Castle 3.17 “Countdown” Review

Castle 3.17 “Countdown” Review

Castle 3.17 “Countdown” ReviewI am completely torn about this episode. On the one hand, ‘Countdown’was intense, suspenseful and a solid narrative; on the other hand, however, I am so incredibly frustrated because it feels like we had taken three steps forward with the past few episodes and then ten steps back last night on the Castle/Beckett front. Just when I thought we were finally getting somewhere, The Powers That Be pulled the rug from right under my feet and I am not happy about it. At all.

The episode started right where ‘Setup’left off, which was great. Captain Montgomery is working with Fallon to find the bomb and Castle and Beckett are stuck in the freezer with no possible way of getting out any time soon. If the situation wasn’t so straining, I bet Castle would have cracked a Titanic joke there. Alexis and Martha came back home and couldn’t reach Castle, so the teenager called Ryan, concerned about her dad.

Back in the freezer, things are getting really dangerous really fast and Castle and Beckett are on the verge of unconsciousness. So we get this really great dialogue in which Beckett opens up to Castle and thanks him for being there for her and starts to tell him that she wants him to know how much she… and then she passes out. Let’s assume she was going to say that she loved him — we know that whatever it was, it started with an L — and that she felt that this was her last chance to tell him that. It made sense; after all, they were about to die in there.

It was all very bittersweet and I am sure that every Caskett shipper was swooning about that scene. Then they get rescued and Josh, of all people, shows up; he didn’t go to Haiti after all. I still didn’t understand why he was in the ambulance in the first place, but whatever, he is a doctor and he is technically Kate’s boyfriend, so I overlooked that detail.

Castle 3.17 “Countdown” ReviewCastle and Beckett lock eyes and he asks her what Motorcycle Boy’s return means to their relationship. And right then and there was when I felt a little cheated because Kate smiles and says that maybe it means that she and Josh have a chance.

What. The. Hell.

This is the girl that less than an hour before was (supposedly) professing her love for Castle. Now she is all giddy and smiley because her always absent boyfriend returned — I’m assuming it was only because his flight to Haiti was canceled — to rescue her. So really, TPTB, what am I supposed to take from that? Is this the same girl that you have been doing an amazing job with character development this entire season? Because with just one line you set them back to late season 2. The look on Castle’s face was heartbreaking.

From that point on, I was slightly peeved about the whole thing. The episode in itself was great; the suspense, the build up to the climax, the whole package was typical Castle. Except for the whole character development thing, which just happens to be what this show does best. It was frustrating that an episode that was surrounded by so much hype failed to deliver in the one aspect that I believe the majority of the fans enjoy the most.

I know some people were expecting some grand gesture or proclamation of undying love and all that. I wasn’t, to be honest, because I know that’s not how this show rolls. It’s all about subtext and reading between the lines. I understand what they did from a storytelling standpoint, I really do. I understand, but I don’t like it. What was wrong with continuing with the way things were? Slow progress is better than retreating.

Castle 3.17 “Countdown” ReviewI give praise to TPTB for trying to do a 24-like installment. Things were intense throughout the episode, but there were a few things that bugged me.

First, for two people who nearly died of hypothermia, Beckett and Castle recovered remarkably fast;

Second, I know that Castle always has great insights and all, but it felt like he had all the good ideas in this episode. I’m sorry, but I don’t buy it. No matter how many books he has written or how long he has been following the detective around, they (the NYPD and DHS) are still more experienced in this sort of situation. It bothered me that he was the only one to come up with ideas while Beckett stood in the background.

Third, I won’t even get into how cliché the whole stopping the bomb at the last possible second was, but what Castle did was incredibly stupid. I know this is TV and it’s fiction, but a procedural show like Castle is firmly rooted in reality. I am no bomb expert by any means, but I’m sure that pulling all the wires would have caused the whole thing to go off in the real world. Sure, that allowed for a great Castle/Beckett moment, but still, it fell a little flat for me.

After they saved the world — or just NYC — everyone goes back to the precinct to celebrate. Agent Fallon congratulates them on a job well done and the trio makes amends. I actually quite liked Agent Fallon this time around, even more after learning his motivations to save everybody (his wife died in one of the towers at 9/11). Then Castle and Beckett have another moment and he is about to say something meaningful when he sees Motorcycle Boy coming towards them. So he backpedals and leaves a confused Kate behind. What saved that scene — and let’s face it, the episode — for me was that even though Josh is all over her, she is looking at Castle leaving, confusion and regret written all over her face.

Or maybe that’s just my positive thinking.

Castle 3.17 “Countdown” ReviewBottom line is that ‘Countdown’was a solid episode. It gets a B+ for effort. But I really didn’t like what they did with the Josh storyline and not only because I want Castle and Beckett to get together as soon as possible. I didn’t like how they portrayed Kate as a woman who can’t make up her mind. She is my favorite character and they have always presented her as an independent, strong willed, intelligent woman.

Here’s hoping this was just a blip and won’t happen again. That last scene — while it was incredibly frustrating because it felt like the Demming arc all over again — gave me hope that maybe Kate is finally starting to realize just how much Castle cares about her and that her feelings for him aren’t one-sided. It’s hard not to notice that the man is utterly smitten with her. The scene in the freezer and the one in the ambulance when he wakes up asking for her more than proved that.

Now, come on, Beckett. The ball is in your court now, girl. Do something about it.

Mr. Marlowe and co., please don’t disappoint me. I didn’t like feeling cheated and jerked around like I felt last night. Don’t let it happen again. Please.

So what did you think of ‘Countdown’? Go vent your frustrations or gush about the episode in our Castle Forum.



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