Oh, the agony and the ecstasy of the “Castle” season premiere, “Rise.” Castle (Nathan Fillion) and Beckett (Stana Katic) shippers had their hearts ripped out twice, as viewers got what they thought they wanted in the worst possible way.
The episode opens with Beckett, gushing blood, in the hospital. She is rushed into surgery. In classic soap fashion, her little-seen boyfriend Josh (Victor Webster) is the surgeon. Has Josh ever had more than five lines in an episode? Josh does the right thing and pages another surgeon, but ends up performing a life-saving procedure while he waits for the second doctor to arrive. He leaves the O.R. and attacks Castle, saying it’s his fault Beckett was shot, because he encouraged Kate to investigate her mother’s death. This is the first of many times this episode that Castle metaphorically gets punched in the gut.
Watch The Premiere Below:
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Meanwhile, Ryan (Seamus Dever) and Esposito (Jon Huertas) learn the gun was a special forces sniper rifle. It belongs to a missing officer. Nobody can describe the shooter. So, we’re back down the rabbit hole with the conspiracy, which is growing to a “24” level narrative complexity.
The letter Captain Montgomery wrote in the season finale, laying out everything he knew about the conspiracy is opened by a man we have never seen before. He shall henceforth be known as the Mysterious Man of Mystery. He reads the packet, calls the U.S. Capitol and asks for the personnel office. Is Congress to blame for this miscarriage of justice?
A couple days after Beckett’s surgery Castle visits Beckett, and finds Josh with her. Beckett tells him she doesn’t have any memory of the shooting. Castle realizes she has no memory of him saying he loves her. Fillion does a great job of non-verbally conveying Castle’s heartbreak. She’s not just suffering short term memory loss. She’s cold and distant. She tells him that she needs some time alone. She will call him in a few days. Ouch.
After a couple months time lapse, Beckett returns to the precinct, wearing an ugly turtleneck. Esposito and Ryan tells her there was DNA that was not in the system on the gun. She reveals she hasn’t spoken to Castle the whole time she was gone. They tell her that the new Captain gave Castle the boot, but he left with the files pertaining to the money trail from the conspiracy.
Beckett meets the new Captain, Victoria Gates (Penny Johnson Jerald) who does everything she can to establish herself as no-nonsense and by the book. She points out that Castle’s a writer – not a cop. That seems more logical than mean. She also closed Beckett’s case because there are no leads. That seems improbable for a cop shooting. Gates requests that, as a tribute to Peppermint Patty, she be called sir, not ma’am. She also insists that Beckett requalify before getting her gun back, which just seems like common sense.
Beckett shows up at Castle’s book signing. Yay! Castle is angry that she went AWOL. His attitude does an immediate 180 when she tells him that she broke up with Josh. Before can Castle can lay I Love You 2.0 on her, she shares that after her mother was killed she built up a wall, and she won’t be able to have a relationship until the wall comes down, and that won’t happen until she catches the killer. Castle is like “Okay, let’s work on your mother’s case 24/7, then.” When Castle tells her that the reports on the bank that the conspiracy used were destroyed in a fire, she suspects arson.
Castle gets the mayor to reinstate his position as Unofficial Mystery Solver, increasing Gates’ disdain for Castle. Becket requalifies for her gun. The dynamic duo is back in action! They visit fire inspector Ron Halstead, who oozes sleaze. Coincidentally, he has a giant mustache. He tells Castle and Beckett that there was nothing suspicious about the fire. Beckett is convinced he was lying. Castle is not so sure. Beckett tells Castle that everyone she cared about is gone. Without the hope of solving the case, she has nothing.
In the case of the week, a socialite is found dead in bed of gunshot wounds. Her boyfriend is the suspect. Beckett accompanies Ryan and Esposito on the bust and freezes when the suspect pulls a gun.
The Mysterious Man of Mystery calls Castle and says they need to talk about Beckett. We don’t see their meeting, but afterward he tells Martha (Susan Sullivan) that the man said Beckett will be safe as long as she stays off the case. Castle us determined to find a way to get her to back off. He knows that if he tells her what happened, she will only be more determined to investigate. So Castle tells her to take time, get her bearings,put the investigation on a temporary hold. He encourages her to focus on all the other people she helps through her work.
Beckett figures out that the suspect in the case of the week is innocent . When she tracks down the actual killer, this time she has no trouble pulling her gun on the suspect and getting him to drop his weapon. Beckett and Castle seem back to their old selves, except for Castle’s broken heart. Then we see that Castle has a plasma screen war room where he is conducting his own investigation of the conspiracy. It’s pretty bad ass.
The final twist of the knife: Beckett confesses to the police psychiatrist that she lied. She remembers everything about the shooting. Does this mean Beckett does not love Castle? Or just that she is in no frame of mind to deal with a romance? Now Castle and Beckett are both keeping huge secrets from each other, which have the potential to create huge rifts between them when the truth comes out. It’s a damn effective way of keeping them apart for one more season.