Before Castle and Beckett get to the crime scene this week, a wedding invitation form Beckett’s ex-boyfriend (the FBI guy Will Sorenson from season 1) prompts the couple to briefly ponder what their lives would’ve been like if they had never met. Beckett jokes that if Castle weren’t around to distract her she would probably be a precinct captain by now and Castle counters that he’d probably would’ve won a Pulitzer already.
Meanwhile at the crime scene, the victim is a Swiss national that had been transporting a briefcase handcuffed to his wrist. Before he could deliver the case however, he and his driver were killed in an ambush and the briefcase stolen by the killer. Castle notices some coal soot on the victim and figures the killer might be hiding in an abandoned coal plant and is quick to mention one currently being converted into a shopping mall. Beckett is skeptical but Castle convinces her to check it out anyway. Castle turns out to be on to something when they the killer’s getaway car and the stolen briefcase inside. They look inside the briefcase and find some kind of ancient artifact. Castle like an idiot picks it up setting off an alarm system inside the briefcase and causing a shootout between Beckett and the killer. The killer throws a grenade and before Castle can take cover he’s blasted through a door or at least I think that’s what happened (this scene isn’t edited very well).
Miraculously, Castle doesn’t have a scratch on him but Beckett and the killer have mysteriously disappeared. He makes his way back to the precinct to warn Ryan and Esposito about what happened to Beckett. The two detectives give him a confused look and call in the captain who’s revealed to be Beckett. Even stranger is that none of the cops appear to recognize him with Beckett saying “I’ve never seen this man before in my life.”
Whole New World
At first Castle thinks this has to be some kind of joke (which is what I was hoping for) until he almost gets himself arrested for knowing a little too much about the crime scene. Then he figures that he’s probably dreaming and that he just needs to wake up (I wish). Unfortunately for Castle (and me), this appears to be real and he is indeed in a parallel universe where the two never met. As it turns out in this universe Martha is such a big Broadway star that she’s signing autographs to a room full of cops (I had no idea the NYPD were such big theater fans). We also learn that Ryan never got married, Castle’s relationship with Alexis is strained at best, Esposito is kind of a douche and Beckett never solved her mother’s murder. To top it all off for Castle, his writing career has gone down the toilet after he tried writing more serious literature which was so bad that even Castle himself only had to read the first sentence of the synopsis to know it’s complete crap. Things have gotten so bad for him in this universe he even has to rely on Martha for financial support.
Castle remembers he was holding the artifact when this stuff started and after some research finds out that it’s rumored to be a gateway to another world. He figures the best way to get back to his universe is to help the cops find the missing artifact and somehow convinces Captain Beckett to let him consult on the case. Unfortunately, Castle angers the detectives with his usual amount of bumbling and he’s taken off the case just as quickly as he was put on it. Just before leaving however, Castle notices a tattoo on one of the suspects and recognizes it as a logo for a rugby team. He convinces Captain Beckett to go a bar that airs the rugby team’s matches and by massive coincidence the murder suspect is there watching the game. When they try to question the guy he quickly lawyers up but the cops are confident they can get a conviction. Castle asks what they’re doing next but Beckett tells them that it’s over and she’s fine with just convicting the killer despite the guy clearly having accomplices and the artifact is still missing. This doesn’t sit well with Castle, not only because they haven’t found the artifact but that Beckett has given up so easy.
The next day while Castle is getting coffee, an unknown assailant holds him at gunpoint. He’s taken to the abandoned coal plant to be questioned by the mastermind behind the murder who is revealed to be just some random rich guy. He says that his lawyer overheard his conversation with Beckett the previous night and figures that Castle is from another universe (yes, you read that correctly). He wants Castle to tell him how the artifact works so that he too can change his destiny. Despite Castle pointing out the stupidity in this plan since the guy is already rich and successful, he still wants to know how the artifact works. When Castle says he doesn’t know, they’re on the verge of shooting him before being interrupted by Captain Beckett prompting another shootout. During the gunfire Castle grabs the artifact but is shot taking a bullet for Captain Beckett shortly afterward. Just before Castle dies from his wound he comes to and finds himself back in the real world. While he was unconscious in the real world all the suspects are arrested without incident and the case wraps up pretty quickly.
Castle’s so called visit to a parallel universe prompts Castle to re-propose to Beckett and he suggests they get married right away. The two lovebirds are then married in a private ceremony with Martha, Alexis and Beckett’s dad in attendance (though Ryan, Esposito and Lanie are conspicuously absent). After exchanging some vows Castle and Beckett are finally pronounced husband and wife.
I don’t think an episode of Castle has annoyed me this much since the season premiere. The wedding was nice enough but it wasn’t worth sitting through a below average Twilight Zone episode to get to it. What’s worse is that there was no buildup to it and it feels like the writers hastily added this scene at the last minute. Between this and last month’s episode with the invisibility suit I really hope this isn’t the start of some supernatural trend for the show but hopefully things will get better next week as our two heroes go on their honeymoon.