I’m going to go on record as saying I’m still not a big fan of the Castle kidnapped storyline. I may still change my mind, and they have done a good job of getting things relatively back to normal, but overall, it’s one of my least favorite things they’ve done on the show.
However, I keep comparing this storyline and the interrupted wedding to the other one I’ve experienced – the one from Lois and Clark almost 20 years ago. (And by the time I watched the show on DVD, I knew what was coming before I saw it and it still bothered me.) For those who aren’t familiar, the duo were set to marry during February sweeps of season 3. However, the Lois that Clark married at that point was a clone. That took several episodes to resolve, and then the real Lois developed amnesia. From there, Clark almost left in order to take his place as a leader of a colony of his people. And that was the May cliffhanger. The duo finally did marry, but not until the November sweeps of season 4. By then, many of the fans of the show were upset and had stopped watching. Really, who can blame them? So by comparison, Castle has done well. Even though I don’t like what they did in May and what it has set off, it’s still better than what it could have been. For that I am thankful.
And yes, I did kind of already spoil the ending of last night’s episode, although I think the previews pretty much had given it away a couple of weeks ago. But keep reading to see how we got there.
See, there actually was a mystery last night. A man with a briefcase attached to his wrist is riding in a car. A van intercepts them and men with masks shoot the driver and the man with the briefcase. They then steal the briefcase.
Castle and Beckett arrive on the scene even before Lanie and Esposito this time since the two supporting characters are together when the call comes in. As a result, Castle is looking at the body early, and he finds a footprint on the briefcase wearer’s shirt. He recognizes the odor of coal, and he insists that they stop at an abandoned coal factory that is on the way to the place Beckett wants to go.
It turns out to be a good thing they stopped. They spot the briefcase inside the abandoned factory. It’s open and inside it is an ancient artifact. Castle picks it up and sets off an alarm. People come out and start firing, and one of them throws a smoke grenade. As Castle and Beckett dive out of the way, he crashes through a door and blacks out briefly. However, when he wakes up, no one is around at all.
He rushes back to the precinct to find that no one knows who he is at all. He quickly figures out he’s in an alternative universe where he and Beckett never met. He figures out through some internet research this is what that artifact can reportedly do, and it is the result of the discussions he and Beckett have had about how their lives would have been different if they hadn’t met six years ago that he wound up in this reality.
As a result, Castle becomes obsessed with finding that artifact and using it to get back to his reality. See, the alternative reality gang is working on the same case that Castle’s reality was working on, so he worms his way into the investigation. They follow the trail to a warehouse and a fake artifact that crumbles when Castle picks it up. However, they do pick up on a man with a rugby team’s logo tattooed on his neck. Castle figures out where they show those games, and he tricks Beckett into going there with him. They spot the man, and the result is the man is arrested, but he won’t talk. Still, Beckett knows they have the killer with evidence they find with a search warrant, so the case is closed. Castle isn’t satisfied, but she is.
Meanwhile, we’ve gotten to know how things have changed in this world where Castle and Beckett had never met. Beckett becomes Captain of the precinct, but she is unhappy with all the paperwork and misses being on the streets. She has also never solved her mother’s murder. Esposito and Lanie dated and broke up, and he hasn’t gotten over her even though she has moved on and is now pregnant. Ryan got so buried in work after Beckett’s promotion that he let Jenny go and the two never married.
Life for Castle and his family isn’t too much better. Martha is the only one doing well, with her fame as an actress reaching new heights. (In fact, Ryan is a groupie). Castle tried to write a serious novel after killing off Storm, and it bombed. He was so depressed that Martha had to help with the mortgage. Meanwhile, he drifted apart from Alexis, who dyed her hair black and moved to California to live with her mom. She’s working at a non-profit but feels like her work isn’t making a difference.
The morning after the man is arrested, Castle goes back to the coal factory, hoping to find the artifact. What he finds is the developer who has bought the factory in both realities. The developer has been searching for the artifact and is obsessed with the legends about it shifting reality for people. And yes, he was the man who hired the killer we arrested yesterday. Beckett shows up and tries to arrest the developer. Castle’s speech about the loose ends got to her. However, the developer’s henchmen shoot at Beckett, and Castle jumps in front of her, saving her life. As he lies on the ground bleeding out, he blacks out…
…And wakes up back in our reality where he’d just blacked out for a second and the artifact is really just a cool old item. Beckett had called for backup and the bad guys, including the developer and the same two henchmen we’d just seen, are being led away. It would have been a simple case if Castle hadn’t blacked out for a minute or two.
This whole thing really makes Castle realize how much he wants to marry Beckett, and he asks her to marry him, right now. And they do in a simple ceremony with Martha, Alexis, and Beckett’s dad as the only people attending. Their vows are simple, sweet, and very, very touching and so them. Yes, I absolutely loved this scene. I don’t know if it was worth the wait from May, but it was very well done. I would have liked to see the rest of the main cast involved, but I didn’t need it. It worked well as it was.
Okay, yes, I admit my grasp on the plot wasn’t as strong as normal. But the fun of the episode was the alternate reality version of the characters. And they had to leave time for that final wedding scene, which just made it for me. If you’ve been skipping Castle this year, this was an episode to watch.
Which just leaves us with one question – was it worth the wait from May for this episode? Share your thoughts on the alternate reality and the wedding in the comments.