Tuesday, May 6, 2014

TV Recap: Castle 6-22 - Veritas

I have been a 24 addict since hour one of day one (that would be the first episode, just in case you aren't familiar with the show).  I can't tell you how happy I was to have it back tonight.  But as much as I love the show, I always need some time to come down off the adrenalin rush it gives me.  So what I needed was a light episode of Castle.

What we got was "Veritas."

Mind you I am not complaining.  This was an outstanding episode.  But it was one of the darker, more serious episodes that finds Castle and Beckett up against overwhelming odds.  Plus, it involved Joanna Beckett's murder.  Heck, you could tell it was going to be a big episode by the fact that they flashed back to the season 3 ender and Montgomery's death in the "Previous on" recap.

It starts with Beckett out alone doing surveillance on Jason Marks, the money man who is helping the money flow to Senator Bracken's campaign.  She sees him picked up by a town car, but instead of following, she goes home and gets some sleep.  Castle, who is out on a book tour, calls to announce he's coming home until after the wedding, but then Beckett gets a call to a murder scene.

It's Jason Marks.

Traffic cams in a five block radius (instead of the normal 2 - why did they make a big deal out of this?) pick up Marks in the town car with Simmons, the drug man who had captured Beckett earlier this season.  When Gates realizes where this investigation is going, she orders Beckett off the case, so she goes home with Castle, who is now back in town.

However, due to lack of evidence (like the car, a crime scene, those pesky details), they have to let Simmons go.  Beckett starts going through her off the book surveillance photos.  Apparently, she and Castle, at least some times, have been following these two for quite a while.  She makes a connection to a warehouse they had been looking at in the past and goes in the middle of the night to investigate.  Inside, she finds the town car with an obvious bloody front seat.

And the lights come on.

Simmons is there waiting for her, and now that she's found the car without a warrant, it can't be used as evidence.  Beckett tries to get him to talk at gun point, but he's having none of it.

Cut to Castle being awakened at home.  It's Esposito looking for Beckett, who is no where to be found.  Eventually, they get a hold of her and she and Castle show up at a new crime scene.  Simmons has been shot 5 times in the warehouse, slowly over the course of time.  No evidence left behind.  You can tell Beckett is freaked but trying not to say anything.  However, she does back at the precinct, also telling Castle she didn't do it.  Then Internal Affairs shows up.  While they are meeting with Gates, Lanie calls.  She found one slug in the victim.  Ballistics has a match.  It's Beckett's back up gun, the one she usually leaves in a safe in her place.

Realizing why IA is there, Beckett flees.  Castle is soon kicked out as well, and the two meet up.  Before Castle goes, he gets one clue from Esposito and Ryan - Smith is still alive.

Remember Smith?  He's the man who was holding the damning evidence on Senator Bracken.  Only he supposedly died when the evidence was destroyed.  However, someone saw him near the scene of the first murder.  They discover the doctor who signed off on his death was a friend, and they go question him.  They get no where, but then Smith calls and arranges to meet in person.  At the meeting, he mentions the existence of a tape that has Bracken confessing to murder only no one knows where it is.  Beckett's mom probably had it last, but where is it now?

Castle's idea is to go into hiding and figure out their next move.  However, to do that, he stashes Kate in a cheap motel and then heads out to borrow a car from a friend.  Unfortunately, Bracken and his goons show up.  He basically tells Beckett she could have lived if she had left it alone, but now she needs to die.  Not that he will get dirty and do it himself.  He leaves and his goons take over.  They force feed her a pill and then start making her drink alcohol.  The idea is to get her relaxed enough to not fight them as they stage her suicide plus make it look plausible that she did.

There's just one problem.  If you watch, Beckett is dribbling much more of that alcohol than she is swallowing.  Just as they are about to finally set the stage, she grabs the gun they've so helpfully put in her hand and fires, killing one of the men.  The other wacks Beckett over the head with a bottle, but she fires and kills him, too.  Then she spits out the pill.  She staggers into the hall where Castle finds her just as she passes out.

Somewhere in here, Ryan and Esposito tell Gates the entire story, none of which she knew.  Not that it does any good because she doesn't see any way to help Beckett and Castle.

Anyway, while passed out, Kate has a flashback to her early days on the force and the first time she met Captain Montgomery.  He catches her looking over her mother's case, and he tells her there is probably nothing in there that will help her solve it.  Instead, she should look for anything at home, like cassettes from her mother.  When she awakes, she and Castle are a couple of hours from Canada, but Beckett wants to go back.  Surely, the tape is with the stuff she still has from her mother.

Of course, IA is guarding her apartment.  Ryan and Esposito clear the way, and Beckett and Castle go in.  They find Joanna's old journal, and from a note on the day that she died, Castle figures out that she had gotten something, possibly from Montgomery, on the day she was murdered.  It's a note about family, which Beckett assumes meant her father and herself.

Then IA comes barreling in.  They had been following Esposito and Ryan, and all four are arrested and taken back to the precinct.

However, when they get there, Beckett spots the elephant statue on her desk.  It was her mother's, and she always referred to it as "the family."  She goes over there and fumbles with it, opening a secret compartment that spills a micro cassette.  They listen to it, and it is Montgomery and Bracken talking.  Bracken confesses to having killed others and says he will take out Beckett's mom is she does stop poking around.

They have their smoking gun.

The final scene of the episode is set in Washington as Beckett goes to arrest Bracken.  He's in the middle of a TV interview talking about why he wants to run for President when she walks in, and the look on his face when he sees her is priceless.  He tries to carry on, but eventually he can't and then Beckett tells him why she is there.  She has the pleasure of slapping the cuffs on him and leading him out.  Outside, Castle is watching, and Ryan and Esposito are there as well.  They actually get in the car with Bracken, who is trying to look threatening.  Beckett turns to Castle and hugs him.  "I never could have done this without you.

If they never return to this story again, I will be quite satisfied.  This felt like a great ending to the saga they pull out every so often.  There are another couple cases they can reopen for future season finales, but I hope they let this one rest.  It's been great, don't get me wrong, but I feel like they've solved it now and the right person is behind bars.

Of course, I hate the whole, "I had the final clue all this time and didn’t know it" aspect to the solution.  That's a cheat used especially on a TV show when you need to wrap something epic like this up.  It was my biggest complaint with the Monk finale, too.

But emotionally, I loved it.  The performances from everyone were outstanding.  I also like the imagery of that chapter in Beckett's life closing as she starts on her marriage to Castle.

Speaking of which, we still have that to look forward to next week.  I'm hearing it will be a different kind of episode, and much more light hearted than this week.  I'm still expecting a cliffhanger, so we'll see how it goes.

I'll be out of town, so expect my recap to be later than normal.  But I will post something when I get a chance to watch it.


  1. Who really killed Simmons?

    1. We were not explicitly told, but I think it is safe to assume it was one of Senator Bracken's goons.