When we last left our heroes, they were forced to release Jerry Tyson/3XK and his girlfriend Kelly Nieman due to lack of evidence. Meanwhile Beckett goes by herself to talk to a potential witness and winds up being abducted for her trouble.
Castle, Ryan and Esposito rush over to where Beckett’s last known whereabouts but it’s clear to Castle that she’s been taken by Tyson. Ryan reminds him that Tyson and Nieman had both been at the police station when Beckett was abducted but Castle reasons that them being at the station only served to provide them both with an airtight alibi.
Castle and Ryan go to question Tyson who is still posing as Michael Boudreau about Beckett’s disappearance. “Boudreau” continues to deny everything which really sets Castle off. He’s all but ready to beat the crap out of “Boudreau” until Ryan holds him back, reminding him they can’t do anything without evidence. In the meantime, Esposito questions Nieman who also denies knowing anything about the whereabouts of Beckett or the witness she was looking for, Amy Barrett.
Back at the precinct, the detectives have every available cop looking for Beckett and Amy but things aren’t looking too hopeful. Just then, Castle gets a call from Beckett pleading for his help. Tech traces the call from a payphone and the detectives rush right over. When they get there, a package has been left for Castle with a voice recorder inside that plays back the message left by Beckett and the entire message is proven to be just a dead end engineered by Tyson to screw with Castle.
The detectives seem to finally catch a break when a witness reports seeing Beckett being put into a red van, so they immediately begin going through street camera footage. Unfortunately, Castle decides he can’t wait that long and sneaks over to “Boudreau’s” apartment to give him the beat down he wanted to dish out last time. After throwing him around for a bit, Castle pulls out a gun out, though “Boudreau” sticks to his story. Before Castle can make good with his threat to shoot, he gets arrested by some uniformed cops who were staking the apartment.
Back at the station, the cops are none too happy with Castle, especially since “Boudreau” is now pressing assault charges against Castle and they have no choice but to book him. Thankfully, Captain Gates gets Castle uncuffed saying they do the rest of the booking process later. She understandably points out the stupidity of him beating up Tyson but is more understanding of it than she usually is when Castle pulls one of his stunts. She also thinks back to when she first took over the precinct and admits that back then she had no idea what Beckett saw in him. She also says the when she asked Beckett about this, Beckett explained that to her Castle has a special way of investigating and that he “sees the story.” Gates then tells Castle that he needs to use that ability to figure out Tyson’s next move.
Before he gets a chance to that however, Ryan informs them that “Boudreau” has escaped his stakeout detail and he’s in the wind. The bad news continues to pile on as Esposito informs them Dr. Nieman has escaped her stakeout detail as well. Just then Castle gets a taunting call from Tyson which the police are able to trace. The bad news is the call is coming from Castle’s apartment. The cops and a panicked Castle show up at the apartment to find Martha and Alexis thankfully unharmed. Castle decides not to take any more chances and immediately has them both take an impromptu vacation to Europe.
Once Castle has that out of the way, the cops have finally found the red van Beckett was taken in. The cops spot what they believe to be Beckett tied up in a nearby building. When they storm the place, they watch helplessly and she’s shot several times to Castle’s horror. Fortunately for Castle, the victim is actually a blonde drug addict like the rest of Tyson’s usual victims.
Meanwhile, Beckett wakes up to find herself tied down in a nondescript room when she gets a visit from Nieman.
The Showdown (Finally!)
Castle, realizing a conventional investigation isn’t going to help them find Beckett, decides to take a different approach and pay a visit to Tyson’s former cellmate and one time accomplice Marcus Gates. Castle persuades Gates to tell him about a house in the woods Tyson would go to get away from his mother as a kid. Castle decides to go there alone and finds Amy Barrett standing outside smoking a cigarette, confirming to Castle that she’s yet another accomplice of Tyson’s. Unfortunately for Castle, his surveillance skills still haven’t improved and Amy spots him almost instantly though at least this time Castle is smart enough to realize he’s been made and uses the opportunity to get the drop on her. Castle tries to get Amy to tell him where Beckett is but she insists that she’s the only one there and she has no idea where they took Beckett to. Castle is skeptical of this information at best and therefore decides to stuff her into the trunk of his car.
While Castle prepares to storm the house, Beckett is being forced to listen to Nieman’s insanity speech, who also informs Beckett of her intention to change her face to look like Beckett’s in order to avoid detection by the police. I’ll give Nieman points for creepiness but that plan sounds ridiculously impractical. For starters, who’s supposed to perform this operation? Also, changing your face to look like a soon to be murdered detective (whose death would presumably bring a lot of media attention) seems like a pretty conspicuous disguise.
Before the audience can focus on these gaping plot holes too much however, Castle enters the house. Castle goes inside one of the rooms and notices a monitor showing Beckett tied down, indicating that Beckett is being held somewhere else. To top it off, Castle finds Tyson there waiting for him and gets tasered.
When Castle comes to, Tyson has him sit by the monitor so he watch Beckett die. Before this happens however, Tyson decides to get one last round of gloating in. He brags about how Castle was so predictable and that it was easy to lure him to the house (sure why not). Surprisingly though, Castle isn’t fazed by this and reveals that he knew Tyson would pull something like this and came prepared. He then says “take the shot” and much to the shock is Tyson is shot dead by a sniper shown to be Esposito. With Tyson taken down, Castle uses his phone to trace Beckett’s location.
Back at Beckett’s location, Nieman begins to get worried that she hasn’t heard from Tyson yet and decides to go ahead with killing Beckett as planned. Before she can get started however, Beckett manages to break free from her restraints. When Castle and the other detectives get there they find Beckett standing over Nieman’s dead body. She’s shaken up but much to Castle’s relief she’s otherwise okay.
Back at the station, Beckett gets a standing ovation from the other officers and Gates even goes so far as to thank Castle for his work. However, the bad news for Castle is that he still has to answer for the assault charges Tyson pressed against him. Gates tells him the D.A. will drop the charges (since Tyson is dead now, I would assume he’d have to that anyway) if he agrees to 1,000 hours of community service which he would work off as a consultant for the precinct, effectively reinstating him into the department. Castle all too happily agrees.
Much like last week, there was stuff that worked with this episode and stuff that didn’t. Probably the most satisfying part to watch is seeing Castle get the upper hand on Tyson for a change after watching him and the detectives predictably go in circles with this guy for the last four years. Also, the final scene between Beckett and Nieman was well handled and seeing Beckett creepily standing over Nieman’s dead body was a nice touch to keep the audience guessing if only for a few seconds.
Of course, that doesn’t mean the episode didn’t have it’s downsides as well. For starters, Castle’s assault against Tyson seemed rather pointless since in the end it didn’t really accomplish anything. I know it served as a way to get Castle back into the precinct but I’m pretty sure the writers could’ve gotten this done in a less contrived manner.
Also not helping this episode is that even though this presumably puts the 3XK story arc to a close, there are so many questions left unanswered. What happened to the real Michael Boudreau? How was Tyson able to beat the DNA test last week? What happened to Amy Barrett after Castle stuffed her into his car (seriously she’s never seen or mentioned again)? How were Ryan and Esposito able to give Castle backup without Tyson seeing them coming?
Admittedly though, i can live with these questions going unanswered since the yearly 3XK episodes appear to have finally and mercifully come to an end, which as a result will probably make bump this episode’s rating up at least a point. Things appear to be going back to basics next week with Castle and Beckett investigating the mysterious murder of an astronaut in ‘The Wrong Stuff.’