Beckett has been keeping something big from Castle, and it might get her killed.
Then again, who isn’t vulnerable with a bag of spiders tied to their face? The remaining two identity thieves, Emory and Ty Dade, are looking for Beckett too, and try to get to her through Castle. Emory drugs him outside of the prison and shoves him into a van. The information extraction session takes place in a scenic warehouse, and Castle isn’t talking because he’s got nothing to say. (“Come on, Castle. No woman is worth dying for.”) Not satisfied, Dade (business-like, sadistic-adjacent) whips out a cigar box full of furry arachnids, clearly a tried and true method. Castle breaks out of their zip tie cuffs and makes a break for it just as Dade decides to kill him.
The drugs start to kick back in, but not before Castle gets a fuzzy glimpse of Beckett taking out Emory and chasing off Dade. And if her motivations were in any doubt before, this scene confirms that she’s still the Beckett we know. She stops to make sure that Castle is okay, holds his face in her hands, and reminds him that she loves him. (“Like a house on fire,” were the words he used in the car with Hayley, and Beckett wouldn’t argue.) She’s gone before Esposito, Ryan, and their uniforms show up — the “no cops” agreement was moot as soon as Castle got a glimpse of those semi-automatics — but they are able to take an injured Emory into custody.
Fat lot of good she is to them. With a boss worse than Bracken, “prison’s a picnic compared to what happens to me if I talk,” Emory says in interrogation. But the sketch from the dry cleaners points to another period in Beckett’s personal history and it’s a new path to follow. The diabetic she’s on the run with is one Vikram Singh, an analyst for the Attorney General’s investigative office she worked for early in season 6. And poor Lisa Edelstein who played Rachel McCord, Beckett’s D.C. partner, gets an anticlimactic off-screen death. She and three other members of the team lost their lives in a car accident one day previous. The fourth? Bled out in a club after cozying up to an attractive woman. Whoever’s list it is that those people were on, Beckett must be on it too.
Castle tries to put a chink in Emory’s confidence by pointing out her group’s dwindling numbers. (“Beckett against one guy? I like those odds.”) But the only reaction that tactic incites is astonishment at his naivete. “What makes you think there’s only one team in play?” she asks. Those reinforcements are called in to close in on Beckett as Emory goes out in a blaze of glory. Her life has no value outside of the operation. Who are these people?
Whatever Beckett’s original plan was, it went wrong. It went wrong inside that theater, and it forced her to react. Castle wasn’t even supposed to know about this criminal organization, let alone get immersed in it. Beckett was supposed to come home in time for dinner and tell him made-up details about her fake meeting over red wine before they went about living the rest of their lives. Ryan and Esposito were supposed to still be playing “Knife, Gun, Kevlar” for her old desk, not risking their lives in a precinct shoot-out. (Espo’s slide is a thing of heroic beauty, though. He earns that desk.) Alexis is supposed to be polishing the fake Complete Works Of Edgar Allan Poe and doing intake of new clients, not tearfully begging Hayley for information that could lead them back to Kate. She can’t know how far it’s gone, but you can bet that’s what Beckett is thinking as she looks out into the night from that dirty warehouse window.
To be continued.