Welcome to the season five finale of Castle, a true Watershed moment in so many ways. Our show opens with A morning sunrise moving through a rather grimy motel room. It looks like we may be at the scene of a murder, a bodies laying on the floor and bed, drug paraphernalia on the dresser. But wait, one of the bodies moves, stirred by the dawn. She stumbles to the shower, turns on the water and steps in. Everything seems fine until the water turns red with blood. But it is not hers, it is coming from the shower head! EWWW!!
Meanwhile this fine morning finds Beckett in Washington DC for a job interview with the Attorney General’s office. Things are looking good for this job, but what does that mean for Castle and Beckett? Kate herself doesn’t seem at all sure. And Castle is completely unaware of any potential problems on that front. Right now he has his own issues, trying to choose the cover art for his next Nikki Heat book and trying to avoid writing a check to send Alexis to Costa Rica for 6 weeks. Alexis corners him on the subject and he agreed (albeit reluctantly) to write the check. And the phone rings…..
Castle makes it to the motel murder scene just before Beckett, who arrives in a rush, though no one seems to notice that something is amiss. It’s all business now. Our victim is Erika Albrook, her body was dumped into the water supply tank of this seedy “no star” motel. When the motel residents are interviewed they all seem to think that Erika was a prostitute. Well, all but one man, he is adamant that Erika was NOT hooking. A review of the video surveillance of the elevator shows that Erika made a trip to the laundry room and then a trip to the roof on the night she died. She never returned from that trip..
Further investigation reveals that Erika was not a prostitute, she was an honors student at Harvard. One who, according to her parents, was supposed to be backpacking across Europe. Obviously Erika lied to her parents, but why? And what in the world was she doing in that hotel? The reason her neighbors thought she was hooking was because of the sounds coming from her room each night. Strangely, no one ever saw anyone going into or leaving from her room, they just heard the sounds of an active social life (if you know what I mean). But what about the man who insisted that she was not a call girl? How did he know? Well, it turns out our neighbor was a little noisy and there was a peep hole that allowed him to see into Erika’s room. And what he saw was Erika working away at her laptop, night after night while a CD of erotic sounds played in the background.
Erika’s laptop is missing and it seems likely that the killer has it. A check of her credit card transactions shows only one recent purchase, lunch with a friend in a very nice restaurant. When the friend is interviewed she reveals that she ran into Erika on the street and witnessed an argument she was having with an unidentified man. Erika took her to lunch and begged her not to tell anyone she was in the city. She was on a mission, though she wouldn’t say what it was. It is obvious to the team that this “mission” involves the missing laptop, but how can they find out what she was doing without it? And why would she go through this elaborate charade just to spend hours locked in a cheap motel room on her computer? It is at this point that Castle and Beckett have one of their moments, you know, the one where one has an idea and the other picks up on it and they bounce inspiration around the room like a tennis ball. (These are so fun to watch, much better than actual tennis!) Erika was a computer science major, the motel offers free WiFi, Erika must have been hacking something, and using the public WiFi as a cover. She was hacking something so illegal or so dangerous that she needed to be able to hide among the 100’s of other guests at the hotel. And who looks twice at a runaway hooker in a seedy hotel. Who expects that she is not exactly what she appears to be?
Beckett has an idea about how to run down what Erika was doing, even without her computer. They get their own techie genius (who is this girl? She is becoming a regular!) to run through the data and ferret out the pertinent details. She is able to lead them to a upscale law firm. Erika spent hours going through their records. Especially the records of Ian Blaylock, a former attorney with the firm. Ian matches the description of the mystery man who was seen arguing with Erika. But when they go to his apartment they find him dead as well. Scene has been staged to make it look as though Ian hung himself, but Lanie finds evidence that clearly shows that Ian was murdered before Erika. Which is interesting since he apparently sent her the message that led her to the rooftop and her own death. Someone obviously set her up. But who? And what exactly was she looking for in the law firms records?
It might have something to do with Erika’s best friend, Pam Bonner, who was an intern at the firm. She was killed in a single car accident last summer, just after leaving a company party. Erika was convinced that Pam was murdered, she was sure that Pam would never have driven drunk as the police determined at the time. She was trying to use the law firms records to discover who killed her friend. And Ian was helping her. His life had taken a nosedive within the past year, he lost his marriage and his job and was eaten up with guilt. He knew what happened to Pam and it had been his job to help cover it up.
Meanwhile Beckett finds out that Captain Gates has been contacted by the AG’s office and has given her a glowing recommendation. Gates encourages Beckett to take this job, could this really be happening? Kate goes to talk to Lanie, to tell her about the job and her fears about Castle. But she still has not told Castle.
Castle has an idea about where to find the laptop and Ryan and Espo go on a hunt in the basement of the motel where they do indeed find the laptop. Beckett and Castle are at her place when they get the news on the laptop. Kate is working in the kitchen while Castle is clearing the table. When he picks up Kate’s jacket a boarding pass falls from her pocket and the jig is up. She has to tell him about the job interview and his sharp mind is quick to work out all the implications of why she kept this from him. He is angry, angry and hurt in a way that we rarely see from Rick. He tells her that he cannot be here right now and walks out of the apartment. (may I interject a personal observation here? Did anyone else notice the slip into “Mal” speak? When Castle is walking out he asks Kate “what’s that say about us? Not much, you ask me.” This is classic Mal from “Firefly” and I love it! The intensity of the whole scene brought Mal clearly to mind for me. You think it was intentional or a happy accident for Firefly fans??)
The next morning finds Beckett coming into to work alone and when Espo comments on it she makes it clear that she and Castle had a fight and she does not want to discuss it. She wants to work and there is work to be done. The techie genius has narrowed the search of the firms records even further and they end up with a suspect I.D. in Pam’s death. His name is Colin Rigsdale, a man from a powerful, political family who is being groomed for his own senate seat. When Beckett confronts him she can see it in his eyes that he is involved in this. Of course his attorney shuts down the interview, but Beckett has what she needs. Now she just has to find the link that will tie him to all these deaths.
On the personal front both Rick and Kate have heart to heart chats with their respective parents. Martha as always doesn’t pull any punches, she tells Rick that she doesn’t blame Kate for interviewing and considering the job in DC. She points out that this relationship hasn’t had a clear direction. Rick needs to decide what he wants and make that clear to Kate. Kate’s dad has similar advice for her. He points out that she hides in her work too often. She too needs to decide what it is she wants and tell Rick.
Back to the case and the link to Rigsdale. It is his black sheep half brother and he was one of the residents interviewed at the motel. When Beckett gets him into interrogation he tries to stonewall her but she is having none of it. She is looking around the room, a room that has been her home, her life for the last 5 years and she is not going to let him sit in her home and lie to her (great scene!!). Then she walks out and leaves the statement to Ryan and Espo, telling them she has something she has to take care of.
That something is a meeting in the park with Rick. As they sit on the swings she apologizes for keeping secrets. Castle tells her that he wants more from life, that they both deserve more. And then he is on one knee with a ring. He has proposed. What will she say? What will she do? Unfortunately we will have to wait for that answer until next fall. But I am curious what you think. It seems to me that we are at a huge crossroads. How can Kate take this job? That would end the show. And we know that isn’t happening. But if she stays and they marry, won’t that ruin it too? How will they work together? I had a moment in the interrogation room when I couldn’t decide if she was saying goodbye to her old home or realizing that it was home and she wanted to stay. I am confused and conflicted! I can’t decide what will or should happen. So tell me, what do you think?? What is going to happen next season of Castle?