After several less than stellar episodes in a row, my hopes were not very high for this week’s Castle. But “47 Seconds” surprised me and the episode, which centered on a bombing at an Occupy Wall Street rally, turned out to be one of the best episodes of the season.
One of my main gripes about this season has been the boring cases that feel like they were spliced together and solved in the blink of an eye. This week, the viewer got to see things unfold as the episode started with a reporter and her cameraman preparing to go on air to talk about the rally that was happening behind them. As the reporter started her segment, a bomb went off and the reporter was clearly shell shocked as she looked back and saw the bodies of the victims on the ground amongst the debris.
Castle and Beckett arrived on the scene along with Ryan, Esposito and Captain Gates, only to be told the FBI was taking point on the investigation because there was a bomb involved. Since the detectives and Castle were mainly observing at this point, it gave each of them a chance to reflect and despite what they do for a living, it was obvious they were all shaken up by what had happened. All of the actors did a great job subtly conveying the horror they were witnessing as well as the obvious need to be closer to the people who matter most to them. This led to some great family moments for Castle and it also led to some progress on the Castle and Beckett front, which I will get back to shortly.
But first, it was nice to see Castle helping Alexis when she started to break down in the middle of her internship. She wanted to stay and help Lanie, but Castle convinced her that it was best if she go home. The next morning, she made him a chocolate-chip pancake (just one) and they had a nice bonding moment over the reason they do what they do. Alexis admitted that despite her straight-As and all the trophies she’s won, the internship was the first time she’d felt like she was actually doing something that mattered and she knew Castle understood since he was doing it for the same reason.
Once the FBI ruled out that the bomb was targeting a specific person, the NYPD was allowed a bigger part of the investigation and the detectives started to interview witnesses who slowly pieced together the puzzle of what had happened. The first suspect brought in was Andrew Haynes, who had been at the rally to basically mock the protestors and tell them that they were lazy bums and needed to get real jobs instead of looking for handouts. His cell phone GPS was tracked moving away from the spot where the bomb had gone off seconds later and the police found threatening emails in his apartment. He insisted his phone had been stolen, but the FBI took him into custody.
But we all know that it’s never the first guy. Another witness saw a Hispanic man in a hoodie with a blue backpack, the same kind of backpack the police believed the bomb was in because of blue denim fibers Lanie found on one of the victims who had been closest to the blast. Ryan and Esposito tracked down the man, Bobby, who claimed the backpack wasn’t his. It turned out that he was a pickpocket and he’d been at the rally, targeting easy marks, including Andrew Haynes, whose cell phone was recovered from his apartment. Bobby’s statement along with that of another witness pointed in the direction of one of the protest’s organizers, Jesse Freeman, who had been killed in the explosion.
Castle wanted to recreate the scene so they started with the original footage from the reporter’s camera and the 47 seconds that led up to the blast. One of the witnesses had seen Jesse on the phone with someone and heard him say everything was set. Castle pointed out that he had to be talking to someone within range and he realized that the person on the other end of the phone was actually the reporter, Leann West.
I have to say that this was an awesome twist because it actually made sense. Leann and Jesse had known each other since college and they’d decided to work together because he wanted more attention for his protest and she wanted to be promoted at work to the anchor desk. The bomb was supposed to go off far enough away from people that no one would get hurt, but once Bobby tried to steal the backpack, it was too late to stop it even though Jesse tried to stop Leann from remote detonating the bomb. When they asked her why she didn’t come forward, Leann told them it was because she wanted to protect Jesse’s memory. Castle used a quote that a friend of Jesse’s had told them he was fond of and said Leann was “sinning by silence.”
Leann was not the one Castle was truly directing his words at. Let’s rewind and talk about the reason this episode toyed with and then stomped on my emotions. Both Castle and Beckett were affected by the stories of the victims’ families and the pure tragedy of what was happening. They both realized that no one is guaranteed tomorrow and they didn’t want to regret not doing something, meaning that it was time for them to stop denying their feelings for each other. However, each time one of them started the conversation, someone interrupted them and they kept agreeing to get back to it later. At this point, I was getting that bad feeling where I wanted to look away or put the episode in the freezer so it couldn’t hurt me, but I kept watching.
ABC tends to give away important moments in their previews and they did that last week when they showed Castle overhearing Beckett admit that she remembered everything that happened the day she was shot so I knew exactly what was coming. It didn’t make it any less heartbreaking to see the realization on Castle’s face and hear the anger in his voice when he told his mother that he was done. It was one of those moments where I wanted to reach into my screen and shake them. When Beckett asked Castle to have a drink with her, he coldly declined and walked away instead of saying something even though he’d just stated that “sinning by silence wasn’t brave, it was cowardly.”
Cue all the Caskett shippers slowly banging their heads against the wall.