So this was one of my more highly-anticipated episodes, like, ever. I’d heard it wasn’t going to be particularly shippy, but that it would delve into Beckett’s issues and demons and all those good things. I happen to be a complete sucker for character development, so aside from Castle and Beckett getting their acts together, this was my number one Castle dream come true. Beckett breakdowns FTW!
To organize my scattered and fangirly thoughts, for all intents and purposes, this episode can be broken up into three main sections: Beckett and the boys, Beckett and Castle, and plain ol’ Beckett.
We all know that Ryan and Esposito love Beckett, but man, do I love it when we can actually see it! Esposito’s a military vet who has dealt with PTSD in the past, and it was great to see him help Beckett through hers. The scene where he showed her the gun that shot her was BEAUTIFUL. So touching and amazing and oh my God, just perfect. I was hurting and happy all at the same time. It was so nice to see them relate on that level. Ryan kind of took a backseat in this one, but he still made his presence known.
Since Gates insists on being called “sir,” we can include her with the boys, right? I’m so glad to see her finally warming up to Castle! He wouldn’t back down from his theory about the paper dolls, and she actually listened to him. I was expecting something after the last episode, when Beckett stood up to her about him, but this was still a very pleasant surprise! Gates might be thawing a little bit!
OK, so Beckett and Castle: It wasn’t entirely blatant, but if you think about it, this entire episode was a giant shipper moment. Yes, Castle hung back a lot and didn’t interact with Beckett very much, but that’s what makes it so wonderful. He knew that she needed space, and even though it’s in his nature to push her, he let her be and get through it on her own because that’s what she needed. But I love that Castle was the one to make Esposito help Beckett. He knew he couldn’t do anything for her, but needed someone to do something.
The way Castle looks out for Beckett melts my heart. He covers for her mini breakdown in the elevator (without even knowing she had one) by suggesting to Esposito that the two of them stay back at the precinct. He’s so good when she needs him to be!
It was a little odd that Castle wanted to stay behind right there at the end, but also very fitting. It gave Esposito the opportunity to save her for a change, let her prove to herself that she could handle things like this on her own, and also spoke volumes of the space he was trying to give her. Which, of course, she thanked him for at the end. It was adorable, and YAY, he said “always” again! And you cannot tell me she doesn’t realize what it means.
From all the spoilers I’d gotten, I was expecting a much shippier last scene, and I’d heard that it ended with Beckett saying three words that start her on a new story arc. “Yeah, I think I am” is clearly not three words, and I most certainly do not ship Beckett with her therapist, but OH MY GOD SHE’S READY. Technically she just said she’s ready to let go of her mother’s murder and made no mention of Castle, but OH MY GOD WE’RE GETTING THERE!
Now let’s just talk about Beckett for a second, shall we? I don’t even know what to say. All the freakin’ awards to Stana Katic. We’ve never seen Beckett get out of control like she did in this episode, and it was truly gut wrenching to watch. Watching her drink to numb the pain and then get paranoid and freak out; watching her break down in the hallway; watching her look at her scars; watching her hit the deck when a siren goes off… and then watching her repeatedly insist that she’s fine. Girl, give yourself a break.
But her vulnerability throughout the episode only made it all the more epic when she recovered a little bit at the end. She had ideas and theories and got out there in the field with no hesitation. I was half expecting her to tackle the sniper and kick some ass, but she kicked some ass in an entirely different way. How she managed to relate to a guy that she associated with the guy who shot her was amazing, and holy crap, when she told him to look her in the eyes when he shot her? BIGGEST. BAMF. EVER. I want to be Kate Beckett when I grow up.
My one nitpick: didn’t Beckett have open heart surgery? Why does she only have a scar from the bullet wound in her chest? Hmmm.
There’s so much else I want to say, but then I’d end up writing a novel. So I’ll stop here and ask, what did you think of the episode, Lovelies?