plots was organic, but forced, maybe I am wrong we will see, but I am not as hopeful as I was a few weeks ago and am investing less time in the series each week

    • Joy D’Angelo

      Thanks for posting! I’m glad you enjoying reading it. I’m sorry you’re less hopeful about the show, but I respect that everyone sees things differently. I would think Gates NYPD IA connections would more likely be heavy at the State level, less so at the Federal – unless she was a Fed working IA. Even if it’s not Beckett working under Gates, I’ll bet Gates can help her figure out how to make it all work. They’ve been gradually building a relationship between Gates and Beckett, and Marlowe doesn’t do anything without a reason in mind.

      I do think something is going to be giving Beckett some Federal backing though and I don’t find this plot forced at all. It started way back with Agent Shaw. Beckett’s always had a bit of envy over how much more the feds could do, and the feds she’s worked with – even evil Sophia – have been impressed with her. It really feels like it just was a matter of time that this work issue would come up. None of what’s happened is really out of left field. Also, I’m not sure how Bracken fits in, but her wanting to take the job isn’t about Bracken – it’s about her.

      As for how their partnership could fare in such circumstances, remember, Castle used to follow around a CIA agent… with his then unknown to him father’s help. There’s a lot of configurations that could work. …Of course, all of this is theory, I could be completely wrong. :D

      However, in terms of Castle himself, I don’t think it’s fair to expect “The Castle Onion” to be unpeeled in a few episodes. If you go back to my Target review, I talk about how the darkness Castle displayed was foreshadowed seasons before. Marlowe builds his characters depth over time, and he’s juggling many story-lines using 23-24, blocks of 43 minutes each. He weaves a real tapestry, but if you focus on a single thread you’re going to miss the image.

      On a different note, on twitter I’ve been saying since before “Target” that I think there’s an engagement happening in the finale. Now there’s nothing per-say in “The Human Factor” that suggests it. In fact, except for “The Squab and the Quail” there’s nothing concrete I could point to. But the everything in this season’s overall arc – including this issue of the job – seems to be pointing to just that. I think I’ve written in an article that I think at the end of the day the undecided issue will be about work – not Caskett.

      His relationship with Kate is pretty different than any of his relationships – except for Kyra. If he learned anything from that it would be that if you want someone it’s worth going after them. I’m assuming you mean Meredith, not Mercedes when you suggest he could have taken her back after her “fling?” First of all, he married her because she was pregnant and wanted to make it work because of his own childhood, so this wasn’t a huge love affair (a sex affair, a fun affair, yes.) More importantlyMeredith had the affair and left HIM, so he couldn’t have taken her back – she didn’t want to come back. Meredith didn’t want to be married and have the responsibility of a child.

      Last but not least, I didn’t use a double standard with Beckett and Sorenson. The difference between Beckett and Sorenson and Beckett and Castle is that Castle can write anywhere, while as a state police officer, Kate couldn’t have gone to Boston without serious career issues, and couldn’t afford to be doing the back and forth travel on a city officer’s salary. Castle can afford all the travel costs and it wouldn’t affect his career. It’s an apples and oranges situation.

      Of course, none of this is to say that you should like the situation that happening or like the episodes you’ve mentioned. Feeling are subjective, and on a gut level every person either just likes something or they don’t. Still, I hope that you’re pleasantly surprised by the finale. :)

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