“Need to Know” – Castle

Screen Shot 2013-10-13 at 1.12.26 PMOkay then. Castle. “Need to Know”. Uhm… we got nothing. This was one of those exceptionally rare episodes that is almost impossible to review. Or, at least, impossible to start reviewing (and that’s a big part of why you’re getting this review today instead of four or five days ago).

The episode gave us what we’ve been hoping for since the premiere (even though we liked the DC/New York split) – the old team back together. Sort of. It felt a little forced. Castle deciding he had to work a case at the exact same moment that the AG’s team improbably got called to New York for the same case? It made us happy, but it also didn’t feel entirely believable. Not that we cared too much. Caskett back on screen wasn’t exactly an overly exciting occurrence. They haven’t been apart since the season’s return. But having Caskett reunited with Ryan and Esposito? That was welcome. As, surprisingly, was having grouchy Gates back in the team’s corner. We even liked new detective Grant Sullivan (Joshua Bitton, The Pacific). Yeah, he took Beckett’s place, but he’s an enjoyable character. We did start wondering, though… where’s Lanie?

The case itself was surprising, which was a blessing. The one predictable thing – that the jogger who discovered the body was involved in the murder (predictable because that same jogger was Supernatural’s Dick Roman [James Patrick Stuart, 90210, Pretty Woman]) – was only predictable up to a point, and still surprised. We appreciate cases where the killer isn’t immediately recognizable from the moment they walk on screen.

Of course, the big take away from “Need to Know” was its ending. Kate’s discomfort with the methods of her new team, and with the secrecy endemic in its operations, was palpable throughout. So palpable, in fact, that, had she not been fired (for leaking crucial information, undermining the CIA), we feel like she would have quit anyway. That ending, though, wasn’t as much of a ‘hurrah’ moment as it should have been, and that speaks volumes about how the rest of the season could play out. Moments before her firing, Castle was talking about moving to DC and Beckett clearly wanted to make her job work, in spite of her frustration with its limitations. While she was undoubtedly happy to be back in New York, we feel like that may have been nostalgia.

How will she manage in the long term when forced back to her (relatively) mundane job at the 12th Precinct? And will her relationship with Castle suffer as a result? We’re looking forward to finding out. – K

Quoteworthy: “My mother always said the film business was tough.” – Castle

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