By Michael Seese
One word: intense. (Though I probably should add five more: Sorry this is so late.)
I'll repeat a phrase I know I've used before. "Probable Cause" illustrates why Castle is a great show. You knew Castle wasn't guilty, even in the face of the video evidence. So the fun came from watching the events unfold and wondering exactly what was going on. And when exactly what was going on was revealed, it caught me completely by surprise. Also, I loved that the real culprit came forward halfway through, resulting in a tense cat-and-mouse game for the rest of the show.
And the villain is one horrifying cat. When I first watched "3XK," I said aloud that I hoped they'd bring him back; apparently the writers listened to me.
Though light on humor (I imagine "The Final Frontier" will remedy that), there were so many stellar moments.
The range of emotions portrayed on Beckett's and Castle's faces as she arrested him was spectacular acting. The scene at 2420 Nicholas -- 3XK's workshop -- was pure tension.
But the climax ...
When Beckett and Castle stopped to wait for the bridge, my wife said, "They're ..." Well, I won't repeat it. Suffice to say, the adjective she chose shares a lot of letters with "firetruck." The focused intensity on Beckett's face as she approached 3XK's car, firing, was amazing. So, too, was Castle's determination when he "manned up" and shot. (In sharp contrast to his milquetoast fight-esque in McCrawley's Bar in "Headhunters.")
The perfect coda came from one of the final exchanges.
Beckett: He's dead.
Castle: For now.
My only gripe comes from that final scene. We know 3XK is brilliant. We know he's a consummate planner. So when Beckett marched toward his car, blasting away, I said, "He's wearing armor." In fact, I probably said it loud enough that Beckett should have heard me. Then when Castle picked up the gun, I thought, OK, you know Beckett shot him and he's still alive. He wearing Kevlar. Go for the head. Go for head! But of course, had they done that, he really would be dead, and not able to appear in any future episodes, which now we are guaranteed will happen. (Since I know the writers pay close attention to my ideas.)
Look for my thoughts on "The Final Frontier" soon.