Monday, May 11, 2015

TV Recap: Castle 7-23 - Hollander's Woods

Don’t get me wrong – I’m thrilled Castle is coming back next season.  I’ve actually enjoyed this season over the last few, although I know many people were turned off by the Castle Disappearance storyline and dropped the show.  But, if the show were to end right here, I wouldn’t have minded at all.  That was a lovely final episode, and I could walk away happy.

Not that I’m planning to stop watching the show.  More quips and clues?  Sign me up!

Earlier this season, we’d gotten a mention of Hollander’s Woods as something from Castle’s past, and tonight, we learn what that was.  When he was an 11-year-old boy, he went into the woods during President’s Day weekend and found a dead body.  Then a man in a creepy mask warned him to run and stay silent about what he’d found.  He did report it to the police, but no body or proof was ever found.  Castle was beginning to think he’d made it all up, until a victim is found outside some woods in New York.  The markings on her face are the same as Castle remembers, and the truck driver who accidentally hit the victim as she was fleeing describes the same mask.

That starts us on the trail of a killer who might have been operating for over 30 years and in two locations since Castle’s experience happened in New Hampshire.  We start by tracing the latest victim.  She was staying in New York and had been there for two weeks.  She spent her days staring out of a coffee house window.  Her dad sheds some light on the case when he shares why his daughter was even there.  It seems our most recent victim was trying to find a friend who had disappeared.  This friend has no family or anyone else to care what happens to her.

And that’s when we begin to get an idea of how the killer does it and gets away with it.  He picks victims who have no one to miss them.  He kills them in the woods so there are no witnesses.  And then he hides the body.  This is confirmed when they are finally able to track down the victim that Castle found all those years ago.  She was a migrant worker who just vanished one day.

But that still leaves us with the who.  The latest victim was searching for license plates with an X and a Z on them since her friend had been last seen getting into a car with that plate.  Duplicating her work, they locate one with an address near the coffee shop.  The owner of the car and the house is an old woman…who turns out to be dead when Castle and Beckett go to visit her.  But her adult son is also in the house, and he’s a little crazy.

While hoping to get proof, Castle and Beckett go to visit his doctor.  As soon as the doctor speaks, Castle knows.  This is really the man he met in the woods all those years ago.  And the doctor was attending college in the area at the time.  But again, how will they get proof?  Especially since no one seems to believe Castle.

Beckett digs up an old piece of family property the doctor has inherited.  It currently seems to be abandoned with an old barn on the property.  There is no way she can get a warrant, but possibly, Castle can poke around if he wants to do so.  And he does with Kate in the car and the two of them connected via phone.  He goes in alone and definitely finds the proof that the doctor is the killer.  That includes a duplicate of the first suspect’s car, the mask, and pictures of the victims.

However, Castle isn’t alone.  The killer is also in the barn.  He attacks Castle, and Beckett is locked outside.  Fortunately, Castle is pinned right next to the barn door, and the door doesn’t quite reach the ground.  Castle is able to get his hand under the door, and Beckett gives him her gun.  Castle then shoots the doctor.

In a sub-plot, Beckett’s been waiting to hear back on her captain’s exam when she gets summoned to the downtown police headquarters.  Two men are there and they grill her about some of her more questionable cases and her relationship with Castle.  When she defends her decisions and her relationship, they explain that they actually want her to run for state senate.  The grilling is the kind of thing she can expect to hear if she runs, and her response was perfect.  (And I’ve got to agree, it truly was.)  No decision is made as of the end of the episode.

The final scene takes place as Castle receives the Poe award for lifetime achievement in mystery.  Introducing him is real life author Michael Connelly.  In his speech, Castle thanks all the main characters we know and love, and then, after the speech they toast each other before getting the call for another murder to investigate.

Fade to black.

As I said, if this were the series finale, I would have been perfectly content.  However, the show has been renewed.  As far as I know, Stana Katic is the only one who hasn’t signed back on, but she needs to come back, too.  I have spoken.

I don’t know that all mystery writers have something in their past that got them interested in it, but that sure is what they’ve hinted at all along on this show.  I’m glad to have that insight into Castle, especially since it was brought up earlier this year.

My only complaint about the episode?  Castle was in the woods in New Hampshire President’s Day weekend, and there was no snow?  Seriously?  For that matter, we didn’t celebrate President’s Day back then.  We actually had Lincoln’s birthday and Washington’s birthday as two separate holidays.  But I’m splitting hairs since overall it was a great episode.

Thoughts?  Theories on how they will keep the show going with Beckett as a captain?  (We know she won’t run for Senator.)  Either way, I’ll be tuning in next season.  See you then.

Meantime, I hope you’ll continue to visit my blog over the summer.

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