TV Recaps

‘Castle’ Season 5 Finale Recap: Watershed

Are all of the Castle and Beckett fans still breathing out there? After Season 5 gave Castle fans the relationship most of us have been waiting for since the pilot, tonight’s episode gave shippers a lot of angst and then what could be the single greatest moment, assuming the question is answered the way we want it to be.

But before we get into all of that (it did happen at the END of the episode), let’s talk about “Watershed.” In addition to being the season finale, the episode also served for what might end up being Beckett’s last case as an NYPD officer. The lady detective began the episode with a secret job interview in Washington, D.C. and it was pretty obvious the interview went very well.

Let’s backtrack once more. The very beginning of the episode started with a woman taking a shower and blood suddenly pouring down from the showerhead (gross). A little while later, a maintenance man at the same motel found a woman’s body in the water tank. The case seemed pretty cut and dry at first. It looked like the young girl was a runaway turned hooker, living in a seedy, extended stay motel. But one of her fellow residents protested that she wasn’t a prostitute and it turned out that he was right.

The girl was actually a Harvard honor student named Erica and her parents had no idea that she was in the city; let alone staying at a creepy motel and wearing a pink wig. Erica’s credit card receipts showed she’d shared an expensive lunch in Manhattan with a friend from school.

Lanie tells Beckett and Castle that there was no evidence of sexual activity and the two find a CD of intimate sounds in her room. The neighbor who defended her admitted that he could see into a room through a hole in the closet. He explained all she did was sit on her bed all night, fully clothed, and work on her laptop.

Castle and Beckett interview the friend from school and she tells them that Erica was not happy when she ran into her wearing her pink wig while she was arguing with a guy. Erica was saying that she was on a mission and she told the man that he had no idea what he was up against. The detectives piece together that since she was a computer science major, Erica was probably a hacker and she was using the motel’s WiFi so it couldn’t be traced back to her.

A computer tech helps narrow down the IP addresses from the motel and they trace Erica’s activities back to a law firm: Banks & Bauer, that represents high-profile, political clients. The partners aren’t very forthcoming, but there was a payphone at the motel that Erica used to call an attorney that was fired from there. Everyone heads to his place and they find him hanging from the ceiling. Lanie tells them it wasn’t suicide; he was strangled and it turned out that he was killed before Erica.

Ryan finds a chat on his computer and they realize the killer set Erica up to meet him on the motel roof. As they dig further into things, they find out that Erica’s best friend in high school interned at the firm and she was killed in a one car crash coming home from a party. They also figure out that Erica hid her laptop and Ryan and Esposito find it hidden in the basement (Ryan also tells his partner that Jenny is pregnant!).

They trace phone records back to one of the dead lawyer’s clients, Colin Rigsdale III, a rising political star and someone who knew Erica’s friend. Kate questions him, but she knows he would have paid someone to commit the crime. She follows the trail to Martin, one of the guests at the hotel, who also happens to be the black sheep of the family. By this point, Kate has been offered the job (more on that soon), so as she hauls Martin in for questioning, she’s very mindful that this is her last case.

She wants to know what he was promised. He lies to her and she points out that the interrogation room is her home and she’s not going to let him come into her home and lie to her. She shows him a partial print that was taken off Erica’s body and asks how many years he’s willing to give up for someone else’s future. When Beckett finishes with him, Ryan and Esposito ask her what’s going on (they’ve noticed all episode that something is up) and Beckett admits that there’s something she needs to tell them, but someone else she needs to talk to first.

Okay, now that we’ve gone through the case, let’s backtrack to Kate’s interview. She didn’t tell anyone where she was going and there’s some tension between her and Castle right off the bat. Gates learns about the interview when she gets a call from the FBI and tells Beckett that she gave her a glowing recommendation. Kate appreciates that, but doesn’t think there’s much of a chance. Gates disagrees and tells her that she’s on a very short list.

Next, Kate goes to talk to Lanie under the guise of finding out the victim’s time of death, but Lanie sees right through that. She asks for advice and admits to Lanie that she and Castle never talk about where their relationship is going so she doesn’t know how real it is (ouch).

Castle invites her over for dinner and then he finds the boarding pass from that morning when it falls out of her pocket. He’s upset that she didn’t tell him and Kate gets defensive and says she doesn’t want to make it about them (who wanted to slap her here?). The two get into an argument and he ends up walking out on her.

Still upset, Castle turns to Martha for advice and she gives him some harsh truths that only a mother can. Martha points out that neither of them know where the relationship is going and while Castle is not one to hold back and she wants to know why he’s ready to run and end things at the first sign of trouble. “Deep down, you don’t think this is going to work.”

After Kate is officially offered the job, she calls her dad. He’s proud of her, but she knows if she moves to D.C., her relationship with Castle will end. Jim points out that if she chooses him, she might end up resenting him or worse. Kate reiterates that she doesn’t know if what they have is real, but she knows she wants the job. She tells her dad that Castle is going to hate her and he points out that she’ll have to live with that.

Alexis wants to take a summer trip to Costa Rica, but Castle is hesitant to give her the money after what happened while she was in Paris. Alexis can tell something else is wrong when he finally gives her the check. Castle explains that there comes a time when they have to stop fooling themselves into thinking life is going to be the way they want it to be and start seeing what’s really there. Then he gets a call from Beckett, who wants to talk.

Castle and Beckett meet at the park and sit on the swings together. They don’t look very happy and Castle admits that he wants more. Beckett does too and she seems to be struggling to tell him what she needs to. Castle takes over and tells her that he wants them to move forward together and then he gets down on one knee and proposes. That sound you hear is the entire fandom screaming as the screen fades to black and we have to wait until the fall for her answer.

So what did you guys think? Was the proposal worth all the angst building up to it throughout the episode? Are Castle and Beckett ready for marriage? Will she even say ‘yes’? How is the show going to get around this pesky new job? Sound off in the comments below!

About the author

Mandy Treccia

Mandy Treccia has served as TVSource Magazine’s Executive Editor since 2016, formerly as Editorial Director from 2012-2016. She is an avid TV watcher and card carrying fan girl prone to sudden bursts of emotion, ranging from extreme excitement to blind rage during her favorite shows and has on more than once occasion considered having a paper bag on hand to get her through some tough TV moments. Her taste in TV tends to rival that of a thirteen-year-old girl, but she’s okay with that. Follow her on Twitter at @SourceMandy.

  • I agree. But Beckett treated Castle very badly during the last four episodes. I think this was a very weak storyline. Why would she want to leave all friends and true love for a Federal job ? In an earlier season, one of Kate’s old boyfriends / FBI agent offered her a position and she wasn’t interested.

    You would have thought that Beckett would have learned from what happened to her Mother and choose lover over a career with the feds.

    Also, would her suspension at the end of season 4 not exclude her from a federal position ?

  • Maria

    There is no “Castle, without Beckett. I think the point of the show is how they each become better people/professionals because of their relationship. Castle used to be the womanizing party animal. Beckett used to be the “don’t get too close” personality. But together, they do amazing work.

    Beckett’s behavior has been wretched. But it strikes me as the behavior of someone who’s afraid. A cornered animal strikes out. As her dad said, she’s always been someone who used work as a hiding place. This new job is the ultimate hiding place….if she takes the job and she and Castle break up, she can use it as the excuse rather than the symptom. Castle knows this. That’s why he stated that people have to scrape and claw every inch to get to know Beckett. So he took away her “excuse” and put the ball in her court. He basically told her that he wants her wherever, however he can get her. She has no hiding place.

    What happens in season 6 is anyone’s guess. But I think that the show is much better with Caskett than with just Castle alone.

  • great show they have tons of chemistry. Maybe she will take the job if she is allowed to take her team.
    Not realistic in the real world but this is tv so anything can happen.

  • Ralph Benson

    This was a continuation of the last four episodes where Beckett kicks Castle to the curb many times. In this episode she appears as the spoiled brat that she really is. Castle takes it all and proposes???? Give me a break. If this is Andrew’s best I don’t want to see his worst.

  • the finale was awe-some-some,but where can season 6 head to.the series seems to work best with ALLthe charcters present.whether beckett takes the new job or not the series must stay in N Y C in order to include the regular crew.My guess-she accepts the proposal.I LOOK FORWARD to a more open beckett and amore mature castle.Wecan still have humor and action,romance andmystery-but enough of the video games and other immature actions from castle.Season should see marriage etal.

  • The name of the show is Castle not Beckett. Way too much time is given over to her and her insecurities. Its boring and repetitive. Castle should dump Kate and move on. She’s too much trouble and too fickle and shallow to make a relationship work. How could she not know if her feelings for Rick ” are real ” ? Hello ! This is ridiculous. Where has she been for the last 5 years.

    Move on Castle, she’s not worth it.